Michael Mayer – Mantasy – (Kompakt)

A Michael Mayer album is a rare event indeed, and his second long player ‘Mantasy’ – we’ll forgive him the title – is his first artist record in eight years. In that time the Kompakt label, which he runs, has gone from strength to strength, so much so that Mayer’s new piece of work is just another in a long line of high quality releases. Mayer has that unusual quality that so many artists envy, where he can move between different speeds and styles of music at the drop of a hat, without anything sounding contrived or forced. On ‘Mantasy’, then, we get a beautifully layered ode to his treetop studio (‘Baumhaus’), featuring harp and clarinet in glorious technicolour, but we also get the darker title track, with brooding synths panning wide across the sound picture. The weightless opener ‘Sully’ is as good as any ambient track on the label, while ‘Wrong Lap’ is quite funky and ‘Roses’ spins a vocal sample that proclaims ‘and the roses they were all so red’ to hypnotic effect. Not all the tracks are winners, but taken as a whole the album is beautifully balanced and executed. Let’s hope the next one is sooner! (Ben Hogwood) 5 out of 5

5 out of 5

Reviewed By Ben Hogwood