Slow Codes is music full of personality and contrast, with an extensive discography that reveals beautifully balanced soundscapes. There is a life story told through art. Thematic twists and turns dare to be dissonant, yet stay sincere throughout. In listening, we hear a presence and sense of self that paints a portrait from an artist who knows that what they do is meant to be. It’s a production and possession conducted with all of their being. Despite a prolific repertoire, there is continuity through songs to tell tales straight from the heart. There may be no purer expression than that, regardless of medium.
The honest vulnerability and aggression of Slow Codes is equal parts private journal entry and formal production. It is impossible to talk about the person without the music. Almost entirely self produced and performed, Dustin Léger layers his vocals over loops, samples, synths, guitar, bass, and drums to weave a narrative of shadowed beauty. Shyness is heard in frequently filtered vocals, the tool to expose a devil may care attitude full of deeper thoughts and feelings. He pursues his vision of expression, and seems hellbent on achieving release through music.
Slow Codes has a wide variety of inspiration and influences. Dustin professes his admiration for the work of Bowie and Visconti, but sonically stays true to jilted, post-modern guns a la Trent Reznor, and Maynard James Keenan. From Slow Codes extensive repertoire, you hear many strains. Radiohead, Deftones, Massive Attack, Portishead, The Pixies, Rammstein, Sneaker Pimps, Depeche Mode, INXS, Duran Duran, Joy Division, Linkin Park, The Beastie Boys, Butthole Surfers, Primus, KMFDM, Bauhaus, Skinny Puppy, Ministry, The Cult, Killing Joke, Revolting Cocks, Gwar, Siouxie, Placebo, The Tea Party, Our Lady Peace, The Chemical and/or Dust Brothers, Rob Dougan, Stabbing Westward, and so many more others subtly or unconsciously manifested.
There is a signature and underlying sound, formings a natural pocket of frequent experimentation where Dustin feels most at home. It also reveals a contradictory and complex soul, upon closer inspection. There are oppositional themes of lightness and dark, humour and despair, or speed and pacing. The ability to explore these dualities signifies musical maturity. Often brutal synth riffs and pulsing industrial drums round out vast wall-of-sound choruses, with a sense of space to complement engaged intensity. The songs are progressively arranged and thoughtful. Collaborators include his friends as frequently as professional musicians, easily adapting to his egoless approach.
Slow Codes is inseparable from Dustin as an artist, and a shining example of a passion project. A labour of love, a way to create, and full of confessional overtones as if reading another’s diary. Dustin is not scared to share, if you’re willing to listen. His is a fusion of melancholy and deep personal expression, juxtaposing gothic noir with lighter levity. While seemingly serious, there’s also sneaky humour to be found throughout which further endears one to his persona. Make no mistake - this is a rare and precious trait. Essential in an era obsessed with disposable and plastic over-productions, this is a living rebellion through personal music that means something. Dustin inspires those who would be prolific in their own way. It is an ongoing, living testament that was already adjusted to a world turned upside down. Perfect for us as imperfect people.