IKSRE / Awake Within The Dream / Lo Recordings

Naarm / Melbourne-based artist / healer, IKSRE (I Keep Seeing Rainbows Everywhere) – aka Phoebe Dubar – had a busy 2021, releasing two cassettes on Seattle’s Hush Hush, and contributing Lo Recordings` Spaciousness 2: Music Without Horizons. IKSRE now returns to Lo with her own solo offering, Awake Within The Dream. 

Again, it`s a tape / digital deal, with the first side divided into 6 individual pieces. Each named after a time and place. Each framed around field recordings from the Australian bush – cicadas, a chorus of crickets and frogs, owls hooting while hardware hums – and collectively, effectively, acting as a travelogue. Night Mist (Spring, 10.27pm), for example, is cloud-like, ethereal vapour, created from clicking steel kalimba tongues caught in delay. Dust (Spring, 4.53pm) hovers in the air like a hangdrum heat haze. Sanatorium Lake is a veritable, virtual Amazonian watering hole of bird and animal calls, washed by weather and waves. The sound of flocks squabblng, and taking flight. A crystal bowl summons a shimmering summer Woodlands, while a wordless, wafting, siren’s song weaves its spell about a winter Mire. Diaphanous drones describe an autumnal Deep Creek. Everywhere there is resonance ringing. Big bells, small bells. Super chilled chimes. Whispered pagan prayers and poetry. 

All of these shorter selections serve as sort of warming up exercises, sonic stretches, in preparation for the title track, a 42 minute live improvisation, which occupies the entire second side. A temple-like trip / ceremony of slowly strummed, treated strings, zithers, tingsha, gongs, and cymbals. There is no melody as such, more a magical moving of molecules. The pattens picking up momentum, amid rainsticks and seashells, as sheets of metal shake like distant claps of thunder. There`s even a touch of Tuvan throat singing towards its close. 

IKRSE Awake Within A Dream

I`ll own up and say that, often, when I receive long deep-listening pieces to review, things that you really need to immerse yourself in, I’ll initially be fighting, resisting the calm. Finding it hard to forget about the time involved in committing to it. I guess I’m a bit of an uptight fellow, beneath this mellow facade. However, always, and usually sooner rather than later, I will feel the benefit of their meditative properties, unfocus for a moment, free from all the other shit that I think I have to do. Awake Within The Dream, in this respect is no different. Once I’d surrendered to its enchanted environment, of seemingly endless echo, vibration, and sighing, suggested, freak folk, I was far, far, away from the day-to-day.

IKSRE`s Awake Within The Dream (Sound Meditations, Vol. 1) is out today, on Lo Recordings.

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