Featuring such notable and OG punk/rock/alternative rock icons as Jill Emery (Mazzy Star, Hole); Don Bolles (The Germs); Dustin Boyer (John Cale); Paul Roessler (The Screamers, Twisted Roots, Nina Hagen); Mark Reback (Vast Asteroid); Ygarr Ygarrist (Zolar X) and Geza X (Geza X and the Mommymen, The Deadbeats), Richard James Simpson‘s sophomore solo album, “Deep Dream“, offers ferocious, heart-wrenching songs that provide a unique sonic experience.
This hypnotic album harks back to such albums as Bowie’s “Low” and “Heroes” incorporating experimental vignettes and songs with efficacious, hard-hitting tracks reminiscent of such acts as Roxy Music, Radiohead, Pixies and Public Image Ltd. While leaning toward the experimental side, the songs are fashioned in the Euro-American style for which Simpson is known: “The Wizard of Oz meets Eno” as the iconic Geza X once described Simpson.
The world of “Deep Dream” is set during a time in which humans are at the precipice of a post-human future – the singularity, in which forces behind the furtherance of artificial intelligence seek to augment or outright eliminate humankind. The visceral songs fuse a 21st-century ultra-violence with a tender and reflective humanity, leading the listener deeper and deeper down the rabbit hole.
“Deep Dream” is for those who demand something provocative with taste. In addition to entertaining, the album encourages listeners to take a hard look at how far they are willing to go in order to preserve themselves when faced with an imminent threat of a dystopian, post-human paradigm. Will they relinquish their humanity, only to be no more than pets or bacteria to their immortal overlords, or, are they determined to remain human?
Upon viewing the cover of “Deep Dream,” we see an image that suggests the idea of an actual human being from the past staring at us in the eyes and questioning us about what have we become. Being a child reinforces the effect, because a child is the most immediate and spontaneous form of humanity.
Richard James Simpson is the brother of the late Rock Halsey from the infamous L.A. punk band Rock Bottom and The Spys (which included Ygarr Ygarrist of Zolar X); and son of actress Renate Huy. Former member of alternative band Teardrain, Simpson released his debut solo album ‘Sweet Birds of Youth’ in 2017, getting excellent feedback on international music press.