Known for bringing us releases by Brambles, Nest and even Hauschka in previous years, the UK label, Serein features a refined output so far, with many of its releases reaching notoriety in the modern-classical side of the ambient world. It's been a notably quiet 2016 for them, but now we know why.
A new compilation titled Orbital Planes & Passenger Trains, the first in a new series, is billed as your new musical travel companion, presenting work by some of the "finest musical tour guides in the known universe". A quick look at the track list and you'd be hard-pushed to disagree.
Label veterans Brambles, Otto A Totland and Hidden Rivers make an appearance (the latter two forming the duo, Nest) alongside some new label imports in Benoît Pioulard, (listen to his isolatedmix), Silent Season regular Segue, Japan's finest in Ametsub (listen to his isolatedmix), and Dan Abrams, otherwise known as Shuttle 358.
The music is as prestigious as you'd hoped given the expertise at hand. Some of the many highlights include Hidden Rivers superb glistening piece of electronica, What's Up G?; to textured ambient from Donato Wharton and Pioulard; and the label's bread-and-butter modern classical from piano master-mind Otto A Totland. There's also a progression in the enigmatic sound of Brambles, who provides a modern-sounding cinematic score in Petrichor, as does The Balustrade Ensemble, albeit in a more experimental style.
With Gas like textures and a lull of guitar plucks, offset by a simple piano, Dan Abrams' (Shuttle 358's) track Floating City, is more akin to a Pop Ambient masterpiece than anything you might have heard from him before. Certainly one of the highlights of the compilation and available to stream in full below.
Orbital Planes & Passenger Trains straddles the worlds and styles many of us love, fulfilling its goal of escapism - something I can definitely relate to with regards to the concept of ASIP. Serein is best known for it's beautiful modern-classical output, yet this compilation seamlessly blends the attentiveness, delicacy and emotion of instrumental pieces, with a progressive electronic sound sprinkled throughout. Without a single weak track throughout, it turns a conventional modern-classical compilation into an accessible and thoroughly enjoyable piece for anyone looking to tune out. Window watch, pay attention to the soft black and white keys, creaking pedals, electronic undertones, field recordings and thought-provoking melodies and say hello to your new travel companion.
Orbital Planes & Passenger Trains will be available August 19th, on Download, CD, Double Vinyl and Limited Screen Print Edition here. There's also a lovely interactive site to explore the music at hand.
Lastly, Serein has been kind enough to offer ASIP readers an exclusive Bandcamp discount. Use "SERASIP15" on checkout for a 15% discount on this release and anything else in the Serein catalogue.
01. Otto A Totland - Selon
02. Brambles - Petrichor
03. Ametsub - Blue Loop
04. Hidden Rivers - What's Up G?
05. Dan Abrams - Floating City
06. Imprints - Roy
07. Benoît Pioulard - Alogia
08. Strië - 87 Billion Suns
09. Otto A Totland - Storfjord
10. Colorlist - Gone To Ground
11. The Balustrade Ensemble - Teeming
12. Donato Wharton - A Lightless Volume Of Water
13. Yui Onodera & Chihei Hatakeyama - Solaris
14. Segue - Frozen
15. The Inventors Of Aircraft - No Returns
16. Olan Mill ft Isnaj Dui - Zazen