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Evan Marc + Steve Hillage - Dreamtime Submersible


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Evan Marc + Steve Hillage

Dreamtime Submersible

Somnia

2008

Ambient Dub

 

Tracklist

 

1 Intention Craft (10:56)

2 Hypnagogue (8:49)

3 Alpha Phase (9:34)

4 Theta Phase (8:48)

5 Delta Phase (8:04)

6 Hypnopomp (10:04)

7 Resurface (10:43)

 

This is one of those albums that can easily slip by unnoticed. For me at least it was not instantly accessible. My first few listens were too casual & it came across as boring & monotonous to me. I am glad I blindly bought it as probably the samples would have put me off. After more listens though & giving each listen more time & focus, getting rid of any distractions helped, the beauty of this album really unfolded & I was enraptured.

 

1. Intention Craft

Straight in with a spacey atmosphere powerful yet mellow bass melody and light funky beats. For such a light bouncy track it manages to keep its aura of deep spacey ambient very well. Such contrasting moods play well on the senses and while the elements that make the head bob remain pretty constant, the brain stuff evolves nicely with melodies that are light and sharp over the deep drones and the bassline complementing them brilliantly. Lots of nice little touches in the background like the soft stabs of synth near the end that only became noticeable to me when I really focused on the music.

 

2. Hypnagogue

A more cluttered track is Hypnagogue. The bass once again sounds really funky like the chill out room at an underground 70's club but the atmosphere seems tighter, less spacey and more chaotic. Ordered chaos mind you because it never descends into unbearable noise nor does it even get annoying. It just seems busy in a relaxed way. Like when you look at someone who should be really hectic but they seem to glide around serenely and wonder how they cope so easily with so much to do. Cool stuff all round, I especially like the relaxed alarm sound that sounds through the latter part of the track.

 

3. Alpha Phase

So smoothly into this track that it could almost be a continuation of the previous offering. The slightly danceable rhythms are a little quicker, the atmosphere is less cluttered and more scratchy like old worn vinyl. Quarter of the way in the beats become sharper and more involved giving us a more acidic feel, the emergence of a bubbly sound actually puts me in mind of a science lab experiment with beakers full of boiling acid. A strange but powerful image that melts back into my darkened lounge with people slumped on sofas involuntarily tapping their feet and nodding their heads.

 

4. Theta Phase

The beat doesn't let up on the transition to Theta Phase but the sharper sub beats have receded only to be replaced my lighter, quicker and stabbier ones. More of a spacey atmosphere now with some long drawn out sci-fi sounds that start in the foreground but then oscillate further and further into the background. I find myself losing my conscious thought listening to these, following them as they disappear and just as I lose them they appear back in the front in a slightly different form. This is one of the trippiest tracks I've heard in a while. The way the sounds move around, grab my mind and slowly pull it away from me is great. It makes me feel like I've smoked too much weed and I'm kind of losing the plot. Very impressive for just a piece of music to achieve. Definitely one of the best tracks this year.

 

5. Delta Phase

For me it seems like the trippy subtlety of the Theta Phase has become more obvious and up front in Delta Phase. It is not without its own subtlety though and while the foreground has a lot of sharp acidic synth drones scything down and down, the background has subtle versions of what has been up front in previous tracks. Little plodding bass and tiny rings of treble. Semi melodious drones and ore electronic. I think this fluid changeover is so well done that it speaks volumes of just how well made this album is.

 

6. Hypnopomp

The bass deepens and the synths are soft and warm. I'm reminded of Disco Suns by Bus and they add an almost summery quality to the music. Not scorching temperatures on the beach summer but more 6am in the morning, already light and already pretty warm. The rest of the track tries its best to keep this feeling with warm melodies and warm little sounds coming in and out. It is at once different from the rest of the album and most definitely an integrated part of the whole story.

 

7. Resurface

Resurface starts with a sound that climbs and falls like its running up and down stairs. The ambience underneath it gives me an impression once again of being in space and I'm left with this odd image of stairs running up and down the cosmos. Much more ambient with no beat but running rhythms and playful melodies. Its a nice way to round off such an intricate album with a really intricate ambient track that accumulates energy throughout without letting it build up to any point where you think it might blow. A perfect example of this whole album, smooth and unclogged.

 

 

This is a really impressive release. The strength and depth of every track is amazing as is the variety of the music that all fits into to the puzzle perfectly. The intricate soundscapes that lie underneath funky rhythms is fantastically done. On the surface this may even appear dull, monotonous and boring but once delved into it is in fact one of the most varied and interesting albums I have. Fantastic work by these two guys I urge anyone who has ever thought about maybe getting this to do so and to anyone that got it and dismissed it as dull to give it more time and more focus.

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Excellent album!

 

Reminds me a lot of Yagya's beautiful tech-dub soundscape masterpiece "Rhythm of Snow" that was released back in 2001.

 

Also recommended listening of you are into that kind of music: Marko Fürstenberg, check out some of his free releases at www.thinnerism.com

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Excellent album!

 

Reminds me a lot of Yagya's beautiful tech-dub soundscape masterpiece "Rhythm of Snow" that was released back in 2001.

 

Also recommended listening of you are into that kind of music: Marko Fürstenberg, check out some of his free releases at www.thinnerism.com

This argument convinced me :) I loved Marko's releases at thinner :) Will hunt this one down. Also, thanks for the review, Abasio.

 

UPD: Hunted down. Will give it the first listen shortly :)

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  • 9 months later...

OK, after a while I listened to this, then I listened to this for about 30 more times and I think it's flawless. Truly remarkable, a must have for everyone. 4.95/5 (74 votes) @ discogs.com. What could you add?

 

What I'd like to know is what part did Steve Hillage play in the creation of this album? Does anyone know? His influence is so subtle, but very effective.

 

The most enjoyed Somnia release.

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  • 7 months later...

A true gem. one could listen to this on repeat and it would make a dull book seem really good.

 

take a bow evan marc for making me read more than i would normally like to ! :)

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