Music Reviews

Artist: Mirko
Title: LP1
Format: CD + Download
Label: Room40
This is a confident and rich collection of ambient textures from Cut Copy’s studio engineer and programmer Mirko Vogel. Initially begun as an escapist while-on-tour project, it has evolved into a broad collection of warm synths, reverberant hums, and stretched-out acoustics that certainly doesn’t break new ground but which is moulded with an exemplary quality. The overall tone is mostly mellow, often melancholy, sometimes sinister, sometimes reflective, and reflects Vogel’s further work in film and TV soundtracks.

The album is largely relaxingly bass-light, with exceptions. “One Hour”, for example, has a distant subbass-line that’s like listening to house music being played in a basement while you’re on the second floor, while opening track “Glass” has an acerbic strong bass synth cutting straight through in a way that rather misrepresents the album as a whole.

“As The Morning” has a more acoustic feel that brings real guitar and piano sounds to the fore, while “Bow” as the title suggests achieves similar responses from plaintive strings. The glitchiness of “Agassiz Rift” is more disquieting than it perhaps ought to be, soothed by the casually bleeping arpeggiators of final track “Night City Landing”.

There are nine pieces that are strong in their own right, but at times there is a slight shortage of coherence between the tracks- it feels more like nine standalone pieces or excerpts rather than one flowing fifty-four minute work; though I would also dare to say the same about some of Brian Eno’s most famous and revered ambient albums so it certainly isn’t a deal-breaker. The second half of this album is more consistent than the first, but the quality bar is never dropped. This is what professionally-made ambience sounds like.

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