Stellar Dreams new EP, “Beyond Horizons” is truly out of this world.
Iqwan Ridzuwan and Khairil Shah, a Malaysia based duo, have perfected a cinematic brand of sci-fi synthwave that melds atmosphere melting basslines with the perfect amount of retro ambiance.
The six tracks on this EP vary in their composition styles, swinging wildly from driving basslines and pop-influenced vocals a la No Tomorrow, to at times feeling more like an ambient sci-fi operatic soundtrack score similar to Dynatron’s new album, What is truly amazing is that Stellar Dreams has managed to do this nearly without flaw, whereas other producers tend to seem jumbled when mixing such a range of eclectic styles.
According to Stellar Dream’s bandcamp, much of their inspiration came from Hans Zimmer’s soundtrack to Interstellar – and that immense sound really does shine through in “Beyond Horizons”.
Only once in a blue moon do I hear vocals that actually blend well, stylistically and thematically. The two vocal tracks on the album, “Parallel” and “Dimensions” do just that. Each piece begins with the duo’s signature and intensely driving brand of space synth, which quickly unfolds into more of a College-esque pop-balled as soon as the singing starts.
There is something undeniably reminiscent of M83’s chord progressions here as well. Whats odd about these two songs is that each one evolves into something more, somehow managing to eclipse the tired pop feeling for just a moment and reach into the realm of orchestral brilliance before slamming back down into synth driven basslines.
For me, the best songs on the album are the these two outstanding vocal tracks, though they closely tie with “Valkyrie” and “Memories”, both of which have humble beginnings but once again reach for the stars in epic ambiance as they round the corners of the first few bars.
Both are stellar additions to this well Stellar Dreams EP.
Go grab yourself a copy or at least a listen as soon as you can – you won’t find yourself disappointed in this inspired brand of spacewave.