Unlike eating a Reese’s, there are wrong ways to listen to certain albums. When I received this DJ Olive CD in the mail to review, I was expecting more ambient beatscapes similar to his albums on theAgriculture or his work as part of We™. So I figured that the best way to listen to this album would be on the subway ride to work, through headphones. Turns out that this is not the best way to listen to an hour long ambient piece.
Before listening again, I actually bothered to look at the liner notes. The packaging clearly states that “this is a sleeping pill. Please listen quietly.” The album was also made as as the soundtrack to an installation tent in the Whitney Biennial. Among the contributors are David Watson on bagpipes (!), Vija Brazus on percussion, guitar and vocals, Karl Francke on harmonica, vocals, Moog and Arp, DJ Reaganomics (Pure Fire represent!!!!) on turntables, and none other than Christian Fennesz.
So I put this on quietly as I went to bed and I have to say, it really made a lot more sense somehow. It still maintains the atmospherics of some of his beat-driven works, but translated to a purely ambient context. The album generally maintains the same mood, but is always progressing and evolving; every 5 or 10 minutes something completely different is happening. In fact, a few times when I listened while attempting to sleep, it was just too interesting and it ended before I fell asleep. So needless to say, this is a really fascinating ambient album, and comes highly recommended. 8/10 -- Paul Simpson (25 February, 2009)