I think it would be fair to say with any musician, that life’s constant journey can be found woven within the artists creative output. This is almost certainly the case with Discolor Blind’s debut EP “Long Vivid Dream”. The driving force behind the band is Askhan Malayeri, and his journey is a wide and varied one. Beginning in his native Tehran, then onto Cambridge and London, and across to Canada, all the while pulling together the experiences and influences we find in his first significant release.
‘Long Vivid Dream’ was recorded in Montreal between April 2013 and October 2015. And is certainly a deep, brooding, contemplative piece. I find myself hearing shades of Massive Attack alongside early Peter Gabriel, and Portishead.
“Migraine” starts with a droney feel, but develops into a haunting soundtrack-inspired introduction to an EP that can only really truly be appreciated in it’s entirety. This melds into “The Life of Lily” that builds into a distinctive metal feel, i guess you would say Scandi-metal. The contrast of the ethereal vocal track against the metal feel works wonders, and it takes you into a big change mid track . Overall its a very complex track, lots of different inspirations here, it’s deep and dark, but extremely enjoyable.
“What Pain Brings” reminds me of a show tune, its light and bouncy and a hell of a lot of fun. It develops into a darker feel midway through, but the addition of an SH-101 (one of my dream synths) is a definite winner.
“Black and Grey” forms a great focal point to the whole EP, and as a single track its a standout. I just love this piece, my only negative point would be that it just seems to end prematurely.
This brings us to “Poor Receipts”. This very percussive, dynamic track has a dramatic feel to it. I can visualize the soundtrack to a horror film from the 70’s or 80’s and I love that. There’s some very nice textures going on here, with floating synth parts beneath the surface of the mix.
Askhan has really put a massive amount of effort into this release. Building the songs up layer by layer in his studio. Then a lot of the parts have been replaced by an army of performers, including Jeff Bass, well known for his work with Eminem, but more interestingly with George Clinton. Vocals are the final piece in the puzzle, and feature vocalist Alexis Nadeau.
Building up the songs involved a long and dedicated process, where Askhan plays the core sounds across a variety of instruments and digital methods, many of which are then replaced by other players for the final recording, and vocals added above the tracks. He likened the process to “rebuilding a large cathedral brick by brick”.
The EP is available at their Bandcamp page
As well being a reviewer for Echosynthetic, Jamie writes and produces synthpop/futuresynth as JJ.Christie
You can hear all his stuff here