Seldom are there music projects so florid and lush with sonic tapestries spun from ornate and subconscious ritualism as found with Dreamscape Invocation, the multidisciplined artistic work of Amoreena Stout & Karloz. M. Their music is the perfect soundtrack to occult daydreams accompanying the dripping wax of candlelit room with wine, incense, and clove cigarettes, or perhaps the ominous Black Lodge from Twin Peaks.
We recently spoke with Amoreena Stout & Karloz. M on their second collections of songs, CHAPTER II: Dimensions of High Strangeness, an album featuring 9 tracks of “Apocalyptic Doom Jazz, Dark Ambient Psychedelics, Shadowy Ethereal Shoegaze”, that was released on Crunch Pod this past March, with several music videos promoting the album over the summer.
So can you tell me how you and Amoreena came together making music? And what are your musical inspirations? I get the feeling that Dreamscape Invocation is very David Lynch meets Coil with a touch of Current 93.
Amoreena: We’ve been friends for about 18 years now, mutual taste in music and films. So, when we got together about 4 years ago, we started making music together. Basically, we wanted to make music we liked without parameters. You’re right with the Lynch, Coil, Current 93 influences for sure. Those are some of the favorites.. as well as early 4AD (Dead Can Dance, Cocteau Twins, and plenty of post-punk etc.). We particularly like the Lynch soundtracks and the stuff Bohren and the club der gore had put out, and we felt like there wasn’t enough music like that. The current 93 influence taps more into my personal magickal background. I think we try to take all those influences and turn them into something musically weird.
Ah, I can definitely hear touches of This Mortal Coil as well. The music is very dark, seductive, textured, and opulent. If it were a room, what do you think you would find in it? If it were a place, what would be happening there? Why create albums in chapters? Is there a narrative progression?
Karloz: Alejandro Jodorowski, Charles Bukowski, Tom Waits, and Leonard Cohen are also some of the favorite artists that have inspired and continue to inspire us. I like to think that we inspire each other in ways that can’t really be defined by words properly. Yet, we are able to put our thoughts into the abstraction of sound as poetic gestures.
The room is full of strange and unusual instruments, and yes This Mortal Coil is one of our favorites as well. As what would be happening in this room, would be a surreal yet intriguing combination of experiences similar to what one might come to expect if Jodorowski, Lynch and Peter Greenaway might concoct as a scene in a collaborative film sometimes in the middle of 1984, sometimes or in a parallel world.
Amoreena: As for the room, it’s basically what Karloz described. We like strange and standard instruments. So, you’ll find things like musical saws, a fretless bass, multiple pedals. a whisk, analog keyboards, etc. we do a lot of field recordings and samples. We tend to tap into that parallel world via candlelight, perfumed air. Irish whiskey, and many forms of cannabis, and then hit record and see what happens.
Karloz: In terms of chapters in music, it fits with our taste in poetry and the sequence of events in avant-garde films. Perhaps a narrative could manifest itself, and may very well shape our soundscape, but we like to leave that open-ended, so that we can also move in formless sounds, and perhaps be able to tap into something magical and unexpected.
Can you tell us about “The Incandescent Mist”, and the accompanying video?
Karloz: The music for The Incandescent Mist came about with the experimentation of expression to set moods dictated by soothing, surreal yet slightly uncomfortable feelings. Amoreena has an incredible ear for sounds and I apply my technical aspects to her ideas, in a strangely similar fashion as the way David Lynch and Angelo Badalamenti work in composing music. The lyrics for the song were experiments in streams of consciousness dictated by the sounds within the song. However, every track is different and each takes a life of their own when being composed.
Amoreena: The idea behind the video is similar to our idea behind a lot of our music. In a way, it’s meant to take the listener to a state of transcendence, to an alternate dimension, a magickal state of consciences of sorts. The video itself is comprised of one of my all-time favorite houses here in Hollywood, The Black Dahlia Lloyd Wright Murder house. From there it moves into more traditional Egyptian temples, layered with Golden Dawn/O.T.O. Magicks. it’s also highly influenced by the works of Kenneth Anger in the way it’s layered.
Can you tell us about the video for “Those Who Desire Without End”?
Karloz: The concept for “Those Who Desire Without End” video, was more to help the observer become more focused on the audio stimulation and the over all message of the song itself. The music was recorded in 2 back to back takes, again allowing the present moment to dictate where and how it wanted to be expressed. In a similar way that the track “Cacophony of Nocturnal Butterflies” came about, recorded in just one take. The lyrics for “Those Who Desire Without End” started of as a poem, intended for the reader to see beyond their current state of mind as well as expressing how love can be as astonishing and devastatingly beautiful yet tragic, much like stars colliding and performing against the vastness of darkness of the universe and shedding light against the dark matter within it. However, we have in also worked in interpretative aspects of music composition, paying homage to other artists such as Chris & Cosey, The Legendary Pink Dots and the words of Anne Sexton through various compilations and tribute albums. We are currently working on an homage to the music of David Lynch for a special tribute compilation due out next month on Crunch Pod.
And the Artwork. It Reminds me of Dave McKean…Meets Vaughn Oliver.
Amoreena: The artwork is absolutely inspired by Vaughn Oliver. As an avid collector of early 4AD, I became an avid collector of all artwork by Vaughn Oliver. I’ve always appreciated his style of layering. All of our artwork is made with layers of photos we’ve both personally taken while together. Each track for each album also has its own artwork. We hope to at some point release those as an art book.
To close, What are some of your recurring dreams if you can to share, and what are the importance of dreams?
Amoreena: I can’t say I can pinpoint a particular reoccurring dream per se. However, I’ve spent a lot of time in meditations on the astral plane (where dreams come from and live.) So, I’ve always had very vivid dreams, the types one can interact with and that feels very real. As a result, I’ve oftentimes mixed up the dream memory from an awake memory. Thus, they all become one in a way. Each equally valid in their own experiences.
Karloz: Dreams are very important to us, both in the magickal sense and our musical aspirations. Dreams have been a big part of my personal musical journey, but I think the biggest difference for our project is that we share an ideal to inspire dreams rather than interpret dreams, not only for ourselves but also for the listener. Recurring dreams may very well be signs from our subconscious realities, from different dimensions. We are both fascinated by the way dreams can shape lives, feelings, and thoughts and have both experienced prophetic dreams and practiced lucid dreaming. Like taking a trip into other worlds and other aspects of what we all believe to be real.
CHAPTER II: Dimensions of High Strangeness is out now via Crunch Pod.