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04'06 INTERVIEW
Mountains Interview
Mountaigns

Nightmares On Wax Interview
Nightmares On Wax

Trunk Records Interview
Trunk Records

04'06 FEATURES
Biosphere / Egbert Mittelstädt live
Biosphere / Egbert Mittelstädt Live

03'06 INTERVIEW
Jimmy Edgar Interview
Jimmy Edgar

Clark Interview
Clark

04'06 REVIEWS
Luigi Archetti
Bird Show
Caroline
Depth Affect
Dextro
Dictaphone
Glissandro 70
Kieran Hebden & Steve Reid
International Peoples Gang
Izu
Kyler
Loka
Lionel Marchetti
Miller + Fiam
Matmos
Modern Institute
Same Actor
Thomas Strønen
Terrestrial Tones
Uniform
Vizier Of Damascus
Zeebee

04'06 COMPILATIONS
Pop Ambient

04'06 SHORT CUTS
Alog
Christ.
Fisk Industries
Winter North Atlantic
Chin Chin

 
   
   
   
 
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Click on the cover to access the Kompakt website

 

VARIOUS ARTISTS
Pop Ambient 2006

KOMP 047CD
Kompakt 2006
13 Tracks. 72mins30secs 

Buy this CD on line now

This edition in Kompakt’s annual Pop Ambient series is once again cut from a whimsical cloth, where overtones of mystery and pathos are curdled by hypnagogic melodies, and blithe synth smears suggestive of mammoth open skies. The compositions are predictable, even saccharine, but they are nevertheless animated, and consistently reach the labels telos by providing gushing passages of effulgent ambient composition.

A track by Markus Guenter, Le Grande Illusion is the first clear standout moment. The light rap of congas bubble underneath a flickering, jubilant Rhodes, and a contemplative, slightly steely guitar motif leapfrogs ahead. The piece is versatile, and Guenter deftly organizes a wide range of dynamics, allowing a pattering of electronics and sighing voice to gradually enter the song without disturbing the other elements. Burning Bright, a piece by Ulf Lohmann is also noteworthy, as a childish voice gallops playfully overtop stealthy, tiptoeing bass, and a chugging, almost exultant beat.

Elsewhere, pieces are relaxed to the point of sleepiness; their smooth edges and arctic shimmers are reminiscent of some of Eno’s more sedative efforts, assuaging the listener of any and all concern. As indicated earlier, this will no doubt displease others, and rightfully so, for this album is altogether too open and overt in its desire to please, going for tried and true forms rather than working for the listener’s attention. In fact, with such an onslaught of gentle timbres, and silky synth chords, the album presents such complete forms that there is little room or chance for the listener to engage with these works - rather, the listener is passive, a mere onlooker who is expected to let these sprightly songs wash over them.

Be that as it may, other compositions, such as Come To Where I Go, and Albatros attempt to sketch more of a personal statement with which one may to some extent interact. The former features a whirling wave of static, tinged with dash of dissonance, and punctuated by a moody guitar line that trembles threatening overtop. Albatros, meanwhile, is replete with more stimulating detail, as it churns out a distorted, buzzing electronic mayhem. Perhaps the biggest surprise, though, and a welcome one at that, is the decision by Klimek to provide an interpretation of the much beloved Erik Satie piece Gymnopedie #1. Klimek opts not to alter the piece in any severe way, merely placing the odd skittering high-frequency alongside the compositions graceful harp melody.

Max Schaefer

 

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