Label: Monotreme Records Release date: 06/12/10 Link: Harmonius Bec Myspace Harmonius Bec, a japanese duo specialising in God knows what type of genre, bring a new offering of experimental (that'll do) music to the table that might not be everyone's cup of tea, but is sure nice to hear. This offering is Her Strange Dreams. On first listen, Her Strange Dreams is a very strange beast, and it's not until you get to 'Cryptomeria Rain' that you think to yourself “hang on a second” , resulting in heading back to the beginning to re-listen,. What is it about that track? Maybe it's the piano section, maybe it's when the dime finally drops and you “get” the band. It's really hard to pin down what they are. Often they sound like an ambient band to chill out to ('Giantland'), sometimes they’re glitchy, which can get annoying if you are not used to it ('In the bright oval') and sometimes it's a pandemonium passing as music (the drum and bassy 'Progress'). This schizophrenic and creative change of styles is always a good change of pace from the usual morose chord change of some recent folk artists (i.e. Laura Marling) or the run of the mill indie band that will get tossed to the side in three months' time. If pressed for an archetypical song of Her Strange Dreams, I would really go for 'Shunrai', a song that perfectly melts the soothing atmosphere before exploding into punchier territories (although never as heavy as something like 65daysofstatic). The song exemplifies most of the arsenal of Harmonius Bec deftness: electronic synths creating a mood, glitchs and noise induction. Not that there aren't more crackers in Her Strange Dreams. 'Cryptomeria Rain', again, is a beautiful song and 'Falling Ash Plume' is a sharp-toothed animal that doesn't mess around, deviously tricking you into lowering your guard 'til it punches you in the face. 'Asahigaoka' is a perfect album closer, and even while it lasts about 6 minutes, you'd wish it were longer. It just flies through. This album isn’t a classic but it is a proper alternative record that a lot of jaded ears will welcome. It might not be doing something new, but damn, they are good at what they do and that’s refreshing. Photobucket