Simon Scott Navigare

Many current ambient artists cast backwards nods to the halcyon days of murk that was early '90s shoegaze. Few bridge the gap as ably as Simon Scott, who actually drummed for influential UK gazers Slowdive. On his debut solo release there are definite callbacks to the smash tambourine and Rothko guitar washes that helped define that sound. On Navigare, Scott also plumbs a little deeper into the viscous materials that lie beneath that initial excavation. For each "Introduction to Cambridge," with a melody that shimmers like the river through the Backs there is a "Repulse" that sounds like a stretched tape recording of bone drills. Somewhere in between there is "The ACC," which resembles a Slowdive demo reel baked by William Basinski. The latter half of the album sinks deeper into the brine of distortion, though not unpleasantly so. It's more like nostalgia shot through by a sudden electrical storm in your cortex, but again, in a good way. (Miasmah)