Dauwd Al Hilali's releases have been met with as much expectation as they have intrigue. Spending the last few years out of the limelight and in his Berlin studio, Dauwd's music has continued to ripple through clubs as his singular, sometimes thrillingly uncertain process of experimentation has continued. Pulling inspiration from electronic music legends like Terry Riley, Raymond Scott, and the seminal Radiophonic Workshop period in the late 50's and 60's, new effort Theory of Colours draws a unique line between influences as disparate as hazy Detroit house and early German Krautrock.
A skilled musical engineer, Dauwd's ability to balance between such sprawling genres is, paradoxically, an exercise in restriction, finding creative freedom in limiting his own gear. It's clear he's no stranger to focus; sonically, Theory of Colours runs tightly wound, its loops intentional and layers meticulously built. Spanning a succinct 40-minutes across 7-tracks, Dauwd's fondness for delays and love for vintage synthesizers characterize much of the album, which was recorded over the course of a year primarily in a Utrecht studio that houses one of the largest collections of vintage synths and other modular equipment in all of Europe.
The result is an intricate, scintillating journey that hovers between familiar and strange. For many artists, that enigmatic gap is one that's anxiously avoided - the fear of misidentity as a musician more important than the music itself. Throughout Theory of Colours, it's a space Dauwd comfortably renders as his own.