A1. The Pull of Time
B1. The Color of Static
B2. Begin Again
C1. I Need You -
D1. Are We Not Above It? (Feat. NiQ E & L_cio)
D2. The Mycorrhizal Network -
D3. Augmented Dreams
Alan Abrahams aka Portable returns to the label in fine form with his latest full-length LP, Augmented Dreams. The title refers to the use of everyday technological advancements to achieve what were once only dreams or visions of past generations, making this an explorative concept album that is equal parts not-too-distant science fiction, and about as topical as it gets.
From the gorgeous opening string layers of “The Pull of Time” to the classy 4/4 grooves of “Begin Again” or lead single “Guiding Me”, into the apropos and angular sci-fi broken beat feels of “Parallax” and “The Color of Static”, fitting Detroit-influenced love taps like “Beacon” and “The Mycorrhizal Network”, the politically-inspired “Are We Not Above It?” referencing the lingering effects of colonization featuring NiQ E from South Africa on vocals and L_cio from Brazil on flute, through to the futurist pop elegance of the dreamy duet recorded with Alexey Kochetkov “I Need You” and the conclusive titular track, it is clear that both the in-depth concept and immaculately-crafted musical content in Portable’s inimitable style are balanced in significance and expressive effect. This also functions as a timely statement in itself, as today’s iceberg-tip evolution of AI technology is currently impending over the arts and many of our existing realities.
This ten-song album serves as an imaginative yet hyperrealist narrative on how humanity’s fascination with and reliance on ever-advancing technology defines the times we find ourselves in, while the skillful sonic displays and present-era production techniques along with Abraham’s knack for timeless emotive songwriting offer up this solid soundtrack for the ages.