Dahlia - "Emotion Cycles" (self-released 2001, CD)
From Aural Innovations #17 (September 2001)
Dahlia is a duo that has been making a splash on the Portland music scene for a couple years, but are only now releasing their first CD. Dahlia first came to my attention through the writings of the Action Man who gave us an account of a Dahlia show in AI #15 and chronicles the CD release party in this issue (see links below).
Dahlia's music is created by Keith Schreiner whose Auditory Sculpture CD we reviewed last issue. And vocals are provided by Jennifer Folker whose soulful and often sultry singing evokes a combination of Kate Bush and Sade. There lots of pop potential here, but don't let that scare you off. The music is busier than a cursory listen reveals as Schreiner embellishes the proceedings with oodles of varied, and subtle, electronic patterns and textures. The atmosphere is dreamily ethereal with pulsating electro drum 'n bass rhythms, though horns often give the music a jazzy edge, and Folker's vocals paint a fervent passion against Schreiner's electronic landscapes. The music is dancey, but I imagine people would rather close their eyes and get lost in it rather than cutting the dancefloor rug.
Haunting and evocative, Dahlia will appeal to those who enjoy pop, but demand creatively constructed music behind the beats and songs. Likewise, fans of spacey ambient electronica who like good songs and vocals should check this out as well.
For more information you can visit the Dahlia web site at: http://www.auditorysculpture.com/dahlia/.
Emotion Cycles should be available in stores sometime in October. It being distributed by Allegro. You can visit their web site at: http://www.allegro-music.com.
Reviewed by Jerry Kranitz
Photos by Roger Neville-Neil