Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Album Review: Beyond Dreams by Hennie Bekker

Hennie Bekker is an award-winning and multi-platinum Canadian composer with an extensive musical background. On Beyond Dreams (subtitled Pathways To Deep Relaxation) he infuses electronic soundscapes with subtly melodic structures led by gently rhythmic patterns. Comprised of six tracks spanning a total of sixty minutes, each composition segues seamlessly into the next, creating an experience that is both actively engaging yet deeply relaxing, and overall intended to elicit altered conscious states.

Right from the opening track, titled “Self Connect”, I immediately noticed the multi-layered range of chords conveyed by a warm, analog sound. Melodic notes and gentle plucks move slowly across a low drone – creating a liquid, enveloping sound that feels simultaneously anchored yet floating. Easing right into “Floating to Forever”, this piece is a bit more active and melodic with beautiful chord progressions that seem to gradually climb up and down a ladder of multi-layered sounds. A lead piano melody gently begins to take foreground towards the end of the piece, which then continues on “Letting Go”. Here, a repeating minor-key piano riff glides upon a bed of chords in a constant fluid motion, like that of observing the ocean’s tides or billowing clouds passing across the sky. Clocking in at almost thirteen-and-a-half minutes, “The Calm” enters without pause, as sparkling bell-tones and beautifully bright, ringing percussive elements paint images of being in a majestic crystal chamber. Seguing seamlessly into “Quiescence”, this enthralling piece takes things down just a notch, as velvety notes are suspended over extended drones led by a rhythmic pulse. The title piece, “Beyond Dreams”, takes us into the final stretch of the journey with its icy textures and bell-tones engulfed by a wind-tunnel effect. Bathed in a mystical aura, the composition seems to invoke the presence of angels –not cute little cherubs – but rather that of mysterious, otherworldly beings.

Sitting equally comfortably in both the new age healing and ambient-space music genres, Beyond Dreams is nothing short of a top-notch album by a highly accomplished professional in the field. The three-dimensional compositions herein perfectly capture the essence of the dream world, which is associated with the mysterious, nocturnal and spiritual. Moving in a constantly forward yet rotating motion, it’s like watching the earth from space spinning on its axis as it makes its trek around the sun. As someone with an extensive background in the spa industry, Beyond Dreams gets top billing as an essential relaxation album – and is arguably among the best of its kind! ~Candice Michelle

For more information please visit the artist's website. This album is also available on Amazon, iTunes and CD Baby.

Review originally published on Journeyscapes Radio on 08/10/16.