Thursday 21 February 2013

Review: Dperd - 'Kore'


Having been around for a decade now, the duo of Valeria Buono and Carlo Disimone have worked hard to craft the ethereal darkwave of Dperd. Their third release on My Kingdom Music, 'Kore', is a somewhat more introspective follow-up to their previous album 'Io Sono Un Errore '. The band's slow and dreamy style remains intact as does their penchant for mixing Italian and English lyrics, but the band have moved into a more limited and self-referential style of composition.

The band's core sound of haunting strings and melodic guitars coupled together with some fanciful piano melodies will still play to the tastes of fans of This Mortal Coil, The Cocteau Twins and Lycia. But the arrangements this time around feel more repetitive and lacking the adventurousness of their previous recordings. Emotionally the album is very evocative and melancholic, which should give it a cathartic edge, but the songs never feel like there is enough power behind them to make any sort of connection with the listener.
There are still some genuine stand-out songs though such as 'You'll Be Watching Me', 'Tree Song', 'Sono Qui' and 'Train Song' which all embody the band's true capacity for interesting song writing. But despite various flirtations with jazz, blues and orchestral styles and the unifying strength of Buono's vocals, the album never quite feels like it picks up, and instead just drifts on by.

In terms of production the album is very solid. The mix is nice and clear and all of the various instruments have a sense of space about them that really compliments the melancholic vocals. It has a very smooth texture about it that allows each song to effectively run into one another. However this, coupled with the repetitive style of drumming means that most songs struggle to assert themselves.

'Kore' is a very safe offering from the duo. And while it does tick all the right boxes by their own standards for what a Dperd album should be, it does lack a sense of individuality that takes any edge off what are some genuinely enjoyable songs.

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