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Hear Dreamhour’s Shimmering New Album ‘VLLNS’

Siliguri-bred, Pune-based Debo Sanyal takes a story on vampire business tycoons and wraps it up in glorious sythnwave and retrowave

Anurag Tagat Jul 20, 2018

Debo Sanyal aka Dreamhour. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

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If you ever wondered where all of Bollywood’s iconic baddies from the Eighties are now, synthwave producer Dreamhour aka Debo Sanyal has the answers on his new concept album VLLNS. Working with graphic illustrator Reuben Bhattacharya aka Visual Amnesia, Sanyal describes the storyline of bloodsucking vampire overlords and two protagonists as a pop culture crossover that ties in references to video games and cult movie history. “Imagine Ramsay brothers meet Vice City meets Blade Runner,” Sanyal says.

The 10-track album, released via New York label NewRetroWave, is a swirling trip into the world of synthwave, pop and retro. More importantly, it’s a soundtrack to the parallel universe crafted by Sanyal and Bhattacharya, featuring the likes of Austrian electronic rock group Powernerd member Paddy (“Blood Patrol”), fellow Vienna guitarist Philipp-Johann D’Atri (“Eat. Snot. Riot”) and New Delhi rockers Kraken’s guitarist Moses Koul (“Shobdohin”).

Album art for ‘VLLNS’ by Reuben Bhattacharya aka Visual Amnesia

In the works since early 2017, VLLNS was recorded and mixed by Sanyal and his flatmate Reiston D’Souza “over four different rooms, three different houses and two cities and had to be made to sound consistent in spite of it all.” Bhattacharya also remained a formative influence beyond the sound, shaping a new aesthetic for Dreamhour. Sanyal says, “He was like this really experienced bandmate to me during this whole project, guiding me and being almost as enthusiastic as me about the album.”

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Bhattacharya, for his part, says he worked on the storyline first – featuring central villain Lord Alucard, his counterpart Shobdohin Dai, android brothers The Balderamas, henchmen duo The Nefarious Brothers and musclemen Saul Riot and Snot Riot. The two protagonists taking on them are Father Braganza and Natalia. Bhattacharya says, “I really wanted to make this a genuine Eighties thriller/action movie with visuals and music rather than just album art.  It’s redefining some of the most iconic villains that Indian pop culture had given us and create something new out of it.”

With a release that’s not just digital but also on a limited run of vinyl and cassettes, Dreamhour’s next step is to take the sound to stage. Sanyal says, “I’m working on incorporating a full band setup to play the whole album live as it is on the record sometime soon.”

Listen to ‘VLLNS’ below.

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