The quality of space in Margaret Dygas‘s music is remarkable. There is a reassuring suggestion of water and space in the mix compared to some of this year’s banner releases, which have tended to sacrifice headroom for a bigger sense of sound. But Dygas has only recently become a producer. She made her name as a DJ after moving to London in 1999, and her first career as a professional listener imbues the tracks on her latest, self-titled release on Perlon with a sense of restraint and a killer attention to detail.
Like kindred spirit Ricardo Villalobos, Margaret Dygas explores the experimental potential within the trappings of club music in a way that rarely calls attention to itself. Both producers are fascinated by the abstract qualities of music – sound as sound – without abandoning a steady pulse. Throughout the album Dygas rolls out cropped acoustic drum samples over her synthetic frameworks. Sounding jerky at first, these jazzy flourishes patiently weave into low-key patterns until the two sides become indistinguishable. Dygas’s take on house doesn’t exactly jack, but she’s also uninterested in an exclusively home-listening experience: her sampled drum kits ensure Margaret Dygas balances laidback groove and stop-start dynamics successfully enough to keep listeners on their toes.
But what makes Margaret Dygas a unique record is less about the sounds themselves and more about how they’re put to use. It’s easy to miss not only the microscopic sounds that bubble up but also the ways they’re played against one another. Whether you want to cruise on the surface of activate your microscope vision, Margaret Dygas teems with life.
Brandon Bussolini – Dustedmagazine