Monday, 19 December 2011

Review: Zero Bedroom Apartment - Filmmuzik 1 + Ambient Works V1

Zero Bedroom Apartment Ambient Works
Depending on how you look at it, this is a double album or two EPs squashed together into one normal album. Zero Bedroom Apartment is the ambient side-project of some post rock guy I've never heard of, and I can't remember how I heard of this album either. Apparently these were originally extremely limited (250 copies) self-released albums that were presumably handed out at gigs. They've now been rescued from obscurity and added to Spotify for your listening pleasure.

There are nineteen tracks here and this is still a very brief album. Only two of these tracks are longer than three minutes and the rest average around 90 seconds, which is ridiculously short to someone like me who's used to listening to 13 minute Sasha tracks. It's impossible for such a rapid procession of such short tracks to sound fully developed or cohesive to me - this comes across as a succession of ambient skits thrown together, when it would have been nice to hear the best stuff expanded a little bit and turned into four or five minute pieces. Still, that probably does something of a disservice to the quality of the music here, which is unfailingly super-lovely throughout. Filmmuzik 1 is a bit saccharine at times, and my favourite tracks all come in the second half as part of the slightly darker Ambient Works V1. My picks are Sub Hydro and Ghostpark, which are both absolutely incredible and are definitely getting used in a mix sometime soon.

I don't know whether to consider this as one album or as two EPs. While the music is all very nice, it doesn't make for a great ambient headspace listening adventure. The tracks are simply too short and there are just too many undeveloped ideas, making it feel scatter-brained and oddly manic for such a chilled out record. I think Ambient Works might squeeze onto the EP list, but overall Zero Bedroom Apartment screams "side-project" a little too loudly to really be great.

Genre: Ambient
Stupid Arbitrary Rating: 7/10

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