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- Pop Ambient 2012 by Various
9/10 Li'l Biz Staff review, 03 February 2012
I don't feel qualified enough to review this Pop Ambient collection. Sure, I dig ambient sounds but with Kompakt we're talking serious business - proper studious Ambient music made by proper grown-ups. You've only got to look at the contributing artists to know they ain't messin'. We've got BV DUB in the house, WOLFGANG VOIGHT is in the house, SIMON SCOTT and MARSEN JULES are in the house to name but a few. Mohn kicks things of in a surprisingly aggressive fashion with a doom ridden industrial sound-scape entitled 'Manifesto' - it's pretty gnarly. Things soon chill out though with Superpitcher's 'Jackson' teasing the ear with it's blissful combination of sparse grand piano chords, scattered two note arpeggio and haunting vocal harmonies. It's heavenly beatless house music for dying peacefully too. Morek's 'Pan' takes piano themes a step further, drenching them in warped delay and reverb to create an unending peaceful drone that leads on nicely to Magazine's edit of 'The Visitor's Bureau' - another fine example of heavenly minimalism. Elsewhere Wolfgang Voigt's abstractions on the genre are taken to their logical extreme with loops of orchestral performance layered in a fashion that will no doubt disorientate. Bv Dub's 'Your Loyalty Lies Long Forgotten' also makes great use of orchestral loops, this time focusing on melancholic strings saturated in ghostly reverb. Marsen Jules is kind enough to break things up with the addition of drums. Combined that with rich piano variations and the result is a woozy jazzy affair amusingly titled 'Swans Reflecting Elephants'. Simon Scott steps in and prevents any danger of things getting too 'upbeat' with 'For Martha', a particularly sombre affair that focuses on a drifting string led motif. Loops Of Your Heart end the LP with 'Riding The Bikes', easily the most carefree jam of bunch with a Balearic guitar loop that gently makes it's into the depths of the cosmos thus concludes this years collection beautifully. Almost definitely a benchmark for the years Ambient contenders.
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