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Various Artists: Pop Ambient 2016

Track List

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Album Notes

Though Kompakt has been an outlet for ambient producers since their late-'90s establishment -- see CD2, Dettinger's Intershop -- they didn't set up a dedicated subsidiary until 2015. That year, Kompakt Pop Ambient issued albums by Leandro Fresco, Thore Pfeiffer, and Jens-Uwe Beyer, as well as this, the 17th Pop Ambient compilation. It's the first continuous sequence of tracks in the series, but it ain't no hot mix, merely a subtly segued selection of cuts that remains in the tradition of the label's sky-sailing faction. Fresco's "Configuracion de Ataque" is a highlight, eerie space-folk akin to El Reino Invisible cuts like "La Herida del Soldado." The Buenos Aires native also remixes Dave DK's "Veira" and leaves a light thump -- a rare Pop Ambient track with a beat. Pfeiffer and Beyer likewise are present with exclusives. As ever, the track titles are often evocative of the sounds: "Alpine Dawn" (the Orb)," "Unterwasser" (Max Würden), and so forth. Compared to the other volumes, this is among the most tranquil, with few threatening sounds. ~ Andy Kellman



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