Es Waves Nakatomi Plaza

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Ambient producers can find themselves caught between swooping and spaced-out, a dichotomy that Stephen Woolridge (a.k.a. Es Waves) mostly navigates successfully. The nine tracks here revel in their synthy layers and the fluid darkness that comes from music based more on emotional states than devotion to a particular structure. But a little structure can go a long way, and the sometimes-overlong songs (the 10-minute "To Touch") find Woolridge substituting length for true tension.