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Schema’s new album is a house gem

dream of the future

It’s early days, but we have a prediction for 2021: Dream Rock, the new album from Charleston quartet Schema, is one of the best-titled releases of the year.

On the album’s seven songs, the all-instrumental band (guitarist/keyboardist Adam Coyne, guitarist Ryan Bresnihan, bassist Thomas Kenney and drummer JP Treadaway) stretches the grooves, but it’s not a jam band .

Even in their softer moments, like the fuzzy intro to “Bugs” or the reggae-style interlude in the title track, the band is very focused and crisp. The rhythms are complex, but it’s not progressive rock; funk plays a bigger role for the band. And while doodling synths are everywhere, this is by no means electronic music.

That pretty much leaves “dream rock,” a term Treadaway chose one night, to describe the band’s mix of beats, shimmering synths, and precise guitars. The album also sounds quite polished, a stark contrast to the self-titled Raw EP Schema released last year.

“This EP was made in a single day at Fairweather Studio (in Charleston),” Bresnihan said. “Everything was followed live.”
And it’s a stark contrast to how Dream Rock was created. The album was largely written and partially recorded before the pandemic, but most of it was done after the shutdown in a home studio, with Coyne handling production.

“We shifted gears when quarantine hit and shows were canceled,” Coyne said. “We set up our gear in West Ashley’s house and started tracking everything to the home studio. I did most of the tracking; I learned on my own and had a few lessons with our bassist, Thomas.

The home environment allowed Schema to make a higher quality record than a top notch studio, as the band had more time and fewer budget issues to worry about.

“Doing it at our own pace, all the equipment and technology makes it easier than ever.”

Diagram guitarist/keyboardist Adam Coyne

“We are thrilled with how it went, it was our first time,” Coyne said. “Doing it at our own pace – all the equipment and technology makes it easier than ever.”

“I think that’s something about this album that speaks for itself,” Bresnihan added. “We were able to do it as many times as we felt necessary to do it the way we wanted.”

It turns out that the bandmates actually needed that extra time. “It took about eight months from start to finish,” Treadaway said. “We had already followed a lot of it, but we had a lot of extra time to play with it.”
The band were able to add improvisational sections to the tracks – Treadaway stated that the album consisted of approximately “40% improvised music”.

Isolation during the pandemic also allowed the band to hone their own musical skills, resulting in a tighter sound. “I think we all practiced more and started taking it a little more seriously,” Coyne said.

And it’s a good thing that the group likes to train. With so much uncertainty about the safety of live performances, Schema may not be able to play shows for quite some time, which is frustrating for a band that was finally starting to gain traction after nearly a decade. on the regional circuit, including gigs in Atlanta and Charlotte. .

“Hopefully we can pick up where we left off in these markets and continue to build that, but I can personally train a lot more now, and it seems like everyone is the same,” Treadaway said. “It really seems like a time to grow as musicians and take it day by day and see where it takes us.”

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