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FEATURED ARTIST *Dark Optics* Dreams Insepia - ALBUM REVIEW



Dark Optics - Dreams Insepia

Derby, United Kingdom




Dark Optics started making music in 2010. Their current project makes use of Triphop, downtempo, instrumental hiphop and light drum and bass that all showcase a meditative project in Dreams Insepia. Inspired by Triphop scene of the 90’s/early 00’s. Massive Attack, Tricky, Portishead, the 4th release from Dark Optics focuses on the ideas of sleep and the waking subconscious thoughts we have. Starting the journey of REM through to the feeling of waking life right after a deep sleep.




This project opens with 'Sleepwalker' a track full of distortion, woodblock-inspired sounds, and heavy trance-infused bass. As the track develops we then hear the introduction of drums that sit midway in the mix between the heavy distortion and melodic bell synths. 'The Great Rainbow' continues the narrative through the heavy bass VST plugins but brings a slower o groove to the mix through its use of more rhymic drum loops and aborigine-inspired instrumentalisation. This track introduces vocals to the project, A real trance-inspired production. Track 3 titled 'Kansas City' brings a darker feel to the album with its inclusion of haunting female vocals. Definitely my favorite track so far in this project. 'Floating Bridge' brings the same energy and feel that was found in the opening two tracks but brings DnB to the forefront of its inspiration through its use of heavy 808s and classic DnB drum loops. It offers a twist in its sound by including trap soul synths. No vocals to be found in this track but it's a vibe! Track 5 named 'Pilgramage' slows things back down through its trance opening but we're quickly redirected into the land of pop-rock - The vocals are completely different in this one. Folk strings sell us a Celtic story before we're met by heavy rock guitar. This is a well interesting production in the way that it incorporates so many completely different cultural influences into its story. 'Around The Dark' offers a reggae-inspired beat before making way for ska-style guitar playing and a rock vocal style. I found myself so interested by this project! 'Love Dont' slows things right down through the use of long vocals before being introduced to 'Empty' - a track with a dreamy mix of lo-fi bell synths. Sexy, slow, and full of emotion, this track reintroduces female vocals to the mix that offer slick jazz-inspired flavor to the album. 'Cuttlefish' offers a more natural feel when compared to the synth-packed electronics of the previous tracks through the use of natural piano playing. 'The penultimate piece 'This Desert Life, Pt.string 2' brings the flavor of the Middle East through its signature string playing and distinct vocal chops. When accompanied by a Dub beat we really get a fusion of cultures that conjure up a psychedelic dream. Really liked this cinematic piece! We hear 'Inserpia' as the closing component of this album - another cinematic track with a great mix. This album really blends many cultures and genres in a way that takes you out of your normal space and into a psychedelic REM state of being. Great project!


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