Wednesday 12 December 2018

Music Review: I Could Go Lucid

Music Review: I Could Go Lucid

Review by Casey Douglass

I Could Go Lucid

Dreams, and lucid dreams in particular, have been one of my areas of interest for decades now. From the lucid nightmares that held me prisoner, to the world-crafting that is sometimes possible, they are a domain in which the mind can unleash and run free. I Could Go Lucid, the latest experimental ambient album from Bodyverse, was created with dream mechanics in mind, the improvisation and flow needed by the dreamer to straddle the line between staying in the dream, or bursting the bubble and waking up to everyday reality:
Album Description: I Could Go Lucid is about an instant of awareness in which I realise I could have the chance to create an astonishing reality, if only I could keep consciousness while dreaming, for more than an ephemeral moment. Lucid dreams mean to me a chance to create perfection as I feel they release the power of imagination in its whole potential. Imagination becomes matter to interact with. It’s the brain’ s virtual reality, the off limits oneiric one.

As well as in dreams, also in the in musical creative process I perceive a certain amount of surreal content, and it too links with imagination and with the act of materialising ideas. For this reason I am currently experimenting through improvisation, in a journey between surrealism, expressionism and situationist drift. I try to let ideas flow, so my will subordinates to accidents and emotions. I become an explorer or a traveller with an uncertain destination. This atmosphere has resulted in a creation of six pieces in which the priority is simply to keep the integrity of the original idea itself.

Nothing has been planned nor post-produced. This is involuntary music.

The first thing I noticed when listening to I Could Go Lucid was the general sound of the notes that reach the ear. They have a fluffy, music-box type quality, a plinky-lightness that hints at white clouds floating across an azure sky, or candyfloss at the beach, or even a balloon being carried off by the breeze. Not all of the notes were like this but that’s how many came across to me. There are higher, chime-like notes too, and deeper bassy tones, but the ‘light ones’ usually made me think along those lines.

The next thing that I soon came to appreciate was how each track seemed to build up. Each might start with a handful of single notes, maybe making a melody, maybe just staying really minimal. This initial opening would then gain an extra layer of new notes, freshly dancing around the previous ones. The first track, Pink Sunsets Were Very Calm, seemed to get higher and higher, each layer adding the impression of floating up into the sky. Yet the next track, Poplars Were Made Of Cherry Blossoms, seems to have the initial notes underlaid by lower ones, going down and down. I liked the way in which each track seemed to grow in complexity, but never getting too hectic or busy. The clever use of breaks and pauses no doubt helped in this also.

My favourite track of the album is Waves Against Marble Columns, as I found myself musing about H.P Lovecraft’s Randolf Carter and his Dream-quest of Unknown Kadath. The notes of this track put me in mind of a clock chiming the hour, and the melody led to me thinking about the various temples and churches Carter visited during his dream adventure, the strange architecture and people who worshiped inside them. There is a kind of lumbering quality to the rhythm a little later, one that caused me to imagine what Carter would have made of a strange funeral procession walking through beautiful streets paved with rock quarried from far and fantastic locations. I enjoyed this musing and I must admit that it’s rare for such a “light” sound to cause my thoughts to turn to something as dark as Lovecraft, but it was a genuine pleasure.

I Could Go Lucid is a fine ambient album, one in which the lightness of the notes hides a surprising darkness that seems to cling to certain portions of certain tracks. A little like browsing the religion section of a library, only to find some naughty git has hidden some porn magazines between the various bibles.

Take a look at the I Could Go Lucid page on Bandcamp at this link for more information and to listen to the tracks.

I was given a copy of this album for review purposes.

Album Title: I Could Go Lucid
Album Artist: Bodyverse
Label: LONTANO Series
Publisher: ROHS! Records
Releases: 18 Dec 2018