Pete Namlook & Atom Heart

Jet Chamber

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The first in a series of collaborative improvisations by German experimentalists Pete Namlook & Atom Heart (Uwe Schmidt), 1995's Jet Chamber is a bit on the spotty side, but the tracks that work are sublime, some of the best ambient electronica of their era. The opening track, the 31-minute "Split Wide," is a bliss-out classic, with only a jarring midsection of atonal noise bursts from both members disturbing the placid beauty of the undulating keyboard lines. The comparatively brief "Chaos Impuls" (only four minutes, by far the shortest track on the hour-plus album) is a similarly environmental soundscape, but the remaining three tracks, "Rotor Cabinet," "Feedback Fluctuation," and "Streamline," are slightly more structured, with lolling beats and occasional washes of melody stretching out over Namlook's space rock-inspired keyboard and processor sounds. The last is a particular gem, as Atom Heart builds a teasingly repetitive groove that Namlook parries with for a good 11 minutes or so. All five volumes of the Jet Chamber series are strictly for ambient electronica fans, but those looking for an accessible entrée into Pete Namlook's dauntingly huge discography could do much worse than starting here.

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