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Ben Fleury-Steiner "Drifts"
floating beautiful ambience

Ben Fleury-Steiner’s release “Drifts” is a fantastic combination of dreamlike ambience paired with melodic phrases and repeated samples. While many electronic artists have a tendancy to focus on one style, Fleury-Steiner is willing to take chances and pair different sound sources in a very successful and effective way.

The mood is set with opener “Sundial” where percolating synths and a collection of looping patterns blend beautifully together. “Flicker” follows, a piece where analog pulses and pads give a sense of breathing and life, creating an organic feeling that immediately connects with the listener. “Descriptives” incorporates minimal percussive elements amidst a framework of flowing pads. It works to great effect, maintaining the floating calm of the ambient ideal, but again adding a human element to the track. Very nice.

The four part “Dreams” suite follows, with the first segment “Somnium Scipionis” presenting a constantly shifting landscape of sounds and forms. Up next is “Veritable Splendor” with a lush and beautiful latticework of sweeping and floating sounds that dance around the soundfield, shifting around and through each other. “The Dust That Lies Between” follows a similar vein, adding short analog phrases that repeat throughout the course of the track. “Absens in Remota” completes the suite, a long form piece that incorporates thematic ideals from the earlier songs in the cycle and bringing them all together. It’s very nice work, a lovely example of conceptual ambience.

Track eight, “Cicada”, uses higher pitched tones and backwards looping to distinguish itself from the previous tracks. It’s nicely done, and while stylistically it differs from previous tracks on the disc, it still maintains a thematic consistency that works well. “Track nine, “Tensile” features a buzzing lead line that plays overtop a low drone based background. “Heal” follows, a calm and meditative ambient track where tones weave and loop around each other. “Home” closes the disc with bubbling tones taking on a percussive role for a collection of samples and tones, creating a very interesting example of locational ambience.

“Drifts” is a disc that captures the imagination and inspires the senses. It’s a fantastic synthesis of sounds and styles, and a wonderful example of how differing sounds can be brought together to create something fresh and exciting. A wonderful piece of work!

rik - ping things

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last updated 04/22/11