Damien Duque, aka City Of Dawn, makes gorgeous music in the ambient/new age realm. Check out his work with Dawn Chorus and the Infallible Sea, or his latest album Agape with zakè (a.k.a. Zach Frizzell) for proof. It’s the kind of music that envelopes you; surrounds you and takes care of you for the length of the album. There’s a warmth there that you don’t get from a lot of electronic music.
On his latest solo album, Anoesis, Duque builds clouds of sonic bliss as a means of connecting to something unexplainable. An emotional heft that arrives out of the blue with no context. Sort of an emotional deja vu. Anoesis is twelve tracks of slow-moving, sonic journeys.
The definition of Anoesis is this: “The state of mind consisting of pure sensation or emotion without cognitive content. In psychology, a theoretical condition in which there is feeling without understanding.” The album is also inspired by Damien Duque’s experience of “conditions living on the autism spectrum and the existential nature itself.” Using heavily effected guitar lines, City Of Dawn builds halls of existential noise; cavernous sound walls that pull the listener in to explore unexplained feelings and unplug from the noise of the world.
Over the course of 12 slow-moving songs, City Of Dawn pulls you into their world. Songs like “Amorphous”, “Landforms”, and “Meadows and the Sea” build slowly in front of the listener, sharing a kind of sonic warmth that invites one to come inside and sit awhile. Artists like Future Museums, Shortwave Broadcaster, and Jonas Munk are each doing their share to bring ambient/new age music in the forefront of moderin electronic music, and City Of Dawn is doing their part as well.
You can tell this is a very personal musical journey for Damien Duque. Though the songs seem to become whatever the listener needs the work here has a deep meaning to City Of Dawn. Songs like “Whispers Aross The Sea”, “A Soft Lament”, or the album closer “For My Parents” all emanate emotional heft and a connectivity that goes beyond improvisatonal electronics. It all means something. It may mean something different to the creator as it does to the listener, but it pulls from life experience. And that matters.
City Of Dawn’s Anoesis continues Damien Duque’s musical journey in a significant and meaningful way. It’s sonic healing for heavy times.