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Aix Em Klemm

It's pronounced "Ex M Clem." What it means, we can't tell you. We can, however, tell you that Aix Em Klemm is a collaboration between Labradford's Bobby Donne and Stars of the Lid's Adam Wiltzie. Together they create majestic, spacious, deeply peaceful ambient music. The approach isn't exactly unexpected, given their other bands' histories, but their execution is stunning and beautiful. Wiltzie's lovely effects-drenched guitar drones slide through each piece like rain down a window, languid and cool, while Donne's deep, resonant low-end provides an ideal counterpoint. Wiltzie also sings occasionally -- if you can call it singing; it's a comatose, distorted murmur that sounds a bit like a damaged woodwind. Both musicians contribute some piano and keyboard, samples, and electronic embellishments, giving the pieces a ghostly, almost extraterrestrial mien. The music is strange and spacious, but comfortably, peacefully so -- it's the comfort and peace of bed at the end of the day, the strangeness and spaciousness of dream worlds about to open to you.

The duo's collaboration began in the mail and concluded at Wiltzie's studio in Austin, Texas in spring 2000. Their self-titled six-song album came out on Kranky shortly thereafter. It features the rather esoterically titled "Sophteonal" and "Sparkwood and Twentyone."