A highly sophisticated searing work “Diddycoy” shows off the impeccable skill of James Basdanis as a composer of repute. The compositions here display a tremendous range from near-silence to sudden thralls of distorted noise. By keeping things uncertain he messes with listener expectations for things evolve in unexpectedly wild ways. Cinematic flair defines much of the work for the nimble playing is a true joy to behold. Elements of art rock rear their head, as does pieces of spaghetti westerns, surf rock, garage rock, and moments imbued with a jazz-like embrace of improvisation. Hard to find clear reference points, he draws from tradition as well as experimenters like Mike Patton and Mayo Thompson. At times the sprawling ambitious gives it an unspoken narrative that helps to tie it all together perfectly.

By far the highlight of the collection comes from the highly creative title track “Diddycoy”. Here he marries elements of the traditional with the modern. The buildup and eventual bursting of tension results in a captivatingly wormy work. Spacious with a nimble groove “Unbalanced” veers into jagged, angular post-punk explosions at times, with the multiple layers of sound heightening its sense of suspense. A tremendously well-picked and timely sample introduces the finale “The Conium”. Keyboards nicely merge with the rest of the band on the colossal wave, as the sense of unease seems to tap into the current worldwide zeitgeist.

James Basdanis crafts an assured angular piece of art on the spellbinding “Diddycoy”.

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