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 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link


Tuomas, Thursday, 17 December 2015 21:15 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link

I really love that Jonas Munk record though

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

yeah sarah davachi is great

the late great, Friday, 18 December 2015 06:06 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link

"tecture" = "texture"

Tuomas, Friday, 18 December 2015 11:11 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link


saer, Friday, 18 December 2015 12:18 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link

Thanks for starting the thread Tuomas!

MaresNest, Saturday, 19 December 2015 11:11 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link

yea I love that too

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

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

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 (five years ago) link

Oh yeah, that's good stuff.

lute bro (brimstead), Saturday, 19 December 2015 22:34 (five years ago) link

Dream Carpets too

lute bro (brimstead), Saturday, 19 December 2015 22:34 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link


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 (five years ago) link

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

EveningStar (Sund4r), Sunday, 20 December 2015 00:02 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link

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 (five years ago) link

if only that surgeon was on cd.
sounds fantastic.

mark e, Sunday, 20 December 2015 20:14 (five years ago) link

What is that?

calstars, Sunday, 20 December 2020 23:31 (six months ago) link

It's auto-selected ambient music (from Soundcloud) with live shortwave radio broadcasts. You can select the broadcasts from a whole range of different cities.

I should have said - rather than dumping a weird looking link on the thread!

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Monday, 21 December 2020 11:48 (six months ago) link

Following on from that, enjoying this (dark ambient washes, shortwave ruminations just below the surface, from Brazil):

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Tuesday, 22 December 2020 18:32 (six months ago) link

I’m also a fan of mount shrine!
I recommend his earlier classic-era vaporwave project, lindsheaven virtual plaza

calstars, Tuesday, 22 December 2020 22:11 (six months ago) link

^^^ love that ep!

brimstead, Tuesday, 22 December 2020 22:12 (six months ago) link

*thumbs up*

calstars, Tuesday, 22 December 2020 22:13 (six months ago) link

calstars, Thursday, 24 December 2020 21:45 (six months ago) link

I've been revisiting Kali Malone's The Sacrificial Code this month - it's fantastic on these dark cold mornings.

toby, Friday, 25 December 2020 08:11 (five months ago) link

Less harsh and menacing but in a similar vein to Turman and Dilloway's "Blizzard," this record has been one of my go-tos for icy ambient chill this year.

"Bi" Dong A Ban He Try (the table is the table), Saturday, 26 December 2020 00:21 (five months ago) link

one month passes...

Hello this thread. Can ilxors recommend me some nice folk ambient/drone?

Thinking stuff along the lines of Michael Tanner's "Suite for Psaltery and Dulcimer", Dead Rat Orchestra's "Guga Hunters of Ness", Halocline's "Duet for Theremin & Lap Steel".


Party With A Jagger Ban (dog latin), Tuesday, 16 February 2021 14:58 (four months ago) link

Natural Snow Buildings?

Siegbran, Tuesday, 16 February 2021 15:02 (four months ago) link

this is really good, reminds me of those Earth albums when they went all doomy and country for a bit. but it's a bit on the gothic/horror soundtrack side sor what I had in mind, which is just droney music made mostly on real instruments that i can sleep or work to.

Party With A Jagger Ban (dog latin), Tuesday, 16 February 2021 17:43 (four months ago) link

There's a new Chuck Johnson album that just came out that your request reminded me I need to hear right away.

Evan, Tuesday, 16 February 2021 18:16 (four months ago) link

Jim Ghedi's previous release has been scratching that same itch,

also been enjoying William Tylers take on cosmic Americana

maybe also some of the Drcarlsonalbion instrumentals.

my opinionation (Hamildan), Tuesday, 16 February 2021 20:54 (four months ago) link

You could try Padang Food Tigers:

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Tuesday, 16 February 2021 21:08 (four months ago) link

dog latin, the Tanner is bringing the lighter side of Richard Skelton to mind—.

i've mentioned here elsewhere, and i think it was on user ufo's album list of 2020, but this record is really beautiful— processed, yes, but quite "acoustic" ambience with lovely ethereal vocals.

The return of our beloved potatoes (the table is the table), Thursday, 18 February 2021 17:58 (four months ago) link

Kinda interested in this -

The Goodies font (Maresn3st), Thursday, 18 February 2021 18:35 (four months ago) link

Thanks table - it only struck me last night I should be checking out Richard Skelton for exactly this kind of thing! He's got a lot of stuff out. I'll check out Weaving

Party With A Jagger Ban (dog latin), Thursday, 18 February 2021 18:56 (four months ago) link

Oh wow I'm already loving Sea Oleena

Party With A Jagger Ban (dog latin), Thursday, 18 February 2021 18:59 (four months ago) link

dl, since you mentioned Tanner, I assume you're familiar with Alison Cotton, but if you aren't... godspeed!

pomenitul, Friday, 19 February 2021 01:05 (four months ago) link

lovely is this

calzino, Friday, 19 February 2021 09:41 (four months ago) link

this is gorgeous

nxd, Friday, 19 February 2021 11:02 (four months ago) link

Currently playing this lovely bit of slow droning synth ambient from 1984. Probably old hat for this crew but new to me. Any other releases by Roach to recommend? I saw he did an album with Robert Fripp called Trance Spirits and may check that out next.

Indexed, Friday, 19 February 2021 21:06 (four months ago) link

Dreamtime Return is pretty classic, less spacey, more fourth world-y.

pomenitul, Friday, 19 February 2021 21:10 (four months ago) link

Padang Food Tigers have quietly become one of my favourite bands. Their new one with Andrew Tuttle is gently hovering bliss:

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Saturday, 20 February 2021 14:30 (four months ago) link

Pretty niche but this is catnip to me: great mix of stuff recorded in 'resonant spaces' (cathedrals, water tanks etc):

Download here:

Vanishing Point (Chinaski), Monday, 1 March 2021 14:30 (three months ago) link

thanking you

it's like edging for your mind (the table is the table), Monday, 1 March 2021 14:37 (three months ago) link

Can ilxors recommend me some nice folk ambient/drone?

eisimpleir (crüt), Monday, 1 March 2021 14:41 (three months ago) link

Love that Resonant Spaces mix. Thanks for posting that!

the body of a spider... (scampering alpaca), Monday, 1 March 2021 16:51 (three months ago) link

pomenitul, i hadn't heard alison cotton, but that was very excellent and spot on.

I've started a little aural "mood board"/sketchpad for a nature-based drone/ambient album.

The idea is I might go for a walk and record the sounds around me with a portable recorder, then "DJ" the sounds of the walk over the mix. I've never DJ'd a walk before - it might end up sounding bad, but it's a fun idea.

Party With A Jagger Ban (dog latin), Monday, 1 March 2021 16:59 (three months ago) link

If anyone liked that Sacred Harp track, it's available for free download here:

it's like edging for your mind (the table is the table), Monday, 1 March 2021 21:57 (three months ago) link

(Daniel Bachman's 1st project before releasing under his own name btw)

I like signing up to dead sites (sleeve), Tuesday, 2 March 2021 01:47 (three months ago) link

one month passes...

This has some chime-y found-sound beats and is extremely vibe-y

change display name (Jordan), Friday, 23 April 2021 19:21 (two months ago) link

Jordan is it okay if I give you the password to my Bandcamp account

lukas, Friday, 23 April 2021 19:52 (two months ago) link


change display name (Jordan), Friday, 23 April 2021 20:34 (two months ago) link

it took me a couple of listens for this beauty to click and I'm glad I persisted.

calzino, Friday, 30 April 2021 10:46 (one month ago) link

also Andrew Ryce from RA gave it a rave review and he's got a good record with this music

calzino, Friday, 30 April 2021 10:53 (one month ago) link

Dope album. My first reaction was "this sounds like stuff I've heard before" but then it opened up to me.

lukas, Friday, 30 April 2021 17:03 (one month ago) link

anne was the cellist / keyboardist with jane siberry in the 80's, then in the 90's fell in with pauline oliveros / fred frith / john oswald / weirder B.C. scenes and she's never stopped turning up in cool contexts but never put out anything solo, till a year ago she began quietly uploading single tracks to bandcamp, and then she just put up this 'album'

now that more people know Radigue the last ten years has seen a lot of people doing extreme minimalism (and all I can really hear is that it's easier to automate five minute cross-fades on your rack) but what Anne's doing is that kind of restraint that took decades to learn

Milton Parker, Monday, 3 May 2021 18:26 (one month ago) link

Excellent recommendation, thanks!

it's like edging for your mind (the table is the table), Monday, 3 May 2021 19:51 (one month ago) link

This is nice (metallic jingly drones made from small objects), although I was hoping for something more rhythmic:

change display name (Jordan), Friday, 7 May 2021 15:16 (one month ago) link

This came out last year but I've been playing it a bit— riyl Laraaji, Seven Fields of Aphelion, Charalambides, etc. Great record:

this is lovely, thanks

"Gaspar? No way." (sleeve), Monday, 10 May 2021 01:41 (one month ago) link

two weeks pass...

Maybe this is familiar to people, but I'm really enjoying this Alessandro Cortini record from 2017 after listening to an interview with him:

Apparently all made on a Roland MC 202 in hotel rooms. Also he dropped approximately 1 million archival records on Bandcamp this year.

change display name (Jordan), Thursday, 27 May 2021 16:20 (four weeks ago) link

Making an album on a single piece of gear is very much my shit

change display name (Jordan), Thursday, 27 May 2021 16:39 (four weeks ago) link

love that Cortini record, glad it's still finding listeners.

heyy nineteen, that's john belushi (the table is the table), Thursday, 27 May 2021 16:43 (four weeks ago) link

yeah, I'm a big fan of Cortini's stuff!

if you haven't heard it already, I recommend checking out this M. Geddes Gengras album which was made on a Korg Volca FM (and in a hotel room like the Cortini):

eisimpleir (crüt), Thursday, 27 May 2021 17:03 (four weeks ago) link

Ooh thanks! I too recently made an EP using the Volca FM primarily, but like sequenced dance music using samples for all of the bass and drums. The Cortini record made me wonder if I could do something more live & dubby with it.

change display name (Jordan), Thursday, 27 May 2021 17:39 (four weeks ago) link

three weeks pass...

eisimpleir (crüt), Wednesday, 23 June 2021 18:44 (yesterday) link

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