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Stray Theories – All That Was Lost

Stray Theories is the ambient music project of Australian born, New Zealand based musician/composer, Micah Templeton-Wolfe. This album finds Templeton-Wolfe following-up 2014s We Never Left EP with his first new Stray Theories long player, not to mention, his first album to be pressed to vinyl courtesy of n5MD.

As Stray Theories, Micah creates music that is both emotive and inspiring. For once the overused superlative cinematic is apt in his case as these compositions lend themselves to a visual response. Stylistically he walks a fine line between someone like the late, great Jóhann Jóhannsson and Hammock (whose minimal work feels highly appropriate to soundtracks anyway). The track ‘Challenge’ on this collection feels particularly evocative of the Nashville duo.

This is yet another classy release for the Bay area imprint. The blurred, grainy artwork is already a clue. All That Was Lost feels at times like something glimpsed through rain or teary eyes. Within its twinkling elegance All That Was Lost maintains a hushed awe. ‘Leave’ has an ominous hum throughout and feels as though we’ve witnessed something sacred but never in full focus.

Eight tracks coming in at a punctual 38 minutes is a bit of a throwback and certainly an outlier for ambient/IDM. That said, as a bit of an eighties kid myself, it’s an agreeable length for an album, particularly one that’s slated for a quality vinyl release. Long enough to tell its story, but never outstaying its welcome. All That Was Lost is a contemplative slice of ambient/modern classical. Indeed, as it concludes (with the shimmering ‘Us’) it even nudges toward indietronica.

This record is all kinds of wonderful.

All That Was Lost is available to preorder now via n5MD.

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