Boomkat Product Review:
Superb return from PAN/Codes alum Sky H1, yielding a five year follow-up to her debut EP and its anthemic ‘Air’ on an album for AD 93 flush with a signature mix of noctilucent ambient pads and vox laced to beatdown and ghosted jungle rhythms
Last clocked in 2017 on the seminal ‘Mono No Aware’ compilation, Brussels-based producer Sky H1 has been notable by her absence ever since. AD 93 have admirably coaxed her out of hiding with ‘Azure’, an absorbingly brooding and immersive album that reminds to the most salient aspects of witch house as much as cloudrap and classic ambient electronica, but soused in a certain sort of airy Belgian melancholy that gets us right there. It’s a supremely classy affair, perfectly toned for loner listening at home and on the mooch with crafty slow/fast meters and a subliminal drive that’s certain to hit home with followers of everything from Andy Stott and Holy Other to Burial and DJ Lostboi/Malibu.
Picking up the knackered house baton for the times, your lass beautifully reads the room with nine keenly melodic cuts toned to her lowkey style and tempered with a masterful narrative arc. Entering via the woozily nostalgia inducing ‘Labyrinth’, she comes off like a quasi-speed Burial on the ace ‘Darklite’, while the heart-in-mouth tension of ’Silk’ shows off her classy grasp of deferred gratification. ‘Artic’ follows to make room for beat-less introspection layered with gothic crows calls, setting the tone for clear centrepieces in the glyding Reese bass strokes of ‘Blade’ and dreamlike jungle of ‘Elysian Heights’, with he John T Gast-liek steppers techno of ‘Freefall’ and a cinematic flourish in ‘Bird Strike’ making this lot quietly crucial for forlorn ambient dance romantics.