Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Xspance 'Melodyheart' Review

Artist: Xspance

Title: Melodyheart

Label: Section Records

Released: 5th Dec

Influenced by artists such as Jon Hopkins, Tycho, Apparat, M83 and Ulrich Schnauss, Myles Webb A.K.A. Xspance has released under his own steam through bandcamp as well as re-mixing tracks for Echaskech which lead to his debut release on the Stripped sub-label Hype Muzik, the sultry 'Disappear With Me'. He also has a track titled 'The Last Sunrise' on the beautiful compilation release from Just Music 'Ambient Zone 2'. Xspance’s sound has also caught the interest of other well established labels, such as Stellar Fountain Records and John Johnson’s Hydrogen and NYLO labels. Collaborations with Section label artists Joey Fehrehbach and Audioglider followed and naturally he caught the attention of label boss Nick Brennan.

The album commences with ‘Sunlight Song’ ‘is a slow paced piece of ambient electronica which layers lovely melodic synth voices and piano over shuffling field recordings that provides a nice opener to the album. As the album progresses it’s filled with intricate melodies and angelic voices at times the bassline is more attacking notably in the intro to ‘Pass Me By’ while others begin in a classical fashion such as ‘The Reef’. However, although there’s comparable themes and certainly synth voices employed throughout, each track is a little journey of it’s own that grabs the attention and lifts the spirits (in many respects like Jon Hopkins and Ulrich Schnauss have before him).

For me this Myles is a talent I’m glad to be introduced to and a worthy addition to the Section Records catalogue. This collection has somewhat of a wintery feel to it and the release is timed right for the Christmas stockings as a worthy alternative to those cheesy best of ambient collections.

Reviewed by Woodzee.