Premiere: Dream E – Freefall
It were as if she were floating, drifting between the clouds as they danced against a backdrop of radiant blue. They serenaded her as he drew closer towards the earth down below. Nobody had ever told her it might feel like this, a weightless heaven in which her wildest dreams could soar high upon the breeze. She wondered if she might ever hit the ground and hoped that this freefall might last a lifetime…
Dream-E is a Glaswegian producer and DJ based in Berlin. Last year he was diagnosed with a very rare but severe brain infection called Encephalitis. He is still in recovery but has since started a label to release his own music with funds raised from the releases going towards The Encephalitis Society Charity – an organisation that helps those and their families less fortunate than he.
We asked him to discuss the new project and showcase a track from the release:
So, explain the concept behind the new label?
I’ve been ‘writing music’ / kicking about on ableton / fkin around with synths / supplying the rytm ’ however ye wanna put it, for 5/6 years now. I’ve only ever released music with my mates; Craigie Knowes who I’ve known since my early teens, shared many a spin and lived together with. Head honcho Max then passed on a WEC record of mine to Krysko who then asked me to come play Warehouse Project and stick one on his label (was some dunt cramming all my mates who’d driven / trained it down to Manchester into 1 hotel room the WHP put us in afterwards, I tell ye). These EP’s all came out as The Burrell Connection.
I went a bit quiet for a year or 2 whilst studying, (canny do 2 things at once let alone throwing the occasional bucket bong to the mix). The return came courtesy of Outer Zone (under the Alfie alias) who I worked with running La Cheetah Club, following that came 4 cuts signed with long time legends and aspirations Optimo.
In the midst of the Optimo EP I began Dream_E, kicking things off with a much more ambient leaning album released by super close mates over here in Berlin (but still also via Scotland) – Pace Yourself. Now I’m taking on a series of self released numbers, to not only call the shots on the tracks, mastering and design (where my heart be laying deep atm!) but most importantly to raise money for a charity close to my heart in more ways than one, The Encephalitis Society.
Why did you feel it was important to draw attention to the charity and condition?
A few days after my 25th birthday back in October, I woke up in Neukölln hospital. Unable to walk, talk and at points breathe properly after a few days the hospital diagnosed me with a rare but high risk brain infection, Encephalitis.
I got home from hospital around 2 weeks later, somewhat on the mend, only to return following a further heavy seizure a few days later.
I gotta stop there and send a massive ton of love, respect and thank you to my better half, friends and family who were able to help me through these tough times and luckily now on the road to recovery (COVID-19 preventing mates to enter the hospital, my folks to fly over from Scotland when I was close to it, and my memory of the German I’d learnt in the short time living here gone to shreds certainly didn’t help – but I’m very, very lucky to say the least!)
Sadly many are not as lucky, with the only other person I’ve heard to have had it being an old friend of a close friend of mine who is sadly no longer with us. The following series of self released EP’s (with The Burrell Connection now taking the label domain, and Dream_E now my solo alias) will all be donating to The Encephalitis Society Charity with the intention to raise research and aid those less fortunate than me.
What do you plan to do with the label in the future, will it be entirely your own material or will it feature others too?
At least the following 5 will raise funds towards The Encephalitis Society Charity. I have some plans, which I guess could be arguably a little different to others (as many often say…) but it’s all still in the pipeline, so I’ll keep hush 4 just now.. :PP
How has the experience affected and changed you?
I’ve well and truly made a connection with ‘taking every day as it comes’ – appreciating the smaller but yet still finest things in life – friends, family, having a wee swim or a cycle and of course the tunes.
On a grander scheme, it’s woken me the fuck up. Although Encephalitis was caused by nothing to do with getting mwi, it was still a wake up call. When I first started getting out and about slowly after recovery picked up enough, I started to realise just how lucky I am, to notice still having a class time without being fully clean on it.
What role do you feel music will play and plays in your recovery?
There were 2 essential things once I’d somewhat pulled it together out of hospital. The first was breathing, the second was ’can I still dae the decks’. In all seriousness I desperately wanted to ensure I could still use Ableton and bounce on the 1210’s despite not being able to remember the names of countless fruits, friends and cities – even though I could fully describe their crunchy, comforting existences.
Without blagging on too much, (you must be tired of my patter by now!) I find music very therapeutic and healing, particularly through some of the toughest times – each to their own of course, but I’m sure many others would agree, following these tough times for us all – now thankfully (touch wood!!) looking like the shift is positively on the horizon. See you down the front!