How can an artist capture the ears and subsequently the attention of countless individuals without using words? Assuredly such a feat isn’t easy, however Dobie provides a breathless answer to this perhaps needless question in the single Without You. The soundscape conceives a lyrically empty yet texturally dense work of production that functions much like a story written in a language of notes and rhythm. It brings the listener on a sort of journey, not unlike the personal journey each person must undertake in the span of growing up.
The introduction’s sparkling mix fades into violin strings, oscillating between high and low – hope and despair. The sweet simplicity calls back beginnings, a sort of naive angst present in any childhood (the elation to grow tinged with the fear of obscurity). Electronic notes take over, bright and adventurous, encouraging the listener to dissolve into the sound. The beat suddenly thickens, seducing the listener to stand against the strings and arrows of time (yes that was a pun), bobbing to the bass and moving with the music.
The musical phrase from the intro replays in nuanced directions throughout, creating a common melodic thread for the song. The timbre alternates from classical strings to techno keys, almost contradictory yet completely complimentary in pitch, giving the piece a sense of wordless movement, pushing and pulling as if mandating the body to keep dancing. The opposing timbres initiate an energetically harmonic waltz between antiquity and modernity between the ears.
Gentle strings whisper of a simpler time, both in musical progression and as a culture. The house style brings us back to the contemporary age, while still showing that special thread that ties it all together in the repeating phrase. The link runs like chained notes on a staff, connecting us to our history in the musically macro sense and also in the micro scale, as if the notes sing of our own pasts, reminiscent of that innocent, almost simple curiosity present in our original birth (and hopefully retained in some way throughout).
Life throws the individual into an arguably chaotic yet still exciting adulthood inherent to existence. When pondering such emotions, the only rational (as if life was ever rational) thing to do is: dance. Conceivably we all start out like Dobie’s Without You, a unique set of notes and chords with the freedom (limited as our culture decrees) to create individual histories that are not altogether unlike symphonies. The tricky part becomes building onto the arrangement and constructing beautiful language (often without words, as even the longest and most lovely sentences could never describe the entirety of our lives or even our feelings).
Language is simply communication and every person must communicate his or her ‘self’ to the world, day after day, moment after moment. Everyone is an artist just as the Self is an artwork, and everyone is constantly under composition.