Entangled Time by Amp

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Amp | Entangled Time
Ampbase /Sound in Silence (10″/DL/CDR)

Besides a couple of live recordings, this is the first full album by Amp in about seven years, and it’s a relief to know that they are still active. Amp hail from a very British tradition of post-rock, one that distills shoe gaze with electronics, psychedelic drone and blurred ambience. Fellow travelers who shared the same scene as them included Flying Saucer Attack, Third Eye Foundation and Crescent, and that particular strain of UK out rock hasn’t been so prevalent in recent years.

This new work by Amp opens with the perfectly named “Drifting”, as a hauntingly slow melody pairs with strings that remind me of Aphex Twin’s Richard D James album. Vocalist Karine Charff’s voice eases into the mix just before the whole thing fizzles out into field recordings of what might possibly be passing traffic or wind. Second track “Will-Oh Dreams” is more droney, with the hushed vocals more prominent. Again, strings are framed around the track, giving it a feeling of majesty, but surprisingly it gives rise to beats which felt a little jarring. There is also an extended mix of this track as well later on which ends the record. I’m not sure how I feel about these beats, they definitely add momentum, but also sound a tad generic.

The other tracks leave out the beats, and stay true to the band’s vision of widescreen ambient rock. “Playing Time” is short and sweet, two and a half minutes of subtly computer processed guitars and vocals that works due to its brevity, swaying back and forth around the stereo field. “Opal Tears” is the most ambient of the set, long chords and swelling vocals that add texture and mystery, those blissed-out vocals really accentuating the hazy guitars and electronics.

Entangled Time seems less of a strong album statement and more of a “where we are now” signpost for future work. Apparently these songs came from sessions to record a new album, but I feel that new album may be next on the horizon, and this is its precursor. Either way, I’m glad to hear a 2018 transmission from the Amp camp, and I’m looking forward to hearing where they go next.

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