(New Album Review) Dweomer- Sleeping Thorn

“the Sleeping Thorn is used to put one into a deep sleep from which he or she wouldn’t awaken for a long time.”

2015 has been a fine year for Portland’s experimental electronic music community, with excellent stuff continuously pouring in from the likes of Pulse Emitter, Ant’lrd, M. Akers, Opaline, and Contact Cult all through the last couple months. At the forefront of Portland’s batch for this year thusfar is a rather impressively eclectic and well-balanced release called Sleeping Thorn by Dweomer, musician, sound designer, and cosmic DJ Jef Drawbaugh.

The bubbling sequencers and crackling textures of Dweomer’s concoctions show the influence of the Ghost Box roster, particularly Jon Brooks’s work as The Advisory Circle. And like Jon Brooks and Jim Jupp, Drawbaugh is just as adept in the mode of starry-eyed awe (“Chronicle”) as in that of wry detachment (“Hazel Wand and the Wisdoms”). The analog synth patches are clear and glowing, but the way that Drawbaugh’s mixes pop and twist shows a playful sensibility that I always like to see in electronic music. Dweomer’s production style here takes spooky drones and rippling Berlin school sequencing in the vein of early Tangerine Dream and then tinkers with the surface business to deepen the beauty of the maze. This stuff doesn’t really need any label other than to say that it’s pure electronic ear-candy, but if you were to press me I’d say that this could best be called a warm-hearted sort of kosmische hauntology. Sleeping Thorn comes highly recommended to all lovers of psychedelic and ambient electronic sounds!

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