Boomkat Product Review:
A key piece of Kate Bush’s groundbreaking run of early works, her 4th studio album ‘The Dreaming’ depicts Bush fully utilising the capacity of new technology to articulate her experimental vision.
After upending pop music with her debut LP ‘The Kick Inside’ (1978) and its extraordinary single ‘Wuthering Heights’, and beginning her fruitful relationship withe the Fairlight CMI synth-sampler on 1980’s ‘Never For Ever’ album, Kate Bush fully took the reigns of her recording process with ‘The Dreaming’ in 1982. Bush would encounter the kit while working with Peter Gabriel on his self-tiled 1980 album, and by the point of this, her 4th LP, the Fairlight CMI - a hybrid synth and sampler that afforded maximal control over the minutiae of production - formed the basis of her recording process.
Across ‘The Dreaming’ Bush would morph a range of folk instrumentation - mandolins, uilleann pipes, didgeridoos - and filleted bits of voice and percussion with more explicitly electronic sounds, and extra-musical influence from vintage crime flicks, documentaries and novels, into an intricate album that was shy on upfront singles and commercial appeal, but riddled with a febrile, oneiric, yet highly disciplined, sense of experimentation that still sounds unreal today.
As her first solo-produced album, Bush’s ultimate control over the elements manifests a vividly visual record. Animating her inspirations with a thrilling style of dramaturgy, she shifts from theatric pomp to express her dancer’s urges and existentialism on ‘Sat in Your Lap’, while presenting a carousel of characters in ‘There Goes a Tenner’, and bifurcating into wraithlike, darkside split personalities on ‘Leave it Open’. We’re always a sucker for that sliding, Karn-y bass on ‘Night of the Swallow’ and ‘All The Love’, and it’s maybe not hard to draw parallels with the possessed goth-punk spirit of Siouxsie and The Banshees in ‘Get Out of My House’.