Okay, this is kinda random. But I accidentally clicked on this track, not even reading what it was. That sort of thing happens when I’m tired and ready to go to bed. But wow, I didn’t realize this track I never heard of, by an act I know nothing about, was remixed by none other than shoegaze pioneers Slowdive. Must be serendipity. And it’s fairly recent, released sometime last year.
The track’s appropriately titled “Dream Voyager” and comes from composer/filmmaker Anthony Tombling, Jr., a.k.a. CUTS. I’m not entirely sure what films he’s scored or made. But from what I’ve read, he’s had music featured in Alex Garland’s acclaimed sci-fi film “Ex-Machina.” So that’s something. And although not knowing much of his audio-visual output, a quick scan of his material situates him squarely in the center of cinematic atmospheric composition. He’s definitely electronic-based, but it’s weird and moody stuff, melodic yet unsettling at times. It’s suited to the widescreen pixels.
I’m not sure how Slowdive connected with CUTS. But the end result makes obvious sense. The original “Dream Voyager” is a lo-fi operatic synth anthem, sci-fi analog in tone, monolithic in scope. It feels ancient and progressive all at once. Add Slowdive’s textural guitar stacks to the mix, and this one soars with oscillating flutters of ethereal feedback. Their remix efforts really illuminate the dream aspects of this particular voyage.
Here’s Slowdive’s remix of CUTS “Dream Voyager.”
“Dream Voyager – Slowdive Remix” from the 2018 EP “Dream Voyager.”
For comparison’s sake, here’s CUTS original rendition of “Dream Voyager,” in all its minimal synth-stacked glory. As mentioned, it’s a moodier low-key affair, retro-futuristic and epically subtle. It feels like the perfect foundation for Slowdive to elaborate upon, yet still find space to work on its own terms.
The original version of “Dream Voyager” from the 2018 EP “Dream Voyager.”
Lastly, here’s a music video for CUTS’ original version of “Dream Voyager.” Stark urban landscapes of concrete complexes and overcast skies provide the setting for warped human effects, stretched and contorted through the wonder of digital technology. Strange and suiting to the score that Tombling provides. Plus, an insight into his visual visions, which I can only assume amount to the filmmaking aspects of his endeavors.