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Dinky – Dimension D

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Label: VisionquestScore: 7/10

Dinky, née Alejandra Del Pila Iglesias Rivera, a nickname given to her at birth, will release her fifth studio album on 25 June 2013. A steadfast pal of Visionquest, she’s now transitioning from DJ to singer songwriter and front stage performer. Entitled Dimension D and co-produced with Matthew Styles, the album merges aspects of trip-hop, deep house and ethereal spiritualism. This isn’t a record to throw on at a house party, although it would be interesting to see how she would cater the album live to a club. Elegant and intricate, the confines of the album lie where light and dark converge and coincide. Collectively, the tracks tell different stories of Dinky, different times and stages in her life. From Chile, Dinky studied ballet and the Susuki method of piano, one which apprehension is formed through early immersion, focusing on imitation rather than note-reading, such as with language. Later on, she moved to New York to advance in contemporary dance. Following, she relocated to Berlin, accelerating within the world of dance music.

Over the past three years, Dinky has been hard at work on Dimension D, utilising her trades of jazz, classical guitar, piano, and vocals. Speaking of the album’s heavy emphasis on guitar, Dinky’s unconventional use of the instrument stems from her love of the relation between that chimerical tone and that of sea waves. She writes, “I am inspired by nature and tried to achieve natural sounds: the seas, insects, forests and animals, these are all music to my ears.” Keep your ears open while listening for an unconstrained utilisation of jazz in addition to the lovely input from ‘ethereal’ vocalists such as Beth Gibbons of Portishead and Goldfrapp.

The opening track, ‘I Saw’, short as it is, captures sentiments of a curious and lone wanderer, venturing through a landscape of mysticism and wonder. ‘Measures’ brings a futuristic spiritualism to the forefront. It’s steadily paced drums in conjunction with the eerie sounds of a didgeridoo paint a picture of a drum circle surrounded a trance-induced woman, spinning and swaying slowly like a young tree in the winds (please excuse my excess imagery). ‘Xanex’ is a shift back to Dinky’s deep house talents. It’s calculated, rolling pace emulates the subdued state of a drugged-up dancer, lost in some sub-reality and not daring to think outside of it. I’d love to hear this track live. It would have to sound even darker and creepily inviting. ‘Dimension D’, the title track, is one of the tracks most worth mentioning. It’s the rhythm of the night, verbatim. Tribal claps and drums and resounding, chanting voices, form the image of a summer night, spent circling a bonfire, preferably on the beach or in an old forest. The top track of the album, ‘Falling Angel’ inspires visions of a graceful fall into a new world/scene, likely attributed to its dreamy, surf-style guitar and poppy beat. ‘Witches’ has so much going on from spooky vocals, to some sort of metallic rattle, determined drums, and xylophone to produce a strong overlay to it all. ‘Dust’ provides a nice pairing of classical guitar and experimental electronics, but its blaring, rising denouement never reaches its destination. Other tracks worth mentioning include the iamamiwhoami-resonant ‘Almonds’ and the Portishead/Massive Attack track, entitled ‘La Noche’.

Experience this album with an open mind. Its various styles are unlike much of Dinky’s singular works, yet encompass all of her influences, inspirations, and stages in her life. Imagine the album as the actualisation of an individual’s dynamic life through all its curiosities and discomforts, joys and seductions. If the album can invoke a reaction in you, whether positive, negative or somewhere in between, then it has succeeded. Can’t wait to see where Dinky takes her style from here as it’s certainly a step in an intriguing direction.

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