Boomkat Product Review:
Dreamy, layered ambient interzones from Huerco S' West Mineral Ltd on the debut album by Pontiac Streator & Ulla Straus; a blissed out and hopeful double album that comes highly recommended if yr into anything from Jon Hassel to Burnt Friedman, Hype WIlliams, Newworldaquarium/154 and Madteo.
’11 Items’ is the textured first album by Pontiac Streator and Ulla Straus for Huerco S and his pals at West Mineral Ltd. The album sees the duo expand upon the hazy mindset of last year’s debut EP across a flux of ambient interzones where they transmute fleeting, everyday feels into a bouquet of ephemeral and organically unresolved scenes.
In an ambiguous style that has become key to West Mineral Ltd.’s aesthetic, the music is neither gloomy nor ecstatic but full of transitory sensations somewhere in between those poles. Each part feels pulled in multiple directions at once, resulting in a sublime schism between jazzy hustle and heavy-lidded electronics in ‘Item 1’, and a subtle underlying tension between layered dimensions of humid, dusky acoustics and congealed electronics on ‘Item 3’, while ‘Item 5’ dices with urges to dance/lean back, and ‘Item 10’ crystallises this idea of alchemic multivalency with an unmissable mix of fine grained mentasms firing like synaptic surges in iridescent grey matter.
The expanded double album format also allows a greater variegation of their overgrown, verdant electronics and free rhythms in a gently perplexing style of ambient inception. Each of the ’11 Items’ feels like an exploration of dreams within dreams in a way that beautifully parses the poetic from the prosaic and cannily reflects a certain hyperaware yet hypnagogic state of modern ambient music. It evokes that feeling of friends in a room communicating non-verbally, or that babbling, forgot-what-I-was-talking-about flow between relaxed but frayed and buzzing minds.