Dimmer
Ascent

(Isounderscore)

Dimmer is the duo of Thomas Dimuzio and Joseph Hammer, both longtime figures within California experimental music. “Ascent” is their first studio album in over five years and let me tell you, the wait is well worth it. “Ascent” is sprawling in the best sense of the word. Over the course of an hour (divided into eight individual pieces), the duo create dense, synthetic webs that flit between glacial precision and encompassing warmth. Restricting themselves to vintage synthesizers and tape loops, Dimuzio and Hammer, time and time again, show their expertise in skill when it comes to composition. Each piece moves logically to the next, giving the album even greater cohesion and ensuring that the whole is greater than just the sum of its parts. At times this music feels oppressive, like it’s a heavy weight pushing down on your chest. That element of claustrophobia works, though, and only heightens the release when Dimmer open things up into the sky. So much thought has been put into every detail of “Ascent” that it’s impossible to hear it all on first listen, but that’s what makes it better than most records like this. The dynamics are subtle, but far-reaching and the more you listen to it, the deeper you get. - Brad Rose, Experimedia