Illuvia - Irridescence of Clouds

I knew after the first track that this would be one of my albums of the year. Dreamy emotive pads with distant angelic vocal flourishes lay a vibrant foundation for jungle breaks which approach through the haze with a strange sense of calm. It's a curiously harmonious contrast which works brilliantly throughout - an ambient blueprint rendered in high-octane materials.

The album varies its pace smartly, its centrepiece 'Veil of Mist' reminiscent of Ludwig Cimrelius's 'Purl' alias with its relatively sparse percussion leading into the breakneck stasis of Titicaca with its sumptuous bass swells and pulses. Later, 'Nirmala II' goes BIG as the penultimate track with the breaks taking centre-stage as cymbals crash all around - even here the drums tease the listener, easing in and out of the spotlight before taking us fleetingly into club territory.

As we have come to expect from A Strangely Isolated Place, the LP itself is beautiful with a stylish splat of purple on clear vinyl. Exquisite packaging for exquisite sounds.

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