Collection 2 "Moving" ( Databloem CD04 )|
- Mantacoup - Sap [8:16]
- Carbon Boy - Namo [5:53]
- The Circular Ruins - Empathy Test [5:38]
- Spielerei - Displaying Movements [6:19]
- Saul Stokes - Sopra [6:51]
- Psychetrope - China Radio Sunshine [4:50]
- ENV(itre) - Qulina [5:09]
- Makunouchi Bento - Mipoetri [6:26]
- Subradial - Misty Hills [6:07]
- Vir Unis - Bead Game [8:14]
- Cyscape - Elumina [5:44]
11 tracks / 70 minutes
Dutch label Databloem has compiled another remarkable collection of 11 ambient grooves and chill tracks from both new and established artists
including : Carbon Boy, Vir Unis, Mantacoup, Subradial, Saul Stokes, ENV(itre), and others.
Original,experimental yet melodic and groovy.
2003. Press information
The Databloem label is all about cool, cutting edge electronics, without the annoying heavy incessant beats that drive me away from liquid trance and similar styles. The eleven tracks on Collection 2: Moving include four
artists that are familiar to me and seven that are new.
In the latter category, Mantacoup's "Sap" starts things off strong, with a long whooshing fade in, followed by soft bells and a guitar-like synth lead.
Mantacoup's new album Equinox has some glitch and other intentionally coarse elements, but this track is velvety smooth.
"Nano" by Carbon Boy is very comfortable and utterly cool, with deep bass and a gentle back beat.
The Circular Ruins is always a winner in my book and "Empathy Test" is no exception.
An assortment of warbling electronic sounds give way to a vintage synth lead, assorted interesting voice samples, and other cool stuff.
My favorite track may be "Displaying Movements" by Spielerei, a.k.a. Databloem label founder Dennis Knopper.
A spellbinding sequence forms the main structure of the piece, the rest of the sounds nicely dressing it up and riding its coattails to the end.
Mechanical clicking beats signify the start of another homemade synthesizer sound fest by Saul Stokes, "Sopra." The wavering lead line is a touch disturbing, but Stokes is never anything if not original and a bit quirky.
Next comes one of my favorite recent discoveries, Todd Fletcher's work under the name Psychetropic.
"China Radio Sunshine" is melodic, accessible, cutting edge, and vintage, all at the same time.
It gets a strong pulse going and stays in a good groove.
Perhaps the most variety in a single track is found in "Qulina" by ENV(itre). Moving from Berlin school to dance/techno, dub, ambient atmospheric, and all-around electronica, it covers a lot of ground in five minutes.
Makunouchi Bento's "Mipoetri" sounds more French than either the Japanese group name or the Romanian descent of its two members, combining female French vocals with modern lounge music.
Subradial's "Misty Hills" is layered with exciting percussive touches and a simple synth sound or two to hold the beats together.
Another favorite of mine, Vir Unis contributes "Bead Game", a piece that combines his two favorite styles in one.
Soft atmospheric textures float over a bed of hip beats, the end result being every bit as good as anything on Mercury and Plastic, which is saying something.
Cyscape closes with "Elumina", an appropriately dreamy piece with a touch of glitch to bring a groovy disc to a groovy conclusion.
2003. Phil Derby / Electroambient Space
There's a certain added level of listening excitement when you become so immersed in the music on a "various artists" album, that it's only half way through when you remember that you are actually listening to music created
and played by a number of different musicians, since it exhibits such a consistency of flow and melody, rhythm and feel, that you'd been thinking it was all the work of one set of musicians.
That's just the case here as a
whole ocean of down tempo ambient electronic music ebbs and flows as one, a vein of lifeblood running through the heart of its sublime, relaxing and soaring melodies and harmonies anchored with solid electro-percussive/bass foundations.
It is somehow ironic, but nonetheless quite welcome, that just after experiencing the joys of the releases by Kerry Leimer, track two, 'Nano' should bear more than a passing influence with some of that musician's early work.
The whole album, featuring exclusive tracks from the likes of Circular Ruins, Vir Unis, Saul Stokes and more, is an engagingly rhythmic, down tempo mass of warm, multi-textured ambient music, as layer upon synthesized layer are created and arranged.
From heavenly paradise to melodic ambient satisfaction, solid and soaring, this has a similar feel to the first Mali Rain and similar sounding albums, features no fillers whatsoever, and is a 100% successful set of gorgeousness.
2003. Andy G.
If the first collection was not good enough for you, then you really are the most difficult person in the world to please. Just to remind you that I awarded a rating of 100 out of 10 to the first album. My maths may be suspect, but my thoughts about music are very precise.
The opening track by the Dutchman who records under the name of Mantacoup is absolutely superb. Sap is one of those precious tracks that grabs and hold the attention in a vice like grip despite being gentle on the ears and overtly ambient. For over 8 minutes, I was spellbound listening to what is now my favourite ambient track.
How can Carbon Boy better that with Nano? Well not quite in the same league, but its still beats most ambient music hands down. The laid back piano notes drift across the sound stage as if they came from Roger Eno. Its certainly grows on you and possesses that timeless quality.
Another instantly likeable section is the 5 minutes taken by Psychetropic on China Radio Sunshine, where the sequenced notes have a rhythmical beauty and the melody harmonies perfectly.
The finale by Cyscape is suitable dreamy. I could write about any of the tracks in much greater detail, but this review can only give a flavour.
I hope you will sample all eleven of these tracks because each is a masterpiece in its own right. To say I like this CD is somewhat of an understatement.
2004. Brooky / Modern Dance