The Ecstasy of Gold’s latest album title is quite telling. I Look Upon Nature While I Live in a Steel City channels Burial and Biosphere with its trance-inducing electronica, with Ernst splicing in ominous, yet pithy, speech samples. The title reflects western society’s current state of affairs. As time goes on, the world becomes a smaller and smaller place with urbanization and globalization. As you read this, you’re probably on your smartphone, tablet or laptop. We are, technically, partial cyborgs. You probably can’t imagine going a few days, much less a month, without having the internet at your fingertips. You use it to answer those stupid questions you don’t want to ask anybody, to check the weather, the news, traffic patterns, e-mail… you see where I’m going with this. It’s your lifeline. In your everyday carry materials, I imagine you’d list off one (or multiple) of those items. We don’t really take the time to experience things for ourselves anymore and instead, we try to live vicariously through people who actually go out and do these things. We’re also a lot less social, but I guess that’s a separate battle to fight. A lot of people look at pictures of nature and the world an ocean over, but we don’t try to experience this for ourselves. Make a resolution this new year to go out to the woods and take a hike. Find a waterfall, or a river, and just watch it while you have this album playing of course. Listen to previews of the tracks on I Look Upon Nature While I Live in a Steel City by clicking through the Buy Now link below and see what you think of it. Cheers!

The Details

After a stunning three part compilation released in the second half of 2014, Dutch label Field is back with another album project, this time from American producer Christopher Ernst, aka L’estasi Dell'oro, who also records as Penalune and is co-founder of the Voodoo Down label.

Before now, Ernst has proved himself to be adept at crafting deep and atmospheric, excellently ambient techno on a range of labels. Varying his tempos and textures, he does acid, raw stuff, tough beats and more industrial grooves. Across this new 8-track album, all this and more is explored in captivating fashion.

Opener ‘Premeditating the First Gate’ is a frantic affair with hurried, buried deep percussion, obscured vocal mutterings and ghetto claps. It sets and ominous and uneasy mood before ‘Neue Bahnen’ marries supple kick drums with haunting, icy chords and scurrying little synth squeals. ‘I Know I Know’ flips the script and offers some blissful, spring-like ambient, while ‘Wavefront’ settles into a deep, minimalistic techno groove and gets fleshed out with coarse metal textures, whining pads and distant sirens.

The innovative and intriguing journey continues on ‘Kingdom of America’ with its imperfect drums, various synth sheets and spoken word female monologue. It strikes a darkly celestial vibe before the swampy, heady grooves of ‘Bit Back Straight Spine’, ambient soothings of Did It Good and frazzled, hard mid tempo techno closer ‘A Much Updated Ruin’ round out the hugely varied LP in apocalyptic fashion.

This is an expressive and expansive modern techno album from L'estasi Dell'oro that is perfectly at home on the always interesting Field label.

Price $24.02

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