- The length and diversity of Kenneth James Gibson's musical résumé is staggering. He's been involved in over 200 releases under at least nine aliases, as well as many collaborations, traversing techno, dub, noise, pop and more. His penchant for shape-shifting through genres makes him a perfect pick for a series like Kompakt's Pop Ambient, whose stylistic parameters are clearly defined.
The Evening Falls does in fact fit snugly into the series. It's filled with lush, patient atmospheres and slow, minimal melodies. At times, it's almost too snug; not much here will surprise anyone familiar with Pop Ambient or any other ambient, new age-leaning music. Most tracks are comfortable, well-crafted soundscapes that evade anything dark or disruptive. (One song title, "A Conversation Between Friends," nails the record's congenial vibe.) But Gibson knows his way around this genre, and his dense textures avoid the fleeting drift that ambient music can fall into.
Most of that sonic depth comes in the second half of The Evening Falls. The first few tracks are a bit soft and airy, with pretty keyboards that soothe but lack gravity. Eventually, Gibson adds more layers, making each song subtler and more mysterious. "Lateral Decomposition" wraps simple notes inside spacey waves, like a message from the cosmos waiting to be decoded. A somber piano figure in "Weighty Repetitions" gains poignancy from string-like tones that recall Stars Of The Lid (whose Brian McBride currently collaborates with Gibson as Bell Gardens).
The Evening Falls peaks during eight-minute closer "The Art Of Forgetting Yourself." Here, Gibson forgoes melodic keyboards, instead concentrating on drones that overlap and intensify while maintaining a hopeful brightness, like beams of sunlight shining through clouds. As the album's most unique track, it suggests a way forward for Gibson, should he decide that this foray into yet another style is worth continuing.
01. To See You Drift
02. Long Gone Canadian Summer
03. Failed To Interrupt
04. Poured Semi Silently Upon You
05. A Conversation Between Friends
06. Lateral Decomposition
07. Broken Thought
08. Weighty Repetitions
09. The Art Of Forgetting Yourself