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A Magazine for Sheffield

D0nc4n Dpx3

An electronic debut that fires the imagination and conjures the elements.

Released: 13 July 2020

Dpx3 is as electronic as its gamertag title suggests but Doncan’s hushed, lullaby vocals and twangy acoustics turn it into something naturalistic: a whirlwind of 1’s and 0’s and echoes and moans, spiraling somewhere in between a Four Tet piece and an early 2000s Radiohead wail. It’s animated.

That’s not because Doncan uses guitars and computers (the audacity!), but because the symbiosis he aims for is achieved in subtlety and dialing back, a skill that debut artists often haven’t grasped. He knows when to add and when to take. Humming synths and crashing tides of reverb or fluctuating pitches are juggled quietly with older sounds: the reassuring chick of a high hat or earthy guitar progressions reminiscent of Mount Eerie.

This makes Dpx3 a work where spectacle is eschewed for, well, vibe. Songs like Veil leave imagistic expressions, where its glittery production is starlit. 'Praise B' similarly stokes the imagination. My favourite of the tracks, listening to it is like being led to a pool at nightfall and being asked whether you’d rather worry over the reflection or plunge your head in. Through his incantations of “praise be / praise me”, he seems, however consciously, to be worshipping art which is experiential rather than articulate. When words fail us; close your eyes and absorb. Suddenly you’re there; wherever there is for the listener. Weathering Dpx3 takes you to the elements, mouth open, head tilted up, waiting for rain.

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