lukepi / methyr – Ocean Dreams
Recommendation: ✂ (“Brisk Wind”, “Snake / The Bowl of Rice and the Bamboo Tree”, “Someone, Anyone, No-one”, “Seaweed”)
Ocean Dreams1 is a split release between lukepi and methyr that was released through Smirk Sounds. lukepi2 released his first EP at the ripe age of 17, then took a few years off until dropping No Wonder on Neetspeak in 2015. He produces a playful blend of IDM, chiptune music, and vaporwave – a playfulness that certainly bleeds through the cloth on this album. methyr is no stranger to Smirk Sounds; his album Digital Autopsy was the first release by the label. As with lukepi, methyr has an eclectic approach to music composition, dabbling in vaporwave, classical music, jazz, glitch, and techno, and often all within the same album (or track). He is also the owner and operator of Question Records, and he releases neo-classical/experimental music as Te Amo!.
This album sounds something like an imaginary video game soundtrack as depicted by chillwave/vaporwave. “Brisk Wind” starts up the lukepi side with something that sounds like an early 64-bit video game introduction.3 Follow-up track “Eternal Returnal” references the Metal Gear franchise several times (especially Metal Gear Solid 4), and [Solid?] Snake gets a [maybe?] shout-out on the fifth track. methyr’s side goes straight MIDI for a lot of its composition with a similar level of the gaiety that informed lukepi. methyr’s side also has a bit of a narrative, describing what appears to be a splash-down from space, a request for help, and an observation of this new place.
Each track is bouncy and energetic – something you’d expect from Kirby’s Dream Land 3 for the SNES, where the game just wants to have fun with you rather than against you. The MIDI obviousness may not appeal to those who are not as into chiptune music; the horns on “Splaaaaaash!” almost break into cheesiness one step too far. methyr included two long tracks that exceed eight and seven minutes respectively – “Someone, Anyone, No-one” and “Flare!” – both of which are quite engaging and do not feel their length. They are recommended for fans of s a k i 夢. The jazzy outro with “Seaweed” is quite lively, too.
Start with the cuts on this one. If you really like what you hear, then certainly explore further.
1. lukepi: Brisk Wind – (0:49)
2. lukepi: Eternal Returnal – (2:25)
3. lukepi: Storm – (2:27)
4. lukepi: The Stars Above the Sea – (3:14)
5. lukepi: Snake / The Bowl of Rice and the Bamboo Tree – (2:09)
6. lukepi: I Thought I Lost You – (3:19)
7. methyr: Splaaaaaash! – (2:56)
8. methyr: Lifeboat – (1:14)
9. methyr: Lobster Ballroom – (2:12)
10. methyr: Someone, Anyone, No-one – (8:26)
11. methyr: Flare! – (7:22)
12. methyr: Distress Signal – (3:17)
13. methyr: Seaweed – (3:46)
1Coincidentally, also the name of a new age release by Dean Evenson from 1989. I do not recommend it.
2Also known as Lukepi.
3That’s Nintendo 64 and PlayStation for you young folk. Back when “bits” were a thing that mattered among consoles.