Boomkat Product Review:
Wolfgang Voigt (Gas) wraps up the 20th edition of Kompakt’s perennial ‘Pop Ambient’ series, studded with wistful, seasonal gems from veterans Thomas Kehlmann and Klimek alongside newer spirits Yui Onodera, Thore Pfieffer, Andrew Thomas, ++
Perhaps another one-for-the-boys (women have rarely featured on the series), Pop Ambient’s 20th edition tends to a refined, woolly (cashmere?) blend of beatless drift and neo-classical flocking in 16 parts. “20 years of Pop Ambient. Already? One didn’t notice. It’s an anniversary which comes quietly. An anniversary with quiet tones. In the spirit of the special restraint of pop-elegance, it has no reason to drawn attention to itself with a big „Tam-Tam“. Or better: „Bum-Bum“. The bass drum stays outside. Nevertheless, in fast-paced, overstimulated times of moving forward, it’s a joyful occasion to look back. What strikes most by putting or listening to 20 years of pop ambient in a row is the central theme that holds together the dense aesthetic concept like the pearls of a necklace. Floral beauty for digital naturalists. Music like flowers, that don’t wilt. Timeless. Ageless. But with all of the conceptual unity and resolution, Pop Ambient would not be Kompakt without the break, the friction, the expansion of musical boundaries in between tradition and innovation, in between conspiracy and the openness of the discourse. Aestheticism, escapism, acting in the spirit of „nevertheless“. Swans drifting by, clouds pass over, everything is floating and: „Boredom is a stylistic device“ (Andy Warhol).
Pop Ambient Music is medicine against illnesses, that you don’t even suffer from. It’s giving everything, demanding nothing. Musical lotus leafs, off which the virtual wastewater of our time is rolling like the reality is dripping off the matrix. In this sense, we’re happy about the pop-ambient anniversary greetings from new and old companions like Thore Pfeiffer, Max Würden, Yui Onodera, Jörg Burger, Thomas Fehlmann, Morgen Wurde, Leandro Fresco aswell as contributions from T.Raumschmiere, Andrew Thomas and, after a long break, from friends from early days like Joachim Spieth, Markus Guentner und Klimek.”