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Various Artists
Pop Ambient 2023
Catalogue Number
Kompakt CD 173 D
Release Date
November 25, 2022


Press Release

A contemporary product of relentless capitalism has been a trend called slowness for several years now. In order to counteract the perceived fast pace of the times in which we live with a little deceleration, sustainability and relaxation, phenomena such as Slow Food, Slow Travel, Slow Fashion or even Slow Cruising, the tourist sailing of the world's oceans with somewhat smaller cruise ships "away from the mainstream", have been introduced into the world.

That slowness is more than the opposite of speed, that elements, things, sounds that move as if in slow motion unfold a special power, precision, aesthetics and beauty, doesn’t need to be explained twice to ambient musicians. The 23rd edition of the Pop Ambient compilation, compiled as always by Wolfgang Voigt, is no exception, but instead provides the proof. Already with the first tracks of Leandro Fresco/Thore Pfeiffer, Gen Pop (Burger, Pfeiffer, Würden), Morgen Wurde feat. Tetsuroh Konishi and Max Würden up to Triola's gloomy and melancholic "Kupferblüte", the feeling of a slowness and calmness not experienced before, of an exceedingly lively standstill, creeps over us. A mental state that resembles dreams, in which we follow strange events as if paralyzed, yet awake and sensory.

The Cologne-based Sono Kollektiv, an association of experimental artists Annie Bloch, Stefanie Grawe, Joel Jaffe, Alex Linster, Luis Weiß, Moritz Riesenbeck, Lukas Schäfer, Emily Wittbrodt and Max Würden, is represented for the first time with two contributions on Pop Ambient. The two works, the fragile "Bolzano Sessions IV" and the rather light-flooded "Bolzano Sessions V" (only available on CD and in the digital version) nestle perfectly into the musical whole of this year's compilation, not only in terms of their majestic leisureliness.

In Jens-Uwe Beyer's "Nero", melancholic guitar chords reduced to the bare minimum are carried away by the wind like leaves, the reverberation holding the last note so long that it almost comes to a stop in the ear. If you like it synesthetic, look at the once again ravishing cover artwork by Veronika Unland right at this moment. Colors and shapes in which there is both everything and nothing to discover. Both feel equally right. The final third of Pop Ambient 2023 begins with Reich & Würden's herbaceous "Receiver," a track so dignified and carried by pads reminiscent of the sound of bagpipes that it would have perfectly punctuated her majesty the Queen's 8-hour funeral ceremony - a wonderful example, by the way, of the spiritual confluence of deceleration and precision that eventually turns into trance.

The slowness is joined by togetherness at the end: Pop Ambient veteran Joachim Spieth cooperates with American sound artist zakè on his literally weightless "Air", Thore Pfeiffer co-produced the wonderful "Instinct" with Scottish brother duo Andy and Mike Truscott aka Kinbrae. California duo Patrick Hills and Morgan Fox aka Blank Gloss close out the vinyl version with the yearning "Down At The Heel," while that honor falls to debutant Ümit Han on the Pop Ambient CD. "Sieg über das Ungute" (victory over the unpleasant) in all its beauty brings us painfully back to reality.

Digital Tracklist

  1. 1 Sonne Leandro Fresco / Thore Pfeiffer 3:49 Buy
  2. 2 Blue Gen Pop 5:44 Buy
  3. 3 Ende Sah (feat. Tetsuroh Konishi) Morgen Wurde 6:17 Buy

    Ende Sah (feat. Tetsuroh Konishi)

  4. 4 Retrieve Max Wurden 6:32 Buy
  5. 5 Kupferblute Triola 5:49 Buy
  6. 6 Bolzano Sessions IV Sono Kollektiv 5:56 Buy

    Bolzano Sessions IV

  7. 7 Nero Jens-Uwe Beyer 5:20 Buy
  8. 8 Bolzano Sessions V Sono Kollektiv 4:48 Buy

    Bolzano Sessions V

  9. 9 Receiver Reich & Wurden 6:08 Buy
  10. 10 Air Joachim Spieth / zake 4:57 Buy
  11. 11 Instinkt Thore Pfeiffer / Kinbrae 3:21 Buy
  12. 12 Down At The Heel Blank Gloss 3:44 Buy

    Down At The Heel

  13. 13 Sieg Uber Das Ungute Umit Han 8:07 Buy

    Sieg Uber Das Ungute

  14. 14 Pop Ambient 2023 (Continuous Mix) Various Artists 61:55 Buy

    Pop Ambient 2023 (Continuous Mix)


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Electronic and Electronica

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