Eine kleine Nachtmusik is a composition by Wolfgang Amad- wait a minute, this isn't by Mozart. Nachtmuziek is by Belgian musician Sonmi451 whose created an album of startlingly beautiful ambient music. There's a sense of movement here that marks it out from a lot of over ambient album, though it makes it no harder to get lost in.
Vinyl 12" £14.99 AI-13
180g vinyl 6-track 12" EP on Astral Industries. Mastered by Noel Summerville, original artwork by Theo Ellsworth.
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- Nachtmuziek by Sonmi451
The ever-reliable Astral Industries label shine a light on the work of Belgian ambient producer Bernard Zwijzen with this expertly compiled EP of six resplendent tracks of pure bliss - pressed to vinyl for the first time. Had I not had prior knowledge, I would never have guessed this wasn’t intended to be a “proper” mini-album of new work, as the flow and sequence of the tracks is superb. What we have is a selection of cuts cherry-picked from the ‘Vladivostok’ CDr from 2005 on U-Cover and the ‘Probes & Prisms’ CDr from 2007 on GreenhouseEffect/U-Cover. It has to be said that they’ve aged pretty well and sound right at home on Astral Industries in 2019 - totally in tune with the vibe of the label.
Opener ‘Probe’ gently bubbles and elegantly glistens - the subtle female vocal, lush sweeping strings and delicate glassy chimes a real ticket to paradise. ‘Vladivostok’ is equally tranquil - as though we’re lounging in some psychedelic rainforest with singing tree frogs and insect lullabies. ‘Outer Shell’ ripples and pulsates like liquid while angels play the harp and feed me peeled grapes.
‘Quiet Piece for Bram’ over on the flipside has me gazing out of the window, almost drifting away into a daydream as it twinkles. While listening, a Goldfinch started dancing in the hedge. It felt like a magical moment where the little bird has been lured in by such pretty sounds. ‘Inner Structure’ shimmers and glitters like a giant wind chime made of crystal, beams of colourful light refracting from its precision cut prisms. I’ve just about managed to stay vertical by the time I get to drifting melter ‘Bay Hatch’ and at this point, I’m mourning the demise of the chillout room.
The overwhelming feeling I get from this record is one of being on a planet organically similar to Earth - a utopia where nature has been preserved and blossoms rather than destroyed by humans. I’d be first in line to fly there. The female vocal that appears throughout has an oblique presence and almost feels like a spirit guide or perhaps even the voice of Gaia herself. This is pretty much as mellow as music gets.
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