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Album of the week: Robert Babicz 'A Moment Of Loud Silence'

Babicz breaks through with his first ambient full-length in 15 years

Artist: Robert Babicz
Album: A Moment Of Loud Silence
Label: Traum
Release Date: 07/10/2016

Ibiza Spotlight was charmed by the Polish-born, German-based producer and mastering engineer this season in an interview that detailed his life as an artist with synaesthesia - a neurological phenomenon where senses become mingled due to a cross-wiring in the brain. Babicz's ability to see music and hear images gives him a unique angle on production, and with A Moment Of Loud Silence he locked himself in the studio for two weeks and let his sensory fluidity direct his machines.

Rather significantly, his output over the course of the last 15 years has been vast, however, this 17-tracker breaks through as his first full-length ambient album since the 2000 release of Desert on Frankfurt-based record label, Mille Plateaux. While traces of calm-inducing material have been unearthed by listeners of his album trilogy on Marc Romboy's label, Systematic, ardent fans will be right in anticipating they'll be keeping their fingers hovering over play and replay.

'Why We Fly To The End Of The World' is the first out the bag to lure you to the recliner chair. Brian Eno, who was the first to coin the term “ambient”, stated in 1978 that it's music that can be either acitvely listened to or used as background, which of course depends on the wishes of the listener. This is a track that to a certain extent could fall into both categories, however, for anyone who can truly claim to have had transcendental experiences in connection with music, it serves to be listened to. Intertwining synths are heard to ascend until their volume peaks and they fizzle as they descend and fade. The beauty lies in the feeling that you can both be at the centre of these dyanmic electrical convulsions and sheltering below while the heartbeat-like thud holds a stabilising position until the track dissolves. 'So Many Ways' is glacial and steely with a piercing giant drone sound dominating from the point at which it's first intercepted, while 'Curious Heart' is an expansive, soothing trip that instils a sense of warmth.

From playful soundscapes and underwater currents to loose melodies and scattering synths, the first half of A Moment Of Loud Silence offers a breadth of ambient escapism that triggers a variety of responses. But, it doesn't end at track 10, as loaded into the full-length package are seven remixes. Most interestingly, in the aforementioned interview, Babicz revealed that he doesn't often listen to the works of others as due to synaesthesia, listening to music silences the musical voice inside him. Furthermore, on a critical standpoint he has only two categories when it comes to assorting productions: music that touches his heart and music that doesn't. So for the artists on the Traum label, it must be an honour to know that to be included, their reworkings struck a chord with a veteran as revered as Babicz.

Van Bonn's Valhalla Remix of 'Why We Fly To The End Of The World' stands out from the pack in its transformation as a piece of atmospheric dub techno that builds until it peaks in the final two minutes of the eight minute stretch. 'Bloom' is another with a newfound identity suitable for club airplay as Oliver Schories remodels it into a harder-edged techno slinger.

The original versions and remixes complement each other and with the remixers unearthing fresh possibilities in tracks that originally contained such depth and complexity, it is an invigorating listen.

WORDS | Aimee Lawrence


Tracklist

1. Why We Fly To The End Of The World
2. So Many Ways
3. Curious Heart
4. Bloom
5. Lonely Prophet
6. Where Are You
7. Colours
8. Wall City
9. Giant
10. Circles Of Thought
11. Bloom (Oliver Schories Remix)
12. Why We Fly To The End Of The World (Van Bonn's „Valhalla“ Remix)
13. So Many Ways (Clawz SG Remix)
14. Where Are You? (Aparde Remix)
15. Wall City (Dovim Remix)
16. So Many Ways (Eitan Reiter Remix)
17. Lonely Prophet (Mario Hammer And The Lonely Robot Remix)


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