25/30 album of the week ambient idm techno

daniel avery – ultra truth

I wondered when I saw this title if Daniel Avery might attempt to transmit something superhuman, insinuating that he knows something unknowable. Ultra Truth is nothing like that. It’s a swirling, pounding album of immense proportions, but Avery holds a deep cordiality with the listener. The structure is neither forced nor feigned, developing lightly with […]

26/30 ambient classic review electronic idm

sora – re.sort (2003)

re.sort would be appropriate waiting room music in a distant utopia—I figure a truly perfect world is not a place with no need for waiting rooms, but a place where people do not rush and can accept the more prosaic interactions. I also figure that contained, momentary utopias are what resorts attempt to be. Sora […]

23/30 ambient classical electronic experimental

mabe fratti – se ve desde aquí

It’s hard to escape the imperious darkness of this album. The opener could soundtrack dead souls squeezing past each other to order some mead in a purgatorial nightclub. Mabe Fratti, through carefully layered textures, creates an atmosphere of medieval tension that is constantly in touch with both chaos and reflection. The Guatemala-born, Mexico City-based cellist […]

23/30 album of the week ambient electronic experimental

loraine james – building something beautiful for me

Among her remarkable qualities, Loraine James has added prolificacy. Her first full-length project of the year, Whatever the Weather, emphasised a profound respect for tone and sensation. This follow-up, arriving as the beauty of WTW has been digested, is a work of parallel depth, but the focus has shifted from the process of an album, […]

24/30 ambient soundtrack

aaron martin – the end of medicine (soundtrack)

This is the soundtrack to a documentary on factory farming and disease. In the face of crippling tragedy, its triumph is in staying rooted to the reality of its subject. Any shadow of hope is reduced to a slice of the sun creeping through the factory window and briefly implying an outside world. The magnificence […]

19/30 ambient

rachika nayar – heaven come crashing

I wasn’t sure if this title was written in the instructional, or commentary register. There is sufficient intensity on this record to supply evidence for both: it is a maximalist, ambient thunderstorm. Though a memorable energy to be felt, Heaven Come Crashing’s focal point is its own perceived beauty rather than any ineffable force beyond. […]

23/30 ambient experimental

okada takuro – betsu no jiken

Okada Takuro was in a folk-rock band once—Mori Wa Ikiteiru were distinctly less interpretive, but possessed the same life-affirming curiosity as its leader’s solo work. Betsu No Jikan, Takuro’s first album in two years, contains six tracks, each a puddle with elegant rain dripping down upon it at shifting tempos and with fresh textures in […]

25/30 ambient electronic experimental

kaitlyn aurelia smith – let’s turn it into sound

This record sounds as though it was made by a band of sparrows, who enrolled in music school, microdosed on psychedelics and met at the studio. ‘Let’s Turn It Into Sound’ swoops, glides, but also reflects, stands still, chirps. It is winding and unpredictable, eschewing long, ascending passages for enterprising left turns. The pop tones […]

26/30 ambient electronic experimental idm

sam prekop, sam mcentire – sons of

‘Sons Of’ would look magnificent over anything from shuffling film of microscopic plant cells to stock footage of a helicopter drifting through the Tokyo skyline. It corresponds gracefully to all forms of experience, material or immaterial, with an understanding glow. In doing so, it implies a nature to dance and a dance to nature. There’s […]