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Review by Staffan Öhman
Finally the waiting is over. The Musician behind Dreamtime has been active in this genre for a long time and it feels like it's about time that he releases his debute album. Even though I had quite high expectations of this album I must say that the album exceeds everything that I had expected.
To be honest I don't think that the album cover is fair to this great album as it looks quite anonymous and doesn't stand out really. I assume that Dreamtime felt that a ordinary space theme on the cover with flying spaceships would look trivial and predictable. Something in between would have been better as I don't think that this cover represents the music in a good way.
The music on this album can be described as clever, intelligent, harmonic, melodic, energetic, variated, uplifting, complex, well done, detailed, perfectionalistic, punchy, catchy, interesting, atmospheric, professional, etc.
Dreamtime is a technic freak and it is easy to hear that on this album. All sounds and effects are carefully chosen which integrate all parts in a smooth way to a result that is easy to listen to. The sound quality on this album is very good and I can reveal that I'm using some of Dreamtime's previously released songs when I'm doing the mixing and mastering on my own song to have something good to compare with. All instruments are well separated and easy to hear in the songs, from punchy basses to leads with high frequencies. It must have taken many late nights for Mr Turjansalo to complete this album.
Besides the slow intro song I find that all songs on this album are great and there are no need to press the skip-button on the cd-player. This is an album that you can hear from the beginning to the end over and over again and still hear new interesting details.
The vocals on this album are processed with vocoder and other effects that gives a wonderful result. One good example is the intercom-speech that can be heard in some of the songs, which I can't get enough of. I want more of this.
When it comes to spacesynth I always look for songs with good melodies and harmonies which unfortunally are quite rare these days. This album includes a lot of good and strong melodies that makes the album easy to remember. For musicians this album is a pleasure to listen to as every little detail are taken care of. One example is the bassline that feels
unique for each song both concerning sound and sequence of notes. If I should pick some favorite songs from this album it should be Soulstorm and Afterdawn because of the nice mood, good melodies and the brilliant harmonies.
It is interesting to hear how good all songs works together on this album. Even though Dreamtime has released songs on compilation albums before it is a much bigger step to setup a complete album like this one. Another thing that surprises me is how good the song structures are setup compared to what we are used to hear in this genre. Meanwhile many artists are repeating most of their material in their songs Dreamtime takes one step further and adds new melodies during the whole song which makes it interesting to hear the whole songs. It is very thought-out, I would say.
It feels like this is the spacesynth album of this year, so if you are planning to buy just one album this year then I recommend that you choose this one.
Review by Krizz
So the time has come for Lauri to release his own CD, finally. It was about time, since he is already known for very good releases, free and commercial ones. And a time has come for me to give his album a listen, along with a cup of tea.
Sleeping Prophet p1 makes a nice intro into the album, but just Ghosthack starts a true spacesynth ride. I can feel strong Grefberg's influences in this one. Melodies are good, bassline is not an ordinary LD patent, which is a positive, of course. I was happy to hear that there are no typical LD sounds, but actually I expect nothing else from Lauri.
Track no 3 brings some slowdown. Koto bass, fortunately slightly transformed, plays typical Koto bass pattern. I can also hear some classic LD drums, tracks is far from LD/Koto copy. Strong demo-scene influences and melodies are really good here. New Horizons emerges with some cool intro, with an accompaniment of great arpeggio. This track is a quite dark one, although it's pretty fast and dynamic. I really like the melody that plays i.e. at 4:00. Vocoder lyrics are unrecognizable on purpose... I guess. Track ends suddenly, just like Escape To The Past, which isn't my favorite way on finishing a song, but it's ok.
Next track is Cosmoflow. Again, no typical LD basslines... hmm, why am I so obsessed about not following LD/Koto? Anyway, AWESOME vocoder singing, just awesome... this part will haunt me for longer, I already know it. A pity song's so short. Soulstorm is another fast-paced track. Seems to be based on chordstabs. Too much, if you ask me. "I'm not asking you" you say? Write your own review, 'mkay?
Track no 7 is called "Warpstorm"... gee, storm after storm, like somebody wasn't satisfied with protonic one enough. This track sounds better than Soulstorm tho. More variety in melodies and lead sounds. Good track. Orbiting The Red Planet is also a good track, first minuter suggest so. But wait, there is second minute with some cool vocoder singing which I have no idea is singing about. Perhaps about orbiting the red planet... I guess the lyrics were so cheesy Lauri decided to blur 'em. The ending brings some classical LD synthbrass, which I cannot stand so I just skip to track called "Cylonian Skyline". It's a slower track, that's for sure. Great, huge hides. Cheesy, blurred lyrics. Skyyylineeee. Huge hides again. Good track.
Wow, I love such arpeggios like those in the beginning of the Innerspace. Wow, there are more of them! I already love the track! Ahh, awesome, demoscenish improvised part. Part starting at 2:42 is neat, gives me goose-skin... lovely arpeggios again. Awesome lead part at 4:32 again. Rookies - listen and learn how to make spacesynth, because THAT's THE SPACESYNTH. It makes your mind flow with the lightspeed among galaxies, drawing your conciousness out of the body, just by closing your eyes. That's the spacesynth, that's the sole purpose of it, that's what it was invented for - releasing the mind, letting it experience the enormity of universe. Damn, definitely the best track on the whole CD.
I don't suppose anything can surprise me that positively, but still 3 to go. Reach For Tomorrow plays its second half and I have no idea what to say about it. It's ok, but I'm still under overwhelming influence of Innerspace. 5:35 vocos are definitely too loud. Phew... end of track.
Can Afterdawn bring Innerspace to knees? It has out-of-ordinary bassline and drumline, almost trancey. Very good melodies, very good. I don't like synthbrass, but it's working out alright here. Snare is too thin. Yes, I had to say it - can't be too nice.
Sleeping Prophet p2. Slow track. Finally. That's what expected at the end of an album. At least one with normal length. To be honest, melodies are good, but it lacks some deep, spacey atmosphere, that's would make the listener plunge. I would... never mind.
So, time for word on the leaving. Some say that first impression is most accurate. Some people say that album must be heard at least twice to evaluate it with cool head. This time I'm into the first approach. Lauri did a great contribution for spacesynth scene, that's for sure. His first album is undoubtedly one of the best works of the new spacesynth era. It's well known that we have two approaches to making spacesynth these days - italo-based and demoscene-based. I'm happy to say Lauri is more into second approach. Album is not following LD/Koto style, almost at all. It's progressive, its full of fresh sounds, it's hard for me to say if there are two tracks with the same bassline or drums. Lauri managed to develop his own style, which I dare to say I would recognize in blind test. That's the spacesynth I want, that's the spacesynth we need.
I would cast a highlight on Innerspace - really strong, powerful, energetic and among others most varied track. Magic. Outstanding. I'll give also a credit to Afterdawn and Cosmoflow, which introduces probably the best vocos in the genre; it hops over Lundqvist's "Zero gravity" vocos and will stay with me for a while.