Ambient Review

Ali Wade – Microhumans

Frequency Domain – Release: 10th February 2020

It’s been over three years since Ali’s last full solo album Geomorphology. His latest excursion on Frequency Domain is called Microhumans and while it falls under the broad ambient label, like his previous LP, there is a lot to be discovered here.

The tracks in Microhumans appear more considered and deliberate, possibly less ‘exploratory’ than in Geomorphology. This is more an observation than anything and likely attributing to a refining in Ali’s compositional process. The result being an album of tracks that sound more fleshed out.

The opening ‘A Drowned World’ lulls you into a false sense of security, as dark undercurrents start to emerge from the initially inviting drones, like swimming over strange alien plant life. If Geomorphology was present day earth, then Microhumans describes a familiar, yet parallel dimension.

Alongside the drones, some playful melodic pieces cut through and these are some of my favourite moments, notably in tracks like Knowledge Particle and Teething (as heard in last weeks premiere).

All in all, a well documented trip to the unknown, that takes in all the scenery along the way.