Flica: Telepathy Dreams

Kuala Lumpur-based Eu Seng Seto crafts deep electroacoustic tone poems under the alias Flica. Having issued two releases on Schole—Windvane & Window (which featured contributions from Akira Kosemura and Haruka Nakamura) and Nocturnal—Seto chose to release Telepathy Dreams without the aid of a record company; the meaning of the album's title can be inferred by Seto's own words, “In the absence of telepathy, there will be no traces of us in our hearts, and perhaps only in dreams, the splendor will remain.” Obviously there's an unabashedly romantic and emotive character to his material, and the recording's nine bedroom-generated settings are free of irony. Throughout the album, gentle piano and acoustic guitar melodies meander through shimmering forests of synthetic tones and washes with epic and expansive evocations the result.

Augmented by a downtempo drum pulse, “Commes” starts out with pretty and soothing streams of synthetic waves before subtly swelling into semi-ecstatic peals. An occasional hint of woodwinds adds to the music's allure, as occurs during “Midnight Waving,” but the orchestral zenith is reached in “Istatic” which unspools in stately fashion for eight minutes in a grandiose haze of string tones, delicate piano melodies, and electric and acoustic guitar patterns. Seto avoids one-dimensionality by broadening the Flica sound into post-rock territory in “Drun,” whose atmospheric shoegaze treatments call to mind Robin Guthrie, Manual, or perhaps an n5MD artist or two, and downtempo drums lend a post-rock feel to “Seing” as well. Regardless, the Flica world is by design paradisiacal rather than harrowing, and Seto clearly sets his sights on uplift in his tracks rather than gloom-mongering. The ambiance is very much in line with the serenading style one associates with the Schole and Kitchen. labels so devotees of their output should find much to like about Telepathy Dreams too.

January 2010