Oscar Henson – who records as Facta – formed new label Wisdom Teeth during lockdown and releases Blush as his first pandemic release. A trippy, lush, relaxed set of ambient techno/ambient house grooves. Something akin to an aural bubble-bath. I’m no big dance-music head at all, but the ambient techno thing has always been my salve.
And Blush has everything I require – it’s weightless but not beatless. It morphs and rolls and time suspends itself, and in the soft-haze of cushiony synth settings there are still discernable melodies, little rhythmic loops that pulse, little pockets of pleasure that present themselves as nearing pop-song perfection (Verge) and throwbacks to the late-90s DJ heyday where clipped, techno beats were popping off, although never literally (Iso Stream).
Beginning with the Album Leaf-like Sistine (Plucks) this almost-EP-length journey, through eight songs across just over half an hour, could play out as a meditation all of its own, or soundtrack to assist. The pulse arrives to pick up On Deck and take it towards Sasha/Rae & Christian territory, the flickering beats of Brushes is almost Omni Trio-like, and the old-school driving beat behind Diving Birds is like a subdued moment on Daft Punk’s debut; that sort of frosty, hazy, huggy post-trance, post-club comedown.
The title track adds R’n’B vibes, almost feeling like an instrumental backing for a Prince slow-jam, and then Low Bridge (Lights) takes us out on the crest of a full ambient wave. Nothing but the synth line to surf on. Gorgeous.