Millions of Brazilians CD - Southern

With an unusual line-up of two bass players and a drummer, Chicago’s Dianogah has been quietly doing their own indie instrumental rock thing for more than seven years. The dual bass interplay is deft, and makes use of the higher end of the instrument’s range a lot of the time. The bass tone is more shaped, precise, and melodic than one is used to hearing from the instrument. We don’t hear murky rumbling or thumping, nor flashy, jazzy solos, nor funk-inspired slapping, but rather clear musical tones which bring out the metallic (but not metal) essence of a wound bass string. The drumming is fantastic and inventive. The tom toms take on melodic qualities as the bass and drum patterns weave around each other or join together. With a hint of math rock, Dianogah are able to work within different time signatures and play polyrhythmic phrases that go “over the bar”. All of this is done (usually) in an unobtrusive, subtle way. On this, their third album, Dianogah have added other sounds to the blend, like guitar (often tremoloed), bass clarinet, and organ and piano beautifully played by Rachel Grimes of Rachel’s. The first song is great. Mixing 5/8 and 6/8 time signatures, and adding a Pink Floyd-like Hammond organ, “Wrapping The Lamb, Sir” features a spacious atmosphere that draws in the listener. I especially like the slower songs like the first and “American Dipper”; some songs seem more inspired than others. Dianogah will appeal to fans of Tortoise, Ui, June of 44, Rex and similar bands. In fact, John McEntire of Tortoise and Sea and Cake recorded and mixed this album, and the slower songs definitely have an appealing Tortoise-y drifty vibe. (Michael Snyder)



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