Various Artists - Ambient Not Not Ambient
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Various Artists
Ambient Not Not Ambient

The newest release on the Audio Dregs label finds what is essentially an all-star cast of indie artists from across the musical spectrum contributing ambient-related music for a sprawling release that touches on all corners. Artists from Kranky, Load, Carpark, 12K, Warp and a slew of other labels bump up against each other in sometimes exciting ways, and seventeen tracks fill almost an entire CD (seventy-five minutes plus) worth of sound.

Oh, and for the bargain-minded, the compilation runs about the price of an EP. As mentioned above, there are a ton of different artists involved, and a lot of different processes used in terms of creation of the music located within. There's everything from hardcore digital processing to spaced-out ambient rock to deep, dark drone. There are several highlights, including the usually-excellent White Rainbow (aka Adam Forkner of Yume Bitsu and other groups) turning in the tripped-out "See And The Field Feels," which mixes delayed beats and washing layers of vocals and synths. On the other side of the equation, Yellow Swans (who are usually much more massive sounding), drop the evil low-end hum of "To Valleys Of Beautiful Arson," which doesn't sound too far off from the deep-sea gurglings of Deathprod.

Because a good portion of the release features work that focuses in on digital deconstruction, the aptly-titled "Less Of Everything" by Bird Show is another gem. After a quiet opening section of sparse, reverbed guitar, it breaks off into a vocal section that finds Ben Vida weaving a gorgeous spell that seems steps beyond the work on his Lightning Ghost release. In addition to the above, the compilation also features work from E*Vax, Valet, Nudge, E*Rock, Freeform, and Chris Herbert (among others), and while not every track hits the bulls-eye, Ambient Not Not Ambient is a varied (and cheap) release thats just as mystifying as its purposely vague title.

rating: 6.510
Aaron Coleman 2008-05-08 19:56:34