Kompakt’s long-running Pop Ambient series initially felt like a survey of music that was made for taking a nap in a space station, but over the years, as the genre's bloomed and expanded, the series now works as its own mood piece. Less about setting the tone for eminently listenable but still "weird" music, Pop Ambient 2013 goes for calming sonar pings with Leandro Fresco's "Cuando El Sol Grita La Manaña" before shifting into a much more tense rendition of Kompakt head honcho Michael Mayer’s "Sully" by Kompakt's other head honcho Wolfgang Voigt. If you want to get into the minutiae of this stuff for a second, on Mayer's recently released Mantasy, the original version of "Sully" worked as both an outlier and a mission statement, bringing to mind unexplored words and rolling green hills (and maybe something involving dolphins?), but sounding much more like the work Voigt makes under his Gas alias. Maybe it was a nod from Mayer to Voigt, but more than likely, Mayer treated Mantasy as a way of exploring electronic music's infinite nooks. Voigt keeps the world-is-so-vast-and-amazing vibe of the original, and adds what sounds close to a digital waterfall. As much as this compilation was made by dudes with computers in sterile situations, it's also very much about nature and the world around us, and just saying, this video of a giant squid is coming soon, and you could do worse than DVRing that, putting your TV on mute and just letting this whole stream play in the background.
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