San Antonio-based ambient-trance band DreamLand has released their first full-length album of instrumental soundscapes with Dogfingers/Uncle Buzz Records, a Texas-based collective of experimental music artists and producers. Musicians Johnny A. Rodriguez (synthesizers, keyboards, Native American flutes and extended vocals) and James Sidlo (guitar, loops and atmospherics) have created instrumental pieces that will float through your stereo soundsystem like wind through an open window. Extended family (augmenting musicians) include "Bobdog" Catlin (whale bass, effects) and Stephanie Key (clarinet, ocarina and processing).
Underwater is meant to be not just an album, but an experience. The music is a piece of sonic architecture whose minor elements create a synthesized whole. Elements of this album range from Tangerine Dream-like explorations via extended vocals to sound-stylings similar to Fripp/Eno, Steve Roach and Robert Rich.
"...they're (DreamLand) out there left of field in a kind of Fripp/Eno way, maybe Ligeti and his 2001 soundscapes - plenty of Tangerine Dream flavours to their warm live improvised sound."
"Indeed the free form experimental sound is well put together with some sections simply flowing along, while others contain rich layers or strongly contrasting textures."
New Horizons http://www.elrose.demon.co.uk/
"Ambient and fluid, this music is good for meditation. On the other hand, "Underwater" is marked with a deeper sense of mystery than the other albums of this style that I've heard. In any case, ambient listeners will surely love this modern electronic space music."
"The specters of Ash Ra Tempel, Brian Eno, Sylvian & Czukay and even New Zealand's four-track wizard Roy Montgomery are raised in these eight instrumental tracks. It would be unfair, however, to imply that DreamLand is derivative of any of these artists. This duo is clearly searching for the still undiscovered nooks and crannies that may exist in the ambient/kraut/space rock territory."
Reviews No. 17 “Reels of Dream Unrolled” http://www.geocities.com/danieldust_99/reviews17.html
"The final track, "Underwater" ...reminds me a bit of some of the spacier moments of Pink Floyd. Quite a good experimental space music CD."
From Aural Innovations #20 (July 2002)
"...each track is segued onto the next with subtle change and foreshadowing although every constituting piece has its very own nature and distinctive features."
"Blimey, it's instrumental manna from heaven round our way."
"Despite not being a great fan of this kind of music, I must confess that this album made me change the way I used to face it since it gave (and it will continue to give) an enormous listening pleasure."
"Drawing on influences from a variety of musical styles, including classical, rock, world and new age, they hit an artistic peak on the five-part title track ("Underwater"), which brings back memories of the German ambient pioneers Tangerine Dream."
The Scene Online
"I liked the DreamLand CD. Excellent massage music because you can set it on repeat and always be lost. Can't believe it was played live."
Musicologist, KPFA Radio Program Host and Director of Other Minds New Music Foundation
Other cds James plays on: "Crevice 2", "Think of Pleasant Things" and "Lullabies for Little Albert" @ www.unclebuzz.com.
Honey Barbara "I-10 & W. Ave." and "FeedLotLoopHole" @ www.emigre.com.
Pseudo Buddha "Motive" @ www.dogfingers.com