Review of Ideal Condition Album by Paul Hartnoll

Paul Hartnoll
Ideal Condition
Album Review

Paul Hartnoll Ideal Condition Album

Searching ambient instrumental forays early on, through Haven't We Met Before' and the creepy wind led trickle 'For Silence', gives time for reflection and Hartnoll is probably looking back on his grounding he gained from Orbital. This must be appearing smaller and smaller to him on account of the fact that he continues to depart farther and farther away, from the sound and impact of that particular outfit. Gushing snippets of euphoria which captures that Arcade Fire spirit, often interweaves with an atmospheric femme vocal element that steadily rises like the morning sun. Non verbal poetry is scattered wistfully throughout these nine tracks. A wind element leads the way through 'Simple Sounds' and, matches the lazy strut of a haymaker on his way to work in a nostalgic 70s flick, before an electronic skip picks up the stride.

Deep and searching, but frisky with it, shows that Hartnoll is enjoying life outside the comfort blanket of Orbital, he doesn't appear concerned about losing touch with the rock steady fan-base that goes with it. The expansiveness produced is clearly going to draw the more adventurous listener into his psyche. Of course, Robert Smith, gives 'Please' a pleading touch and his quirky, echoing voice brings heart into the matter. An even tempo mixed with instrumental variety and sparse vocal inputs, helps you get into the groove as the album progresses. For 'Nothing Else Matters', a Kosheen kick is given by the vocals to for a pleasing pop foray. A space element trickles in later on to get the body swaying, as the pace moves incrementally forward. The trickling, lounge build to the mildly uplifting and slightly operatic 'Dust Motes', consolidates this album as a must for owners of After-Clubs and Chill Out Rooms, the world over.


David Adair

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