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ARTIST
TITLE
Amazing Things
FORMAT
CD

LABEL
CATALOG #
DSR 098CD DSR 098CD
GENRE
RELEASE DATE
6/18/2013

After the well-received and career-spanning compilation that was 2011's Ambient Selections (DSR 088CD/LP), John Beltran returns with a brand-new album entitled Amazing Things. As a life-long pioneer of ambient soundscapes, blissful downbeat and stirring techno, Michigan-born John Beltran already has his place in history assured with a bulging back catalog that takes in influential releases on vital labels like Peacefrog and R&S. This 17-track album sees the man draw on his lifetime in music to craft an immediately timeless body of work that's stuffed with genuine musicality, pregnant with emotion and laden with organic blissfulness. Since Beltran's last original full-length, he admits a lot has changed. "I'm using all new gear and virtual synths that I didn't have when writing Human Engine, so it sounds different for sure. And let's just say that this album still wouldn't be finished had a friend not turned me on to the software Omnisphere." Despite new tools and techniques, Beltran's touch still shines through in his floating arrangements, opposing textures and organic resonance, as do the continued influences of favorite artists including Four Tet, Thom Yorke, and Johnny Greenwood. Tracks like opener "Retrouvailles" immediately submerge you into a utopian world with the distant sound of a playground coming over like the backdrop to a daydream, while more kinetic, splintered efforts like "Het Leven Is Mooi" recall the aforementioned patchwork beauty of Four Tet, and "Flower Power Submarine" carries you along on a warm summer breeze. Importantly, dark is contrasted with light throughout, so more sombre, melancholic drifts like "For Vangelis" sit next to the more uplifting violins and raindrop melodies of "Broken Machines." Overall a mature and hugely resonant album for grown-ups, Amazing Things is full of just that.