Released: 20 September 2004
The purpose of any decent anthology album is to present a variety of works by a diversity of artists. Through the ordering and selections of tracks, connections between what might otherwise be considered an unrelated grouping will be revealed. Presenting the album as a continuous listening experience, where the songs crossfade smoothly one into the next, is an effective way for the listener to perceive the separate works as a unified whole. It also exemplifies the concept of a product being larger than the sum of its parts. On the anthology em:t0004 (72'46"), these ideals are met, especially in the area of mixing. The ten tracks flow together as if created out of one mind. While the artists included on em:t0004 are drawn from the Chillout Room genre, those who made it on this disc are a virtual dream team of the Ambient Intelligentsia. The musical energy on this compilation moves from dense and textured to lithe and airy. In some spots the pace slows down to that of the environmental with several translucent moments occupied only by field recordings and light swaths of synthesizer tones. Elsewhere on this disc the classic sweeping filter sounds of '70s Spacemusic are combined with more contemporary shuffling rhythms and beats. Compositionally the music seldom calls attention to itself, but there's always enough substance to grasp on to if need be. em:t0004 includes works by Gel Sol, International Peoples Gang, Beatsystem, Andy Hughes and others whose internal metronomes tick at a rate somewhat slower than the rest of us.
- Chuck van Zyl/STAR'S END 1 April 2005
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