Yaroze Dream Suite Yaroze Dream Suite

[Local Action; 2016]

Styles: grime, astral travelling, video games
Others: DBM, Odeko, Clams Casino, Mr. Mitch, Yamaneko

It should come as no surprise that Yaroze Dream Suite make beguiling music. Like the Murlo/Deadboy collaboration from earlier this year, combining the talents of Mr. Mitch and Yamaneko is a no-brainer. Both have an affinity for abstract soundscapes, an intuitive feel for melody and rhythm, and an exploratory approach to grime. Yaroze Dream Suite is a perfect fusion of their approaches, a seamless melding of atmosphere and melody, percussion and space, ambience and tonality. Over four fragmented, stellular tracks, Yaroze Dream Suite create a series of sonic spaces, each endowed with their own gravity, affect, and time. Like migratory birds, these tracks are birthed in grime’s terrain, before setting a course for new and uncharted worlds.

The album unfolds unhurriedly, its first track, “Pixel Dreams,” washing up on a wave of contrapuntal synth tones, which coalesce and depart in warm, melodic volleys. There’s a warped syncopation to the placement of the synths, a shadowy rhythm that gradually makes itself known as a series of staggered drums and claps are inserted into the mix. We’re drawn down into the dream suite, the spaces between the notes agglomerating, forming an inky void above which our bodies are suspended — blissful, serene. “In the Moonlight” begins with a similar sense of restraint, before a sultry saxophone riff and vocal line burst through the gloom, puncturing its minimal backing — all finely-sliced melody, bass, and clap. The track is adorned with softened gunfire and distant sirens, as if the listener has been placed in a parallel dimension, in the orbit of a slow-moving conflagration, violence and death replaced by calmness and grace.

Next stop is “Awakening,” which rocks a heavier, quasi-Clams Casino beat, restrained and glutinous, pockmarked with turgid drums and vocal wisps. In its lumbering movements, the track plays on grime’s aggressive sonic signifiers, but like Mr. Mitch’s Peace Edits, it stretches them out, thinning the genre’s fabric until it becomes translucent, permeated by the patter of rain, the crack of drums and the chime of bells. Our final destination is “Spirit Temple,” an eerie drum workout, driven along by arid percussion and droning tones, cut through by martial kicks and elastic claps. The track empties itself out halfway through its run time, before being reassembled on a bed of chiming, music-box keys, which ferry us along as the underlying drones reassert themselves, one layer after another, tension building, until, silence.

These are somnambulant works, gliding along with their own sense of time, viscous and transversal, billowing outwards before coming gently to rest like dust on a mantle. The production is on-point throughout: the drums sandy and granulated, the synths lovingly molded, the melodies keening, full-voiced. There’s a scopic quality to the way these tracks contract and expand, charting vast galaxies and minor stars, surveying grime from an astral plane, probing its surfaces and warping its edges. Like the video game production software that gives the group its name, Yaroze Dream Suite is a transportive experience, building fantastic tableaux for the listener to inhabit and explore. I’ll see you there.

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