25 October 2012
Dinosaur on Fire - 2012 - Sleep Moon Voyage
Trip-O-Meter: 4.5 out of 5
Tech Honors, the sound designer behind Dinosaur on Fire, states that this is best heard as the music that runs through runs through a child's head after defeating the boss in a 16-bit video game. I'm certainly down with that assessment, but what I heard when playing this album was alien spacecraft using lasers to carve out a distant diamond planet (as opposed to a Dustin Diamond planet, which is far more horrific). I suppose that fits in with the whole 16-bit video game aesthetic anyway. There's a whole lot of analog and 80's digital synth tones running amok on these songs, with the tone whittled down to a crystal focus. In fact you can approach this as a music earth crystal, pulsating in a back alley new age store run by Rastafarians.
This is one of those sets that spins nicely straight through. The bookend tracks are the most epic ones, with "Surgical Landing" bringing you into the glassy fantasyland that you'll spot on the cover, and "Out of Orbit" catapulting you into the deepest voids of nothing - well, nothing except "Fanfare" synths. I feel like I'm being mildly uncreative here, but this album is a well-designed package, with the cover art and song titles serving as signposts to inform the music. "Glass Labyrinth" is what the soundtrack to Carl Sagan's "Cosmos" would have sounded like if it had been produced by MDMA-addled ravers and a coked-out Vangelis. Speaking of musical meglomaniacal triumph, have a peek at this completely unrelated video (well, the Bandcamp page does list 'nostalgia' as one of the tags for this album). It'll press a few subconscious triggers for the 80's kids out there, and the rest of you should have plenty to gawk at:
OK, sorry... tangent. Getting back to the topic at hand, "Crystal Palace" sounds like the place where the interdimensional shamen replace your organs with chakra stones, while "Getaway" serves as the tones to sooth you in the outpatient room of the clinic in the astral plane. I'm not really a new age fellow - I don't really know what I'm talking about with the chakras and shamen and such, but I'll be damned if this music doesn't sonically invoke those sorts of words. Y'know, but in a groovy Super Famicom way instead of a middle-aged, Scandinavian yoga instructor kind of way.
This is what happens to Vangelis' music when you hit the light-speed button in the Millennium Falcon. It's extremely well recorded and arranged, so kudos to you Tech Honors! ....if that is your real name. Mine's not Dr. Schluss.
You will visit the glass dinosaur here:
Dinosaur on Fire