Like previous all-ambient works by Atom Heart's Uwe Schmidt
, his release as Superficial Depth for Brian "Lustmord" Williams'
Side Effects label is a programmatic piece best heard from start to finish (a notion intimated in its single-index mastering). Introduced via deep drones and working with almost painful sloth through bassy pulses, sparse electronic rhythms, and low-lying melodies through the course of its nearly 70 minutes, the album is magnificent in its subtlety and restraint. Although its simplicity, slightly dark edge, and lack of discernible movement may put off fans of Atom Heart's
normally densely rhythmic work (as well as of ambient's lighter, more melodic side), the album more than compensates the long haul.