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The Disappearing Act: Inquis’ Dream Walker - Music Review

 Original Synth

Inquis

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There is a lone figure walking the street of this nameless city. No other soul dares walk this stretch of road so early in the morning. Not when the fog is this thick. Traffic lights aren’t even visible. But this man, wrapped in a trench coat, navigates the descending darkness with ease. He is at one with this scene; he needs it. He practically disappears into the swirling fog that gathers around him.

It is as if he isn’t there at all.

And one lasting look at where he should be standing will confirm that, yes, he has in fact disappeared…


 

There is a cryptic (but very cool) nature that is central to appreciating Inquis’ Dream Walker. Being a debut release from the artist, that is to be expected but, honestly, every single one of these ten wonderfully produced tracks carries a sweet and secretive vibe that I totally dig. It’s as if Angelo Badalamenti himself went crate digging through the 1980s and put out his spin on the synthwave genre with this release. High praise, I know, but this release is totally transformative and absolutely unexpected.

The delicious groove of the album’s opening song is unforgettable. The guitar-meets-synth foundation of “The Dreamer” establishes a rich atmosphere that suggests anything is possible with the landscape of this release. From the very beginning, Inquis’ lone guitar echoes into the void and suddenly the keys spring into action; meditative at first and then the groove strikes. Deep. Fulfilling. I dare you to NOT hit repeat upon the song’s conclusion and let this album play straight through; there are many fine moments.

 

"The overall impression that Dream Walker leaves you with is a lasting one. It begs (and boy does it reward) with repeat listens."


 

This is a release that welcomes atmosphere and, dare I suggest, a candid reflection. That is solidified as “God of Flight” snakes its way across an inspired electronic haze that is introduced. Ambient and peaceful, the guitar here is matched with a slinky electronic vibe that teases and twists its notes; it is as if we are airborne here, sliding past a desert vista.

And then a constant synth-line reverberates, pulsating us straight into the crush that is “Oh Dear”, a song that is guided with repeating effects and scattershot pulses. Again, I dare you to listen straight through. Put that trigger finger away and let this one play as you become the mysterious figure on the cover, surrounded by neon pink, and slowly, as if by design, disappear into yourself. Such magical things are possible here.

The electronic rinse continues with “Destination”, a song that feels like an arrival of sorts as warm outrun-like vibes get us to where we need to be just in the nick of time. Those warm synths are soul-stirring and the beat provides a pattern that resounds with a need for transference. That’s what I really dig about the overall ambiance of this release. It’s both relaxing and passionate and builds upon a great mood to create something for the early, early hours; movement.

With the echoing layers of “Destination” transforming into the next song, “RE: Wind” picks up the beat and gives us a lift that is cinematic and all sorts of nu retro-like in its delivery. And then the bass drops, solidifying its status as the resident 3-minute dance number. It is then left up “The Drift”, clocking in at 6-minutes, to put us in our place. Wow. If you ever need proof of the majesty contained in the very fibers of Dream Walker, this right here – with haunting synth patterns, an elastic beat, and mood made pure – is your go-to song. Ambiance gets relevance and then some with this greasy number.

With the one-two punch of “Wake” and “Sleep Deprived” the impressive antics of Inquis’ work become crystalized. These tracks are steady in their delivery and steamy in their finishes; it’s a fantastic pairing of back-to-back potboilers. Film noir feels a lot like this. You have only yourself to trust. The disappearing act has already begun. But do you know who you really are? These two moody jams will leave you breathless.

And still we slide further into the electronic ether.

The rhythmic notes of “Take These” offer tranquility before sonic “creaks” tumble forward. One might expect sleigh bells from this track. But, no, it’s only a release of pressure and muffled synth-lines that bubble from the electronic froth this number stirs up. Close those eyes and drift, the keys are about to invite us further into ourselves before the final track, “Void Walker”, pulls us out and places us firmly in the real world. Engaging synth patters hum their way into the listener with this inspiring song. Audiences get a theme and perspective as the stratums come together and keep us moving forward.

I’ve said too much. Again. The point of this is that Inquis is a producer to keep an eye on. The overall impression that Dream Walker leaves you with is a lasting one. It begs (and boy does it reward) with repeat listens. It won’t be soon forgotten. Meditative and deeply WOKE, Dream Walker is synthwave for the soul.

Inquis

 


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