Released: November 2022 Label: Spectral Sound / Ghostly International
Beautifully off-kilter and full of life, producer and singer-songwriter Dreamcastmoe presents 'Sound Is Like Water’, his third album in the wake of a consistent stream of pre-emptive singles and EPs.
Born and bred in Washington DC, Dreamcastmoe’s works are known for sonically and lyrically depicting all the joys and woes of his and his human experience. Across the breadth of a healthy catalogue, his emotive, texturally rich downtempo production style consistently pays homage to the profound influence of his legendary district whilst further infusing a sense of the surreal, now brought about beautifully via Ghostly International's sublabel Spectral Sound across the ten tracks that make up ‘Sound Is Like Water’.
Opening track 'El Dorado' instantly sparked my interest for its namesake. The legendary city of gold was said to exist near the lush but unforgiving Amazon rainforest, and the artist uses it as a metaphor for his consistent journeying toward a goal. It is a typically disconcerting introduction to conception busting production and avant-garde lyricism, and though seemingly ambiguous, a track title like ‘El Dorado’ opens a heavy door into many worlds.
Naming an album ‘Sound Is Like Water’ is a clear indication of sonic fluidity, and from the project’s opening moments it lurches through colliding waves of emotional events amidst day-to-day existence. The drowning contemplation of second track ‘Complicated’ sees the unbearable senselessness of being, expressed through heart wrenching organ chords, a sympathetic vocal, and an inspired compilation of evolving drum work inspired by early hip hop and electro yet utilised to sound utterly romantic and contemporary.
“I don’t wanna take it, so complicated”
The haunting and enigmatic combining of organ, shuffling drum machine, and live percussion re-emerges on ‘Novacaine’ - a dangerous lullaby for all those familiar with the brilliant white freedom of prescription drugs. The track seesaws between the uplifting euphoria and sense of unity with other escapists and the aftermath feeling of hurtling back towards the grave of reality.
“You’re always reaching out for something else, Novacaine”
The project’s second act begins with another beautiful swelling two-chord motif of classic DX7 synth tones, modulated to accommodate the swung ride and sidestick of the imitation drums. Aptly named ‘Much More’ the track is in truth a jazz ballade, which he dedicates to himself.
“Your heart is much more than this”
He sings with such honesty and desperation, praying that he reaches his full potential in all aspects, never thwarted by the usual arrogance of ambition.
Those seeking an experience that manages to exude masculinity devoid of the toxicity of chauvinism will find perfect solace in ‘Sound Is Like Water’. Odes to women present as metaphors for vast landscapes of experience, that stare out of the window for hours, only to be reinvigorated with the wonderment of the club and the potential to explore its potential love and sexuality. No more was this expressed for me than on the ninth track ‘Take A Moment’ - a slice of psychedelic jazz electro, that hints towards the classic house euphoria of the album’s closer ‘Make Ya Mind Up’ which effortlessly synthesises the heat of the dancefloor, a prime example of how he can seamlessly switch emotions without sacrificing the core tenants of his sound.
‘Sound Is Like Water’ fully embraces the many ways music forms to the shape of our lives, and exhibits every element of this young artist’s creativity. Vulnerable, honest and entirely his own, Bedroom Frequencies has been grateful for the ever-improving output from Dreamcastmoe for some time now, leaning heavily into his pre-emptive acknowledging and authentic utilisation of the sonics of the 80s. We watched him shyly from the backstage area of the ‘We Out Here’ festival in awe, and sincerely hope that the impeccable experience of ‘Sounds Like Water’ inspires the same feelings within you.