Thursday, August 18, 2016

review: orbital planes & passenger trains vol. 1

I was graciously blessed recently with an amazingly well put together album by the SEREIN label based in Wales and I got to spend a good amount of time taking in the music presented on this release. Happily, there are some familiar faces to Spaceman's Transmissions (Olan Mill, Brambles, The Inventors Of Aircraft). But what has really gotten me into this release was the joy (!) of discovering fresh new faces that have breathed color and light into a compilation that is destined to be my absolute favorite release of 2016. And I SHOUT this fact from the highest rooftop with confidence and conviction!

It goes without saying that anytime a label releases a compilation, they do so with the intent that they display the music that represents their vision. Many times, however, compilations use the tactic of featuring a strong intro but far too often veer off course for lack of inventiveness and emotive flow. The success of compilations need to effectively pull the listener into a new world without merely surviving on the names of their artist roster. Far too often, it seems that compilations can leave one cold (excepting, in my opinion, the latter FUTURESEQUENCE releases) with meandering and an unfocused experimentation that lead nowhere. 

With the release of ORBITAL PLANES & PASSENGER TRAINS, my assumptions of what a successful compilation have been challenged and shattered. Every artist successfully exhibits their emotional connection to their art, and the diverse range and boundless beauty in this release reward the listener with an entire universe of ambient tapestries. Serein has effectively done what most labels aren't capable of; abandoning traditional track listings in favor of a menu of sound. Every thirsty mind that craves innovative beauty in the form of an aural journey is rewarded by a quenching of their thirst for colorful vibe. 

While one might believe that such a varied menu of sound might be contradictory to one another, quite the opposite is the case. In no other world than this can we find achingly beautiful post-classical pieces (Storfjord by Otto A Totland and Floating City by Shuttle358) residing alongside Berlin school of electronic music (What's Up G? by Hidden Rivers) and near avant-garde post rock (Gone To Ground by Colorlist), and beyond. While this could seem like a dysfunctional family, the colors of each track before and after another perfectly complement what has and what will transpire in your mind. 

I can say that as an artist that constantly surrounds myself with great music and composes, I'm in awe (and a bit jealous!) of the music that was brought to life on this amazing compilation. This release will leave you enlightened and powerful, and satisfied beyond your belief for all things ambient and related. It's varied track listing (sorry, menu) is without a doubt meticulously devised by the mad scientists that operate Serein. Kudos to them for valuing their listeners. You can order the release from the SEREIN website, or from the BANDCAMP website. Please visit Serein on their FACEBOOK page and TWITTER feed to gather insider tips on more great releases.

Turn on, tune in, take in the best music you'll hear all year...

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