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Pieter Nooten: Haven

Laptop-generated progtronica, with limited connection.

We were told that in the future we’d all be whooshing around with our own personal jetpacks. Instead what we got were small, perfectly formed laptops with more built-in recording power than Alan Parsons had at his disposal while engineering The Dark Side Of The Moon at Abbey Road.

Of course it’s not what you’ve got but how you use it. Dutch composer Nooten has worked with electronica outfit Clan Of Xymox and Michael Brook, and with the exception of one track Haven’s 20 instrumental pieces were generated entirely within the chips and circuits of his MacBook Pro.

Compositionally, the themes are uniformly sweet and sedate, all arriving in glistening, frequently beautiful style. That said, there’s little or nothing in the way of development or extrapolation. Much like Brian Eno’s Music For Films it’s fine as far as it goes, a showreel of introspective moods and heart-tugging cadences.

There’s no denying that Nooten’s extensive mouse manoeuvrings and editing have yielded impressive sonic results (this is definitely an album made for headphones), but, ultimately, Haven is a decorative environment rather than the gateway to somewhere deep or meaningful.