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 (three 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 (three 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 (three 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 (three 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 (three 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 (three 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 (three 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 (three 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 (three 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 (three years ago) link


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

I really love that Jonas Munk record though

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

yeah sarah davachi is great

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

"tecture" = "texture"

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


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

Thanks for starting the thread Tuomas!

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

Oh yeah, that's good stuff.

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

Dream Carpets too

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

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

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

if only that surgeon was on cd.
sounds fantastic.

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

loving both these records

nxd, Friday, 5 April 2019 10:30 (eight months ago) link

lovely stuff from will long

lowercase (eric), Thursday, 18 April 2019 19:33 (seven months ago) link

^^ It's perfect. For nearly two decades he's consistently made gorgeous music. I very much admire how he kept it up after his personal tragedy and kept heading down his own unique path.

Uptown VONC (Le Bateau Ivre), Friday, 19 April 2019 13:54 (seven months ago) link

What's the story? I grabbed some of his stuff off bandcamp when I discovered it but don't know anything more.

dan selzer, Friday, 19 April 2019 14:43 (seven months ago) link

Celer started out as a duo, with Will and his wife Danielle. She died age 26, in 2009. He's carried on alone since then.

Uptown VONC (Le Bateau Ivre), Friday, 19 April 2019 14:59 (seven months ago) link

The earlier albums as a duo had more tension to them, if memory serves. I very much enjoy Xièxie but miss the noisier overtones. How are his other solo releases? I'm afraid I haven't kept up since Danielle tragically passed away.

pomenitul, Friday, 19 April 2019 15:05 (seven months ago) link

enjoyed this. "nice, strange, and thoughtful music that reflects a genuine inner vision of self" per the artist.

davey, Friday, 19 April 2019 23:24 (seven months ago) link

this celer album is gorgeous! gas vibes
'rains lit by neon' is soo perfect

nxd, Wednesday, 24 April 2019 14:27 (seven months ago) link

Buying the Celer album after hearing the samples off that link. Thanks for the tip!

the body of a spider... (scampering alpaca), Wednesday, 24 April 2019 14:55 (seven months ago) link

Proto-hippie vibes inspired by poet and hermit Robert Lax:

pomenitul, Wednesday, 24 April 2019 15:07 (seven months ago) link

Good suggestion, pomenitul. Chi Factory are Hanyo van Oosterom and Jacob Derwort. Really nice tribal ambient/Fourth World stuff from the Netherlands. These two recorded a fantastic self-titled cassette under the name Chi in 1986 (with Michel Banabila, among others.) It's since been reissued as "The Original Recordings" for those looking for it. Derwort passed away in Feb this year so it's unclear whether Chi Factory will continue.

doug watson, Wednesday, 24 April 2019 17:10 (seven months ago) link

Thanks for the backstory, doug. I had no idea – I stumbled across the album via RYM (it's currently ranked #83 for 2019) and it immediately clicked with me. I'll be sure to check out their other stuff. And RIP Jacob Derwort.

pomenitul, Wednesday, 24 April 2019 17:20 (seven months ago) link

Arild Andersen / Clive Bell / Mark Wastell
Tales Of Hackney

some exquisite stuff on here.

calzino, Tuesday, 7 May 2019 08:16 (six months ago) link

Sounds cool, I'll check it out. It's more ambient than jazz/free improv?

pomenitul, Tuesday, 7 May 2019 08:33 (six months ago) link

slightly closer to ambient at times but still as improv as you'd expect with the personnel involved.

calzino, Tuesday, 7 May 2019 08:37 (six months ago) link

the more improvy parts have that zen quality you sometimes get listening to masters of that field.

calzino, Tuesday, 7 May 2019 08:53 (six months ago) link

The new Craig Leon thing, Anthology of Interplanetary Folk Music Vol. 2: The Canon, is bloody marvellous. Probably more straight up ambient than the first volume, but just as compelling.

Good cop, Babcock (Chinaski), Monday, 20 May 2019 15:21 (six months ago) link

That Craig Leon album is great. Thanks for the recommendation.

beard papa, Saturday, 25 May 2019 17:16 (six months ago) link

Your nominations for the ILX AMBIENT ALBUMS POLL (nominations close on Friday, May 31st)

Peoples, in case you haven't already noticed, we're doing an all-time best ambient albums poll. Nomination period ends this Friday, so there's still time to participate.

Tuomas, Monday, 27 May 2019 11:32 (six months ago) link

Tales of Hackney is amazing. Thanks, calz.

pomenitul, Monday, 27 May 2019 12:51 (six months ago) link

glad you liked it :)

calzino, Monday, 27 May 2019 12:54 (six months ago) link

Liking Celer's Xiexie a lot. Looking for "where to next?" guidance on his very large Bandcamp catalog. Chronologically backwards? Any earlier standouts to head for first?

the body of a spider... (scampering alpaca), Tuesday, 28 May 2019 14:41 (six months ago) link

Engaged Touches, recorded when Celer was still a duo (Will's wife Danielle passed away in 2009), is essential imho.

pomenitul, Tuesday, 28 May 2019 14:46 (six months ago) link


the body of a spider... (scampering alpaca), Tuesday, 28 May 2019 14:47 (six months ago) link

Wow damn she was only 26 :(

Evan, Tuesday, 28 May 2019 16:08 (six months ago) link

Dalot – ΛΗΤΩ

"Dalot embarks on an epic journey with the composed field recordings of “ΛΗΤΩ”. Throughout the whole of the album Dalot brings a wide variety of many layers into the mix resulting in something that has such power behind it. By opting for such an approach, it recalls the unique tact of 70s sonic pioneers. While incorporating so much experimentation it makes sure that emotion rests at the very heart of it all. What is of the utmost importance is the concept of texture, with all the many conversations filtering into the fray."

rather enjoying this one today.

calzino, Sunday, 2 June 2019 11:22 (six months ago) link

wrong soundcloud link up there.

calzino, Sunday, 2 June 2019 11:25 (six months ago) link

one month passes...

I really like this Rosenau & Sanborn EP (LP?):

The pastoral guitar and creaky ambient room sounds + modular synths make it like an album-length incarnation of those modular instagram videos with lots of plants and tasteful interior decorating. But, like, in a good way.

change display name (Jordan), Wednesday, 24 July 2019 14:05 (four months ago) link

two weeks pass...

Founded by A Strangely Isolated Place, 9128 has been created as a newly curated destination to showcase friends, artists and labels within the ambient and electronic music community - a collective of likeminded music.

Our goal is to have a 100% label and artist curated schedule and our regular programming will revolve around music from everyone involved, alongside scheduled shows from our Partners.

There's pretty oldschool livechat too

but everybody calls me, (lukas), Thursday, 8 August 2019 21:23 (three months ago) link

they're now playing some unreleased Comit stuff (ASC alias) which sounds fantastic

but everybody calls me, (lukas), Friday, 9 August 2019 20:16 (three months ago) link

Celer's having a closeout sale on his Bandcamp site, FYI. Looks 3/4ths sold out, at least the physical side. Picked up Nacreous Clouds.

the body of a spider... (scampering alpaca), Tuesday, 20 August 2019 18:48 (three months ago) link

I've been really enjoying ASIP's "Europe" compilation on Spotify these last couple of weeks!

the girl from spirea x (f. hazel), Tuesday, 20 August 2019 18:59 (three months ago) link

There's a new Jonas Munk album that's pretty nice.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Tuesday, 20 August 2019 19:30 (three months ago) link

two weeks pass...

this hits the spot

Non stop chantar (crüt), Sunday, 8 September 2019 21:29 (two months ago) link

one month passes...

well okay but it's super hitting the spot

lost IDM classics (lukas), Thursday, 31 October 2019 04:12 (one month ago) link

Really nice piece of work.

Tsar Bombadil (James Morrison), Thursday, 31 October 2019 04:44 (one month ago) link

This is nice:

Evan, Thursday, 31 October 2019 15:20 (one month ago) link

This is nice:

Love his stuff, but this one (also from this year) pips it for me:

Barnaby, Hardly, Friday, 1 November 2019 09:43 (one month ago) link

two weeks pass...

how the fuck did I miss this!?!?

Sarah Davachi + Ariel Kalma - Intemporel

esempio (crüt), Saturday, 16 November 2019 03:04 (two weeks ago) link

This album is strikingly beautiful, really a remarkable journey. Year-end material for sure

she carries a torch. two torches, actually (Joan Crawford Loves Chachi), Tuesday, 19 November 2019 10:31 (two weeks ago) link

yeah that’s been one of my faves from this year for sure!

💠 (crüt), Tuesday, 19 November 2019 12:18 (two weeks ago) link

I couldn't get into it at all, unfortunately. Unless the random noodling's the point?

pomenitul, Tuesday, 19 November 2019 12:41 (two weeks ago) link

Maybe it's the point? It's one of my favourites from this year too, it's a great (very) early morning record.

toby, Tuesday, 26 November 2019 08:30 (one week ago) link

i like the kali malone but not as much as a lot of other people seem to

the new catriel nievas is prob gonna be in my year-end top w/e:

lowercase (eric), Sunday, 1 December 2019 15:38 (five days ago) link

oh shi, controversy on moodz

lukas, Sunday, 1 December 2019 15:53 (five days ago) link

I am going to bring this thread into further disrepute by recommending Víkingur Ólafsson's fabbo Bach Reworks album on here.

calzino, Sunday, 1 December 2019 16:02 (five days ago) link

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