Wednesday, 20 July 2016

Erang "Our Dreams Are Made Of Dragons" (2016)

With little surprise a second Erang album hits us this year from the one man band who has pumped out twelve records in just four years. This installment in the ongoing journey revisits the origins, the "Tome" era where Erang's sound was distinctly more primitive, spooky and eerie. Over time his compositions have become more layered and visual, the vibe shifted into fantasy but still holding onto the Dungeon Synth ideals. With this new record Erang revisits the "Tome" era with a wealth of knowledge and inspiration from his musical journey to enrich an old sound which has been shadowed by such records as "We Are The Past".

From the first, through all the many listens Ive given this record the magic flows effortlessly through minimal compositions that inspire engrossing atmospheres. Dreams and dragons certainly come to mind as each of the songs spellbind us with eerie, mystical nostalgic wonder. You can travel deep into your imagination with these melodies which feel both human and of another world. Each melody and song offers its own tale but looking over the track listing these names further illuminate the experience with their suggestions for what might be taking place.

Like the older "Tome" records, a lot of these songs focus on two or three instruments dancing around one another with a lack of percussion. There's a select and complimentary pallet of instruments at work, all armed with subtle reverbs and are fine tuned to occupy the same spaces gracefully. No instruments clash or feel out of place, they compliment one another and more often than not a quiet underlying synth lays down soft notes, almost unnoticeable but deepening the atmosphere.

"The Saddest Witch" Is a brilliant, simple song that showcases these qualities. A gentle, foggy bell like lead creates the air of mystery and wonder before a counteracting saw synth comes in with a mischievous, curious melody that dances around the other. With a clash of cymbals the song elevates, the melodies switch instruments and a soft guitar takes place of the saw wave synth. Below them deep synths arise feeling buried in the reverb that washes away from the other instruments and cymbal clashes. "Children Of The Frozen Forest" is another song with a remarkable atmosphere through simplicity. In its opening stages a women's voice can be heard faint and distorted through the cold enchanted atmosphere. It starts to shift with eerie synths talking like voices and the sounds of winds bustling up slowly in the distance.

Much of the record follows simple principles, one or two melodies, shifts in tone and direction that never become extravagant. Its modest, direct and within that design and construct emerges inspired melodies, tunes and music that fires up the imagination. With such a large discography it can be tricky to picture where it rests in the frame. Revisiting some of the "Tome" records I hear the same spirit but with the instrument choices, use of reverb, composition and of course the music itself having matured vastly. "Our Dreams Are Made Of Dragons" is a quiet record, one that will creep up and charm you with its own realm of fantasy and imagination.

Favorite Tracks: The Saddest Witch, The Old Knight's Farewell, The Twins Troubadours Of Tadyar, Children Of The Frozen Forest
Rating: 8/10