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Various Artists Aurora 2

Sonically, little to nothing new is featured on Merck‘s latest all-ambient disc. Most of the synth patches are the same ones used by bedroom musicians who are just figuring out their desktop‘s plug-ins. Nonetheless, Aurora 2 is engrossing for how its artists simply breathe. Sabi floats like gutter steam in a rainshower with the pattering beats and narcotic synth tones of "Dancing in a Rainstorm." Elsewhere, Kettel‘s guitar drones ignite a St. Elmo‘s Fire that glows for miles, while Ginormous levitates into the stratosphere with geothermic symphonics. Most striking is Twerk‘s "From Brown to Green," where a smooth R&B ballad twitches and struggles to correct itself like a lost space probe hovering around a barren moon.

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