Using an immense array of both analog and digital instruments, Benjamin Finger seems to explore the outer egdes of music. He continuously balances on the line between ambient, trip-hop and experimental noise, sometimes even to the point where it gets almost improper to keep calling it 'music', at least in the generally accepted meaning of the word. Although the piano seems to be the central instrument, an impressive amount of soundscapes, strings and vocal samples drift in an out of the music. At moments they become repetitive, offering a hint of rhythm.
'Lull In The Momentary' is an early highlight on this album. This song seems perfectly suited for film noirs (or anything by David Lynch for that matter). 'Phoney Distaster Of Laziness' reminds me of Olafur Arnals but with a bleaker, colder sound. Title track 'Pleasurably Lost' bring acts like Dale Cooper Quartet & the Dictaphones to mind, mainly in the highly experimental and electronic approach to jazz. The music often is supported by lenghty vocals, quite similar to witch-house music like White Ring.
This ever evolving combination of advanced electronics and classical instruments makes this quite a stunning album. Only after a while I started noticing the jazz elements, probably because this album opens a bit weird, as if Benjamin Finger commences by warning us for the experimental nature of what's about to come. It also took me a while to fully appreciate this nature and the eerie atmosphere of the album. However, halfway through the album it starts to be clear that 'Pleasurably Lost' deserves its place on the shelf, next to the earlier mentioned artists.
'Edges of Distortion' is a pretty good example of what I mentioned in the previous paragraph. Somehow you can see this as a modern classical piece. Piano and strings, beautiful. However, this piece is loaded with weird soundscapes and a cold, scrapy sound. This nullifies the easy-listening effect and challenges the listener. 'Ferdydurke' follows the same, almost provocative path. This track isn't far removed from becoming a noise track, quite mindblowing stuff. 'Once Upon Her', my favourite one on this album, sounds like a Kilimanjaro Darkjazz Ensemble / Skullflower hybrid and completely destroys every hope of this being an easy-listening ambient album.
Simply put, 'Pleasurably Lost' is a brilliant piece of work, be it a bit too experimental for the majority of mankind. Luckily, we at Merchants Of Air (and undoubtedly most of our readers too) love stuff like this. So I'd like to conclude this review by expressing my respect for Benjamin Finger for not choosing the easy road but to search and explore the edges of creativity.