ILM's 2005 collaborative mix project hoonja-doonja!

March 05, 2005

T99, "The Skydreamer (Dreamer's Requiem version)"

Secrecy as ambiguity with regard to the track's theme, as is common with instrumentals, electronic or otherwise. But Patrick De Meyer and Olivier Abbeloos offer another revelation with this track (actually two tracks combined into one culled and spliced from 1992's 'Children Of Chaos' album), it's presence highly conspicuous on an album otherwise dominated by clunky (excellent single 'Anasthasia' and it's follow-up 'Nocturne' excepted) uptempo fillers that seem somewhat facile and uninspiring compared to the majestic sweep of this Orbital-esque interlude…

Prog-rave! White gloves and a cape. The appeal of that will vary depending on your disposition but there's a rich, intrepid dynamism to this composition that startled and intrigued me as much as any Hartnolls or FSOL production from the same era. As the glazed guitar croons like a wolf at a full moon rising the metallic bleeps twitter in and out like a legion of cybernetic termites amidst the shadows cast by a crashed vessel long since abandoned to a strict, blighted earth. Broad Mode-esque pads stretching far out like dark skies blanketing fantasy planets. Also couldn’t help but imagine a shadowy collective of hooded MCs armed spitting lyrics over something like this, retooled with a prominent beat, drifting through the dystopian back-alleys of future favelas. A potential tangent of the current minimalist trends in grime and hip-hop to contemplate...

But while this kind of evocation is par for the course with so much “intelligent’ dance music”, it's a pleasant discovery from such a relatively unexpected quarter - being aware of the authors big hits since their release but only hearing this for the first time a few months ago – the tides having relented a precious stone to the shore just waiting for the day I’d decide to go back to that particular beach (made easier by the internet naturally), aware that I’d not caught every detail available the first time.

It’s also a reminder that whether commanding your attention to the full as you walk the streets alone late at night, earphones plugged tight, or floating in the background as you sit there at the terminal in a darkened room pouring out lines of text until the darkness turns again to light, the doorway to alternate dimensions is all too easily opened by musicians with machines (and drugs, I suppose) channelling that shared science-fiction tapestry without shame or concerns over pretension (as with me here, ahem), the grandiose tone of the piece even rivalling the ceremony indulged by the KLF, only eschewing the pop angle in favour of this more sinister yet admittedly somewhat corny progressive context (my own ‘high-concept prog-love’ secret among those worst kept over the years).

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