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Mohn: Mohn (2CD, Kompakt, April 2012)

Wolfgang Voigt and Jörg Burger’s debut album is very much in the spirit of Kompakt’s Pop Ambient series: this is big, chewy, elastic, in-your-face ambient, full of big crashing noises and dubby swooshes, atmospheric but with as much sense of fun as darkness… it borders on the perky in places. It even has a reasonably […]

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Orbital: Wonky (2CD, ACP, April 2012)

So, here’s the thing: I have a history with Orbital. 1996’s In Sides appeared early on in my conversion to electronic music, and I was blown away by it. My favourite track was the astonishing 24-minute closing double track Out There Somewhere[1], in which simple little loops are introduced and slowly built up into an intricately […]

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Monolake: Ghosts (CD, Imbalance, February 2012)

I loved Monolake throughout the last decade, and I was a huge fan of 2010’s Silence. Ghosts is apparently the second in a trilogy, and the continuity is clear — not least in the welcome reappearance of the spooky sleeve notes, but also in the abstracted mood, the extended beatless atmospheric interludes, the distant clanking, the […]

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Claro Intelecto: Reform Club (CD, Delsin, April 2012)

This had me right from the start. The atmospheric swooshes which open the album, rich timbre of that synth melody (22 seconds in), the extra colour from the subtle harmonies (26 seconds), the laid-back pad-tick-pad-tick beat (38 seconds) — it’s everything about it is so assured, it says “relax, you’re in good hands, just enjoy […]

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Dictaphone: Poems From A Rooftop (CD, Sonic Pieces, April 2012)

This record has a wonderfully fresh take on the modern classical template, and I can’t quite put my finger on what it’s doing. We get sonorous chimes, tinkling pianos, and atmospheric strings. We get some jazzy touches, like the soulful reed instruments and the percussion’s tendency towards soft brushes and hand-claps. We get a subtle […]