As geographically irregular as the city itself (as told by the facts laid out on the bandcamp page for the release), 'Los Angeles' by ambient composer Linear Bells mixes elements of ambience, neo-classical piano melodies and experimental electronic in the form of short compositions.
For me, a great ambient track needs to feel naturally evolved and under-processed. Time should not matter as you journey through the soundscape in emotion and thought. As far as opening tracks go, 'Road_Start' fails to impress in this regard, with its over-repetitive chord progressions and well-timed timbre. Nevertheless, the ideas and sounds created are well-made; it just doesn't give me a great deal of emotion.
This structure stays the same for much of the full release. However, as I said, the record comes with a mix of compositional elements and from track two, 'Road_N2', we start to hear that Linear Bells can produce something other than synthesiser-orientated music. Elements of true composition are there, though it misses organic material. We travel through Los Angeles with a balance of tonality and irregular harmony. Maybe Los Angeles, as irregular as it is on the outside, could be repetitive and constrained on the inside.
Overall, the release makes me want to hear what Linear Bells can produce with organic instrumentation alongside the sampling, as well as wishing he'd take a little bit more time to create a steady flow in his processing. As far as creating a release that interprets the chaotic geographical elements of a city I have never been to, Linear Bells tells the story quite well.
Posted: Sun 25 March 2012