The Gag File LP
Dais Records 102 / USA / 2017
Hundreds of releases and countless live performances littered the path that lead to 2012’s Modern Jester, artist Aaron Dilloway’s last major artistic statement as a solo artist and one his most well received documents since leaving Wolf Eyes. Introducing itself with the cover image of a posed dummy ready for his yearbook portraiture, The Gag File pick up right where Modern Jester left off; its identity is directly tied to an absurdly uncomfortable head shot that stays permanently fixed in the listener’s mind whenever the album is summoned. Sudden, crude cuts from one piece to another and psychotic jumps in fidelity make one rethink the ideas of confusion and desperation as something more abstract rather than visceral. Most hallmarks of Dilloway’s signature are seemingly here but not firmly imprinted into the recording. Instead, Dilloway used his methods of vocal manipulation and frenzied reference to tell a completely foreign narrative, one that subjects himself to naked uncertainty, audible anxiety and discourse.