"Closest comparison I can make given their instrumentation, penchant for sampling and texture is Beck’s Odelay. It’s clear that Dave Doom, the driving force behind Compass, is a genius. Munchy the Bear is a concept album around the theme of mankind’s ability to destroy itself via nuclear weapons. "
"Dave Doom, traversed the northeast, gathering sounds and, unlike every academic sound gathering world traveler, has woven a fun and diverse pop/post-pop album instead of some boring bit of stuffy nonsense. "
WHAT IS COMPASS?
Love + 5 cities + 47 instruments + 17 musicians + Pain + 8 Studios + 1 Duclimer + 1 Cathedral Organ + 3 atomic bombs + 1 clarinet + 5 Computers + 1 War + 2 Galleries + 1 Condemned Building + the miracle of existence + the magic medium of sound = ???
Compass is a complex and unpredictable machine. It absorbs and collects sounds the way a homeless person might stock up on bent coathangers for their shopping cart - but somehow Compass manages to take those hangers and create songs. Good songs. Interesting songs.
Strange songs. At times you'll think they're brilliant. Other times you'll ask yourself whether this isn't just some joke that you don't quite get. And there will be times when you'll think he's just insane. Of the three, I can only assure you that Compass is no joke.
Dave Doom, like his spiritual predecessors Beck and Eels' Mark Everett (or "E," as he is known to his friends), have the uncanny ability to make music of an unspeakably grim nature somehow palatable, if not downright enjoyable. For instance, depending on how you looked at it, Eels' 1998 masterpiece Electro-Shock Blues was either a morbid, sonic thanatopsis, or the apotheosis of a finely-honed pop sensibility.
Compass features scores of artists who chant, bark, giggle, sing, play: drums, handmade dulcimers, cathedral organs, harp and more... to which Doom adds samples as well as his own piano, voice, saxophone, 12 string guitar, flute, bongos, drum kit, twigs, synths, pots, and breaths. "The Most Ridiculous Idea" is Compass' working / touring methodology that seems to incorporate anything and anyone with whom Doom may come in contact, including the audience. Which again begs the question: Who is Compass?