The new album from Huerco S., For Those of You Who Have Never (And Also Those Who Have) is unapologetic hero worship. It’s also an exemplary ambient album. The Kansas City producer born Brian Leeds bows before artists like Vladislav Delay, Gas and Oval – ambient heroes of the turn of the millennium, a time when computers were still dangerous and exciting and Y2K was fresh on people’s minds. These producers chose to embrace glitches rather than erase them, eschewing the classical reveries of Eno or the post-rave comedown music of the Orb for something that felt mechanical, mysterious and slightly ominous, like information struggling to make its way through a faulty transmitter. For Those of You is beholden to this approach.

Some of these songs sound like attempts to capture the sound and magic of the ambient classics that inspired Leeds. “Hear Me Out” is a pitch-perfect remake of Oval’s immortal “Do While,” undercut with a throbbing synth bass that gives it an alluring sense of foreboding. “Sea Of Love” immediately evokes the steamy, hissy ambience of Gas’s Pop. And the penultimate “Promises of Fertility” has a playful, dancing synth pattern that resembles Dettinger’s “Intershop #7.” These references are not guesswork: Leeds has cited every artist mentioned in this paragraph as an influence on the album, and recent interviews with the producer serve as a great ambient primer.

But For Those of You doesn’t simply get by on a game of spot-the-reference. Leeds may have made this album because he’d played all the old ambient chestnuts to death and wanted those sounds to feel fresh again. As such, For Those of You is great simply because of how well it works as ambient music. This is great functional listening, as easy to doze off to as to take on a long walk (though it’s a tad too short to really get lost in, and a few of the tracks towards the middle could have easily loped on for a few more minutes). Even those who might arch their eyebrows at the album’s unoriginality might find it hard to deny the physical pleasure this album provides. Curl up in a pillow, sink into a couch, then let the record do its work.

If there’s a major flaw, it’s that after the immersive bliss of “Sea Of Love,” some of the subsequent tracks are harsh enough to cut the atmosphere. It doesn’t help that Huerco follows “Sea Of Love” with “Lifeblood,” the album’s longest and harshest track; though it eventually fades into that coveted ignorable-yet-interesting territory through sheer force of its length, it starts out a bit disconcerting. “Marked for Life” is as shrill, though it’s followed by a closing triad of tracks that suggest the comfort of the womb much like “Sea Of Love.” But this is a small quibble.

Ambient music is inherently one of the most functional of genres. This is music meant to be unobtrusive, so it doesn’t necessarily matter how “original” it is as long as it does its job. Meant primarily as background, ambient is the kind of music you puts on when you don’t want to think about technicalities like who’s ripping off who. If another artist made an album tomorrow that sounded like part two of this, it would be just fine as long as it brought the same magic to the table. And For Those of You Who Have Never (And Also Those Who Have) is bewitching.

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