Fred P - Brilliant Atmospheres

  • Medicine for the mind.
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  • Fred P uses therapeutic terms to describe the music on his subscription-based label, Private Society, which is itself a much-needed source of cathartic and comforting vibrations, for its creator as well as its audience. Brilliant Atmospheres is a beatless anomaly for the label. The Berlin-based New Yorker has been prolific in supplying Private Society’s patrons with his signature style of lush deep house. With barely a kick drum, hi-hat or bassline on this record—or any short-tailed sound for that matter—the most common descriptors of his music ("deep," "soulful" and so on) take on a different meaning. Fred P has released plenty of ambient music before. His albums are often bookended by peculiar snippets of found-sound, and his Black Jazz Consortium project has featured spoken-word segues. Brilliant Atmospheres is a more purist affair, not providing an intro or outro to anything but itself. While the word "brilliant" in the title could easily describe the music here, it actually refers to the radiance of the sounds. (The Bandcamp page provides definitions for both parts of the title: "brilliant /ˈbrɪlj(ə)nt/ (of light or colour) very bright" and "atmosphere /ˈatməsfɪə/ 1.the envelope of gases surrounding the earth or other planets.") They unravel and brighten as the album goes on, beginning with dimly lit cave echoes and midnight sea washes. Brilliant Atmospheres is supposed to be representative of 2020's arc. The opening portals are March, April or May of this year, the final stretches are light at the end of the tunnel. Optimistic, perhaps—time will tell—but as good a concept as any for an ambient album in 2020. The mid section exorcises lockdown’s uncertainty and solitude with vast, drifting canvases and satin-like flow. The lights come up to familiar territory for Fred P, where the pads sound like they could be taken from a breakdown on one of his house records. "Portal 7" is the most epic passage. Each chord stretches for an eternity, hanging like smoke indoors. Fans of Barker's recent experiments will enjoy "Portal 9," which surges before disintegrating into the sound of bubbles reaching the surface. Brilliant Atmospheres eschews the field recording and vocals of Fred P's previous ambient work almost entirely. It's a much more escapist, restorative work for it.
  • Tracklist
      01. Portal 1 02. Portal 2 03. Portal 3 04. Portal 4 05. Portal 5 06. Portal 6 07. Portal 7 08. Portal 8 09. Portal 9 10. Portal 10