Spun Out Of Control are one of those goto labels for interesting, experimental yet melodic, contemporary electronica. Along with labels like Castles In Space and Ghost Box, they consistently put out quality music for fans of analogue, ambient, experimental electronic music.
They’ve released another gem this time around and hit the nail squarely on the head with Methods of Dreaming. Hawksmoor is the work of James McKeown, who composed, performed and produced the album, with mastering by Alan ‘Ratman’ Richards.
This one ticks all the boxes for fans of Tangerine Dream, Vangelis, and all those other 70’s synth titans. It’s an ambient dream, with lush synth pads and abstract textures layering on top of each other to create a blissful sonic experience. Right after writing this, I think I’ll be spending a little time with Tonto’s Expanding Head Band…
Here’s the title track, Methods of Dreaming, which sums up this ambient synth vibe to perfection, probably my favourite track of the album. It even manages to squeeze in some vocoded voices into the mix…
There’s the occasional detour, such as La Peste, which begins with processed and looped guitar fragments, although this is soon reinforced with melodic synth elements. It’s a relaxing moment nonetheless…
AES winds into action with interlocking synth sounds, vintage in texture, but with contemporary production, delay lines and reverb to give us a wonderful sound to bathe in…
Hawksmoor on ‘Methods of Dreaming’:
May you live in interesting times…https://spunoutofcontrol.bandcamp.com/album/methods-of-dreaming
To paraphrase Albert Camus in The Plague, events often unfold which provide a sharp reminder that the human condition is absurd and precarious.
Confronted with unpredictable circumstances, my solution was to look for escape and some form of mental release.
My research unearthed a paper by Prof. R.J. Bennett of the Milton Keynes Institute for Neurological Dream Research, published in 1979 and titled ‘Methods of Dreaming’. In it, he details his investigations into the methods of invoking dream states, lucid dreaming and harnessing dream logic. This document effectively provided a guidebook for achieving expansion of consciousness, cerebral escape and transcendence, becoming the inspiration behind the creation of this music.
Taking cues from experimental electronic music artists including Tangerine Dream, Klaus Schulze and early Vangelis, the deliberately minimal textures have been created from an array of Moogs, soft synths, tape loops and processed guitars, with live bass lines creating rhythmic pulses. Mellifluous, flowing and ethereal… this is a launch pad for dreamscapes.
Methods of Dreaming Tracklist
- Into Algeria
- Strict Parallels
- Methods Of Dreaming
- La Peste
- The Liminality
Methods of Dreaming was available on limited edition cassette, sadly no longer available. You can of course download it as a digital release from Bandcamp.