Featured on episode 35.
We know hardly anything about the person behind the music and it would prove a futile exercise to try and draw clear-cut conclusions from the songs Weakheart Drop has up on SoundCloud: the styles this artist is experimenting with are too many to accurately tag one label to his music. It would not even surprise us to realize, in retrospect some years from now, that he managed to invent a new genre somewhere in there.
Fans of dub will probably already have spotted a reference to that specific genre in his moniker, however, and the artist himself terms When All Else Fails as being dub drone.
From the offset, hazy synths hum. They will envelope the track in cottony torpor, at varying levels of intensity throughout, but ever present. The programmed drums, also there from the start, are a little syncopated, like rapid eye movement during sleep. It is the entrance of the heavy bass line which imprints a dominant beat to the track, the one it seems to truly gravitate around. It is all at once somber and slumberous.
Enter sampled voices (Weakheart Drop credits The Nightingales, Advent Calendars and A Livid Life). The first one sounds like a young man at the end of his tether pleading, with a catch in his voice. The second seems to be that of an authoritative, older male, perhaps answering the young man’s plea, by issuing motivational admonishments. It’s the kind of very excellent advice it’s easy to dish out when you’re on top of your game but that is oh-so-hard to follow when you happen to be down on your luck. The staple dub reverb is especially amplified on the motivational speaker’s organ. It booms, making his words stifle the space and impart a feeling of oppression. The dreamy lethargy which pervades the music, though, in part due to the third sample’s metaphysical singing, would tend to make the listener identify more with the young man, his passive point of view being the one we adopt.
Call us masochistic, but we also wholeheartedly adopt this brand of dub drone. There is something unsettlingly seductive about the mood Weakheart Drop creates with this track and When All Else Fails completely succeeds in ensnaring the listener.