Out 27th January on the Kompakt label Pop ambient 2014 is the 14th instalment of this series of albums presided over by label head honcho Wolfgang Voigt.

Pop Ambient kicks off with “The God of Pads” Ulf Lohmann who’s had a six year hiatus and it would appear he’s back in fine form with the wonderfully dreamy “Sicht” and the tune that finishes off the record PCC. Both are majestic offerings that carry you along on a wave of lush pads and are an apt pairing to open and close this album.

Mikkel Metal’s “Patience” introduces percussion and beats of sorts with slightly disturbing noisescapes over the top – this is a little reminiscent of a lite version of Ben Frosts “By the Throat” album in that it explores similar territories only in a less menacing way.

Marsen Jules’is a regular on the Pop Ambient collections and here we are offered up “The Philosophers Trap”, a stark yet beautiful piece of music which drifts this way and has a feeling of urban landscapes and wandering through them late at night.

Cologne Tape could be described as a bit of a Kraut-electronics supergroup made up as it is of Michaela Dippel, Axel Willner, Jorg Burger, Philipp Janzen, Jens-Uwe Beyer, Volker Pannes, John Harten and Daniel Daniel Ansorge (and other friends) and their contribution to Pop Ambient, “Moorpark” is a glassy, repetitive number that is all too short at just 2”35’.

Simon Scott’s “Fur Betty” loops and loops and to me is oddly evocative of George Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord”  – it sounds nothing like it, but the effected vocal loop really does bring it to mind for some reason.

The Bionaut (Jorg Burger), famous for “Everybody’s Kissing Everyone” from the early 90s is present and correct with a haunting remix of the 1992 Aquamarine and it’s a lovely thing indeed with its ephemeral vocal, luxuriant pads and layer upon layer of sounds that come together to produce a gorgeous melange. This could well be a taste of what can be expected from his upcoming Triola album out in the spring.

Wolfgang Voigt is represented here twice, once as himself and the tune Ruckerzauberung 8 and once on remix duties with is Gas hat on (it’s first outing since 2008) remixing The Field’s “Cupid’s Head”. His own tune is seven minutes of building pads and loops echoing in on themselves to give a slightly ominous and shadowy effect, whilst the remix of Cupid’s Head still maintains all of the originals splendour but with a much more ambient and dreamy quality to it.

There’s not a record on here that isn’t truly great and it’s the perfect record to put on after a stressful day and drift away on the ebb and flow of lush electronica.  

Stuart

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