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billow observatory - Billow Observatory
**First edition of 600** Nearly a decade in the making, 'Observatory' features Jonas Munk (Manual) and Jason Kolb (Auburn Lull) striving for ambient guitar perfection as Billow. Arguably, they've come close to achieving their practically impossible mission, conducting themselves with divine patience and deliberation across 15 achingly blissful scenes at once evoking the humbling beauty of the natural world and the yearning sublimity of more soporific states thanks to near-surgical application of software and hardware effects. Unless you're au fait with the likes of Fennesz or Stars Of The Lid, you might never tell that the guitar is at the heart of this record, yet beneath its phosphorescing, crepuscular drones and plangent sonorities the simple six string generates all the source material. So the world it inhabits is essentially that one between states, simulating a quietly vibrant ecology of sub-aquatic bass rumbles, washed out expanses of mid-range swirl and keening top end colour whose elusive colours seem to fade and coruscate in the low light. It might not be actually perfect - nothing is - but it's as close as you'll find for ambient guitar music in 2012.