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-  Label: 'Loyal Label'
-  Genre: 'Ambient' -  Release Date: 'September 2008'-  Catalogue No: 'LLCD004'

Our Rating:
Rich Johnson's atmospheric and rewarding debut album focuses on textures more than beats. It smoothly cuts and pastes laptop glitch with samples of trumpets, guitars and piano.

Johnson originally studied classical trumpet but it's plain that his musical direction is strongly shaped by the free jazz he studied at the Manhattan School of Music. Nevertheless he takes less confrontational elements from this genre and skillfully blends them with his own sythetic soundscapes.

The effect is to produce the type of lush experimental ambience that graces established labels like Leaf and Rune Grammofon.

It comes as no surprise to learn that Johnson has already contributed to recordings on the latter.

The minimalist tone makes it an album that creates a gentle mood and one which glides calmly rather than imposing on the listener.

The sharp trumpet blast at the start of the appropriately titled 'Ignite A Noise' makes for a jolting constrast to the mellow feel established in the opening two tracks. Such moments are rare, however, as Johnson favours the understatement of hypnotic tracks like Trap Totem Pulp and 'Following The Transparency Monodies'   

Only 'After A Tectonic Melt Purr' and the title track works up into anything that approximating a groove.

If the spirit is willing, the album's understated organic pulse is one that has the capacity to be both absorbing and transporting.    

11t Total playing time - 43.15m
  author: Martin Raybould

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