QUALCHAN. “Vera’s Dream” C20
(AEscape Sounds)

While working on “Vera’s Dream,” Qualchan. was influenced by the novel “Ecotopia: The Notebooks and Reports of William Weston” by Ernest Callenbach. The book, which I haven’t read (I mean, I have a reading list a library long, sue me), is the chronicle of a society working toward an “eco-utopia.” Callenbach has called the society “imperfect,” rather a work in progress than a fully realized vision.

Qualchan. has seemingly captured that sentiment in “Vera’s Dream,” as the “imperfections” of the recordings are perhaps my favorite things about it. You can probably tell I’m a big Leyland Kirby/Caretaker fan, and that really helps in enjoying what Qualchan.’s up to. You really get the sense that the tape unfolds like a distant narrative, like there’s a story obscured by the sounds, an indistinct account whose blanks you have to fill in yourself.

Whether or not “Vera’s Dream” is intended as a portent of future events or is just an audible longing for even the process of becoming better doesn’t matter in the end. What matters is that its enjoyability doesn’t even hinge on prescribed conclusions like the philosophy of utopian society. See, I haven’t even done the homework necessary to get into the same headspace as Qualchan., but I like “Vera’s Dream” just fine. I just have to inscribe my own history and personality upon it.


AEscape Sounds

--Ryan Masteller