Shinkansen No.1 / New Ways is the second release from CC Dust, a new duo from Olympia, Washington featuring Maryjane Dunphe and David Jaques.
Shinkansen No.1 introduces the record with a more industrial, harder edge than much of the group’s debut 12” (CC Dust – S/T), a fast paced, urgent song powered by by fast kick drums and Jaques’ bassline acrobatics. CC Dust opened every show on their recent European tour with this salvo, a dark energy that spirals upwards, with Dunphe’s vocal giving the production space to build into a crescendo.
New Ways on the other hand, is perhaps Dunphe’s finest moment yet set to disc. Dunphe is a performer who battles restraint, her every vocal performance a tour de force and New Ways is one of the most emotional and transcendent performances imaginable. With a terse restraint in the verses, the chorus here erupts into an anthem for doomed youth, with every crack in Dunphe’s voice hitting the listener square in the chest.
A light that casts shadow, CC Dust is doomed, romantic music anchored by Jaques’ live bass and the powerful performance values Dunphe has honed both in her punk group Vexx and in various film and performance projects. Musically, CC Dust’s precedents might be considered the European synth pop originators of the early 80s, there’s also an abundance of low-end hooks played on baritone and bass guitars that teases the ear like early New Order productions, but in Dunphe’s passionate vocal performances there’s a close-to-the-
bone reality that bypasses cool detachment.
CC Dust play and write real songs lived. A desire for desire. What is it? How does it manifest? Is it all worth the tumult? CC Dust offer no answers as there are none, but they ask the right questions in a life-affirming way. Doomed, romantic, unanswerable and vital.