PREMIERE | Caicos, 'Dream Machine' EP

Caicos — aka Alex Frenkel; press photo courtesy of Roman Dean & Sasha Frenkel.

Caicos — aka Alex Frenkel; press photo courtesy of Roman Dean & Sasha Frenkel.

New York's Alex Frenkel presents a debut listen to the new solo offering under the Caicos moniker with the beautiful pop tapestry of Dream Machine (via Very Jazzed). Following up 2018's Promised Land; Frankel's latest outing invites us to look deep within the layers of our dreams in a work designed to transport us to those uncanny, undefinable worlds of inexplicable intrigue and unlimited wonder.

Dream Machine takes the audience into the unconscious nature of thought streams that transcend our waking world. "Genesis" marks the beginning of the EP's serene entrance into the ethereal astral plane, as "Out of Thin Air" reflects gently on the events that occur out of the blue that exist outside the experiential limitations of reason. Meditative mornings spent beside natural splendor where the edges of earth meet bodies of water can be heard and felt on "Washed Up", while the title track ponders the intricate origin of our dream cycles depicted like an abstract exchange across electronic devices of communication fused with layers of ESP and the unknown depths and extents of our collective unconsciousness. The EP closes with "Long - Term Guests" that percolates like a dance number observed from a nocturnal vision where the audience witnesses a whole new habitat and ecosystem thriving together in a blissful manner of perpetual harmony.

Alex Frenkel penned an introductory preface/prologue about the visions and fascinations that informed the inception and creation of Dream Machine:

Dream Machine is essentially an inquiry into human relationships of different kinds. From questioning what will become of a tested relationship when bad timing and circumstance are introduced (“Genesis”) to regretting how a relationship has apparently run its perceived course while not being able to learn from past mistakes when second and third chances are given (“Washed Up”) to ruminating on how a self-relationship changes throughout life as different, fleeting souls come to occupy the physical body and leave whenever their time has come (“Long-Term Guests”); the record definitely asks more questions than it provides answers, to such an extreme that those questions start infiltrating dreams as the mind continues to work them out in a subconscious state. Hence each relationship becomes its own dream machine.

Aside from drums and electric bass/additional electric guitar on “Long-Term Guests” (played by longtime friends and collaborators Mike Gordon and Alex Marans, respectively); I wrote, arranged, performed and recorded practically everything on the record at my studio. Another longtime friend, Phil Joly, and longtime collaborator, Steve Fallone, poured their hearts into the mixing and mastering, respectively.

There’s a natural progression from the sound and themes of my previous record, Promised Lands, to that of Dream Machine. In that regard, I like to think that they give each other context. They’re sister records, another chapter to the same story. To me, the way and order in which these chapters are presented was crucial to the ultimate objective of being able to give all future records free reign lyrically and sonically. So I hope you can hear the seas parting on this one.

Dream Machine is available via Very Jazzed.