German neo-classical pianist Kai Schumacher released his immersive, epoch-straddling LP Beauty In Simplicity earlier this year, of which ‘The Hug’ was one of its most expansive, standout cuts. Since then, Flemish ambient composer Illuminine (aka Kevin Imbrechts) has crafted his own rework of the track (out now via Neue Meister), which ebbs and flows through both synthetic swathes of sound and stark piano motifs with astonishing elegance. Speaking of the rework, Imbrechts stated that “When I listened to [Schumacher’s original composition] for the very first time, I really liked the idea of the triptych or trilogy. The song to me is in fact a story or a journey. Consequently, the rework also consists of three big waves of sound, first there is the unsteady and unpredictable wall of noise, followed by the original piano melody which represents the essence of the song. The last wave is a reflection of the two previous parts, an ambient guitar interpretation, a feeling that went through me while listening to Kai's work. Warm, yet desolate and cold at the same time.” This rework also comes with a striking monochrome video (featuring virtually manipulated images of various natural environments) which perfectly reflects Imbrecht’s use of both organic instrumentation and digital artifice in his particular brand of ambient music. Needless to say, we’ll be keeping a keen eye on the Neue Meister camp going forward. -KJ