Wednesday, January 16, 2013

LA Dreams' Stereo Rewind

It's not a big secret that LA Dreams was my favourite discovery in 80s inspired synth for 2012.  This single producer has brought me so much musical joy over the last twelve months that I can barely comprehend it. From listening to his first release through to his latest album I've found that the LA Dreams sound is what I define as 80s inspired synth music, this mantle is held in my mind by numerous other producers also, but in 2012 it was LA Dreams that 'made' the year for me.

And mere weeks after his Belladonna and Disco Mannequin EPs LA Dreams had published  another full length album in Stereo Rewind. It's this, frankly, ridiculous work rate that blows my mind. I honestly find it hard to keep up and it's unfortunate that I find I can't cover everything he releases on Synthetix as I think this blog would soon just become a shrine to LA Dreams.. or more of a shrine some of you might say.

But it's this massive amount of music that makes me approach every new release with equal parts of fervour and trepidation. The excitement of experiencing new LA Dreams music is counterweighted by a thought that maybe this won't be as good as the last EP or album, which I'm usually still enjoying at the time. The idea that maybe LA Dreams has already peaked and is just turning music out for the sake of it. But these thoughts are always dashed within seconds of the opening stanzas of the first track, allowing my mind to enjoy the music and forget any negative thoughts I may have had.

Theres something else I've noticed that I'm developing with my love affair with LA Dreams. That thing is trust. Trust that this artist isn't going through a phase, trust that this artist isn't going to move away from making music and trust that I can lean back with my eyes closed and fall into an 80s dreamland with every new experience. This has to be one of the first times I've felt I'm in a truly trusting relationship with an artist. I'm usually of the mind that I should just enjoy what is released today with a great deal of 80s inspired synth producers as so many in the past have made me fall in love with their sounds to leave me standing at the altar while they drive off to new musical pastures.

I'm very aware this is my own fault for having such a deep emotional connection with this music but when passions are strong it becomes an almost uncontrollable force, and I am well versed in having my musical heart broken and have learned to take the thrills of the sounds today as just that, moments that can change space and time, if only briefly. The LA Dreams experience I have is beginning to feel permanent. It's beginning to feel like forever. Every new release just seems to etch deeper into the stone that LA Dreams is here to stay and his magic is set to be a mainstay of my life. It's this trust that feels so good and deepens the emotional attachment to his sounds even more.

Which brings us to Stereo Rewind. A twenty one track monolith of authentic 80s sounds and emotions that is in all honesty as strong as anything else this producer has released previously. It's heart and soul radiate the brilliance of this artist in every second of it's duration, creating galaxies of tangible feelings that are devoid of insincerity or triteness and full of complete wonder and exhileration.

In fact, Stereo Rewind is actually stronger than previous LA Dreams releases. With the sheer amount of music contained it might seem impossible but there is noticible development of many ideas that would previously not have been nearly as well explored. New instrumentation, new arrangements, new emotions, each track is surprising and fresh while retaining a sheen of LA Dream's gloss at all times. I'd say this is also the best LA Dreams has sounded with a production that has pushed the spatial dimensions of his sound out in all directions. The hi-hats seem crisper, the drums more detailed and the synths even more rich. Each sound has an extra layer of polish that makes them positively sparkle.

The hallmarks of what makes an LA Dreams track so magical are increasing at an exponential rate but the one trait every experience on Stereo Rewind contains is emotion. I often go on about how the 80s styles of  synth music are so emotive. This is something I feel in so many tracks, there's a power the music contains that can inspire, elevate and enlighten in ways nothing else can. I believe LA Dreams is a true master of creating and conveying emotions of every distinction in his music. Every note has a soul and a life all it's own, and each one talks directly to the listener's heart with a purity of absolute enchantment.

With such a stunning release to open up 2013 one could ask the question "Where does LA Dreams go from here?" I don't have an answer to that, but I know one thing, and that is I trust the next LA Dreams release is going to take us on even more 80s musical adventures as for every musical 'answer' on Stereo Rewind there are also new questions raised, new avenues to explore and glimpses of the future as yet unexperienced.

And what if there isn't any more LA Dreams music and Stereo Rewind is his last release? Well, although it would sadden me, it wouldn't break my heart as there is forever now a piece of it LA Dreams has conquered for eternity. Thank you LA Dreams for making so much wonderful music, I can't wait to rock even more with you in the years ahead.

Stereo Rewind is available one LA Dreams' Bandcamp page here  and comes with my highest recommendation as being a superlative Synthetix Reference Experience.

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