Doldrums The Air Conditioned Nightmare on LP + Download
The Air Conditioned Nightmare is the new album by Doldrums. The title was spawned by Henry Miller upon his return to the US after ten years as an expatriate. Keen to rediscover the country he left behind, Miller found it a stifling place of big business, pollution, credit, misinformation and prejudice. “Nowhere else in the world,” wrote in his 1945 collection of essays “is the divorce between man and nature so complete.”
Seventy years on and the book lends itself to the title of the anticipated second album by Doldrums, the band led by 25 year old musician Airick Woodhead. On the follow-up to his 2013 debut Lesser Evil (which yielded tours with Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Crystal Castles, Grimes and Purity Ring, and remixes for Peaking Lights, Grimes and Portishead), the DJ, producer and performer makes a sizeable leap from being darling of the Montreal warehouse creative explosion that gave the world the likes of Grimes, Majical Cloudz, Blue Hawaii to being a stand-alone artist and composer on the cusp of something quite special.
Doldrums apply a punk rock ethos to electronic music, creating songs using samplers and DJ gear in place of guitars. Bold, anxious, dream-like, uplifting, glacial, hypnotic, constricting, expansive, alien - this is an album that is ever changing. “Conflict is at the heart of this album,” explains Airick. “There’s a lot of paranoid sentiment and dystopian imagery in there. The threat of a mundane reality ties it together, as does an obsession with plasticity. Songs come from specific feelings or images. Anxiety is my default state.”
The Air Conditioned Nightmare is an album of texture and taste, an extra-sensory overload. Weaving through the mix are Woodhead’s androgynous, tweaked vocals singing lyrics like voices down broken phone-lines. This is music born of the 21st century. The Air Conditioned Nightmare is an album that is punk rock in its DIY beginnings and militant commitment to originality. Ten snatched seconds is enough to pull you in. Ultimately, The Air Conditioned Nightmare stands alone. Doldrums have created something special. You need to hear it.