Boomkat Product Review:
Unfathomably prolific ambient dub producer Kagami Smile returns with this faded selection of downtempo melancholia. Think Steve Roach via Pendant with a nod to Deepchord's headiest moments, or Celer's pillowy bliss.
In the last year alone, America-born, China-based dreamweaver Ryan Hill has released over 10 Kagami Smile albums. The artist formerly known as Chimess has now settled into a groove that sublimes new age haze into gaseous slow-motion dub techno. There's the lucid trace elements of Steve Roach on opening track 'Your Whisper in My Dream', as humidity rises from synthetic loops and sensual tones. But Hill doesn't let the music plateaux on pastiche - gentle, rumbling kickdrums pulse like heartbeats, while the looping synthesizers push into ferric reds.
Hill retains the mood on 'Half Awake; Your Kiss', allowing faint techno rhythms to cycle far in the distance and using claps and hi-hats like refried field recordings. He wakes for a moment on 'Return of Your Embrace', drifting from narcotic ambience into overdriven trance - it's like hearing a 2am dancefloor in a nearby club through earplugs, sensing the vibrations and falling into a fugue state.