You’re busy. I get it. You don’t have time to waste listening to music you might not like. Sometimes it’s nice to read a review first, right? Well, that’s exactly what we have here.
Admittedly, I’m not going to give you an unbiased review because this has been released on my label but at least allow me to walk you through what’s on offer from Memoraphile’s new album, And Dream.
If you want to skip my waffle and just play the damn tunes, you will find the links at the end of the post.
Anyway, let’s get to it…
1. Away From Home
At first, everything seems fine and dandy. The opening gambit, Away From Home evokes 1950s images of palm dappled paradise… but there’s something not quite right. You can’t put your finger on it at first but as the track builds, the dream-like utopia slips away to reveal a dystopian undercurrent.
2. A Lonely Night
The lush but dystopian synth pads laid down at the end of the last track sustain into A Lonely Night, gradually revealing a crunchy lo-fi beat set amongst a sizzling palate of sibilant tones and a familiar-feeling vinyl-like crackle. Reminiscent of The Orb, this is definitely one for the ambient fans.
3. It’s Only The Beginning
Here we step it up a notch. The track comes straight in with a gritty trip hop style beat which is closely followed by a delicious lead synth doing a dance macabre with the minor scale. This is, of course, all laid down on a lush bed of slightly foreboding pads that are becoming as familiar as an old but comfy blanket. You will bob your head. I guarantee.
Suddenly we’re left with a stark piano catching us off guard before throwing us into the jittery and slightly disturbing world that is Ghosts. This track rolls from light to dark, to down-right unsettling. The beat and bassline drive the track… and they do so well… but there’s a kind of granular effect that keeps you on edge. Oh, and then there’s that, what can only be described as, a digital scream. You need to hear it for yourself…
5. And Dream
Ghosts fades slowly away to make way for the title track, And Dream. And finally, you feel like you can. Safely. There’s nothing nasty hiding in the background. Well, obviously, there’s a slightly dark counterpoint. You remember where you are, right? Overall, it’s a beautiful piece of melodic synth-based electronica that you can happily drift away on.
6. How Many Times
We are once again left with an almost bare piano. Bare, all but for some ethereal atmospherics that build gradually into a fat (with a ph) synth bass. Slowly the synths and piano battle until the inevitable happens and the robots win.
7. Such A Pity
Expect change. Suddenly you’re catapulted into a world of broken vintage drum machines that somehow manage to hold it together and produce the necessary goods. Cover that in layers of lush synths and you have Such A Pity. Think trap meets ambient meets IDM.
8. Right Through You
Right Through You kicks in with a righteous beat before giving you a feast of slightly-wobbly pads and dreamy synth melodies. Melancholic would be an understatement.
9. That Wasn’t A Person
If you like it slo-fi and lo-fi, you’ll feel right at home here while a grimy-as-hell beat guides you through reverberant synth soundscapes. While this track couldn’t be more different from the opening track, you somehow feel like you could almost be in that paradise again.
10. Just Over That Hill
And then the grime dissolves away to reveal a much cleaner sounding beat. Just Over That Hill feels like a sudden burst of light and clarity. Chiming synth melodies sit atop a Luke Vibert-style bassline and give this track a very danceable vibe. In the mid section, the bassline gives away to a synth reminiscent of Rival Consoles that continues the dream-like theme of the album.
11. The Way You Looked At Me
With nothing but a piano and a whole lot of reverb, this track speaks many words. The rising chord structure gives the track a feeling of resolution. Perhaps even the start of an awakening?
12. I’ll Take The Blame
For the final track we’re reintroduced to lush pads and dreamy leads as we prepare to exit Memoraphile‘s dream world. If the last track was the resolution, this track feels like coming to terms with that resolution. Like any coming-to-terms-with, it’s not all cupcakes and kittens. Elements of darkness are introduced through eerie delays, discords and bit-crunching goodness just to remind you of where you are.
And Dream is definitely as dreamy as its title would suggest but it’s not exactly a sweet dream. Tinged with darkness but with moments of bright light and clarity throughout, you’re getting taken on a journey here. Each track manages to bring something completely different to the table, mixing styles such as trap, electro, industrial, lo-fi, ambient, synthwave… and much, much more. There’s a bit of something for every electronic music fan.
I’m totally biased so I won’t insult your intelligence by giving this a rating but I will tell you that I really enjoyed listening to it… then listening to it again… and again… Yeah, I think it’s a goodun.
Review by Lee (Pilchard) Stacey
Don’t just take my word for it. Listen for yourself: