Published Apr 27, 2016A producer with a long history and a long list of pseudonyms, Kenneth James Gibson has gone with his own name for the release of The Evening Falls on Kompakt, the fourth in the label's Pop Ambient series. Known for his diverse catalogue (many will be aware of him as [a]pendics.shuffle, purveyor of sharp, minimalist techno), Gibson here indulges in his ambient leanings and creates a solid collection of austere and very western soundscapes.
This pronounced sense of place has much to do with the previously L.A.-based producer's retreat to the peaceful mountain community of Idyllwild, the perfect setting for inspiring the kind of expansive music found here. A predominance of ghostly pedal steel and quivering string washes contribute to this atmosphere as well.
"Long Gone Canadian Summer" is an early standout, featuring a delicate trio of repeating synth tones expanding into infinity, layered over a bed of strings and rich pedal steel flourishes. For more of the latter, album centerpiece "A Conversation Between Friends" is a shorter and (relatively speaking) busier track, full of expertly restrained improvisation on that highly evocative instrument.
Mostly though, the album progresses at a very unhurried pace, letting its elements unspool into the ether of the aural dusk its title suggests. There are some arguably dull moments that will perhaps be mitigated by how into ambient music you are, but overall, it's an impressive foray into new(ish) territory for an experienced producer that's confident and well-executed. (Kompakt)