Kranky continues to pedal its alternative lullaby lifestyle with Dream Memory, a beguiling abstraction of guitar norms by Ken Camden, who attempts to bring together the disparate timbres of guitar and synth. This records alien technological drone is offered estranged vocal flourishes by Angel Olsen and Emily Elhaj, though their voices are processed to the point of algorithm, so don't seek them out.
7/10 Laurie Staff review, 11 June 2015
Dream Memory is a full musical portrait of someone thoughtfully gazing up into the night sky. Massive sweeps of synth set the controls for the heart of the sun, joined by hovering voices, sparse guitar and more synth on the way. Maybe it’s a typical image, the synth as a ponderous space object, but try listening to a track called ‘Time Bend’ without thinking of it. Of course, I’ve just placed that image in your mind, so that’s what you’ll imagine. Inception, innit.
We’ve seen some nice, comparatively mellow stuff from Kranky as of late including Grouper and Benoit Pioulard, and the kosmik synth cycles of Dream Memory fit along these lines. Ken Camden is nice and content making dreamy magic with acoustic guitar noodles over sitar-like ambient layers (‘Renewal’) that are unashamedly ‘new age’. Vocal contributions here are from Angel Olsen and Emily Elhaj, who seems to be becoming a regular vocalist for Kranky-related things. Apparently they recorded them singing every chromatic note to play back on a keyboard which must have been a stressful session to say the least. There are a fair amount of notes.
Speaking of notes, the ones here are similar to David Borden but with fewer of them. It’s spacey synth music and it’s nice.
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- Dream Memory by Ken Camden
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