PALE BLUE SKY "Souvenir" c23 (Jugular Forest)

The minimal synthesizer compositions of the Arbor label founder Mike Pollard have always fascinated me. From his work as Treetops to his latest moniker Pale Blue Sky, Pollard has proposed top-notch soundscapes. What makes his work so unique is its sonic capabilities; it doesn't present itself as a mind-blowing spectacle as much as it does provide a moderate amount of sound that seems too skeletal to ignore.

With Souvenir, we have five simply beautiful pieces. Unlike other synth-utilizing contemporaries, the tone is very warm and emphasizes lower frequencies. These particular frequencies aren't the kind that would shake the speakers, but instead fill the room with a calm rumble. Every pulsating tone that Pollard generates overlaps into an enveloping blanket of keys that remains subtle and understated, even at its most lush moments ("Lay, Wait" for example). Field recordings are also creatively utilized on the closer "Fell" which translate into a subdued crackle rather than revealing any discernible outdoor sounds. To summarize, Pale Blue Sky stuns me once again (this being the second release I've heard aside Shades of Grey) with this gorgeously-suited-for-analog, 23-minute opus. Highly recommended.

Limited to 75 cassettes, with a nicely simplistic fold-out j-card.