This is Phil Mison, and it has almost “Just Landed”, but it isn`t Cantoma. While Ambala`s “Volume 1” has its “Ambient” moments (the acoustics and sensitive synths of “Last Swimmer” and “Zarago”) and the bulk of its tempo is mid, House is its backbone. Produced in Copenhagen, it`s the light, dubby House that characterises much of Music For Dreams studio output. Its there in the keys that provide a bedrock for clipped wah wah, vocodered scat, enigmatic spoken word and a classic “Balearic” piano sound, part Kasso, part David Cole thrashing doves with Bruce Forest. “High Line” could be Vollenwieder but he`s negotiating a broken beat. “Sergio`s Dance” might share guitar and kora patterns with Ketama / Songhai but it`s a Cafe Del Mar classic in dancing shoes, more like the smooth modern Afro of Deltino Guerreiro. “Sol Serra” (featuring Spanish Guitar courtesy of Jacob Gurevitsch) watches the sunset with Ottmar Liebert, and “Walk With The Dreamers” (a collaboration with Laidback) is drinks in the Old Town prior to Amnesia`s abandon, but “Calypso Beach” and “Distant Island” are House proper: warm and hypnotic. The former perhaps the standout with steel pans and a vibe that recalls ”Lypso Illusion”`s summer night`s breeze.
Ambala`s “Volume 1” is released this Friday (July 22) on Music For Dreams.