Long Body - Dream Running (Good Company Records, 2020)
On their second EP on GCR, Long Body serve up another phenomenal EP that swells with passion, lights up the fires within us, and crafts vividness and hues with every turn.
Its always a wonderful thing when you come across labels that emphasis the importance of tone and texture as much as progression and emotion within dance music music. To be able to achieve this across a wide variety of genres and musical representations, thats better even still. In this contemporary musical landscape, we yearn to seek out labels and musicians who offer up something that holds a little bit more intrigue, a bit more unfamiliarity, something that presents itself as something we can grasp yet theres always room for us to see a little bit more. Its the manner in which the music unravels and recedes, peaks then flows away, the fluctuations and layers that all seem to come together in a low slung tidal wave of sound, our minds transported not necessarily to other worlds, but rather carried along to the rhythms of the tunes. We feel very much involved in the comings and goings, with our interest constantly evolving as the music does its best to maintain its connection to the listener, the morphing nature of the music allowing us to dip in and weave with its natural flow. Music that crafts these kinds of relationships with listeners always has this immediacy to it, with the intro setting the scene not as an expanse but presenting the tools which will make the track expand greatly, and then like that we enter into the world that was sparked from a singular point. The use of melodic features greatly aids in this world building side of things, the essence of the keys helping to paint a picture that we start to imagine is very real indeed, but the drums too help to prop up all that abounds within the emotive tones of the synths. Both elements operate comfortably on their own, or double up into an experience that breathes new life into dance music, the emphasis that is placed on the sound and structures of keys paired with rich and organic drums conjures up a vibe that feels fresh, vibrant, and in some ways, a little bit extraordinary.
Looking back through the Good Company Records discography, you constantly experience these moments where you take a step back to really marvel at it all. Every release ties into this notion that exploring the relationship between evocative tonal synths and superb layered drumming patterns can lead to records leads to stunning results, and with each release a new side to the story is allowed to be told. There appears to be a real yearning within the label to push out music that is intrinsically interesting and bold, where the compositions contain real musical flows but also give off this essence of intrigue and boldness. Perhaps its the diversity in sound that helps to add into this vibe, with each record allowing a new injection of creativity and musical excellence to align itself within the labels brilliant back catalogue. Even with the variety of styles on display, the threads that bring it all together is what carries the identity of the label through so well, with the overall picture amounting to something that represents one of the contemporary scene's most engaging and musically enriching sound. Some select records from their discography include the labels debut, 'EP', by Hugo Gerani, which came out in 2015; the incredibly rich rhythmic work out that is Phil Stroud's self titled LP, from 2016; Tourist Kid's emotionally and sonically uplifting 'Under Armour Suite' single from 2017; the superb 'The O.G' release by the always reliable Roza Terenzi; the brilliantly expressive 'EP' from Ginoli, from 2018; and finally, the deep and dense self titled EP by Leaving, from earlier this year. If you take a meander back through the back catalogue, there is always something to perk your interest, be it the manner in which rhythms flow and expand, or the nature of the sonics, through to the innate care and attention that seems to go into every single note and chord. Good Company have taken their time to nurture what sorts of music truly encapsulates their vision, and it feels as if there is no end in sight to the expansion of diversity or excellence through their releases. There's always room for more, and that keeps us constantly coming back for whatever they might churn out next. Seriously, take some time to get to know their releases, its all stellar.
So now we arrive at one of their latest releases, the 2nd EP on the label for Long Body, which is entitled 'Dream Running'. This record follows up their modern day classic 'Hi Vibe' EP that graced us with its presence back in 2016, which was a little slice of breezy sun drenched heaven that permeated our minds with its sublime chordal workouts and considered flows. It was modern day Balearic tinged house at its finest, a deft blend that channelled feels on all the levels, its audial quality standing out as top notch alongside the endlessly imaginative concepts that spiralled from the music. A memorable debut in many ways, and on that had many waiting with baited breath for their follow up. And now we arrive at that exact point, with the duo looking to expand on the slowed down moments from their debut and expand on the notion of tonal slowed down euphoria. So lets take a dip already!
The opener 'Mouth Feel' begins in suitably dreamy territories, and right from the start we get in tune with the feel of the track. The light pulse of the drums, paired with the textural little percussive elements here and there, all channel into the senses, your mind gently eased into proceedings before any melodic element is able to add to it. The singular strum of the guitar chord moves into view, adding a new layer of textural beauty to the tune, which is quickly joined by the solo guitar that runs between the chords. The vibe moves along with the breeze, right down to the tone and effect on those guitar chords, and before long we move into the next structure of the track. The synths lead the way from underneath, as the guitar line takes a more free form lead role on top of this unravelling tenderness, the deepest of blue seas lapping at our feet. You slowly nod your head to the groove, a groove that reverbs from deep within the track, the drums acting as a light support for all this melodic richness that occurs on top. To listen is to become mesmerised at it all, our heads in the clouds, as we drift slowly back to earth. An opener and a half that one. Up next comes 'Deep Sea Berth', and the scene is immediately set with the rising chord sequence that fills our view. The expanse that we see before us is filled with life and vibrancy, the solid tone of the keys reassuring and soothing, our minds at ease, with the guitar riff floating into view, sparkling like the moon over a still body of water. The two elements are tethered together, the singular notes of the guitar resonating within the swell of the chords, which rise and fall away with the waves that guide it. The flow moves like this for a good while, allowing us to really get within it all, and as the track begins to fade into the distance, the chords fall away and the space is filled by the rhythmic keys and guitar work, the energy remaining but in a different form. What a journey. Up next comes 'Second Sight', and the tones remain in the same ball park. We begin off with the wide wide chords, that do as much as they can to fit from mountain top to mountain top, whilst underneath we begin to feel the drums slowly emerge and make their presence known. The manner in which the tune begins to descend into this more free form flow, where the chords recede and are replaced by a series of boundless keys and sequences, just adds to the intrigue, our minds focusing enormously on the flows that bound the track together. This middle part soon switches up once again, as the intro chords emerge into the sun light, their sublime touch not lost on us just yet, as we welcome them back with open arms and love filled hearts. I guess tenderness has a new meaning to it.
Next comes 'Belong To Here', that begins in more rhythmically orientated atmospheres. The light taps of the hats gently tread within the middle of the track, with other delicate features moving and grooving around the pulse. The key line then aligns itself within this sea of dynamism, beginning off as a repeating sequence before moving the notes around to give that sense of progression, before fading away to highlight the solid chords and notes that persisted underneath. The track then plays out this impeccable display of groove through stabs and sequences, where the drums take a back seat in just acting almost as a time keeper, and the melodic features on top do all they can to craft a mesmerising groove. To finis up, we have 'Exp + Mem', and we begin with the dense chord progressions that have been a key feature of this wonderful record. Slow and reserved, they fill the backdrop of the track, their presence acting as a foil for all that will reveal itself soon enough. The lovingly curated key lines that drape themselves over the dense sound underneath is a sight to behold, the textural feels that resonate off this track are very special indeed. Its energy looks to condense the feelings that have been evoked within us over this record, with the expanses and rhythmically rich melodies quietened down into this slow burning down tempo set piece. A set piece brimming with richness and emotion, its the perfect ender to a record that in some ways will keep living and breathing as we finish listening to it.
Throughout this record, we spend as much time in our imaginations as much as we do reaching out to touch the sounds presented to us. The dynamic that unravels on this release is one where we feel lifted beyond the clouds and deep into the sea, but we never loose sight of the technical mastery that allows us to feel this way. Not to mention the evocative tones and delicate touch to proceedings, and you have in your arms a record that gives over so much and asks little in return. By the end of it all, you feel blessed to have been in its presence, its tender touch and soft delicate nature something that will truly warm your heart, and soundtrack those moments in life where you wish to escape in the happiest sense possible. Solid Gold.
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