Since he first emerged seven years ago with his debut album ‘Hypersona’ on his own 3six Recordings label, UK-based electronic producer Dennis Huddleston has maintained an impressively prolific workrate, to the point where this latest collection ‘The Infinity Room’ offers up his fourteenth album under his 36 alias. While recording this latest album Huddleston made a deliberate effort to restrict himself to a limited sound palette, and there’s definitely a sense of stripped-down cohesion to the ten predominantly ambient tracks here, with unifying sonic elements and themes being mutated or elaborated upon in different ways.
From the very outset, the biggest obvious influence here is the eighties synth film music of Tangerine Dream, John Carpenter and Vangelis, with recent ‘Stranger Things’ soundtrack artists Survive also sharing a close kinship with the sorts of sounds and moods being explored here. ‘Room 1’ sees gentle yet elegantly eerie notes fading into view atop a background fog of glimmering ambient pads, the sense of delicately cold beauty evoking the opening establishing shots in some obscure VHS sci-fi movie. ‘Room 2’ sees the lone appearance of beats here as crisply rolling 4/4 house rhythms glide against a glimmering melodic synth sequence that calls to mind Tangerine Dream’s ‘Love On A Real Train’, the gently refracting notes adding a melancholic undertone to the streamlined and seemingly airless landscapes.
‘Room 5’ meanwhile reaches further out into full filmic ambience as brooding synth arrangements arc and swell against a background of subtly phased tones, resulting in what’s easily one of the most understatedly spectacular moments here. Elsewhere, ‘Room 8’ is likely to send plenty of chills up the spines of kids who grew up on things like the eighties ‘Twilight Zone’ TV series and ‘Near Dark’ (Google it, you’ll thank me) as spiraling icy synth arrangements intricately wind themselves around a backdrop of reverbed breathy synth-vocal drones. In truth, it’s hard to pick highlights amongst this excellent album, which sees Huddleston crafting a homage to eighties flim music that feels heartfelt and sincere, without a hint of kitsch in sight.