The Private Records reissue of Li Garattoni’s 1982 LP, Find Out What I’m Dreaming, brings a gorgeous, feminine concept album back to the masses for the first time in ages. The label’s Janis Nowacki describes it as “a journey into the world of female cosmic energy.” I’d describe it as beautiful, downtempo synth pop with a lot of Krautrock-ish psychedelic ingredients.
Originally released on the small German label Software Music, it’s been out of print for three and a half decades, and regularly fetches absurd prices on the secondary market — and for good reason. It’s absolutely mesmerizing, almost as if it were designed for guided meditation. Interestingly enough, it seems that Garattoni’s husband, Jean-Pierre, and Nowacki both are deep into meditation, and that’s how the two of them came together to put out this reissue.
“The whole record is a journey into the female psyche,” said Nowacki in an email. “It starts with a song about sleeping beauty and then continues like a dream.”
Garattoni passed away in 2004, but her husband, Jean-Pierre, notably opened his photo album for press use for the last time to Private Records. At the moment, he’s producing mostly far east meditation music and doing concerts at special venues like churches. In the past, he played a lot in cult Krautrock bands like Eulenspygel.
The first track on Find Out What I’m Dreaming, “Dornröschen” (“Sleeping Beauty”) is billed as the standout track, and while it’s nice, it’s the second side of this LP which really grabs the listener. The first cut on side B, “Child Of Venus/Orbital Star,” is a gorgeously warbly synth and piano cut, over which Garattoni’s vocals sound heavenly. With the flute solo on the back half of the track, it could’ve easily gone into easy-listening mode, but the groove of the bassline keeps it rooted in downtempo disco territory.
Nowacki’s reasons behind reissuing this obscurity are pretty simple. “My idea was to produce a perfect re-issue record because I like Li’s music very much and I also like Pierre,” he explains. “I think on this album Li came true. She was active in the Krautrock/jazz scene, but mostly [did] other music to make her money. So, the appeal of this record was to do what she wanted to do: female cosmic music.”
“Friends” is kind of the epitome of that whole concept. It’s dreamy and ethereal, but an underlying pop aesthetic keys it into what was being done all over the world at the time. Like so much of what Private has reissued over the last few years, “Friends” — along with “Rain Rain” — presages the sort of quiet storm R&B renaissance of the mid-’80s, by the likes of Anita Baker, but mixed with the wild woman ethereality of Kate Bush and a less upbeat Kirsty MacColl.
As per usual with a Private Records reissue, this sounds amazing. The highs are bright, the lows kick nicely, and whether you want this as background music or full-volume party soundtrack, you’re sure to be happy.
The 35th anniversary release of Find Out What I’m Dreaming is a DMM (Direct Metal Mastering) audiophile pressing, available on black or clear vinyl, and it comes with a poetry and lyrics foldout insert. The review copy we received is a test pressing on black, and it sounds great, but that means we’re relying on photos from Nowacki for the actual packaging. You can check the out below.
Find Out What I’m Dreaming is available on vinyl from Private Records.