Apologies to anyone freezing their shanti’s off in Europe at the moment, but here in Australia it is HOT. The kind of hot that follows you around and won’t let you escape. The kind of hot where the ceiling fan only moves the heat around, and where any fluids you drink evaporate from your body immediately.
England are losing the cricket, I can hardly think in the heat, so I do what any self-respecting person would do under the circumstances: I have a spliff, a lie down, and I put on this CD.
Dream Wide Awake, ladies and gentlemen, is another level. It’s not psy-chill, thank Raja. It’s not dull “proper” ambient, thank Namlook.
Four years in the making, it’s a veritable tapestry of sound that’s got more live instruments than the Salvation Army marching band. And more than this, they are used intelligently and decisively: the violin, accordion and female voice on Elves Of Athoria are morphed into the electronic backbone in a refreshing, impressive way. None of this “acoustic instrument manipulated as a digital sound,” nor the “standalone electronic track with token live instrument samples off a Future Music cover CD.” I’m serious here: it’s seamlessly well done, it’s as though music was always meant to sound like this.
Dubber and Purple Sky sound like a more emotionally sensitive Massive Attack, while the radio-friendly standout is an electro Radiohead fronted by a softer Sinead O’Connor.
It doesn’t always work; Open My Heart and Wide Awake are somewhat awkward, rambling diversions, but this doesn’t really matter. The shagadelic Ton Image closes the album in steamy, Future-Sound-Of-Gainsbourg style and you’re left mopping up the cerebral, loveable mess that this album has made in your shorts.
Dream Wide Awake is impossible not to love. While other people making electronic music are producers, Omnimotion is an artist; and yes, there is a difference. If you’re an Entheogenic addict then you may be disappointed with this. If on the other hand you’re over shanti and want something mature, lasting, significant and bloody good, then look no further.