CD, Spectraliquid/33 Recordings, 2009
This release from 33 Recordings and Spectraliquid introduces a new Greek talent to look out for. The album consists of three songs by Poordream’s John Valasis and seven remixes, which create a nice blend of genres and, after a solid listen, I will admit honestly the songs by Poordream fair far better than the remixes.
The original version of “Immaterial Monarch” is a well-executed IDM track pleading for change via inciting samples overlaying the music. The piece is decorated with longing, lingering pianos and warm pads. At about three minutes the song speeds up slightly with sparse icings of choir and subtle glitch, complimented further by strings weaving to the closure. The ‘grandma’ alternate version of the title track is by far the best remix, drawing you in right away with huge orchestral strings and quickly rushing into a breakbeat groove of well placed samples and anthemic synths.
The first official remix is by Broken Tempo, which seems to start out very well, but becomes confused within the first minute and a half. The start is ambient atmosphere with echoing guitars and soothing female vocals, which suddenly falls into a pop/rock mode; this mix gets an ‘A’ for production but seems to contain three different songs in one remix. Nadsat’s remix puts us back in the electro with a hip hop-influenced mix with thick lows and echoing keys that fulfill the mood of this song. Monotomus serves up a revised version of “Immaterial Monarch” with cutting, crisp synths added for flavor and a touch of dance. Mr. F. makes his remix his own; it vaguely resembles the original but has delivered itself to a minimalist mastermind with broken beats and stuttered samples. The last minute is when Mr. F. takes it home in a very experimental fashion with glitch-laden beats and a stand up bass. Mahos Paterakis delivers a dance version, which, while seeming very generic, manages to deliver a solid remix complete with a well-placed break. Dama delivers the first fast-paced remix of the disc in chaotic d’n’b fashion; it speeds along with a chunky bass throb and delivers for fans of the genre, but lacks a little on the production end when the drums seem to stand in front of the song. Tape86 serves a calming downtempo IDM remix with a slow progression into glitch rhythms and a soaring melody. The last song of the collection, “Sounds of Consciousness” is the highlight of the show; it is an exquisite closer, with vocoder tinges swimming around simple, filtered beats. The song ducks and weaves, edging to a sullen crescendo of sparkling synths, and fades into field recordings of a busy street.
This album is a taste of what Poordream is capable of and, all in all, a decent collection of remixes. “Immaterial Monarch” is a foreshadowing of treats to come and I look forward to hearing the next release from this talented artist.
— James Church