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At the beginning of history, Ariel Pink once said "all the best shit's made when you're alone." But how far did he imagine this edict could be taken beyond the psychedelic and into the realm of the purely personal? Today, we seem to have two branches in the school of experimental pop. One branch privileges object-hood, richness of surface, and mass-hallucinatory quotation. The other (much less celebrated) branch seeks to recapture authenticity in the form of a highly personal hallucination of music history. With her sophomore full-length, Lucrecia Dalt follows the latter branch as far as it seems to go. She leaps into a surrealist landscape with stunning abandon, eschewing the comparatively safe tropes and song structures of her previous work. And she charts a surprisingly inventive and rewarding territory in the process. Much as it is with her newfound contemporaries at HEM Berlin, for Dalt, solitude and assemblage (of sound, genre, musicology, technique) is an exploratory zone steered toward the inner universe. To follow the music, one must be prepared to make this trip as real as sound itself. Themes of agitation and disturbance, cumulative, impending and scalable, propel Commotus, and create a framework for understanding its emotional spectra. The music lives in the contradiction between having time to reflect on the inevitable, and the irrevocability of its outcome. Dalt, who is a civil engineer with a specialty in geotechnics, knows that motion on a geologic time scale can be the most poignant analogy to the interminable struggle between self-awareness and sea change. Dalt has established herself as a solo performer, building songs live and in recordings using pedals, laptop, and loops. She's even been seen with a touch-screen strapped to the wings of her electric bass. So it's all the more surprising that, throughout Commotus, she works with an enormous, and enormously subtle, sound palette, almost completely triggered from solo bass. (Two notable exceptions being guest appearances from Luke Sutherland and Julia Holter.) Some of these sounds are as concrete as a timpani shot, or the snap of an analog rhythm box. But the majority of sounds exist in a nether-world between evocation and pure abstraction. This is rife terrain for self-expression, and dramatic tension, with a result made all the more poignant because she's playing alone. In Commotus, you can hear every sound-event becoming the curled-up dimensions of a richly personal experience.