Justin Walter, a native of Ann Arbor, MI, has assembled a brazen debut of one-takes and improvisations. It's a sonic experiment of the highest degree, something that as an opening gambit for a musician, seems intentionally foolhardy - why create something that's potentially alienating? It's a gamble that the Kranky man has go all in on. Fortunately, he's an extraordinary musician, using his passion and finesse to fashion a collection of brass-led neo-jazztronica ambience. He says of his mission statement before crafting his LP: "I set out to record an album of completely improvised music that fused my experiments with the Electronic Valve Instrument and my love of held sounds on the trumpet."

Some efforts on the album are brief snippets of apocalyptic soundtrack/flickers of genius - it's easy to imagine 'Fears Of A Wild Man' or 'Awakening' play in the background of a film where the planet is torn asunder by fiery chasms and cosmic maelstroms. Other cuts, like the staggering title track/saga, stretch one idea into something much larger. It stands at over eight minutes, with a palpitating sonar-esque synth writhing underneath distorted buzzes and maudlin trumpets. It ebbs and fades on a whim, the chilled-out sounds managing to become a fixture in the aura of wherever you're listening to it. Even with the clarion brass, it seamlessly dissolves into your surroundings, becoming an innate part of the environment. It's an immersive experience.

There are some points where improvisation is evident - either a vague dissonant squiggle here or a silence that goes on a nanosecond too long there. Regardless of the odd imperfection, the album achieves a pinnacle of ambience with relative ease, even with elements of drama or chaos that Walter from time to time employs. His aptitude and love of the trumpet, normally a pretty vivacious/bloody loud instrument, becomes something that just disintegrates into the mix, rather than dominating the musical stage. For the most part, Walter's tracks just sort of blindly blend into one another, creating a sort of stream-of-consciousness style, and heightening the ambient tendencies; when you can't distinguish breaks between songs, it's easier for them to merge into one ambient entity.

'Plastic People' bounds and leaps, with each instrument attempting to grab hold of a singular melody - none of them really do - in order to create hooks. It's one of the most accessible portions on Lullabies and Nightmares, as it's pretty straight-up electronica (though improvised). The driving drum fills and constant rhythm force the continuity throughout. Instantly following, 'Sister Sleeper' couldn't be more of a contrast - it's frail and basic, dynamically rich and brassless. Instead, there's synth bloops that dart around like sea monkeys. It's primordial.

This debut was never a guarantee of anything. Generally, for first full-length releases, labels/artists tend to do things in bold strokes, attempting to create as much of a statement or impact as possible, hopefully churning out a few hits along the way. Justin Walter's debut doesn't do any of those things. It's subtle. Earworms are few and far between, choruses are non-existant; you'll never find this at a club, you'll never hear it on the radio. That was never the intention. Walter strives to create a platform to showcase his love for brass and the EWI, which he does - it's a compilation of aural delights that display his instruments of choice from a distinct viewpoint. In that respect, it's a triumph.