"Allambie has great individual moments, but the album taken in as a whole is completion of the journey."
Melbourne-based producer Alex Albrecht has amassed a discography that explores the dreamier side of ambient electronic music. Utilizing field recordings, ambient soundscapes, and minimal, propulsive drum rhythms, Albrecht’s solo work evokes the pensive melancholia of landscapes scattered along seemingly endless journeys. His latest, ‘Allambie’ on Analogue Attic Recordings, glides off into the ether and back with comforting, pillowy textures building towards deep house crescendos.
“Rail Bridge'”opens with new age-y pianos wafting over a chugging rhythm simulating a train leaving a station, signalling the listener to get comfortable and enjoy the sonic voyage ahead. The opener leads into a mini-suite that takes up roughly the first half of ‘Allambie’, as leisurely rhythms keep the pace moving but allow for thoughtful keys and synths to permeate the proceedings.
This trend continues into “Could It Be You”, a beautiful slice of ambient deep house. Utilising a reflective synth pattern, Albrecht taps into the feeling of getting lost in thought, the push and pull of past mistakes and actions with the unknowing future lurking beyond in the grey, hazy horizon ahead. It’s all tethered to a keen sense of serenity with its unhurried beat reminding the listener the only thing that matters and is within our control is the here and now.
The final trio of tracks enter heavier, dub terrain. “Drysdale Road” encapsulates the other side of the record, with a subtle tonal shift towards dub techno pushing the record to its conclusion. Those beat-driven tracks still retain the gentle, buoyant character of what preceded it, but the focus is less rooted in the ethereal and abstract ambience of reflection. “Paddy Track Dub” reinforces this mood, with synthetic percussion showcasing a polyrhythmic edge that ebbs and flows with the whirling synth notes hovering overhead.
“Drysdale Road” and “Could It Be You” present the two faces of ‘Allambie’: balmy, drifting sounds segueing into driving yet peaceful techno tracks that elicit halcyon days faded into fragments that still elicit powerful sentiments. Sometimes the feelings are distinct, while others bring to mind a shapeless comfort that makes the sounds inviting and easily digestible whether on your first or tenth listen. It’s the best type of consistent, dependable sound: always fresh, filled with emotion and passion that hooks you from the first note to the last.
What Alex Albrecht gets right in his approach is imbuing tracks with an emotional core without hitting you over the head with what you should be thinking. The label doesn’t present a narrative that lays out what listeners should take away. There’s terms in the album description to pique one’s interest, but it’s vague enough to allow listeners to take their own journey with the music.
‘Allambie’ demonstrates Albrecht’s ability to pull from different realms of the electronic world and put his own spin on it, allowing it to rise above the many artists operating in this realm. ‘Allambie’ has great individual moments, but the album taken in as a whole is completion of the journey. Each song builds and morphs between one another that you become enveloped in the sonic world Albrecht constructs.
‘Allambie’ is scheduled for release 18th January via Analogue Attic Recordings. Order a copy from Bandcamp.
1. Rail Bridge
2. Green Shade
3. Minak Reserve
4. Could It Be You
5. Drysdale Road
6. Paddy Track Dub