Kompakt's Pop Ambient 2011
I’ve been listening to Kompakt’s excellent Pop Ambient 2011 compilation, which opens with ANBB’s arresting “Bernsteinzimmer” from their album, Mimikry, and ends with Thomas Fehlmann’s interpretation of Gustav Mahler’s magnificent Symphony No.1. This is heavy stuff, and it forms the perfect bridge from the chaos of Las Vegas and the Consumer Electronics Show to the cold misery of mid-January in New York City. There’s warmth in this music, and it has a sort of transportational power. Meaning: It gets me the hell out of here.
It’s also perfect for compiling the “Recommended Components” blurbs, which is what I’ve been working on over the last few days.
I arrived from Vegas at around 10pm, last Monday night. I was home by just after midnight. Back in the office the next morning to ship our March issue to press. We paused, but only briefly, to breathe and stretch and recover from the Vegas flu, and now we’re pumping out the April issue. Ariel is confirming pricing and availability of the hundreds of products we’ve listed in “Recommended Components,” and JA’s holed up in his test lab, measuring a particularly confounding amplifier which can be operated single-ended or balanced, in triode or tetrode mode, with four different levels of negative feedback for each.
The seventh track of Pop Ambient 2011, bvdub’s “Make the Pain Go Away,” features a soothing wash of synthesizer mist, an electronic tide, whispered voices, and dense, white heat. It pulses, outward and in, for nearly six minutes. In that time, I could be anywhere.