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7.77/10 Avi

YARKONI, ROY - The Best of What Dreams Are Made of - CD - Pookh Music - 2004

review by: Avi Shaked

At first listen the loops and synthetic beats (or if you wish, the digital bits) found here are most likely to tire or intimidate any listener untrained or close-minded to electronica. But once the barricade is broken on the listener’s side, he or she should be able to appreciate the fine work Roy Yarkoni has done here, breaking musical barricades by blending authentic instruments, rock samples and structures, modified vocal lines and more than a bit of trickery into his electronica-dominated dreamscapes.

This is not to say that rock and electronica never joined forces – in fact, it can be claimed that the evolutions of progressive-rock and electronica walked hand-in-hand in their early days, but that’s a hell of a history lesson to tell. If you need evidence, though, it is highly recommended to examine the works of Arthur Brown’s Kingdome Come, Tangerine Dream, and Can. However, in this day and age, it seems that electronica and rock have each its own distinct audience, and The Best of What Dreams Are Made of is a highly welcomed bridge between them.

Unlike other modern electronica artists, Yarkoni does not over-paint his pieces – he lets them breathe and develop, proving loyalty for the minimalism of 70’s electronica pioneers such as Clause Schultz; but unlike them, Yarkoni’s work has a strong melodic basis, which is in itself an infrequent virtue to be found on electronica albums, and serves as a spine for adventurous modifications and "real life" instruments such as trumpets, classic organs and bass – all these are most likely to appeal to symphonic rock fans, while the dominant samples (some of which are taken from progressive rock archives), one-sentence vocals that repeat in various variations, and digital beats wrap things in a more user-friendly package, for the modern upbeat-electronica fan (think Moby!).

Yarkoni’s debut release marks him as a clever composer, a quality that has blossomed and manifested on his later releases with Ahvak and Thin Lips (the latter will be reviewed in the next issue), but that’s not to say this release is something to overlook, far from it – much like Yarkoni’s other releases, it remains a unique work in the ever-evolving creation of this artist. (7.77/10)


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