[sic] Magazine

PCM – Dreamland

It kicks like a sleep twitch!

Ambient IDM specialist label, n5MD have their finger on the pulse of global electronic music. Their roster is speckled with multicultural artists. For instance, I already begin to lose count of quite how many Italian acts the Bay area imprint has unearthed. PCM are another such find and yet another excellent one. This three piece group comprises Francesco Perra, Matteo Cantaluppi, and Matteo Milea. The first initial of each surname provides the bands, M|A|R|R|S-like moniker, PCM.

Sleep has always been a topic which fascinates me. We spend a third of our lives doing it but very little of the remainder understanding it. On a ‘well-being’ level I am aware that regular, quality nights of sleep are as important as hydration, nourishment and fitness. We cannot avoid sleep, nor can we replace it with a quick fix pill. There are plenty of studies about this subject. There have been albums too but few, if any, have captured the impression of sleeping quite as effectively as Dreamland. This isn’t an album intended to induce sleep, unlike, say, Hammocks Sleepover Series. Instead PCM attempt to capture the effect of sleeping and each phase contained therein. Dreamland is the sound of the way sleep feels. PMC capture these sensations seemingly effortlessly.

After a brief, introductory passage of restlessness (Unsleep) we’re off to the land of nod with the billowing title track. This captures that transient moment when we all drift away into slumber. PCM infuse their take on it with awe and reverence. What comes next is better still. Astral Walk takes us to the other side of the dream sea with jaunty, pitter-patter keys and (faux?) strings. Everything is warm and cosy up to this point. The album continues in the same vein – exploring different passages of sleep. As we might expect, REM Phase is a pivotal movement for the album. PCM also explore the half-awakened state, comas and even nightmares. Each track is utterly appropriate to its subject matter. Nightmare Alley, for example, really is sinister in that ‘can’t quite put your finger on why’ way. Just like a Lynch movie or, you know, actual nightmares. The album draws to a close, like our own sleeps, with the amusingly titled, Alarm Clock Lullaby. This is gorgeous – all lullaby, and no alarms whatsoever. If only my own awakenings were this blissful. Maybe I need to load Dreamland into my device? At least partially, Nightmare Alley can probably be left for the daytime.

Dreamland really succeeds. However the real kicker is that this record is equally as listenable as it is admirable.

Dreamland is out now and is available to order via n5MD and Bandcamp. Check out the gorgeous coloured vinyl.


Find Out More