After a long break, 2013 saw the tenth release of Belgium-based composer Venja, aka Johan Geens, also the first album on the newly founded B-Wave label.
The music (recorded between 1997 and 2012) draws from rather simple melodic formulae, and stays close to the sound we know from IC-records: moody, chill-out-ish ambient instrumentals with an emotive current, but all glued together in a contemporary sound design. The strongest pieces are found in the middle with the uplifting “Her Weird Lo-fi Dreams” and the slightly groovy-oriented “It Plays in the Head” and “Cycles of a Refined Beauty”. Especially the latter two make the mind wander back to the relaxed mood music that made the German IC-label a big success in the ’90’s.
A serious “problem” though is encountered at the end of the album, where Mr Geens decided to add three tracks with vocals, which are a totally different cup of tea and way out of place here. Ignoring these is simply the best one can do.