On their followup to 2015's Floods, New York minimalist ambient electronic duo Aris Kindt dial back the beats and up the ante on atmospheric diversity, finding a much more distinct sonic persona in the process.
Less than half of the album has any kind of beat work at all, and when it does show up, the heavily treated thumps and clicks act as throbbing rhythmic textures more than as anchors meant to encourage any specific kind of body movement. The focus of Swann and Odette is much more squarely on crafting vivid harmonic pictures out of simple chord patterns, shifting squalls of ambient noise and understated hooks.
A few tracks linger longer on motifs than might be strictly necessary without accompanying textural refinement or experimentation, but most of the ten songs on this promising sophomore album readily earn their thick lengths. With Swann and Odette, Aris Kindt have found a sound that stands out from the crowd by refusing to cater to it. (Kingdoms)