Album Review: analogue creatures living on an island – Immersion

The ambient project of Wire’s Colin Newman (along with his partner Malka Spigel from Minimal Compact) has been in existence since 1994, and after a hiatus of seventeen years, Immersion is back. Pre-album release track ‘Fireflys’ is a beautiful, hypnotic vortex of arpeggios and repetitive synth loops, rising and falling and washing over the listener. One of the main differences compared to earlier releases is the inclusion of guitars, bringing a driving urgency to some tracks, such as album opener ‘Always The Sea’, which strikes a chord somewhere between ‘Amon Duul’ and the more introspective work of ‘New Order’.

Elsewhere, ‘Organic Cities’ and ‘Shapeshifters’ recall late 70s ‘Tangerine Dream’ in their pulsing repetition. The album comes as a CD or as a two 10″ vinyl format, titled ‘Analogue Creatures’ and ‘Living On An Island’ respectively.

This genre of music can often drift into an ambient wilderness of indulgence, that struggles to compete with the allure of the clanks and groans of the immersion heater, but on this album ‘Immersion’ manage to hit the sweet spot, remaining interesting but also beautifully hypnotic.

‘Analogue Creatures Living On An Island’ is released 25th November via ‘swim’.

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