After finishing “Reverse Engineering“, Erik Seifert & Josef Steinbüchel decided to compose an ambient album with slow music to relax but demanding attentive listening at the same time. The result is music inspired by wonderful haunting images found on the internet of places, buildings and rooms that nature took back after humans abandoned them. Unfortunately, due to copyright issues they could not be featured in the album booklet.
I decided to have my first listen to his concept album with quality headphones and repeated that a few more times in the same vein before giving it a go on my trusted studio audio speakers. Both ways present “Abandoned Places’” cinematic-infused ambient space music in full detail and glory although I feel it presents its profound lonely, melancholic impact even more intense and up close through headphones.
Despite a listing of separate tracks, the outcome is presented as a continuous, smooth morphing tapestry of textures for 68 minutes evoking an intimate yet most pleasing Vangelis/Blade Runner kind of atmosphere throughout “Kolmanskop”, “Valle dei Mulini” and “St. Etienne”. It’s a pity though this string of inspired spherics changes course briefly on “Hashima” where some sampled flute textures enter the scene, but fortunately the music recaps as before thereafter. The remote sounding drifting seascapes of 9-minute “Maunsel Sea Ports” ends the album in an evocative, gracious manner.
One best listens to this very fine recording of slow morphing ambiences for fast times on low volume as it transports you to some remarkable places that seem to have fallen off the map.