Petar Dundov – Sailing Off The Grid
In light of Croatia’s new status as festival and boat party central, it would be very easy and extremely lazy to categorise Petar Dundov as its official provider of chilled-out Top Man-friendly mush. This stereotype would ignore the fact that he makes music from his base in the inland capital of Zagreb, a city more in tune with Austro-Germanic Gemuetlichkeit than idyllic, Café Del Mar-style sunsets experienced along the Dalmatian coast.
It also glosses over Dundov’s past as a maker of heavy as nails techno. And yet this new long player does see him push his sound to places only hinted at on Ideas From the Pond. While that previous long player featured moments of dance floor-friendly abandon, as the title on his new album suggests, Sailing off the Grid sees him slip off the co-ordinates and into the unknown.
As the mid-tempo, resonant pulses of “Yesterday is Tomorrow” and “Moving” demonstrate, Dundov has spent time soaking up the Italo Disco sound that prevailed on the other side of the Adriatic back in the 80s. On the former, he adds washes of atmospheric synths and for the latter he also factors in some flamenco guitars. Thankfully, it’s done tastefully and manages to provide a counterweight to the throbbing bass. On other occasions, it feels like he has distilled the dance floor-based elements of Escapements and Ideas From the Pond into a slower tempo without losing its essence. This is most audible on the title track’s chugging groove, which offers sleek melodic textures and the trance in slow motion of “White Spring”, the kind of emotive affair that will break down even the most cynical, jaded music reviewer’s defence mechanisms.
If ‘White Spring’ doesn’t get to you, then “Enter The Vortex” and “Sur La Mer Avec Mon Ami” will. Brooding synths, seductive piano lines and the sense of oceanic space one experiences on the ferry from Split to remote the island of Vis will conspire to haunt anyone who knows this part of the world and wants to sail off the grid, once again into the sunset.
1. Enter The Vortex
2. Yesterday Is Tomorrow
5. White Spring
6. Sailing Off The Grid
7. Sur La Mer Avec Mon Ami