Kwook returns with a masterful and addictive set of electro-ambient gems. Inspired by deep space & shortwaves. Mellow, spacious, rhythmic, and with a laid-back musical joy.
"The genre doesn't get much better than this! It's a remarkably accomplished work."
"Kwook is an ambient project of the Australian musician Simon Bennett. Where his previous album UFO was quite outer-space themed, Bennett’s second album “Skywave” is a musical survey of shortwave radio.
Sonically, a varied array of distorted signals are very nicely matched with sequenced parts and minimal, flowing melodic structures and occasional rhythms. E.g. “Sunspots” feels like a warm blanket with it’s softly glowing, positive approach, as does the three part 22-minute title track, found at the closing of the album.
Overall, there’s this mellow, dreamy, hypnotizing effect embedded in all twelve sonic ambient excursions, all delicately shaped and sculptured. In its own right, it’s a kind of cleverly composed chill-out ambient with a great high-quality sound.
So all who love spacious ambient music, make sure to check this one out."
Bert Strolenberg - Sonic Immersion
Chuck van Zyl - Star's End
"At first, it's hard to say why SKYWAVE, the CD by Kwook, sounds so nostalgic. Is it the occasional Mellotron sound? The buzzing lead lines or sweeping synth pads? Or just the overall electronic aura that seems to engulf this album? All of these qualities (as well as a hint of IDM beats) and more make for a captivating release. But it's more the positive attitude of this artist that gives his music its nostalgic feel than any riff or melody. Comprised of subtle yet beautifully varied tracks SKYWAVE glows in transfixing simplicity. The piece "Sunspots" is a standout. With its catchy bassline and melodious flute, it produces an ample amount of momentum and intrigue. A common thread throughout is the insertion of squelchy short-wave radio fragments. These lost communications add the sensation of floating through the ether and are used to great effect in the lengthy title piece, which spans three tracks at the end of the disc. Our friend Kwook believes that "sound is a playground". His inventive approach, full of joy and clarity, makes the journey new."
Australian artist Kwook offers Skywave as his tribute to shortwave radio. Softly pulsing synths on “Calling All Stations 1” sound very much like radio transmissions set to music. “Stationary Waves” slows down the pulse and loops it in a series of chimes going up and back down again. I’m reminded of Robert Rich’s “Primes” from his Geometry CD. “Way Out” sounds more like deep space transmissions that the radio variety, which is to say it is cool space music. On prior efforts Kwook sometimes would get a little too cute for my taste; here he takes a more restrained approach throughout that really pays off with his strongest, most even effort. “Calling All Stations 2” is an pleasing variant on version one, maybe even better, with crystal-clear sequencing. “Sunspots” has crisp, punchy percussion and a cheery melody. The disc closes with the title track, running over 23 ½ minutes and divided into three parts. It is softer and mellower than the rest and every bit as good, esp. part three which is almost too cool for its own good. I highly recommend Skywave.
Phil Derby / Electroambient Space
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