privateDreamies : 2006 special edition Bill Holt (US,1973)***°°
Dreamies was an ambitious conceptual musical project by Bill Holt who quit his job in 1972 to prepare for what would result in this album after 15 months of work. It was inspired on The Beatles “Revolution number 9” from The White album, a track which used some tape reverb and collage ideas. This and what he read on ideas from contemporary composers like John Cage and musique concrete and a few other minor things developed his idea of what would become this album, with just 2 large tracks full of sound collage, sampled dialogues, including political and journalist commentary, and sound effects mixed with a melodic foundation of acoustic songs with acoustic guitar, mixed with moog sounds, and just a few additional Beatlesque harmonies.
The experiments were made possible with a TEAC 3340, a useful home model of a reel-to-reel four-track tape recorder. Many of the mixes were hand cut and taped recording fragments like it was usual these days. It had taken Bill Holt 15 months to record the album. Some of the instruments being used were an early moog synthesizer and an ovation acoustic guitar. This reissue was remastered from an in 1974 printed LP.
I had a previous reissue once, liked it, but at that time I found it slightly demanding in its complete score and sold it again when I needed some money, with some regret. With this advanced-sound reissue I had once more an opportunity to dig back into this album. The 2 tracks are now listenable into different parts.
On the website of Bill Holt have collected various video-fragments related with journalism, or other politically associated ideas. Also this album can be regarded as a collection which works as a dreamy vision, into its time perspective, with some chaotic events occurring that time. It could work as a recording into music of how aliens could see all things that were happening in that time, in a world perspective influenced by media, while the songs are the human inspiration of someone living in that, sometimes rather chocking modernised world. The second track is darker and more experimental, and works much more like a dream getting back in mind all previous visions. It ends with nightmarish droning electronics, and a slight return of the whole human vision..
Unfortunately for Bill Holt, he had to return to a normal job, because the album only gave him a "legendary" status, but like with most musical interesting projects (like with literature) it only became history and didn't reach a wide public.
PS. Another remarkable / comparable to check out album, also as another example of a huge work of art with tape cut-and-slicing is White Noise : An Electric Storm (US,1969)*****, a truly masterpiece from the late '60s, and one of my favourite 60's albums.