I had a pretty simple childhood. I grew up right before screens started to monopolize the attention of children. My evenings consisted of my parents throwing on some music and unwinding which means that is what my nights consisted of. One of my favorite albums that they played was “Dreamland” by Robert Miles. Without TV or video games competing for my attention, I was able to mentally and emotionally interact with the music. The music imposed on me specific imagery and emotions, and I embraced that and explored the meaning behind those feelings and why I felt them. The images and feelings that these songs evoke are still the same as they were when I was a child. It amazes me that I haven’t tried to remember them and couldn’t even if I tried. Yet if you play one of these tracks I can instantly be transported to the same place.
Released in 1996, this album was extremely popular in Europe and reached top 5 on the charts of many countries. It also had mainstream success in the US, which says a lot for an electronic album in the 90s. Let me guide you through my favorites on this early masterpiece.
This opens up with what sounds like a rainstorm. Thunder rolls for a few seconds giving way to a steady light rain with chirping birds. Shortly, solitary and reverberating piano notes are introduced for one of the most famous intros to an electronic track. That bass line at 2:20 sounds dated but in a good way. There is nothing wrong with this track sounding like the decade that birthed it. We don’t except Journey or old U2 to sound modern, and we embrace the sound of the decade they are from. I think that EDM is always looking ahead to that new sound or effect and we fail to appreciate the origins of the genre.
As a small child I was infatuated with this song. I wanted to know who this woman was and why she wanted to hear a fable? She sounded so curious. Why a fable of all things? I had so many questions, and honestly I still do. Anyway…those strings at 1:00. Now that is a proper build up!
I honestly think this track could pass as a modern deep house track. This one is timeless.
From 1:30 onward there is a wonderfully layering that I hope you take the time to appreciate. The song sounds like it was a very early form of the sub-genre we now call progressive.