“Fifth Act” by ASC

James Clements’ upcoming album delves into minimal piano ambience.

Working under the ASC moniker, James Clements has released a slew of acclaimed ambient techno and jungle albums. (2019’s The Waves was one of my favorite albums from that year.) Much of Clements’ work has been inspired by the depths of space, as evidenced by titles like Trans— Neptunian Objects and The Farthest Reaches.

But for his upcoming Original Soundtrack album, Clements eschews the cosmic focus and exchanges his usual electronic sounds for minimal piano and ambient textures. With its echoing notes and contemplative tones, “Fifth Act” owes more to the elegant atmospherics of Harold Budd than, say, Basic Channel, Grey Area, or Photek.

Original Soundtrack will be released by A Strangely Isolated Place on July 15. (A Strangely Isolated Place has previously released a couple of albums from Clements’ Comit project.)