All my relations (at peace)
Dogon fans, and probably new listeners as well, should appreciate this first album from the duo in 18 years. The soundscapes are softer yet more focused. And unlike the Dogon that so many of us remember, the mashups of sampled voices have been replaced by Paul Godwin's airy, emotive, often heavily processed voice.
Indeed, except for the stimulating tranquility of "All and Everything" and the pitter-patter of melodic splash over slow marimbas on "Drop" (a few layers of Gabriel reference), seven of the nine tracks on "All My Relations (at peace)" might be called songs. Mostly, though, the vocals are another instrument rather than an element demanding full attention. Miguel Noya's thick, intricate strata of keyboards and devices are still at the heart of what is quintessentially Dogon, glittering technology filtered through human warmth, a shared dream of endless afternoons, thoughtful nights, and travels to faraway places from the edge of sleep.
There are, however, a few songs that are chill with an edge. "Ground Squirrel" takes us into the sensorium of a nimble rodent. "Thousands of Uncountable Flowers" is a funky little march through the plant kingdom, which ends up embracing us. The playlist-friendly "Astral Woman," whose lyric yields the album title, gives us a big sound with melodic hooks (imagine Tears for Fears using really cool major seventh chords). "Love Will Break Your Crown" has a deliciously retro feel, with a nice little Bowie gesture toward the coda.
Even if you didn't know that you were waiting for a Dogon album like this one, it will feel right -- a logical change for musicians who have been living full lives and decided, not to pick up where they left off 18 years ago, but to reconnect with that trajectory and see what they bring to it this time. - Alan Lipton
THe Sirius Expeditions
ALL MUSIC GUIDE - Jim Brenholtz
DOGON is Paul Godwin and Miguel Noya. They are master manipulators and sound designers. The Sirius Expeditions is a set of playful and eclectic sound constructions. Godwin and Noya use many methods of sound creation and several unidentifiable vocal samples. They surround those samples with a heavy bassline, hi-tech rhythms, and spacious atmospheres to forge a unique sound. This totally original e-music is way out beyond the beyond. Their cover version of Pink Floyd's "Fat Old Sun" defies description. This disc will appeal to serious e-music collectors; casual fans will like it, but it is not essential.
An album like Dogon’s The Sirius Expeditions would never have gotten attention without the ‘brick & mortar’ music shop, and that’s a darn shame.
Actually, I don’t know if that’s true anymore, what with a million and one micro-meme genres popping up every year now. A lot of those seem to start out as a joke though, something done as a lark to impress fellow young bedroom producers on a /mu/ hub, but man oh man do they get attention. Dogon, however, have some serious talent behind them, musicians that know their way around a studio and song craft. They’re loosely ambient, but that doesn’t stop them from going all esoteric with pseudo-jungle beats and whatever it is they’re doing in Plexus (big beat acid Orb jam?). They do ridiculously sentimental New Age tunes (Pah), mysterious ethnic –fusion dub (The Round Buddha Factory, Melonheart), sun-kissed hippie festival glaze-outs (a cover of Pink Floyd’s Fat Old Sun, and sorta’ follow-up Joven Flaca Luna), and brooding, meditative ambience (Locus Voci, The Unknowable). Naturally, the titular twelve-minute cut runs the gamut of all these features, then goes for the super-epic orchestral build to sell that cosmic journey.
edited by Paul Verna, Review by John Diliberto
Dogon Produces a disarming Brand of ambient music that mixes soft techno beats, electro-blip melodies and spoken fragments. Those household ambient ingredients, however, are brewed in an idiosyncratic mix full of humor by Venezuelan Miguel Noya and Paul Godwin From the U.S. The title, “Notdunjusta”, Is drawn from “It was not done. Just ahh…” Dogon works this kind of wordplay sensibility into songs like “Chet’s Dream” with its female spoken voice breathlessly intoning inversions of what sounds like “fondue” over hypnotic synthesizer cycles. Dogon manages to be simultaneously seductive and serene, funny and ironic.
By Alan E. Rapp
Only innovative outfits such as the unique collaborative Dogon will survive ambient’s inevitable shakeout. American Paul Godwin and Venezuelan Miguel Noya bring and improv ethic to their chillscapes, having already conducted a transcontinental jam in San Francisco and Caracas via the Net last year. Pre-Colombian Rhythms steep in delicate folds of electronica, fashioning structures that defy any genre. Some tracks are entirely improvised; others play like commercial jingles under heavy torsion. Dogon captures the best of progressive ambient: Whispers from the interstice between dreaming and waking.