Asian Glow and sonhos tomam conta
dreamglow


3.4
great

Review

by Esoctrilihum ate my wife STAFF
January 20th, 2023 | 40 replies


Release Date: 01/06/2023 | Tracklist

Review Summary: glow off, oomfie

5th wave emo seems to have an overriding prerequisite for its online vanguard: no sleep. The output of both Sonhos Tomam Conta (Brazil; ethereal emogaze maelstrom) and Asian Glow (South Korea; midwestern roots sustaining canopy of lo-fi tiiimbeeeeeer) has been tearing up the calendar ever since their appearance alongside Parannoul (South Korea; hikikomori-core) on the now-landmark split Downfall of the Neon Youth (2021) - hardly a month seems to have passed without a fresh offering announced or released from one or the other. With Asian Glow's focus now significantly occupied with collaborative works, it was only a matter of time before we heard the two under one banner, and so unto us is delivered: Dreamglow. The possibilities for this one were anyone's guess; both artists are among the more mercurial of their peers, though in wildly different ways. Sonhos Tomam Conta's heavily reverberated trappings have long cushioned a precipitous sense that her compositions could flip from crystalline to cathartic at any given moment, and while Asian Glow tends to display more consistency within individual tracks, the way he has expanded his palette from straightforward Microphones-esque lo-fi to sprawling folktronica epics renders each addition to his arsenal more unpredictable than the last. Two artists, large potential, one album, seven tracks, total emo, deeply online, shoegaze unleashed. Y'diggit?

The upshot is by far the most propulsive and volatile release from this collective thus far. Each collaborator enables the other's hitherto latent chaotic relish: Sonhos Tomam Conta coos and shrieks; Asian Glow croons and bellows; the former's coursing blackgaze and the latter's pummelling crescendos exerting a zealously reciprocated death grip on one another. It may surprise some that Asian Glow's vocals are by far his most superficially visible contribution, as Sonhos Tomam Conta covers all production and most instrumental duties; Dreamglow is accordingly steeped in the swirling gale and shattered ice of her aesthetic and, violent and tactile though it be, its oneiric qualities are hard to overstate. Make no mistake, though: this is a co-write through and through. The first four tracks in particular pursue fraught ratchetings of tension with a knack for succinct standout moments (those vocals on "hangemall" phwoar baby) and bruising dynamic shifts that are quite unlike anything I've heard on a Sonhos Tomam Conta solo release. The results conjure a similar, though decidedly more ferocious, kind of abandon to last year's still-sensational Weatherglow EP. As on that release, these tracks' (mhm) varying degrees of focus on songwriting niceties are backed by the kind of burgeoning zeal that renders such things obsolete. All well and good so far.

Things take a turn on the final two tracks, which together comprise almost half the total runtime. These veer into expansive territory and largely jettison the fission and tumult that dominate earlier songs - and with Sonhos Tomam Conta's glacial soundscapes sustaining the atmosphere over eerie chord progressions here, the collaborative flavour peters out somewhat. "synesthesic chromaticism" (bad dictionary moment) in particular smacks of Asian Glow guesting on a template Sonhos Tomam Conta song, while the closer "desencontros" builds so laboriously to its twin climaxes that their explosive value is somewhat lost in an all-pervading turgid haze. An unfortunate outcome for a bold pacing gambit to be sure, but this alone doesn't quite account for Dreamglow's chief pitfall: the whole package, be it kinetic or comatose, lands as inadvertently transitory. Both its manic outbursts and oblique soundscapes stimulate immediate intrigue, but they are reticent to cling to any given form long enough to do more than hint at their full potential, each an outwardly fierce whirl of individually unthreatening jagged edges that leave little but unscratched itches in their wake. "amber mural" is a case study here, a push-pull of shoegaze sheen and throttling emo that tag one another in and out so with such frictionless shimmer that it is unlikely you will retain a significant impression of either individually. The track is gripping and then - gone. So it goes for its fellows; return if found!




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user ratings (36)
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
January 20th 2023


49772 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

fuck I didn't realise until publishing that this mediocre trainwrite with the world's worst summary for an album I will forget tomorrow would be my 300th rev, but if that's not a karmic synecdoche idk what is. onwards!

y'all have heard this by now: what say?

GhandhiLion
January 21st 2023


16270 Comments


Haven't heard this completely yet but when will tiktok revive anorak pop?

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
January 21st 2023


49772 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

probably around the same time that shibuya kei becomes the next city pop

theBoneyKing
January 21st 2023


23164 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Great and extremely accurate review here Johnny, though I think I’m slightly cooler on the whole package than you (despite being firmly in the Sonhos > Asian Glow camp). I remember this originally was supposed to be an EP and I kind of want to pretend that the first 4 or 5 tracks on this were their own thing because I’d have been much more into that.

GhandhiLion
January 21st 2023


16270 Comments


Hmm that would be preferable. Folky anime math pop bullshit is getting old

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
January 21st 2023


49772 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

RIP Maison Book Girl. Am sure their breakup will prove to have been the only thing holding back this change

"this originally was supposed to be an EP and I kind of want to pretend that the first 4 or 5 tracks on this were their own thing because I’d have been much more into that."

Oh yes paha for sure - would have been much more down with taking those tracks as an exciting but flawed set of thrills than having to reckon with this whole thing as a fully-realised???-integrally-released-Thing. Alas. Excited as ever for what both come out with next tho

arf
January 21st 2023


479 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

is this skramgaze

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
January 21st 2023


49772 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

i skram you skrum we all skrem for skimgaz

Purpl3Spartan
January 21st 2023


4701 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Nice writeup

Storm In A Teacup
January 21st 2023


41030 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

My 4 is based on potential but there indeed are a couple awesome moments. You probably already read my soundoff. Good review.

GhandhiLion
January 21st 2023


16270 Comments


https://doorgallery.bandcamp.com/track/12-step-guide

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
January 21st 2023


28867 Comments


Interested in the shoegaze part! The emo not so much but I'll peep regardless!

And great write-up Johnny, reading you is like a brain massage, when you think it's gonna hurt, pleasure takes over. (It's a compliment)

neekafat
Contributing Reviewer
January 21st 2023


23917 Comments


Wow you actually posted under your own name ily < 3

Storm In A Teacup
January 21st 2023


41030 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

He will delete his rating in 2 months and pretend it never happened.

JesperL
Staff Reviewer
January 21st 2023


4643 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

glow on

Cormano
January 21st 2023


3802 Comments


sick

loveisamixtape
January 21st 2023


11900 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

nice this rules, if u hate it then u hate fun, good review (didn’t read it)

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
January 21st 2023


49772 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

lmfao thank you, you are my target audience at all times

"brain massage"

*cracks thumbs* < 3

"glow on"

gtfo

Cormano
January 21st 2023


3802 Comments


in all honesty Glow On was a fuckin mistake

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
January 21st 2023


49772 Comments

Album Rating: 3.4

yes lol bad timeline



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