cone magazine

Review: C.Diab – No Perfect Wave


No Perfect Wave channels the ethereal sounds of natural beauty through exquisitely enduring strings and powerful sonic manipulation.

Capturing the sublime transcendentalism and haunting remoteness that nature encapsulates is no easy feat, to say the least. Yet this is what multi-instrumentalist, and resident of Port Hardy’s raw landscapes, C.Diab, conveys with a deeply emotive and otherworldly sound.

There is a distinctly unique and organic quality to each lingering moment of ‘No Perfect Wave’, Caton Diab’s third album but first proper release, echoing both the unadulterated surroundings in which the record was composed as well as the musician’s own personal, unaffected approach to crafting his instrumental arrangements. Layers of droning, almost abrasive cello-bowed guitar build up on ‘Pale Ink’ to form an orchestral, reverb-filled haze whilst elsewhere elegant strings and ethereal tape recordings glide across cavernous soundscapes.

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The singularity of C.Diab’s playing style imparts a devastating and mountainous beauty to ‘No Perfect Wave’. Entwined with the powerful wilderness this LP evokes there is a deeply human outpouring of emotions that flows from each glacial note and floats in the spaces between. On ‘Your Interruption’ and ‘Lying In The Back Of A Car On Highway One’, in particular, the wavering, distant resonance to the recording conveys a sense of reaching us from some distant space, emphasising the staggering poignancy of the Cascadian composer’s sonic manipulation. To add to this, the majestic trumpet calls that lead us through ‘Three Pyramids’ present an immersive, cosmic ambience that verges on the ritualistic.

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Engineered by vocalist and composer Ian William Craig, ‘No Perfect Wave’ is out on London based Injazero Records and marks the relatively new label’s first physical release. With his lilting, looped chord progressions and exquisitely enduring strings there is no doubt that C.Diab has set an incredibly high precedent for experimental, leftfield instrumentalism with this striking collection of tracks.

Words by Kezia Cochrane


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