Gareth Dickson is a ghost. From the gloomy outskirts of Glasgow he has sent three studio albums into the world – Collected Recordings (2009), The Dance (2010) and Quite A Way Away (2012) – which have bewitched a growing inner circle, including some of the most innovative musicians around today (Juana Molina and Max Richter to name just two). In addition to this, Gareth has become, over the past ten years, the only constant collaborator of the legendary Vashti Bunyan, who makes a spectral apparition on the first track of Orwell Court.
Gareth Dickson’s music is beautiful and tenebrous. We have here a dark Scottish melancholy underpinned by a grace and ethereal purity ; a unique impression where the delicacy of Nick Drake mixes with the ambient experimentations of Brian Eno. In other words, this is what Aphex Twin would have achieved had he picked up a guitar and gone for folk music.
The result is a complex and mysterious music, demanding but generous and surprising, in the image of its author – on the brink of falling into juvenile delinqueny and ending up like a character from an Alan Clarke movie, Gareth took a straighter path and joined the university trampoline team while studying aerospace engineering.
Now he spends his days eating barbecue sauced vegan food, knows how to choose the best avocados at the supermarket, and sports his normcore t-shirts on tennis courts.
And at night he presses his red Doc Martens a little harder on the accelerator of his Rover 75 (BMW M47 engine) on highways where they drive on the left.
Everything is only a pretext to fuel Gareth’s visceral need for creation, as attested by his superglued nails which wreak havoc on his guitar.
Accuracy and originality are at the heart of his artistic process. He establishes a relationship to time against the current mad and superficial pace of our days. It is a quest for meaning and the ideal, a form of modern classicism, undertaken by a honest man aware that perfection lies shrouded in the mists of uncertainty and ambiguity.
It is above all a question of obsession and atmosphere. And it is a cover of this Joy Division title that closes Orwell Court – past revisited, Bergsonian temporality. And behind that, transcendence. Nothing less.
"a distinctive vocabulary of unusual chord changes, diversions and codas. With enough reverb to give a sweet spangly luminosity to the high notes and a drone like undertow on the lower ones, an artist of real originality.... haunting"
The Wire Magazine
"ethereal, hazy melancholy"
4 stars Mojo Magazine
"Dickson's music creeps in to some deeper unconsciousness or otherworldly space... some kind of waking dream"