VA: Future Memories

Curated by Interchill label DJ Nathalie Edell, Future Memories is a compilation unapologetically designed for the chill-out lounge in which ten globally dispersed contributors—Tripswitch (Nick Brennan), Solar Fields (Magnus Birgersson), Snakestyle (Matt Embleton), and Carbon Based Lifeforms (Johannes Hedberg & Daniel Ringström) among others—drench their tracks with gossamer textures, billowing atmospheres, and downtempo, often dub-styled beats. Formed all the way back in 1989, UK outfit Eat Static (Merv Pepler and Joie Hinton) sets the tone with the slow-motion atmospheric dub of “Sands of Time” while Radiate's (Seb Taylor and Nick Edell) “Witchkraft” works up a bit of hazy heat with a nicely rolling bass line and plodding beats.

Ambient-IDM by any other name, Future Memories is faultlessly crafted but likely won't win too many new converts beyond those already positively disposed towards the genre. The most memorable tracks, in fact, are the ones that depart most noticeably from the strict chill-out template. Cell (Paris, France-based Alex Scheffer) imbues the lulling trance-IDM of “Spinning Whale” with a subtle hint of hip-hop seasoning, and though Alyssa Palmer's vocal style can't help but invite Björk comparisons she nevertheless strongly boosts Phutureprimitive's “Deeper”; regardless, the track—as much electro as IDM—may be the comp's best. Phutureprimitive (aka DJ and producer Rain) crafts a synth-swelling pulse that's hard to resist, especially when Palmer's swoon is so seductively looped and layered over the song's punchy funk.

March 2008