Chilled ambient grooves never die; they just twist out of their old skins and assume different shapes. Late-night techno wizards Sounds from the Ground are hip to this, and FOOTPRINTS retraces some of their best steps down the trail and through some pretty attractive landscapes before fading back out through the headphone exit door.
It's a collection of ageless classics from the SFTG's first two albums: KIN and TERRA FIRMA, as well as the hard-to-find version of "Snow," that has a soulful vocal from RedJen (alias Jennie B. from the Belle Stars and Pigface).Tracks date from 1996 through 2000, with highlights including the drum-and-bass workout "Planted" and the pulsing Roland 303's and whispered female vocals of "Drawn to the Woman." If Jaco Pastorious were alive and playing bass for Orbital it might sound something like "Where the Wild Things Were." This collection stands tall as classic bleep and beat architecture, furnished with lush synth pad washes, snaking counter-rhythms, and sputtering rhythmic blasts, all merging hypnotically together for slow-motion dancing, deep headphone hypnosis, or walking confidently through a crowd of well-dressed singles at the local lounge.
Chris LeDoux was born in Mississippi, but his music and lyrics both have plenty of Texas heart -- maybe brought on by the fact that by the time he hit his teens he was already living in Texas, and soon began the normal cowboy path of taking part in rodeos and spending his summers doing ranch work. The recording Chris LeDoux and the Saddle Boogie Band has been called a great cowboy-style album, like most of LeDoux's work. Country fans will find both ballads and upbeat numbers on this offering. Songs such as "Cowboys Like a Little Rock and Roll," "Night Rider's Lament," and "Hooked on an 8 Second Ride" showcase his skill at tapping into the celebrated world of the everyday cowboy that he knows so well and shares even better. All you need to do is tug off your cowboy boots, tip back your hat, get comfortable, and have a nice long listen.
Michio Kurihara's sublime solo debut is an impressionist concept record that refracts the golden radiance of the magic hour, its nine songs drawing inspiration from nine different sunsets spanning across the calendar year. A largely instrumental effort, Sunset Notes is foremost a showcase for Kurihara's remarkable guitar work -- his leads soar like exotic birds in flight, brilliantly evoking the moods and colors of the solitary moments in time the songs capture.