Dutch composer Stanley Swinkels grew up with the minimalist ebb and flow of American ambient pioneer Steve Reich and British luminary Brian Eno - ensuring Stratradialis follows in their footsteps, albeit sounding a little more modernistic. Nine lengthy pieces of music dictate sensitive ambiences throughout, and pleasantly variable too. Most albums of this ilk tend to run with a consistent theme, but Swinkels manages to glide from dreamy atmospheres full of optimism through to dark, mysterious fixations. The opening a.m. Garden is beautifully crafted, a silky textural piece containing meditative synths invaded by nostalgic field recordings of streams, bird chatter and barely audible children's voices. As one falls deeper into Stratradialis evocative haze, the album gets progressively deeper and darker - perhaps even sinister, witness the brooding Scimerian Silence, where sounds warp backwards, alerted by sudden piano strikes and the grainy background patter of speckled interference. The choral chants of Dormitator, meanwhile, seep effortlessly into Swinkels multi-layered one-fingered synthesiser lines, spawning elegantly spiritual sentiments. The album ends in complete polarity to it's beginnings, with the dank, pitch black ambiguity of River Styx - but despite it's surreal ambience you always feel as if you're being guided by the light. What impresses me most about Stratradialis is that it goes beyond the often formless and repetitive drones resident in a lot of ambient music to delve into something a lot more alluring. Swinkel obviously lives and breathes the ambient philosophies of the genre's past masters, and therefore produces an incredibly earnest record that will pay big dividends for a likeminded audience. Born in '77 (Holland) and growing up in the 80's with music like Eno, YMO, Kraftwerk, and minimal musicians like Reich, it was inevitable that this would influence the way he creates and experiences music. So it isn't surprising that Stanley Swinkels (a.k.a. Cymphonic/Stanley Stainless) is very sensitive to ambiences and loops, especially those that are deep and mysterious but also warm and melancholic. In recent years his music has evolved towards a more futuristic organic ambient resulting in the surrealistic atmospheres found on the album Phonema Sacrata. His current sound can be described as a mix of original sounds, recurring evocative themes, dreamy rhythms, field recordings and imaginative samples. His second album Strataradialis is a perfect example of the integration of all these elements.