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Daughn Gibson
27 Jun 2012
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If folks are familiar with the rich, hallowed ground of country music that deals with trucking and the open road, then the new contributions by Daughn Gibson will come as a surprise. All Hell, Gibson’s April 2012 debut record, sculpts unique musical-collages steadily gathering steam in the music press. Here's Larry Fitzmaurice, writing in his Pitchfork feature on the artist:

"There are moments of genuine noise and terror on singer-songwriter Daughn Gibson's debut solo LP, All Hellbut not of the devil's-horns kind. Instead, the 31-year-old Carlisle, Penn., resident fashions ghostly, haunting country-ish ballads out of Christian gospel samples and looping audio software while his rich baritone narrates small-town tragedy."

Across the essays found in Collage Culture, a collaboration between poet Mandy Kahn, filmmaker/curator Aaron Rose, and designer Brian Roettinger, there arises an impassioned argument for artists, writers, and musicians to move beyond collage as an end-in-itself, and the three offer a thoughtful critique of how an admixture of styles, references, and cultural debris liberally scattered together negates all the history, ideology, and human experience contained in each discrete element of a collage. 

No genre is more complicit in "collage culture" than electronic music, which brings us back to Daughn Gibson. The compelling, catchy, and, at times, unsettling effects of the songs on All Hell seem to transcend the pitfalls of Collage Culture and sample-based music. Is this because Gibson is working with country music material that emerges from his lived, placed, experience? Does the style and texture of these songs also emanate a kind of spatial sense of the open road, the rural interstates of Pennsylvania, the quality of constantly traveling between points on a map? 

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