The Pop Ambient series of albums from Uber label Kompakt has been delivering the chilled goods since 2001 and never fails to deliver. As the title suggests the style of music herein is accessible ambience and it works very well indeed.

Label boss Wolfgang Voigt is the guy that puts the collection together and he does a damned good job at bringing together new names as well as some that will be recognisable to many.

New on this years offering are Thore Pfeiffer and Max Wurden, whilst names such as Leandro Freso, Ulf Lohmann and Jens-Uwe Beyer will be familiar to folk who have delved into the Pop Ambient albums previously.

Indeed, it is with newcomer Thore Pfeiffer’s Wie Es Euch Gefallt that the record opens and a glorious and uplifting opening it is, full of stirring synth pads which set the scene perfectly for what we have to come. Thore gets another look-in with the second track too. Called Nero this is guitars looped and looped over more pads – it sounds vaguely reminiscent of some of Pink Floyd’s more meandering passages and has a maturity to it that belies this newcomer’s lack of previous exposure.

Next up is Dirk Leyer’s Daydreamer tune that, as its name would suggest, is chilled electronica of the highest order and perfect to drift away to. Synths loop away creating melodies within melodies that appear simple and yet complex and carry you with them on their journey.

Gregor Schwellenbach is up next and continues the blissed out vibe with calm and unflustered pads that create a feeling of ecstasy and tranquility. And that’s part of the charm of a lot of the tunes on Pop Ambient 2015 – the music appears to be very simple in its structure, but listen a little closer and every pad, every swirl of synth and every change in direction is carefully crafted to take you, the listener, on an inward journey where you can listen but also think. It’s sort of musical dope that calms and inspires in equal measure.

It would be so easy for this kind of record to descend into wishy-washy New Age pap, but it manages to avoid this trap and stay fresh and relevant….The perfect post club chill album to get the over worked synapses tingling in a whole new and wholesome way.

There are ten tracks on Pop Ambient and all are very good indeed, painting wide and deep sonic images that wash over you like a warm ocean. Highly recommended and out 10th November.

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