Kevin Verwijmeren – Dett (2018)

It is hard to make a decision that we know to be the right course of action when we know that that path will lead to pain. It is the burden of conscience and morality, of responsibility. How we perform in those moments defines who we are, and perhaps shapes who we want to become: the type of person to put ego to one side and do what is right, even at personal cost.

Dett is not a straightforward album, because moments of difficulty and development are not straightforward. Feelings rise and fall like a rollercoaster, strands of thought weave a complex web of outcomes and choices, all the while life spins its wheels forever onward, tipping us closer to the final decisive instant. All of this is compressed into the seamless chaptered tale of Dett, its course advancing effortlessly to conclusion, stopping off at a few key moments along the way.

Manifestations of selfish desire fall at the very heart of the record, as the staccato spaciousness of “Static Scenes” makes way for the spiralling descent of “Ego Trip”. Synth chase each other in neuronal piggybacking, winding down into a lonely hole of personal desire and hollow starkness. It’s not inherently callous or dark or evil, it’s just the nature of the ego. Effortlessly it moves into the blissful ignorance of “Paradise State of a Fool”, shielding drone curtains creating an isolated cushion of protection, but one that cannot be sustained. Bass distortions drive like foghorns through its veils, wedging reality back through the crack in warning pulses.

Indeed, even the opener is titled “To Me”, putting itself at the centre of the universe. Change is expected from the start though, its introductory drones and synth swells a waning force, distant and softening as it bends into corrosive altruism. This expansion is noted at key points in the record: “Two” arrives shortly after, a brief extension of self permitted in distant clangings and spectral vocal coos, faint and reluctant. “Become None” burns the impenetrable woods of “Paradise State” in energised passages and textural density, the purification of character flaw conflagrating in real time before dawning into the obliterated quiescence of “Inner”, allowed to see clearly for the first time.

Heckerian visions develop late in the record, menacing chastisements that torture the soul. “Unseen Sea” begins to grapple with the scope and depth of emotion before it, advancing on metronomic waves of synths and glittering pulses, tidal drones washing forwards in discovery. That is before “Burned By The Sun” brings us too close to the source; it growls and grinds in contorted shapes, perhaps too naive to fully face these new problems and responsibilities yet, damaged in the face of their ferocity.

Regardless, it culminates in closing “To All”, actions now bound to collective consciousness and consideration. There’s a certain relaxation to be found here as it completes its mission to share, shimmering away on light beds and tapping, twinkling synths as it sheds its burden. Release is its reward, but the changes will stay forever.

Dett will be released on October 28th.