Gone, for the most part, are the modern classical leanings of artists like Sylvain Chaveau, or the black-hearted metallic scrapings the Fun Years. Instead, Pop Ambient 2014 is the fluffiest, most cushioned set of zone-outs in the series' recent history. Ulf Lohmann's "Sicht" puffs out a silky, chiming melody, while Thomas Fehlmann's "Treatment" sounds like a remix of Chopin, with sea-drift pianos pressed against its wind-soaked drones. Cologne Tape turn in an archaic bit of urban pastoralia with "Moorpark," and Voigt's "Ruckverzauberung 8" creates the sensation of staring out from warmth at a blizzard.
For those who have been with Kompakt since its infancy, perhaps the most eye-catching thing here is Voigt's return as Gas. His remix of The Field's "Cupid's Head" slips from the silt-filled sway of "Ruckverzauberung 8" into an almost sulfurous drone-scape, with Axel Willner's blurry vocals buried deep in the mix, his summery synths leaving a smudge of color on the otherwise greyscale creation. It's like a muffled symphony heard through an oxygen mask—a perfect summation of the retro-minded oddities collected on Pop Ambient 2014.
Mon / 3 Feb 2014
01. Ulf Lohmann - Sicht
02. Thomas Fehlmann - Treatment
03. Mikkel Metal - Patience
04. Marsen Jules - The Philosophers Trap
05. Cologne Tape - Moorpark
06. Simon Scott - Für Betty
07. The Bionaut - Aquamarine (Triola Mix)
08. Wolfgang Voigt - Rückverzauberung 8
09. The Field - Cupid's Head (Gas Ambient Mix)
10. Ulf Lohmann - Pcc