Best Albums of 2020: Merrin Karras

Northwest Passage (A Strangely Isolated Place)
Silent Planet (A Strangely Isolated Place)

While club-orientated music on the techno and house tips is probably what Irishman Brendan Gregoriy is better known for, his recently birthed ambient alias Merrin Karras doesn’t sound like a side project. These uniformly excellent albums on US label A Strangely Isolated Place – his 2nd and 3rd respectively – chart a drumless universe full of colour and light, seductive shadows and creeping drama. He composes with the assurance of ambient synth masters of yore like Klaus Schulze, Pete Namlook and Tangerine Dream, coupled with the dance music production smarts he’s honed over the last two decades. Northwest Passage contains 8 pieces of moody, landscaped electronica spanning eerie, expansive drones (“He Became Something Else”) to awe-inspiring sequenced grooves (“Crevasse”). Silent Planet has just one 40-minute track but many moods, a brilliantly developed thematic piece with several utterly ravishing sequences of chiming beauty and bleepy wonder.

Best Albums of 2020 Reviews Index

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