To me, Justin Vanderberg is a new ambient musician, but the press sheet learned he already released an album back in 2007 called “In Waking Moments”.
“Synthetic Memories”, a concept album upon the idea of questioning the reality of memories, is his second effort. And what a beauty it is: an impressive and thought provoking work of warm, emotive and contemplative textural scapes journeying in worlds of wonder, featuring rich sounding and nicely layered electronics, sequencing and minimal rhythms, alltogether building great arcs of cinematic sound.
While the catchy opening track “From Below” (a collaboration with Jon Jenkins) is already breathtaking, the 13-minute title track is a driving sequencer outing, while immersive and deep ambient spaces are explored on “67”, “Dusk” and the lingering “Cold Brightness”. I was also moved by the mesmerizing and reflective piano meditation “Drops”.
Due to the expert mastering and detailed, spacious sound by Howard Givens, Justin’s smooth pulsating synthetic creations touches deeper ground on a personal level: his gentle evolving sonic journeys display the feeling of searching, inner exploration and self-transformation/realization.
The stunning “Synthetic Memories” proves to be an intimate comfort zone, highly recommended if you like Steve Roach, Ti-Cal or Patrick O’Hearn. Congrats on this outcome, Justin!
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