Escape from the mainstream and mundane is possible with “Dreams Beyond”, Sverre Knut Johansen’s fifth offering on the Spotted Peccary Music label. The visionary Norwegian composer presents a wondrous adventure through musical visions and sonic dreamscapes, citing the artwork of Michał Karcz as inspiration. The new album, a beguiling collection of compositions infused with imagination and beauty, releases worldwide today on Spotted Peccary Music.
By Beth Ann Hilton
Guiding the listener on a fascinating voyage, the album’s nine tracks travel through quiet spaces and mysterious realms, frequently propelled by dynamic rhythms that build to powerfully dramatic moments. Using his collection of synths, electronic percussion, electric guitars, and sound design software, Johansen infuses the tracks with a creativity that satisfies the ears and sparks the imagination, weaving melody, rhythm, and texture into a captivating musical tapestry that constantly evolves from beginning to end. Inspired and sincere, “Dreams Beyond” is bestowed with passion and warmth. It is a thoroughly enjoyable exploration that invites us to follow our dreams into the unknown and beyond, seeking – and discovering – a peaceful paradise of long days and beautiful landscapes, safe from danger, and hidden from the outside world.
The album is almost an entirely solo effort, with all instruments and sound design by Johansen except for a cello performance by Henrik Silfverhielm on the emotive track “Human Connection.” Delving into “synth” territory in a recent conversation with music journalist Robin James, Johansen said “The dramatic bird sounds I use in ‘Tatra Mountains’ are a big part of this song as they create a more dramatic and intense vibe throughout the track. These two minutes I created with these sounds are important to the whole album as I also use them elsewhere to link the tracks together. The bird sounds on ‘Tatra Mountains’ along with different effects and synth sounds were crafted from the OSCar programmable Music Synthesizer.”
The album is available on Bandcamp:
Following up with an impressionistic review, James wrote, “With a sound signal like whistling, the title track emerges, leading into a stop and start sequencer pattern that keeps repeating and building: ‘Dreams Beyond’ (10:54). Unseen creatures continue to whistle from the void, calling out to each other to enhance their telepathic illusions, thoughts dance upon the pillows of oblivion. What I hear next reminds me of the majestic beauty of creation and all those who love the silence and calm of the mountains; ‘Dawn’ (4:01) is the frontier of the void, light emerges with varying shapes of the crystal-image spreading luster across the sky.”
The inspirational cover art is titled “The Beacon” and was created by painter-turned-photographer Michał Karcz, who has established himself as a maker of detailed sound-inspired illustrations for imaginative fantasy worlds. “Most of my work is like a journey to the places which don’t exist. Places from my dreams, desire, imagination and fears.” He continues, “I can tell that music has the biggest impact on my work. It’s an inseparable element with pictures in my mind, a kind of sound illustration to a visible scenery. These two things hit me with the strongest intensity.”
Find “Dreams Beyond” on your favorite streaming platform here: https://orcd.co/dreams-beyond
DREAMS BEYOND is Sverre Knut Johansen’s fifth release on the Spotted Peccary Music label; his earlier releases are PRECAMBRIAN (SPM-3004), THE VAST EXPANSE (SPM-3003), SECRET SPACE PROGRAM (SPM-3002), and EARTH FROM ABOVE (SPM-3001). The album was mastered by Howard Givens, and is available for physical purchase in CD format and in 24-BIT AUDIOPHILE, CD QUALITY LOSSLESS, MP3 and streaming formats. The CD version of Dreams Beyond arrives in a factory-sealed 6-panel gatefold package that includes vibrant artwork, liner notes, a 4-page booklet, and exquisite package design by Michał Karcz.
About Sverre Knut Johansen
Sverre Knut Johansen was born in 1960 and is from Mo i Rana, a lesser-known town in the northern-central Helgeland region of Norway, just below the arctic circle. Rich content and strong melodic elements have become his musical trademark. Johansen’s first electronic album was produced by Erik Wøllo in 1994 on the Norwegian label Origo Sound. In 1999, he released The Source of Energy, followed by Planets in 2012, and began distributing his music in 2013 on his own label, Origin Music. Dreams Beyond is his fifth album with Spotted Peccary Music.
See Spotted Peccary Artist page: https://spottedpeccary.com/artists/sverre-knut-johansen/