Swedish composer Michael Andresen aka Healer - who has also made banging psytrance under the names 12 Moons - created these two exquisite, gently psychedelic chillout albums in the early 2000's, after which he returned to dance music. It proved a very worthwhile detour.

artist:
Healer

country of origin:
Sweden

style(s):
Ambient trance, ambient, psychedelic

decades active:
2000's

essential releases:

  • Wonderground (2000, Flying Rhino)
  • Higher Grounds (2004, Candyflip Records)

Reviewed by Mike G

Swedish composer Michael Andresen aka Healer - who has also made banging psytrance under the names 12 Moons - created these two exquisite, gently psychedelic chillout albums in the early 2000's, after which he returned to dance music. It proved a very worthwhile detour.

Healer's sound suggests a modern take on classic German ambient trance ala Ashra and Tangerine Dream, as well as echoing the clean, gleaming synthetic surfaces of classic Jean-Michel Jarre. The DNA of such artists is certainly there in the rich synthetic chords and steadily spinning loops of melody, right down to the whistling melotron-like phrases on "Three" from Higher Grounds (2004). And, from the same album, the chugging, intense sequencer-driven groove of early Berlin ambient is channelled to perfection on "Art Of Translucency". Yet this and Wonderground (2000) both rise above being merely derivative. The key to their greatness lies in Andresen's instinct for harmony. He really understands the power of building a track until you are hearing three or more melody lines at once. "Speaking With A Def Man" is a stunning example with its four-chord sequence and slowly building layers; it's one of the most euphoric and openly loving pieces of instrumental electronica I've heard anywhere, in any era.

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