There are many kinds of electronic music, including techno, trance and house. But there has always been a different form, not intended exclusively for dance, but more atmospheric and cinematic, designed prevalently for minds and moods. So much of this music defies easy classification, which is why its label has shifted over the decades. Experimental, avant-garde or alternative, the label you fit to these soundscapes doesn’t really matter, what does, is the astonishing, immersive impact this music has on our state of being, while experiencing it. “2020 Dreams” by Greg E [nonsegmental], is one such astounding EP project.
Greg E [nonsegmental] is a Greek musician based in London. He has enjoyed a successful career in the contemporary classical music scene as a composer (including collaboration with the LSO, London Sinfonietta, and the Greek National Opera, etc.), and is also a regular collaborator in theatre, dance, and multimedia projects as sound designer.
“2020 Dreams” finds Greg E [nonsegmental], experimenting with what he describes as a new sonic language and ideas that were developed for two independent theatre and dance projects during the lockdown period: ‘An Ice Thing To Say’ by Vertebra Theatre premiered at the Reykjavik Fringe Festival, and ‘Duelo por un tiempo que una vez fue’ part of Reactivos Culturales (Murcia, Spain) by Piedad Albarracin Seiquer.
The listener who wants to fill a gap in their music collection with at least one mood-inducing, forward-thinking electronic music release will probably have to look no further: “2020 Dreams” is Greg E [nonsegmental] demonstrating his quintessential ingenious, every track is able to standalone, yet powerfully connected, ushering forth reams of cascading synths, field recordings, and sounds that unfurl, twist and glide at an undefined pace.
There is no set rhythmic scheme, no constrictive structural template, no predetermined sonic manifesto, except an overarching narrative theme which is chronicled through the significantly sequenced track titles: “Water: Our Meeting”, “Earth: In The Frame”, “Air: Piercing” and “Fire: Raging”. There is a subtle sense of space and calm but also a propulsive energy and an ominous electricity running throughout the recording.
“Water: Our Meeting”, launches the project with field recordings of the sea and portentous overdriven guitar motifs, which are joined by a rock steady drumbeat and shimmering keys. “Earth: In The Frame” is darker and more mysterious, with growling synths and basslines. Infinitely deep, the spectral soundscape evokes an angsty melancholy and a surprising emotional resonance, considering the improvised sonic construction.
“Air: Piercing” builds from the foundation of a field recording of a steam train, which evolves alongside the fluctuating orchestration. As is typical in this kind of work, Greg E [nonsegmental] uses the sound timbres and textures to mount tension and focalize mindsets.
“Fire: Raging” features field recordings of a campfire, which melds with the ominous droning and insistent percussion. Greg E [nonsegmental] lays his sounds bare and lets them go right to work here.
Like most instrumental music, the tracks on “2020 Dreams” deliver a mosaic of powerful imagery which are re-constructed in the listener’s mind, based on their own personal experiences. What seems simple on the surface is detailed and textured under close attention.
No matter how abstract a track feels, there’s always some kind of recurring sonic element to give it shape and keep it cohesive. “2020 Dreams” offers a compelling aural echo to the music of Greg E [nonsegmental].