Synthetic Love Dream – ‘The Royal Scotsman’

Posted by on August 24, 2017


Three years after organizing an ensemble to record his album Synthetic Love Dream, Brooklyn multi-instrumentalist David Lackner is reviving that name for a new ensemble and an unusual concept, once again produced via his own Gallta imprint. For their debut, the new Synthetic Love Dream ensemble — with Adrian Knight, Max Zuckerman, and Derek Vockins — imagines L. Ron Hubbard on his flagship the Apollo, itself renamed after he acquired the boat as the HMS Royal Scotsman, “drinking rum and cokes and smoking cigarettes on the forward deck . . . feverishly writing decrees and memos, and throwing devout followers overboard to ‘purify’ them.”

Composed of two side-length sequences, “The Royal Scotsman” and “On This Day,” The Royal Scotsman is a noirish, watery fantasy, dominated by Lackner’s tuned horns but keyed in perfectly to the bizarre imagination of Sea Org — the organizational name for Hubbard’s  personal favorites and Scientology’s ostensible leadership class. “The Royal Scotsman” is a mellow launch, cut through with field recordings of “ocean surf taken at Belleair Beach, FL, the very same waters that the enterprising crew would have traversed.” The album also features a cadre of collaborators from Gallta’s orbit, with Genevieve Kammel-Morris on viola and Mike Advensky handling percussion, though Billy G. Robinson’s vocal turn for “On This Day” stands out.

Order Synthetic Love Dream’s The Royal Scotsman via Gallta Media.