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Various Artists
Pop Ambient 2022
Catalogue Number
Kompakt CD 169 D
Release Date
November 12, 2021


Cologne’s premier techno label Kompakt returns again with yet another winning entry to their long-running Pop Ambient compilation series. Again curated by Wolfgang Voigt, who says Pop Ambient 2022 is about “ambient’s eternal promise of a state of physical and acoustic weightlessness.” Featuring additions from California’s Blank Gloss and Japan’s Yui Onodera along with plenty of Kompakt regulars, Pop Ambient is a verifiable feast of musical healing. Reich & Würden’s ‘Grainscan’ is a particularly beautiful piece, and one that is emblematic of the aforementioned weightlessness.

With the cover artwork for Pop Ambient 2022, longtime KOMPAKT graphic artist Veronika Unland has once again outdone herself. Following the almost baroque, blood-red and jet-black, extremely physical sculptures of Pop Ambient 2021, which emerged from a dark, floral sea like bodies erect for dancing, the front of 2022 is adorned with a pastel-white form, intertwined, folded many times and crisscrossed with delicate shading, which seems to float on a pale pink background; soft, gentle waves woven from Venetian colors that leave the viewer puzzled: Is it a flower, a coral, a mollusk?

Again, the current edition of the tradition-steeped compilation series curated by Wolfgang Voigt is about the persistent and ever-necessary definition of beauty, of reduction, of electronic music of heavy lightness and light heaviness, of ambient's eternal promise of a state of physical and acoustic weightlessness and Pop's of redemption. And about the question why a never arbitrary combination of soundscape, drones, samples and loops, put together in a certain way, can create this feeling of warmth, depth and space, - something three-dimensional, where the imagination feels at home as a fish in the water or a bird in the sky. A key aesthetic stimulus that sends all the senses into a slow glide and drift, after which your synapses feel like they've been bathed in essential oil. Next to Soul, Ambient is probably the most effective musical healing plant of mankind.

Behind the aural test tubes, the who's who of Pop Ambient is once again at work, led for the first time by the highly trafficked Californian duo Blank Gloss, whose debut album "Melt" this year was certified by The Guardian as nothing less than "heartaching beauty". Yui Onodera's "Chrome" as well as "Kari", a cooperation of Markus Guentner and Joachim Spieth, could also be imagined in the score of Denis Villeneuve's new film version of DUNE - however, colleague Hans Zimmer managed that quite well without the three. After such wonderful and stylish contributions by Reich & Würden, Triola and Thomas Fehlmann, the ear then lingers a bit longer on the ghostly "Weiht" by Morgen Wurde feat. Maria Estrella, a track like a temple of sound, a deep electronic immersion in a Japanese onsen. In this sea of unnameable time you could sink forever, but with the tracks of Andrew Thomas, Thore Pfeiffer and Max Würden & Pepo Galán the journey slowly comes to an end.

Digital Tracklist

  1. 1 Coiling Blank Gloss 5:17 Buy
  2. 2 Cromo 6 Yui Onodera 5:18 Buy
  3. 3 Kari Markus Guentner / Joachim Spieth 7:53 Buy
  4. 4 Grainscan Reich & Wurden 6:25 Buy
  5. 5 Mutterkorn Triola 5:54 Buy
  6. 6 Rosen Fliegen Thomas Fehlmann 5:41 Buy
  7. 7 Weiht Morgen Wurde feat. Maria Estrella 6:19 Buy
  8. 8 Elan Max Wurden 5:50 Buy
  9. 9 Taunus Thore Pfeiffer 6:38 Buy
  10. 10 Kiss The Horizon Andrew Thomas 5:37 Buy

    Kiss The Horizon

Show All Tracks 16

Track List

1 - 1 Blank Gloss Coiling 00:05:17
1 - 2 Yui Onodera Cromo 6 00:05:18
1 - 3 Markus Guentner / Joachim Spieth Kari 00:07:53
1 - 4 Reich & Würden Grainscan 00:06:25
1 - 5 Triola Mutterkorn 00:05:55
1 - 6 Thomas Fehlmann Rosen Fliegen 00:05:41
1 - 7 Morgen Wurde feat. Maria Estrella Weiht 00:06:19
1 - 8 Max Würden Elan 00:05:50
1 - 9 Thore Pfeiffer Taunus 00:06:38
1 - 10 Andrew Thomas Kiss The Horizon 00:05:37
1 - 11 Max Würden / Pepo Galán Seis Minutos Mas 00:06:12
1 - 12 Joachim Spieth / Pepo Galán Luna 00:06:08
1 - 13 Max Würden Retrospektive 00:06:03
1 - 14 Blank Gloss Anticlimbers 00:03:31


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Electronic and Electronica

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Ambient and Modern Classical

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