As we all know by now (or if you bother to read any of my reviews either here or at 020magazine.com) then you will be familiar with regular releases from the french downtempo label Ultimae. The latest being courtesy of their established presence Magnus Birgersson who records under the name ‘Solar Fields’. His latest release ‘Origin # 01’ sees him delving into his back catalogue and bringing us material he has accumulated over the last ten years without release. These are the tracks that for one reason or another never actually saw the light of day.
In many way its easy to understand why this was the case, Ultimae is no stranger to releasing wide angle canvases of sound that have something of a cinematic aspect to them. In this case however the collection tends to fall a little flat, huge synth washes don’t work every time and while there are the odd moments of curiosity its usually when there is the introduction of distant guitar and half heard vocals (Bigger Stream being a prime example). There are also some interesting samples and undeniably some great tweaks in the production but for the most part this is a release that seems to foreground atmospherics over actual content. There are some nice touches but overall this album was an unfulfilling experience for me as a listener. Perhaps one for the completists, otherwise have a listen to it first.