Trade the restrained ambient-techno improv pieces of Polygons' 2009 pair of records for something even beyond restrained, something that ventures into an arch-minimalist world of humming synthscapes, supplicating percussion, and a peculiar attention to attention. That puts Fantasy far outside the current and quite swollen torrent of ambient music, which, more and more, sounds less like attempts at making ambient music and more like attempts to pass off something else as ambient music--folk or dub or whatever.
Which isn't to say that there is some pure state of ambient music and that this album is it--or even trying to be it. Rather, the current glut of ambient music is full of imitators that don't know a thing about patience and attention spans--only that one doesn't need to last longer than 30 seconds.
You can almost hear the Polygons duo of Miguel Sabogal and Josh Atkins cringing at seeing their project put into this context. There is actually percussion on Fantasy, on almost all of the tracks even. Or what about the big rubbery synthed bass--or a percussive pattern--on "Art Object" that isn't driving anything but vibrating in the background. What makes Fantasy work is less a matter of dynamics than it is of wide plots of open space. And, oh my, the fade-outs on some of these songs are epic, faint tones that finish songs like a jet plane landing in zero gravity. There are passages here that could do really well with a 4/4 kick--like if there was a Polygons remix album, it would be aces in the world of Baltimore techno.