Shut-ins and the Colony
The Colony: Lucas Dix, as well as guest occassional guest appearances from Stephen Sauer, Pete Benda, Hyphon, Random Thoughts aka Dig Mode (Pale Blue Dot), Mimi Naja (Fruition), Kellen Asebroek (Fruition), Jay Cobb Anderson (Fruition), Brad Parsons (The Local Talent), Abadawn (Proper Knocks), and DMLH (Proper Knocks)
As a full-time middle school teacher and student in a Master’s program, Dix found his creative output on a circumstantial hiatus. After over a year of not writing or recording, the rapper began using the little free-time he had to make music again, under the condition that the process had to be fun. Stealing songs from his friend Ed Curtiss’s previously released instrumental album Underwrought Works, Dix invited his friends to his basement. The only rule: You can’t leave until a song is done.
The result is Underwrought (Re)Works, a redux project featuring members from Portland folk bands Fruition and Horsefeathers as well as rappers from the NW crew Proper Knocks and the MW crew Neon Autumn. With the original bleak and rickety production combining with contemplative rap writings and three-part folk harmonies, Shut-ins and the Colony create an album that feels as heavy as the day and as relieving as the night. An album where the contributors figure out how to extend themselves and transcend their confinement, recognizing that sometimes you have to lock yourself in a room to do so.
"You're listening to Nightlight Love Songs, where the tri-state area falls in love every night," assures the radio, which must mean it's after 9pm on any weekday and you are still stuck behind the counter of this ailing Midwestern town's only gas station. Muffled dedications are called in; little fuzzy serrations supply intermittent texture. "Mark called to say happy anniversary to Cindy." "We've got Jan on the line; she's got something to share with Don." The DJ is smooth but not cool. "Jackie just wants to say hello to a special someone." There are professions and remembrances, and each is quick to surrender itself to the gummy sentimentality that follows: love songs as selected by KNAR, your regional soft rock leader.
You have come to regard this place as an island. Outside is all rolling blackness; farm lights are distant ships on a soundless ocean. The FM signal fades quickly out there, gradually taking on hiss until it sinks entirely. All these eager messages get illegibly rewritten and stuffed into shattered bottles. There is some hope of salvage, but the further the signal travels from its source, the more unlike itself it becomes.
We called in and asked them to play a song for you, but you're only going to hear it out there.