One of the prime releases for the past several years for the S.S. Kompakt has been the annual arrival of their Pop Ambient release. Nearly unparalleled, this record usually rounds out another year of festive productivity and highlights from their vinyl-only releases. As of late, however, the steam has fizzled. And while the thrill might not be entirely gone, it could certainly use a healthy dose of Cialis to liven things up a bit. Such as the case with Calm Like a Millpond. This mini EP does have its moments of pristine calm and beauty that rank right up there with Pop Ambient's finest moments (specifically "Big and Silent Waves") but herein lies the problem: nearly one quarter of the EP has already seen the light of day on CD. Breaking with old traditions, it's quite puzzling to see Kompakt re-releasing material on CD that has already been issued, and it presents a dilemma to all but the most die-hard fans. The music retains many of the standards which were set so high by Wolfgang Voigt and company, but they just sort of sit there. A bit like watching a paper boat on a pond. Not the weakest moment in the Kompakt catalog, but definitely not one of their finest hours, either.
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AllMusic Review by Rob Theakston