Ambient Bliss: Buenos Aires – The Lake Effect

Artist: Buenos Aires

Title: The Lake Effect

Released: 2011

Label: Secret Station

Format: CD

Genre: ambient, abstract, experimental

Off of the Secret Station label, it’s the debut album by Buenos Aires.

The opening track, “Only River” starts of in a very ambient vein.  Rich synths eventually give way to acoustic guitar, soft drums and some gentle echoes.  I’m intrigued already. It’s not often you get an opening track that completely changes genres midway through itself.  More so, it’s hard to find tracks that can do that well.

In the second track, this happens again, but the leap isn’t as grand.  We’re still in an electronic scape but we’re swung from prime ambient soup to squiggly, warm squelches with a blissful beat.  Ambient in a way, I guess, but enthralling nonetheless.  I’m loving the genre jumps and tempo shifts.  It’s keeping me on my toes.  The third piece is a brilliant ambient track, flawless and very entrancing.  It seamlessly leads us into the guitar oriented “Jungle Barrett.”  A distorted and off kilter break beat kicks in out of nowhere, playing off of the echoed swamp life samples in the most perfect and playful way.  Before long, it dives back into an ambient forest of chirps and synth.  For me, this is a stand out track; it’s hard to express how much I enjoy this one.  And, again, before you can blink; the song changes pace, launching into bells and layered guitar samples.  This is wild stuff.

We get some more stellar tracks, some heavy on the synth and others chuck full of guitar twangs and the like.  It’s honestly a lot of fun, which isn’t something one can normally say when listening to experimental, abstract or ambient music.  I would have to agree with the consensus on this one: it’s a much underrated record.  This album has so much to offer and doesn’t settle on one sound for too long before diving into uncharted territory.  It does this without sounding incongruous, unlike some of the tunes on Redeye’s “Arizona Tracks.”  Rather, it all fits together, like a tapestry made of various colored threads.

Should you buy this?  Fans of experimental music, ambient, abstract and leftfield should find this highly enjoyable.  Folks who’ve been following Secret Stations catalog will not be disappointed. Newcomers to this album should find its fearlessness and endless lust for exploration a welcomed escape from what’s bubbling out there in the music world.  Seriously, go for it.  It really is a fun listen.

5 out of 5.


About Nick H.

I'm a geek for music whether it be on vinyl, CD, 78 or whatever. My goal is to sniff out the greated music on Earth, specializing in the obscure. I make music myself as well, mostly ambient and sound collage (1 album out and a few remixes so far). I work full time as a professional mascot (it pays the pills) but will soon retire, i hope.
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