(New Album Review) Kyle Landstra- variables of resolve

Chicago’s Kyle Landstra is a synth-head with voraciously assiduous tastes in ambient and kosmische sounds, something that comes across pretty clearly in his five or so years worth of totally immersive isolation ambient collections. His  nearly-two-hour 2015 epic Unshared Properties Vol I- IV was, in particular, a lot to take in– the kind of thing you want to let speak for itself. What I can say for his April release Variables of Resolve, commissioned for the Moog Mother 32 synthesizer and twin spring tapes and performed both in Portland for my friends at the Sanctuary Sunday showcase for BARO records at Xhurch and at The Empty Bottle in Chicago last January, is that while it is not as expansive in sonic scope as releases like the Unshared Properties tapes or 2014’s incredible Dream Array, that turns out to be a good thing, because I cannot think of a better starting point for this guy’s discography than right here.

From warm, sweeping washes of ambient pads, effulgent arpeggiated patterns sprout like thoughts finally solidifying, the surfaces falling away to reveal that which is essential, the world turning in double-time before your very eyes to reveal what is and what should be. It goes down easy as it ascends, this emotive reverie that really etches itself in your brain as only something instantly inexplicably familiar can. Essential, embracive kosmische musik, and a really melodic, concise introduction to a guy who regularly turns out stuff that could sit comfortably alongside offerings from the likes of Robert Rich and Thom Brennan. Please listen!

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