Listencorp review image of voyage embrace by 2814

Voyage / Embrace



Liam Murphy

September 28, 2020

Tracks in this feature

Tracks in this release

Boundaries continue to be pushed by a multitude of artists when it comes to the Dreampunk sound, with labels like…

Boundaries continue to be pushed by a multitude of artists when it comes to the Dreampunk sound, with labels like Dream Catalogue and Pure Life leading the charge into the new decade. As the sound is interpreted and augmented in a number of ways, it is fair to say that 2814 will always be a major touchstone. The duo (comprised of t e l e p a t h and HKE) set a certain standard with Birth of a New Day (新しい日の誕生) and releases after that have been enjoyed by a number of eager fans. Voyage / Embrace gifts listeners with 30 minutes of new material encompassed in just two monolithic tracks.

A very stark dynamic is introduced at the very start of Voyage; a trickling of water somewhere nearby followed by deep, swelling thunder. Visions of a sublime landscape begin to fade into the listener’s mind, a quaint flow of water nearby dwarfed by some great expanse of space and sky. A slow, thundering drum seems to appear from the stratosphere. The environment surrounding the war-like drums emerges, thoughtful and almost tragic-sounding pads rain down. 2814 set a scene tinged with an awe-inspiring stillness, until suddenly a ghostly voice trails past and low bass notes begin to seep through the ground. There is a calculated patience in the instrumentation, the slow integration of these low, commanding notes completely changes the scene. Those peripheral feelings of pain and melancholy that were present are affirmed through their inclusion, brought into the very centre of the track. Looking back at past projects like Birth of a New Day, you can almost hear the excitement from the artists as they bring you hurriedly into that futuristic landscape they have created. Here, the restraint they exercise in the sonic journey only serves to intensify the experience, and shows their growth as artists both individually and as a duo. The rain picks up, that familiar pitter patter always acting as a salve in the music of 2814. An affirmation of life around and inside of the listener, the ominous drumming beginning to sound more like the pulse of the derelict landscape around us. The ground softens beneath our feet, some sort of mirage of civilisation on the horizon reappears, characterised by the two notes that sound out from the distance like some dystopian siren. Water continues to trickle nearby, almost as if the rainfall plunges endlessly beneath our feet, down toward the centre of the earth. The world seems to wilt around us. There are signs of life, and of hope. But for the most part, the artists decimate the imagined landscape. The sparsity of instrumentation conveys a drought of life, and as the deep drum subsides, the listener feels adrift and alone.

A calming tone begins Embrace, the warbling note hovering above the trickling water below us. Some slowly forming entity appears in the middle distance. Awash with hazy colours and warmth as it drives the rain back up into the sky. Everything blurs out of existence as we watch the form slowly grow in size. It’s an amorphous, iridescent thing that seems to breathe tranquility into the surroundings. A heavenly note emanates from above, melding with the strange glow and together forming a beam of light that raises up into the sky. Rays of energy shoot up into the now-clearing aether in ascending notes. Another tragic melodic progression begins, a solitary synth playing out a pottering, earthly tune, at certain points beset with these gossamer notes that instantly carve out an upwards trajectory. Some preternatural force blesses the previously derelict landscape with a strange kind of vitality. The monophonic synth is solemn and funereal, but is lifted by these great chords beckoning our focus toward the heavens. In a swell of sound around the midpoint of the track, these bright pads eventually settle down onto the earth. They surround the listener, and come to hover just above the vista that stretches out in front. The soft undulation of water is gone, replaced only by silk-like mist that envelopes the world 2814 originally introduced us to. The lone synth begins to fight back the ascending chords, proudly playing out amongst the gathering mist and disappearing earth. More unreachable echoes of what could be voices, lost instantly upon impact with the listener, leaving us only the ghost of companionship in the slowly fading landscape. Though the melody is one of triumph, it also plays out with a feeling of melancholy acceptance, falling in pitch as the chords do, as the earthly energy meshes with the light from above. As we reach the end, both are washed away. And in a clearing just beyond the mist, a new note appears. It is confident and defiant in its presence. It begins to revolve slightly, finding form as there is a sense of a new energy filling the soundscape, before the note ceases and the world falls quiet.

Contrasting previous works that were indebted to a neon-spattered glimpse into the future, the duo chart a course for larger thematic targets in these two tracks. Leaving behind a strict percussive form and vying for a more open sound, 2814 conjure a world wrought with desolation, and finally bring the listener into close contact with a heavenly energy that enclasps us in an otherworldly embrace. The talent of the two artists remains thoroughly unquestionable and the experience of their music indescribable.