Published Sep 16, 2015There is a narrow valley nestled somewhere between the rural solitude of ambient music and the busy urbanity of electronica. It's difficult for artists to inhabit this place; the climate requires both boldness and restraint. With Absolute Presence, Erik Luebs has built a beautiful house in this valley, fashioned from instrumental narrowness.
The key to living in this region is an understanding of texture. Luebs works like a forager of hollowed out beats, shimmering chords and synth oscillations. He opens the album with the pensive "Farewells" and continues at this unhurried pace, though the sinewy distortion of "Outpouring" and "Reawakening" seem to touch on something more ominous.
This British expat operates a small label in Japan where he has clearly acquired a taste for functional design and a knack for impeccable use of space; the rhythms here swell and contract as songs are strung together seamlessly. Too exciting for the ambient genre and too downtempo for the EDM crowd, this is excellent music for anything that requires a critical degree of concentration. Through repeated listening, Absolute Presence allows listeners to envision that secret, narrow valley. (Project Mooncircle)