Sensual Ambience Track Listing:
1. Fragment (of a dream) (quiet) 4:18
2. Quiet Atmosphere 3:58
3. Cathedral Interlude 5:46
4. Lost In You 4:06
5. To Whom It May Concern 4:57
6. A Night In Paris 4:35
7. Endless Possibilities (2006 Mis) 5:36
8. Sensual Ambience (Paris Movie) 18:05
9. Fragment (of a dream) (electric) 4:23
Bonus Electro EP:
10. Regret 5:18
11. Murderous (NIMH Mix) 5:14
12. Come Out and Play (Just for a Day) 4:37
13. Modern Age (2006 Mix) 5:22
All songs written and Arranged by:
David B. Roundsley
Production, Engineering, Mixing, Programming, and Vocals:
David B. Roundsley
Sensual Ambience: a side journey and first step
Munich Syndrome began in the post-punk, new wave explosion in the early 80's. The first experiments in sound were stark electronics. These experiments started to morph into electronic pop songs. Electro pop. The first efforts were all played and recorded in real-time on a Tascam Porta-Studio. More synths were added and experiments in first generation sequencing took place. The first iteration of Syndrome sounds expanded to a Tascam 8-Track and more songs emerged.
Latency in the (then) available sequencers and and the (lack of) quality with the sound modules led to the project being put on hold.
Fast forward to the early 2000's and the next generation of DAW's (Digital Audio Workstation) led to the reactivation of Munich Syndrome. Picking up where things left off, the songs were more electronic and shared musical DNA with the (then) vibrant ElectroClash scene. As more songs were completed, it seemed like a proper album was getting ready to emerge.
A trip to France and the chance to add soundtracks to four short movies led to the Sensual Ambience album. The visuals and pacing of the movies suggested slower tempos and a more downtempo - chill approach. An exercise and excursion into lush downtempo electronica featuring dreamy keyboard washes, sublime bass-lines, and sensual sax mixed with ambient atmospherics and melodic understated trip-hop infused beats.
The nine track album, "Sensual Ambience" includes the full 18 minute edit of the title track, Sensual Ambience (Paris Movie), and clocks in at over fifty-five minutes of atmospheric and chill electronica.
Down-tempo beats and seductive dub-like bass lines underscore languid keyboard washes, jazz inflected pianos, sax and atmospheric electronica. Chill-out moods, cinematic soundscapes and warm melodies make up the essence of ‘Sensual Ambience’. Inventive arrangements and unique combinations of sounds create a complex but accessible journey in sound.
What had been the start of the "first" Munich Syndrome release was included as the Bonus Electro EP.
Whatever you might think of David Roundsley's music, you can't say that the titles are in any way misleading. Like the Electro Pop album (which the music here predates by up to 6 years), the potential listener is given a very clear indication of what they'll find here, namely slow, mellow, dreamy &, at times, quite romantic electronic music that, in places, resembles the sensuousness of Enigma but fortuntely avoids the cliched monks chants in favour of a smooth melodic approach that is much more appealing &, in the case of the excellent piano work that graces 'Quiet Atmosphere' & "Cathedral Interlude' (the titles, for the most part, also act as a description of the music!), shows Roundsley's musicianship to be of a very high standard.
The sax voices that added a touch of class to Electro Pop again prove their worth by adding an additionally sensual edge to several tracks, most notably the instrumental 'To Whom It May Concern' & 'A Night In Paris' which is alive with Gallic flair while this style is taking to its logical conclusion during the 18-minute title track where the extended duration makes the most of the richly-textured melodics on a piece which expertly unfolds at just the right pace, creating the perfect soundtrack to a romantic evening as nothing is rushed or out of place, it's mood music of the first order that one can really get lost in.
After this the addition of the 'Electro' EP brings Roundsley's more up-tempo leanings to the fore with 'Regret' showing the style that would later become his forte & while none of the remixes (of tracks that would later appear on Electro Pop) add anything startlingly new, the release as a whole gives a good demonstration of the artist's versatility & considerable musical skills.
Reviewed by: Carl Jenkinson