Review: London's Cafe OTO has grown into an almighty powerhouse over the last five years, both as a community hub for like-minded leftfield enthusiasts, and as a label for some of the most provocative and high-grade free jazz being made today. Simon Scott is an electronic composer who has been impressive since his debut on 12k, an extraordinary effort that has seen him seal a spot on the much coveted Touch imprint. But, this live recording of a session at Cafe OTO is as good and evocative as any of his previous works; it's a dark, foreboding strain of ambient that gets rustier and noisier as the segments progress. If you're into the more spectral strain of hollow electro-acoustic music, then Simon Scott with satisfy you like few others.
Review: Once upon a time, ambient was one of electronic music's boom areas, but sometime in the late 1990s vanished up its own chill out room. In recent years, the sound has made something of a comeback - thanks in no small part to the efforts of Michael Mayer's Kompakt imprint. This latest volume in their annual Pop Ambient series showcases more high quality contemporary ambience, offering up glacial, atmospheric cuts from Superpicther, Magazine, Simon Scott, Morek and Triola. In truth, it's far more ambient than pop, but there's a certain Balearic charm to the sublime contributions from Marsen Jules and Loops Of Your Heart. The latter's "Riding Your Bikes" is particularly spellbinding.