Since releasing his fine debut album Offseason Traveller in 2013, Aera releases have been sporadic at best. Although there have been odd singles here and there (including a brilliant 2017 out on Hivern Discs), fans have been made to wait for this long-promised sophomore set. Aera (AKA Aleph Music founder Ralf Schmidt) claims it's his most personal and coherent work yet, and we tend to agree. Largely unconcerned with making people dance, the album offers up a melodious, far-sighted and largely ear-pleasing blend of ambient, electronica and IDM cuts variously inspired by new age, kosmiche and krautrock. Of course, there are hints of the producer's usual left-of-centre take on house and techno throughout, but it's the uncluttered beauty of the album's more downtempo tracks that makes the biggest impression.
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