Dreaming beyond walls – An Interview with Astral Tales
As most of the world came to a full stop with the pandemic and its lockdowns, people were locked inside, dreaming for a life beyond their confined space. What had only seemed conceivable in a sci-fi story had actually happened: time had frozen still. As
As most of the world came to a full stop with the pandemic and its lockdowns, people were locked inside, dreaming for a life beyond their confined space. What had only seemed conceivable in a sci-fi story had actually happened: time had frozen still. As we near the beginning of winter, what better time is there to release an album centred around cryogenic sleep. Cryostasis is the sixth album by Spanish producer Astral Tales, marking a significant shift towards a blissful, ambient sound evoking the ataraxia of deep sleep. Baffled by the album’s poignancy, we caught up with the producer to learn a little more about the album.
First off, can you explain how the concept behind Cryostasis came to you?
The whole idea came after my father passed away last February. At that time, I started to think a lot about the mental process of dying and what actually happens to our consciousness. After asking myself the classic questions (“What do we feel? Where do we go?”), I started to develop the concept of cryosleeping as an analogy of death in the form of a long and pleasant dream that leads to our final destination. In essence, Cryostasis is a personal homage to my father and a metaphor about death.
It explores how our brains, instead of shutting down, start a frantic and beautiful journey through an interstellar endless dream. In this sense, I decided to create an album with only one song that goes through different sections and moods to illustrate the different stages of this dream.
From a compositional standpoint, how did you approach writing an album centred around dreams and frozen time?
This was a challenging yet rewarding experience because I had to change a lot of my creative process and the usual tools I use to achieve what I had in mind. First, I decided to keep drums at minimum. Also, I wanted it to be more melodic than my previous albums, and I worked more than ever in chord progressions and sound design to create that dreamy atmosphere. All was unexplored territory for me, but I think it translated into an album that sounds like nothing I have done before.
What’s your relationship with the world of dreams and astral projection?
I dream a lot. It’s one of my favourite things in life. I would be dreaming the whole day if I could, really!
Actually, in my teens, I went to high school in the afternoon. It sucked, but at least I could sleep a bit more in the morning. One of these days, I was dreaming that I was in a closed room full of smoke. I could barely breathe, and there was a strange and loud noise, like that of a waterfall. I suddenly woke up and there was actually a lot of smoke in my room. Also, the sound of the waterfall was still there in real life. I followed the smoke and the sound and discovered that the boiler had fallen down and was on fire. The sound was actually the water from the broken pipe hitting a window. It was crazy how that dream warned me that something strange was going on. I guess I can say that dreams have literally saved my life.
Are you a lucid dreamer?
I might say I am a lucid dreamer, but that would not be very accurate. Some years ago, I started to take control of my dreams, but only when they become annoying. So, I dream like everyone else, not knowing that I am dreaming at all, but when bad stuff starts to happen, I suddenly realize that I am dreaming. So, only when a dream starts to become a nightmare, I become a lucid dreamer and take control most of the time.
Are there any plans to release any music videos for this album?
Yes! On November 26 I will also release a visualizer with the whole album on my YouTube channel.
Describe the best context (listening conditions) to listen to Cryostasis.
The best way to enjoy Cryostasis is by putting your headphones on, laying down, pressing the play button and closing your eyes.
Finishing off with the question I end every interview with: name one of your favourite albums, movies and books.
Favourite albums: Blade Runner OST by Vangelis, Radiohead – OK Computer and Opeth – Damnation.
Movies: Blade Runner, American Beauty and Schindler’s List.
Books: Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, Demian and Foundation Saga
Thank you very much for the interview. See you in the stars!
Thank you to AT for taking the time to answer our questions!
Don’t forget to check out ‘Cryostasis’ on Bandcamp and Spotify.