Listencorp review image




Liam Murphy

March 4, 2021

Tracks in this feature

Tracks in this release

A slow and sweeping atmosphere envelopes the listener in what may become a landmark album

A steady euphoric hum rises to the surface of the mix, as sweeping shrouds sway from one side to the other overhead. The feeling emitted from the first melodic steps on 最初の長い旅 (The Long Journey) sit in a perfect sweet spot between troubling and tranquil. There is that slight drawling sense of anxiousness, but it never fully reaches a climax. Instead it is washed with hypnagogic phasers and set amidst an unrestricted expanse.

The notes pushed forward by 放浪者 (Wanderer) move in a sort of heavily slow motion bloom. They climb and open up a little more, but the time it takes them to do so really eliminates any chance of catching a sense of true progress of any melodic narrative. As the listener calibrates every now and again throughout the almost two hour playtime, they will notice that their surroundings have become wildly different than they were several minutes ago. We are stationary, with great columns and shrouds of emotion passing through and over us. We spectate on a scene unfolding in slow motion in front of us, some strange performance of gargantuan meaning and proportion playing out as we are rooted to the spot.

The sweeping winds seem to buffet somewhere way above, some sort of celestial force pushing to and fro. As the melody becomes a little more lively with a clear high pitched tune beginning, the swaying force grows in intensity. It leaps from one side to the other a little swifter, signalling a slow motion climax of some kind. At points, the melody is a flower that is caught in endless bloom, opening up forever as more petals seem to spring out in an endless fractal. In some moments, it is a sprite swirling endlessly amidst the swathes of sandy dissonance, an iridescent pearl nestled in a shifting soundscape.

Voices can be heard singing out amidst the cataclysm, as great towers of transparent euphoria rise up from beneath us and streaming sound dives beneath us from miles up in the air. It almost feels impossible for the music and the listener’s own growing sense of peacefulness and tranquility to not embrace throughout.

This album is what is being increasingly referred to as dreamtone. A new genre pushed by labels such as No Problema and Global Pattern that spawned from the seemingly boundless landscape that movements like vaporwave created. The sound could be likened to that of slushwave, though in dreamtone we find very little of the percussive solace that can usually be found on say, a Mindspring Memories release. It embraces a feeling of complete unbridledness.

With a burgeoning sound, comes those who wish to replicate its characteristics with none of its original aura. Dreamtone for instance is ripe territory for merely slowing down samples to an ambient mulch and leaving it at that, though what we find here is altogether different.

In 最初の長い旅 we find a bold and unfettered example of something unique and altogether exciting. The sound is that of an amorphous mirage endlessly changing and morphing. 放浪者 successfully creates an atmosphere that entices the listener into a spiritual journey, whilst shrouding any symbol of progression in rapturous washes of melodic tones and sprays.–4