Two years on from her acclaimed debut album, Baden-Baden, Michaela Melián returns with her second full-length release, Los Angeles. When she is not working on her multi-media art, participating in exhibitions or playing bass in, probably the best German band ever, FSK, Melián is also busy composing and producing her own solo recordings. The mood on Los Angeles is noticeably more subdued than that of Baden-Baden -- its slow building beats made it a crossover hit and even won over many fans in the DJ community. Los Angeles, on the other hand, is almost completely devoid of said beats -- there is a mere sprinkling of electronics, and yet it has no less of an impact. The focus may be on drones and slowly shifting ambient soundscapes, but this is powerful music that will touch you deep within. Classically-trained musician Melián, again plays a wide array of instruments including violoncello, Spanish guitar, ukulele, bass, organ and melodica. And again she is assisted by fellow FSK member, Carl Oesterhelt, on electronics, programming and production. The impression that Los Angeles gives is intensely poignant: for instance, the heartwrenching and sombre track "Föhrenwald," which is taken from Melián's award-winning radio play of the same title. Other compositions, such as "Buchberg" and "Stein," take the shape of loop-based ambient tracks, while "Stift" is a charming journey through a land of pizzicato strings with an Oriental-influenced melody. Like Baden-Baden, Los Angeles ends with a cover version of a Bryan Ferry song, "Manifesto" -- a nice touch which reveals the pop roots of this highly-evolved sound. It's a long way from the German town of Baden-Baden to the American city of Los Angeles, and Michaela Melián covers a lot of ground on her sonic journey.