Jono Ma and Dreems are a dream team on ‘Can’t Stop My Dreaming (Of You)’
JONO MA and DREEMS are two names you’ll probably instantly recognise for their individual work – Jono Ma as one third of Jagwar Ma, and Angus Gruzman as Dreems. Here, however, the pair have teamed up as the dream-team of Sydney electronic music for a collaborative EP entitled The Dreemas, which will be out January 19th via the pioneering German label, Kompakt. The EP is the product of a long-gestating artistic relationship between the two that has, up until now, remained mostly private. But to tease the project, they’ve offered a small window into that private relationship by sharing the b-side, ‘Can’t Stop My Dreaming (Of You)’.
The track is a virtuosic slice of minimalist techno with small flashes of synth-pop carried over from Ma’s work in Jagwar Ma. Propelled by a looped vocal refrain and a hushed beat that moves at an easy, stuttering downtempo shuffle, the track feels almost as if it’s a few beats slower than you instinctively want it to or think it should be. Beneath this is a buzzing bass line that grows from a hum to a rumble as the track reaches its climax, where clattering/clamouring percussive elements sound as if they’re almost falling over one another to arrhythmically intrude and distorted vocal samples blur indistinguishably into the mix.
The real beauty of the track, however, can be found in how Ma and Dreems balance the density of this instrumentation with the airiness of the vocal melody that floats above and their use of ambient noise and open space. The result is a track that feels like it’s closing in around you, but where you’ve intentionally been left some room to breathe; it would feel claustrophobic if not for Ma’s and Dreems’ meticulous construction of the track, building some space for the listener into their otherwise private world.
The work coming out of the Jono Ma and Dreems collaboration is being described as “an electronic cryogenic stasis of two life-long friends in varying states of crisis, conversion and transcendence in the year 2017”; If ‘Can’t Stop My Dreaming (Of You)’ is anything to go by, the full EP, like the best collaborations, will feel like a musical conversation between two friends, where each is bringing the best of what they individually do to create something more.
WORDS BY KYLE FENSOM
IMAGE via Stereogum