Quality: 4.5 out of 5
Trip-O-Meter: 4.75 out of 5
While it's not really a match for the prolific quality of krautrock, folks like Ulrich Schnauss, Thomas Fehlmann, and Michael Luckner (responsible for Guitar) have certainly been bringing on a surge of awesome shoegazing-ambient-electronica sort of stuff. The album is pure aural honey, sort of like crossing My Bloody Valentine with some of the better downbeat albums. No, "Sunkissed" doesn't get any major points in originality, but the execution is so well done and the sound so tripped-out that it really doesn't matter.
Most of the tracks feature the vocals of Donna Regina and Ayako Akashiba. Both fit the shoegaze dynamic quite well, although I slightly prefer the strangely pronounced, almost cutsey vocals of Akashiba (although I live in Japan with a Japanese wife - so I admit there may be a touch of bias). Usually I'm not a fan of 'cute' vocals, but they do extremely well against walls of psychedelic distortion and backwards loops. Regina definitely manages to shine, however, on "House Full of Time," which pits her against squalls of amazing guitar distortion. Akashiba's best spots are on the gently floating "See Sea, Bee, and Bee," and the almost club-ready "How So Bright of Universe." There's one instrumental in the presence in the form of "Hot Sun Trail," which ends up being a highlight due to its production showcase of what Luckner can do with thick slabs of backwards sound.
Although I've only recent come across this album, I it's made a quick line to my top ten albums of the past 10 years. It's certainly not a perfect disc, but it's easily found itself in constant rotation on my stereo and there is much to explore within its dense grooves.