Incredible musicianship can be a gift or a curse. Whether one’s supreme musical powers are used for good or for evil, it seems, hinges largely on whether one can create music that is more than a sum of one’s influences. On Dirtwire’s self-titled debut, they prove that they can mix it up with the best of them.
Verily, pigeonholing the duo, made up of Bay Area multi-instrumentalists David Satori and Evan Fraser, is an absurdly difficult task. Though this is Dirtwire's first release, the two have been playing together in various projects for years, and the chemistry shows in how they incorporate influences from around the globe, particularly from Africa and the Middle East, as well as that of various sorts of EDM, ranging from dub to drum ‘n’ bass. There are no vocals, which would normally tie such a diverse release together, but the album in no way suffers from the lack of voice; instead, it lets Satori and Fraser run wild, free to move from the banjo-tinged stomp of opener “Amphibian Circuits” to the glitchy-yet-earthy vibe of “Sailing the Solar Flares” to the minimal, almost jazzy “Knock.”
What’s remarkable about Dirtwire is how utterly natural all these modes feel, and how coherent the album is, considering the disparate influences involved. It’s difficult to find much information on Dirtwire’s plans for the future, but we recommend you stay tuned. Meanwhile, they're offering their album on a sliding scale here.