Though he’s described as an ‘ambient producer’, this initially isn’t ambient music. It’s slightly lo-fi downtempo acoustic-cored electronica that takes relatively conventional instrumental set-ups of piano, guitar, bass and drum machine with long waves of synth pads, and stretches them into slow, melancholy numbers built around steady road-movie grooves.
Tracks like “Hymn To Bleachgreen” do open up with sparser, barren-sounding pads, but “Travelling For A Living”, after a slow plaintive electronica intro, brings the soft drums back in and returns itself a steady step in the direction of electronica MOR. Deliberately low-quality production touches on “Ashes” doesn’t wholly disguise the fact it’s just three minutes of meandering solo piano sorrow.
It’s obviously quite heartfelt at times but there was something about Collected Fictions that I just failed to warm to. Somehow it just felt that shade too effortless- and not in a good way- and with a diversity that seemed to come from inconsistency rather than real breadth or inspiration.