Quite A Way Away
"Given the episodes that lead up to Quite A Way Away it's only fitting that the album lands on 12k, whose road from stark, synthetic post-techno, fourteen years ago, to the textured electro-acoustic ambience of today has been a gradual but well-documented voyage. The label's flirtations with song structures being fused into its experimentations have defined the label as one to skirt the edges of boundaries and genre labels. But no release has quite stepped out of 12k's bounds like Quite A Way Away. Yet despite the fact that Dickson's music is classified as 'singer/songwriter' and there isn't an electronic gadget to be heard anywhere on the album, it's remarkable how well it seamlessly blends into 12k's existing catalog. The minimal, fragile, and engrossing sounds of 12k's well-established brand of experimental music is ever-present in Dickson's quiet finger-picked guitar and breathy vocals that hang on the edge of disintegration. Quite A Way Away is somehow as much '12k' as it is a step in a totally new direction. Dickson, who hails from Glasgow, often gets comparisons to Nick Drake but it's important to mention the influence he takes from experimentalists like Brian Eno, Aphex Twin, Bert Jansch, and Glenn Gould. His music is characterized by an intimacy gleaned from his dream-like approach to singing and playing guitar as well as the immediacy of being captured shortly after being written by whatever recording device is closest at hand, be it a cassette machine, handheld recorder, or 4-track. His use of analogue delays and reverb add to this soft, spacey vibe. The lo-fi nature of his sound harbors all of the cracks, flaws and rough edges of humanity, soul, and the deeply personal circumstances that surround the creation of art."