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6LA8

Progressive Electronic • Pakistan


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6LA8 biography
Some bands are truly indefinable, 6LA8 are one of these bands. Their music spans so many genres and yet has it's own concise sound that fans of practically anytime of progressive rock will enjoy. The Pakistani duo of Taimur Mazhar Sheikh and Omer Asim create a blend of electronic, ambient, drone and post-rock but their music never delves too far into one genre without being unclassifiable. The project was formed in 2009 by two music loving friends who wanted to create something all their own and they definitely succeed in that.

They release all their music for free on their website and appreciate their audience's opinions on the albums. For fans of post-rock, post-metal, electronic and just for fans of music.

Written by The Truth

6LA8 official website

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6LA8 discography


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6LA8 top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

2.33 | 3 ratings
In Wake of a Dying Nation
2010
3.95 | 5 ratings
The Moderate Picture
2010
3.98 | 3 ratings
This Is Not A Conceptual Album
2011
3.46 | 3 ratings
The Drone Collective
2011
3.51 | 3 ratings
In the Land of Dreams
2011
3.61 | 4 ratings
Music Observatory (w/ Rakas)
2011
3.50 | 2 ratings
Minimal Wanderings - An Improvisation Session ( w/MMI)
2011
3.85 | 6 ratings
The Stereotypes of Tomorrow
2011
3.75 | 3 ratings
Extended Wanderings (w/ MMI)
2012
3.00 | 1 ratings
Reveries (w/ MMI)
2012
3.90 | 2 ratings
Final Wanderings (w/ MMI)
2012
4.00 | 1 ratings
Chaos/Solipsism/Self-Projection (w/ Aus Rine)
2012
0.00 | 0 ratings
Follow the Fanatic / Tracer Journeys - Live Dronings (w/ MMI & 4 Days of Night)
2012
0.00 | 0 ratings
Snack Zap Ethic (w/ MMI)
2012
4.82 | 3 ratings
The Last Strands of Fortitude
2013
0.00 | 0 ratings
Proxy Nights, Misty Lights
2013

6LA8 Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

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6LA8 Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 The Last Strands of Fortitude by 6LA8 album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.82 | 3 ratings

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The Last Strands of Fortitude
6LA8 Progressive Electronic

Review by The Truth
Collaborator Post/Math Rock Team

5 stars 6LA8 is truly one of my personal favorite groups of all-time.

Now, I realize that may be a strange statement about a little-known Pakistani duo, and that statement may look like one of my older reviews when I wasn't quite sure just what music was, but 6LA8 have this aura about them, this great mixture of my favorite genres, that makes them literally one of my most listened to artists.

The Last Strands of Fortitude is the group's first album in a year which can seem like a long time given their prolific mannerisms of 2011-2012 but the album really gives off the vibe that it has been carefully constructed over a long period of time. The music greatly benefits from this

One consistent facet of their music is that they noticeably get a little more mature with each release and by the time the band reached the In the Land of Dreams album, it was clear to me that they were something special. The dreamy nostalgia of that record (which had ambient, drone, post-rock, techno and even emo influences) was stunning to me. The next release Stereotypes of Tomorrow was even more varied and even more amazing to me. The listening experiences I have with these albums are always fantastic. With this record, let me tell you, that maturity reaches newer heights.

The overall sound recalls that of Stereotypes of Tomorrow but the pieces are indeed a little more concise and some tracks even have a vibe that was prominent on the band's earlier record The Moderate Picture. What you get with this record is an interesting mixture of ambient drone soundscapes, Boards of Canada-esque tracks with a hint of grittiness, post- rock influenced pieces with alluring samples from films and other electronic organized madness, sometimes even with horns.

There are few words to describe the heights the band has reached with this record but one would be original. Another would be fantastic.

The album is free for streaming and downloading on bandcamp, as are all of their earlier releases, and it comes highly recommended from me. For fans of post-rock / ambient / drone / electronic / anything.

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 In Wake of a Dying Nation by 6LA8 album cover Studio Album, 2010
2.33 | 3 ratings

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In Wake of a Dying Nation
6LA8 Progressive Electronic

Review by Anthony H.
Prog Reviewer

1 stars 6LA8: In Wake of a Dying Nation [2010]

Rating: 2/10

There's nothing worse than an album that is both dull and long. In Wake of a Dying Nation, the debut album from Pakistani post-rock/ambient duo 6LA8, manages to exhibit both of these qualities in overarching abundance. I have listened to a lot of music during my nineteen years on this earth, but this may be the longest album I have ever come in contact with. A three-disc, 39-track affair, In Wake of a Dying Nation is a three-and-a-half hour monument to homogenous repetition. After hearing the first three tracks, you've pretty much heard them all; the band pulls the same punches over and over again. And over again. And again. And yet again until, once the album has finally concluded, you begin to wonder what better things you could have been doing for the past four hours of your all-too-quickly fleeting existence.

This is a terribly generic post-rock album that revels in the conventions of the genre: low-key twangy guitars, melancholic atmosphere, ambient interludes, and extensive sampling. Not to mention the song titles! I stopped caring about the track names after getting about nine songs in; I can only take so many nonsensical sentence-long titles before apathy takes over. Post-rock is not my genre of choice, but even the most hardcore fan of the genre will probably find this to be a derivative and boring listen.

Am I being too harsh? Probably. Some of 6LA8's future albums are quite good, and none of the music on this album is particularly bad. I don't find myself disgusted with these tracks, and I can actually enjoy some of them in isolation. However, these pieces are unable to hold my attention throughout an entire disc, much less three. I would have stopped about a fifth of the way through this album were it not for some irrational commitment. This is a musical chore: that statement alone should sufficiently summarize my distaste.

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 Chaos/Solipsism/Self-Projection (w/ Aus Rine) by 6LA8 album cover Studio Album, 2012
4.00 | 1 ratings

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Chaos/Solipsism/Self-Projection (w/ Aus Rine)
6LA8 Progressive Electronic

Review by The Truth
Collaborator Post/Math Rock Team

— First review of this album —
4 stars A somewhat sad album to see come but at the same time a really great one. Chaos/Solipsism/Self-Projection is the last 6LA8 album before their now hiatus-state and although how long that will last or if it ever ends is not known, this collaboration with 6LA8's earlier root group Aus Rine is incredible, perhaps one of the strongest records in their large discography/short tenure.

With this record, you get the regular 6LA8 flavor with that ever-present and ever-beautiful mixture of electronic music and post-rock with touches of drone plus there is something else lingering in it a bit undefinable. Perhaps the songwriting is more concise, but honestly I could not put my finger on it. It's one of those albums that's beautiful for reasons you can't entirely define and that makes the listener love it all the more, I know I do.

Some tracks are simply brilliant "Drugs, Don't Do Kids" and the beautifully electronic suite on tracks 7-12. The avid music fan will find plenty to like and even the average progressive rock fan will find something to love. It's just a record that's fluent in so many languages, it's beautiful.

4 stars, absolutely lovely record.

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 Final Wanderings (w/ MMI) by 6LA8 album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.90 | 2 ratings

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Final Wanderings (w/ MMI)
6LA8 Progressive Electronic

Review by colorofmoney91
Prog Reviewer

4 stars The final set in a series of ambient wandering from this collaborative duo 6LA8 and MMI is in a similar vein as the previous releases, but a bit darker.

This duo of artists had created some of the most enjoyable (and longest) ambient albums I can remember hearing recently, being evocative of certain atmospheres (generally aquatic or spacey) and giving the improvisations enough time in each recording to really flesh out the sounds so everything doesn't sound rushed or forced.

Final Wanderings, while it is made up of the same long-form ambient improvisations that together run just over two hours, is slightly different; whereas Minimal Wanderings and Extended Wanderings both mostly had an uplifting or ethereal feel throughout, this album is somewhat darker and more ominous while still maintaining that ambient shoegaze electronic sound.

"Feels the Same" is a deceptive opener; it's very beautiful, consisting of familiar ethereal synths with cloudy guitar tones emanating from the background, creating a loose melody that kind of bleeds through the speakers, and is overall optimistic sounding in tone not unlike Steve Roach's Structures from Silence, though with a bit more muddy and organic production quality. Occasionally the spacey synths shoot up in tinny bursts, which has an awakening affect, almost like notifying the listener that something is awry.

From the first couple of measures, "We are Important." sounds as if it is going to be equally optimistic and uplifting, but then an off-sounding note comes in, and suddenly the entire composition leads its way through an ominous and dissonant shoegaze-inspired descent into some foreboding aural creepiness. The production is similarly misty and heavenly in quality, but with a profound creepiness to it, and it really gives a nice contrast to the previous track. The atmosphere remains somewhat sparse until a bit after the half-way point, where some nice but underplayed guitar noodling takes place, giving off somewhat of an ambient jazz sound, though nowhere near as active or obviously jazz as something by The Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble.

"Subtle Puddle" is in the same creepy mood as the previous track, but with slightly more bombast at points. The misty production and empty sounding ambient soundscape backdrop is peppered with bits of sonically assaulting bursts of feedback that sound like songs from distant sirens attempting to lure travelers from this dark path.

With some slow, pounding tribal percussion, "PPRB" begins as less creepy but much more desolate. This also is the most progressive epic on this album (at over 45 minutes), as it progresses from it's slightly lonely tribal and spacey intro to shoegazey melodic section with dizzying metallic resonances to the glistening uplifting melodic section at the end.

Final Wanderings is a nice way to end 6LA8 and MMI's trio of ambient wanderings, because not only is it consistent with the long-form ambient improvisation style of the series, but it also incorporates darker and sometimes avant elements that prove that these guys are interested in experimentation. The experimentation pays off well, too, because nothing sounds forced. The avant elements never become overbearing, and these long tracks still have ambiguous and mystical melodies. If you had enjoyed the previous two albums in this series of ambient wanderings, then you'll most likely enjoy Final Wanderings because it doesn't sound like a rehashing of old ideas, but new ideas in the same style.

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 Reveries (w/ MMI) by 6LA8 album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.00 | 1 ratings

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Reveries (w/ MMI)
6LA8 Progressive Electronic

Review by colorofmoney91
Prog Reviewer

— First review of this album —
3 stars Compared to their previous two collaboration albums, 6LA8 and MMI change up the formula a little bit on Reveries. Instead of only a few long-form compositions that result in an album about two hours long, these are all relatively short- form compositions (not exceeding much over 9 minutes) to create a much more manageable album length of just under one hour. This is a blessing to those who can't cope with half-hour track lengths because of problems with paying attention.

In addition to the length, the compositions themselves have changed in tone, become significantly more upbeat, and offer up a variety to the previous long-winded purely ambient albums, but mostly do not stray far from post-rock style with electronic touches and post- Berlin school electronic walls of synths.

Reveries opens up wonderfully with the summery laid-back lounge music of "One of Those Mornings", being led by steady drums, a sunny marimba melody, and warm jazzy clean-toned guitar strumming -- this is one of the most unique and best tracks. "Long Way Ahead, Longer Way Back" is less like standard post-rock and more like very dreary psychedelic drifting that gradually gets heavier only until the distortion on the guitar only nears the point of being unfitting and abrasive, and it's also one of the longest tracks and offers up a decent audio journey. My personal favorite track is also the longest -- "Tonnes of Tundra" -- which is a mystical and snowy synth dominated soundscape with a radio-static type of effect that makes the entire composition border on abrasive while it somehow maintains a soothing atmosphere, kind of reminding me of something from Biosphere's Substrata or Tangerine Dream's timeless classic Phaedra. The remaining tracks on this album, more or less, follow a more post-rock oriented composition style augmented by various electronic effects to varying degrees, and it doesn't really result in an overall memorable experience.

Regardless, the overall tone of Reveries is still very laid-back and would be great as a soundtrack for those contemplative moods, and would most likely be a great listen for all fans of post-rock considering that some of the compositions are a slightly less cliche depiction of the genre. Even though this album has left me somewhat cold, I'd say it's still better than some of 6LA8's solo albums, but not better than their two previous collaboration efforts with MMI. Given that it's a free download, however, it's definitely worth a listen.

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 Extended Wanderings (w/ MMI) by 6LA8 album cover Studio Album, 2012
3.75 | 3 ratings

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Extended Wanderings (w/ MMI)
6LA8 Progressive Electronic

Review by colorofmoney91
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Another 2 hours of beautiful ambience but a bit rawer and a bit more aquatic.

Extended Wanderings is the second release by 6LA8 in collaboration with MMI, and continues the monolithic ambient soundscapes of their wonderful previous collaborative release. However, some subtle changes have been made: the production sounds a bit less ethereal and floating and instead has a much more aquatic atmosphere, and the production seems a bit rawer and organic. Each of the 4 tracks on this album sound chilly and submersed in water, similar to Edgar Froese's Aqua except entirely ambient.

"The Dreamer" is a half hour of blue, oceanic drifting synth patterns with meandering delayed guitar playing that sounds somewhat like Boris' masterful Flood. The track doesn't change much besides becoming deeper in sound as it progresses towards its end, but the meandering guitar creates a constant point of interest so the track doesn't become stagnant.

"Stumbling Underwater" takes the aquatic atmosphere to an amazing level. This track is relatively upbeat and active for ambient music, and is actually kind of catchy. Honestly, you can almost dance to the subdued beat that this half hour exploration rides on. Again, there is a intermittent noodling guitar with a liberal amount of delay added, creating a point of interest if the catchy percussive bass melody overstays its welcome.

Seamlessly, the previous track leads into "/noclip /breakarm" which goes a bit deeper into the inevitable darkness of the ocean while maintaining the established breathtaking beauty. Things are bit more echoed, and a bit more saturated. A constant nearly dissonant drone flows freely through the background as jovial Pinhas-esque guitar fills the foreground.

"Unison" slows things down considerably, and flows a bit more freely than the relatively structured compositional style of the previous two tracks. This track is loosely flowing ambient darkness with dreamy guitar melodies that sound even more distant than before, as if the bottom of the ocean has finally been reached, and everything else is leagues above you.

On Extended Wanderings 6LA8 and MMI prove to be masters at the ambient style, improving on the sound employed on Minimal Wanderings. If you're a fan of oceanic dreamscapes, then you'll most likely love this album. The frequent moments where this music becomes catchy is a huge plus and, out of all the ambient music I've heard, this album leaves a huge chunk of ambient albums in the dust. Thoroughly expressing my feelings about this album is a bit difficult, but I can't justify giving this album less than 4 stars.

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 Minimal Wanderings - An Improvisation Session ( w/MMI) by 6LA8 album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.50 | 2 ratings

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Minimal Wanderings - An Improvisation Session ( w/MMI)
6LA8 Progressive Electronic

Review by colorofmoney91
Prog Reviewer

4 stars Does anyone else study too much and develop various psychosomatic illnesses from the constant stress? Then this album is for you.

I've mentioned before that 6LA8 are very good at creating beautiful and dreamy epic length ambient monoliths, such as the last track on This is Not a Conceptual Album, and I knew upon hearing that one track that this group absolutely needed to release more ambient material. Well, this first collaboration with MMI, Minimal Wanderings (An Improvisation Session) is exactly what I hoped for and runs just under 2 hours and 10 minutes in length - yes, this is an ambient monster.

If you're someone who is being forced to study for the majority of each day, constantly pressured by your abnormally anxious conscience to receive good marks and well- deserved recognition for your hard work, you're probably quite stressed. One of the best things you can do for yourself is to lay back and take a deep diaphragmatic breath and let "Time Progressions" lull your mind. The pace of this hour-long track never exceeds a steady crawl, but the ambient style is engaging enough to keep the song from being boring but is also open and airy enough to let your mind wander in the blank space if necessary. The sound is very reminiscent of Ashra's New Age of Earth but with the spacey hyperactivity pacified almost entirely.

"Mistakenly Exotic" is another monster at over 45 minutes, and is considerably less optimistic sounding than the previous track, but makes maintains a relaxing atmosphere with exotic (maybe mistakenly) tropical rain forest esque elements that make this track sound very organic.

"Coffee Break" is a short interlude that is very empty and sparse, resulting in a deep dreaminess before the beginning distant, bassy drumroll of "The Yelling Man" pours its drones out of the speakers and into your mind. The latter track is a very slow but consistently building canvas of expanding layers of deep rumbling percussion rolling, nocturnal ethereal drones, and distant and sharp psychedelic guitar noodling.

Although I think this album is truly enjoyable, it may not be suitable for people that are not fans of ambient music, but this could relaxing atmosphere I'm sure is universal. Over 2 hours might seem a bit overlong for some people, even ambient electronic fans, but the runtime flows through in no time at all if you allow this album to drift throughout the background as you carry on with your daily stressors or simply use Minimal Wanderings as a sleeping aid. 6LA8 and MMI really did a great job of crafting this beautiful experience, and I highly recommend this album to anyone in need of some serious relaxation.

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 Music Observatory (w/ Rakas) by 6LA8 album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.61 | 4 ratings

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Music Observatory (w/ Rakas)
6LA8 Progressive Electronic

Review by colorofmoney91
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 6LA8's first collaboration album with another artist focuses much more on forceful electronic elements than the usual cliche post-rock compositions.

It must be Rakas, the main collaborator on Music Observatory that pushed the electronic elements of 6LA8's music to the forefront and to be explored a bit more. Most of this album is glittery sounding spacey techno that almost borders bitpop and chiptune, ambient, ambient techno, and IDM, but there are also two post-rock tracks that seem to be heavily inspired by the dreamy sound of classic shoegaze.

Music Observatory introduces itself with a very laid back and deep, growling dub- influenced instrumental hip hop of "Connection" akin to Skream's debut album, and leads into a slightly out-of tune and clean-toned guitar strumming of "Starstuff" that develops into rather optimistic shoegaze that would be well suitable for scrolling ending credits after any anime film, which the track "Ecstasy" employs as well.

6LA8 and Rakas give a nod to the earlier forms of '80s era Berlin school style synths on "Advertisements" while adding modern elements like mid-range bass pulses and, strangely yet somehow fitting, an acoustic slide guitar passage that really makes this 2 and a half minute track sound very unique and original. Electro-delta blues is a genre I'd like to see explored more in the future. "Falter" continues on the same atmosphere set by the aforementioned slide guitar, but instead opts for the desolate desert sound that Earth has basically created over the past decade.

As stated earlier, there is some bitpop/chiptune influence on this album: "Neon" is a shiny but sparse sounding bitpop tune that is seems blissful but doesn't seem to add too much to the album other than to further push the fact that 6LA8 is indeed exploring their electronic side more, and I believe that this song could benefit from a stronger build-up.

One of my personal favorites is "Daft Blues" which uses very soft synth textures against a distant but direct percussion, very similar to the sometimes near-ambient short form soundscapes of Shlohmo and Shigeto. "Mileaminute" is an energetic and uplifting IDM track with an almost tropical tone, and "Retrospect" is a respectable foray into disparate broken beat.

Music Observatory is an album for people who are more interested in 6LA8's electronic side and also have a liking for modern electronic music styles. I think that this album, being 6LA8's first collaboration album, shows that 6LA8 are interested in exploring the sounds possible within their genre even if the process involves outside help. This album is a great journey and I'd recommend it for all fans of progressive music who need something more up-to-date to sink their teeth into.

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 In the Land of Dreams by 6LA8 album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.51 | 3 ratings

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In the Land of Dreams
6LA8 Progressive Electronic

Review by colorofmoney91
Prog Reviewer

2 stars Opening with a selection of Henrik Ibsen's literary classic A Doll's House mingling with a gentle drone, this marks 6LA8's first usage of spoken word samples that I've actually enjoyed. Unfortunately, referencing a popular classic doesn't save an almost 2 hour album of uninspired filler material.

First of all, In the Land of Dreams probably has more spoken word samples in 6LA8's discography, which is a real bummer. This would be a much bigger deal if the music behind the words didn't sound so bland on this album, which seems to focus almost entirely on the post-rock aspect more than any other. Post-rock generally starts out quiet and builds up to some kind of climax, sometimes more than once in a single song, but these tracks start out at one level and simply ride it through to the end without changing much at all - this is the majority of the album. Then there are tracks like "Mellow Creativity" that serve as random sounding filler tracks that are not emotional nor entertaining.

Approximately 1/4th of this album is standout material, but mostly standouts in regard to this album alone rather than in their entire discography thus far. "Don't Hate Me For Hiring the Clowns" is a shiny display of cascading synths and chiming noises that develop into a near morbidity laid over a krautrock type of beat, which is kind of goofy sounding but it is a standout moment on this album nonetheless. "Drowning in a Clumsy Fashion" is a slow, doomy track with an imperial acoustic percussion beat that breaks down into a growling synth passage that sounds similar to the opening of Rush's "Tom Sawyer" repeated at different pitches. "Nearer To My Lord When the Bombs Fall" is a rather proggy track that switches between passages of doom, drone, ambient, industrial noise, and there's even a beautiful (probably a wooden) flute passage - this is without a doubt the most interesting track on the album. Considering that these tracks are relatively enjoyable with one truly engaging song, they do not at all make up for the 1 hour and 17 minutes of filler material that this albums seems to be a dumping ground for.

I wouldn't feel comfortable suggesting this In the Land of Dreams to anyone to listen to as an introduction to this band, and I'd recommend this album stay as a last resort, only to be listened to when the better albums in 6LA8's discography have been exhausted. If you do desire to listen to this album, it is available for free online. I'm sure that a lot of people out there will really love this album, but I personally just didn't dig it.

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 This Is Not A Conceptual Album by 6LA8 album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.98 | 3 ratings

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This Is Not A Conceptual Album
6LA8 Progressive Electronic

Review by colorofmoney91
Prog Reviewer

4 stars This is Not a Conceptual Album has a strong base in earthly ambience, and actually lives up the the hype that I've been hearing from a fellow reviewer.

So far, most of 6LA8's discography is half vaguely interesting electronic music and half run- of-the-mill 21st century post-rock. This album, however, is rooted much more in gloomy ambient a la Steve Roach and Robert Rich, which is a welcome change.

This being said, This is Not a Conceptual Album starts off on what I consider to be a bad start, with "Prayers Cannot Amend Generations of Neglect" and "Helpless Enough to Write Impassioned Blogs About It" being typical post-rock. But by the time the third track "Our Dog Eat Dog World of Heroic News Reporting" rolls around, the listener is treated with modern Berlin school style cosmic synths and sequencers that eventually climax with a rhythmic cacophony of soaring electric guitar. There are plenty of standout tracks on this album, like "Here Is A Jacket. You Know What To Do" which is a slow and desolate soundscape that sounds dense with despair similar to what's expected as an interlude in the best depressing doom metal songs.

Though the previous couple of songs are nice tunes, they really are lead-ins to the better portion of this album. "Japan/Sleeping People Can't Fall Down" is surprisingly well done minimalist techno meets ambient cinematic soundscape that could be compared to a Monolake/Sigur Ros collaboration if such a thing existed. "Murshid, Marwa Na Dena" completely changes the tone of the album for about 5 minutes, opting for a modern electronic film noir swagger with wavering bass frequencies and striking, smoky piano - this track alone is worth the price of the album (it's a free album).

The real meat of this album is the closing track, however - the 24 minute ambient monolith "There is Always a Way Out, Try Avoiding It". This track is purely ambient of the most uplifting and ethereal. This is what you hear when you go to a spa and get your feet massaged in warm water by that cute woman with the foreign name that white folk like myself can't pronounce very well, and you vaguely hold on to consciousness as the distant miniature waterfall accessory from the across the room lulls you into a state of hypnosis and paralysis. Though this is an ambient track, there is plenty of progression that will keep the listening experience engaging in addition to being internally relaxing.

This is Not a Conceptual Album has a few short tracks that leave a somewhat sour note in my ears, but the majority of the album makes up for it. I realize that ambient music is kind of a strange genre to actively listen to, but if you do enjoy quality ambient of various textures and occasional flip in mood then this album will be a great piece of enjoyment.

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Thanks to Philippe Blache for the artist addition.

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