Signer - Low Light Dreams
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Low Light Dreams

The latest in the line of artists mixing electronic with organic in subtle ways, Bevan Smith (aka Signer) is moving in a slightly different direction than those who are simply sampling acoustic guitars or adding some glitchy beats. Low Light Dreams is a blissful combination of drone, minimal dub, and even a touch of shoegazer, mixing guitars and even vocals over repetitive beats that he's somehow managed to massage into something downright organic.

Similar to artists such as Gas and Seefeel, texture is one of the most important elements in different tracks on this release. The beats never dominate any of the tracks, and likewise there aren't any real abrasive moments to startle you out of the transcontinental drift of sound. After opening with the puffing electronic washes of "Light Fails Me," an uber-warm beat drifts into the mix while soft washes of sound fold over one another like ocean mist. "Grosse Strasse" takes a similar approach, this time upping the rhythm track ever-so-slightly with a bit more punchy beat, but again adding gorgeous layers of shimmering sound over it all. Although I already mentioned his name above, both tracks are similar to the "texture techno" (for lack of better terms) of Mike Ink (aka Gas). While the beats might inspire dancing at a higher volume, they turn into something downright hypnotic coupled with the spaced-out soft-focus sound washes around them.

While much of the sound on the disc is fairly processed, there's also a very human element that creeps through in many places. On "Detached Under Buildings," some recognizable guitar peak through the haze while on "Interior Dub," Smith adds some quiet vocals to the low-end rumbler. Arriving about two-thirds of the way through the album, the beats cease for another excursion in thick layers of ambience on "Our Home." Although some of the tones at the beginning suggest that it will turn abrasive, it does just the opposite and instead swirls off into something that keeps a slightly foreboding edge without hitting the listener over the head with it.

Really, the entire album is a great example of very slight blends in sound. I've used the term before in describing other albums, but this album is also more about the journey than the destination. There aren't any tracks that have real hooks or melodies, yet all of them will pull you in given the time. It's minimal without being boring, and dips a foot in both electronic and organic worlds for a release that really is suitable for pre or post dreamtime. If you enjoy the artists mentioned above, or even early ambient work by Aphex Twin, you'll probably find much to enjoy in this release.

rating: 7.510
Aaron Coleman 2003-06-19 00:00:00