Review: Dax Pierson – Live In Oakland
Review: Dax Pierson – Live In Oakland

Review: Dax Pierson – Live In Oakland

Don’t take your technical abilities for granted or you will lose them at the snap of the neck.

It’s as fitting as it is sobering that Dax had to open his set with this very message bent and chopped to his will. After all, the thing about a life-changing injury is that you don’t really get a chance to hold back the truth till you are ready for it.
A multi-instrumentalist and a member of two bands that include Doseone, and Jel (of Anticon’s Themselves), Dax suffered a horrible fate after the tour van hit a patch of black ice, leaving Dax paralyzed from the stomach down after a seat sprung loose. He smashed his head, which caused a paralyzation of his spine. He was lucky to be alive, but his fate was still sealed. To the very point that Ford Motors awarding him 18 million dollars was hardly going to fix his physical ailment.
The good news is that the situation has not at all hindered Dax from creating electronic music. Not only has he been able to use Ableton to contribute to the last Subtle album, but Live in Oakland finds Pierson playing music from trance (“Krafteno”, “Memory”, a song that is just grand enough to soundtrack the most futuristic and apocalyptic film) to glitch-hop (“Macrobid”) to an enthusiastic public. But it’s best to say that we are all very lucky to have received an album from him at all.
Parts of the album touches upon Matmos’ industrial composing (the closer “For the Angels”, which is coated with foggy techBrass synths), and the pitch-black trip-hop futurism of his Anticon buddies (“Soulpsang”) Though, by the time you reach “Treading Water”, it would be hard to wonder if the entire show isn’t a mere soundtrack to all of his memories. It’s all too easy to sit back and think of it as an electronic show, but I have a feeling you wouldn’t be too off the mark if you think the show was wrapped around an audio exploration of being disabled. The shifting in noises underneath the conversation with his doctor is as much a score to the surgery as it is the the mental anguish, the deterioration such suffering may cause. It is unnerving, explosive, it forms until it eventually disintegrates into specks of sound. The sound of a few significant things being taken away and proving the point of the opener as loudly as possible.

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