Review Summary: soaring through the stratosphere.
Ott is pretty much a household name in the world of psychedelic electronic music at this point, and for good reason. Since the early 2000's he has methodically crafted a small but essential catalogue of inspired and soul-lifting excursions dabbling in the likes of psychill, dub and downtempo. Through his seamless and unique blend of styles, there's always been an unmistakable personality behind his music; one of ecstatic whimsy and zen-like wisdom that walks a sagely line between youthful wonder and meditative introspection. Five years after his debut full-length, Blumenkraft
, Ott went ahead and finally gave the world of festival trotting granola-hippies another taste of his brilliance. Named after a prototype hydrogen-powered spacecraft, Skylon
is certainly an apt name for this 70-minute flight into the upper stratosphere. "From Trunch To Stormness" really sets the lucid vibe from the get-go. As the listener buckles in for a journey above unbelievable landscapes blotted with fluffy clouds and wide blue skies, the familiar butterflies of a psychedelic come-up sneak through the dreamy waves of dubby bass. This is the reggae of the interdimensional elves. This is psybient music at its absolute finest. This is bliss!
's biggest strength lies in its atmosphere. That said, atmosphere without substance is like air without oxygen, and what makes Ott's 2008 opus so grand is the near flawless melding of picturesque lucidity and tactile production lush with analogue textures and deep, shapely tones. Ott is a profoundly talented producer, and his knack for sculpting colourful soundscapes with driving basslines and interlocking layers of organic synths, intriguing samples and metallic effects is both discerningly finessed and wholly mindblowing. Well-versed in both ambient levitations and trance inducing movements of physical release, Ott's work here boasts the deliberate and spiritual involvement of a shaman channeling the purity of sound itself to guide a healing ceremony. Moving through climactic peaks, lush vistas and vast openings of sustained wonder, Skylon
- like any good healer - simply holds a space for you to heal your own soul, and does it well. Almost utilitarian in its psychedelic nature, you really get what you look for within the sounds presented here. Nothing is forced but a lot is implied, and thanks to its benevolent mystique, whatever you offer this album it will offer you threefold in return.
There's plenty of global inspiration throughout the runtime here with a spectrum instruments and vocal samples spicing up the consistently dub-influenced flavours without detracting from the album's emotive focus. "Rogue Bagel" and "Signals From Bob" both underscore a notably far-Eastern palette with celebratory splendour and introspective grace, respectively. Solidifying the atmospheric side of things, tracks like "The Queen Of All Everything" and "382 Seaside" aptly tie into the exotic constitutions of the album with consistently luminous vistas. Each track adds another colour to the spectrum of hallucinatory texture showcased here, and all work symbiotically to encompass a transcendent vision. That said, there exists a tiny world within every song, and each cut has more than enough nuances and subtle dynamics to unfold in a new fashion on every listen. When "A Shower Of Sparks" draws the final minutes of this release with a chromatic delirium that swiftly bursts into a crescendo of spiritual ascension, the five year wait for another Ott album really begins to make sense. There's a beautifully captivating finesse present; one that offers the listener a majestic ride to places once only imagined in the time between waking hours and sleep. Awe-inspiring and perfectly built as an accompaniment to life's most blissful moments, Skylon
is an album for the dreamers and the meditators. It's an album for the wild imaginations and it's an album for the psychonauts. It's an album for the stargazers and the cloud watchers. Most of all though, Skylon
is an album for everyone, made with love and wonder from Ott, to you.