Dreamsploitation: Possibles

I hesitate to call Chuck Blazevic's new Dreamsploitation outing Possibles a more mature collection than The Soft Focus Sound of Today as doing so might come across as some backhanded compliment suggesting that the 2008 debut outing was in some measure lacking. In fact, the earlier collection is an impressively assured outing on its own terms that showed him to be a more than capable contributor to the sample-based field (impressive enough, I might add, for it to appear in textura's Top 50 Albums of 2008 list). The new album's seven pieces reveal a dramatic shift away from the debut album's style. There's a lesser emphasis on building tracks wholly from samples, and beats are largely absent (“Candle on Libra” is the rare track where drums play a major role); instead, the focus is on ultra-dense settings built from both sampled and recorded sounds (electric guitar and piano in particular), and a focus on ambient soundscaping that uses processing, granular synthesis, and other digital effects as part of the production process.

Like blinding sunlight reflecting off of a summer pond, “Galaxy B” unfurls as a kaleidoscope sparkle of softly chanting voices, radiant flourishes, airy flutes, and wah-wah guitar, with all of it peppered by smatterings of electric guitar fragments. During “You Will Never Get to Heaven,” industrial emissions rub shoulders with fluttering filigrees of radiant design as delicate guitar strums hold things in a state of balance. Headphones or a good quality system brings out the richness of the sound field Blazevic sculpts in a track such as “Harmonized Canons,” where bleating chords billow and stutter in a manner that recalls time-lapse photography of cloud formations racing across the sky. A pretty, Impressionistic piano melody dances through “Accent Blue,” but the greatest fascination lies in monitoring the various textural treatments Blazevic introduces during the tune's three-minute run. The closing track “Closer to Gray” hints that Fennesz might have been an inspiration or influence of some significant kind during the creative process. The thirty-five-minute release evidences an oceanic textural density and fastidious attention to detail that bodes well for Blazevic's future endeavours.

April 2011