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Standout Track: At the center of Dura’s meditative new record, Repetition Suppression, sits “Grace Church Road,” which works as both an intermission and an early peak. At the bookends of the song, gentle ascending arpeggios give way to silence, cymbal accents, and a field recording of nighttime crickets and rustling. Filling the moments between, Dura’s delicate fingerpicking paints the uncertainty and playfulness of shadows in the night. Working together, these two personalities prime the mind for deeper reflection.
Musical Motivation: Repetition Suppression was “a project to reconnect with the sound of the instrument” according to Mattson Ogg, the guitarist behind Dura. During this project, he moved back to the D.C. area after years in New York and enjoyed walking around the places he grew up in Silver Spring, Md.. “The sound of the amp and the style of the picking reminded me of that temperature or visual effect of the trees and friendly shadows,” he says, “You can see something is there, but you can’t make it out super clearly. It’s an outline of something you’re perceiving or remembering.”
A Walk to Remember: Ogg, who also records other artists, sees himself as more of an engineer than a guitarist—“I like amps more than guitars,” he says—and focused on adding more depth to Repetition Suppression than guitar-alone would allow. One night, while watching his parents’ house, he decided to take a walk across Georgia Avenue to his old elementary school and record it. “The arc of the walk and the arc of the record just happen to line up pretty well,” he says so he layered it—unedited—beneath the tracks to bring the minimal sound alive. “In a lot of the spaces I leave in the songs, you can shift your attention back over to the field recording,” Ogg says.
Correction: Due to a reporting error, this article originally stated Ogg grew up in Petworth. He grew up in Silver Spring, which is where he recorded the field recordings on this song.