Sunday, August 22, 2010

Deep Magic - Soul Vibration [DNT]

The last batch of DNT jewels had a lot of big names in it but it was this unassuming gem that really wowed me during my first survey of all the materials. Just when I think I'm out of the neo-new age, "psychy haze vibe zones" (as a friend recently put it) they pull me back in.
The gorgeous first twenty minutes of the tape by Alex Gray (Dreamcolour) are, well, gorgeous. It's complete sonic anesthesia. You could give me a root canal and I'd be fine as long as this was pumpin' in my Walkman. It's keyboards and stuff but what Gray used to make this isn't really important. It's the effortless melodies he creates and the lovely, indelible arrangement of the piece. It evolves slowly but never releases its core melody that entranced you in the first place. Have you ever seen the film For All Mankind? (you should if you haven't) This piece totally reminds me of that, witnessing pure, inescapable, indescribable, otherworldly beauty for an extended period of time. You close your eyes while listening and you'll either melt or just glide for eternity. Deep relaxation music for sure, just a brilliant piece of work. No joke, it's seriously therapeutic. I love this.
The rest of the side is filled out by a nice piece lead by atmospheric echoey guitar, backed by liquid keyboards. It doesn't match the unspeakable genius of the first piece but it holds it own. I particularly like these deep bassy bass throbs that occur in the second half of the track. The real key here is that Gray manages to make music that's weightless and still substantive.
The tape starts up again on the B-side with some placid hand drum action and smooth tones. There's all sorts of new-agey talk about "energy" and endless reflections and "laughter in the universe" and "peaceful vibrations of the soul" on the j-card, and this piece seems to have no other goal than to emit easygoing vibes. The track doesn't develop much, just keeps takin' it easy. The last track resembles the second one a little bit. Heavy shroud of delay amongst others things. I think there could be some sax buried in here too as this is the murkiest piece on the tape. Not dark or dank just cloudy and all smeared together. The second half of the piece mellows slightly, running on synth fumes, before coming to a complete stop.
This is the first I've heard of Gray's work as a solo artist but I was thoroughly impressed particularly with the first piece. The tape's been sold-out for a little while so check the distros or wait for Gray to drop another atomic bliss bomb.

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