[sic] Magazine

Ex Confusion – Embrace

With most modern production tending towards the kind of ear-grabbing, radio-blare, whoever-shouts-the-loudest-gets-the-most-attention approach that pop music seems to thrive on, it’s good to give your ears a break and quietly approach an album on its own terms rather than have it launch itself at you. Ex Confusion’s Embrace is one such album, its 45 minutes of easily flowing ambient able to pleasingly colour the air autumnal hues and offer a warm, immersive space for the ear to explore.

Atsuhito Omori employs guitar and piano to create sustained waves of tone, glowing with reverb, seemingly inert yet always transforming, like coloured lights gradually bleeding into one another against a clean, white wall. Only ‘If There Is Love’ and ‘Sketches For The Truth’ betray their sound sources, with the muffled attack of a piano sending cascading arpeggios of muted radiance into the air. Elsewhere, it’s almost impossible to tell the tracks apart; the moods vary with such subtlety. However, this is a strength rather than a weakness – you can pop Embrace on, lie back and let it, well, embrace you gently without any radical left turns or blasts of feedback to break the spell.

The closest comparisons I can muster are probably Scott Solter’s One River or the ambient guitar interludes of the magnificent Auburn Lull . I’m sure there are plenty of musicians out there creating music that sounds like this – but few, I’ll guarantee, with quite such poise and grace.

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