“Dusk is the beginning of the night… ”
But it’s not only that: this is is also the album title of “the collected beginning of Man Watching the Stars.”
“Dusk” is not really a debut album, however, since it was preceded by a collaboration release with OfftheSky in 2012 (called “Afar, Farewell“) – and a solo recording of live violin improvisations (“Qoheleth“) in the same year.
But in a certain way, this album may indeed prove to be a new beginning: a beginning of Man Watching the Stars‘ wider recognition.
Well-deserved that would be, since “Dusk” is -simply put- stunningly beautiful album!
Apart from the field recordings in the opening track (aptly called ‘Fields’), all sounds on this album originate from Brendan Paxton playing his acoustic violin.
There are some shorter tracks, ‘interludes’ of around two minutes, but most of the tracks are considerably longer, ranging from around 9 up to 18 minutes.
The sound(s) of the violin are transformed into unhurried yet complex drones, taking their time to develop. At times beautiful melodies are layered on top of them, which subtly balances the album to hold your attention for its full 73 minutes.
All music deserves to be judged on its own merits, and that is why comparisions with other artists often fail and sometimes are even unfair.
But for Man Watching the Stars I’ll make an exception to the rule: “Dusk” reminds me of the best work from the now-legendary Stars of the Lid.
It’s a hell of a comparision, I know, but it may trigger your attention and hopefully makes you check out this album.
You’ll not regret that, I’m sure!