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9/10 Brian Staff review, 09 May 2014
This is totally excellent. It spoke to me last night when I popped into work to pick up some other records, whispering at me from across the vast lonely space of the office. I tentatively borrowed it to listen to then realised I would just have to say some kind words after it effortlessly lulled me into a sweet slumber. This compilation is sourced from unreleased archive material spanning his most fertile period, this Seattle-based musician has run his own micro-label since the '70's called Palace of Lights which enabled him to quietly pursue his burgeoning love of electronics and the kosmische musics. Hence this cracking 26 track show of strength which will no doubt satiate the appetites of all those gentle souls who hold in high regard the classic mid 70's works of Mister Brian Eno and his German friends Cluster, 'Soon Over Babaluma'-era Can and the breezier glide of Neu'75.
Fundamentally rooted in the ambient genre, this collection, however, is not wishy-washy stuff. I find it to be incredibly warm and involving music that stirs in ponderous organic bass palpitations, astrally-inclined analogue synth washes, tactile echo-laden drum machine pads and a general sense of inquisitive wonderment at the world. The Eno influence is particularly strong, texturally inspired more by his work with Cluster, David Byrne and his own classic 'Another Green World'. This work is beyond simple homage though.
I cannot pick out individual tunes for appraisal as it's one of those albums that demands full immersion such is the playful dream-like charm of it all. Some tracks are reminiscent of fluttering miniatures - I'm reminded in a couple of spots of the wonderful 'Selbstportrait ' albums by Cluster mainman Roedelius where he constructed these dusty evocative pieces that were almost Satie-esque in their loveable whimsical daydream states. One track , '(aka accident)', is almost like a pre-cursor to the less dystopia-leaning material of contemporary acts such as Pye Corner Audio. Slow pulse beats and ricocheting synth-panning taking you to a most welcome nostalgic corner of your musical soul.
RVNG are to be commended for bringing this highly talented individual to our attention. I totally adore his music. His twinkly Clangers-style melodies, romantic piano flourishes, wonky old analogue machine pop and odd mischievous space-funk conspire to enslave your mind in another time and place..... Get involved!
9/10 Ben Tye Customer review, 24th May 2014
If you listened to Tortoise for years then discovered Phil Ranelin's albums from the 70's and thought "Oh... So this is where they got it from" then this is the equivalent experience for fans of Boards of Canada.
Lush analogue synths, arpeggio guitars, distant voices, woozy electronic drums.. Dreamy and a little eerie.
It's brilliant & really out there for its time.
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