A fascinating collection of intricate compositions; a cinematic burst of perfect visual accompaniment that is roused within the mind, especially when taking on board the vintage styled synthesis, delicate atmospherics, haunting vocal ventures and melodic guitar-driven overtones—all blended to perfect trance.
For all lovers of classic synths, Lee Simeone‘s latest Best Seat in the Dream EP offers up plenty—Prophet, Minimoog and Oberheim, to name just a few. The result? A unique creation of cosmic sounds; Simone’s most diverse yet. While there are moments that are firmly rooted in nostalgia, in the main, it’s a record that celebrates classic synths along side some contemporary and clever twists of song crafting. Lee Simeone, a multi-instrumentalist and composer, has captured here, a work that somehow manages to pull something from every key era in music.
Simone made his debut in 2009, with highly acclaimed The Dream Weaver of course, however, this latest offering is one that prides itself on seeing Lee push the boundaries of his vocal range—while reaching beyond the edge with his ever experimental and progressive style. His creative talent, clearly evident here, is not purely built upon such disciplines though—there’s the emotionally fraught lyrics toolargely a tool of self expression; a personal journey that took place over a lengthy period of time.
It all starts with the luscious synth heaven of the opening track “Sky-Blue Tattoo,” a work that Lee has dedicated to musician Greg Ham, his main influence, and one who sadly passed away in 2012. This particular and notable Vangelis-like showcase reaches rich synthesized, yet gentle heights, decorated with gradients of progressive color, depths of emotion – not to be unexpected, and runs alongside a subtle border with the ethereal. Dreamlike indeed, but edging away from predictable with its powerful bite of live drum sound, and that’s before it all blends into an intricate breakdown of extraordinary clean guitar sounds; a special moment that’s all very reminiscent of vintage Pink Floyd.
From the stunning opening, we edge slowly into the powerful beating heart of “Channelling Affection,” with its accompaniment of melodic and sometimes lonely, overdriven guitar.
Aside those aforementioned classic synths, there’s some expertly treated guitar and vocals throughout, that would not be lost if immersed in some form of ’60’s psychedelia, blended with 1990’s grunge, all embraced with vibrant electronic themes. A perfect example of the latter is “Vertigo Romeo” featuring a contribution from Milton Reame-James, (original Cockney Rebel). There’s lashings of atmosphere to trigger every mood—think the haunting echo of a deserted London underground tube station, reflected briefly, and very early on, in the appropriately titled “Yours Nocturnally,” before it attempts to awaken.
Such adventurous twists coupled with dramatic intervention continue within the spiritually themed “Dromsally Rise,”—a stunning and adventurous soundtrack that begins its journey with a gentle vocal lead towards haunting notes—those that dance around dark swollen shadows cast within an electronic wilderness. That’s all before its aftermath beckons, leaving the listener with a clearing in the gentle mist to reveal the ethereal introduction that is “Star Lane,” punctuated with its gentle acoustic guitar—as the music builds into something towards the beautiful and the inspired, with washes of dreamy and languid vocals.
In summary, Best Seat in the Dream is a fascinating collection of intricate compositions; a cinematic burst of perfect visual accompaniment that is roused within the mind, especially when taking on board the vintage styled synthesis, delicate atmospherics, haunting vocal ventures and melodic guitar-driven overtones—all blended to perfect trance.
Best Seat in the Dream is available on Vernal Equinox.