Lol Hammond

All This Is Bliss

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After a line of well-received compilations stretching back to 1996, the imprint spun from the acclaimed festival of the same name dips their toes into artist albums via longtime Big Chill conspirator Lol Hammond. Though perhaps better known as the producer behind such notables as the Drum Club and Slab!, here Hammond leaves the breakbeats behind to demonstrate his ambient leanings with the Orbital-esque tones of "Twilight Glitters" soon crumbling in favor of a grandiose string ensemble which envelops "Baby Piano," with Lorraine Mackintosh enriching the whole thing with a sweeping vocal performance. Sadly, things rapidly go downhill from this magnificent intro, with the album tripping over its own poorly disguised influences. Using the same synths as Global Communication within "Big Sky City" backfires, with the track a poor relation to anything on 76:14, while Nina Walsh's "Dust" falls far short of its attempted Aphex Twin simplicity, less Selected Ambient Works than contrived ballad from a West End musical.

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