Dream Logic is a collection of Matt Bachmann’s movements.
Chronicled through an array of field recordings, percussive leads, sparse lyrics and ambient sounds, Bachmann didn’t nail any constraints to what he was producing in its recording process apart from one rule: more writing while playing.
In Dream Logic, he questions himself: “What really are you? It’s like trying on clothes, do these clothes feel like me? You can’t know until you try it on.” With his past work, he was stuck in a dressing room trying clothes on and then ripping them off. But in this new album, he’s finally walking out of the dressing room wearing those clothes.
Bachmann’s ambient sound resonates like Gia Margaret or Emily Sprague’s solo work; However, all three of them are also exploring different arcs to their voices and creating a world of ambient and instrumental music as well.
The album starts with “Childish Speak” a 90-second track haunted by whispered vocals sung like someone trying not to wake someone in the next room.
“My Dad and His Boat” takes on a similar thrill; it’s a notion of “holding it in” that doesn’t seem cheap or compromised. And then there are tracks like “April” and “Outer Window,” which deliver pure, instrumental bliss packed with field recordings and samples.
“Apple Pie” unravels slowly, like increments of milk added to a curry before flavors thicken. What sounds like birds chirping and a tape rewinding moves into vibraphone lines that overlap with quiet vocals. Then auxiliary percussion enters, alongside subtle horns. While this is a lot, “Apple Pie” never sounds oversaturated.
“When I was writing it, I was imagining an explosive solo,” he said about the song. “The lyrics just kind of came.”
The expansiveness of the song mimics a fruitful relationship Bachmann shared with his late father who continued to bake, despite his deteriorating health.
“I was on a run and heard the first line ‘Apple Pie’ and when I think of apple pie I think of my dad’s pies,” he added.
Bachmann garnished the album with field recordings taped during a Christmas road trip he took with his mother to Arizona.
“I like using the field recordings like a sfumato,” he said. “It’s like a texture.”
Bachmann’s recent evolutions are limited to recording. He recently decided to place a large emphasis on improvisation during live performances.
“For so long, I much preferred playing other people’s music,” he said. “There’s a strange ego thing going on when playing your music. When I’m playing bass for another’s person’s band, there are no voices in my head.”
Aside from music, Bachmann teaches at a private school, babysits and works with families in New York. In the fall he is returning to academia in pursuit of a masters in social work.
“I’m missing the element of being helpful,” he said. “Every line of work can be helpful. If you really love what you’re doing, you’re providing some type of service. It’s really easy to see what’s regarded as important work in other people but harder to see it in yourself sometimes.”
Dream Logic is out now on Orindal Records / We Be Friends Records.