Artist: Gabriel & Dresden
Title: Gabriel & Dresden
Label: Organized Nature
By: Andy Dixon | 30 November 2006
  1. Let Go
  2. Eleven
  3. Enemy
  4. Dust In The Wind
  5. Mass Repeat
  6. Closer
  7. Not Enough
  8. Amsterdam Interlude
  9. New Path
  10. Sydney
  11. Dangerous Power
  12. Tracking Treasure Down

Gabriel & Dresden "Gabriel & Dresden"Gabriel & Dresden "Gabriel & Dresden"

Out Now on Organized Nature

Josh Gabriel and Dave Dresden have been one of the biggest impact artists over the last couple years. On one of the fastest rises from relative unknown to seasoned veterans, their rapid fire of fresh production, inventive remixes, and prowess on the desks quickly impressed hordes of adoring fans. Their infectious mix of techno beats, trance melodies, and a raw progressive soul creates the definitive sound responsible for Motorcycle's 'As The Rush Comes', the 'Bloom' compilation, and remixes for artists as varied as Beber & Tamra, Sarah McLachlan, Britney Spears, and Lili Haydn. But with so many productions over the years, it's hard to imagine that the self titled Gabriel and Dresden from Organized Nature is their debut artist album.

'Let Go' is the mood setting intro track that features early signs of G&D's affinity for guitars and the floating vocals of Molly Bancroft. Atlanta-based Bancroft and London-based Jan Burton stand out as the signature voices, virtually alternating their works as the disc develops, and this intro is one of four tracks by standout tracks by Bancroft. The second track is the up front instrumental single, 'Eleven' with Scarlett Ettiene. Reminiscent of Evolution's 'Crocodile Man', its pad bassline, quirky energy, and breathy eagerness are a unique blend before drifting into the solid vocals of Jan Burton and the rolling bassline of 'Enemy' - a further build on the gripping sentiment and passion they represent.

Next, the remake of 'Dust in the Wind' is one of the premier cuts. Showcasing the full rich tapestry of Josh and Dave's eclecticism, Bancroft resings, harmonizes, and embellishes the Kansas original. The clubby melodies take over creating a beat heavy favorite- but it is tempting to yell out “You’re my boy, Blue!” After the techy and somewhat flat 'Mass Repeat', Bancroft returns for 'Closer' - a good stutter step track that finds out a little distortion and an in-depth chord progression can go a long ways. The chilled 'Not Enough' slows down the tempo but never manufactures into anything too impressive; it lives up to its name and is simply "not enough" to be the Pink Floyd heartfelt ballad it tries for.

The end of the disc really steps it up, beginning with the musically superb 'Amsterdam Interlude'. As melodic as NIN's 'A Warm Place', it's a short but perfect transition into the dark and gritty 'New Path'. From its strong beat drop, foreboding vocals from Jan Burton, and pulsating dark alley rhythms, 'New Path' becomes murky enough to finally find hope and stands out as one of the peaks of the album. 'Sydney' powers into the pounding trance that Gabriel and Dresden first made their name with - heavy on techno beats, sounds you've never heard before, appreggiators, and pads. 'Dangerous Power’ brings back Burton for one last floor burner that does an excellent job caging their raw energy and emotion. Capping it all off is the breakout hit ‘Tracking Treasure Down,’ which has become an instant classic with mass appeal and great playtime. Every bit well deserved as Bancroft tells the tale of pirate ships, fairy tales, trust, and ultimately something to believe in. Whether the original lives up to Dave Seaman's Group Therapy remix is debatable but it's the perfect way to end their first album.

This debut album from Gabriel and Dresden is a good listen but not perfect. The mixing between tracks is slot sequencing, typical for albums but less that one would expect from the always tinkering and toying San Francisco duo. It's an album with twelve tracks to showcase the emo club hits they do better than just about anyone else. And while this work doesn't fully live up to expectations, it's more because the expectations were too high, rather than a lacking production value.

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