Saturday, November 24, 2012

Dreamscape - La-Di-Da Recordings (2012, Kranky) - A brief overview

When the nine songs comprising this reissue were being tracked in the early '90s, I prided myself with being aware of virtually every dream-gaze aggregation stalking the planet, or at the very least those occupying both sides of the Atlantic.  To this day I'm excavating groups from that era that somehow evaded my tonebending radar like Dreamscape.  Predictably, this flock resided in England, but unlike Ride, the Valentines and Swervedriver they weren't bankrolled with major label dollars, nor were they on a sizable indie.  And if that didn't make Dreamscape clandestine enough, a solid chunk of what they committed to tape never even made it through the pressing plant doors.  Kranky Records posthumous anthology, La-Di-Da Recordings goes a long way in amending that, compiling a scarcely released ep (Cradle), alongside one that was ultimately shelved (Greater Than God).  

A trio spearheaded by Rebecca Rawlings, Dreamscape's somewhat ill-fated tenure on La-Di-Da Records spanned 1991 to '93, which is precisely what I and many others would deem to be the "golden era" of dream-pop.  In essence, their timing was impeccably perfect as was their slim body of work, which skewed heavily in the vicinity of Lush, and to a lesser extent Slowdive.  That being said, Dreamscape's prevailing modus operandi was melodicism and subtly, not the heaving, distortion-smothering landslide that My Bloody Valentine and Medicine opted to gratuitously revel in.  A lucid, but assertively ethereal bent colored virtually every canvas this threesome pitched their collective paintball at, with penetrating harmonies that were Lush-iously decadent enough to warrant more than a few comparisons to Miki Berenyi and Emma Anderson.  Dreamscape's methodology may ring a tad derivative to more cynical eardrums, however you'll find nary a lackluster step among this batch of nine beautifully executed numbers.  "Nine Times to Die" and "Soft Fists" are particularly devastating, but since I'm not quite at liberty to share them at large, please check out Kranky's Soundcloud page to stream "Separate Sense" instead.  La-Di-Da Recordings is available physically from Kranky, and digitally through Amazon and iTunes

A couple quick sidenotes.  Dreamscape issued this single prior to the two eps compiled on the album, but is not included here.  Rebecca's bandmates Scott Purnell and Jamie Gingell also performed in the equally great Secret Shine


Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

It really is a fantastic piece of Dream Pop and surprisingly nobody has commented on Dreamscape. It's a shame Rebecca hasn't done anything since, but I have had the opportunity to post her some nice things and she was very friendly too...Still, Secret Shine continues to thrive and are still going whether or not you think they still attain the same sound as they did in the 90s. The Dreamscape era though had more potential left in it though. It's criminal there wasn't any more material made.