Michael Padilla usually plies his trade in the dream pop/psych rock arena with bands such as The Soft Bombs, Michael & The Machines and Dora Flood. Here he has decided to expand his musical horizons, specifically influenced by Brian Eno’s Discreet Music, to record Atmospheres (Ambient Works Vol. 1). The album is four evolving soundscapes, spontaneously made using a sampler and looper pedal. It’s a step away from Fruits De Mer’s usual psych rock roster so will be released via their Strangefish imprint. Limited edition picture disc with image designed by Tahiti Pehrson. Includes CD with bonus 5th track.
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- Atmospheres (Ambient Works Vol. 1) by Michael Padilla
7/10 Clinton Staff review, 07 January 2016We all know that life can get a bit predictable, so to shake things up a bit I’ve given Robin an ’80s indie pop record to write about whilst I soothe my ears to this wonderful slab of ambience from Michael Padilla, a man who normally fronts psych bands such as the Soft Bombs. Turns out that he makes lovely churning, blissful ambients that could sweep the stress even out of Phil's aching head. The opening 14 minute swirl of 'Northern Lights' brings to mind Aphex Twin in ‘Selected Ambient Works’ mode or a slower, lower take on BVDub's more ambient passages. Absolutely gorgeous, beatless ambience. ‘Crossing East’ has a kind of flute sound giving the impression of those 'Panpipe Moods' compilations that were always for sale in petrol stations in the ’90s. ‘Ecstagony’ is gorgeous slow moving ambience - it’s not as organic as the kind of moods created by the likes of Stars of the Lid (it’s easy to tell that there are synths at play here) and thats probably its only downfall really - the fact that it’s nicely played logic instruments (or similar) but if you're not the Lids, who the hell has the money to fork out on a string quartet? The pieces work as nice demonstrations for what could be utterly gorgeous neo-classical compositions but ‘Northern Lights’, in the fact that it’s meant to be inorganic, is the pick of the bunch. That said, it would be a picky person who could find issue with the horn and strings beauty of ’The Waiting’. Comes on a remarkable picture disc and the package includes a CD containing a bonus track. Lovely.
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