Dorian Wood – Ardor / Reactor

Hailing originally from Costa Rica and now residing in Glassell park, California – Dorian Wood has long been a personal favourite artist of mine. I discovered them quite by accident when they shared a playlist with my bandmate on writer Warren Ellis’s former 4am Podcast. At the time the haunting, quite beautiful vocal reminded me of Anthony And The Johnsons, and the song “Kletka Ot Sniag” of the debut album Bolka became one of my favourite and most haunting songs.

As their career as a performer has evolved and progressed Dorian Wood has struck gold as a non-binary chanteuse who mixes genres like they are making delicious exotic cocktail after delicious exotic cocktail. Commanding a stage as though a preacher holding Sunday service, each new song a sermon on the mount, each new release a gospel of sound and presence. Leaning heavily into their Latin X heritage and never scared to deconstruct the process of song writing into its barest elements to create haunting, soul searching, beautiful music that reaches out and touches the deepest, darkest recesses of your being. Bringing with it love, emotional resonance and cerebral countenance.

Quite simply, Dorian Wood is one of the most essential makers of music on the planet right now and the one-two punch of albums Ardor and Reactor is their latest opus release that prove how essential and vital music can be when it is created by a true visionary. Never scared to scale emotional heights or plumb the depths where other artists may fear to tread, Dorian is a musical pioneer cut from the same cloth and magical universal fabric as acts such as Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Amanda Palmer and Jeff Buckley. An unpredictable, talented to their core, genuine artiste – Dorian Wood creates music that envelopes you and covers you, coating you in a rich tapestry of emotions and feelings, music that drags you screaming into the vast cosmic vacuum and leaves you breathless and exhausted gasping for breath.

Where Ardor is more stripped back and earnest affair – predominantly just a guitar and a vocal – Reactor is a departure from his usual sound arsenal and employs electronica and synths, beats and stripped back electronic backing which allows for a more experimental deliver of lyrics and emotional. The two albums are reverse sides of each other. A rich, sumptuous tapestry of sound and music and art, each full to bursting with deep emotional weight and empathy, each diverse and divergent from the other, but unmistakeable opposing faces of the same coin. Dorian Wood is an artist in every true sense of the word. Their releases have been perfect from day one and these two companion pieces are no exception. A genuine, bona fide musical genre of their own creation and someone who creates as much for the love of doing it as for the need in their soul to do so. Having met them, spent time with them, promoted them and housed them I can attest that there is a warmth of spirit and an invention of soul that is essential to the very fibre of the artist that is undeniable. With these albums Dorian has yet again struck musical gold, and I cannot recommend them enough.

Absolutely perfect in every way you can imagine. Music that speaks to the core of your being, wakes feelings you never knew existed and shakes the dust from the universe directly into your heart. An experience that moves you deeply, whether you like it or not.

Words: Andi Chamberlain // Ardor / Reactor are out now.

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