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Been Meaning to Tell You

Been Meaning to Tell You
Composer: Ernest Gonzales
Conductor: Ernest Gonzales
Label: Exponential
Release Date: 2010-02-03
Rated: NONE
Genre: Recording

What qualifies as ambient anymore? In comparison to San Antonian Ernest Gonzales’s seismic, surprisingly unorthodox dance-oriented grooves, the low-key Been Meaning to Tell You is practically wallpaper, more similar to labelmates AM Architect than Gonzales’s Mexicans With Guns project. It’s distractingly well-made wallpaper, though, the kind you can’t quit looking at. Lead-off track “Dancing in the Snow” amps up some sleepy glockenspiel and sustained keyboard chords with beatboxing and trashcan percussion. “Falling Asleep to the Glow of Television” combines early ’80s Frogger effects with an unmistakable dance-floor beat. “Psychedelic Bellhop” moves from 8-bit organ to post-rock guitar twinkle, and is all the better for it. Unlike most of what passes for downtempo chillout, the songs on Been Meaning to Tell You are three-dimensional characters, capable of growth and change, developing in nearly narrative ways — even if some seem to tell nearly the same story. Most every song is constructed from the aforementioned elements, territory that ultimately becomes too familiar for you to lose yourself in while it remains too active to ignore. Might not work in the bedroom (for any use), but it’s great for the office, and it sounds like a promising source for many excellent remixes and mashups to come. — Jeremy Martin

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