Artist: DF Tram
Album: Serenitay Infinity
Label: Liquid Sound Design
Released: 24th of August
Dylan Yanez A.K.A. DF Tram is a D.J./Producer from San Francisco who has recently relocated to Malta. His D.J. sets combine a selection of crate digging rarities ranging fromambient, jazz and world music, which are infused with sampled dialogue from film, documentaries, adverts and cartoons. He goes further at times playing alongside film clips in what he calls a Movie Mix. His first album ‘Illegal Lingo’ was released on Subatomic UK and reflected the style of his mixes somewhat and also had a slightly different feel to the other sunset Balearic releases of that label. Dylan has made no secret that he is overjoyed that this release, which he produced in San Francisco was then mastered by Youth with re-mixes from his musical hero’s the Orb and the Irresistible Force. There are also vocal inclusions from Coppe Sweetrice (who appeared on Illegal Lingo) and Lina Fouro, piano from Clifford Borg and bass from Youth himself.
Now to get to the nitty gritty what is the new album like? The opener ‘Lounge Lagarto’ begins like a TV show and quickly moves into a dub fusion of the Middle East bazaar, which sounds like it could be plucked from an old movie rather than a newly produced piece. The track is over-layered with short samples of duck hunting and horse riding, which may not appeal to some depending on your stance of the subject matter. This is followed by the Orb’s Bravo Foxhole re-mix of ‘Lovers Radio’, which begins beatless and very much in the style of the early 90’s ambient dub, eventually a plodding four by four bassline is utilised alongside a vocal sample that I imagine relates to the bunkers used in the Vietnam war. Next up is the title track ‘Serenitay Infinity’ a slow burner overlapped with poetry, that you could imagine springing up in a beatnik bar of 60’s San Francisco. ‘Eagles Shield’ takes a funky turn, filled with samples and orchestral sounds that remind me of old movies, that is bridged with more of a country music feel. This would fit easily alongside releases from Coldcut or the Jurassic 5.
The album takes another turn with ‘A Thousand Knives’, where gentle piano leads to distorted vocals that provide a slight 80’s New Romantic undertone, before sampled psychedelic themed dialogue and a dubbier bassline join the throng. This is followed by ‘Body Fizz’ which again has an ambient dub feel, where the samples sound like they have been plucked from a story not too dissimilar to Alice in Wonderland and the vocals have an early 70’s pop feel. The album then moves on to ‘Stellar by Starlight’ the title employed to a movie mix, recently aired in Malta and this years Bestival in the U.K. The piece itself is very ambient accompanied by faint harmonic voices from Coppe which rise and fall in a gentle sleepy manner. The mood then gets initially darker on ‘Honeycomb where a deep dark bass gets us underway with vocal samples, before lighter tones juxtapose and sultry half spoken vocals and vocoder voices (initially reminiscent of Newcleus) are employed. Which are possibly a combination of Coppe and Lina?
The album continues once again with Beatnik like poetry, distorted fx, old Arcade game sounds and half sung vocals on ‘Broken’. While ‘Dawn is Breaking’ another slow burner which begins with lush analogue sounding synths and vocal dialogue samples, the track builds into something reminiscent of classic Tangerine Dream before calming once more. The final track of the album is the Irresistible Force re-mix of ‘Sandcastles’, a haunting piece of synthesized ambience which once again initially has a somewhat retro feel to it (in this case Berlin School) before the beat comes in and it morphs into a dubbier affair.
To summarise I’ve always found Dylan’s mixes to be a creative journey and this album reflects that more so than ‘Illegal Lingo’ the change of label may also open his productions to a whole new audience. Admittedly with it’s wider palette of sounds it may not appeal to those who strictly love the dub reggae but it’s definitely dubby and definitely psychedelic. I for one would certainly bag this for my collection.
Review by Woodzee
This album is available to pre-order via Liquid Sound Designs bandcamp page