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V/A - Nightmares and Dreamscapes

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Maybe you were considering sometime about idea of late modernity. It is off course broad topic if we already have been living in post-modern times, or are we still rather traditional society? However, it seems that this sociological term is a good way to evaluate a small niche label (Uncoiled Loops - Chicago, USA) compilation. "Nigthmares and Dreamscapes" is in my opinion purely post-modern album with all its consequences.
Thus firstly, post-modern genre - dark ambient, in which convention are songs that we can find on the album. Therefore, music of background: experimental sounds, noises and vibrations that come across of traditional concepts of melody and harmony. Good example is track "Hereditary Heretic", in which "play" ping-pong balls.
Second characteristic of late modernity is living in hurry sickness. We are in constantly in the state of lacking time where everything happen in last moment or even too late. Well, the album was released in 2013, at the beginning of October on purpose for the upcoming Halloween. I review it now at the end of 2015. Do you understand? As for the tracks - they are dark, but rather calm. Like in the early minutes of a good horror movie, where there is no confrontation, but we can rather observe elements of such structures like introduction and exploration. Similarly tracks do not terrorize with sound, but rather gently and disturbingly build fear, that announces terror which just might come. In this regard, especially the last track "Fear Infects Faster" sounds well.
Another issue characteristic for late modernity is fragmentation, which here is manifested in the form of the album. It would seem that the times of conceptual albums have passed to times of individual songs, or compilation albums. So "Nigthmares and Dreamscapes" is exactly a compilation album. Although, with the exception of the neoclassical piece "Atmospheric Toxicity", the album is eminently consistent, which fact ruins a little my comparison. On the other hand, the song of Tjernberg brothers seems to be the best on the album, perhaps by the fact that it stands out from the others.
Other issue - intertextuality, that means references to other texts. I am not sure if this is the intended effect, but "Nigthmares and Dreamscapes" is the title of the Stephen King's short story collection that was published exactly 20 years before the album of Uncoiled Loops.
One of the characteristic of postmodernism is also randomness. I have to confess that I chose that album incidentally, not knowing any of its artists. As usual I did a little research to learn more about artists and label. And I found so little! Only two artists: Ambient Mechanics and Secant Prime can be found on earlier releases of the label. We can also find some information on the Web about the Tjernberg brothers. Meanwhile, the rest of the artists remain anonymous. Had it not been accidentally selected album I would probably never have hear about them.
The last issue - relativism and subjectivity that means the inability to making a categorical judgments. Well, to be honest I'm not sure what grade should I give to this album. It seems that everything is fine, nothing is wrong. Musicians managed to create the right dark atmosphere. Fans get an hour and a quarter really decent ambient, but only... Well! "Nigthmares and Dreamscapes" is not an album that is a must to listen. Yes, it can be useful as a background during the session of role-playing games, it can be also played in the background when you are working or reading, but it fails in particular to impress. Yes, it is congenial, but if you are familiar with the works of Cold Meat Industry you can simply ignore it. But as I said, it is just my subjective opinion.

1. Forbidden Star - The Throne of the Madman
2. Kneedless - Hereditary Heretic
3. Ambient Mechanics - Whitechapel Jack
4. Secant Prime - Dirichlet Convolution
5. Sincock - Serpents of Dawn
6. milehighscientist - Void #4
7. The Delphian Formula - End of War
8. SKYCORE - The Gate
9. Daniel & Mikael Tjernberg - Atmospheric Toxicity
10 Professurreal - Into the Abyss
11. Misleading Structures - She Became One of Them
12. Nyul - Fear Infects Faster
Translator: pcod
Add date: 2016-06-16 / Music reviews

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