If the earth suddenly flipped on its axis and the music industry started handing out awards for the most beautiful sounding albums instead of the ones that were the most popular, Vermont would be awash in trophies. The ambient collaboration between Marcus Worgull (Innervisions) and Danilo Plessow (Motor City Drum Ensemble) is a delicate, gorgeously produced work overflowing with bold, majestic ideas. What’s even more notable is how the album falls well beyond both producer’s comfort zone: music produced for the dance floor. A beat-less masterpiece forged from jam sessions and assorted analog noodling, Worgull and Plessow’s 14 songs float, captivate and never fail to hold your attention. For their self-titled debut they get by with a little help from their friends: Cologne Krautrock legends Dominik Von Senger of Dunkelziffer and Phantom Band (guitar on “Sharav,” “Cocos” and “Montag”) and Jaki Liebezeit of Can (drums/percussion on “Cocos” and “Macchina”) add to the lush sonic wash, while Irish violinist Dermot O’Mahony (Übersprung”) and Cologne leftfield musician Lena Willikens (theremin on “Lithium”) contribute to the splendor. Cinematic in a grand sense without espousing any sort of grand artistic statement, Vermont quietly deliver one the best performances of the year.
File under: Wolfgang Voigt, Autechre