Saturday, December 31, 2011
DNTEL Knows Life Is Full of Possibilities
Most people who know of Dntel know of him because of him being one half of the Postal Service. What most people don't know, is that Dntel has had a long career of making electronic music that stretches over several albums, bands, and projects. His somewhat classic, Life Is Full Of Possibilities was originally issued in 2001 right before the Postal Service became bigger than sliced bread. Eventually overshadowed by that project's success, Life Is Full Of Possibilities never quite got the fair shake it deserved until now. Recently reissued by Sub Pop, the album has been expanded and gate-folded into an absolutely massive two CD set that gives this record it's due.
Life Is Full Of Possibilities is a glitchy, whispery, mostly ambient work that kind of gently thumps its way along. At times sounding like Mum or even a more adventurous Radiohead, Dntel is like an electronic music explorer using his keys, sequencer, and beats as a way to create new territory and new sounds by any means necessary. It's an unobtrusive but beautiful record that lets its imagination run wild and feels like the sound of electric sheep jumping over fences in your dreams. Life Is Full Of Possibilities is truly magical, mystical stuff that through the use of sparse arrangements, vocals, and beats creates a world that's serene and sublime and that's just disc one.
Disc two of Life Is Full Of Possibilities not only sees some obscurities and b-sides but also sees remixers and reworkers get there hands on the record and work some magic of their own. The results of this are tons of glitchy obscuro electronica that's less ambient and a bit more accessible for shuffling along to. For the most part the songs are still sparsely arranged, but done so in such a way where there's actually a bit more structure than the originals. If you think of the original album (disc 1) as yin, then the remix disc (disc 2) is it's yang; it's quiet and loud, energetic and serene, like night and day.
Life Is Full Of Possibilities is an amazing album that's finally getting the respect it was owed. This super sized version with all the remixes and bonus tracks is just about essential. Dntel created a definitive vision of what glitch pop mixed with ambient should sound like and this is it. Creative, fragile, and imaginative Life Is Full Of Possibilities is just that full of possibilities.