CD REVIEW: Psicodreamics – The Garden
By Ben Ohmart - 06/05/2002 - 11:02 AM EDT
Album: The Garden
Once the usual crackly, humming radio going from show/sound to sound/show ends, and the 2nd track comes into view (‘Transilvanic’), Psicodreamics, aka Salva, distinguishes himself as quite a composer. His ‘Christmas Suite’ for instance, though a little heavy on the crashing cymbals, is an effective piece of motion picture theatre. The strings and horns are keyboard generated, but it’s a very acceptable level, especially when combined with the choir of voices and simple piano. If he can get the work, he should really try film composing.
This is Psicodreamics’ 4th album. He labels himself as a new age artist, but it goes beyond that. The work is blatantly symphonic, and – dare I say – pretty. His ‘Christmas Eve Elixir’ alone is too melodic and orchestrated to call simply new age without explaining that this is what classical music would probably sound like today, if there were enough money in it to attract talent, and if Salva were working with an actual string/brass orchestra.
However, are the voices real, or sampled? I thought I could tell – that they’re real. But I can find no credit for them except for the fact that Salvo Moreno is listed on midi keyboards and computer/drum programming. As the vocals dance heavily in certain compositions, it seems that the voices are indeed ‘unreal.’ I’m even more impressed because like a good cartoon monster (and they are few, if any) in a modern film, I was utterly fooled.
Personally, I think Psicodreamics is more successful when not using samples, if only because they and the symphonic treatments he then goes on to use, often within the same song, don’t seem to fit together. Or, it could be that I like his self-orchestra so much that I don’t like to see it sullied with the sampled sounds I can hear from other composers. Plus the fact that to me ‘new age’ means something softer and more soulful than bits of dialogue dotted with a clever use of studio tricks.
Regardless, this cd from Spain is worth a trip to the website to check out. Salva’s only been at new age since 1990, but in a dozen years he’s become an interesting ambient ghost.
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