AMN Reviews: Robert Scott Thompson – Summer Idyll (2015; Bandcamp)

As the first hints of Autumn reach the upper midwestern United States, so does Robert Scott Thompson‘s latest release, Summer Idyll. In tune with the album’s title, Thompson’s approach here is pastoral, focusing on lilting ambience.

Unlike some of Thompson’s recent electroacoustic works, the efforts herein include gentle, shimmering waves (rather than walls) of sound, slowly plucked string instruments, and subtle, tribal percussion. While over 80 minutes in length, two tracks take up more than half of that duration. The 30-minute title track is a combination of analog and digital synths with extensive processing, while the slightly shorter Lacuna features a hint of darkness by way of its drone-like atmospheres – perhaps foreshadowing of the winter to come?

Thompson has characterized Summer Idyll as containing early or alternate versions of tracks for an upcoming album on the Anodize label. If these are outtakes, it only reinforces his proficiency as a sound sculptor. Bravo.

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