The 23rd edition of the Pop Ambient compilation, compiled as always by Wolfgang Voigt. With the first tracks of Leandro Fresco/Thore Pfeiffer, Gen Pop (Burger, Pfeiffer, Würden), Morgen Wurde featuring Tetsuroh Konishi, and Max Würden up to Triola’s gloomy and melancholic “Kupferblüte”, the feeling of a slowness and calmness not experienced before, of an exceedingly lively standstill, creeps over us. A mental state that resembles dreams, in which you follow strange events as if paralyzed, yet awake and sensory. The Cologne-based Sono Kollektiv, an association of experimental artists Annie Bloch, Stefanie Grawe, Joel Jaffe, Alex Linster, Luis Weiß, Moritz Riesenbeck, Lukas Schäfer, Emily Wittbrodt, and Max Würden, is represented for the first time with two contributions on Pop Ambient. The two works, the fragile “Bolzano Sessions IV” and the rather light-flooded “Bolzano Sessions V” nestle perfectly into the musical whole of this year’s compilation, not only in terms of their majestic leisureliness. In Jens-Uwe Beyer’s “Nero”, melancholic guitar chords reduced to the bare minimum are carried away by the wind like leaves, the reverberation holding the last note so long that it almost comes to a stop in the ear. If you like it synesthetic, look at the once again ravishing cover artwork by Veronika Unland right at this moment. Colors and shapes in which there is both everything and nothing to discover. Both feel equally right. The final third of Pop Ambient 2023 begins with Reich & Würden’s herbaceous “Receiver,” a track so dignified and carried by pads reminiscent of the sound of bagpipes. The slowness is joined by togetherness at the end: Pop Ambient veteran Joachim Spieth cooperates with American sound artist zakè on his literally weightless “Air”, Thore Pfeiffer co-produced the wonderful “Instinct” with Scottish brother duo Andy and Mike Truscott aka Kinbrae. California duo Patrick Hills and Morgan Fox aka Blank Gloss close out with the yearning “Down At The Heel.”
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