Land of Dreams / by BT Fasmer

Movie soundtracks is a rich and influential music genre. Through carefully composed music a movie director can tell the viewer what to expect and what to feel. If the movie is scary, romantic or comical, the soundtrack adds a vital part to the overall atmosphere and the setting.

But have you ever listened to an album that is created as a soundtrack – but there is no movie? One such album is Land of Dreams by The Nexion Project. Just read the attached description in the CD booklet (which is a very dramatic story – more on that later), close your eyes and the music will take you to a land far away – and a sad part of human history too.

I have in the past reviewed several albums by The Nexion Project/Török Zoltán – and have always been very positive. This is because Török Zoltán has such impressive attention to details. He is a master in a world of synths and sequencers, and makes the music sound so live, so fresh – no matter the topic. This is also the case with the album in question today. Land of Dreams is sequenced music, but sounds almost like it is being played by a real, live orchestra. No analogue sounding synths can be heard. This gives the album an extra, very powerful dimension. It is live. Or sounds like it.

The Story Behind\r\nThe dramatic backdrop to the Land of Dreams is the brutal Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia. In the booklet you can read story about a family of farmers where the topic is a son’s relationship with the daughter of a Communist’s deputy leader. It takes place in the second half of the seventies.

Without giving too much away, I can say that by following the short storyline you understand the dramatic images communicated through the music.

Reminds of Kitaro and Mike Oldfield\r\nThe album has many Asiatic influences, both in the instruments used and the way they are played. I cannot listen to it without thinking of Kitaro. A comparison to Mike Oldfield’s The Killing Fields is also very relevant since it is a soundtrack for a movie with the same topic. But Oldifeld’s 1984 album has a more analogue synth approach on the main tracks (for instance Evacuation and Execution, which are both very dated in terms of sound). Land of Dreams instead has a complete, very delicate orchestral arrangement.

The first track is entitled The Family. Close your eyes, and the music will introduce you to the strong bonds in the family and the struggles in their daily life. The music has a larger-than-life-feel, and makes me think of Vangelis’ best moments.

The second track, Over the mountains, is a true masterpiece. The segment starting at 2min25sec is impressive, and gives the whole album an unforgettable theme. Wonderful, simply wonderful! The tracks Burning Rice, Evacuating the Village and Lost Memories are built around the storyline, and you can see the drama unfolding before your inner eye.

The Land of Dreams Suite is a worthy conclusion to a magnificent album. The drama, the struggles and the grandness of it all will make the listeners jump in their seats.

Land of Dreams is a different, fresh and bold album by The Nexion Project. It could have been pretentious, but is not so at all. Instead it comes through as a heartfelt and passionate album by an artist who is just as much a dream movie director as he is a first rate musical artist. It is also a proof that even the most brutal history can inspire an artist into creating beautiful art – which in turn makes the history harder to forget.