Friday, June 17, 2016

Robert Miles-Dreamland (1996)


I could've listened to a variety of different things to chill out with on my lazy Thursday night into the wee hours of my Friday morning. Everything on the color spectrum from soul to pop to jazz was considered, but ultimately, I simply went for something from the ambient/electronic music category to keep me company. So back I went diving into my library, resuming my ongoing quest to organize everything in my collection with the 'R' entries (feels good to finally be navigating through the latter end of the alphabet) and reacquainting myself with the trance music extraordinaire, Robert Miles. It was back around 1996 when he broke out with what would become one of the world's most popular songs to ever be produced in the sub-genre of dream dance: "Children". It's been quite some time since I last heard this epic beauty, always loving the sharp piano accompaniment chiming through the sleepy ambiance and causing me to conjure up all sorts of sparkling wintertime imagery as the soft music blankets my ears. It totally deserves the seven minutes of playtime that it receives as the opening cut to Robert's debut album, appropriately entitled "Dreamland". Wide awake were my senses as I breezed right along after memorable adventure to take in the mystical sounds of "Fable"—mystical, as both the atmospheric ambiance and the angelic voice of the lady providing the words makes me think about any number of those fantasy movies and video games that take place in those fantasy, fairy-tale, far-away places; "The NeverEnding Story" and "Final Fantasy" are usually the first to pop up inside my head. Of course, a song with the title "Fatasya" (I love the daytime-dreamy feel of this one; I get whisked off to that same far-away place as I do on "Fable" while listening here) would make its home on this album, as does the beauty entitled "In My Dreams", where portions of the music reminds me of the slowed-down portions of the 80's Madonna hit, "Angel", with its heavenly sound. Though instead of the dream trance, as featured on the other "Dreamland" cuts, Mr. Miles opts for more of a drum n' bass beat for this leg of the dreamy adventure, although there is a bit og building up with the trance in the backgorund while the drones of warming daytime-dreamy ambiance breathe in the background. My favorite part of "In My Dreams", though are those same sharp piano accompaniments that are so distinctive on "Children", plus the part when the music shifts to a more suspenseful tonality for a stretch towards the end. Musically picturesque is the beautiful serenity of "Landscape". Just when you think the tempo will remain on the slow side for the entire duration, a groovy thumping beat suddenly cuts through the silence while the swirling electronic synthesized sputters add some cool glitz to the mix. Then it's yet another dreamy epic adventure on "Princess Of Light"—so epic, in fact, that it reminds me of any of those action movie soundtracks produced back in the 80's. So as I close off this review, all that is left for me to say is 'pleasant dreams'.....

1. Children (Dream Version)
2. Fable (Message Version)
3. Fantasya
4. Landscape
5. In My Dreams
6. Princess Of Light
7. Fable (Dream Version)
8. In The Dawn
9. Children (Original Version)
10. Red Zone

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