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billow observatory - ii: plains/patterns (cd)




$16.00

ARTIST // billow observatory
LABEL // azure vista records (dn)
CAT // vista002cd


  


Billow Observatory is the trans-Atlantic duo consisting of Detroit's Jason Kolb (Auburn Lull) and Danish producer Jonas Munk (Manual). II: Plains/Patterns departs from their self-titled debut's (2012) amorphous ambient haze with a more rigid, albeit subtle, underpinning of rhythm and pulse. Traces of shoegaze, modern minimal electronica, and kosmische appear on every track, but are mutated into something mysterious and new. "Pulsus", for example, opens the album with a driving Teutonic stutter and washes of serene guitar loops that are punctuated by bursts of filtered synth patterns. Centerpiece, "Plains", expands the ambient formula into an inspired epic in three parts, where swells of processed guitars, distant voices, and faint echoes of Detroit techno are weaved together to form a kaleidoscopic whole. "Vex" and "Plum" seem to pay as much homage to Slowdive and Eno's Harold Budd collaborations as to the modern minimalism from Cologne or Berlin. For ambient aficionados, II: Plains/Patterns is a gorgeous sounding full-length not to be missed.