Review: After 18 months of soft releases and sunset-optimised live shows across Europe, Danish dreamer Emil Breum comes correct with the aptly titled Moments. Each instant as cosy, poignant and emotionally rich as the last, Breum's ambience and cool sense of contemporary classical is showcased at its finest. The whole trip is a whirlwind of star-gazing soul but surefire standouts have to be the nylon string plucking Balearic bliss-out "Dive", the oceanic synth washes and delicate folds of "Bright Lights" and the striking keystroke confidence of "Blueberries". Delicious.
Review: "The idea was simply to make an ambient album", Dr Alex Paterson has said of The Orb's new album entitled Chill Out, World!. With partner in crime Thomas Fehlmann, the duo resisted looking back and studying their earlier (seminal) recordings and opted for a more spontaneous approach: a focus on where they are at today in 2016. COW is said to have been completed over the course of five sessions in only six months, between a relentless touring schedule which they also credit as being hugely influential on the album's sound. As always, strap yourself in for an immersive sound experience and possibly expect to hear some of the more courageous DJs dropping likes likes of "4am Exhale (Chill Out, World!)" or perhaps "Just Because I Really Really Luv Ya". Oh and the track titles are as baffling as ever too.
Review: Apparently inspired by "Old silent 8mm film reels and historical architecture", the Norwegian duo of Erik Skodvin and Otto Totland have produced a lambent debut that recalls the likes of William Basinski (particularly the 'Disintegration Loops' indebted 'Lobby'), Marsen Jules and Harold Budd. Over layers of warmly battered aural sediment, Deaf Center build the kind of vista-expanding, piano tinged music that has you thinking you're in your very own film. Manifesting itself in the epic iciness of 'Thread', or the etiolated Nyman piano of 'White Lake', Deaf Center have a seemingly bottomless supply of aural dignity and pathos on which to draw. Other highlights include the tense strings and snatched choirs of 'Stone Beacon', the thrumming piano of 'Loft' and the soaring orchestral pomp of 'Thunder Night'. Just incredible music.
Review: Steve Hauschildt is no newcomer to the blossoming ambient scene, having released his first album almost a decade ago. In that time, he's earned a reputation for crafting genuinely poignant electronic music that neatly sidesteps ambient's various stylistic cliches. There's plenty to get excited about on this latest full-length - his fourth for venerable Chicago institution Kranky - starting with the sun-bright, Tangerine Dream style synthesizer arpeggios of the brilliant "Same River Twice". Elsewhere, he gets stunningly melancholic on the drifting beauty of "A False Seeming", doffs a cap to Global Communication and Steve Hillage on the glistening positivity of "Ketracel", and gives Pete Namlook a run for his money on the spacey wonder of "Strands".
Review: Paris label Collapsing Market has scored something of a coup here by tempting Lust For Youth frontman Lars Hannes Norvide away from regular home Posh Isolation. NNN is the latest missive to emerge from his recently minted Norin alias, which was apparently established to allow for more "techno-focused" productions. The four tracks showcased here are far from straight-up techno club tracks, of course, with rhythms created from cyclical electronic motifs, rather than traditional drum machine percussion. Winding, creepy and occasionally intense, the tracks bob and weave seductively, seemingly tempting listeners to succumb to the Swede's unsettling musical vision.
Review: This new Syncrophone sub label named For Those Who Know is dedicated to 'alternative sounds' and presents mysterious French dark ambient industrial act Dedale. Starting out with the morose and rolling dub textures of "Preface de 1977" and the the woozy heroin house of "(Le) mythe" on the A side. On the flip, there's some haunting retro coldwave vibes on "Structure" and Meandres" respectively. Also features some lovely artwork and design on the sleeve by Anne Raffin / Annomane. We certainly are curious to see what kind of obscurities this label brings to us next!