The latest Solo album from Ståle Storløkken, legendary Supersilent keyboardist is unique in many ways. First, it explores the Solo formula to the very bottom. Not is he only playing all the instruments on the set himself, but also mixes them, masters tracks and records them. This way he had has absolute control over the material on every production stage.
Second significance comes from the fact that all these instruments are pretty ancient, belonging to the 80’s period when Synth Pop and Electronica were both on the leading edge of Futurism. Now by making that specific choice he brings that all into the path of one-off Retro-Futurism, which alone makes a nice hyperbola.
Together with whats mentioned above, finally even the title puts you in sort of an on hold mental estate, holding the listener between dreams and awareness, somnambulist like state of being in which there is no strong border between the “real” and the “imagined”.
Seven-part Suite starts with Prelude to The Haze of Sleeplessness. That dreamy intro holds into some sort of floating feeling executed with sounds which are pretty humble and created in a simple, straightforward way that instruments are allowing. Looping them, mixing them if one has a different vision of that is a must then and explains why the total control over entire material he claimed is so necessary.
Following Orange Drops, more percussive in nature, with simple melody driving that reminds me Vangelis or Tangerine Dream Productions. Here humbleness of the instrument and sounds made when they are played also are adding to the tissue and this physical aspect also adds to the retro feeling.
Short Reality Box is just a 90 seconds interlude but serves a charm of the barrel organ played with the mechanical whacking weaved into subtle melody. Another one splitting the tissue in the same way is called Turbulance and it replicates the sound of the fabrics flapping in the wind.
Describing them all would steal the pleasure of discovering from the listener, so I won’t go any further with that. It must be said that all the pieces are sharing the same sense of inner journey, which makes the listener drifting with his own imagination. Just the same as such a music always supposed to do. Sort of personal soundtrack for the imaginary movie which don’t even have to exist at all in the real life. What makes it interesting is the fact that with a majority of sounds we are listening to today, sounds like those do not appear, simply due to their synthetic nature goes far beyond eclecticism available now without specific postproduction steps. Very interesting journey for everyone addicted to the history of synthesized music.