Silver Vinyl - strictly one per customer
Following their much hyped collab for Ecstatic last year, Romance & Dean Hurley slide back into view (only just) with a second collection of concept-driven dreamzoners. On that first record they were critiquing the fallacies of daytime soap escapism, and they revisit the same subject matter here, with a set of near-saccharine, new age adjacent compositions that have left me contemplating their intentions somewhat. Is this really about the hollow valley of daytime TV capitalist zombification, or are they taking a broader swipe at something else? Might the very form they utilise be their target? Make no mistake, Lifestyle-Ambient is a very real thing, the commodification of sound in service to consumer activity at the very root of the genre - is there much difference between muzak and Japanese artists commissioned to make music to help sell condos, watches, perfume et al? Beware of the 'tasteful'. And there's a reason so many zombie narratives are based in shopping centres. There's likely something intentionally subversive at the heart of River of Dreams, not unlike James Ferraro's Far Side Virtual, the kind of art statement that's able to have its cake and eat it. River of Dreams sounds beautiful, but it's gonna stab you in the back. Maybe not too unlike some daytime soaps after all.