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.
Midlife Dreams by Makk releases on May 11 on Royal Tree Records. Check out his and for updates and more singles in the meantime.