$.99 Dreams – 2010 (self released)


$.99 Dreams - 2010

I’ve shared my thoughts on $.99 Dreams’ previous releases on these pages, and its obvious I believe them to be one of the most exciting new finds of the last few years, seemingly taking my love of jazz and pushing it to a whole new place, obliterating preconceived boundaries of contemporary jazz, pushing the envelope to somewhere darker.

2010 sounds as if Sun Ra has been channeled from the grave, and taught a thing or two about analogue electronics, maintaining a free jazz feel within a more rhythmic pulse of drums and electronics more akin to J Dilla. Using overdubbing techniques in their song composition, layering live drums, analogue synthesizers, horns, strings and percussion, they retain this free flowing instrumentation, played by humans, recorded by humans, and assembled by humans. $.99 Dreams are Matt Crane (drums and percussion) and Adam Diller (tenor sax, synth, Wurlitzer and sampler), and on this release have assistance from Daniel Carter (reeds), Tucker Dulin (trombone), Bryan Eubanks (electronics) and Andrew Lafkas (double bass). It’s a very coherent album, on first listen sounding like a collection of simple studio jams, but on further listening, the complex and dense arrangements seep through, showing a jazz structure, but allowing the drone and pulse of the electronics and beats to reshape the sound into something entirely new. Whereas the recent 12” vinyl release compiled many of their drum heavy experiments, 2010 is largely a jazz album, skirting with the experimental, but still holding the interest for the beat heads with tracks such as “int/aadfg”, “brkj”, and “nty2”, laying down some of the dirtiest drums you’ll ever hear. Song names remain as abstract as their take on jazz, not unlike Aphex Twin or Autechre, seeming meaningless. There is so much to absorb in this record, it takes many listens to really start to appreciate the depth of breadth of the $.99 Dreams sonic palette. Wander over to www.ninetyninecentdreams.com for more info, and all their previous releases available to purchase. 2010 serves as a perfect introduction to the $.99 Dreams sound, but it will only leave you wanting to hear their entire back catalogue. I know this album will remain in my top ten for 2010.

Wayne Stronell


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