[CD, Spectraliquid/33 Recordings]
Despite working as a producer and mixing engineer for several years John Valasis – aka Poordream – only now releases his debut album Immaterial Monarch. The album collects two original tracks inspired by the Zeitgeist movie series and offers a further eight remixes of the title track by an assortment of artists including Valasis himself. The title track sees smooth rhythms, crisp melodies and ethereal harmonised vocals combine to create an edgy soundtrack quality that, emphasised by impassioned spoken samples, tell the story of man’s ability to rise above adversity even when the odds are apparently stacked against him. Valasis’ own “grandma version” of the track uses only excerpts of the powerful movie samples and focuses on the electronic aspects, charging it with optimistic energy. Changing things completely is the Broken Tempo remix which adds a female vocal initially based on the sampled words with funky guitar that unexpectedly turns “Immaterial Monarch” into a pop/rock track. Closer to the original are the Nadsat and Tape86 remixes which focuses largely on the ethereal ambient aspects of the track, drawing them out, toning down the samples and leaving the catchy piano motif intact. The Dama remix turns up the energy level with a scatter gun drum ‘n’ bass rework that also opts to retain the distinctive piano theme found in several of the remixes. Closing the album is another Valasis original, “Sounds of Consciousness”, which is based around a spoken monologue over the sounds of war followed by a slightly misplaced vocoder vocal before closing with Eastern field recordings. Immaterial Monarch is full of imagery and emotion that tells the story that is initially dark and desperate but moves into optimism and determination for a brighter future.
Published by Sideline [October 16th 2009]