Ambient Nation 5 was officially released at the Belgian electronic music festival B-Wave in the beginning of December 2018,. The boss of Wool-E discs/Belgian Neumusik handed me the three CD box for a review.
With pleasure I wrote this moodily tale about the universe of the Belgian booming electronic music scene. As a big fan of the Ambient Nation series it will be very difficult to stay objective, but we will. (All previous releases have a special place on my CD shelf).
First a little word about Ambient Nation. A group of people wanted to promote electronic music in Belgium. They started the label Art For Ears and released the first edition in 1994! Shortly during the years after, number two and three was released. In 2014, Ambient Nation 4 gave birth after a very long period of silence. There was again a growing attention for the Belgian electronic music scene. The organizers of B-Wave, Cosmic Nights and Ambient Antwerp Festival gave the scene more oxygen during the last 8 years. The possibility to play and watch live performances had a very positive impact to the electronic music milieu In Belgium.
Three CD’s with 28 Belgian artists bring you a wide electronic musical journey. Some artists had already releases on international labels. Others are seeing the light after years working on their DIY stuff in dark dusty rooms. The CD’s black, gold and red contain a diverse approach in ideas and handling of the electronic tools, synths and other weird effect boxes.
Synodic Wave, Rhea, Owann and Sensory++ serve peaceful and easy digestible ambient soundscapes. Their beautiful vibes bring sweet calmness in your speakers. Nisus on track four embraces the old school Berlin style sound. Zer0 れい known for his experimental out of the box views, sounds ethereal with oriental influences. The darkest and most mysterious electronic track filled with obscurity is presented by Hoshin. By Senses takes us to the ritual side of ambient with tribal voices as the main theme of the song. Pieter Vermeyen’s Tryggja is drowned in piano and field recordings and to my opinion with Hoshin’s Fault, the two most appealing tracks on the black CD.
Active since 1977 and one of the oldest electronic music projects in Belgium, Age has the honor to start the gold CD. Their timeless cosmic ambient is still up to date beside the detailed production of Light Arrows. A Brief Look Into The Past from Lounasan is a ‘Berlin Schulze’ track next to a non-conventional attitude and rhythmic beats. Time for some new age tunes with Alain Pierre who composed a track with many faces and variations. Frank Deboosere (our Belgian weatherman) plays light poppy new age and predicts us unstable weather with his tune Alfa 14. Sebastopol takes us back in time with slow old school synth melodies. Alienna, a female loner in the Belgian electronic music scene, shows her talents in a beautiful pulsing lounge track, The task Of Sisyphos Pt. 1. Dirk Serries, who moved away to minimalism and quit producing ambient nowadays presents a floating guitar ambient track. Close your eyes and fly. Serge Devadder explores the world of soundscapes adding a deep bizarre space mood. Galactic Undergroud drops his ambient impressions of the first man in space with Sky Ripped. A stunning track from the live performance at Cosmic Nights 2018. The gold CD ends softly with the dreamy sounds of Sonmi451.
Nothing But Noise are the original founders of the legendary band Front 242 and play deep electronic music. This catchy mix between ambient and rhythmic Berlin style synths stands for colourful and creative sounds. Next to the bleeps and dots of Earthwave we enter the orbit of spacey atmospheres again. Syndromeda takes us to the deepest voids in vast space with interesting soundscapes and peaceful melodies. The fourth track on the red cd is Final Stage by Analogic Synthisme. Choral synths and modest rhythms are constructed in a smooth Berlin style. The two brothers of The Roswell Incident love to create gliding electronic sounds stuffed with effects and sequencers. Curious vibes are added layer by layer in the up tempo Berlin style story Broken Shadow by Karl Hefner & Hugh Lagerfeld. The strange electronic sounds of Aerodyn combined with the etheric vocals generate the most mystical and original track on this compilation. The psychedelic electronica of Onsturicheit is stubborn and original. This most experimental track, Het Irrationele Denken, shows controlled electronic ghostliness. Jovica Storer closes the compilation with a slow resume of all the sounds we have enjoyed. The track Sweet Mocha carries the message for the Ambient Nation 5 release like its tittle.
Ambient Nation 5 shows a dazzling array of Belgian artists and their talents. The compiler made sure that the attraction to listen, due to variation, never had a chance to fade away. The multiplicity of electronic sounds and soundscapes will poke many electronic music lovers. Several artists composed specially a unique track for this triple CD, limited to 300 pieces. Hurry and grab this unique art for ears while you still can.