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  • Writer's pictureSylvain Lupari

Brainwork Dreamland (2009)

Updated: Sep 28, 2023

If you like the beat! If you like music that spits fire, Dreamland is the album to get

1 New Horizon 9:03

2 Dreamland 9:17

3 High Skies 11:43

4 Magnetic Flow 7:59

5 Eden 9:05

6 Deep Water 10:07

7 Palm Garden 7:31

8 Diamond Rock 7:27

9 Mountains 5:34

(CD 77:45) (V.F.)

(Berlin School on Dance Music)

This 11th album by the amazing Uwe Saher, the man behind Brainwork and Element 4, opens with crystalline arpeggios that bounce feverishly over a lively and heavy sequence. New Horizon sets the tone for DREAMLAND. A heavy and melodious album, with constantly catchy harmonies, like this synth with melodious breaths floating in a break-dance universe with a subtle cosmic approach. Quite a contrast versus Ten which offered 4 long tracks with a very Berlin School spirit! This recent album is composed of 9 tracks with heavy rhythms that are close to the roots of the Düsseldorf School. Rhythms animated by sequences and percussions that would have been a splendid album for Element 4. That being said, DREAMLAND is far from being disappointing, quite the contrary. It's an album full of great melodies screwed on wild, heavy and sensual rhythms with a nebulous Berlin School touch. A sweet return to the roots that brings us into the romantic territories of Sensuel Reflections.

The title-track is simply superb. A splendid melody that takes root on a tumble of limpid notes and a distant synth with nostalgic aromas. A good mellotron envelops this tender intro, with all the conceptual skill of Saher. A heavy and resonant rhythm, but very suggestive, takes shape on Tabla percussions and cymbals with tschitt tschitt of a very sensual techno dance. Never in lack of sound imagination, Uwe Saher dresses his structure with beautiful chimes and a very poetic synth, making of Dreamland a kind of cross between the Berlin and Düsseldorf Schools. A very good track that constantly eats the hollow of my ear. An oblong ochre and slightly metallic synth veil floating with intensity sculpts the first minutes of High Skies. Its panorama gets agitated with a slightly bouncy rhythm under a synth dominating now of its rather Jean-Michel Jarre approach. A synth which drops its cries of surprise in a minimalist pattern. Another little gem that takes an even more melodious turn when supported by a keyboard with limpid keys that encircle with its echo a track of hypnotic tenderness. Magnetic Flow offers a hyper-heavy rhythm worthy of a dance floor with cosmic mellotron pads, giving second wind to a heavy and frenzied rhythmic.

The same pattern appears with Eden which swims between two waters, the rhythm and the space, but on a more balanced cadence giving a more romantic approach with good synth solos. Deep Water is another superbly poetic track, like Dreamland. Less heavy in cadence, the movement opens on a synth with contrasting chords that scroll over a good bass line and heavy percussions, without ever falling into an explosive cadence. A long track of a heavy sweetness (if one can say so) from where escape some tasty solos of a plaintive synth. Very good! Palm Garden is in the same line as Magnetic Flow and Eden, without the vaporous moments. Heavy and oscillating on a good bass line, the rhythm is coated with a synth and its solos which have a very Mexican tendency. Original and catchy! Diamond Rock is the most suave and sensual track on DREAMLAND. Mountains closes this album on a jerky rhythm with robotic keyboards notes that are quickly surrounded by sumptuous synth solos.

If you like the beat! If you like music that spits fire, DREAMLAND from Brainwork is the kind of album that you can listen to in loops. A beautiful opus full of heavy and sensual rhythms where the melodies prevail in a universe that keeps its cosmic candor. I would even go so far as to say that it is a perfect album to initiate a neophyte to EM.

Sylvain Lupari (October 24th, 2009) *****

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