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Dim Dim - Kiwi

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Artist: Dim Dim

Album: Kiwi

Label: Audio Dregs

Review date: Apr. 15, 2003

Sweet Forbidden Fruit

The most succulent offerings from Audio Dregs’ sonic platter have always had a quality of familiarity about them, usually stemming from a well-crafted organic minimalism swept into electronic melodies. Kiwi, the fourth full-length recording by label mainstay Dim Dim, succeeds in achieving the same recognizable qualities, although where others twist low-key, natural elements into a more palatable electronic pop, this record melds the more over-the-top musical elements of pop life into a digestible blend.

Indeed, for Bruxelles-based Jerry Dimmer, the man behind Dim Dim and plenty of video game soundtracks, the main sources of inspiration here seem to stem heavily from the world of shopping mall tropicalia, overused breakbeats, and above all the mighty Casio preset. While previous releases have seen each of these elements played up individually to one degree or another, this is the first time we see Dimmer coming out of his shell with a fully realized and consistent record.

While Kiwi could easily plunge either way into tedious conceptualism or cartoonish lack of substance, the music toes the balance beam without wavering dangerously far in either direction. Individual compositions retain personality while holding together as a cohesive unit, again in the same manner as a set of keyboard demo tracks – witness the relaxed calypso number (replete with tactfully placed breaks) flow effortlessly into the Latin samba shaker, the faux-jazz swinger and the chime-laced tango.

When Dimmer samples, he avoids the obvious affairs that sometimes plague attempts at this sort of culture commentary, or are at least buried under catchy enough rhythms to avoid immediate detection. Kiwi remains a strikingly unique affair, and one that fits nicely in a lineup of E*rock-produced gems.

It would be remiss to omit mention of the two bonus features complementing the album, first being the well-done Tipsy remix of Kiwi’s second piece “Fucha Fucha”, the San Francisco lounge freaks’ ‘thank you’ for Dimmer’s contribution to their Remix Party! album. Also, packaged on the enhanced portion of the disc is an entirely appropriate Mumbleboy animation set to the music of the same track. Kiwi is the most developed piece in the Dim Dim discography, and a carefree, worthwhile piece of work.

By Bennett Yankey

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