After the well-received and career-spanning compilation that was 2011's Ambient Selections, John Beltran returns with a brand new album entitled Amazing Things, due for release on Delsin records in March 2013.
As a life long pioneer of ambient soundscapes, blissful downbeat and stirring techno, Michigan born John Beltran already has his place in history assured with a bulging back catalogue that takes in influential releases on vital labels like Peacefrog and R&S. This new 17-track album sees the man draw on his lifetime in music to craft an immediately timeless body of work that's stuffed with genuine musicality, pregnant with emotion and laden with organic blissfulness.
Since Beltran’s last original full length, he admits a lot has changed. "I'm using all new gear and virtual synths that I didn't have when writing Human Engine so it sounds different for sure. And let's just say that this album still wouldn't be finished had a friend not turned me on to the software Omnisphere."
Despite new tools and techniques, Beltran’s touch still shines through in his floating arrangements, opposing textures and organic resonance, as do the continued influences of favourite artists including Four Tet, Thom Yorke and Johnny Greenwood.
"There was no real plan [for the album]. Some of these songs ("Clouds Pull") are over two years old. This album is truly an accumulation of music inspired by my life as a new father but I didn't write these songs for an album per say. I guess it was just written with a lot of love."
Love - and feelings thereof - permeate the album from start to finish. Tracks like opener "Retrouvailles" immediately submerge you into a utopian world with the distant sound of a playground coming over like the backdrop to a daydream, whilst more kinetic, splintered efforts like "Het Leven is Mooi" recall the aforementioned patchwork beauty of Four Tet, and "Flower Power Submarine" carries you along on a warm summer breeze.
Importantly, dark is contrast with light throughout, so more sombre, melancholic drifts like "For Vangelis" sit next to the more uplifting violins and raindrop melodies of "Broken Machines". Overall a mature and hugely resonant album for grown-ups, Amazing Things is full of just that.