The 2017 installment of Kompakt's ever-reliable Pop Ambient series serves up a typical assortment of wintry, occasionally somber, always reflective ambient pieces. The first few selections are the most experimental, with shifting and stirring sounds buried underneath the glacial synthesizer pads and twinkling pianos. Kenneth James Gibson's "Her Flood Knocked Me to the Ground (But I Was Already There)" features grainy static and dub echo that has been filtered down to crumbs, but atop the crackle sits a soft pulse and hazy slide guitar.
No matter what is happening in the world, we can all count on German electronic label Kompakt to deliver us their annual Pop Ambient compilation in time for year’s end. And as expected, here comes the 2017 collection at the tail end of the 2016 calendar year to help us trip our brains out in the most beatless way possible. So thank you label curator Wolfgang Voigt, for reminding us that electronic music doesn’t have to move as fast as all other electronic developments taking place across the rest of our crazy globe.
Pastoral auras, drifting clouds of sound, astral immensity—yep, it's time for another of Kompakt's annual Pop Ambient compilations, once again assembled by label co-founder Wolfgang Voigt. 2017's edition features the usual mix of veterans and newbies, and brims with infinitesimal resonances and grand gestures.Anyone who's had much experience with Pop Ambient might feel a sense of déjà vu here, though that's not to say the series hasn't evolved over the years. The 2006 edition had sparser arrangements, while the tunefulness was a bit more direct—more emphasis on the "pop." That comp even has a cover version of Erik Satie's "Gymnopédie No.