Applescal – Dreaming in Key

Ostensibly -this is still music for clubs, or maybe music for people who would like to go to clubs but don’t anymore.

(Atomnation) http://www.applescal.net

I’ve been meaning to write about this record for ages. It’s a ridiculously good, ridiculously more-ish kind of record. But it’s a bit of a pain to write about, in that every time I think I can start to get something down, I’m just happy to be drugged into its enveloping warmth, lost in its rich shadows and seduced by its dry sense of remove.

Like Ulrich Schnauss there’s a melancholy that is expertly fashioned into a set of attractive soundscapes: a fascination with broad banks of melody, where tone and textures are carefully balanced against a steady beat, (cf Lonely People, or In The Sea); but unlike Schnauss, this record uses beat as a more pronounced element: the beats have a presence and verve about them as in the opener & title track, Dreaming in Key.

Ostensibly -this is still music for clubs, or maybe music for people who would like to go to clubs but don’t anymore. It seems to exist in an “in-betweener” state, promising much in terms of wigging out but also letting you in on the joke: you can enjoy it, you too can get lost in it: but hey, you don’t put the effort in. Tracks like Thanks for the Fun and Wise Noise on Time always threaten to get anthemic but always keep a level of control about them, more interested in the spirals of the beat than its release. Things sort of kick off near the end with El Diablo and but nothing really gets out of hand.

The LP also mines the sort of sonic reverberations last heard via early Warp or ‘91-2 era Coldcut, or Scuba Devils, with tracks like Spring and Life or Onetasker; thinking persons’ dance music in the best sense.  You could also equate some of the cuts on this LP – like The Composer - with a lot of what a label like Smalltown Supersound is kicking out, albeit it’s not as hare-brained or as lunatic - the breakdowns in Vintage Clown Shadow Hunters, for example are less wild; more soulful and more supine, maybe in love with a jazzy ambience that someone like DJ Krush used to pedal.

So all in all a hell of a listen, though to be honest, you don’t really need me to tell you that.