Monday, June 18, 2012

Soft Mirage - Ionian Dream (KNN001)

soft sounds and green dreams.  peace and love to my friends at Humboldt Relief :)

Whether it serenades the day with hope, or assuages your pain from a day of regret, Soft Mirage, the duo of Norm Chambers (Panabrite) and Christian Richer (Element Kuuda, Haiduks, Kinnta), is the venn diagram personified.  Incredible as stand alone artists, the duo proves irresistible.  Ionian Dream, the second release on Richer's Kinnta Records, serves up ten tracks that are both serene and engaging.  Soft Mirage is a perfect moniker, as the music, whether synth hymns or psych pop nugs, is delicate and light.  Delicate in the sense that there is nothing strident about the diffuse, bright tones. And, light in the sense that it doesn't feel overpowering or heavy. There is a natural feel, informed by alluring artwork, evoked throughout.

'Colorsound' commences the tape with warm, bubbly synth.  The smiles abound upon hearing this pleasant track.  'Courtyards of Atlantis' follows, and it provides another perspective of the Soft Mirage image.  This track is imbued with the psych pop tendencies of Richer. The track opens with serene acoustic guitars and synth.  Instantly, it reminds me of Breathing Flowers, until the bass groove and percussion manifests.  The synth and guitar work on the back-end of this track are introspective and wonderfully performed.  'Feathers on Fire' starts with bright synth, and travels to the next level as the various layers undulate in the head.  'Dripping Sentiments' is an enveloping track - introspective and hopeful, it is one of the best tracks on the tape. 'Obsidian', starting off the flip, presents many of the same elements as 'Courtyards of Atlantis'.  The sounds from these tracks find Chambers and Richer at the top of their game.  The latter tracks, too, are quite impressive.

Ionian Dream is beautifully represented with paintings by Marc Knowles and photography by Jessica Hébert and Mathieu Sauvé. One can only hope that this is the beginning of a fruitful endeavor.  After listening to this repeatedly, one gets the sense that these two guys were born to make music together.  Ionian Dream may be purchased directly from Kinnta.

peace to you, friends :)