Waypoint - Interchill Records - Review

Canadian label Interchill Records has released their latest compilation album. Titled "Waypoint", the new album continues Interchill's tradition of expertly curated downtempo compilations. With close to 20 years of top notch releases, the label is one of the most respected in the business. When I recently compiled my list of best psybient compilation albums I wasn't surprised to see Interchill feature heavily. 

Waypoint harks back to Interchill's "Earth Octave Lounge" series of downtempo/ambient compilations from about 10 years ago. Much like that series, Waypoint combines various styles that despite their differences do display a somewhat psychedelic jazzy/lounge feel to a good number of the tracks. 

Waypoint - Interchill Records
An exotic blend of freejazz, lounge grooves and tribal bass with chilled ambiance. Some of the artists featured on Waypoint are Interchill regulars such as Kaya Project and Adham Shaikh and a number of artists from the old Earth Octave Lounge series feature once again here. That's not to say this music is dated - quite the opposite actually - this compilation is as fresh and modern sounding as any compilation you will here in 2014 and quite possibly for the next decade too. 

The album has just the right amount of variation on offer to avoid becoming  a repetitive take on any one genre. It starts out with some sprinkles of stomp before gradually slipping into more sublime ambient territories. The tracks compliment each other so well that before you know it an hour has flown by as it sucks you in with sonic submission. 

This is music to create to, to dream to, to bath to, to love to and to celebrate with. A triumphant compilation that perfectly demonstrates why Interchill has been able to remain at the top of their game for two decades. Educating, entertaining and satisfy a hungry fanbase is what Interchill do and Waypoint is another pleasant meal of delectable audio delights.    

Here is quick run down of the tracks on offer :

01. Grouch - Indifference ( Hibernation remix )

A new and welcome take on the glitch-hop / beats genre where Hibernation ( Seb Taylor ) has spiced it up with double bass, jazz fx and guitars. A spine melting trippy soup of a track and a great way to open up the record as it peaks your interest into the possibilities that may lay ahead.

02. Drift - Invisible Spirit

Interchill regular and award winning producer Adham Shaikh then provides a brilliant new tune under the Drift moniker. Adham collaborated with Tim Floyd in  1996 and the pair released the now classic "Drift" album which should be in everyone's collection. Sadly, Tim is no longer with us and so Adham has crafted this tune as a tribute to his old friend. It really is an absolutely superb track with shades of Bluetech glitchyness wrapped in a bossanova groove with flourishes of Spanish guitar. 

03. Guru Shishya - Rich In Loss

Multi instrumentalist Guru Shishya ( Sandeep Bhandari ) who has previously appeared on Interchill's Earth Octave Lounge series back in 2005 makes a welcome return with a rather arty orchestral ambient arrangement on the track "Rich in Loss". A fascinating , contrasting mix of melancholy and hope that evokes a sense of beautiful escapism. The track originally appeared on the album "Dive Vol 1", a collection of music Sandeep wrote for a TV show in 2011/12. Sandeep continues to find success in the TV/film market where his mix of electronic and traditional instruments has proven immensely popular. 

04. Gaudi - Solaris Vision
Gaudi does what he does best - thumping dub. Interchill partly made a name for itself off the back of releasing many a now classic ambient dub track. It's pleasing to see the tradition continuing here. I recently read that Gaudi is teaming up dub lengends The Orb for a number of collaboration tracks - how cool is that ! This track is a simple straight up dub tune. Nothing particularly standout about it but it sits in the mix perfectly with plenty of distant echoes and reverb. It is also a great lead in for the next track.

05. Kaya Project - Dust Devil  ( Hibernation Remix )

We then have Seb Taylor ( Hibernation ) remixing Seb Taylor ( Kaya Project ). I guess when you have as many monikers as Seb then remixing your own tracks is almost unavoidable. I will say this about Hibernation - I like his remixes better than his original tacks. And this one is an absolute gem too. Maybe Seb should keep Hibernation as a remix project and just release full albums of kick arse remixes.The remix takes the original tune off the album Desert Phase, removes the blues vibe, softens tribal vocals and replaces it all with more of a jazzy backbone. A superb remix effort. If you like this you should also check out the "Desert Phase Remixes" album for the heavy Liquid Stranger version of Dust Devil.

06. Variant Field - Dulcet Dalliance
Variant field is a duo that have popped up now and then over the past decade on a number of top compilations. I've really enjoyed their tracks so far and would love to see them get a full release done someday. Here they offer a rather unique, cheeky house number with flourishes of lounge marimbas, organs, jazzy brass and double bass. A martini cocktail party for the discerning, sophisticated robot about town.  

07. Another Fine Day - Walk Tall ( Throwback Dub )

Tom green may not be a name so familiar to readers here but what if I told you he provided considerable input on The Orb's classic "Adventures Beyond the Ultraworld" ? Then again, it seems everyman and his modulating dog provided input on that release. Anyway Tom has been recording as Another Fine Day since the early 1990's and released the classic "Life Before Land" album in 1994. He is back with some new music at last with the track "Walk Tall" which sounds like a classic Ninja Tunes tracks. Smooth as silk jazz lounge piano, double bass and washes of distant squelchy synths. Kind of like a Jackson Pollock painting - free roaming chaos constructed under careful consideration. Keep an eye out for an all new AFD album next year on Interchill.

08. Austero - Fuerza Brutal
Austero ( half of Sunmonx )  who I know little about except for his super guitar work which anyone can appreciate has crafted a great track that continues the lounge jazz vibes with some subtle flourishes of chilled guitar served over a bed of fuzzy bass. An expertly crafted glitchy chill tune perfect for sunny afternoon hammock sessions. As far as I know "Fuerza" means "force" in English. So I'm not sure where Brutal Force fits into the equation here as I find this track to be full of beauty rather that anything malevolent. A great track that should have wide appeal.

09. Fredrik Ohr -  In Orbit

One of the standout tracks on the compilation. Fredrik Ohr has a habit of making utterly beautiful music that at first seems simple but reveals layers of complexity with each further listen. That to me is the mark of a musical maestro. More Ohr !

10. Liquid Stanger - Flipside

Liquid Stranger now has about a quarter of a million fans on Facebook. I wager that most of those fans are there for his stomping beats and bass that melt the fillings from you teeth. Which is a bit of a shame actually because he also producers some damn fine ambient music. He might do well to have an ambient project under a different name. This track is actually sitting somewhere between both sides of his music. It has a beautiful swirling ambient canvas with a slightly heavy stuttering beat. Dare I say this would sound even more brilliant with vocals.

11. Sinepearl - Cosmic Center

Swedish producer Sinepearl released an amazing album earlier this year titled "Cycles With Cycles". Easily one of the greatest albums of 2014, it has catapulted Sinepearl to the forefront of ambient producers worldwide. His blend of melodic echoing syths and lush pads continue here on Waypoint as the album spreads out into deep ambient fields of soothing abstraction. I'm eagerly awaiting the next full Sinepearl release which I hope makes it's way to Interchill Records again soon. 

12. Spiral System - Mondays

London based producers Spiral System ( Joe Crisp and Cliff Ovenden ) along with vocalist Lottie Child have released a number of EP on Interchill in the past. Their music is quite diverse - ranging from funk, dub to latin and buddahbar-esqu downtempo. Not quite my thing but there are a handful of tracks I dig. This track for example is particularly cool and probably my favorite to date. It is a kind of ambient dub, downtempo hybrid with tribal percussion, classic strings and piano and eastern sitar like effects. Quite a melting pot of ideas conducted with considerable aplomb.

13. Alucidation - Prefer To Stay In

Taking a leaf from the pages of Brian Eno, Alucidnation ( Bruce Bickerton ) provides the perfect way to close of this brilliant compilation. However stressed you feel, this tune is what you need. One of the best pieces of ambient music I have heard in my life. I wish it was 10 time longer !  

Waypoint is the most confident compilation album I have heard in quite some time. 13 solid tracks that work together a like well oiled machine. As every great compilation album should. Taken one their own, each track shines brightly. Taken as a whole, Waypoint is an unforgettable listening experience.  

The album is available online now through the following links :

Waypoint on Bandcamp
Waypoint on Beatport
Waypoint on Itunes
Waypoint on Amazon 
Waypoint on Juno

Listen Now :

Posted on 27.11.14 by PsyAmb TAG : | 0 Comments ( ADD NEW COMMENT )


Post a Comment