Ambient celestial synths.
It’s funny how sometimes you can really enjoy something in very short bursts but then struggle with a longer format of it. This was my experience with Marcel Sletten’s new album ‘Viscious Kisses’. It is a synth album that over the course of eight tracks and twenty-five minutes keeps it very calm and safe. If you are interested in light and airy humming synth drones, this will be right up your alley. For everyone else, it may be a little sedate.
The opening half of the album feels like it’s channelling a shoegaze guitar as a synth. It is a pleasant sound as you wonder if it is about to expand into something else but it Marcel Sletten keeps it at a washed hum. over the course of the album, the synths become more celestial and watery but ultimately the songs largely follow and copy the same chord progressions. This can make it a relaxing, almost hypnotic experience but I must admit this didn’t really work for me.
The final two tracks really stood out as great pieces though. ‘Aquarius Sun’ borders new age where a single atmospheric chord plays out and hidden arpeggios deeper in the mix oscillate up and down the key. My favourite track ‘Redwood Tree’ sounds like a Cocteau Twins track but it’s being played from a room down the hall. I really liked that concept and hope it’s something that is explored more in the future.
An acquired taste then, like all music. Marcel Sletten’s album didn’t quite hit the mark for me but ambient lovers who enjoy albums that repeat themes, motifs and patterns over and over with tiny variations will find a lot more to enjoy than I did.
Recommended track: Redwood Tree
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