Dykehouse was a dream-pop/shoegazer/electronic thing that was active in the early aughts. It was really nothing more than a guy named Michael Dykehouse. He’s some sort of genius who comes from Kalamazoo, Michigan. He was writing a bunch of “intelligent dance music” songs in the early 1990s before he went to art school. He kept sending his demo tapes out, and eventually one got in the hands of Mike Paradinas (µ-Ziq) at Planet Mu Records. That label signed Dykehouse and released his debut record Dynamic Obsolescence in 2001. He had cemented himself as one of the electronic music elite with that record, but he took his next one in a different direction.
The next record was more of a guitar thing and leaned heavily on Dykehouse’s passion for shoegazer music. The album was well received by critics, who praised him as much for his ability to sculpt soundscapes as for his efficiency of operation. He apparently operated out of a bedroom studio, the entirety of which was a laptop, a mic, and a guitar.
I had never heard of Dykehouse until a record shop owner suggested Midrange to me on some day in 2004. In those days, I spent just about every penny that I earned on booze and records. And I was very loyal to a particular record shop which fought the good fight for several years before finally being forced out of business. Not by big box stores, but by mp3s. There’s a tirade for a different day about the demise of the mom-and-pop record shop, but I’ve got other business to tend to today.
Those were the days when I would just go into the shop once a week without a particular plan, and I would leave with a couple of new titles by bands I’d never heard of. Mostly on the recommendation of the shop owner, who got to know my taste pretty well. He played this record for me one day, and it didn’t take but about one track to convince me to buy the CD.
I was pretty into the album for a while, but if I’m honest, it’s been a couple of years since I listened to it at all. I was pleasantly reminded of how much I like this record, and I think it’ll find its way back into medium rotation around my house.
“Drown Inside of Me” is one of my favorite songs on the album, and here it is:
“Drown Inside of Me” by Dykehouse
You can hear a good bit of his electronic influence, but it’s just so dream-poppy. It’s almost even Slowdive-y. Like the first Slowdive record, anyway. Put it on and drift off to a happy, distant place.
I was certain that there’s some female vocalist on this song, but the credits indicate that everything from soup to nuts was done by Michael Dykehouse. Even with that, I’m still not convinced that there isn’t a lady singer.
While I really like this song, and have no hope of making any connection with the lyrics, I don’t like the way that the song bleeds directly into the next song on the album — “Sandy Strip”. Even though I’ve always been an album guy, I’ve been writing about individual songs all year long, and I’ve sort of grown to love the idea of the free-standing song. In this case, the song isn’t exactly “free-standing”, but part of a two-song set. Either way, I still like this song a lot, and the whole album.
You can get Midrange from the amazon store here