John Beltran Everything At Once
Published Nov 02, 2016Michigan-based dance veteran John Beltran gives us his 13th studio effort this week, continuing his recent ambient streak with the beautiful, ethereal Everything At Once. Recorded mostly with analog equipment, the album exudes a warm, nostalgic glow, even if one might feel a bit suffocated by its gauzy textures by album's end.
Most tracks start out gorgeously, with bittersweet pads liable to hook anyone with a soft spot for '90s IDM. The album's more sparkling synth tones wouldn't sound out of place on trance releases of the time, either, hearkening back to a period when EDM and IDM shared a larger sonic palette. Sasha's oft-overlooked Airdrawndagger seems, in hindsight, like one of the more deft unions of these two styles, and Everything At Once often evokes this album. The more obvious touchstones are '90s-era µ-ziq, Plaid and, of course, Aphex Twin. The results are highly satisfying, full of warm, dream-like pads that tantalize with their familiar yet mysterious melodies.
More than everything at once however, it sometimes feels like the same thing over and over. The modal possibilities of ambient music aren't exactly endless to begin with, and most of these tracks end as they begin, having gone over the same melodic ground for five minutes or more. At 17 tracks, even a stroll through the lushest of ambient landscapes can feel like a slog. Yet, although it may offer too much of a good thing, ambient and classic IDM fans will find much to enjoy here. (Delsin)