Bedroom & B: Gossamer’s Debut Record ‘Automaton’

Ambient tracks and tropical beats that split the difference between instrumental hip-hop and My Life in the Bush of Ghosts. Out July 10th on Innovative Leisure.
By    June 15, 2015


Peter Holslin is always air conditioned.

Los Angeles has been blessed with sophisticated chillout music lately. A couple months ago Nosaj Thing delivered Fated, an album of lunar loops and soothing sub bass that offers an escape from the endless distractions of a computer-assisted life. And now local producer Gossamer—aka former punk rocker and Berklee School of Music grad Evan Reiner—is getting ready to drop a full-length debut Automaton (out July 10 via Innovative Leisure) that sets the mind at ease with treated field recordings, ambient tracks and quasi-tropical beats that split the difference between instrumental hip-hop and My Life in the Bush of Ghosts.

Automaton is a familiar bedroom producer effort in that it’s both intimate and intricate. The details feel carefully tended to—witness the offbeat kick-and-tom pulse off “J-cruise,” or the polyrhythmic guitar-kora-synth layering of “3rd Relief”—but the net effect is calm and relaxation. Nothing on this album will blow your mind if you’ve already listened to Boards of Canada or Teebs or Brian Eno’s ambient works. But I still appreciate how it asks little of the listener while at the same time offering a lot.

Last month, Innovative Leisure dropped the album’s lead single, “Print.” Over the span of four minutes the track circles around a bright chord sequence and steady cymbal shimmers, and as I listened, it put me into a mild daze as I walked around my neighborhood and took in the nighttime tableau of zooming cars and bright neon signs. The world is full of this kind of carefully crafted beat music that offers this kind of relaxing result. It’s enough to make me think this might be our version of easy listening. Thankfully, there’s producers like Gossamer out there who keep things interesting.

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