Ambient music is always going to have it’s passionate fans and those who have no idea what’s going on. Personally, ambient music is very mood-based and each album can bring forth a different emotion. HOSOO’s SALTLAKE FM is an album that moves between calming tonal instrumentals and some weirdly layered experiences.
Nine songs give you 55 minutes of music. WIth track length ranges from 10 seconds to 28:44, each track kind of has its own chapter in the whole setup of the album. The start on “Saltlake” feels like a hypnotic dream that you’re walking through. The clock noise that repeats in the background does give a bit of tempo, but it’s the sweeping electronic tones that gives the song most of its presence. “Saltlake” isn’t a pounding assault of audio, but feels like a slow entryway where you’re not sure where it’s going to go.
But when you get to “Info” with its static intro that transitions into more melodic tones, this might be the track that loses people. There are landscapes in ambient music that have to be worked through and it isn’t just random noise. “Curved Plates” feels like a BGM for Tron in the best way possible. It’s artificial and organic simultaneously and really shows off the duos ability.
The “Jingle” tracks feel like refreshers to give you time to prepare for the next song. The three jingles are simple and split the album into distinct parts. “Landau” is more ominous and feels a bit darker and wandering. The over seven minute length can feel longer because rather than recognizable verse structures, the track just exists. Closing SALTLAKE FM is the 28 minute, “p.44 (long).” I would say that this track is a marathon, considering it’s the length of most EPs. The instrumentation is dense with a lot of audio layers working against and with each other.
SALTLAKE FM is actually one of the easier ambient electronic music albums that someone can listen to. It’s not as out there as some other work and really shows a lot of different perspectives within one album. HOSOO might be the perfect starting point in the genre.