Ambient Recommendations

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This is kind of the opposite of Wyndham Earle's synthy horror thread. Tonight I have been playing Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld by The Orb, which remains as pretty, funny, careless and evocative as the first day I heard it. Afterwards I put on Chill Out by the KLF, and then....nothing. Stumped. What else should I own in this vein? These are pretty, um, 'canonical' after all.

Oh - this vein = ambient records that are sentimental, that you can go to sleep to or get lost in, but that are paradoxically full of charming individual moments. Lots of great samples would be a plus, ha!

I do have a bit of other ambient - mostly not on CD which is one reason I can't put it on - but I'm not going to start listing the CDs I rejected cos it might limit your choices.

Tom, Thursday, 24 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

There's a young man by the name of Richard James who I hear is quite promising.

Moving beyond the 'duh, Eno' factor -- Lull and Thomas Koner are both very good if not exactly merry.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 24 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

Actually I will start talking about the CDs I rejected - no isolationism or dark ambient or drone stuff, please, not cos its bad but cos I have enough and am rarely in the mood to get more. (Sorry Ned!).

Tom, Thursday, 24 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

I happen to quite like Zeit and Phaedra by Tangerine Dream, but I may be alone on that.

Melissa W, Thursday, 24 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

certain tracks by Lexaunculpt. "Keep Drowning Chum" is a first class train to ambiantville.

chippy, Thursday, 24 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

Sorry Ned!

WELL. Hm...weird as it may sound, you could almost call His Name is Alive's second album ambient. Then again, there's always Vangelis.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 24 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

mike ink/wolfgang voigt "gas" project is very nice .Zauberberg,Oktember & Köenigsforst in particular. Pop gets the 4 1/2star rating on amg,but i thought it was the weaker of his five releases under this name.

william, Thursday, 24 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

Labradford - _E Luxo So_

Dan Perry, Thursday, 24 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

I'm actually particularly interested in records that *do* the kind of things I'm talking about but which you wouldn't call ambient.

Tom, Thursday, 24 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

yah yah, lexaunculpt man, lexaunculpt.

chaki, Thursday, 24 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

Labradford - _E Luxo So_

Ah, bless you, Dan, of course. Mi Media Naranja also does the business, as does a fair amount of Stars of the Lid.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 24 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

you can't beat chill out, although klf did space as well, which comes fairly close. i like to get mellow to isan. (not as many samples, but plenty of beeps)

dbini, Thursday, 24 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

Robert Leiner - visions of the past, is a sublime ambient album Robert Leiner - Bio - it has depth, variety of tempos and is definately one of the finest electronic albums of the 90s.

DJ Martian, Thursday, 24 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

Great call on 'Mi Media Naranja.' Also, maybe 'Zuckerzeit' by Cluster? Very pretty stuff... Also 'Cluster and Eno' perhaps.

Clarke B., Thursday, 24 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

Yeah, those two Labradford albums are perfect for this. Although there's a point in E Luxo So - no idea what track, the piano- led one - where it suddenly sounds like a drumkit falls down a flight of stairs.

Aix Em Klemm, p'rhaps? (Is this a collaboration between someone from Labradford and someone from Stars of the Lid or did I dream that?) Less drone-y/more interesting than SOTL.

clive, Thursday, 24 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

Just picked up something you may find suitable: Motorlab #3 features Barry Adamson and Pan Sonic composing for a choir + electronics, and there is one piece by them, and then the same piece "remixed" by Hafler Trio. Listened once, and it sounds great.

I'll also second Melissa's recommendation for Tangerine Dream's Phaedra.

Sean Carruthers, Thursday, 24 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

I'm just gonna guess Cocteau Twin's "Victorialand" is one of the ones you rejected. Otherwise..

  • Gavin Bryars "The Sinking of the Titanic" (granted, it's quite Enoistic)
  • Hochenkeit "omu4h 4aholab/400 Boys" (though it's more on the dreamy eastern sounding krautrock tip)

I could go into a whole realm of spacey, weird ambience a la Hash Jar Tempo, Bugskull, and more.. but I'm reluctant in fear of effigies of me stamped "ROCKIST" being burned.

Brian MacDonald, Thursday, 24 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

What rockist answers! ;-) (Admin: please note wink).

Tom, try: Ultramarine's Every Man & Woman Is A Star, if you haven't already. Also obviously: The Beloved's "The Sun Rising".

For blissful undulating ambience, there's Global Communication's 76 14 and Dettinger's Intershop. I'm currently listening to Miss Dinky's Melodias Venenosas which is quite charming rippling-but-dinky ambient synth pieces, but I'm not quite sure if I'd recommend it unreservedly yet.

As for the spacy wacky samples... that's trickier. Arguably this tendency in Orb and KLF is more a nod towards the contemporary Acid House/DJ Records boom rather than something that is inherent to much ambient. So I could see, say, early 808 State fitting the bill, but they were only ambient in fits and bursts ("Sunrise" is great though).

Tim, Thursday, 24 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

i told you this already tom, but kompakt all the way. the two pop ambient collections and in moll by that markus somebody i mentioned earlier that i'm too lazy to dig the record out now.

jess, Thursday, 24 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

three cheers for Gas - Pop! its such a chill album. def. one of my favorites to fall alseep to.

Brock K, Thursday, 24 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

melissa is right on with the TD suggestion. This is an unoriginal choice I'm making here, but the album I keep coming back to is Selected Ambient Works v.2, aphex twin. of course selected ambient works 85-92 isn't too bad either......

patrick, Thursday, 24 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

Sweet Trip Halica, part of Darla's Bliss-Out series. Unlike others in the series, it's a full-length. And come to think of it, I should dash over to that wordless vocal thread, cause Halica has them and they're absolutely divine.

Curt, Thursday, 24 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

Tetsuo Inoue - World Receiver

Tracer Hand, Friday, 25 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

Cluster - Sowieso and that Rhythm & Sound compilation, if you don't get lost in that last 15 minute track your name might as well be Theseus. ;)

Omar, Friday, 25 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

Tang. Dream solo albums! - Klaus Schultze 'Trancefer' is a good one

michael, Friday, 25 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

Tom's making it tough here. Ambient but not ambient. But we all love a challenge..;-) It seems like you're looking for something light, fun, pleasant but not too new agey. This rules out all Gas 'cept for Pop, which only gets dark at the end (and which you really should hear.) Thinking about this meade me realize how much ambient stuff I listen to has a darker flavor. Anyway, a few off the top of my head:

Susumu Yokota - Sakura or Grinning Cat (definitely fits in w/ your request for something "sentimental", and I think you'll like the variety.)
Mouse on Mars - Vulvaland
Oval - 94diskont ("Do While" seems like it could be what you're looking for)

Mark, Friday, 25 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

Luomo, Vocalcity

M. Matos, Friday, 25 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

Luomo, Vocalcity

I need to hear this.

Mark, Friday, 25 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

Well the original question is a bit tougher than I thought it might be. Cos as I was saying to Jess last night, Chill Out is seen as this great seminal record but in fact almost nothing sounds much like it.

Tom, Friday, 25 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

maybe what we need to look into then are actual field recordings...i think i have my research project for the rest of the day.

jess, Friday, 25 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

I've never heard Chill Out (something I've been looking for used for years...all I ever find is many copies of White Room.) What's it sound like?

Mark, Friday, 25 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

tom and i sort of both happened upon the field recording aspect at the same time, and it really does. conceived (although it's really to lazy to be conceptual, although everything they did was conceptual) as a "travelogue" it's sort of like an extra horizontal, americana version of "the orb's adventures beyond the ultraworld" replacing the cosmic-ness with unmanipulated samples of elvis songs, etc. it's pretty damn unique.

jess, Friday, 25 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

really too lazy, of course.

jess, Friday, 25 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

It's basically meant to be a drive at night across some part of America (might be an imaginary America), drifting in and out of consciousness with the radio on. There's a great bit where it goes into a bit of Last Train To Transcentral, giving the impression that the whole album is a dream one of the other KLF records is having.

Tom, Friday, 25 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

I read some article about it, possibly written by someone here, I'm not sure and it sounded like the best album ever. I will have it.

Ronan, Friday, 25 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

How timely, just bought Chill Out this week, it miraculously escaped purchase through the years. Anyways, it is pretty unique. The thing I found a bit touching was how positive it sounded. It really feels naive in that "Acieed Culture is going to change things" sorta way.

Omar, Friday, 25 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

That's what I like about it too Omar and kind of the point of this thread. It's such a cop-out making 'dark' records, don't you think?

Tom, Friday, 25 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

It's such a cop-out making 'dark' records, don't you think?

a cop out only in that it's easier than making some positive. but come on tom, you gotta agree dance tends to get good when it goes a little dark. not all the time, but...

jess, Friday, 25 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

I'm just following my whim of the day. I'd try being a candy raver but I don't really have the waistline.

I do think certainly in the field of 'ambience' you find 'darkness' getting a little overdone - this is surely down to the subconscious need to differentiate it from new age heh.

Tom, Friday, 25 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

Obviously Boards of Canada Tom, though I know you don't like them. In the AMG they are filed under ambient techno whereas the Orb and KLF are filed under ambient house but who cares. "Everything You Do Is a Balloon" is a wonderful piece of music to doze and dream to. One of the few tracks I know I'd like to put on repeat and fall asleep to. I have not yet listened to the whole of "Music Has the Right to Children", but what I have heard was good. The difference between BoC and the Orb is definitely that the Orb's music is more trance-like whereas BoC is warmer (the stuff I have listened to at least is). There are lots of samples in BoC's music. Maybe "Geogadii", the new one to come out soon is for you Tom.

alex in mainhattan, Friday, 25 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

It's such a cop-out making 'dark' records, don't you think?

Maybe. The thing that always struck me in regards Eno's On Land is how dark it sounds, whereas I was expecting something more light/happy since these were supposed to be memories of childhood places. It probably is, as Jess says, harder to make something positive (just can come up with some of these Boards of Canada minatures like 'Olson' as an example, arguably some tracks on SAW 85- 92).

Omar, Friday, 25 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

I think it’s the combination of "positive" and "good" ambient music that makes it tough. Think of how many soothing new age records are floating around (I am fascinated by the ambient/new age connection, & how the borders are much more porous than experimental electronic producers would like you to believe. There's a good article in there somewhere.)

Mark, Friday, 25 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

bernhardt gunther is great in an uneasy not quite sure what emotional message is being conveyed. i like the later stuff better where it's more tonal and the sounds are actually sourced from instruments. beatless - it should be borne in mind, but kinda like what i expected morton feldman to sound like before i heard his stuff. ie traces of classical rhetoric are GONE. crossing the river(night music); time, dreaming itself ; and brown on blue (or vice versa - cannae remember) (for mark rothko) are super special nothingness - recommended by me (dubious?)

bob snoom, Friday, 25 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

Markus Guentner, Jess. And yes, it's fantastic.

Maybe "Bola- Soup"?

Todd Burns, Friday, 25 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

I think 'Orbvs Terrarvm' is underrated.

Mind Taker, Friday, 25 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

Modulations and Transformations 4 on Mille Plateaux is my favorite one of all their overblown comps. Ambient but with lots of surprises.

David Toop's Screen Ceremonies is good for when you want to feel like you're watching a sadistic ritual involving monkeys in the rainforest.

Also like Lamonte Young's Well-Tuned Piano and Morton Feldman's For Samuel Beckett lately, they're kind of ambient...

Miles Davis, He Loved Him Madly.

I always thought Systemische was Oval's best album. 94 Diskont is almost all one track, and it's kind of boring after a while.

Just the very words Chill Out bring on flashbacks...

Ben Williams, Friday, 25 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

PS Blissful ambient got old real fast, believe me.

Ben Williams, Friday, 25 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

I can't imagine "World Receiver" being made without "Chillout" as an example. Music and field recordings together like transparencies. But if "Chill Out" is a drive across America, "World Receiver" is a train under the sea, running from freight depots in Sweden to caves under the Brazilian jungle, to a dirty bit of sidewalk in Hong Kong, and you're sort of deliberately letting your attention wander from thing to thing. Get it Tom.

Inoue's also written a piece called "Waterloo Station" that supposedly interpreted architectural drawings of the station as musick?? Has anyone heard this?

Tracer hand, Friday, 25 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

I like Inoue's work with Atom Heart, esp. Datacide's Flowerhead, better than any of his solo stuff that I've heard. Flowerhead is just gorgeous, especially at low volume levels -- though there's a ton of stuff going on that you can only fully hear when you turn it up, it still feels full and intriguing at quiet volume. A very rich album -- when I first got it, I think I listened to it almost every night for about 2-3 months, without getting tired of it at all.

Phil, Friday, 25 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

Somebody's already mentioned it, but Victorialand by the Cocteau Twins has got to be one of the all time great "ambient" albums. I would also recommend "Strange Cargo III" by William Orbit and "Journey into Sacchinanada" by Alice Coltrane (although this gets a bit frenetic in parts).

justin case, Friday, 25 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

Yeah blissful ambient got old but then I got old too so now I want it again.

I will get that album Tracer - sold!

Tom, Friday, 25 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

Ambient i like or music that has the "ambient effect" on me:

old Biosphere stuff Solar Quest: The Orgship the Freezone compilations on SSR lots of artist on extreme records like Lights in a fat city, Vidna Obmana, Paul Schütze Autechre: amber

going back into time indeed...

Johan, Saturday, 26 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

Simon Fisher Turner - Revox.

A lot of ambient sounds (by it's nature I suppose) very neutral, this record sounds very English. Ecclesiastical but quite playful. I could imagine that if Powell and Pressburger were making movies today this is the kind of soundtrack they'd use. I think he worked on Derek Jarman's blue which I haven't heard unfortunately.

Billy Dods, Saturday, 26 January 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

1 month passes...
try Wunder on Karaoke Kalk records. not exactly that old-school bleep vibe, but there are many amazingly filtered and interesting vocals to make up for the lack of samples. think Tortoise at their most multi-instrumental best, sliced and edited in such a way that arcs of sound from the source are fitted to new time signatures and rhythms, bpms just above heartrate, that build uniquely to crescendo where other, lesser artists would have allowed it to remain melancholy, Wunder's sounds are grounded and affirming

chz whz, Thursday, 7 March 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

My odd recommendation: the song Drown by the Golden Palominos (i.e. Anton Fier and Nicole Blackman, in that incarnation.) It is quite synthy and sexy. It fits well on a mix tape of mine against an Autechre Amber track. That album, why maybe a little too straightforward, has a few quite playful tracks. Not far off from Bola's Soup (which is another good suggestion.)

bnw, Thursday, 7 March 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

I second 'Space' by KLF. Insides - Clear Skin? Or the old standards - Terry Riley's - Rainbow in Curved Air? Or Manuel Gottsching - E2-E4. Robert Fripp + Eno - Evening Star. Ryoji Ikeda's Matrix has some moments that DO incredible things or follow the advice on the Muslimgauze thread. And there's a site called minicomm.org run by plunderphonic folk PeopleLikeUs with many very eclectic sets (one of the only times I've heard someone mixing Chris Watson's Field Recordings into a set) BTW - My must-have Thomas Koner is Permafrost

K_reg aka nick, Thursday, 7 March 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

Why hasn't anyone mentioned Metal Machine Musick? Huh Huh Huh?

, Thursday, 7 March 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

There's a ridiculous ad running now on US cable TV for some yuppie "Chill Out" compilation described by an English gent breathily listing Massive Attack, Tangerine Dream, Sade.....OK, mate.

Seriously, you should try Ulrich Schnauss Far Away Trains Passing By.

Curt, Thursday, 7 March 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

fuckin' Zoviet France - Shadow Thief Of The Sun !!!
Media Form - Beauty Reports
most Harold Budd

Paul, Thursday, 7 March 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

sorry Tom - helps if you read the header blurb - those (post above) are regular ambient recommendations: go to sleep to or get lost in

Paul, Thursday, 7 March 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

For som uppdats about ambient master Robert Leiner, please surf on to http://www.fleebite.to/robert%20Leiner%20infomatica.html

Webmaster, Tuesday, 12 March 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

either REQ album - beats odd nosdam by a nose

bob snoom, Friday, 15 March 2002 01:00 (12 years ago) Permalink

6 years pass...

golden claw music.

the ambient-techno-dub spin off by bloke from PWEI.

dug this out today as a random choice and loved every minute, all of which just made me seriously wish i was part of this weekends crusty-techno-dub weekend @ glade (orb/system 7/dreadzone/the grid etc etc)

mark e, Monday, 14 July 2008 20:02 (6 years ago) Permalink

2 years pass...

this is my favorite ambient music of the year so far - and you made it (sorta):

http://www.inbflat.net/

Z S, Friday, 4 March 2011 01:33 (3 years ago) Permalink

playing around w/ that filled me w/ hope & happiness

Lamp, Friday, 4 March 2011 01:53 (3 years ago) Permalink

That's really cool ZS. Thanks for the link

van smack, Friday, 4 March 2011 01:58 (3 years ago) Permalink

2 months pass...

at the end of the most recent Ultima Thule podcast they played a lot of Trans Aurora, the new one by James Gordon Anderson, whose stuff I don't otherwise know but Trans Aurora sounds pretty amazing to me - almost like an inverted Steve Roach in that the notes shift relatively rapidly but occur in a similarly beatless landscape, and retain their textures but aren't as bassy...very weird stuff to my ears, really good I think

brad whitford, witchfynder general (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Friday, 3 June 2011 09:27 (3 years ago) Permalink

lovin this Caretaker album. haven't fallen for an ambient record so quickly in ages

thistle supporter (mcoll), Thursday, 16 June 2011 03:56 (3 years ago) Permalink

that Caretaker album is my album of the year flat-out at this point. also notable for having a solidly interesting concept; at first the startling jumps from track to track kinda threw me, but the more I think about it the more I figure that's what remembering stuff when you've got Alzheimer's actually feels like.

XBOX BING GOATSE (jamescobo), Thursday, 16 June 2011 06:51 (3 years ago) Permalink

i really like the two new stephan mathieu records this year, 'a static place' on 12k and 'remain' on the line label/imprint.

http://12k.com/

http://www.lineimprint.com/editions/cd/line_047/

they could just as well go on the rolling drone thread, wherever it is.

it looks like there are lot of other good ambientish and ambient-related things on 12k, some moving over more into modern-composition/new-music territory.

j., Friday, 17 June 2011 01:10 (3 years ago) Permalink

this michael ranta, mike lewis, & conny plank record, Mu, is blowing my mind lately.

check it out here: http://holywarbles.blogspot.com/2011/05/michael-ranta-mike-lewis-conny-plank-mu.html

dronestreet, Friday, 17 June 2011 03:22 (3 years ago) Permalink

Of the things I've heard on 12k, I think my favourites were Lawrence English's A Colour for Autumn and Giuseppe Ielasi's August. The Marcus Fischer one had lots of good write-ups last year, I need to go and listen to that again. All these are on Spotify btw if anyone's ineterested.

cloaca flocka flame (NickB), Friday, 17 June 2011 09:08 (3 years ago) Permalink

how about kenneth kirschner?

j., Friday, 17 June 2011 09:16 (3 years ago) Permalink

Not someone I know, but heaps of mp3's on his website:

http://www.kennethkirschner.com/

cloaca flocka flame (NickB), Friday, 17 June 2011 09:23 (3 years ago) Permalink

2 months pass...

stillstream.com

internet radio station that is just unbelievably good

pathos of the unwarranted encore (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Sunday, 4 September 2011 18:20 (3 years ago) Permalink

i came here to bluster that stillstream is no sleepbot, but it sort of is. +1

, Sunday, 4 September 2011 18:40 (3 years ago) Permalink

Alio Die - Suspended Feathers: Is this good?

qpә (EDB), Sunday, 4 September 2011 23:58 (3 years ago) Permalink

2 months pass...

I just bought it, and it is!

the girl from spirea x (f. hazel), Tuesday, 15 November 2011 17:55 (2 years ago) Permalink

"Seriously, you should try Ulrich Schnauss Far Away Trains Passing By"

werd. is that 9 years old already?

also:

http://www.amazon.com/Heart-Forest-Baka-Beyond/dp/B00000062C/ref=pd_sim_m_11

as sampled in:

http://www.amazon.com/Paths-1-7-Future-Sound-London/dp/B000003RVU/ref=sr_1_6?s=music&ie=UTF8&qid=1321542759&sr=1-6

messiahwannabe, Thursday, 17 November 2011 15:13 (2 years ago) Permalink

1 year passes...

Ambient songs I've discovered recently that I'm pretty into:

  • Michael Hoenig - Voices of Where
  • Eno/Fripp - Wind on Water
  • Throbbing Gristle - E.Coli
I would be interested in some recommendations based on these criteria:

  • From the 70s
  • Clocks in under, or around, 10 minutes, tops
  • Stands the test of time. This doesn't mean it has to sound contemporary, but that it doesn't just sound like stock film score by today's standards, or 'New Age' in the most pejorative sense.
To me, most Eno fails to meet the third criterion, and most Kosmische or Berlin School stuff fails the first. I love 'Sunrise in the Third System' and The whole album Phaedra by Tangerine Dream, but find almost all of their other material pretty tedious, even from that time period.

But yeah, recommendations would be appreciated.

3×5, Thursday, 27 December 2012 04:01 (1 year ago) Permalink

i'm recording an ambient album at the moment! i suppose it would be bad for to post my own work though. i'm taking most of my inspiration from eno, + a smattering of recent chillectronic indie stuff like toro y moi, bon iver (ok not electronic or strictly ambient, but close enough for inspiration) and adding that aesthetic to the stuff my indonesian bandmates normally do. so, looking for recommendations same as 3x5.

my 3rd and 4th cents: Blade Runner Esper Edition OST

i don't think eno sounds new age-y very often though. at least not the classics like on land, ending (an ascent) etc. did you *really* not like, say, music for airports? perhaps playing in the background in another room as you do something else? i've yet to hear cheesy new age stuff that sounds at all similar to music for airports

messiahwannabe, Thursday, 27 December 2012 04:55 (1 year ago) Permalink

*bad form

messiahwannabe, Thursday, 27 December 2012 04:55 (1 year ago) Permalink

1 year passes...

Surprised Biosphere's substrata did not get mentioned as a "field recordings mixed with music" example. Also Cirque.
Tetsu Inoue's World Receiver is a great call. I love these kinds of albums, they do funny things to my brain.

brimstead, Sunday, 2 March 2014 19:12 (7 months ago) Permalink

so sleepy so awake

http://soundcloud.com/etape/t-12

cog, Sunday, 2 March 2014 19:50 (7 months ago) Permalink

Surprised Biosphere's substrata did not get mentioned as a "field recordings mixed with music" example.

I'm not sure if there are actual field recordings on that album? I remember reading a interview of him before the album was released, where he mentioned that the album was inspired by his visit to Tibet, and to some Buddhist monastery there. The interviewer then asked if he'd taken a recorder with him, to record the music of the Buddhists and use it on the album. And he said no, he felt that it would've been wrong to record their music and use it like this, because it's sacred to them. He then explained that he didn't have any recorder with him in Tibet; the album is thematically based on the Tibet trip, but what he did was try to recreate the sounds he heard there after he trip was over, in his studio. (Though of course it's possible he did some field recordings in Norway and used them on the album,)

That seems like an interesting approach to doing this sort of ambient music, and I think that between the lines he was also criticizing the cultural appropriation of the "world techno" artists of that era, such as Banco de Gaia, who were straightforwardly sampling the (sacred) musics of other peoples.

Tuomas, Monday, 3 March 2014 08:08 (7 months ago) Permalink

Though of course it's possible he did some field recordings in Norway and used them on the album,)
Yeah I'm just talking about what I'm hearing on the record, not anything Tibet related. Incidentally, he did release an album of field recordings from mountain climbing in the Himalayas, it was pretty cool.

brimstead, Monday, 3 March 2014 16:29 (7 months ago) Permalink

Okay, I checked the interview, it's in the book that accompanies the Trance Europe Express 3 comp, I misremembered it a bit. It was Nepal where he went, not Tibet, but he did go to some Buddhist monastery. And he says he actually meant to bring a DAT machine along, but forgot to. He told one of the Sherpas helping him that some Westerners sample the music from this place and use it in their productions, and it was the Sherpa who said, oh, it's sacred music, they probably wouldn't be happy if you sample it. So in the end he says it was a good thing he forgot the DAT. In the interview he also explains how Substrata came to be formed by his experience in Nepal and the lack of recorder (the interview is from 1994, and he never mentions the name of the album he's working on, but I assume it's Substrata, because it was the next solo album he released after the interview, and it totally sounds like what he's describing there):

In the end, I had to use my brain as a sampler, just remember what I was hearing. You know how, sometimes you might pick a particular smell in a particular situation and then, afterwards, that smell will always bring back the original memory. I find sounds are like that too. I played my friends some stuff I was working on the other day, and they all said it brought back Nepal for them.

I guess the mountain climbing field record was done at another time, then? There's also that album he did with Higher Intelligence Agency, which was recorded live at a festival in his hometown, and which uses mostly just sounds recorded there, like the snow melting and cable cars creaking. That one's pretty good too, real old-school conceptual ambient.

Tuomas, Monday, 3 March 2014 22:12 (7 months ago) Permalink


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