Boomkat Product Review:
Immersively sensual, diaristic entries by cult US ambient avatar Ulla (aka Ulla Straus), the first release on Experiences Ltd, a new label run by Special Guest DJ (uon, Caveman Paradise), and a big recommendation if yr feeling Huerco S, Nadia Khan, Dominique Lawalrée, Ryuichi Sakamoto.
'Tumbling Towards a Wall’ is a keening batch of dematerialised atmospheres and lilting rhythms bound to lull listeners into hypnagogic states with its anxiety-sink ambient spongiforms and diary-like and drift-away textures. In eight low-lit and fuzzy parts they feel out smudged textures flecked with iridescent, gauzy melodies and habitual, stream-of-consciousness keys that toe the finest line between enervated and ember-like. It’s a proper, cockle-warming sound that says its piece with measured modesty and a glowing sense of soul that resonates with Dominique Lawalrée and Ryuichi Sakamoto just as much as Ulla’s peers, such as Special Guest DJ and Pendant.
The sort of record that may leave users struggling to even get up and flip the sides, such is its soporific pull, ‘Tumbling Towards a Wall’, enacts a sort of slow motion collision with all the sensuality of knackered Ballardian pillow-talk. Each track here teases the senses with a range of frayed, fractured and breezily unresolved structures that exert an ideal ambient sleight-of-hand primed to lead listeners’ thoughts off on their own woozy tangents between the music’s mix of syrupy/brittle rhythm and elusive atmospheric clag. On the A-side the sounds all remains detectably electronic, but for those who manage to keep their lids over half-mast, the B-side blossoms with sampled acoustic textures between a scudding choral cut-up that’s surely worth the entry alone, and in the closing thread of rainy day piano keys that perfuse and wilt in the heart-clutching closing piece. For solitary reflection, Ulla’s first mononymous release is a gorgeous record that mellows and balances any physical or mental space it comes into contact with.