microphones in the trees: dravier ~ dreamers cloth

Thursday, August 01, 2019

dravier ~ dreamers cloth




«Prolific proprietor of the Jungle Gym recording empire Caleb Draves aka Dravier has trafficked all manner of hypnotic vapor, emotive drone, and extraterrestrial atmospheres across several dozen micro-edition documents issued the past few years but Spirit Channels spans an even wider, weirder breadth of sound and mood, and feels as close to a definitive collection as he’s yet attempted. 

Free-flowing through 50 minutes of equatorial new age, narcotic lounge, surrealist exotica, desert island serenade, sunrise sky-surf, and devotional tape hiss, the album sustains a poignant, plasmatic wavelength, sensory and spontaneous, wandering alone along winding coastlines. Field recordings of nocturnal jungles, insects, waves, and distant birds ground the songs with a sense of landscape but this is equally music of inner voyaging, adrift in archipelagos of memory and meditation». ~ not not fun

It is obvious from the label's press-release that what we're about to dive in while listening to this cassette is 100% what is our blog is up to. Tropical hypnagogia, tribal minimalism, and drone psychedelia are now considered being rare beasts by many, as well as it's almost impossible to find untouched pieces of nature in our world. Evoking the sensations of utopian tropicalia Dravier rather builds upon the idea of future exploration rather than (nowadays omnipresent) nostalgia about beauty now spoiled. His tunes are free from melancholia and reflection on what's lost, rather focusing on the things we are still about to discover. "It depends on the point of view" – one may say – "you're too optimistic!". And yes, I am and there's nothing to be ashamed of. Optimism is not naivety or infantilism, as the society often implies. Being a rare beast as well, this is something our world is losing as fast as the clean water resources. 

Optimism can be seen as the ability to see the landscape from a broader perspective. Of course, it's not always practical and one simply must to act and think differently at some points of the journey, but optimism is basically what drives the journey. Dravier's sounds, being blissfully crafted from ephemeral synth patterns and hazy drum machine beats present us a clear vision of the mindset which led people to discoveries and fearless explorations. There's no reason to call such music "experimental" because experiment implies working with known patterns in unknown ways. While there is nothing new either for the "tropical drone" genre or modern music in general, there's way more freedom of expression than many experimental things can provide. Surrendering yourself to the landscape and being optimistic about what it holds. Of course, yes, there are poisonous snakes and mysterious caves all over the place. But don't let the fear guide you. Follow the sun. 




«Danish textile texturalist Jonas Frederiksen’s solo endeavor Dreamers Cloth materialized late last decade in response to “a new-old type of sound” then ascendant among the international innerspace cassette community, characterized by bleached drift, miasmic memory, and inexpensive keyboards. Working from a wire-strewn Copenhagen apartment studio alcove, he quickly amassed a tapestry of tapes exploring parallel pathways of coastal fantasia and interstellar hallucination, issued via his own Relax With Nature imprint as well as various esteemed European esoterica outposts like Ikuisuus and Stenze Quo Musik. Frederiken speaks of seeking a sound evocative of daily suburban life while still cloaked in layers of “cosmic radiation, astral projections, crystal caves, chakra energy, dolphin communication, and extra-terrestrial presence.” Vitrospection 2008-2009 distills his dense but concise discography into a patchwork voyager’s hour of highlights, reflections, and reveries, ripped from the original spools for optimal aughts intra-sensory simulacrum». ~ not not fun

Okay, here we are, 10 years later after that thing which we may (and do) call "tropical drone" was blooming in full power. Dating back to the noisier and careless psychedelia of Ferraro and Spencer Clark and probably being more new age than any of the artists wanted themselves, this idea of nature's virginity revisitation was definitely a response to the growing pace of capitalism and late postmodernist cultural collapse. Being ideologically close to what later was labeled vaporwave, artists like Dreamer Cloth took a different turn from that anti-consumerism battle-cry and instead of recycling popular media has set off to astral travels and spirituality reconsideration. As Jonas Frederiksen put it, speaking about his (now long-defunct) label's mission: "Relax with Nature is my idea of chilling out and going with the flow. I think that what I’m trying to evoke is an atmosphere of a place where civilization and culture are non~existing. [..] What I’m talking about is a place ~ or a state of mind, which becomes real the very second cultural~civilization is canceled, and all that is left is nature ~ but ~ a new nature where, amongst other things, communication between individuals isn’t corrupted by words." 

Surely, there is a certain amount of irony which permeates these neo new age visions, yet Jonas is definitely right about the inability of words to describe the sensations evoked in his music. We may go usual path again, imagining the unspoiled islands full of lush greenery and weird animal sounds and mostly beatless, raga-like nature of Dreamers Cloth output carefully collected on this cassette only encourages that. Yet, after having ten years of vaporwave abundance (which has recently led to climatewave development, which shares a lot of common with tropical drone discourse) and already more than ten years of all kinds of aural tropical explorations, we can look now from a broader scale on the very idea of chilling out being opposed to consumerism and high-paced existence. Being not simply an idea of (non)activity but rather an active thoughtform creativity ~ constructing the place you want to relax in using music, visuals, your imagination and then exploring its capabilities. Switching the mind to a different mode, being active in another reality even if it lasts as long as the music plays or your eyes are closed. Much like a dream, which is a natural way of chilling out, yet different in terms of being present simultaneously in your room, in music and in this virtual, mirage-like realm. That way, the idea of relaxation looks way more like a real activity and actual creativity instead of laziness or isolation from any sensations. An experience, which always gives you more than just fancy visions ~ but the energy and inspiration. So, letting the shimmering tunes of Dreamers Cloth envelop you and take to marble halls of astral gardens is truly a fairytale experience which may result with not simply having a good rest but also finding a precious pearl in the palm of your hand afterwards.





2 comments:

Mr Cole said...

Gorgeous music, thanks for sharing.

Emily said...

Awesome content i ever read and listen the music.
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