11 Items is the textured first album by Pontiac Streator and Ulla Straus for Huerco S and his pals at West Mineral Ltd. The album sees the American duo expand upon the hazy mindset of their Chat EP (OUEST 097LP, 2018) across a flux of ambient interzones where they transmute fleeting, everyday feels into a bouquet of ephemeral and organically unresolved scenes The expanded double-LP palette of Streator & Straus' second release reveals a greater variegation of their overgrown, verdant electronics and free rhythms in a gently perplexing style of ambient inception. Each of the 11 Items feels like an exploration of dreams within dreams in a way that beautifully parses the poetic from the prosaic and cannily reflects a certain hyperaware yet hypnagogic state of modern ambient music. Recorded at 50 Wingz in Philadelphia, 11 Items convects a cool, communal sort of psychedelia from nose to tail, evoking the feel of friends in a room or a cabin communicating non-verbally. In the process it conjures the type of moments that lead to comfortable silences between familiar souls, and likewise has the capacity to stimulate and dissolve conversation with the babbling, forgot-what-I-was-talking-about flow and quality of MDMA chat between relaxed but frayed and buzzing minds. In an ambiguous style that has become key to West Mineral Ltd.'s aesthetic, the music is neither gloomy nor ecstatic but full of transitory sensations somewhere in between those poles. Each part feels pulled in multiple directions at once, resulting in a sublime schism between jazzy hustle and heavy-lidded electronics in "Item 1", and a subtle underlying tension between layered dimensions of humid, dusky acoustics and congealed electronics on "Item 3", while "Item 5" dices with urges to dance/lean back, and "Item 10" crystallizes this idea of alchemic multi-valency with an unmissable mix of fine grained mentasms firing like synaptic surges in iridescent grey matter. Mastered and cut at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin. Edition of 500.
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