As major labels continue to exist behind the times, artists and labels with little capital and lesser reputations are producing some of the most innovative, interesting, and inspiring music. Whether it’s creating a new niche in digital technology or looking to once obsolete formats, Agitated Atmosphere hopes to pull back the curtain on a wealth of sights and sound from luminaries such as Dustin Wong.
If you hadn’t noticed, Thrill Jockey may very well be the label of 2010. Using the power of stealth and niche appeal, the Chicago label has unveiled a hardy list of musical experiments this year ranging a wide spectrum of sounds and styles. It seems unfair to continually return to certain labels but Thrill Jockey has a history of releasing last impressions. Dustin Wong’s latest solo foray proves no different.
Guitarist for Ecstatic Sunshine and Ponytail, Wong has crafted melodies that test the limits of pop. Incorporating emotion into each note, he is able to capture mood as well as the excitement of the craft. Infinite Love continues the practice but with unsurprising exponential results. As the title implies, Infinite Love is a lengthy stretch of guitar composition centered on multiple loops and brisk notes. Much like the solo work of Emerald’s Mark McGuire, Dustin Wong is able to showcase the levity of guitar in the midst of controlled chaos. The layers of loops and riffs collide; one untitled thought into the next.
The genius lurking beneath Infinite Love, however, is in the presentation. A film is included, and much like a Choose Your Own Adventure novella, listeners are able to pair sight and sound to create their own unique journey. Wong is putting his art school background to excellent use, challenging the mind through the power of positivity rather than destroying it through negativity. Infinite Love is pliable—listeners are able to construct their own vision through Wong’s epic scope. Technological interactivity has never been this pleasurable (get your mind out of the gutter).
Justin Spicer is a freelance journalist whose work can be viewed at his website. He is currently at work on a new column which will debut on the KEXP Blog in the coming weeks. You may follow him on Twitter.