The latest release from enigmatic UK label em:t, Gel-Sol1104, combines luscious synth work, quirky samples and a generous dose of wit to create an serious ambient release that won’t creep you out.
gel-sol is a solo project of Andrew Reichel. Reichel’s music follows in the tradition of synth music pioneers, but freely mixes in dance music elements and samples that add a post-millenial edge.
The first track, assemblage point, begins with the washes of sound similar to the early ambient guitar work of Fripp and Eno, and then moves into chill-out territory with the addition of electronic drums.
ombai strait features is a great track combines early space-music synth influences with dance beats and some very weird samples. The most prominent is from Greaser’s Palace, an obscure seventies movie:
One moment please. I bring you a message. Exactly six miles north of Skagg Mountain in the Valley of Pain, there lives an evil devil-monster. His name is Bingo Gas Station Motel Cheeseburger With A Side Of Aircraft Noise And You’ll Be Gary Indiana. And he loves to hurt people. The last time I saw Bingo Gas Station Motel Cheeseburger With A Side Of Aircraft Noise And You’ll Be Gary Indiana, he told me what he wants to do. He wants to come down here and kill each and every one of you. But I said to him: ‘Bingo, wait a minute!’. And the reason I said that is because I believe in you people. I believe you can do the job. I believe you can help each other. I believe you can make this world a better place to live in. That’s it.
Gel-Sol uses a lot of unusual vocal samples on other tracks. In montauk, soundbites exclaiming the virtues of technology pepper the track. Later in the track, an announcer lets you know how you can win $125,000! The contrast of the mundane samples with the ambient backing gives the tracks as sense of irony.
numby numbs is one of the stranger tracks on the CD. Drums, guitar and keyboard lock in complex syncopated rhythms. No longer in ambient territory, numby numbs sounds like Chick Corea’s Return to Forever sent through a blender.
schwein kuchen is a gentle ambient track that features Dreamweaver-esque synth strings, and quirky reversed sounds. The track unfolds over nearly eight minutes, and builds by adding sequenced synth blurps and drums. It builds to an almost trance-like effect, and then the pulse gradually slows, until the drum beats stretch out to a grainy audio blur.
few and far between and feeling butter all the time both mix danceable beats with more quirky samples. Here the feel is more IDM than chillout or ambient.
Gel-Sol1104 is very original, and may challenge listeners that like their ambient music to stay ambient. More adventurous listeners, though, will find this an interesting release that doesn’t fit into any pat category.
- assemblage point
- ombai strait
- ach werden ijler
- numby numbs
- schwein kuchen
- few and far between
- feeling butter all the time