Ambient. A genre of music has evolved through the decades from high-brow studio experimentation to d-i-y bedroom electronica, but the fundamentals remain the same; low-budget, minimalistic sounds, with the emphasis on synths, samples, loops and lightweight beats. It’s more concerned with atmospherics than songs or melody. At its best the laptop wonder kids that are its architects assemble moving soundscapes far removed from the bedsits they create them in. Yet with its more recent blogospheric rebirth come numerous potential protagonists, too many of them being imitators rather than innovators, with music that’s too languid, too pale, too inconsequential, too washed out for anyone but the underground to embrace. Even one of the genre’s main modern sub-groups – chill wave - has found one of its prime leaders releasing a long player that is akin to a limp wrist slapping you with a wet blanket – this review by Paul Lester writing for the BBC says everything we would want to say about Within and Without.
Yet despite the genre firing more blanks than it does real hitters, there are a few who whilst not stepping outside of the boundaries of their predecessors, do what they do very well. One such artist is Halls (previously featured here and here) who nuzzled our ears with his druggy, ghostly beauty on tracks such as Solace and Chakra Drums. Now he’s turned his remixing skills to a band that a number of blogs including ourselves are getting cautiously excited about – Theme Park (pictured above). We’ve already described their song Wax as 'classy very English sounding pop', now Halls turns it into the musical equivalent of a gentle beat-laden haunted house.Wax (Halls Remix) by Theme Park