Tom Mcdowell, aka Dream Division, makes electronic music that sinks into your brain slowly. He works in the world of analog synthesizers and creates sonic worlds that seem to have time traveled from the 70s and early 80s. Taking his cue from darker realms and inspired by the likes of Rizatti, Frizzi, and Carpenter, Dream Divison has become one of the preeminent heavy synth artists working today. Along with stalwart heavy synth artists like Pye Corner Audio, Pentagram Home Video, and Slasher Film Festival Strategy, Tom Mcdowell creates tactile, visceral worlds with every release. Many try, but only a handful of artists in this singular synth music world achieve and master the art of world building in their art.
Dream Division is one of those artists.
I must admit that I came to Mcdowell’s Dream Division late. I knew of his work, but hadn’t stepped through the portal until Transcend from 2019. That album pretty much blew my mind. A science fiction head trip that was a cross between Wendy Carlos and Bobby Beausoleil with a lack of oxygen and plenty of hallucinogenics. From there I took the wormhole to MOSURA, Vulture EP, and that gorgeous Halloween treat Alla Vigilia Di Halloween. His most recent release was the excellent EP Escape From Planet Sauvage with Polytechnic Youth. Continuing the futuristic vibes of Transcend, Mcdowell continued to refine and expand the sonic palate of Dream Division.
On July 3rd Dream Division will be dropping a brand new LP titled The Devil Rides Out, a musical companion to Dennis Wheatley’s 1934 classic novel of the same name. Dream Division is returning to the dark, occult vibes of Vulture EP, and not only that the record will be the debut release for Tom Mcdowell’s new record label Library Of The Occult.
The album is a tour-de-force of Gothic vibes and hazy synth dread, and opener “The Power Of Light” is a perfect entrance into its haunted world. You can almost feel the spider webs tickling your face as the candle light flickers just enough to reveal devilish shadows ahead. Hazy synths and a melancholy lean give the feel of mournful Giallo mixed with a candelabra dance on cobblestone walls into the heart of darkness.
“The Power Of Light” shows Dream Division in fine form, and in full-on world building. You could almost picture Dennis Wheatley’s ghost gleefully listening to this piece being played on a dilapidated harpsichord in some cavernous forgotten spot of Hyde Park.
Listen to “The Power Of Light” below, and then grab a copy of ‘The Devil Rides Out’ on Bandcamp when it drops on July 3rd. Limited to 100 hand numbered copies of red vinyl, as well as limited run of 50 clear red cassettes. First 25 orders will also receive issue 1 of the ‘Library Of The Occult’ zine. Keep up to date at the Library Of The Occult Instagram page.