Last year, Panoram released his much anticipated, debut album Everyone Is A Door. This album of laid-back, blissed out music, was released to critical acclaim. Everyone Is A Door caught the imagination of critics and music lovers alike. Everyone wondered what next for Panoram?
The answer to that is Background Story, Panoram’s sophomore album. Background Story, will be released on 9th March 2015, via Panoram’s own Wandering Eye imprint. Panoram, it seems hasn’t let the grass grown under his feet.
Far from it. Unlike many modern day musicians, Panoram doesn’t spend years making an album. No. He’s like an old school musician, whose worked quickly to complete what is a very special album, Background Story.
As the title suggests, there’s a Background Story to Panoram’s sophomore album. Panoram describes Background Story as “a meditation on the nature of memories and reality, each song digging deeper into the mind in the search for fragmentary details.” He goes on to further explain: “this process is an unpredictable journey in which we face a complex puzzle made by our own manipulations. Mood swings can make our minds questioning what we thought it was “real”. We can get easily lost among the infinite levels of reality.” From what Panoram says, Background Story is no ordinary album. Far from it. Background Story is a truly captivating album
Opening Background Story is Mind Puncture. It’s a tantalising taste of what’s to come from Panoram. Dark, dubby beats pound menacingly while washes of elegiac, spacey synths sweep in and out. Along with a myriad of sounds, they’re drenched in reverb. Meanwhile, a guitar wah-wahs, before feedback flits in and out. For just over a minute a captivating fusion of dark, dreamy and lysergic sounds unfolds.
Wistful described the the piano lead Background Story. There’s a sense of melancholia from the opening bars. As the song progresses, there’s an overwhelming sense of sadness, and a yearning for simplicity.
Straight away, Black Milk Shower takes on a cinematic, sound. It’s as if Panoram has been asked to recreate the soundtrack to Wim Wenders’ Paris Texas. Cinematic becomes sensual, when a sassy vocal sample enters. It’s accompanied by crunchy, compressed beats, washes of ethereal synths and later, a searing, blistering rocky guitar. It is slightly muted though, so as not to overpower the rest of the mix. Later, lush synth strings sweep in adding this grandiose, cinematic symphony for a new millennia.
Dead Plastic has laid-back, blessed out sound. It’s a case of sitting back, and letting the waves of music wash over you. From what sounds like waves hitting a deserted beach, keyboards add a trippy, somewhat sci-fi sound. Indeed, the ambient, trippy delights of Dead Plastic is akin to an interstellar journey to a newly discovered planet.
From the get-go, the aptly title Fog envelops you. Its slow, spacey, sci-fi sound cocoons you. You loose yourself in its many subtleties and surprises. This includes beeps and squeaks aplenty, and plodding, dubby drums. They’re aided and abetted by a myriad of sci-fi sounds and sometimes, prog rock keyboards. The result is a track that’s a Smoker’s Delight.
Hyperuranion has a much bolder, fuller sound that previous tracks on Background Story. With keyboards to the fore, driving the arrangement along washes of synths and sound effects become one. The track plays tricks with you. Amidst the lush washes of synths you wonder is that a bird cheeping? It is. This is just the latest surprise sprung by Panoram. Later, reverb is used sparingly, resulting in the arrangement shimmering and glistening into the distance, its beauty omnipresent.
As gradually, Mind Puncture takes on a rocky hue, you wonder what direction the track is heading? Is Panoram about to throw another curveball? Quite possibly. It’s always a case of expect the unexpected. That’s the case here. The track has a seventies influence. There’s a definite seventies prog-rock influence. Add to that swirls and washes of drama. They’re part and parcel of what’s sounds like the soundtrack to an art house film that’s yet to be made.
Slowly and gradually, The Persistant Image Of The Left Eye starts to reveal its hidden secrets. Synths beep and squeak, cymbals are caressed and drums help drive the arrangement along. Again, there’s a prog-rock influence in the keyboards. Having said that, elements of acid house, ambient and avant-garde make their presence, felt on what’s an intense, dramatic and compelling musical journey.
The tempo drops on There Was A Hole Here. It’s a slow atmospheric track that occasionally, features a dreamy vocal. It flits in and out of the track. Mostly, washes of ethereal, elegiac music, drenched in reverb caress you. Their dreamy, lysergic delights wash over you, transporting you to an altogether better place.
Closing Background Story is You Are Correctly Lost. Straight away, you’re enthralled by what’s best described as the lushest of interstellar ballads. It’s simplicity itself. Washes of ethereal synths and seraphic guitars play leading roles. These are no ordinary guitars though. No they’re suitably subtle, and are transformed by waves of reverb. This results in the perfect way for Panoram to close his much anticipated sophomore album, Background Story.
Featuring ten tracks, lasting just thirty-seven minutes, Background Story, Panoram’s sophomore album, is an unpredictable musical journey. No wonder. You never quite know what direction Panoram’s music is heading. It’s akin to a lysergic magical mystery tour through musical genres. Everything from ambient, avant-garde, drone pop, experimental, prog-rock and psychedelia can be heard on Background Story, on 9th March 2015, on via Panoram’s own Wandering Eye imprint. As a result, Background Story is a captivating and worthy followup to Panoram’s debut album Everyone Is A Door.
Just like Everyone Is A Door, Background Story is a highly accomplished album. It’s also a captivating exploration of memories and reality. This is what Panoram set out to do. He’s succeeded in doing so, in what’s best described as a journey into sound.
During this journey into sound, music’s past and present play leading roles. Traditional instruments and technology play their part in the sound and success of Background Story. As a result, Background Story, Panoram’s sophomore album, is cerebral, cinematic, dramatic, elegiac, ethereal, intense and lysergic. That’s not all. Background Story is a captivating and worthy successor to Panoram’s debut album Everyone Is A Door.