Dream Wide Awake
Apologies to anyone freezing their shanti's off in Europe at the moment, but here in
Dream Wide Awake, ladies and gentlemen, is another level. Itís not psy-chill, thank Raja. Itís not dull ďproperĒ ambient, thank Namlook.
Four years in the making, itís a veritable tapestry of sound thatís got more live instruments than the Salvation Army marching band. And more than this, they are used intelligently and decisively: the violin, accordion and female voice on Elves Of Athoria are morphed into the electronic backbone in a refreshing, impressive way. None of this ďacoustic instrument manipulated as a digital sound,Ē nor the ďstandalone electronic track with token live instrument samples off a Future Music cover CD.Ē Iím serious here: itís seamlessly well done, itís as though music was always meant to sound like this.
Dubber and Purple Sky sound like a more emotionally sensitive Massive Attack, while the radio-friendly standout is an electro Radiohead fronted by a softer Sinead OíConnor.
It doesnít always work; Open My Heart and Wide Awake are somewhat awkward, rambling diversions, but this doesnít really matter. The shagadelic Ton Image closes the album in steamy, Future-Sound-Of-Gainsbourg style and youíre left mopping up the cerebral, loveable mess that this album has made in your shorts.
Dream Wide Awake is impossible not to love. While other people making electronic music are producers, Omnimotion is an artist; and yes, there is a difference. If youíre an Entheogenic addict then you may be disappointed with this. If on the other hand youíre over shanti and want something mature, lasting, significant and bloody good, then look no further.
Itís a little-known Ė and, letís be honest, largely
insignificant Ė fact that without OOOD, there would be no psyreviews. Their
Kundalini is THE track that kept me interested in this music, after having my
curiosity piqued by those very same year-dot tracks that everyone credits.
Free Range has been a long time coming, and it bloody well
sounds like it too. The production hugs you, lifts you up from the conventional
psytrance bottom-heavy spectrum and to have this level of musical variety on
one piece of plastic is almost enough to reaffirm your faith in music.
The title track kicks off funky and drops into 4-4 in one of
the best set-starters ever devised; after which, Smoke A Lot flitters from
glistening dub to floaty doof with a sublime elegance. The Humming is evil and
hefty up to a dreamy breakdown, after which itís evil and hefty again, and
Solar Sway takes things into a sort of netherworld-y,
morning-trance-cum-oldskool that isnít exactly arresting, but is jolly nice all
Oh My (Good Golly Me) is one of their best efforts here. Itís brave, itís bold, and itís beautiful. The vox distorts and warps perfectly, the techno-pounding rig botherage is in full effect, and subtle changes make it feel like a real journey, in the manner of Prometheusí better work.
Marijuajuana has a few too many samples, but its combination
of shitkicking disco and dreamhouse pads make it a winner. Rock My Soul again
suffers from over-samplage, which could almost be forgiven were the tune itself
not quite so wandering and noodly (or should that be nOOODly). Sorry, crap joke
Ė but then thatís what you come to psyreviews for, isnít it?
Blue Seal is a cracker. Taking ages to start, it holds the
attention perfectly with intricate hooks, suggested melodies, an array of
frequencies Ė in short, everything this kind of music should have.
It all comes together in the wonderful, warming Eye Of The
Beholder; utterly wonderful, fluid, epic, dreamtime stuffÖ the kind of which I
never thought Iíd here. Free Range is a decent album, with plenty of variation
and with the inclusion of whatís known in the trade as ďshort talky bitsĒ
(think Three Feet High And Rising), itís a winning package for home listening.
Musically, it may lack a certain thunking presence Ė as in, it doesnít sound like normal fullon Ėand as such DJís might find they donít give it quite so much of an airing. But the bottom line for the rest of us is that this is a mature, confident, loveable, lasting album thatís executed with flair, grace, professionalism, and a little sprinkle of magic from another dimension. Probably.e
Tribeadelicís latest compilation is also its best. Released
at a time where the sheer dearth of fullon releases means that hardly anything
gets any kind of exposure at all, itís definitely one of those
Rinkadinkís Suadade is pure Rinky bliss, smooth sounds and
interesting half-melodies with a decent drop; and it gets better with LPU (CPU
and Melbourneís Liquid collaborating) Ė a hefty, thunky track with balls as big
as two planets tucked painfully into a pair of tight spacejeans. Indraís Bomb
Bass isnít bad, itís the whole Isra thing again, and it's bloody cheesy: but
itís executed well. New Australian producer Audio Unit does encouragingly well
with Pink Cup, one of the finest examples of fullon around at the moment. The
peaks and builds arenít forced, the production is punchy, and it shies away
Legohead makes a welcome return with Pinky And The Brain,
showing that he can still do what he does, and does it well. The sample at the
break is nothing short of hilarious, and the subsequent drop has your feet
moving, your face smiling, and the bits in between all feeling rather nice
Next up, Nosferatu by Liquid Nebula Ė a veritable Australian
supergroup with Luna Orbit, Fractal Glider and Ozzy on vocals Ė ok not really.
But itís a decent track, buzzing along at a fairly frenetic pace and making
good use of that guitar plugin (for once). The escalation is organic and effective,
the middle run is more kaleidoscopic than 1968 Jefferson Airplane playing in
Ken Keseyís living room, except with better production.
The wonderful DMMT do well with the Doors-exhuming Break On
Thru, a fucking stellar track with or without its cheeky sampleage. Liquid
& Legohead is a good collaboration on paper, but Lick Your Leg falls short.
Itís not bad, but it lacks a certain punch and the arrangement of sounds
favours the lower end, with the result sounding a little muddy.
Things get better, and brighter, with Life Theory from
Finally a rare downtempo outing from Fractal Glider: Ride The Wave sounds like its title would suggest, dubby without being too shanti, and a cocooning vibe that sounds like being hugged by the carpet (or something). All in all this is a bloody impressive release; lose Indra and youíve got an almost perfect album.
by Xavier Morel
A very hot property this. Psy-heads may not know this chap
by name, but chances are heís sitting in your CD collection already; heís
worked with Genetic, Eat Static and Juno Reactor, heís compiled the two mighty
Black compilations on Solstice this year, and he guests on the Koxbox album.
The common denominator on the more recent appearances is,
essentially, what Mode-S is all about: tecchy, metallic trance that builds
subtly, morphs violently, and jaw-drops daw-droppingly.
Itís essentially a load of music that I donít know, but I
now know that I probably should; the dynamic, intricate layering of psytrance
has been preserved and this raw, split-level techno has been dusted all over
the top of it. The Tony Rohr remix of X-Dreamís We Interface makes so much more
sense than the original; stripped-down and paranoid, the elements that are
retained from the original have more impact via not being shoved down your
Speedy J & C Liebingís Eventide is disturbing, and the
midsection peaks with a smashing run of Oís Atomit, Steven Bodzinís Tron and
Heckmannís Shadow Dancer.
See, these names are new to me. Which makes reviewing it a
The closest familiar ballpark to this would probably be the
Solstice Black compilations with less of the psy bassline; or X-Dreamís last
album with more subtle poke. And if thatís no good you can always check the
preview at Xavier Morelís Myspace page http://www.myspace.com/xaviermorel .
Oh, and the fact that itís a Japanese import gives you extra trainspotter points with yer mates.
Only released in
Reviewed by Damion courtesy of the Psyreviews website.