miércoles, 24 de enero de 2018

PAUL MARCANO AND LIGHTDREAMS - 10001 Dreams [CAN space rock psych 1982] 2016 Got Kinda Lost

A year after LightDreams' 1981 debut private press LP Islands in Space came and went without a trace, Canadian songwriter Paul Marcano and his collaborating musicians quietly released an even more sprawling opus titled 10,001 Dreams. The album was only available on home-dubbed 90-minute cassettes; its 2016 reissue was credited to both Marcano and LightDreams. It continues with the previous album's themes of deep introspection and space colonization, even returning to the phrase "islands in space" during the lyrics of the opening title track as well as the concluding "Building Islands in Space (Reprise)." Essentially, the sound hasn't changed -- the songs are still made up of multi-layered, occasionally backwards guitars, lush synthesizers, wizard-like vocals, and no drums. It's still inspired by psychedelia and prog rock, but with an airy, weightless feeling akin to ambient and new age music. Even if it sounds similar, it's more ambitious, stretching some of the compositions out into lengthy epics. Some of the selections on 10,001 Dreams were previously written and recorded by Marcano on a few of his many unreleased cassettes dating back to the early '70s (one of which, 1973's Valley Flutes, was eventually released in 2015, and bears eerie similarities to Brian Eno's Discreet Music, which appeared in 1975). Others, particularly on the second half, were co-written by fellow LightDreamers Andre Martin and Cory Rhyon (both of whom, sadly, did not live to see the album's reissue). The album is actually at its best during the longer tracks, where the musicians ponder existence for extended periods of time. Mega-trippy, revelatory "Visual Breakfast" alternates between wayward drifting, sunny pop, and darker ruminations. Much of the album's second half is taken up by a suite which begins with Martin's isolated, trembling "Being Here," which questions one's singular place in the universe but reassures that "it happens to the best of us every now and then, and that's OK!" From there, the group segue into several alien dreamscapes which are far more experimental and otherworldly than the usual LightDreams songs. Given that the suite lasted almost 37 minutes on the original cassette, it was split into two sides for the vinyl reissue, and edited down for the CD release. Following this is "Maj Moorhsum," which couldn't possibly be anything but a guitar improvisation played in reverse, so that's exactly what it is. Islands in Space is definitely a more focused statement, but any fans of that album ready for a much deeper exploration will find 10,001 Dreams to be absolutely immersive.

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