Sublime ambient sketches from the artist best known as Khotin.
Area 3 - Area 3
Khotin may have started out making house music, but his ambient records have left a lasting mark. Beginning with New Tab, the Canadian artist established a painterly sound defined by its melodic style, soft-focus textures and inviting sense of patience. When he played a live set at a planetarium in my hometown of Vancouver, it made multiple people cry—his music is placid but packs an emotional wallop. His latest release is Area 3, a collection of ambient doodles and experiments released as part of Bandcamp's March 20th sale. More than an EP and not quite an album, it's the perfect balm for anyone looking for some comforting sounds.
Tracks like "Mod 3" and "Feb Patch" recall Khotin's incredible Beautiful You album: hazy loops with odd synth scribbles over slow chord progressions. These songs live in that groggy space between wakefulness and sleep, when you can't exactly tell what's real and what's in your head. The feeling is explored even further on the record's weightiest tracks, "Bubble" and "Ssky," each of which runs around 11 minutes. The highlight is the outlier, though. "Planetarium" is six minutes of shimmering synth with a bolder approach, its thick midrange textures sounding both lo-fi and impossibly detailed.
Fri / 17
02. Feb Patch
03. Mod 3
06. Pluck 0