“I wanted the album to be a perfect mix of everything I really love,” says the Swedish-Chilean artist, producer and DJ Cristian Dinamarca. “Something that I can’t find anywhere else. A mix of really nice electronic music combined with trippy pop melodies and percussion.”
It’s fair to say that the artist, who performs as simply Dinamarca, has achieved just that on soñao. While he has released several EPs previously, released on his own STAYCORE label, as well as the instrumental albums Fantasilandia vol 1 & 2, this is something of a defining statement record - moving things into bold new terrain.
Soñado means “dreamt” or ”dreamed of” in Spanish although here the “d” is dropped to mirror the pronunciation. The title is entirely representative of the trance-like state that the album is capable of lulling you into. Dinamarca himself describes the record as being “atmospheric, dreamy and danceable - pop soundscapes combined with percussion-heavy Latin rhythms and a whiff of rave.”
As a result, the album is one that manages to feel versatile and eclectic but also coherent and stylistically neat. Dance floor beats nestle up alongside slowed down grooves and bright melodies co-exist with engulfing and immersive atmospherics. “I’m really into melodic trippy vibes,” says Dinamarca. “But I also like to dance a lot, so I combine those worlds with the rhythms. Dancing while dreaming away. que soñao.”
Dancing while dreaming is a perfect distillation of a record that has the power to transport and take the listener away while also keeping them rooted in the here and now. A liminal exploration of time, space and sonics. Perhaps this ability to exist within multiple styles, tempos and vibes at once is down to Dinamarca being of Chilean descent but living in Scandinavia. “My Chilean roots impact all of my music,” he says. “I speak fluent Spanish and listen to a lot of music in Spanish. Without my Chilean roots I wouldn’t have this connection to this beautiful part of the world. I think that’s what also has made me make rhythms that make the lower part of your body move.”
Making hip-shaking beats combined with an early love of trance, is another combination that results in Dinamarca’s unique output. “I’m always inspired by stuff that makes you dream life away,” he says. “I think it comes from trance being my first important musical interaction when I was a kid. A lot of those melodies stuck with me through the years and can be heard in everything I do.”
Despite creating such a distinctive and singular tone to his work, this is expanded and stretched out by the inclusion of guests on the record such as AMORE, Meth Math, and Ralphie Choo. “I’m always on the look for people to collaborate with,” he says. “I think that’s when I make the best music. I just look for potential. If I can hear that our worlds combined will sound nice then I want to collaborate.”
‘favorita’ (feat AMORE) is a stirring and beautifully dreamy pop song peppered with a dancehall and reggaeton groove and subtly euphoric rave synths. AMORE, a singer from Madrid that Dinamarca had been following, lays down a vocal that adds to its dreamy yet uplifting feel. ‘delixoxo’ (feat Meth Math) is straight up pop with an infectious vocal performance from Ángel Ballesterosm, singer of Mexican outfit Meth Math. “I really love this song and these melodies because they are super catchy without being corny,” says Dinamarca.
The result is an album that can feel like a blissed-out trance as frequently as it offers up moments of elation, melody and sugary pop hooks. “I feel like this album has a perfect mix of it all,” Dinamarca says. “Nice vocal songs, a few cute trippy songs, and some really nice club songs. I don’t think I’ve ever made something like this before.”