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Dreamfish

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Guest Astro Cortex

Dreamfish (1993 Fax)

 

Posted ImagePosted Image

 

1. 18:21 School of Fish

2. 27:54 Hymn

3. 09:21 Fishology

4. 15:12 Under Water

 

All tracks written by Pete Namlook & Mixmaster Morris

 

 

I can't think of anything more addictive than Peter Kuhlmann and his Fax label. Dreamfish was the first Fax I've heard, and it is still one of my favourites (in my top 5 I guess) among his numerous (both solo & collaboration) releases. It's even one of the best ambient albums ever written IMO. A melodic & psychedelic deep space journey, though the track titles rather suggest a deep sea environment, so it's a bit like a hybrid of both, and this is what creates the magic here.

 

Tracks 1&2 are the best ones here. School of Fish instantly creates that fantastic under water deep space atmosphere, with qiute a laid-back and positive sound, and it has everything you'd expect from a classic melodic ambient track.

 

Next track Hymn gets really big (not only in terms of duration), something of a real storyteller we got here. What's fascinating is that it's all based on a simple 8 note melody that repeats through the whole track yet it remains interesting all along. How the melody morphs its way through the 28 minutes is just perfect IMO. It's the same pattern appearing in various different guises so to speak. Terence McKenna occasionally makes an appearance here, and gives you a hint to why it's actually called 'Hymn' ;) This track never fails to give me goose bumps. One of the best on Fax ever.

 

Then we have the shorter Fishology: An alien sounding voice repeats the word 'Dreamfish', then we get some nice bleeps and synth washes and something that sounds like robotic burps, or maybe it's just the rutting call of the Dreamfish....quite funny in any case :)

 

Under Water is more abstract than the three previous tracks, someone said it sounds like cosmic radiation, a well-fitting description I think. There's no real melody here, just some diffuse ambient signals coming from undefined directions. It's like being lost in the deepest sea where you can't see further than a few metres, only listen......and float. Very trippy and very nice.

 

The cover on the left is of the original Fax release, which is limited to only 500 copies (as it is the case with all Fax releases from '93), the right picture shows the Rising High issue (which I own), it was also re-released on Namlook's own Ambient World sublabel as well as on Avatar Records (with the same front cover as the Rising High version), so it's really not hard to find either of these versions. Get it if you haven't already, it's a must!!

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seraph    14

It's FANTASTIC !

 

Two of the great artists collaborating together and made this blissfull ambient journey. This slow, droning piece of music is so hypnotic and it just hypnotises you without stopping...All songs are great, I can't name any favourite one since they are all good in one way or another but HYMN steals the show...Definitely A MUST...9/10

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qa2pir    7

Good, atmospheric and hypnotic. Great for background music or "meditation" purposes ;)

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abasio    228

Got this the other day. It's my first by Namlook or from Fax. I read a few of astro's reviews and I was curious. I picked up the Avatar version pretty cheap and I'm very glad I did. Each track is really good but the 1st two manage to stand out even more. I love Hymn so much. For a track that is close to 30 minutes to never get boring and actually make you fell a little dissapointed when it finishes is a true feat. I know that I'll be playing this a lot in the coming months. It's really good. The only thing now is to buy more music like this. I looked on ebay and it all looked a bit pricey. Any more been re-released?

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Guest Astro Cortex   
Guest Astro Cortex

abasio,

 

The re-releases are listed here. They're all available at retail price, or even less.

 

Also, some releases had been licensed to other labels around the time of their original release, primarily Rising High (Silence, Air, Dreamfish, Definitive Ambient Collection 1&2) and Instinct (Silence 1&2, Air 1&2, Sad World 1&2, Alien Community 1&2, The Ambient Cookbook). Also Spacetime Continuum - Sea Biscuit on Astralwerks, and some albums involving Bill Laswell on his Subharmonic label. All these discs are still less pricy than the Fax originals.

 

As for where to buy the discs, I'm getting most of them through eBay. However, this doesn't look bad either, I think. :)

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abasio    228

abasio,

 

The re-releases are listed here. They're all available at retail price, or even less.

 

Also, some releases had been licensed to other labels around the time of their original release, primarily Rising High (Silence, Air, Dreamfish, Definitive Ambient Collection 1&2) and Instinct (Silence 1&2, Air 1&2, Sad World 1&2, Alien Community 1&2, The Ambient Cookbook). Also Spacetime Continuum - Sea Biscuit on Astralwerks, and some albums involving Bill Laswell on his Subharmonic label. All these discs are still less pricy than the Fax originals.

 

As for where to buy the discs, I'm getting most of them through eBay. However, this doesn't look bad either, I think. :)

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Thanks a lot. I'll be sure to check these out. I love discovering new stuff!!

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Bubble Wrap    1

It took me a while to find this CD but it was worth the effort.

Absolutely one of the best ambient albums ever made, namlook is a genius.

I always listen to this whenver I take a nap or meditate

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healium    9

"Hymn" is amazing - just like was said above - it's 27 minutes long but I'm always a little dissapointed when it ends... Just beautiful... And has one of the few Terrence Mckenna samples I actually like...

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rino    4

After all these years, "Dreamfish" still has the potential to mesmerize the most demanding hard core chiller.

My ears still acknowledge Hymn as the nicest ambient tune of all times. By saying that, though, I am certainly not being god awfully original, but I could care less.

The first 46 minutes and some change of this album, which consist of two tracks, School Of Fish and the before mentioned Hymn, are the most enjoyable moments ambient music has ever provided me with.

Nowadays I rarely ever play this album beyond Hymn's ending point, and to be frank, I never thought I'm missing out on that much... Hymn is the official definition of the less is more theory, as its structure and melody are fairly simple, but you won't track down a redundant milisecond in it. The first two tunes are sonical voyages, launching you on some Voyager, Star Trek like journey! :) Needless to say, they more than justify the purchase of Dreamfish.

An essential release, whether you're a Namlook freak or not.

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abasio    228

R-34286-001.jpg

Pete Namlook & Mixmaster Morris

Dreamfish

Rising High Records & Fax Records

1993

Re-released on Avatar Records & Ambient World

2001

 

Tracklist

 

1 School Of Fish (18:26)

2 Hymn (28:09)

3 Fishology (9:25)

4 Under Water (15:18)

 

This is a deep melodic ambient journey through the vast space that is our oceans. There is definitely a similarity between space & that black depths of the ocean. The main difference though is that the ocean is teeming with life. This album also has a lot of life to it.

 

1. School Of Fish

A mesmerizing plunge into our deep sea world. It is very positive with warm melodies & kind sounds. The melody at times manages to sound like tribal drums without a beat. As it progresses the sound gets darker with some underwater surf & a deep aquatic drone. A dark bassline drags us down and the School Of Fish circle us in their dance. Amazing ambient track, I really am put in mind of the title when I listen. I can see the fish, hundreds of silver fish in a school all swimming in the same direction, round & round & round.

 

2. Hymn

This is easily one of the greatest ambient tracks ever made. It's simple but infectious. At almost 28 minutes one might expect to get bored but I have never been bored listening to this track, NEVER! I am actually always disappointed whenever it's over. The same simple 8 note melody creeps through the track magnificently in different forms but always the same 8 notes over & over. A spoken sample The omniscient, omnipresent, wrathful, all knowing male deity comes in regularly giving this quite a dark trippy edge. The god of western civilisation has nothing to do with women. I have a desire to hear this track over & over & always wish it was longer. The feel is still deep sea with an underwater surf & all manner of strange creatures surrounding you, observing you, judging you. Deep, dark beauty at it's finest.

 

3. Fishology

A much more technological track. Percussion & little blips move forward sounding like a submarine floating through the water, shedding light onto all the life down here, studying it but disturbing it so the results will end up twisted like the music. The crazy shuffling at the end feels like it's run out of steam & is destined to rest at the bottom of the ocean for ever more.

 

4. Under Water

The most ambient of the 4 tracks here. No real melody or structure, just underlying drones & spacial sounds here and there. Little flutters come out of the darkness & this is more a live painting in the mind of underwater shoal with fish coming in & out of it. Fish swimming around your head as if you weren't there. The middle part is darker with more unpleasant noises but these pass & we are left with the calmness one would desire in this situation. A great tapestry of underwater life.

 

 

The first 2 tracks are definitely the best here. Real masterpieces of music. I would recommend anyone to get this album & those 2 tracks alone make it worth it. The last two tracks aren't quite as good but they are welcome additions to the album. It's a deep dark look at the ocean floor with some godly treats thrown into the middle. Buy it, listen to it & then you'll be praising it.

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rino    4

I only bought this one because of abasio's infinte praise :clapping:

 

In fact, Hymn has become my all time favorite ambient tune, and I urge any fan of soothing and relaxing music to purchase this land mark album! :)

 

This isn't much of a review, but I hope I'll get away with this post, since I wrote a more thorough analysis ^^^ :rolleyes:

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Snapinho    0

^well, no, not really, cause you are selling the avatar re-release...

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abasio    228

This is sill one of my favourite albums.

Hymn is such an immense track I never seem to tire of. It's simplicity works in keeping it fresh no matter how often I listen to it.

Brilliant stuff.

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Rotwang    323

Hymn is such an immense track I never seem to tire of.

+1

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Rotwang    323

How good is the avatar re-issue of this CD?

I can't tell you how it compares to the original but I have it and it sounds fine to me. It isn't overly quiet like some Avatar reissues are.

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Starkraver    877

Anyways I'll buy few CD's from AVATAR before the forex ₹|$ (Indian rupee|USD) goes fucknuts. :/

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pdinklag    85

This is one of the few releases that are possible life-changers. I read mesmerizing above, as in hypnotic, it's that. Really.

Hard to give a review, because reviewing also means describing. abasio gave a good description above.

 

School of Fish is nothing short of beautiful and very melodic. Hymn, wow. I don't share the feeling that I want to listen to Hymn over and over again. Yet, it does not get boring or anything like that, and that's very strange for a near half hour track, with a simple melody as that one. In my opinion, the duration is perfect. The journey is packed with emotions, and there is one spot I call a climax, which can be overwhelming really. If you've ever done gong meditation, the feeling is similar.

 

In Fishology, there's a melody to the bassline that's pretty catchy, once you realize it's even there. Took me a bunch of listens to perceive it, you might require a somewhat decent subwoofer to hear it, because it plays at pretty low frequencies. Under Water might not even be music to some people. Crudely said, it's playing around with a sample for 15 minutes, but there's more to it. Very deep atmosphere, and in my opinion, there is a structure - although I might also be imagining one.

 

In conclusion, I disagree with people (and there seem to be many) saying that the first two tracks are the better two. I can see where they are coming from, but I prefer viewing this album as a whole. From my experience, you do need something to come down after Hymn, and Fishology is that. I definitely recommend this album.

 

As a little tip of sorts: I found that Aural Planet's album Lightflow (it's freely available in the depths of the internet, but legally so) fits very well, played after this one. It took me some time to find a smooth transition into other music, does anybody else have any hints here?

 

And by the way, I have the Avatar reissue (AVA 007) and it's indeed pretty quiet. Not too much of a problem, but annoying at times when you put other music after it in a playlist (I often do so for naps). Are the other releases louder?

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pdinklag    85

Doesn't sound much louder, really. Seems that it's just what the release is meant to be.

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