|Artist: Wackernagel, Mueller & Feldbauer|
On City the self-titled debut release from Maia Haag-Wackernagel, Alan Muller and Tristan Feldbauer, Ambient Music trip-hops over steady Post-Chillout lounge rhythms. With their head in the clouds, this Swiss trio presents six visceral daydreams that allow the listener's feelings to unfold while being focused enough for plain and simple, easy listening.
With its emphasis on peripheral details, the lazily paced "Boone" opens up City. This track sets the tenor of the album with the immediate introduction of the timbres and form that will be with us throughout: warm pads progressing, analogue percussion shuffling and the hint of a piano's reverberant melody. "City", the title track, advances on a soft beat beneath measured key changes and electric piano jams. The mood of the album turns somber with "Blickling Hall", a slow march through a minor key; its tint made even more nostalgic and melancholic by it's accordian lead voice and diminished harmonies. "Voyager" is the most melodic and therefore most jazz-like with its electric guitar leads and glossy piano tinklings above lazily slapped percussives.
City is a tricky combination of timing, vibration and light. The album's greatest strength is its subtle shifts in contrast - its non-narrative musical style and spatial element producing a pleasant openess. Yet tight arrangements and meticulous timing indicate great abilities and technique, subdued for the cause of late-night drifting or deep sleep dreaming.
- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END 28 September 2002
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