“This is an honest compilation of diverse ambient music forms which sound familiar to us”
1 Premonition 5:10
2 Soundscape For Richard Wright 4:47
3 Jharna Revealed 4:12
4 Laika's Last Orbit 5:08
5 Nocturnal Passage 4:28
6 Elinvar 7:30
7 Sandstone 5:11
8 Universe City Line 5:23
9 Processional 4:35
10 The Storm Within 4:55
11 Premillennial Landscape #1 4:10
12 Premillennial Landscape #2 5:02
(CD/DDL 60:50) (V.F.)
For some people, ambient music is lifeless. Without rhythm, nor soul! And I have long criticized this type of music, qualifying the result by a lack of originality or ideas. This is no longer the case. There are electronic music (EM) artists who know how to sculpt meditative musical structures while breathing life into them with subtle, discreet oscillations or long, reverberating forms that resonate in the echo of abstract music, creating dull implosions. In recent years I have come to appreciate so-called ambient music through the works of Steve Roach, Robert Rich and more recently The Glimmer Room and Konrad Kucz. That can easily be compared to still life or abstract paintings. The artists must have an overflowing imagination in order to make us live their emotions and make us travel through their slow evolutionary layers. Dreamstate is a Canadian duo that precisely sculpts an ambient EM without borders, weaving sound images with the dexterity of the great names of the genre. No sequences or rhythms, only oscillating circles and modulations that move like jellyfishes on linear sound arches. A DECADE OF DREAMING is a compilation of 12 tracks played at The Ambient Ping, a Toronto club that specializes justly in experimental and ambient music.
Ambient and dark, Premonition opens this compilation with the dark oscillations from a heavy nebulous layer. Synth layers escape, ululating to oblivion through resonant arches. Sound hoops on top of sound hoops, Premonition's atmospheric layers waltz lazily along with the modulations that are propelled by their waves to higher peaks. It's a slow night flight where reverberations wrap around heterogeneous tones and laments. A track with oblong morphic layers that soothe the dreamer, just like Sandstone as well as Processional and its resonant hoops. Soundscape For Richard Wright begins with fine limpid chords that fall like drops of water... a bit like Echoes hence the connection that this is actually a tribute track to Pink Floyd's Rick Wright, except that it doesn't sound like Floyd at all. It's dark, but musical, with oscillating waves that entwine in a perpetual circle of slow resonances and mellotron layers that sway and travel with strange wails, like a Theremin's voice tones, in a cosmos filled with an oneiric quietude. Jharna Revealed reveals the notes of a guitar, played by Eric Hopper, accompanying the crystalline chords of a cosmic-sounding synth. Like a prism of sound, the music delicately spins in a staggering cerebral journey filled with beautiful mellotron strings and notes of an oriental flavored guitar that a celestial voice covers with brief suave breaths.
At times, one has the feeling of traveling in Robert Rich or Steve Roach territories, like in Laika's Last Orbit, Elinvar, and Premillennial Landscape 2 which embrace some tribal effluences. Or in lunar and tribal fusions which float above the metallic universes of Sandstone, The Storm Within and Premillennial Landscape 1. But always Dreamstate confirms its originality with a good union of its oscillations and modulations which advance like electronic jellyfish which also criss-cross Nocturnal Passage, a title which strangely swarms of an underground life where the noises from the echoes of caves intermingle around slow morphic layers. A paradox between Roach, Rich and the Toronto duo and an intense track, like Universe City Line.
A DECADE OF DREAMING is an honest compilation of diverse ambient music forms. A music that is familiar to us because we have heard its influences everywhere, but the sound of Dreamstate has a unique imprint of the Toronto duo. An album available for the modest sum of $5.00 or simply free in downloadable format on http://www.dreamstate.to/decade/
Sylvain Lupari (February 22nd, 2011) *****
Available at Dreamstate Bandcamp