reviewed by Ben Hogwood
What’s the story?
Sacramento duo Blank Gloss met through a shared love of punk and experimental music, but their output is the polar opposite – a blissful musical ambience which has drawn the attention of Kompakt. Their track Of A Vessel was used on the Cologne label’s Pop Ambient 2021 compilation, and it features towards the end of Melt, their debut album.
What’s the music like?
Weightless and blissful, but also subtly animated. At no point does Melt feel like musical wallpaper – instead, it takes the listener outside and places them under the stars of the night sky. It is easy to imagine a wide open vista with the music they make, the scene immediately set from the first track Those Who Plant. Of A Vessel makes the same understated and soothing impression as it did first time around, but sounds even better in this context.
There are some nice guitar fragments on Virga, and on Speaking Quietly too, where a dialogue emerges between soft piano and a thoughtful line on steel guitar. Almost Home shimmers in the half light, before Stained Glass reaches the album’s restful destination.
Does it all work?
Yes. If you liked Of A Vessel then you will certainly enjoy Melt, with its very gradual and enjoyable twists and turns. Blank Gloss never restrict themselves to one formula or musical language, and the subtle inventiveness at work here keeps the music in the foreground.
Is it recommended?
It is indeed. If you are in any way acquainted with the output of Kompakt’s ambient stable, you will be glad to know that Blank Gloss have seamlessly become a part of it. Melt is a soft-hued antidote to the pace and stress of modern life.
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