REVIEW: Dreamfield - "Take Me With You"

By Marcus Pan

Chain Border

Take Me With YouBased in London, Dreamfield are a rhythmic and ambient band that blend musical nuances very well. Their release of Take Me With You is a CD single and contains two versions of a song by the same name as well as Distant Skies. Reminiscent of work by artists Bel Canto, their music is the type you can lose yourself easily within.

Formed by partners Poppy Gonzalez and Gregg McKella, they each have roles within the ensemble that are varied and, well, interesting. Poppy handles vocals, piano and "rhythmic things" while Gregg does guitars and "psychadelic clarinet." Now I wasn't aware prior to this that there was such an instrument as a "psychadelic clarinet," but believe you me it is readily apparent and used to full extent in Distant Skies. Their debut release, this single, was put out on January 14th of 2000. They are currently working on creating an independent label to promote their own work and recording in Bark studios.

Being this is a CD single, I feel it is appropriate to cover everything here - the three tracks Take Me With You, Distant Skies and Take Me With You - Short Wave Mix.

Take Me With You
The opening and nominal track of the single has a moody, yet comfortable, atmosphere about it. A windy background opening is permeated by Gregg's "psychadelic clarinet" and Poppy's vocals are floaty and dreamy - not unlike the aforementioned Bel Canto's Anneli Drecker. Female harmony during choruses is beautiful. Bass and drums are even and build slowly, with an ear to smooth and sexy. Guitar solos are well-placed and never steal from the rest of the instrumentation. Overall, Take Me With You is wonderfully arranged. Poppy's dreamy "Take Me With You" chorus really can if you close your eyes.

Distant Skies
Female fronted and lead, Distant Skies is very light and breezy. Drums come in very strong and powerful - the snare seems even a bit too strong. Hits on it can almost make you twitch - suggestion to Dreamfield to tone down the snare pick-up. The reverberating drum hit takes away from the smooth execution of the track. Excepting the twitching snare hits which are always [too] loud and clear, the song becomes quite a mish mash of rhythmic incantations and flowing clarinet. The wide combination of sounds and instruments creates a powerful and all-encompassing effect and draws to a strong, albeit messy, closing.

Take Me With You - Short Wave Mix
Seems to get its mix name from the computeresque opening and static-laden ambient background noise. The synth melodies are nice. Again the drum track, at least the main hits, are reverberating and loud giving the track a twitchiness. Chorus harmonies are here, but surrounded by squealing guitars/synths. I prefer the original. Seems like simply a case of "don't try to fix what isn't broken." Gets a bit funkier towards the latter portion, and the sudden bass line is nice but doesn't seem to fit within the scheme of the track. Vocals are a bit repetitive.

Dreamfield have arrangement skills above and beyond the norm and the inclusion of "rhythmic things" and "psychadelic clarinets" really make these artists stand out. Take Me With You (original version) is my favorite on this single and it's worth spinning multiple times just to get away from things. My interest in their future work is happily and dreamily piqued.

Contact Information:
Telephone: 44 (0) 117 946 68 68
Fax: 44 (0) 117 946 68 69

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