Pieter Nooten: Stem (Rocket Girl, 2018)

July 1, 2018 at 3:04 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Pieter Nooten: Stem

Former Xymox member Pieter Nooten’s latest work is a lush, organic orchestral ambient song cycle, filled with solemn pianos, sparkling music box-like melodies, and billowing tone clouds. It sounds bright and clear rather than hazy, however, and the melodies are never obscured. It’s a major step up from the vocal-based works he was releasing earlier in the decade; this material is much more affecting. “Freefall” adds some chilly dub-techno echo, which is a nice touch. He slowly tiptoes toward percussive rhythms on “Vari-Slowed”, and “I Felt” ends the album with some soft yet intricate techno beats, and it sounds utterly joyous and free.

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