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Matthew Hayes / Codeine Dream Loop LP Vinyl
Matthew Hayes / Codeine Dream Loop LP Vinyl
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Matthew Hayes / Codeine Dream Loop LP Vinyl

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Matthew Hayes 'Codeine Dream Loop' LP Vinyl

Veteran bassist of 30/70, Z*F*E*X, Cousin Tony's Brand New Firebird and more, enigmatic composter and multi-instrumentalist Matthew Hayes returns with an album of twenty-two vignettes that draw upon loops, fragments, demo recordings and samples from his entire back catalog, creating a pastiche of lost fragments and memories that unite to form a seamless whole of ambient and experimental work. Bass guitar, drum kit, string sections, bells and more merge with vocal samples, field recordings, fragments of previous works and unheard demos to create a patchwork quilt of warm, hallucinatory compositions.

This collection, titled Codeine Dream Loop, plays upon the hazy dream-like states that come upon us all at various times. Says Hayes - “ I wanted to capture a bizarre phenomenon that I sometimes experience while sleeping, usually if I’ve taken some pain or cold/flu medication where I get stuck into a dream loop. A weird thought pattern, memory or surreal dream scenario loops around and it’s tricky to free myself of it!” 

Assembled at his studio in Coburg on the lands of the Wurundjeri Woi wurrung people in late 2021, the record, like many seen this year, has been deeply influenced by Melbourne’s extended lockdowns during various stages of the Covid-19 pandemic, a period that lasted a staggering total of 263 days in isolation. “I think that all that time spent in quietness out of the hustle and bustle and in self reflection inspired me to excavate the last 6 or so years of musical ideas into something new. And a collection of music that feels like a book-end on this period of my life.” 

So we are presented with six years worth of fragments, recordings, ideas and dreams, a window into the first phase of an artist’s career as a solo composer. The record is intimate to say the least, sometimes deathly quiet, sometimes breaking into song like a sunbeam through cloud. It’s as though the listener is there, in the corner of Hayes’ room, over a period of six years: different sharehouse, different jobs, late nights and early mornings, joy and sorrow. Like we are watching in time-lapse the comings and goings of an artist finding their way.

Samples on the record include guest appearances from many of Hayes’ frequent collaborators: Joel Trigg, Josh Kelly, Hannes Lackmann and more. It was mixed by Hayes before being mastered by Joseph Buchan in Melbourne, also known for his own fragmentary work under the pseudonym Other Joe

Of his practice, Hayes gives us a valuable insight. Unlike many of his contemporaries, the activity of putting together Codeine Dream Loop was not planned; the album was not made for an album’s sake. Instead, the sounds are a result of daily meditation, daily practice. The works here arose out of regular, daily intervals of reflection, meditation, and play - the true home of creativity. 

In the past I have worked mostly in fits and starts with inspiration as it comes and goes. But over the past year or so I feel I have been searching for something, something that I haven’t found. Because I’m searching, my writing isn’t heavily outcome-based and more of just a daily activity, something I love and that’s meditative, expressive and fun!” 

Ultimately, Matt has collected these pieces here to share with listeners, as a way to share his methodology and perhaps inspire others to create. The loops are for us, to take with us into our daily routines and adapt them how we will. 

“I have some strong thoughts and feelings when I listen back over the loops and my memory is jogged by the field recordings and little vocal moments. I hope that the loops are abstract enough for listeners to assign their own interpretation and meaning to them.”

Matthew HayesCodeine Dream Loop’ is out Friday, October 28 via Bedroom Suck Records.