On first glance at the cover of German dream pop producer Makk’s upcoming EP Midlife Dreams, any thoughts about Germany being a hub of hard techno and dark neurofunk will likely vanish. It’s very pink. Makk, who’s from Dresden not Berlin, would likely never get into Berghain, for a start. Not that he’d want to.
The first thing that will likely come to mind upon first listen to the first single off Midlife Dreams, “On and On” is sort of a combination between Phoenix and Washed Out. It’s where dream pop or dream house and bubblegum rock mix. This track definitely leans EDM structure-wise however, as it’s composed with a meandering beat structure, has builds, breaks and drops and has no pop vocal structure. Here Makk prefers to have the vox follow the beat and synths rather than there be a finite verse-chorus-verse structure. One gets the impression that with Makk’s freeform, ambient composition, he’d find such a structure limiting.
Other tracks on Midlife Dreams follow a similar EDM composition structure but are perhaps not as infused with rock as “On and On.” Album opener “Youth” has a palpable M83 vibe, heading much more in the dream pop direction than some others. The title track is dream pop with full on bubblegum and, surprisingly, does follow a pop structure in terms of the vocals and composition. It’s still a lot looser than your average radio pop track. The EP’s closer “I Need” is back to a house/EDM structure with more funky guitars grounding the spacey bubblegum synths but with more structure. There’s a tiny bit of German influence here if one listens closely to the synths: just a soupcon of Kraftwerk.
Overall, Midlife Dreams is a charming piece of work which, again, will bust up a lot of stereotypes around what kinds of EDM can and will come out of Germany. With his lighthearted and freeform ambient dream pop, Makk and his pink-covered album will likely take over a few dancefloors if not radio stations this summer.