Review by Saul
The debut album by Lauri Turjansalo, alias Dreamtime, is one of the most anticipated albums of this decade in the spacesynth world. That is because of the very good quality material he has offered us from the past releases. Now the waiting is over and it is time to look and listen to what kind of package the album entitled Farout really offers.
The first impression is always the package, how it looks. No doubt the cover art separates people's opinions. To begin with, to me the cover art has many good values. This is different, it is very abstract and I even find some symbolic meanings there. The colors are greyscale with blue, red and green bits. No bad word for the choices. Of course in this case the experience is always very personal and it is a matter of taste if you like it or not. Symmetry creates an effect but can be boring in some cases. But this cover seems good and that is what matters.
The album starts with an ambientish introduction. As expected I would say, as I know a bit of Lauri's musical range. Sleeping Prophet Part One leads listener to the dreamworld, it is time to dream. Sounds very good and works well as the starter. The next track is called Ghosthack. This one starts the spacesynth ride with very Dreamtime sounding stab sequence. I think Ghosthack is one of the most interesting tracks on the album becouse of its overall composition and the twists it has. Great beginning, the speech samples fit perfectly. Following Escape to the Past is a slower tempo number with more traditional Dreamtime sound, if I can use such of a word. Compositionally speaking more melodic than previous tracks. New Horizons has demoscene feel to the core and I just love the twists again. Nice vocoder parts too. Cosmoflow doesn't hit me that much even though it is a very good track. It is a bit short and repetitive though, if you need to be picky here. I can hear some influences from Grefberg in Soulstorm regarding the stab melodies. Overall melodies are not very memorable, in purpose I guess. But better tracks are on the album, although this is good track too. Maybe this enlightens how strong this album is overall.
Warpstorm is next, and I have heard this before. It was played on Magic Beat a year back few times, if I recall. I liked the track then and still do. Good one, lots of variety. I like especially how the bass sequence is constructed. Orbiting the Red Planet has just catchy stab melodies and lovely vocoders. Slowing down a bit with Cyclonian Skyline. When I listened this one for the first time it was not as easy to digest as the other tracks. For some reason I needed time to get used to the chorus. But it is a grower. Great percussions. Innerspace is one of the greatest again. Lovely arps and overall atmosphere is joyful, not too much. One of my favorites definitely. Reach for Tomorrow is not as strong, and it has very strong traditional disco feel to it. Afterdawn is catchier and overally better but doesn't rise to the level of the greatest ones on the album. Now it is time to outro, and Sleeping Prophet Part 2. Slow ending with beautiful melodies. One of the highlights on the album if you ask me. Wonderful vocoders and arps. Somehow I feel very nostalgic when listening this one, and the reason is demoscene.
Now it is time for final conclusion. The album has some parts that lead my mind into the world of finest music of Amiga demos. To me this is just an enjoyment. Overall, the album is a mixture of traditional and contemporary spacesynth. Soundwise the album sounds very good althought I think it can be heard that there is some timeline when the tracks are done. Not a bad word about mastering.
The variety is a strength here, in styles and tempo. Also instruments aren't always the same in every track. All the tracks are at least good with many great sequences. My favorite tracks are Ghosthack, Escape to the Past, New Horizons, Warpstorm, Orbiting the Red Planet and the Sleeping Prophets Part 1 & 2. Very very strong album in general, no doubt one of the best albums released in this genre. Therefore I warmly recommend you to check this album yourself. Great job!