Luna Kafé e-zine  Luna Kafé record review
coverpic flag Wales - Full Moon 179 - 04/18/11

The Licence To Interpret Dreams
Hidden Shoal Recordings

Antonymes is Ian M. Hazeldine - designer, photographer, conceptualist and musician. He's "making music from the wilds of North Wales, a very strange, fantastic, ultimately unreal place of mountains, streams, woods, villages and obscure wilderness", to quote Hidden Shoal. The Licence To Interpret Dreams is ambient, grandiose minimalism, built around Hazeldine's fragile piano magic.

In 2009 Hazeldine put out his debut, a mini-album called Beauty Becomes The Enemy of the Future (on Cathedral Transmissions), which also appeared as a self-published book some months later, in 2010. The same year he also put out 31: Before The Light Fails, as 1: a digital download, and 2: as a special box (an edition of one!), containing music and photography. The latter held two tracks to be played simultaneously in separate rooms! Art, right? Now, here's The Licence To Interpret Dreams (great title, btw), a full album presenting 12 compositions - 12 songs floating and hovering. At the same time they sound like being astronautic, or cosmic, as well as sounding submerged, being performed underwater. Like it's the music guiding a slow-motion, unearthly ballet. These are meditative compositions - minimal and stripped, yet sentimental, naked and quiet, yet massive. The piano-beauty is computer-distilled, while a sparse layer of sound and some (spoken) vocal/voice sequences appearing like minor scenographic parts. The Licence To Interpret Dreams is like an exotic travel, lasting months and months, years and years, while the album clocks in at a bit under an hour. The Licence... is slow, sandy windstorms through endless deserts. It's like paragliding over foggy landscapes, where you barely get to see some glimpses of what lies below. Or, as mentioned earlier, taking place in the aquatic element. Like scenes of scuba diving, swimming through slow-waving seaweed. The label's got fitting description of Antonymes' music: "...Composition takes form through patience, probing, occasional accidents, spontaneity and a form of focused daydreaming." One might also add unfocused, random night dreaming. The opposite meaning should be considered an option at any point, hence the artist's "band" name. As I'm lying on my bed in a Copenhagen hotel room, I'm almost drifting away into slumberland. Almost. Must. Not. Sleep. Must. Not Sleep. Well, start dreaming, then.

This album is chamber ambient. All songs are like small symphonies, and their titles are indeed very poetic or literate: "A Fragile Acceptance", "The Siren, Hopelessly Lost", "Oradour-Sur-Glane" "Womb Of The Great Mother", "Landscape Beyond An Open Window", "The Door Towards The Dream", "On Approaching The Strange Museum". It's almost like, when trying to list the highlights of the album, you'll simply list all songs. That said, "Doubt" is a clear favourite of mine. Brilliant track, with lyrics. Let Antonymes hypnotize you, and take you far off planet earth. Antonymes really is an interpreter of dreams, or a translator of dreamlike sound-escapades. The Licence To Interpret Dreams for sure is translations of dreams. It's almost like being field recordings of dreams. From inside someone's head. A massive masterpiece.

The Licence To Interpret Dreams will be released on 21 April.

Copyright © 2011 Håvard Oppøyen e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Antonymes articles/reviews: Delicate Power (In The Hands of Others) EP, For Now We See Through A Glass Dimly, We Don't Look Back For Very Long.

© 2011 Luna Kafé