MP3 Sylken - Dreamlife
~ A beautiful atmospheric, ethereal voyage of gentle rhythms and dreamy spaces ~
11 MP3 Songs
ELECTRONIC: Ambient, ELECTRONIC: Soundscapes
~ A ''Best of 2004'' ambient CD - Electroambient Space ~
Space music doesn''t get much better than the silken tones on Sylken''s ''DREAMLIFE'' CD. "Night Wings" floats in just right, light airy wisps of synths combining perfectly with a bubbly bass line that softly carries the track along. "First Light Falling" is softer still, feathery-light strands of sound that hold together beautifully. "The Ocean of Dreams" features a really cool synth sound at the beginning, and trumpet by guest musician Wally Jericho adds extra depth and feeling. "In Astral Flight" continues the strong demonstration of first-rate music suitable for deep space dreaming.
The disc has a very similar feel to the pure space sounds of early Jonn Serrie. Ethereal tones and gentle melodies evoke visions of distant star systems. "Here and Now" reminds me of the way Tony Gerber''s project Spacecraft uses gently played guitars to enhance the spacey sounds of the synths. The pulsing, circular sound that begins "Sings the Heart" is reminiscent of American space musician Robert Carty. Temperate sequencing and a bright synth lead propel this song along perfectly. Track titles like "Adrift in a Sea of Light" accurately depict the musical vision throughout.
''DREAMLIFE'' is first class space music in its purest form, a style not heard often enough anymore.
~ Phil Derby © 2004 / Electroambient Space ~
"I listen to ''DREAMLIFE'' at least once a day when I need to decompress. This disc is a real gem!"
~ Matt Borghi ~
~ A ''Best of 2004'' ambient/spacemusic CD - Wind and Wire ~
One the best "new" spacemusic CDs of this millennium, as it salutes the traditions yet also carves out its own new niche. ''DREAMLIFE'' made the number 2 spot on my Best of 2004 list ... it''s fantastic - and what a show it is!
''DREAMLIFE'' is a mixture of classic drifting spacemusic and floating electronic ambient textures that carries the listener along on eleven musical voyages to starfields and wheat fields alike, mixing a cosmic sense of deep outer space with a more earthbound feeling of broad landscapes stretching out to distant horizons.
The album begins in excellent fashion with the reverberating repeating bell tones, whooshing drones, and lush synth washes of "Night Wings" which, without the use of emphatic beats, still creates a mood of rapid flight. "First Light Falling" opens with dramatic lower register synth chords of the type used by Liquid Mind, but played in a different fashion (not sustained as long). A gentle foreground synth floats lazily among the more textural washes, and I was also reminded a bit of the pastoral ambience of Michael Allison (Darshan Ambient). A more soaring spacemusic quality overtakes the minimalism and imparts a sense of awe and reverence without being cloying or sentimental. "The Ocean of Dreams" has Jericho''s muted trumpet playing a significant role, adding a subtle element of space-jazz to the chiming tones and swirling synths which comprise most of the song. Piano also plays a part in creating the warm appeal of this song, which brings to mind how the ambient artist Jon Mark integrated flugelhorn on some tracks of his classic A Sunday in Autumn.
One of the pluses of ''DREAMLIFE'' is the mixture of short tracks with longer songs (such as the nine-minute "Adrift in a Sea of Light" which sounds about what an astute person would expect - airy, spacious warm layers of keyboards and textures, hovering and floating in random patterns).
Another thing to be admired on this album is the overt presence of electronics (as opposed to sampling traditional instrumentation) yet without the use of too many cliché synth sounds. Scattered here and there in the mix are unique electronic touches, as well as the presence of overt guitar wizardry here and there (courtesy of Hopper), which infuses the music with a sense of daring and unexpectedness.
Whether it''s the reflective and melancholy drama of "Memories to Come" or the closing elegance of "Vistas" (which elicits visions of standing on a mountain top gazing out at a wondrous landscape below), Hopper and Sauvé showcase their artistry in crafting heartfelt electronic ambient/spacemusic that is never strident or over-bearing but is also not boring or uninvolving either. They even manage to cross-over into a unique fusion of ambient with Berlin school EM during the latter stages of "Sings the Heart" (which, to me, indicates that they should take a stab at an entire album of such stuff!).
If you have a fondness for spacemusic from back when it was a hot genre, but don''t want a CD that is merely a throwback or homage of sorts, ''DREAMLIFE'' is probably custom-tailored for you. With the exception of a few more "in your face" moments on the recording (such as on the guitar-dominated "Here and Now"), the essence of this release is pure and unadulterated cosmic drifting ... Dreamlife still delights me and I heartily recommend it to drifting ambient music fans everywhere.
~ Bill Binkleman © 2005 / Wind and Wire ~
''DREAMLIFE'' is a sonic reverie ... an excellent mix of pastoral and gray ambience. This is an awesome CD!
~ Jim Brenholts ~
''DREAMLIFE'' is the fourth release by Sylken, a stunning collection of emotional spaces and beautiful new vistas. Featuring the talents of Sylken founder Eric Hopper and frequent collaborator Steven Sauve, along with guest appearances by cheryl o, Gregory Kyryluk and Wally Jericho, ''DREAMLIFE'' is a perfect travelogue for those lands we visit between waking moments.
With the release of ''DREAMLIFE'' Sylken has once again proven their mastery of the ambient and space music disciplines. A truly wonderful release by some truly wonderful talents, it''s a disc that is destined for classic status in the genre.
"Night Wings", a collaboration with Gregory Kyryluk of Alpha Wave Movement, begins the disc with notes and melody drifting out of the ether, taking flight, rising above the land and soaring over beautiful new vistas. Simplicity is slowly replaced by a greater complexity as tones shift and metamorphosis. An inspired opening.
"First Light Falling" has an almost orchestral feeling to it, an organic element that brings to mind a forest setting, a lush wooded area slowly being revealed to the listener. Sounds grow and swell, melodies flow like water. Beautiful.
Track three "The Ocean of Dreams" features processed trumpet from Wally Jericho, and is easily my favorite piece on the album. Wally''s trumpet work is always a magical thing and this track is no exception. Matched with glistening traces and sparse piano work "The Ocean of Dreams" is a stunning example of the best that the ambient genre has to offer. An absolute gem.
"In Astral Flight" is full of stars, a journey through the heavens on gossamer wings. And as with all things beautiful, it''s all too short, a memory before you''ve had the chance to really appreciate it''s wonder. I like this one a lot ...
"The In Between" is a marvel of backwards development, moving at odds with the progression of time. Metallic tones skirt about the track, bells twinkle intermitantly, nations fall and rise in the course of it''s length and when it''s over we''re left alone once more.
Cheryl o adds cello to "Sings the Heart", a piece that masterfully blends the sound of the organic and the electronic. Mournful cello leads into percolating synth lines and a looping progression that beguiles the listener. Wonderful.
"Adrift in a Sea of Light" is an oblique marvel, a piece that perfectly captures the sense of the tides, the drift of the sea. A marvelous example of aural landscaping, locational sonics.
The disc closes with "Vistas", a suggestion that the beauty of dreams can sometimes be found in day to day life just as easily as within our sleep. A crystalline beauty of a song and a fitting way to end the disc.
~ rik maclean © 2004 / PiNG THiNGS ~