Dark Entries Magazine (Dutch)
When Richard Walker founded Amp in 1992, nobody would have dared to dream that this collaborative project would still exist a quarter of a century later. Originating from the ashes of the group The Secret Garden from which later also the brilliant Third Eye Foundation (Matt Eliot) and Flying Saucer attack would originate, we hear in this remix CD both the echoes of Walker's past as Amp, but also from prehistory of the project. The voice is as always from the great Karine Charff. Amp can rightly be called 'indie music'. They spend almost everything in their own management or on small labels. However, this did not stop them from building up a big fan base.
This has become a bizarre picture. The original shoegaze / post rock / space rock is very present in the atmosphere, but for the rest we hear a wide variety of genres. Without exception, all remixes are firmly rooted in the 90s. Marc Challans, former member, was allowed to make a psychedelic chaotic trip from Drowning Mind. Hownow gets a trip-hop vibe and Lost Love Cries is allowed by the drum 'n bass blender, or may we say jungle? Yes, would oldschool sound this mix really ...
Loveflower sounds - relatively speaking - something more modern. The song starts as a heavily sunken hip hop album but then suddenly turns into a very beautiful dreampop song that reminds us of Cocteau Twins or Bel Canto. The quick hihats and subtle break beats from Donald Ross Skinner can (fortunately) not break the atmosphere of Just Get it. The combination of fast and slow is a melange that makes you dream away. D'espoir de Mourir fits perfectly here. The dull industrial percussion sounds of Olivier Gauthier, in combination with the undefined choral sounds and the lament in the background make the song an absolute gem. Waiting Room Blues should actually have been on the 2005 album US, but will get a new chance here. It is a concept of freak folk but then applied to the blues genre: freak blues. It is possibly the best number of the record, although the mutual competition is killing.
Push n 'hold (The mistral) is such a great song. Worked in between two soft, quiet parts, the storm suddenly breaks loose. A hectic soup of percussion, bass and deep sunken voice, combined with some bizarre effects make this song a real trip. Yellow6 makes When & Where a very strange illbient record in which the voice sounds utterly displaced.
The album closes completely unexpectedly with a very classic orchestral ambient-glicht mix from Ombres sur la Lune. The vocals are so ghostly, however, that this choice also fits perfectly with the rest of the album.
What this album lacks in innovation, it overcompensates with masses of atmosphere and a small dozen good songs. Apparently the first foundations of this album were laid in 2000. That Amp has nevertheless succeeded in achieving a consistent whole, argues for their expertise. We are already looking forward to the next album.
Peter De Koning