You've got to admire All Day I Dream's consistency. In its three and a half years of existence, Matthew Dekay and Lee Burridge's label has perfected the kind of hazy, mid-tempo house that's become de riguer for a certain subset of summertime open-air party—including, of course, the All Day I Dream shindigs themselves. You could make the argument that the label's releases tend to follow established templates rather than break new ground; you could contend that its music tends to be skew towards the pleasant, peaceful end of the dance-music spectrum, rather than provide a gut-punching thrill. And you'd be right, but you'd be missing the point: All Day I Dream's mission is to provide emotive, melodious soundtrack to swaying in the breeze or hugging your pals on the dancefloor, perhaps while alternating waves of melancholy and joy (or just plain old head rushes) sweep over you. Crash Landing On Laputa, the new EP from Paul "Powel" Chriske, accomplishes that mission in thorough, and quite beautiful, fashion.
Starting off with a thick kick, doubled on the four, with nicely subtle hi-hats adding to the laid-back rhythmic feel, the title track—named for the flying island inGulliver's Travels—is quickly defined by a floating, four-note synth line that's pure bliss. Drenched in reverb, warm pads shimmering in the background with just a low-frequency bassline (along with that kick) to provide propulsion, it's the kind of music Orbital might have made back in the early ’90s—had the Hartnoll brothers been in a permanent dream state while in the studio. "Feels Like Earth" is cast from the same mold—drifting synths abound—and, if anything, has ever fewer sharp edges; the releases' final cut, "The Tale Of Crime Solving Sheeps," is probably the most delicate of the bunch (and that's saying something), its stately melody plunked out by a celestial piano while pizzicato strings provide counterpoint. Does Crash Landing On Laputa break new ground? No. But the terrain it travels over is gorgeous, and for All Day I Dream, that's what counts.