Arrival – Ursel (reviewed by Dave Franklin)

Arrival is one of those songs which works at its own pace. It isn’t in a hurry to please the listener or to get to the pay-off, instead it slowly builds out of minimalist beats and ambient sound washes, hypnotic repetitions and dream like hazes, it’s even a minute and a half into the track before the distant and half-heard vocals join the musical affray. And that is something that I think is a brave approach, rather than pander to fad or fashion and follow the templates that other dance operators have set down, instead Arrival merely takes you by the hand and gentle walks you towards the songs conclusion, the sonic landscape along the way being a beautiful expanse of largely unchanging but still wonderfully beguiling musical features. This is chill out music done to minimalist perfection!

Dance music is a realm of extremes. At one end there is the crowd pleasing, quick hit sugar rush anthem, music which is about the moment, the fun, the excitement, the dance floor euphoria, and that’s fine, that ticks most boxes for most people. At the other end, however, are songs that are more exploratory, more nuanced, more finely textured and this is where you find Ursel’s latest offering. Dance inspired it may be but it reminds us that even within the largely crowd-pleasing ethic of that genre their is room to create understated art, works of elegance and intrigue, music that you will keep coming back to even though the mainstream may have embraced and discarded any number of zeitgeist led scenes and sounds in the meantime. Simple beauty never goes out of fashion, but you knew that already.

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