Boomkat Product Review:
Returning with his Bvdub project, San Francisco's Brock Van Wey presents his cheerily titled new album, The Art Of Dying Alone. Previously seen on Kompakt's Pop Ambient 2010 compilation, Van Wey capitalises on this growing momentum by delivering what's almost certainly his finest hour to date. The album is a shining example of its genre, an astutely constructed flow of of ambience and introspection that navigates considerable depths. With a bucketful of heavy-headed melancholy, 'Descent To The End' sets you on your way, immediately plunging you deeply into Van Wey's verdant, multi-layered musical idiom. As has previously been the case, some of the more obvious points of reference would include the likes of Gas and more recent artists in the field of flotation tank techno, such as The Sight Below. However, the almost song-like tendencies of the record unshackle the Bvdub sound from its genre forebears to some extent, as demonstrated by 'No One Will Ever Find You': an oceanic swell of female vocals, acoustic guitars and endless, frothing synth-strings - the founding ingredients for much of what's to come over the course of this album. The immense twenty-one minuter, 'To Finally Forget It All' stands out too, allowing a clicking downtempo beat to infiltrate Van Wey's luscious soundscape and line his quilt of looped guitar harmonics and misted-over choral textures with a pulsing rhythmic component. As ambient music goes, the all-round epic sonic effulgence of The Art Of Dying Alone is unusually brash, and the adherence to a specific set of sounds further imbues the album with its own specific identity within the field. Grand stuff that followers of the Pop Ambient school won't want to miss.