Well over one year ago, I reviewed a compilation by Energostatic Records entitled ‘Choose Ur Way’. I was very impressed by the overall attention the label showed to presenting a coherent package: the space travel theme of their website meshes very well with their selection of ambient and ambient varieties of techno and drum and bass. This release is no different, even the track titles are in on it.
According to his Last.FM page, Lithuanian artist Stellardrone specializes in “space ambient” (whatever that may be). He has been releasing music since 2007 and ‘Light Years’ is already his 6th release. As such, his style is quite well-defined. Most tracks feature the bread-and-butter reverb synth pads as a base for the track, which are complemented with (often LFO-manipulated) arpeggio’s in the high-end of the spectrum. I’m not a big fan of most of the drum elements (the rather plastickey drum sounds of ‘Comet Halley’ come to mind), which stand in stark contrast to the depth that is present in the rest of the sounds. Luckily, those occurrences are few and far between.
One notable feature of the release is its dynamic range. Stellardrone plays around with fades and volume shifts much more than I’ve heard on other ambient releases.
The best track on the album is without a doubt in my mind ‘Eternity’. I would think the artist himself agrees with that, as he’s even included a reprise of it at the end of the album. Apart from being a nice example of the dynamic range discussed above, ‘Eternity’ sports some fitting samples, though I wonder how anybody describing his music as space ambient can resist not using only HAL9000 samples.
While a few small imperfections might ensure this release won’t make my top 3 for 2013, it’s still a good ambient release and a very solid addition to the Energostatic Records catalogue.
Stellardrone – Eternity
This review was originally published on netlabelism.com, an online music magazine covering netlabel culture and releases. I was editor for the magazine from January 2011 until December 2014.