Various Artists, Balearic Ambient

Barry Walters

By Barry Walters

on 07.26.12 in Reviews

Balearic Ambient

Various Artists

Dance music for the very confident and/or very stoned, Balearic Ambient is, of course, low on beats and high on underwater vibes. Slow, sustained notes abound, and although there’s often still too much going on here to qualify for Brian Eno’s strict sense of what’s ambient, much of it comes pretty close. Japan’s brooding and strikingly beautiful “Ghosts” was a No. 5 pop hit in 1982 England; Talk Talk’s even more abstract “The Rainbow” signaled the band’s 1988 break from its New Wave past. The rest is all instrumental and more minimal. Klaus Schønning and former the Soundtrack of Our Lives member Björn Olsson supply the Scandinavian connection; the former’s 1982 cut “Cygnus” suggests the smoother side of current Daft Punk.