Published Oct 07, 2014Fans of the orchestral ambient duo A Winged Victory for the Sullen were treated to a preview of the score to their Wayne McGregor-commissioned ballet when they released the Atomos VII EP in early 2014. And with the full-length, Atomos, we now have context for it. As you could have guessed from that track, this album is all about droning atmospheres drifting with sombre strings and poignant piano in a celestial and evocative tone, but the sound has evolved from the eponymous 2011 debut of the project helmed by Adam Wiltzie (Stars of the Lid) and Dustin O'Halloran.
The album was produced faster, with their debut created over the course of a couple years, and Atomos busted out in a summer daze, feeling more present, more in and of the moment. There is more of an emphasis on experimental electronics, apparent on the digital opening of "X," the garbled granular vocals on "X" and "IX" and the pulsing effects on "V" and "VI." The swell of their music has become more pronounced to encourage movement, yet it's more cohesive. Like the ballet, Atomos is something that needs to be experienced from start to finish, the listener fully immersed in their world. (Erased Tapes/Kranky)