REVIEW: Dreams In Static’s “Serene Poetic”

When an album has a track listing featuring 21 different songs, I’m thinking “damn, this better be good”. In truth, Serene Poetic (Shemspeed) by Dreams In Static is not only good, it’s pretty damn good that despite some of its flaws, holds up incredibly well.

It’s a 21-track instrumental album, so the dialogue can be found in the music. They cover a wide range of different styles, flowing in and out of the melodic, structured, jazzy, soulful, funky, and sometimes hard hitting tracks that would be perfect for surf/skateboard films/videos, potential hip-hop/electronic samples… let me stop here for a moment. Next paragraph please.

Sometimes these songs sound like they would be perfect for hip-hop and electronica. The beats are sometimes slightly off, so either the drums were played live or the slightly-off groove was intentional. This is something a bit of editing can fix, but it’s very atmospheric, or to paraphrase jazz musician Eddie Harris, it’s music in search of a movie. The title of the album Serene Poetic is very appropriate, for they are poetic in nature, never going above or beyond where it needs to be. Some songs, like “Magic Carpet”, “Befalllen”, and “Lost/Forgotten”, would have been nice if the rhythms were tighter. Being slightly off isn’t a nuisance, but perhaps their intention was to not make it so mechanical. The human lurks within the machine, perhaps why I found myself putting certain tracks on repeat.

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