[Reviewed by Peter Marks]
In case you had forgotten him or thought he could get no further out there, DollyDolly is still doing his own thing without a single thought of what anyone else might happen to think. This new release is the product of unfortunate events but with true panache, David Yates takes the loss in stride and has concocted a collection of pieces which somehow are even stranger than his debut ‘Antimacassar’. I know that’s a tall order to pull off and anybody else would have just called it good but DollyDolly wouldn’t hear of it.
The simple gift of an obliquely titled tape is how this tale began; over the course of many evenings a plan slowly came into focus. Utilizing snippets of dialog and vintage music from the 50s and 60s, a tapestry was slowly woven together. This was then augmented by additional material the artist was gifted from a thrift store which he then used to give further depth and detail to the proceedings. I should mention at this point that antique hand made cassettes are the basis here. I’m a fan of found sound design but I haven’t encountered this level of fastidious craftsmanship before. He doesn’t miss anything with those ears of his but you might. On the surface it appears to be a heart warming ode to those gone but there’s more going on than just nostalgia.
He has other works on his site which reveal a literary bent that has been let loose on ‘The Jazz Tape’. He is the master of a process I have come to refer to as surrealistic magnification. What I mean by this is that somehow he can be given absolutely random elements to fashion his compositions out of and somehow he knows he just knows which facets of those said elements will access that mental arena to maximum effect. If this intrigues you, you’re in the right place. Regardless of his dabbling with the more whimsical side to his finds where he excels is in the field of insight. There are almost too many to keep track of with this record but I’m a patient man and eventually I will corral them all.
Don’t be afraid to use your thumbs, he definitely wasn’t. Entire worlds reside underneath them just waiting for their moment, the enigma of their existence presents a challenge which we listeners get to participate in. This is for the cryptologist in all of us, one’s own inner Turing is definitely channeled; dust off your cypher kit or develop your own, ‘The Jazz Tape’ is a sharpening stone for the mind. A person comes away from what’s been done here feeling altered but in oh such a wonderful way.