Ambient Explorations: Cool Maritime / Sam Gendel


Cool Maritime is the work of Sean Hellfritsch. A modular synth composer, he is the spouse of fellow modern electronic pioneer Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, and shares her sense of ambient adventure in crafting exploratory soundscapes that reach beyond the tangible and into unseen worlds. His latest outing, Sharing Waves, due out June 1 via Leaving Records, is brought to life with shimmering ripples of aqua tones and a misty rainforest timbre. But the record expands beyond elemental atmospheric textures, embracing moments of analog arcade jubilance and casting beautiful passages of Vangelis-informed drone and beacons of glacial futurism.

The album’s first offering. “Climbing Up,” is a percussive ceremonial, bouncing across its economical terrain with minimalistic rhythms, a mossy high altitude breathiness, and the romantic transience of a lush, noir saxophone, all rushing together into a brilliant crescendo.

Cool Maritime :: Climbing Up

sam gendel

Sam Gendel’s alto sax explorations are striking exercises in restraint. His new record, Pass If Music, also released on Leaving Records, finds him using silence as an accompanist. An instrument of mysterious intentions, it slips through a woozy, late night cocktail of warped, resonant hushes, industrial drives, and, on tracks like “East LA Haze Dream,” bleary glances of a sunset mirage; all pinks and oranges like watercolors pooling into one. As the record submerges further into deep space undulations and warping echo chambers, we find Gendel expanding the horizon of the horn into a greater latitude, bringing together the collective power of sound, space, and silence. words / c depasquale

Sam Gendel :: East LA Haze Dream