Pan Electric – Conscious Pilot

Pan Electric
Conscious Pilot

Don’t be fooled by the ambient chill label stamped on this release by some. While it’s true that there are elements of both here, it would be a shame to describe the music on Conscious Pilot with only two, often misunderstood, words.

The UK collective Pan Electric craft mostly instrumental pieces ranging from sweet, synth-based space tunes to long, sweeping cinematic soundscapes to melodic tracks with electronic beats, bass and celestial electric guitar leads. The few vocal passages appear fleetingly and are quite subdued, drowned in reverb and shrouded in a haze which amount to ethereal whispers that are blended in nicely with the music.

What stands out most though is the exceptional keyboard work. Neil Cowley (Zero 7, Brand New Heavies) coaxes numerous sounds from his Rhodes, traversing through jazz-rock that conjures up memories of the old Chick Corea/Return To Forever records, to atmospheric space-rock similar to Tangerine Dream and into more contemporary sounding ambient chill territory consistent with that claimed by Manual and Blue States.

The 12 tracks ebb and flow over 52 minutes with delicate electronic soundscapes, glissando guitar tones, classical ambient tendencies and contemporary electronica techniques in stellar fashion, resulting in full and rich, yet open and atmospheric pieces that should please fans of modern and melodic electronica.

Recommended Tracks: “When You Are Loved” and “April”