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Various Artists Em:T 0004

What's this? Ambient synth excursions that lack DSP fingerprints and give listeners actual breathing space? How refreshing...well, almost. This compilation could soundtrack planetarium shows, dream-journal writing, crystal therapy sessions or colonics for that matter. Most of the artists try to pay the bills with New Age schmaltz, but there are exceptions. Red Leb's "Freezebee" deftly makes the long drones of so many '80s slasher flicks bearable with floating, new wave beats. Beatsystem's epic "Sud" is ended by a brilliant coda of crowd chatter at a French park blended with ocean waves. Just don't play this CD when you go to sleep; comas aren't pleasant.

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