Dancing Fantasy: Soundscapes

As Dancing Fantasy, keyboard artisans Curtis McLaw and Chris W. Williams handle all sounds, writing and production in crafting densely layered Soundscapes (1201 Music 5017-2; 54:48). The album opens with the swirling, warping keyboard textures of “Dreaming Out Loud,” a well-crafted mood piece that doesn’t go anywhere, melodically speaking. But just when you think this is going to be an aimless Deep Forest sonic experience, things change and the duo gets very specific in its imagery. Check out the placid “Highlands” with keyboard hits like rippling pools, surrounding mellow guitar and sax work (or very good keyboard facsimiles!), or the poppy, rocking seafarer feel of “Million Miles Away From Home.” The duo’s work is as richly varied as it is layered, from the mystical ringing and blues/jazz center of “Feeling of Flight” to the lumbering gait, animal sample sounds and cosmic keyboard layers of “Around the World in a Day” they communicate universal themes in elegant tones.