Panoptique Electrical is an Australian project by a man name Jason Sweeney. Within the first four tracks of this album, he made my job a difficult one, playing with piano, modern classical sounds, downtempo electronica, post-rock, ambient, soundscapes, (mild) noise and even a synthpop drum line. Yet, things never get over-the-top, somehow Sweeney manages to keep things at a minimal, gentle level. In total, there are eleven tracks on this album, all of them balancing on the thin edges of several musical genres.
Some of these instrumentals could be quite decent pop ballads if they had vocals, 'First Betrayal' certainly and also the uptempo ambient tune (yes, that's possible) 'In A Forest Forlorn'. 'C Minor Spell' is my favorite, and coincidentally also the darkest tune on this album. There's something Stars Of The Lid - like here, a band that often comes to mind when I listen to this album. They come with good company too, like Max Richter, Brian Eno, Bersarin Quartett and so on. Yes, that means ambient with a twist, a damn nice twist.
The feeling I had throughout the first four tracks, returns on pretty much all of them, except maybe on 'A Minor Breakdown' which reminds me more of Calva Y Nada or any of those nineties industrial electronics pioneers, meeting Tangerine Dream or Klaus Schulze. That being said, yes, there is plenty of variation on this piece of work, way more than most albums classified as "ambient" show. Like I said in the opening paragraph: this album comes highly recommended. It makes an excellent addition to your undoubtedly massive collection.