I am re-posting this review in the memory of Kristián Kotarac, the driving force behind Nextera label, who has passed away yesterday in Praha/Prague, Czech Republic. Kristián & Nextera will be greatly missed!!! My deepest condolences to the family and friends.Oöphoi & Paul Vnuk Jr. "Dreamfields" CD
This is already the second collaboration between Italian drone wizard Oöphoi (Gianluigi Gasparetti) and US-Wisconsin based sound designer Paul Vnuk Jr., who is also known as a member of Ma Ja Le project (featuring also Christopher Short). Their first co-work "Distance To Zero" was released in 2006 on Hypnos. "Dreamfields" CD was released in December of 2011 on Czech label Nextera, the home of several Oöphoi's releases. Actually, according to the release notes, the story behind "Dreamfields" project started back in 2005, when Paul sent to Gigi some loops, but it was in 2009, when Gigi went back to these sound sources. A quite long time span, but in any case it's my great pleasure to explore now these "Dreamfields"!!! And the album strikes firstly with its stunning front cover image realized by Polish photographer Rafal "Szincza" Kijas, definitely one of my fave cover artworks of 2011!!! Containing four longer pieces (clocking from 10 to 23 minutes), "Dreamfields" open with "North Field: Axis", a 23-minute deeply drifting and slowly spiraling exploration, expressively spiced by various fragilely tinkling bells and mysterious femme voice by Luna. Highly absorbing piece of dronescapes, magnificently portrayed by the album's images. Colossally gracious overture!!! "South Field: Khyber" is colored by rather aerial atmospheres melted with high-tech bleeps and gurgles, crystalline percussions and frightening sounds. Quite soon this longer composition, reaching nearly 22 minutes, passes into more darkened, mysterious and meditative terrains. In the second half also child voice is emerging (poetry reading by Paul's son Paul Vnuk III). This deeply cavernous ambience immerses each listener into mysteriously adventurous atmosphere and unfolds darker realms of the imagination. The next composition, "East Field: Helikum", is slowly and serenely meandering dronescape to calm your mind. It drifts and swells through hauntingly beautiful hypnotic and tranquil solitudes. "West Field: Awua" takes us again into deeper cave system to explore impressive sceneries and formations through swirling dark drones, ominous rumblings and noises, deeply echoed gongs and singing bowls. A truly exciting journey into rarely seen places!!! "Dreamfields" celebrate the creative forces of both, Oöphoi & Paul Vnuk Jr., who have effectively merged their talents and managed to paint breathtaking pictures to guide each listener into magically misty and gloomy atmospheric splendor. A must for all addicts of deep ambient soundscaping!!! And I give extra points also to Nextera for beautiful digipak packaging.
Richard Gürtler (Jan 14, 2012, Bratislava, Slovakia)