- Dream Tempest
- Neon Sunset
- Sun Riders
- Enshrine Exit
- Perfect Numbers
In 2011, astrangelyisolatedplace released a mix by ASC+36, which became a fortunate door to the discovery of these two artists, of skimpy names but well recognised careers within the digital ecosystem. In this vast universe, where egos out of control, arrivistes, lost souls and clones of clones proliferate, it is hard to express the happiness felt when founding really interesting and unique musical proposals, indifferent to temporary trends and consistent with their ideals and the way they express them.
36 (pronounced three-six) is Dennis Huddleston's moniker, an UK-based ambient producer with a very personal musical project. All his albums have been released by his own label, 36recordings, and after the digital and cd release of Dream Tempest, the musician offered through social networks, in an inteligent commercial movement, a limited edition, on-demand, of 100 vynil copies.
Dream Tempest is his sixth studio self-published album, and with it Huddleston widened his stylish palette, making this album his brightest and more luminous. The twelve tracks are far from the deep darkness of Lithea (2012), although, in the words of Huddleston himself, “It still has that glowing melancholy I just can’t seem to shake from my music". Within Dream Tempest there are more dreams than tempests, but those are daydreams, warm and placid, with which one could let oneself flow gently, in peace with oneself and with the images this music could bring into the mind.
The shiny arpeggio opening the album is a sign of this work seating on different foundations, that there is more life contained in it, more movement, at least compared to 36's previous production. It is an arpeggio that would return later in 'Perfect numbers', an interlude that seems to point directly to Boards of Canada. 'Neon Sunset' is one of the most descriptive titles, since it is a short theme based on a romantic jazzy melody. 'Sun Riders' is gliding, rich in its simplicity. It is awesome how 36 manages to create these warm, harmonic, ethereal landscapes. 'Airglow' is another example of such a musical floating. It is a shame that the tracks wouldn't link one into the next; if so, the inmersive experience would have been perfect.
'Always' is the jewel of Dream Tempest's crown. It is an evocative, elegiac theme, thick and beautiful at the same time. It might remind you of Hecq's 'I am you', but it lacks the restrained epic of the latter. It is the album's longest theme, and we should thank Huddleston took his time to develop it, to let the sadness flow, only to balance it out with 'Entropy's breeth of hope.
There is in 36's discography an evident wish to trascend, to go beyont time. The composer himself stated that "I don't want to write music that is discarded when the next big trend or genre blows up. I want to create something that you can listen to ten to twenty years later and still feel a connection to". 'Play', and even more 'Hyperbox', may sound like old music boxes, but within the context of the album they do not represent outdated or out of place objects, but a fond memory of the past, a point of human fastener facing the infinite waving ocean of 'Tired' or 'Enshrine Exit'. Maybe is this apparent contrast between the nostalgic dimension and the capacity of awe, between earthly and ethereal, where Dream Tempest's key to durability lies.