Sunday, December 6, 2009

Global Communication - 76:14 Expanded Remastered Edition

I've recently had this one back on heavy rotation following a Twitter exchange.

As one of the most significant ambient releases probably ever, 76:14 places itself alongside benchmark electronic releases from the likes of Brian Eno, the Orb, and any others you would care to mention.

Good ambient is a devilishly delicate balance between beautiful and boring, fascinating and frustrating, exciting and excruciating. 76:14 manages to deliver in spades. Breathtaking atmospheric wanderings which suggest the usual inner and outer space exploration, but enough texture and beatitude to keep things grounded and to prevent the listener from becoming lost in the void. Vocal samples from nine languages also remind us of the international and diplomatic intentions of this magnificent album.

I was initially disappointed by the singles and bonus tracks collected on the second disc of this remastered edition. And while it's true that they do suffer slightly in comparison to the uniform perfection of the first disc, there is some great stuff here too. Ignore the smooth funk abomination that is "The Groove", but pretty much everything else is cut from the same beautiful cloth as the original album.

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