Thursday, November 14, 2013

LA Dreams Through Scan Lines

As I've mentioned previously on Synthetix.FM, it's impossible for me to cover all of LA Dreams' music on here, though I wish I could. In some respects LA Dreams is a scene unto himself. An island of musical industry that has the synth machines working day and night, forging base elements into magical aural delights, that are shunted out and then it's back the synth mines for Mr LA Dreams.

The work rate is high, but the quality also is. There is an innate gift in each LA Dreams track that I instantly bond with. I often say the 80s isn't a decade, it's an emotion. It's a state of mind and a feeling. LA Dreams distills that feeling into emotionally luscious three minute crushes, on a whim he can take your heart and make it soar to heavens of complete elation.

I've learned how to listen to LA Dreams over the course of 2013. I listen to his music differently than any other producers in the scene as it requires a different technique to be able to take it in and not get over saturated by the sugar rush. Each LA Dreams track, to me, is a singularity, it's not a densely packed fabrication of stories and ideas, no, it's a singular experience. I don't mean a 'listen to once' singularity, what I mean is each track is one single idea. One thread, one strand that is fully explored and taken to it's ultimate end. There is evolution, depth and investment, but it's portrayed in a succinct and uncluttered manner. This is the LA Dreams magic.

Opening up the record is 'Years In Retrospect', this feels like an introduction to the album, whether intentional or not, and does set the scene beautifully with a building LA Dreams classic melody explored over glittering details. We're treated to a more soundtrack oriented LA Dreams on 'Emerging Autumn'.  There isn't the immediacy of previous outings, instead we're drawn in and allowed to contemplate the music in a more sedate fashion and the sounds are relaxed and calming in their presence. 'Midway' most certainly caters to the more frenetic end of the spectrum, but it's controlled and it's melodies feel scaled down to accommodate intimacy instead of climbing towards the grandiose.

On 'Scan Lines' this is evidenced even more so as the more stripped back, minimalist synthscape is explored. Nothing unnecessary and each element bold and brilliant in it's purpose. This is massively noticeable in this track where sparkling piano and unadorned synths cast magical spells across the decades. Even in the more powerful 'Leather And Lace' the presence of the elements are crystalline in the clarity, giving the atmosphere a very authentic palette of primary and pastel colours.

The experimentation in other synth genres has also been apparent in recent LA Dreams releases, moves into soundscapes that reside outside of his synth romance oriented pastiche. The emotional investment in the melodies is something that is undeniable in each piece, however, the chord progressions and accents are just so tactile in their nature. Indeed the inherent drama of 'Sudden Moves' sways seductively with sentiment burning deep in it's soul.

I've got to say, my favourite of the new LA Dreams stylistic experiments is the electro rock breakin' of 'Battle Graffiti Kids'. The edge is never hard and coarse, there is that warm smoothness to the music, even when LA Dreams is getting street wise, but it comes off so naturally that one can't help but rock it. This motif is continued to funkier destinations on 'The Night Never Ends' which also explores some new LA Dreams colours that I hope are more vividly explored in future releases.

The stripped back nature of this release also allows pieces like 'Edge Of Heaven' to be allowed to dance across the moonlight, unfettered by earthly bonds or dimensional limitations. The glowing and pulsing singularity of it's emotional core is unbearably beautiful and contains a breathtaking purity.  Scan Lines completes with the after school library synth of 'We Danced' and the final piece is the totally kick arse track he did for Halloween entitled 'There's Something Here'.

This album marks, I think, a bit of a more introspective angle from LA Dreams. There appears to be more transitional flickers on this album that hint at different destinations in the future and I think Scan Lines will have echoes resonating in future releases through 2014. I for one, can't wait for more exciting stop offs on this delectable musical journey that LA Dreams takes us on and I'm sure there'll be many surprises in store from many as yet unknown inspirational dimensions.

LA Dreams presents the Scan Lines album on his Bandcamp page here. Unsurprisingly, to anyone who's a regular reader of Synthetix.FM, this a great record that I highly recommend. Especially if you've taken a break from LA Dreams in recent times, this is an album I'd prioritise in my listening schedule and let that LA Dreams magic wash over you in a neon glow of timeless beauty.

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