Pop Ambient 2019 (DJ Mix)

Various Artists
Pop Ambient 2019 (DJ Mix)

Kompakt Records cofounder Wolfgang Voigt doesn’t appear on Pop Ambient 2019, the 19th edition of the label’s long-running series, but his Gas project looms large. Virtually all the compilation’s entries follow his lead in blending sampled strings into a thick, viscous buzz. Thore Pfeiffer’s “Alles Wird Gut” and Morgen Wurde’s haunting “Schien Immer” come closest to Gas’ densely layered drones, while Gregor Schwellenbach, who has recorded neoclassical versions of Kompakt’s back catalog, conjures similarly oppressive atmospheres using strictly acoustic means. At the opposite end of the spectrum, Triola’s gorgeous “Adren” resurrects ’90s ambient in lush synth pads, while the marimba of Max Würden’s “Zweitens” leads even deeper into chillout-room nostalgia.

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