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.

Fun!

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.

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COMMENTS
Drtrey3's picture

Wow. That was really interesting and compelling. The washes of synth at the beginning were ok, enjoyable enough, but when the bass notes hit and imposed a rhythmic expectation and tension that lasted long into the song, it got really interesting. Then the vocals at four minutes blew my mind again.

Not what I was expecting.

My son (age 8) remarked, "That's scarry music daddy."

Smart lad.

Stephen Mejias's picture
The entire ANBB album is awesome. One of my very favorites of 2010, and the sound is great, too. There's an especially creepy version of "One." It's lonelier than ever.
Erick Lichte's picture
You are not alone in loving this series of albums, Stephen. I think I have four or five year's worth of the Pop Ambient recordings. The recording quality is uniformly good and, after a whole day of rehearsals and making music, I find that listening to these albums are a way for me to listen to music while not listening to music - if you know what I mean.
Stephen Mejias's picture
The recording quality is uniformly good and, after a whole day of rehearsals and making music, I find that listening to these albums are a way for me to listen to music while not listening to music - if you know what I mean.

Yes, perfectly expressed.

R Browne's picture

In my mailbox today and listening to it now. Great recommendation. Thanks!

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