It just isn’t winter without another entry in the long-running Pop Ambient series, and the fine people at Kompakt, with stereotypical German punctuality, have most definitely delivered. Pop Ambient 2009, the ninth installment in the series, marks a shift in aesthetics from previous volumes, moving away from deeply textured synth washes in favor of a slightly darker and more organic sonic palette. What’s more, the disc brings several new artists into the fold, while several of the series’ standard bearers are nowhere to be found; instead of Markus Guentner and Ulf Lohmann, Tim Hecker, The Fun Years and Sylvain Chauveau are featured prominently, with regulars like Klimek and Andrew Thomas helping to flesh out the tracklist. Pop Ambient newcomers probably won’t notice the subtle differences in tone, but to long-time fans of the series, this is the shot in the arm Kompakt needed to keep things fresh and interesting. Now, get settled in and relax!
File under: Gas, Klimek, Tim Hecker