Dallas native Alan Dollgener recorded at the end of the 1980's
two EPs with Of A Mesh, briefly protagonists of the New York gothic scene.
Then he was diagnosed with AIDS and recorded one more album under the moniker
Reverb Sleep: Fish Dream (MMG, 1995).
The album is one of a kind. The nine instrumental compositions are dense
collages of electronically processed sounds that achieve a nightmarish, ghastly
The insistent, tribal, layered percussions of It's A Part Of Me
introduce the listener to Dollgener's personal hell: voices float in the
magma, pierced by electronic drones, stirred by random melodic fragments.
There is no salvation in Dollgener's otherworld, only suffering, as he
progresses through the darkly industrial landscape of Machine, through
the hypnotic dissonances and distortions of You Can't Help It,
through the cosmic wind of Fly Mantra,
through the cold, thrilling, jazzy theme of Nothing You Can Do,
through the funky, polyrhythmic Hillbilly Hoedown 2000.
A terrible vision of impending apocalypse permeates Amoeba, a track
in which percussions are used to create a subaquatic feeling and human voices
approach the menacing tone of gregorian chants, albeit dismembered and
reflected in labyrinths of mirrors. Then a mechanical beat turns the vision
into a pagan dance song, the damned dancing around the shaman.
Enchanted seals the album and sealed Dollgener's life with a frantic
raga and Tibetan-style chanting over a confused background of noises, as if
to signal the transition to an alien world, where the most profound secrets
of mankind's existence will be explained.
Dollgener's voice disappears in that forest of noises and percussions while
still stubbornly reciting his rosary/exorcism. Weaker and weaker, farther and
Dollgener died shortly after the release of the album.
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