Rolling ambient/chill out/drone/moodz thread: from 2010s 'til infinity!

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I think we should have a separate thread for this stuff, because the bobbins and techno albums threads aren't really the best place to discuss it.

Tuomas, Thursday, 17 December 2015 13:04 (two years ago) Permalink

I don't think the discussion should be limited to stuff that's just come out, but preferably we should talk about newish records, so this doesn't just turn into old fogeys reminiscing the glory days of FAX and Rising High and em:t.

Tuomas, Thursday, 17 December 2015 13:09 (two years ago) Permalink

To get the ball rolling, here's my top 8 ambient albums of 2015 (partially copy+pasted from the techno albums thread):

1. Raw C + Pharmakustik ‎– Anamorph Specimens
* Excellent, droney and acid-tinged ambient techno (think of early Air Liquide and Khan & Walker albums) from Atom Heart's new label, No. If you buy this from their Bandcamp page, you get a 20-minute bonus ambient remix by Material Object, which is dope too.

2. Anna Thorvaldsdottir ‎– In the Light of Air
* An excellent modern classical album from this Icelandic composer, peformed by International Contemporary Ensemble. It's droney and minimal but not discordant, so good listening for ambient lovers. The package also includes a surround mix on Bluray, which I feel is the preferable medium for this kind of music, if you just happen to have a 5.1. speaker set.

3. Thomas P. Heckmann – Ghosts
* I think this is the first "proper" ambient album by this legendary producer and gearhead. Ghosts looks and sounds like a soundtrack to some imaginary science horror film, some cold and harsh dark ambient with occasional beats; simply put, it succeeds in doing what the Monolake album of the same name didn't quite achieve.

4. & 5. Omni Vu Deity - Vuunayatu & Nuiemu Rift
* These two albums are pretty much the opposite of "Ghosts", light and colourful and breezy ambient. They're supposedly inspired by, respectively, Polynesian and African music, but I'm not sure if I hear those influences, except for some gentle percussion samples and occassional disembodied voices, so you don't have to fear cultural appropriation here.

6. Lorenzò Montana - Vari Chromo
* Mr. Montanà has been on fire lately, releasing several quality ambient and IDM albums in the last two years. This one sounds like old-fashioned "home listening techno" with its syncopated beats and moody synth melodies, so nothing groudn-breaking, but boy is this guy great at producing it.

7. Material Object + Ishq ‎– Invisible Light
* These two acts from the opposite ends of ambient music, with Ishq specializing in soothing cosmic sounds, and Material Object in metallic drones. As expected, the result of their collaboration is somewhere in between, but it works. This one is also on No.

8. Lorenzo Montanà ‎– Nihil
* Another quality release from this guy, this album is more ambient and long-form than Vari Chromo. Some lovely, subdued and organic vibes to be found.

Tuomas, Thursday, 17 December 2015 13:27 (two years ago) Permalink

not really bought much ambient this year, but here are a few i have and enjoyed

in no particular order

- synkro - changes : old school synths and 90s ambient-techno mellow grooves on r&s. generic at times, but very pleasant

- jens-ewe beyer - emissary : released on the newly launched kompakt ambient label offshoot, kompakt pop ambient, that's for artist albums (as opposed to the pop ambient compilations). very sunday morning vs vangelis, featuring acoustic instruments mixed in amongst the usual ear candy synthetics.

- the orb - moonbuilding : this year i hit the kompakt groove hard. and this 2015 release hit the spot perfectly.

- sherwood and pinch - late night endless : not exactly ambient, but very laid back late night bass heavy dubbed out brilliance.

- lee bannon - pattern of excellence - cant recall too much about this, but i enjoyed upon its release.

- pop ambient 2015 - yes, more of the same, but when in the mood, this stuff is very addictive.

mark e, Thursday, 17 December 2015 13:50 (two years ago) Permalink

I haven't really paid attention to them recently, but are the Ultimae artists still doing good stuff?

Siegbran, Thursday, 17 December 2015 14:03 (two years ago) Permalink

I found the Jens-Uwe Beyer EP that just came out (Amor dark pink tencel satin suit) a lot more engaging than Emissary, which didn't really click with me at all tbh.

a cruet of destiny (seandalai), Thursday, 17 December 2015 14:06 (two years ago) Permalink

Thanks for the recommendations, Mark! Synkro in particular sounds like it's right up my alley, so I'll have to check that one out.

Tuomas, Thursday, 17 December 2015 14:49 (two years ago) Permalink

If we can recommend stuff that's a bit older, last year Oliver Lieb released Inside Voices (on Psychonavigation), his first ambient record in 20 years, and it's amazing! Pretty much my favourite "proper" ambient album of this decade. Like his 90s ambient music on Recycle or Die, this is cosmic and completely beatless, but it's not soothing and warm, rather than ominous and cold. If you can imagine Lovecraftian sense of cosmic dread put into music, this would be quite close. One track is called "Spooky Action at a Distance", which I think summarizes neatly what the album is all about.

Tuomas, Thursday, 17 December 2015 15:06 (two years ago) Permalink

Kevin Drumm's Tannenbaum is so majestic, i can rarely bypass it for anything else on dark winter nights. ditto Imperial Distortion. samples available on bandcamp.

gareth "gaz" coombes (mattresslessness), Thursday, 17 December 2015 15:40 (two years ago) Permalink

hmmmmmm, is this where i put my pretty, coffee-table beats listening (like say this years EPs from Shigeto, Made of Oak, monte booker)?

expertly crafted referential display name (Jordan), Thursday, 17 December 2015 16:05 (two years ago) Permalink


Tuomas, Thursday, 17 December 2015 21:15 (two years ago) Permalink

glad tuomas said that !
tis his thread, but i am all about coffee table beats ..
anything that is recommended that i can buy in a high street music emporium the better i.e. fopp/hmv/rise

mark e, Thursday, 17 December 2015 21:20 (two years ago) Permalink

just heard this today.. thick, beautiful mass laden with troubling dissonances and delightful timbres. varied tonal zones, heavy vibes throughout

braunld (Lowell N. Behold'n), Thursday, 17 December 2015 22:32 (two years ago) Permalink

I mentioned it in the Ethereal/Goth thread, where it didn't really belong other than being released by Projekt, but Stratosphere's Aftermath is really, really good in 2015:

erry red flag (f. hazel), Friday, 18 December 2015 00:36 (two years ago) Permalink

My favorite ambient record of the year was Jonas Munk's Absorb/Fabric/Cascade--really lovely stuff.

Also Chihei Hatakeyama released I think five albums this year, most of them good, but his collaboration with Federico Durand, magical Imaginary Child, was the tops.

Other runners up: Jefre Cantu-Ledesma's A Year with 13 Moons and Sam Prekop's last album, which wasn't really ambient but was all modular synth stuff. Chris Bissonnette put out a nice one on Kranky, too.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Friday, 18 December 2015 04:26 (two years ago) Permalink

basinski: cascade - pulls the same strings he always does, the ones that walk you over to stare at the rain on the window

kaitlyn aurelia smith: tides - you just woke up and you can float above the heap of thoughts on suspended waves of synthesis for a little while, calmly

home organ, Friday, 18 December 2015 05:13 (two years ago) Permalink

some of my favs from 2015 (these are all on Spotify in the US):

Sarah Davachi – Qualities of Bodies Permanent: incredible psychedelic analog synth/mellotron/flute drones, everyone should listen to this

Ryuichi Sakamoto / Illuha / Taylor Dupree – Perpetual: delicate and beautiful microsounds

Benoît Pioulard – Sonnet

Thore Pfeiffer – Im Blickfeld

Ken Camden – Dream Memory

Steve Hauschildt – Where All Is Fled

miss me belial (crüt), Friday, 18 December 2015 05:42 (two years ago) Permalink

Oh yeah I like that Kaitlin Aurelia Smith album too. She has another one, Euclid, that's also very good.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Friday, 18 December 2015 05:43 (two years ago) Permalink

I want to like Euclid more but when i listen to it I hear a lot of sounds I really don't like! especially the chipmunk vocals. there are some parts that sound cool to me but too much of it just grates

miss me belial (crüt), Friday, 18 December 2015 06:01 (two years ago) Permalink

I really love that Jonas Munk record though

miss me belial (crüt), Friday, 18 December 2015 06:04 (two years ago) Permalink

yeah sarah davachi is great

the late great, Friday, 18 December 2015 06:06 (two years ago) Permalink

Benoît Pioulard – Sonnet

This one is great. I love to put it loud on speakers and let these beautiful sounds fill the room.

The Perils album is pretty enjoyable too (Perils = Benoit Pioulard + Kyle Bobby Dunn)

moans and feedback (Dinsdale), Friday, 18 December 2015 09:49 (two years ago) Permalink

Ryuichi Sakamoto / Illuha / Taylor Dupree

yeah cosign on this.

Max Richter Sleep is excellent although I must admit I haven't sat through the entire eight hours of it yet.

Any love here for the Northern Electronics label? Acronym, Föd Dödd, Varg (no not *that* Varg).

Siegbran, Friday, 18 December 2015 10:07 (two years ago) Permalink

On the "Sleep" note, Robert Rich recently released a Bluray which compiles two extra-long "sleep music" pieces by him, the 7 hour "Somnium", which was previously released in 2001 on DVD, and the 8 hour "Perpetual". which is a new piece. They're meant to be used as background music to doze off to; I've done that on my sofa, and the music certainly works well like that. But considering the length, they're also suprisingly rich in tecture... Obviously, on the surface level they are very slow and unmoving, otherwise they wouldn't serve the sleep function properly, but there's a lot going on beneath the surface.

Tuomas, Friday, 18 December 2015 11:10 (two years ago) Permalink

"tecture" = "texture"

Tuomas, Friday, 18 December 2015 11:11 (two years ago) Permalink

After being inactive for almost ten years, Northaunt returned this year and Istid I-II should be a sure thing for anyone who liked Biosphere's 'arctic' period.

Siegbran, Friday, 18 December 2015 12:14 (two years ago) Permalink


saer, Friday, 18 December 2015 12:18 (two years ago) Permalink

a classic


came out this year, very finely detailed and subtle.

gotta second Imperial Distortion (Drumm), it's both airy and massive sounding.. definitely heavier than the Toral stuff, but calming in its massiveness. still put it on to help me sleep

braunld (Lowell N. Behold'n), Friday, 18 December 2015 18:42 (two years ago) Permalink

n.b. leave off the last track, "we all get it in the end", for your sleepytime playlist

COOMBES (mattresslessness), Friday, 18 December 2015 18:45 (two years ago) Permalink

Haptic is also excellent.. fantastically detailed compositions. Abeyance, for instance, is very slight and airy on the surface but there's remarkable volume and detail to its makeup.

mattress.... i do it every time (take off that track), hah

braunld (Lowell N. Behold'n), Friday, 18 December 2015 18:47 (two years ago) Permalink

Jason Lescalleet's The Pilgrim has a similar 'surprise', sonically very similar. another hour-long piece worth getting familiar (it's on Bandcamp)

braunld (Lowell N. Behold'n), Friday, 18 December 2015 18:50 (two years ago) Permalink

kaitlyn aurelia smith: tides

Hey, thanks for recommending this, I bought it from Bandcamp. Like Crüt, I was a bit weirded out by some of the elements in "Euclid" (though I still like them if I'm in the right mood), but this is just excellent ambient music, so oceanic and soothing.

Tuomas, Friday, 18 December 2015 19:26 (two years ago) Permalink

Any love here for the Northern Electronics label? Acronym, Föd Dödd, Varg (no not *that* Varg).

i'm a fan, these are really really good:

lute bro (brimstead), Friday, 18 December 2015 20:48 (two years ago) Permalink

i'm prob repeating myself from the noize dude thread but

this is an absolute classic, everyone listen to it right now

lute bro (brimstead), Friday, 18 December 2015 20:50 (two years ago) Permalink

Thanks for starting the thread Tuomas!

MaresNest, Saturday, 19 December 2015 11:11 (two years ago) Permalink

Seraphim Rytm's Aeterna album is my fave ambient thing lately, it is apparently inspired by Tarkovsky and his obsession with water, like a lot of stuff on the Silent Season label it is very watery/evocative of nature type ambient.

The New Faeces (xelab), Saturday, 19 December 2015 11:50 (two years ago) Permalink

yea I love that too

what are some other standouts on silent season? not too familiar

(⊙_⊙?) (original bgm), Saturday, 19 December 2015 20:40 (two years ago) Permalink

been playing this jack jutson album a lot lately:

<3 how each track has some type of wind sound rustling around it

(⊙_⊙?) (original bgm), Saturday, 19 December 2015 20:43 (two years ago) Permalink

Oh yeah, that's good stuff.

lute bro (brimstead), Saturday, 19 December 2015 22:34 (two years ago) Permalink

Dream Carpets too

lute bro (brimstead), Saturday, 19 December 2015 22:34 (two years ago) Permalink

alva noto - xerrox vol. 2 -- similar to tim hecker's work, though it's more exquisite.. super-fine textures and tonal zones. volume 3 was released this year, but it doesn't feel so well-realized.

braunld (Lowell N. Behold'n), Saturday, 19 December 2015 22:45 (two years ago) Permalink


There is an excellent Silent Season comp. Asc has made 2 excellent albums this year and I quite dig Purl and a couple of years back I absolutely loved the Segue album, their follow up - not on SS - wasn't much cop though. They are not the most prolific of labels but I really admire their commitment to such a good aesthetic.

The New Faeces (xelab), Saturday, 19 December 2015 23:11 (two years ago) Permalink

Wow @ this thread. So much to catch up on.

EveningStar (Sund4r), Sunday, 20 December 2015 00:02 (two years ago) Permalink

I'm serious about that Heathered Pearls album, it was one of those "I've been hearing this music in my head all my life" experiences

lute bro (brimstead), Sunday, 20 December 2015 00:06 (two years ago) Permalink

xerrox vol. 3 is fantastic imo, probably my favourite of 2015 in this vein

a cruet of destiny (seandalai), Sunday, 20 December 2015 01:18 (two years ago) Permalink

Asc has made 2 excellent albums this year

Yeah was about to mention that, I really liked Imagine The Future even though it sounds at times a bit too close to FSOL and Burial. Fervent Dream is the minimalist one, I have only just got that but sounds great on first listen.

Siegbran, Sunday, 20 December 2015 07:12 (two years ago) Permalink

If we can recommend stuff that's a bit older, last year Oliver Lieb released Inside Voices (on Psychonavigation), his first ambient record in 20 years, and it's amazing!

Speaking of techno artists releasing surprise ambient albums ...

NoTimeBeforeTime, Sunday, 20 December 2015 10:59 (two years ago) Permalink

I checked the Silent Season bandcamp page, but it seems all their CDs are sold out, even the one that came last month. :( And I'm not really into paying 12$ + taxes for a digital release alone. Do you have to like pre-order their stuff so you might get a copy?

Tuomas, Sunday, 20 December 2015 19:03 (two years ago) Permalink

I'm a big fan of Natalie Beridze/TBA, and enjoyed her ambient album this year, "Between The Naps," which also included her prepared piano pieces (not "prepared" in the John Cage sense, more like programmed via computer)

She's also on the Gacha album "Send Two Sunsets," which isn't entirely ambient, but is mostly downtempo/lush. One of my faves this year.

Michael F Gill, Sunday, 20 December 2015 19:24 (two years ago) Permalink

if only that surgeon was on cd.
sounds fantastic.

mark e, Sunday, 20 December 2015 20:14 (two years ago) Permalink

The new Huerco S. belongs on here

Immediate Follower (NA), Wednesday, 15 June 2016 01:37 (one year ago) Permalink

Man, I am really looking forward to hearing that.

brimstead, Wednesday, 15 June 2016 02:42 (one year ago) Permalink

Big fan of all his stuff

brimstead, Wednesday, 15 June 2016 02:43 (one year ago) Permalink

brimstead, Wednesday, 15 June 2016 02:45 (one year ago) Permalink

I can't remember if I first heard about this here or somewhere else (and am too lazy to search) but the Western Skies Motel album is gorgeous. The dude is Danish but this sounds like backporch Americana.

Sunn O))) Brother Where Art Thou? (Chinaski), Thursday, 16 June 2016 11:13 (one year ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

Yup, new Huerco S is great

brimstead, Monday, 4 July 2016 23:11 (one year ago) Permalink

one month passes...

The Heathered Pearls (Loyal) album has become a regular around these parts (my apt.)

the aphex Cheetah ep also applies to this relaxed/chill out mode, though it livens up a bit midway thru. it's still chill as ever

braunld (Lowell N. Behold'n), Thursday, 1 September 2016 14:05 (one year ago) Permalink

fun when you wonder "whatever happened to _____" and then look them up in Spotify and they've released three albums since you last listened to them. enjoying phonophani's s/t. spooky ambient but probably not in the way you're thinking.

0 / 0 (lukas), Monday, 12 September 2016 18:55 (one year ago) Permalink
'Bad Vibes' is still a modern classic, and was a huge influence on a certain generation of producers imo.

sam jax sax jam (Jordan), Thursday, 15 September 2016 21:24 (one year ago) Permalink

I've been falling asleep to Moby's Long Ambients free 4 hour album the last few weeks after a friend recommended it.

groovypanda, Monday, 19 September 2016 09:10 (one year ago) Permalink

mookieproof, Saturday, 1 October 2016 00:13 (one year ago) Permalink

two months pass...

super nice stuff here, very much its own thing - hints of glitch n fuzz over a bed of synth-string drone and airy chiming sounds...worth a long look

though she denies it to the press, (Joan Crawford Loves Chachi), Thursday, 8 December 2016 16:21 (one year ago) Permalink

Album title alone is a winner.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 8 December 2016 18:06 (one year ago) Permalink

Oooh, oooh, ooh, he did a 4.5-hr mix of the sort of music people here might like:

I hear from this arsehole again, he's going in the river (James Morrison), Friday, 9 December 2016 02:43 (one year ago) Permalink

Wonderful album, and thanks for that mix link. That will serve me well working today.

Le Bateau Ivre, Saturday, 10 December 2016 13:00 (one year ago) Permalink

four months pass...

Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement

Uhura Mazda (lukas), Sunday, 7 May 2017 02:50 (ten months ago) Permalink

care to elaborate?

clouds, Sunday, 7 May 2017 13:19 (ten months ago) Permalink

you ever seen Temple of Doom?

austinb, Sunday, 7 May 2017 15:34 (ten months ago) Permalink

seen? i lived it honey

clouds, Sunday, 7 May 2017 16:11 (ten months ago) Permalink

oh, no elaboration necessary then

austinb, Sunday, 7 May 2017 16:15 (ten months ago) Permalink

kali maa

clouds, Sunday, 7 May 2017 16:20 (ten months ago) Permalink

it's the Vatican Shadow dude

Uhura Mazda (lukas), Sunday, 7 May 2017 19:36 (ten months ago) Permalink

Was excited when he recently released all his catalogue as a theoretically beautiful boxed set, although it turned out to be all casssettes in one of those horrible crunchy plasticky cases that have the aesthetic appeal of a margarine container. Cannot see the point of cassettes at all, let alone in a deluxe format like this.

Mince Pramthwart (James Morrison), Monday, 8 May 2017 01:36 (ten months ago) Permalink

Green Graves is an amazing record, felt like it was a level above his earlier stuff (a lot of which I like a lot).

Today's RA podcast is great and probably fits well on this thread:

toby, Monday, 8 May 2017 18:08 (ten months ago) Permalink

Duet for Theremin and Lap Steel:

sexualing healing (crüt), Wednesday, 17 May 2017 04:07 (ten months ago) Permalink

it's, like, really good

People like Malcolm X, Martin Luther King, Jr, and (Joan Crawford Loves Chachi), Saturday, 20 May 2017 01:54 (ten months ago) Permalink

oh wow <3

sexualing healing (crüt), Saturday, 20 May 2017 03:39 (ten months ago) Permalink

That theremin/lap steel stuff is nice

Mince Pramthwart (James Morrison), Monday, 22 May 2017 03:37 (nine months ago) Permalink

one month passes...

From New Zealand, New Dawn, a duo with Indira Force (indi) and Anita Clark (Motte).

sbahnhof, Saturday, 1 July 2017 22:14 (eight months ago) Permalink

three months pass...

Youtube just recommended this to me after a video of a stunt rider flipping a motorcycle from one barge to another on the Thames

Uhura Mazda (lukas), Thursday, 5 October 2017 21:29 (five months ago) Permalink

two months pass...

fender rhodes improvisations, very chill and hypnotic

na (NA), Friday, 8 December 2017 19:45 (three months ago) Permalink

two months pass...

the new album by Leila Abdul-Rauf who plays in Hammers of Misfortune and various other (mostly) metal bands isn't out for a couple of months so apologies but I don't want to forget to post about it or lose the impulse to do so

it's a really beautiful and spacious organic ambient record with ECM-y jazz bits and big desert-y droning sections* and maybe a Dif Juz kinda lightness of touch. really impressive

*iirc there was a thread not too long back on this sort of music?

thirst trap your hare (DJ Mencap), Monday, 5 March 2018 22:52 (two weeks ago) Permalink

yeah this one "wide open desert music" S/D

thirst trap your hare (DJ Mencap), Monday, 5 March 2018 22:54 (two weeks ago) Permalink

catch a Labradford (s/t album) vibe at times as well

thirst trap your hare (DJ Mencap), Monday, 5 March 2018 23:00 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Insomnia album was really good, so up for more of that.

calzino, Monday, 5 March 2018 23:18 (two weeks ago) Permalink

in fact "really good" is selling it way short, it's quite majestic.

calzino, Monday, 5 March 2018 23:57 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Title? Not listed as upcoming on bandcamp, but sounds like my thing.

Mince Pramthwart (James Morrison), Tuesday, 6 March 2018 09:28 (two weeks ago) Permalink

it's called 'Diminution'

there was a soundcloud track online but it's been removed

thirst trap your hare (DJ Mencap), Tuesday, 6 March 2018 10:31 (two weeks ago) Permalink


Mince Pramthwart (James Morrison), Wednesday, 7 March 2018 01:06 (two weeks ago) Permalink

it's a really beautiful and spacious organic ambient record with ECM-y jazz bits and big desert-y droning sections* and maybe a Dif Juz kinda lightness of touch. really impressive

jesus christ this sounds like it's absolutely up my alley

had (crüt), Wednesday, 7 March 2018 02:19 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Aye, me too - couple that with Labradford and it sounds close to perfect.

The shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums (Chinaski), Wednesday, 7 March 2018 12:10 (two weeks ago) Permalink

Listening to Insomnia now. Wonderful stuff so far, more varied than the usual fare, and it's got a lovely album cover to boot, drawing us away from the classic desert imagery.

pomenitul, Wednesday, 7 March 2018 12:53 (two weeks ago) Permalink

It's lovely. Based on that album, Spotify is recommending me Paula Abdul, which is like, I can see your working there, but it's not very sensible.

Mince Pramthwart (James Morrison), Thursday, 8 March 2018 22:54 (one week ago) Permalink


the late great, Thursday, 8 March 2018 23:03 (one week ago) Permalink

Leila is awesome! Her metal bands used to play in our basement. Will totalyl check that out, thanks.

sleeve, Thursday, 8 March 2018 23:08 (one week ago) Permalink

FSOL seem like totally my shit but I just can't get into them.

brimstead, Thursday, 8 March 2018 23:10 (one week ago) Permalink

i guess i really like the early ravey stuff.

brimstead, Thursday, 8 March 2018 23:11 (one week ago) Permalink

Indo Tribe, Papua New Guinea etc

brimstead, Thursday, 8 March 2018 23:11 (one week ago) Permalink

Indo Tribe, Papua New Guinea etc

Was a big fan back in the day, but Lifeforms never grabbed me then. For some reason I recently gave it another go and I really like what I guess is CD 1. I still can’t listen all the way through.

Dead Cities I think was their peak. It’s crazy how much material is on Spotify. I listened to a bit of “Environment Five” and found it pretty solid.

beard papa, Friday, 9 March 2018 01:52 (one week ago) Permalink

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