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License to Chill

 Namlook XIII - License to Chill - PK 08/136
  Release Date: 2 March 1998
  Limitation: 2000

   Deadly Mission      54.17
    Part I - IX

  music composed by Pete Namlook

The trouble with the Namlook series is that it seems to be polarized between ambient diamonds and cubic zirconium. For me this is a real jewel. It sounds nothing like anything else in the series and (correct me if I am wrong here) was the last actual recording of a live performance, subsequent releases being recorded at the Klanglabor.

The CD starts with shimmering cymbals and distorted voices in the background (the only thing to link it to others in the series).

Shortly we are greeted by some lush keyboards and lazy electronic guitar picking. This is all very pleasant and quite effectively lulls you into a state of chill, but you won't be there for very long...

Like an aural storm the lush keyboards gradually, slowly and almost unnoticeably start to get stronger, more forceful, lifting you from your temporary chill. The voices fade and the background is padded by huge deep bass - swirling, building momentum... Sounds fade in and out like leaves carried by gale force winds. Suddenly things quiet down. Then... the drums arrive and you know Mr Namlook means business. From here on the cleverly sliced beats and various analog waveforms proceed to dominate. No turning back now. You're in the eye of the storm.

As with all cyclones, this one has to subside, and gradually you are again deeply comfortable in your delicately constructed aural ambient armchair, when the calm returns.

This is one ambient journey that I find myself taking on a regular basis. It's not a relaxing effort, but leaves you feeling exhilarated instead of chilled. It comes highly recommended, but you'd better be able to stomach the intensity of those drums.


(review by Ian Ainslie)


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