Friday, 9 August 2013

Review: Sorrow - Dreamstone

When we were sent  "Dreamstone" by Sorrow, I was more excited about the vinyl than any other. I have never seen such a beautifully pressed 12". The producer based in Bristol comes through will this collection of music however with such an amazing exterior package, I was hoping the music would hold up too.

Elixir: With a subtle piano, a rolling drum pattern and a warm attenuating sub bass, Sorrow starts the album setting the tone with a cultural exploration of the sound of  "Sorrow".  Soft pieces of distortion dip in and out of the mix adding to the entire texture of the song. Overall, a brilliant start to the album and a beautiful way to end a song. 9/10

Moodswing: Beginning  with the soft sound of birds chirping, this song has some similar resembling parts to "Elxir". I personally prefer the swing in the drums and the use of the vocals panning in and out, but there are elements of this song that are drawn out especially before the breakdown. The switch on the second drop makes the entire song a little bit more minimal which is nice but doesn't add anything to improving my opinion 7/10

Dreamstone Feat. Coma: Coma opens "Dreamstone" which rolls into a softly clapped drum loop with strings panning in and out. Smooth and to the point, this is what a dream would sound like. 9/10

Dalliance Feat. Coma: Bringing the tempo way down to about 120, this song has a beautiful roll. With Coma's voice chiming in and out. This is very similar to Moodswing or Elixir and the only factor that makes it different is the BPM switch. I prefer this to Moodswing, but there is some repetitive aspects to the song. 8/10

Embrace: With a beautiful guitar to open the song, I was sad to not see it used as much as a prominent sound in developing the main body of the track. I like the enclosing sounds that pulsate throughout the mix which ties in beautifully with the name of the song. I like the vocal use in the second drop and the general texture of the track. 8/10

Maelys: Bringing the tempo down but instead with a four by four sequence creates a perfect melody to just bop your head to the beat. There is an obvious "feel good" theme in this song and the entire nature of of the track is uplifting. One of my favourite songs on the whole album. 10/10

Supernova: Coming through with that darker "Burial-esque" vibe. This feels more at home with Sorrow's roots in terms of the flow of the drum pattern, the moving bassline and small cuts that give a hint to Sorrow's Grime background. 8/10

Flowerchild: Another Garage beauty, but this is a little happier than "Supernova". The second drop of this song pulls a rolling bassline melody which is catchy and would do justice on any dance floor. 9/10

Shadowed Doubt: Although this may have elements that I enjoyed, I found it to be quite similar in terms of sound and structure to "Elixir" and "Moodswing". The subtle eastern flutes gave the entire song a different feel, but there were too many similarities for my liking. 6/10

Gallows Hill: This is a better version of "Shadowed Doubt" with a dub influenced bass melody accompanied with a swinging drum pattern. The eastern spacious feel gives the entire mix an "airy" notion and I could easily listen to this on loop whilst at work. The entire way in which it is constructed  reduces the amount of switches or sudden sounds so that the entire song is much more progressive. 8/10

Intruder: On a completely different vibe to the entirety of the album, this Grime sounding track is pushing boundaries for the genre in terms of composition and production quality. This is what I would call "educated Grime". I like how Sorrow concludes the album with "Intruder" as it is the most uplifting track. 10/10

Overall: 8.8

This début album from Sorrow is a well crafted piece of art. The entire album is well composed with a darker start to begin with and then showcasing Sorrow's main talents in jumping between genres and delivering an incredible selection of tracks. There were several tracks that were similar to others on the album, but they all had their own unique style. Monotreme Records have also bundled an amazing package with one of the best records I have ever seen. If someone were to ask me about a good introductory album as to what defines the deeper or more intelligent aspect to Dance, I would give them Dreamstone.

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