A Lagging, Pulsating Vacuum | “Making Room” by Duster

A Lagging, Pulsating Vacuum | Making Room by Duster

Matt Cruz, Media Librarian

Among shoegaze and dream-pop fans, no other genre is quite as fondly appreciated in musical comradery as slowcore. Galaxie 500 and Duster are often touted as its zenith, encompassing many different sounds and textures belonging to many genres. One of the most captivating things about slowcore is this blend of textures — creating a unique and complex genre that can be more diverse than the influences it draws upon. While many things can be unique in composition, slowcore tracks each retain a fundamental key feature: the deep, swaying hypnotism of an otherworldly metronome.

As controlling as it is freeing, this method to crafting music has been going strong for nearly 40 years, being constantly tinkered and innovated on by many artists and bands. As Impact’s shoegaze aficionado, even after the genre-defining and dynamic span of Duster’s 26 years of artistry, they are still painting vivid and picturesque masterpieces with their hand-strummed brushstrokes. 

The drizzle of noise rains down on you from above; the granular waterfall of sand floats you to the top of a wall of sound. As your eyes open, reaching ever-closer to the points of starlight hanging above — they stop. You’ve stopped. 

There is nothing more than the stagnation between two points. These two points whose presence only becomes reinforced by the off-beat crash of the percussion above the guitar. You don’t feel the freeing control of ascension, nor the steep panic of plummet. You’ve become sandwiched between the dense supercells of the lower and upper range — a great compression that extrudes your being into a wall; the great divider. 

The droning guitar usurps the bass; now, the great equalizer. 

The water flickers, and what was once a flourishing arpeggio of separate inclusions has exploded into a great ocean of sublimity. 

“I’ll wash the dishes, you rinse the glasses / 

the moon is living in your dark hair”

The tide pulls you apart and near with the moonlit wave of guitar strings in an eternal tug of war. Floating atop, the peaks and valleys carry your body in an endless journey.  

“You’re making room for animals /

but I’m not sure where they went /

it wasn’t strange /

just furniture / 

wish I could settle for less pain”

This infinite ascension and descension cradles you in a comforting swaddle. The sound swirls around you in a dense cyclone — these are not waves, but whitecaps. Back and forth your cradle rocks, swaying like buoy above the cresting waves of the sea. 

The swaying slows to a crawl. You’ve become a pendulum returning to rest. No longer carried off by the distant noise fading away from you, but rather a conduit of it. 

Your fingers reach again for the sky, grasping at the fleeting glide of flight. This explosion has lifted you in its tornado, swelling with debris until it couldn’t hold any more. 

In spite of itself, I suggest everyone to make room for “making room”  on their playlists ASAP.