Various Artists: Enjoy the Silence

Various Artists
Enjoy the Silence
Mule Electronic
2009-04-14

The Tokyo-based ambient label Mule Electronic, specializing in ambient music, has released Enjoy the Silence to mark its fifth anniversary. The dozen tracks here show Mule deals in old-school ambient. This isn’t the mellowed-out pop and electronica you find on those Ultra: Chilled compilations. No, this is glacial, beat-free, all-instrumental soundscape. Synthesizers creep and crest like molten lava, while the occasional voice or reverbed sound effect passes through. Sometimes, as on Koss’ piano piece “Endless Flight” or Lawrence’s “Sunrise”, the results are simultaneously striking and relaxing. Other tracks are more abstract, to the point of becoming almost atonal. Enjoy the Silence may remind some listeners of the more mellow moments of Cocteau Twins or This Mortal Coil. Too often, though, the arrangements recall the outdated sounds of yesterday’s New Age labels. Private Music, anyone?

RATING 5 / 10
PopMatters