The gold and platinum record producer not-usually-known known as Ajax Ray O'Vaque has released his latest alt-rock album, “Dreaming in Subtitles.” The LP comprises 12 original tracks for an approximate total listening time of 45 minutes. It has been published as an independent release outside the scope of the corporate music industry. Eclectic, grooving, catchy, accessible, radio-friendly and featuring some of the most naturally flowing songwriting ever recorded, “Dreaming in Subtitles” is a startling reminder that – this – is how much excellence can be crammed into a single album.
Ajax Ray O'Vaque is not Ajax Ray O'Vaque's real name. Operating in a clutch of Los-Angeles-based, professional recording studios, music producer and performer O'Vaque is actually the holder of 12 gold and platinum music awards. He has rubbed elbows with the likes of Prince and Elton John, and worked on no fewer than 30 songs with Duran Duran over five years.
Asked to cite some artistic influences for his “Dreaming in Subtitles” record, Ajax Ray O'Vaque lists Beck, Brian Wilson, the Beatles, Flaming Lips, Babylon Zoo, and Tame Impala. Audiophiles with an ear for all (or really any) of the above are sure to appreciate this upbeat, colorful, and refreshingly original album.
That it is so unique in terms of mode and tone comes largely from the artist's refusal to claim a favorite music style.
“I used to be into electronica,” he writes, “but I really like recording real instruments. I like mixing the most-real sounds with one or two completely unreal sounds, then making them sound like they belong together.”
Appropriately, hearing “Dreaming in Subtitles” is often surreal as a result, with instrumentation blending in such a way as to make discerning the individual pieces unlikely and delightfully unnecessary. The music justifies itself. Taking it apart for analysis seems trite.
And what of the theme of his new album? Lyrically speaking, there's an awful lot of poetry going on, but it isn't a lofty LP. O'Vaque says of it, simply, “the Universe is a strange place and we are riding on a blue-green marble someone named 'Earth.'”
O'Vaque also piled thanks on his co-producer/writer Greg Ansin (whose equally remarkable band, La Machine De Rêve, just released their new “Steam Train” video and single) and mix engineer Karyadi Sutedja for what he called huge contributions, saying, “Without them it could have never reached the place it ended up.”
Tom Haugen of New Noise Magazine describes “Dreaming in Subtitles” as “Certainly experimental, but never to the point of alienating the listener … both breezy and rigid, cosmic and organic, and no two songs really sound that similar. From soaring rock with psyche undertones to calmer, atmospheric layers, there is something for everyone in this precise and accomplished album.”
The album has elsewhere been called “a concoction of new-wave, ’60s rock, ’90s indie and experimental pop that includes both synthetic and organic sounds. Sometimes busy and dark, other times light and airy, this one pertains to electro-pop, indie-rock and even prog-rock, and weaves in sonic beauty and mesmerizing atmospheres.”
Thrice-Grammy-Award-winning engineer John Frye calls it “An incredible album that is both familiar and brand new.”
All in all, it's worth everyone's time on this blue-green marble someone named “Earth” to give this pretty little platter a spin.
“Dreaming in Subtitles” by Ajax Ray O'Vaque is available online worldwide beginning 22 June 2015. Ladies and gentlemen, get in early. Very early.
Lead Press Release Writer