Evan Marc + Steve Hillage

Dreamtime Submersible (Somnia)

Mr. Evan Bartholomew… For connoisseurs of tech house, he is known as Evan Marc. For fiends of psybient and dubbed out downtempo, he is Bluetech – the West Coast producer of psychedelic influenced IDM sound (PsyDM) and an owner of a prolific record label, Native State Records. But a recent shift in economics of the music industry pushed Evan to create another independent label, Somnia, where along with a roster of modern classical musicians, he releases limited copies of minimal, electro-acoustic and ambient dreamscapes under his own name, Evan Bartholomew.

In this fourth Somnia release, Dreamtime Submersible, Bartholomew compliments his ambient soundscapes with dub techno influences. This album is a continuous mix of evolving sweeps, that becomes a single unfolding composition within seven movements, each transforming and elaborating on the theme. And… ahem!… This time he is collaborating with a visionary extraordinaire, Steve Hillage, whose discography trails into the 70s – most notable for his ambient techno project with Miquette Giraudy, System 7. I can dedicate a whole exclusive article just to Hillage, and yes, you should feel ashamed if haven’t heard the name. So all I can say is… wow…

A continuous sweep of a story-telling emotion that is impossible to interrupt in mid-sentence. Not once a repeated pattern of signal processing attributes! Each note carrying an immeasurable delay that feeds into an eternal release of ADSR’s tail. The duo paint volume envelopes with an artisan brush of an Irezumi master. There’s another interesting phenomenon that I always experience when listening to Dreamtime Submersible which I must share. The album begins with a bass theme which evokes a 4/4 kick drum that my brain just can’t place at the beginning of each measure. It comes in between the bars (as a hi-hat would). Try hard as I might, I can’t get my brain to switch to the correct meter. I can only fix the perceived rhythm by pausing the track and restarting a few seconds later. Obviously, on different occasions that decision is made at various portions of the track. And then I’m all good. But because for the next ten minutes (at least during the first piece) there are no perceivable codas, or defining signs of a virtual bar, I end up listening to a unique melodic pattern every time. And approach on a different path towards the core of dreamtime. On each arrival, I am fully submerged in a warm trance of bliss and harmony. Enjoy…

myspace.com/iamevanmarc | evanmarc.com
myspace.com/stevehillage | somniasound.com