”Dreams Outside" presents the post-jazz instrumental trio dustlights at their collective spirit’s edge, moving in moments, with psychedelic peaks, synergic transitions, and melodic reveries singing and screaming over their signature foundation of minimalist groove and layered effects. Featuring many songs improvised right on stage when they toured their critically-acclaimed 2018 debut “In A Stillness”, dustlights’ second release with Ropeadope Records captures the raw energy and sonic explorations of true live performance, while still delving deeply into the same core of dark beautiful moods that led critics to compare them to Portishead, Tortoise, Morphine, and Dungen.
While the first conversational utterances of the band started in Brooklyn circa 2016, dustlights are now a long-term and long-distance collaboration between Carrboro, NC- based saxophonist Joe Wilson and the Brooklyn-based drums and bass of David Christian and Ran Livneh. During their formative seasons in South Brooklyn, the trio of freelance musicians met regularly in secret dens to experiment, revise, and gradually define a songwriting process and a vibe that resonates with genres and mood-based art beyond the usual ideas of “sax trio”, without rejecting the organic and intimate possibilities inherent to that. The sessions culminated in their full-length debut “In A Stillness” which earned a long-time spot on Spotify ’s heavily curated “The State of Jazz” playlist, as well as radio play in Europe and the USA, while jazz, jam band, and underground music critics wrote inspired reviews relating the record to classic trip hop, post rock, a new wave of “jazzbient” artists, and more abstract images like flickering candlelight and tectonic shifts.
Dustlights are led by the one-hand-on-one-hand-off-the-wheel saxophone/fx visionary Joe Wilson, a veteran of many underground NYC and HTown funk, alternative world music, and jazz fusion bands, who has played around the world in most types of gigs a working horn player can get. He has performed and/or recorded with Vieux Farka Touré, George E. Lewis, Archie Bell, Fred Thomas (of The JB’s), Pocketsounds, Captain Planet, Karikatura, La Pachamambo, Nick Gaitan, The Free Radicals, Zozo Afrobeat, The Jomion Brothers, The Tokyo Swings Big Band, and dozens of other situations. He has also composed, produced, and performed music for film, theater, and TV. Recently relocated to Carrboro, NC, Wilson shares insights of his artistic journey and craft to a growing roster of students.
Drummer David Christian has been an active performer, promoter, and documentarian in the New York City area since the early 2000s. He’s performed and recorded worldwide with a wide variety of artists including Karen O & Danger Mouse, Curtis Harding, Sharon Van Etten, Sam Cohen, Benjamin Booker, Opsvik & Jennings, Kelis, Ex Hex, Angel Olsen, Mary Timony, King Tuff, Hospitality, Cut Worms, and many more. Christian played a role as show booker and show runner in the early years of the world-famous Brooklyn DIY venue Death By Audio, and in 2014 he created and produced the documentary web series “Liner Note Legends,” profiling veteran session musicians from the 1960s to the current day.
Ran Livneh is an upright and electric bassist and composer originally from Israel, now living in Brooklyn, NYC. As a leader Ran actively performs his original compositions with electro-acoustic groups Tea Masters and The Underground Spiritual Game around NYC. As a sideman, he has performed and toured with Anbessa Orchestra, Gili Yalo, Ismael Kouyate, Friend Roulette, Zozo Afrobeat, Marc Miralta, and Berry Shaharof, to name a few.Featured
Press from 2018:
“On In A Stillness, the sax/bass/drums threesome is like well-designed mood lighting. Quiet and thoughtful, beautifully minimal, this is background music for the foreground, occasionally feeling like an instrumental Morphine on morphine.” - Jambase“
Saxophonist Joe Wilson, drummer David Christian and bassist Ran Livneh make judicious use of electronic effects, and its harmonic influence is the sign of its strength. Every now and then, I field a “what next” question, both for people looking to get into modern jazz and those just looking for similar music to explore. If Portishead is the foundation of that what-next question, then Dustlights would make a fine answer. They’ve got just enough post-jazz in their delivery to make it an easy crossover from ambient rock tastes.” - Bird is the Worm
“dustlights’ enveloping debut album In a Stillness has a vastness you’d never expect from just a trio of sax, bass and drums. Part trip-hop, part stoner soundscape and part postrock, like Tortoise at their most concise, it’s music to get lost in. Put this on and drift off to a better place.” - New York Music Daily
Release Date: September 20, 2019
All Songs Written and Performed by Joe M. F. Wilson, David Christian, Ran Livneh
Produced by Joe M. F. Wilson
Tracks 1-3 Recorded by Jim Vollentine / Radio Milk
Tracks 4-5 Recorded by Luis Angel Olveda
All Songs Mixed by Daniel McNeill / Radio Milk
Mastered by Maceo Fuentes / Element Soundworks
Artwork by Jeremy Gustin
Cover Design by David Christian
dustlights make ambient groove and post-world soundscape instrumentals out of sax, bass, drums, and a sheet of effects. Their full-length debut In A Stillness features ten songs that pulse between quiet meditations and psychedelic expanses, with melodies and experimental improvs underpinned by deep pocket. In other words, dustlights are a vibe trio. Not quite jazz, not quite rock, not quite ambient, and not quite fusion, their style evokes the cross-genre work of artists like Tortoise, Bad Bad Not Good, Pete Rock, Sigur Ros, and The Necks. Their powerful and resonant debut is music that’s equally as appropriate for headphones-focused repeat listening as it is for playing out of your car while driving toward a volcano on the last day of earth.
The band’s story began in late 2015 Brooklyn, when saxophonist Joe Wilson and bassist Ran Livneh escaped from their busy freelance musician lives for a few hours every week to explore esoteric curiosities, such as how would Erik Satie and Steve Coleman sound playing together? Or, how would Miles Davis make post-rock? Very soon they knew they were onto something, and brought in Wilson’s long-time friend and collaborator David Christian on drums. The foundational groove and spacious textures of the dustlights sound soon emerged.
Breaking all the “rules” in their first year, the trio refused to play live shows. Instead they committed to cycles of creation, destruction, and renewal. Ideas would be born out of nowhere, fed some life, and then torn to shreds. The songs that survived these development sessions would be set in digital stone as an EP. Fittingly, their first recording session was the last one to take place at legendary Rubber Tracks studio before its demise by high-rise developers.
During the next development phase, everyone’s individual lives took deep dives into cinematic worlds. Christian got a call to work with major producers Danger Mouse and Sam Cohen on the TV series Man In the High Castle. Wilson was commissioned to compose and produce a soundtrack for awarred-winning short film “Jake”. And Livneh, who hails from Israel, drove into the heart of “real ‘merica” on US tours with indy art rockets Milan to Minsk. As visual life merged influences with sonic creations, the band in turn joined forces with a duo of international fine arts and illustration “bandmates” - Toshitaka Aoyogi and Kara Smith- who dreamed up a visual vibe for the record and videos.
In 2018, dustlights have generated the buzz of a good secret, as the band won huge applause from a small avant-garde rock audience of strangers at legendary East Village club nublu; 100x repeat position on a Berlin tastemaker’s private Soundcloud playlist; and earned the attention of award-winning film composer Ariel Loh to engineer their most recent recording session at Stone Studio.
With the blessing of Ropeadope Records, dustlights are proud to release their debut full-length In A Stillness.
"They put out their debut album out just a couple weeks ago and it’s already earned itself must-rec status. Quiet and thoughtful, beautifully minimal, this is background music for the foreground." - Jambase.com
"A vastness you’d never expect from just a trio of sax, bass and drums. Part trip-hop, part soundscape and part postrock, like Tortoise at their most concise, it’s music to get lost in." - New York Music Daily
"Every now and then, I field a “what next” question, both for people looking to get into modern jazz and those just looking for similar music to explore. If Portishead is the foundation of that what-next question, then Dustlights would make a fine answer. They’ve got just enough post-jazz in their delivery to make it an easy crossover from ambient rock tastes." - Bird is the Worm
Joe MF Wilson - Sax, Effects
David Christian - Drums
Ran Livneh - Bass, Effects
All songs written, performed, and produced by dustlights.
1, 2, 5, 6, 8 recorded by Ariel Loh at Stone Studio.
3, 4, 7, 9, 10 recorded by Aaron Bastinelli at Rubbertracks.
All songs mixed by Eivind Opsvik at Greenwood Underground.
All songs mastered by Maceo Fuentes at Element Mastering.
Album Design by Michael Forrey
Artwork by Kara Smith
In A Stillness
Release Date: August 3, 2018