The Dream House
4

  • Windy & Carl
  • Kranky
  • 2005-11-07

It’s tempting to really whack this record. Windy and Carl’s first release for five years, and the record really doesn’t do a lot, it’s in the ambient drone genre, maybe its massage parlour airport music and it could be deemed a case of “er, wake me up before you go go”.

The album itself consists of just two songs, the first nearing the thirty minute mark and the second closer to twenty. The duo have deliberately set out to work in longer forms than past works have seen suggesting the objective would be to give each song more scope to develop or to withdraw, to layer or to slowly shred, allowing possible melodies and rhythms more room to entice the listener. In terms of ‘long form’ styles such development is prevalent: for post-rock where we might deal with quiet-loud-quiet dynamics and say drone metal where we are eased or accelerated depeening through various patterned rhythms, but not so much with the ambient drone that Windy and Karl play.

Defining any music as mood music is pointless but having a sound that is so dependent on one’s own mind to fill and drop stimulation makes this a difficult record.

The Eternal Struggle, the first track of the album opens with a whole 5 minutes low end reverb – yep the obvious marker for the beginning of a conceptual journey but it really doesn’t do much more for the next twenty five minutes – we have single note guitar samples seemingly endless looped interspersed with the odd synth-like sound and there is the occasional melodic plucking soaked in reverb laying low down in the mix, like it doesn’t really want to be seen. We experience no extremities and little movement. Maybe it is inconsequential to detail the components when this type of music reaches for such an impressionistic and collective sound. What we have is a sound that aims not to create immediacy but invariably starts to create a distance through the lack of undulating rhythms or even locked repetition; there is little pattern to most of these songs. Is this enough? In this case I’m not too sure. Yes we begin to go on off on our ambient wonderings, as an ambient aside the record is adequate, but these wanderings are not in tandem with each song and we find ourselves in danger of being lost and not too bothered. Defining any music as mood music is pointless but having a sound that is so dependent on one’s own mind to fill and drop stimulation makes this a difficult record. Added to that, calling an ambient pastoral album like this The Dream House is kind of like describing Lord of the Rings as an epic… and? A bit easy.

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