Various Artists

Pop Ambient 2011

by John Bergstrom

17 April 2011

 
cover art

Various Artists

Pop Ambient 2011

(Kompakt)
US: 1 Feb 2011
UK: 31 Jan 2011

Now that the German electronica label Kompakt has almost a dozen of these under its belt, you pretty much know what to expect from a Pop Ambient compilation. That would be slow-moving, occasionally oscillating, moodiness performed primarily on synthesizers. The dozen tracks here are mostly placid to the point of sounding like thick, matte paint slowly oozing out of the speakers. Many of the usual suspects are accounted for, but there are also a couple eyebrow-raisers. Ex-Einstürzende Neubauten and Bad Seed Blixa Bargeld, recording with Alvo Nota as ANBB, turns in the rather creepy, somewhat tribal “Bernsteinzimmer”. Esteemed producer Ewan Pearson, trading under the name Bhutan Tiger Rescue, provides a highlight with the Steve Reich-like, chiming beauty of “Beginner’s Waltz”, proving that ambient can be evocative, too. If only more of Pop Ambient 2011 followed suit.

Pop Ambient 2011

Rating:

 

We all know how critical it is to keep independent voices alive and strong on the Internet. Your donation will help PopMatters stay viable through these changing and challenging times.

//comments
//Mixed media
//Blogs

Counterbalance: Elvis Costello's 'Imperial Bedroom'

// Sound Affects

"History repeats the old conceits, the glib replies, the same defeats. Keep your finger on important issues, and keep listening to the 275th most acclaimed album of all time. A 1982 masterpiece is this week's Counterbalance.

READ the article