Label: Raumklang Music
Genre: IDM, Ambient
this album on discogs: here
Grauraum is the new moniker of idm/ambient producer Hotaru Bay, who released an album on Raumklang Music last year. I'm not sure what prompted the name change, but the music of the two projects is fairly similar. I would say that Grauraum is a bit more towards the "ambient" part of IDM/Ambient. Musically though, "Shades" is full of lush pads, nice melodic elements and driving, clicky/glitchy percussion.
+ Good sounds. I like the choice of sounds here: the pads are mostly very thick and "cool" sounding (not quite warm, but not quite stark or cold); the melodies, when used, are very catchy, pretty and and well done; and the percussive elements are what I really like in IDM: that choppy, clicky sound with some glitching to keep it interesting. There is a diverse enough palate of sounds to keep you interesting throughout the album, yet he is able to maintain enough consistency between tracks to give it a personal sound (it's similar to Hotaru Bay, yet different enough to warrant a new name, I suppose.)
- My main critique is that the production is a little lopsided, and often the beats take precedence and drown out some of the synth work. Some of the ambient parts, such as most of 'The Sleep Pt 2' are much quieter than the parts with beats and it feels a little uneven.
Overall, "Shades" is a competent IDM/Ambient release, but offers little to differentiate itself from the large pack of similar artists. Fans of the style will no doubt enjoy these tracks, but unfortunately it won't really stand out from most of the other IDM/Ambient you own. If you are interested in the darker, slightly more "industrial" side of IDM than I would encourage you to give this a listen. For fans of early Bitcrush, Stendeck, Atmogat, etc
Overall Rating: 7.5/10