PDA

View Full Version : why is ambient so popular now



luka
19-01-2017, 03:35 PM
explain the resurgance of ambient drone etc
the internet is too broad/vague. be specific.

luka
19-01-2017, 03:37 PM
my little sisters gone nuts for it over the last year and shes a very well adjusted human, down to earth, normal, not a freak.

Corpsey
19-01-2017, 03:45 PM
Outside of your little sister who else is into it?

The explanation, I would guess, is the internet.

luka
19-01-2017, 03:48 PM
must be the internet eh. lock thread.

Corpsey
19-01-2017, 03:51 PM
I wouldn't be surprised if this was the case tbh as music has BECOME AMBIENT, whether or not it was designed to be.

It's constantly accessible, and so constantly playing, in the background. Nobody sits down and listens to music without any distractions anymore.

What is wanted, most of the time, is a pleasant accompaniment to browsing social media.

I often read on the tube with music in my headphones, and I am constantly forced to stick on some ultra-agreeable classical music or ambient (Eno 'On Land') just so it doesn't distract me from reading.

OFFTOPIC but its similar to the situation with visual art, in which we're so overwhelmed with images these days that images that used to shock or inspire or overwhelm people now have to be stared at for a considerable length of time, perhaps with explanatory captions, in order to puncture our overstimulated senses. Imagery is ambient too.

Corpsey
19-01-2017, 03:53 PM
my little sisters gone nuts for it over the last year and shes a very well adjusted human, down to earth, normal, not a freak.

Can you give examples of what she listens to

luka
19-01-2017, 04:24 PM
william basinski
grouper
stars of the lid
max richter
pauline oliveros


loads of stuff. insatiable appetite for it. came out the blue.

Corpsey
19-01-2017, 04:26 PM
What do you make of my half baked theory?

Here's another one:

It's a REFUGE from the madness of the ultra connected world. Unplug. Forget about Trump. Forget about Twitter. The feed.

LISTEN TO THIS LOOP FOR 30 MINUTES.

(SIDENOTE: growth of MINDFULNESS MEDITATION connected?)

luka
19-01-2017, 04:33 PM
i think all those theories are good theories. good point about images too.

luka
19-01-2017, 04:34 PM
let's work in something about the prevalence of panic attacks these days too

Mr. Tea
19-01-2017, 05:28 PM
I thought the mid-90s was the Golden Age of ambient? Orb, Willy Orbit, Future Sound Of London, Aphex, Massive Attack, all of that.

Though I guess some of this vapourwave stuff is verging on ambient.

droid
19-01-2017, 06:03 PM
Really depends how you define 'ambient'.

Dont think it ever went away though, its been a recurring theme in nearly every decade since the 50's and has broken through into the mainstream on several occasions.

If there's one factor that Id say is different now its the sheer number of producers and the massive amounts of music being released.

pattycakes_
19-01-2017, 06:11 PM
def escapism

Corpsey
19-01-2017, 06:24 PM
Not to tie everything in with rap, but have you noticed these ambient textures are now everywhere in rap and R&B? Clams Casino, 40, the weeknd etc.

By ambient textures I mean reverb heavy, thick, nebulous, atmospheric...

droid
19-01-2017, 08:26 PM
def escapism

Once again - it depends on your definition of ambient.

Look at the people in Luka's list. Basinski - deeply melancholic studies on decay, Richter & Stars of the Lid - defined narrative structures with periods of extreme intensity - they represent a strain within ambient that has very little to do with the traditional definition. Drone as a genre is characterised as much by its stark bleakness as anything else.

This is not the escapism of New Age, prog hippies like Fripp and Hillage, 90's chill out bliss or Eno's canonical period.

craner
19-01-2017, 11:02 PM
I always listen to early 90s UK ambient techno in January. My pick this year is the first Global Communications album.

craner
19-01-2017, 11:03 PM
This is a favourite every January:

https://youtu.be/9uDy9IqScmU

droid
19-01-2017, 11:22 PM
I always listen to early 90s UK ambient techno in January. My pick this year is the first Global Communications album.

Dont think its held up too well.

Leo
20-01-2017, 01:12 AM
Dont think its held up too well.

"76:14" still sounds pretty great, actually.

and agree with craner, winter months when the windows are closed is the time for "ambient". once the warm weather comes and the windows open, i can't hear those drones and bleeps/bloops over the outside traffic.

empty mirror
20-01-2017, 12:25 PM
Dont think its held up too well.

really? i am surprised at this.


my kids are always listening to ambient on account of the C148's soundtrack to Minecraft

Corpsey
20-01-2017, 12:33 PM
really? i am surprised at this.


my kids are always listening to ambient on account of the C148's soundtrack to Minecraft

This is interesting. The effect video game soundtracks had on my generation is perhaps underestimated.

But these days I should wager many video games would have proper orchestral soundtracks ala movies.

pattycakes_
20-01-2017, 06:29 PM
Once again - it depends on your definition of ambient.

Look at the people in Luka's list. Basinski - deeply melancholic studies on decay, Richter & Stars of the Lid - defined narrative structures with periods of extreme intensity - they represent a strain within ambient that has very little to do with the traditional definition. Drone as a genre is characterised as much by its stark bleakness as anything else.

This is not the escapism of New Age, prog hippies like Fripp and Hillage, 90's chill out bliss or Eno's canonical period.

yeah it's a broad term. but generally i think it's meditative, even in the extremes

droid
20-01-2017, 07:25 PM
The two tendencies in 'ambient' - experimental avant performance and amorphous chill muzak out are practically diametric opposites.

Noise is not meditative.

Mr. Tea
20-01-2017, 07:50 PM
my kids are always listening to ambient on account of the C148's soundtrack to Minecraft

On a video games tip, the soundtrack to the first Quake game (bar the heavy rockin' intro track) works pretty well as an ambient album.

(Yes, it's by Trent Reznor, but don't let that prejudice you.)

CrowleyHead
20-01-2017, 07:54 PM
The two tendencies in 'ambient' - experimental avant performance and amorphous chill muzak out are practically diametric opposites.

Noise is not meditative.

Speak for yourself, I know tons of people who use harsh electronic/static-type sounds a la Merzbow as a relaxation noise the same way one might use rain sounds.

Leo
20-01-2017, 08:10 PM
goes both way, though. dark ambient can be unsettling and foreboding, while other ambient is soothing and relaxing.

droid
20-01-2017, 09:49 PM
Speak for yourself, I know tons of people who use harsh electronic/static-type sounds a la Merzbow as a relaxation noise the same way one might use rain sounds.

'Tons' of people?

Pink and white noise is often used as for relaxation purposes, but that is a particular physiological response related to pre-natal intrauterine sound, and is generally a sleep aid rather than a listening experience - Ive even seen it prescribed.

Whilst their might be some crossover, Id say the contingent of people who listen to Merzbow or avant noise for relaxation are a fairly tiny minority.

droid
20-01-2017, 09:54 PM
goes both way, though. dark ambient can be unsettling and foreboding, while other ambient is soothing and relaxing.

Its not just that - power ambient and the experimental are specifically designed with the idea that the audience will pay attention - at odds with Eno's definition of music that can be 'ignorable'. This is a 180 of the New Age approach of music which is intended to diffuse attention and allow the audience to drift away.

droid
20-01-2017, 10:40 PM
I may be a bit diadactic on this, but Ive been grappling with these contradictions on a professional level on and off since the 90's, and especially over the last few years.

pattycakes_
21-01-2017, 09:52 AM
'Tons' of people?

Pink and white noise is often used as for relaxation purposes, but that is a particular physiological response related to pre-natal intrauterine sound, and is generally a sleep aid rather than a listening experience - Ive even seen it prescribed.

Whilst their might be some crossover, Id say the contingent of people who listen to Merzbow or avant noise for relaxation are a fairly tiny minority.

i'd say you're underestimating it. the noise world is niche, and the types of people listening to it are not your average music listener.

tox
21-01-2017, 01:31 PM
Though I guess some of this vapourwave stuff is verging on ambient.

Obviously depends how you define ambient, but I have been thinking of the current trend as being influenced by:

1) An progression of the minimal techno scene of the mid-to-late noughties (see ILX's annual minimal house bobbins threads and I think there were equivalents here too). I remember hearing Richie Hawtin adding Alva Noto to his sets back in 2007/8, and the likes of Donato Dozzy and the Mnml SSGs crew always straddled the space between minimal techno and ambient - Dozzy's 2008 Labyrinth set (https://soundcloud.com/paul-wuerdig/fairtilizer-15214-donato-dozzy-mnml-ssgs-mx12-pt1-donato-dozzy-labyrinth-2008) being a good example. Right now Giegling (RA label of the year) are actively mixing ambient and minimal-ish techno and house in their releases and events (https://www.residentadvisor.net/news.aspx?id=37847). From a personal/anecdotal perspective, the folks into the 2000s minimal scene at its peak are now less likely to frequent clubs - ambient is probably better suited to headphone listening on a commute or at work.

2) Vaporwave fans looking for more depth and higher production values. I agree with Tea - some of the stuff on Dream Catalogue is very ambient-y, 2 8 1 4 etc.

https://youtu.be/hiAkdoETqNA

https://youtu.be/F9L4q-0Pi4E

bruno
21-01-2017, 05:35 PM
incidentally, i just got back from hong kong and there is a case to be made for this city as an ambient piece in its own right. certainly an influence on (or refraction of) the electric haze of vangelis ca. 1982, and more obviously the recent hk/asian inspired vapourware stuff.

the place is a mesh of sounds, a symphony of electronic pitter-patterings at street crossings going slow and fast and out of sync with the same sounds a block away, of zelda-like chinese traditional melodies issuing from (i suppose) cellphones and unseen electronic sources, an oddly soothing (and melancholy) melody filling part of yau ma tei station signalling a braille map of the station, the chatter and texture of cantonese (and central asian, and philippino) accents, the din of buses, the every-present sound of water brushing against the harbour. the whole is a rich, living tapestry of what can only be described as ambient.

the other very hk, very ambient thing i picked up was the buddha machine, a (now almost ten-years old) little box with pre-set loops by hongkonger christian viraant and beijing musician zhang jian. you turn the thing on and let it drone quietly as you do the dishes or whatever. it's like a minisucule hong kong generator that i appreciate very much as i plot my return to this wonderful (and troubled) place.



Obviously depends how you define ambient

mixed_biscuits
22-01-2017, 11:30 AM
Whereas noise urges attention and ambient a lack of it, both demands on the listener are equally unwavering - that is what they have in common.


The two tendencies in 'ambient' - experimental avant performance and amorphous chill muzak out are practically diametric opposites.

Noise is not meditative.

droid
22-01-2017, 12:01 PM
Nope.

'Music that should be ignorable as it is interesting' - that is the canonical definition. Even the most insipid new age doesn't 'demand' inattention - it may desire it, but it doesn't demand it.

mixed_biscuits
22-01-2017, 12:04 PM
I think you know what I mean: neither genre has formulaic peaks and troughs that, in a dictated manner, bring about varying degrees of stimulation during a piece.

If you play noise or ambient to a layperson, one of their standard responses would be 'Well, nothing's really happening, is it.'


Nope.

'Music that should be ignorable as it is interesting' - that is the canonical definition. Even the most insipid new age doesn't 'demand' inattention - it may desire it, but it doesn't demand it.

mixed_biscuits
22-01-2017, 12:10 PM
Or perhaps, in noise, 'everything happens' whereas in ambient 'nothing happens' - but neither really 'goes anywhere.'

firefinga
23-01-2017, 08:26 AM
during the early to mid90s I was banging away to (Acid)-Techno, Gabba, and Jungle - well these were my teenage years. simply had no time to explore the Ambient sounds of those years, although the bits and pieces I caught appealed to me. Now, becoming old and grumpy, this is possibly a musical field I should (re-)invastigate.

A sidenote: Didn't many Ambient-listeners switch to TripHip in the mid90s?

firefinga
23-01-2017, 09:06 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6vPD5y5O6mA

That's the sort of mid90s ambient I caught bits and pieces of. Still like it today :)

empty mirror
23-01-2017, 10:42 AM
This is interesting. The effect video game soundtracks had on my generation is perhaps underestimated.

But these days I should wager many video games would have proper orchestral soundtracks ala movies.

without video games, it is hard to imagine what Burial would sound like. i understand a lot of the percussive sounds are from video games - the sounds of weapons reloading and shell casings dropping to the ground.

Mr. Tea
24-01-2017, 03:46 PM
Listening to this:



https://youtu.be/F9L4q-0Pi4E

right now with the sun setting in front of my desk - lovely.

Vapourwave, as a genre, basically exists because Blade Runner is a great movie to watch while stoned, doesn't it?

Corpsey
24-01-2017, 03:56 PM
When I used to make music on Reason I used to slow down tracks by dozens of BPM and then apply reverb to the track. Sometimes the most innocuous track would be rendered beautiful or mysterious by this process. Guess it's like when people slow down a Justin Bieber tune by 200% or whatever.

Mr. Tea
24-01-2017, 04:24 PM
I remember thinking I should start a thread when all those "[X] slowed down by 800%" tracks were popular on YouTube a few years ago, but never got round to it. It turned stuff like the Simpsons theme - or glossily produced chart pop, as you mention - into great slabs of epic, glacial beauty. It struck me as the sort of sound Sigur Ros were aiming for, but didn't achieve quite as well as this totally accidental discovery.

luka
24-01-2017, 04:40 PM
pinks and purples, pixellated palm trees, unrequited love for anime heroine, motorbike race through future tokyo, metallic sphere design rendering over 72 hr time period, neon sunset, malibu jetski, the windows logo,

luka
25-01-2017, 10:25 AM
its part of the upping of the obscurity stakes too i think. like how there are now teenagers with extensive japanese yacht rock mp3 collections.

luka
25-01-2017, 10:50 AM
http://boards.4chan.org/mu/thread/70588468

Yoga Music Anonymous 01/25/17(Wed)08:14:00 No.70588468▶

Looking for relaxing, content, light and ambient music to show my qt3.14 yoga instructor.
Gas - Pop is a really good example as it doesn't have rhythm, is slow and relaxing.

droid
25-01-2017, 10:52 AM
Ha! Ive been lobbied to start doing Yoga gigs. Its where the money is - apparently.

Mr. Tea
25-01-2017, 12:38 PM
I remember thinking I should start a thread when all those "[X] slowed down by 800%" tracks were popular on YouTube a few years ago, but never got round to it. It turned stuff like the Simpsons theme - or glossily produced chart pop, as you mention - into great slabs of epic, glacial beauty.

Check it:


http://youtu.be/zSVjKcVTaio

Imagine listening to that while tripping!

Corpsey
25-01-2017, 01:03 PM
That reminds me of

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pR_5QRO6kPM

empty mirror
25-01-2017, 01:18 PM
Jean Michel Jarre is coming to a venue down the street from my house
worth going you think?

Mr. Tea
25-01-2017, 01:27 PM
totes :cool:

firefinga
25-01-2017, 04:13 PM
Jean Michel Jarre is coming to a venue down the street from my house
worth going you think?

Truth be told I think Jarre has made quite a few good pieces of music.

Mr. Tea
25-01-2017, 04:38 PM
It's not the sort of thing it'd ever occur to me listen to, but I remember enjoying as a little 'un when my parents put it on sometimes. With regard to vapourwave, it makes sense that people in their 20s and 30s are making music influenced by what they heard their parents listening to in the 90s/80s.

firefinga
25-01-2017, 04:56 PM
But to get back to the original question I have the impression people are not going out that much any more, so Ambient would be the natural choice of the homebody-massive?

luka
01-02-2017, 01:28 PM
https://blogthehum.wordpress.com/2016/10/04/the-unheard-ambience-in-nine-albums/

droid
01-02-2017, 01:46 PM
All good records.

Corpsey
01-02-2017, 02:08 PM
I don't think we've established if ambient actually IS so popular now, or if it's just luka's sister.

luka
01-02-2017, 02:44 PM
there was a pitchfork list

luka
01-02-2017, 02:45 PM
plus ive just invested in a job lot of bean bags, and a piece of red silk to drape over my angle poise lamp for the ambient chillout club im opening in my living room

Mr. Tea
01-02-2017, 03:08 PM
Ooh, can I come? I'll bring some hash, really nice stuff. The BEST hash. Seriously, buhlieve me.

droid
01-02-2017, 03:24 PM
plus ive just invested in a job lot of bean bags, and a piece of red silk to drape over my angle poise lamp for the ambient chillout club im opening in my living room


I bet you wore leather pants in college and had a red throw cloth for your lamp.

Im writing the book of you Luka. Total control.

Trillhouse
02-03-2017, 02:54 AM
Newage definitely had a rediscovering / resurgence around the end of the 00s, the records became more sort after, people started digging up rare tapes etc, Indie bands started incorporating influences, pitchfork wrote articles etc. Ambient's resurgence has come along with that somewhat. It seeped into all the Lil B, Cloud Rap hip hop then that sound became more and more prevalent in hip hop. Then you have things like chillwave/vaporwave/seawave, artists like OPN, Dedekind Cut etc all which have elements of ambient music. Of course there's Burial and all the imitators, then later people like Logos, Mr Mitch, Visionist, Fatima Al Qadiri etc whose music has elements of newage or ambient woven in. There have also been quite a few reissues of tapes & lps, compilations, new labels, radio shows etc in the last 5/10 years, so it definitely has more of a presence. There's also the balearic scene which leans into ambient pretty heavily and that stuff's going pretty strong right now.

I don't really know how well new straight up ambient sells as that's not really my thing, but the genre's influence seems to be everywhere these days.

https://youtu.be/qul-rDvU9QI?t=86

droid
02-03-2017, 09:39 AM
I coined a new phrase to describe all that Ben Frost style power ambient bullshit.

'Manbient'.

m99188868
22-03-2017, 01:13 PM
To answer the initial question: I think it's the promise of integrity/authenticity, driven to the extreme in case of vaporwave (non-integrity as authentic) and noise (idem). It's music that lives on that paradox and so generates space to surprise.

Leo
02-04-2017, 02:59 PM
Youarelistening.to mixes ambient music with police scanner radio, air-traffic control, numbers stations, spoken word & a bunch of other random things. Found footage, musique concrete, and the perfect ambience.

http://youarelisteningtolosangeles.com

http://www.nts.live/shows/youarelisteningto/episodes/youarelisteningto-18th-march-2017

m99188868
04-04-2017, 08:44 AM
Well, its definitely not only a thing among sisters, etc. Pitchfork has an (admittedly good) ambient collection as its best new album.

Zandown
05-04-2017, 07:32 AM
Outside of your Bathmate X50 https://www.grosseteste.com/bathmate-x50-review-results and little sister who else is into it?

The explanation, I would guess, is the internet.

I quite like it too.

john eden
05-04-2017, 12:31 PM
Crikey!

224

droid
05-04-2017, 01:06 PM
Cafe OTO in black propoganda shocker.

empty mirror
05-04-2017, 01:26 PM
i remember ambient being popular with dads in the 1990s - usually post-hippie types with hi-fi stereos and full beards

m99188868
05-04-2017, 01:51 PM
Considering ambient's druggy past and the promise of bliss in its more new agey variants, the link with work is maybe even more on the mark than that flyer describes. The ambient ethic and the spirit of Capitalism!

Personally, the last year I listened mainly to minimal classical-ambient-vaporwave and it's indeed largely because I nowadays listen to music almost exclusively while working.

droid
06-04-2017, 01:51 PM
Well, its definitely not only a thing among sisters, etc. Pitchfork has an (admittedly good) ambient collection as its best new album.

And its not even that great.

m99188868
07-04-2017, 10:14 AM
And its not even that great.

They have come a long way, though: 10 years ago Daft Punk & Justice were their best albums, as far as non-rock goes. What did you think of their list of 50 best ambient albums (http://pitchfork.com/features/lists-and-guides/9948-the-50-best-ambient-albums-of-all-time/)?

droid
07-04-2017, 10:20 AM
Dont get me started!

m99188868
07-04-2017, 10:34 AM
Oh, but you know you want to :)

droid
07-04-2017, 10:57 AM
Nah, said my piece at the time... I have it somewhere.

droid
07-04-2017, 11:00 AM
Edited from an email.


There core of the list is OK, I think, but it seems unbalanced overall... list making is tough, the mix of the canonical and the personal favourites, the important and the loved. Covering all the bases and getting a breadth of styles and, personnel and eras and the challenge is multiplied with something as amorphous as ambient, but it strikes me that there was no strong editorial voice here and there’s some glaring absences, strange repetitions and category errors as a result.

What is the definition of ambient that was used? Was it simply ‘without beats’, or ‘lacking structure’ or ‘rewarding as background music’? There’s stuff there that I would categorise as jazz, folk, soundtrack, experimental, classical etc… not strictly ambient. I know this is a tricky one, but in my mind there’s no way that Alice Coltrane album should be in there, or the John Hassel, or probably the Ernest Hood… its a subjective thing, and you could probably justify some of these using a wider definition, but on that basis you could do the same for ‘kind of blue’, or ‘meddle’, and even if you widen the net you should ensure you have all the hardcore genre stuff in there first.

So with that said, I reckon some huge, glaring, unforgivable omissions are Thomas Koner, Kevin Drumm, Elaine Radigue, but the biggest hole is the lack of the new ambient of the last 15 years or so. Oneohtrix shouldn’t be there, certainly not twice and not at the expense of the likes of Kyle Bobby Dunn Lawrence English, Stephan Mathieu, Ian William Craig, Deaf Centre, Olan Mill , Rafael Anton Issari, Celer, Illuha… theres much more Im sure, its been an incredibly fertile period.

In terms of foundation stuff - I like Pauline Oliveros as much as the next man, but two entries are perhaps suspect? I would’ve diversified with some other early electronic composers… Delia Derbyshire, some Tod Dockstader or Phil Niblock, maybe solo Stuart Dempster.

The 70’s - the Germans are reasonably represented, might have gone for more though… Ralph and Florian, Zeit by TD, Cyborg by Klaus Schulz maybe… Cluster and Eno, some Rodelious. David Sylvian might’ve deserved a mention alongside Hillage for the Night on Earth instrumentals... Oh, and some post punk, NWW’s ‘Lilith’. Time machine by Coil.

Geographically, Im a bit surprised by the lack of Japanese entries. There’s Ryosuke Miyata, Tomonari Nozaki, Toshiba Tsunoda, Yui Onodera, Masayoshi Fujita…

I don’t even want to start getting into soundtracks, but one thing from recent years that springs to mind is Mica Levi’s Under the skin OST. I think 2 stars of the lid is too much as well… there's a godspeed LP or 2 worthy of consideration and theres a ton of other post rock derived stuff that could’ve slipped in.

90’s chill out hasn’t aged to well to my ears but Dreamfish and Fax might’ve been worthy of a mention. I think If I had to pick some Namlook it would be the Definitive Ambient Collection vol. 2, though Id probably bin all the rising high chill out or die type stuff.

And last but not least theres some standout things from recent years. Alva Noto’s amazing xerrox Vol. 3, the last David Toop album, that Lau Nau LP, Before Nostromo By Stephan Mathieu, maybe even that Anthony Child album.

Oh, and they picked the wrong Ekkehard Ehlers.

m99188868
07-04-2017, 01:01 PM
Edited from an email.

Interesting, thank you. Some good tips and I agree with most of your remarks on the omissions, esp. on Drumm.

bruno
11-04-2017, 04:27 AM
for intimate transcendental ambient i would go for roedelius' selbstportrait, a piece like this is impossible to forget:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a-vP4G_hdS0

also gigi masin which that lovely venetian air:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4Ws3jTM_cQ

droid
11-04-2017, 11:35 AM
http://i.imgur.com/xkRsrVt.png

m99188868
11-04-2017, 07:13 PM
I had Gigi Masin on repeat the last weeks. Wonderful stuff. It has led me down a rabbit hole of Italian ambient and minimalism, further spurred by the excellent mix Spencer Brown (of the Visible Cloaks) made last year for Roots Strata:

soundcloud.com/visiblecloaks/music-interiors-vol-2-interni-italiani

bruno
11-04-2017, 07:29 PM
on that note, the reissue (https://soave.bandcamp.com/album/giusto-pio-motore-immobile) of giusto pio's mottore immobile is a highlight this year, of interest (presumably) to readers of this thread:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sHi7txW5liw

droid
11-04-2017, 09:34 PM
Seconded. Fantastic LP.

m99188868
12-04-2017, 10:14 AM
I have been drooling over the Die Schachtel back catalog. Anything you guys would recommend in particular?

bruno
12-04-2017, 11:42 AM
absolute must-gets are the prima materia and lino capra vacchina lps, the former super transcendent overtone singing and the latter probably the best work of italian minimalism. the gruppo nps and christina kubisch are incredible, the arpe eolie stuff (sacchi, bertoncini) not bad and the pietro grossi enjoyable old school/historical electronics. i have not heard everything so i have probably missed big/obvious ones..

m99188868
12-04-2017, 03:37 PM
Great, thanks!

m99188868
14-04-2017, 10:14 AM
Affordable Innerspace has just re-issued Franco Nanni's Elicoide from 1987. In some regards, it's similar to Masin's work: pleasing and situated somewhere in between new age and (electronic) experimentation. I wouldn't know if it really qualifies as ambient, though.

https://affordable-inner-space.bandcamp.com/album/elicoide

PiLhead
27-04-2017, 03:39 PM
it is popular these days.... well "popular" slight exaggeration, but discernible uptick in interest amongst the hip

e.g. this weekend in NYC

Red Bull Music Academy Festival New York 2017
BEYOND THE CLOUDS: AMBIENT EXCURSIONS
This Sunday, April 30 @ Bogart House, Brooklyn

Generations of artists explore Ambient sound through synths, theremins, harp, voice, vinyl and more in a custom-designed sonic listening chamber.

There’s more than one way to achieve transcendence through deep listening experiences, and this ten-hour Red Bull Music Academy Festival New York event of impressive ambient music will prove it. Beyond The Clouds: Ambient Excursions takes place this Sunday, April 30 at Bogart House in Bushwick (230 Bogart St, Brooklyn, NY 11206), and tickets will be available at the door throughout the day, subject to capacity.

Synth pioneer and Stevie Wonder producer Malcolm Cecil, Brian Eno collaborator Laraaji and Julianna Barwick will be among the headliners performing on the third floor of the multi-level arts space. The main roof will have food, while the upper roof annex – with incredible views of NYC – will also be open.

Playing on a custom soundsystem tuned for total immersion, in a room filled with furniture built specifically to enhance the listening experience, live sets will also come from Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith, Mary Lattimore, Huerco S., Dorit Chrysler & Rob Schwimmer and a specially prepared performance by Chino Amobi & Johnny Utterback. Expect harp, zither, theremin, Buchlas and much, much more. RVNG act Visible Cloaks will provide DJ support.

droid
02-05-2017, 12:56 PM
Peak ambient here ATM. Basinski is playing Belfast on Friday, we've got our thing on Saturday, Ian William Craig in Dublin next week, and then there's this leaf from Robert Rich's book:


STEVEN STAPLETON | SLEEP CONCERT

FRIDAY, MAY 5, 10.00pm – 9.00am

The Gallery | Burren College of Art | Newtown Castle | Ballyvaughan | Co. Clare
Tickets €35

Tickets are limited to 35. We recommend booking as soon as possible due to the limited number of tickets available. Please book your tickets here.

Burren College of Art is pleased to host Steven Stapleton | Sleep Concert. Steven will perform live for an 8-hour concert that will run throughout the night, manipulating and re-animating his own Nurse With Wound recordings in an avant-DJ somniloquy to shape and colour your dreams. Audience members are requested to sleep over for the duration of the concert. Inflatable beds, and breakfast the following morning, will be provided. Attendees should bring their own blankets or sleeping bag.

luka
02-05-2017, 01:59 PM
Y sister got me tickets to basinski. Not in Belfast though.

nomos
02-05-2017, 10:45 PM
Audience members are requested to sleep over for the duration of the concert. Inflatable beds, and breakfast the following morning, will be provided. Attendees should bring their own blankets or sleeping bag.

https://image.ibb.co/cox335/Screen_Shot_2017_05_02_at_6_36_52_PM.png (https://imgbb.com/)

Typical media hysterics :rolleyes:

droid
03-05-2017, 09:17 AM
The potential for molestation at ambient sleep parties does seem quite high.

droid
03-05-2017, 09:35 AM
Some background on the origins of the phenomenon.

http://www.factmag.com/2014/10/10/dreamcatching-the-remarkable-story-of-robert-rich-and-the-sleep-concerts/

m99188868
04-05-2017, 03:28 PM
I have been using Thomas Köner's Daikan for falling a sleep lately. It's weirdly satisfying. This practically melody- and rhythm-less 'music', that (as far as I can word it) only relies on very precise, slowly shifting frequencies and still manages to formulate an aesthetic that elicits a very specific (physical/mental/...) response. Maybe I should head over to the drone-thread.

droid
08-05-2017, 02:30 PM
So we put on our first self promoted ambient/drone gig at an anarchist collective on Saturday. 3 local live acts and DJ. Reasonable crowd, good vibes.

Hammocks, beanbags and cups of tea a real possibility next time. Mix based on the night to come in the near future

m99188868
09-05-2017, 09:52 AM
its similar to the situation with visual art, in which we're so overwhelmed with images these days that images that used to shock or inspire or overwhelm people now have to be stared at for a considerable length of time, perhaps with explanatory captions, in order to puncture our overstimulated senses. Imagery is ambient too.

Sort-of Netflix for destressing:


Moodica (https://www.moodica.com) takes your brain on a much-needed vacation. Our oddly-satisfying videos let you escape anytime you need to de-stress.

droid
10-05-2017, 09:42 AM
RIP Joanna Brouk


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDy1dDijsIs

droid
12-06-2017, 02:41 PM
One of our sets was picked up exclusively by the WIRE for their WIRE 400 mix series:

https://www.mixcloud.com/TheWireMagazine/no-place-like-drone-wire-400-mix-8/

m99188868
05-07-2017, 03:28 PM
https://soundcloud.com/yoshio-ojima/music-for-element

Somewhere between Eric Satie and Bill Evans, as they write. Quite amazing.

droid
18-07-2017, 02:05 PM
Oh gosh.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=weQ6lmDgAbE

baboon2004
18-07-2017, 07:35 PM
RIP Joanna Brouk


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CDy1dDijsIs

i just found out about her music the other day (not thru Dissensus, for once) - truly amazing

djlunar
05-08-2017, 01:50 PM
I think it is popular cuz
it's a new genre .
I am making an ambient music and if someone
interested i can share some cool ambient samples

https://www.lucidsamples.com/ambient-samples-packs/269-era-of-space-sounds.html

luka
05-08-2017, 07:51 PM
I think it is popular cuz
it's a new genre .
I am making an ambient music and if someone
interested i can share some cool ambient samples

https://www.lucidsamples.com/ambient-samples-packs/269-era-of-space-sounds.html
:cool:

droid
16-08-2017, 03:26 PM
2 x Yoshimura albums get a rerelease.

https://twitter.com/visiblecloaks/status/897476425208418305

trilliam
25-08-2017, 05:24 AM
love affair with wordless music (<3) reached it's logical conclusion at the start of the year when i stumbled upon these during a nightshift, 2 weeks later im googling "EBM"


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNuL_Fhk9vc&t=108s

trilliam
25-08-2017, 05:25 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ElunG4om3HU

trilliam
25-08-2017, 05:26 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zwSLrkQrXQk&t=1594s

m99188868
07-09-2017, 02:29 PM
Not entirely the appropriate thread. Nevertheless: RIP Czukay.


https://youtu.be/5M_64-a-wiE

droid
11-09-2017, 01:08 PM
Was thinking about that record after hearing the news. RIP.

droid
11-09-2017, 01:09 PM
Some more Japanese minimalism, from a series of records designed to accompany prefabricated housing.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4e6taeiNdxo

luka
11-09-2017, 08:30 PM
http://reynoldsretro.blogspot.co.uk/2017/02/kind-to-your-ass-ambient-and-chill-out.html

Corpsey
11-09-2017, 10:05 PM
Eno's discreet music was very popular last weekend at a music festival in a tent when we were all bedding down on valium.

droid
12-09-2017, 02:20 PM
The rarest of the Yoshimuras.


https://youtu.be/Z3m7HXeiHpg

m99188868
14-09-2017, 09:37 AM
The rarest of the Yoshimuras.

Thanks for this. The link to a flac copy in the comments was a nice bonus.

droid
14-09-2017, 10:35 AM
Tell me about it! I did my bit in there as well.

droid
14-09-2017, 11:37 AM
Doing some research on Ojima and discovered that Music for Spiral was another corporate environmental LP!

https://twitter.com/weareie/status/908287427147640832

m99188868
28-09-2017, 10:14 AM
Doing some research on Ojima and discovered that Music for Spiral was another corporate environmental LP!

Here is another very fine example of corporate ambient


https://youtu.be/mVFf4U6pssI

Corpsey
22-10-2017, 12:49 AM
What do you make of my half baked theory?

Here's another one:

It's a REFUGE from the madness of the ultra connected world. Unplug. Forget about Trump. Forget about Twitter. The feed.

LISTEN TO THIS LOOP FOR 30 MINUTES.

(SIDENOTE: growth of MINDFULNESS MEDITATION connected?)

A quote from Mark Rothko to shore up my half baked theory on page 1

When I was a younger man, art was a lonely thing. No galleries, no collectors, no critics, no money. Yet, it was a golden age, for we all had nothing to lose and a vision to gain. Today it is not quite the same. It is a time of tons of verbiage, activity, consumption. Which condition is better for the world at large I shall not venture to discuss. But I do know, that many of those who are driven to this life are desperately searching for those pockets of silence where we can root and grow. We must all hope we find them.

Corpsey
22-10-2017, 12:54 AM
I'm intrigued to know what (if anything) droid makes of this burial choon

https://youtu.be/c86zfeLMr4o

Is this ambient? Is it any good?

Personally it's one of the few recent things of his I have liked. I like the idea of him dropping the garagey percussion and submitting to his talent for atmospherics, but perhaps something is lost. What ISN'T lost (the echoey footsteps etc.) I would prefer he lose. It's clichés of his own style garishly stamped on something more mysterious.

Corpsey
22-10-2017, 01:33 AM
That (via a YouTube comment) has led me to this

https://youtu.be/qxNmEHtJmwk

I want pointing in the direction of dark ambient - the heirs to 'On Land', basically.

droid
23-10-2017, 02:47 PM
I'm intrigued to know what (if anything) droid makes of this burial choon

https://youtu.be/c86zfeLMr4o

Is this ambient? Is it any good?

Personally it's one of the few recent things of his I have liked. I like the idea of him dropping the garagey percussion and submitting to his talent for atmospherics, but perhaps something is lost. What ISN'T lost (the echoey footsteps etc.) I would prefer he lose. It's clichés of his own style garishly stamped on something more mysterious.

Yeah, its not bad. has a slight Basinski meets Caretaker buzz to it. More rigorous than I would have expected given his predilection for Enya vibes. Nothing to really make it stand out in the ambient field and a touch too much structure perhaps.

There's a couple of short ambient bits on the first LP that I rate though.

CrowleyHead
24-10-2017, 01:50 PM
That tune "Forgive" is still one of the best things Burial ever did.

droid
31-10-2017, 10:31 AM
Dunno if I ever bigged this up - a very accomplished mate of mine recently made a very fine LP of electronic ambient - worth a punt.

https://countersunk.bandcamp.com/album/supersede

https://f4.bcbits.com/img/a2611403057_16.jpg

droid
09-11-2017, 01:27 PM
https://twitter.com/weareie/status/928629063505367040

droid
16-11-2017, 01:27 PM
Blissful 80's ambient new age from future sex offender Charles Cohen.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ivIg9gZreRY

luka
11-12-2017, 05:01 PM
Spotify loves “chill” playlists: they’re the purest distillation of its ambition to turn all music into emotional wallpaper. They’re also tied to what its algorithm manipulates best: mood and affect. Note how the generically designed, nearly stock photo images attached to these playlists rely on the selfsame clickbait-y tactics of content farms, which are famous for attacking a reader’s basest human moods and instincts. Only here the goal is to fit music snugly into an emotional regulation capsule optimized for maximum clicks: “chill.out.brain,” “Ambient Chill,” “Chill Covers.” “Piano in the Background” is one of the most aptly titled; “in the background” could be added to the majority of Spotify playlists.

As an industry insider once explained to me, digital strategists have identified “lean back listening” as an ever more popular Spotify-induced phenomenon. It turns out that playlists have spawned a new type of music listener, one who thinks less about the artist or album they are seeking out, and instead connects with emotions, moods and activities, where they just pick a playlist and let it roll: “Chillin’ On a Dirt Road,” “License to Chill,” “Cinematic Chill Out.” They’re all there.

These algorithmically designed playlists, in other words, have seized on an audience of distracted, perhaps overworked, or anxious listeners whose stress-filled clicks now generate anesthetized, algorithmically designed playlists. One independent label owner I spoke with has watched his records’ physical and digital sales decline week by week. He’s trying to play ball with the platform by pitching playlists, to varying effect. “The more vanilla the release, the better it works for Spotify. If it’s challenging music? Nah,” he says, telling me about all of the experimental, noise, and comparatively aggressive music on his label that goes unheard on the platform. “It leaves artists behind. If Spotify is just feeding easy music to everybody, where does the art form go? Is anybody going to be able to push boundaries and break through to a wide audience anymore?”

opinion i just read on the internet

PiLhead
17-12-2017, 12:04 AM
was going to post this in Percussion Records but can't find it - and it fits just as well in here - track by an African sort-of-New-Age artist, from the 1980 album Isophonic Boogie Woogie
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WSVuqiMmvN4

luka
17-12-2017, 10:55 AM
i got woebot to buy that album. i think he liked it. not sure. it's really good.

m99188868
18-12-2017, 09:04 AM
Eno, quoted in P4k's review of his latest album:


“I’m going to set up something that can surprise me.”

I think much of the attraction for ambient is generated by the insoluble and genre-defining tension between soothing uneventfulness and surprise, as Eno himself pointed out long ago. Other than in many genres, ambient can not solve this tension temporarily (once soothing, then surprise, etc.), but needs to keep it present as a paradox (both uneventful and surprising). Ambient is inherently uncertain and ambivalent music. That's its appeal, it seems to me.

droid
18-12-2017, 09:13 AM
Although about 90% of stuff I heard this year was old, we're doing a best of 2017 ambient drone thing for our next radio show. Might make a mix as well.

Late entry with this amazing record:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=StqxsD7SRwc

Leo
21-12-2017, 05:21 PM
boomkat's 2017 record of the year


https://youtu.be/Zt2aFbYmw0Q

droid
21-12-2017, 07:51 PM
Yeah, surprising but good choice.

Corpsey
04-01-2018, 07:25 PM
https://www.residentadvisor.net/podcast-episode.aspx?exchange=387

Not sure if Basinki is ambient/good, I've never heard his music, but I thought this might interest you ambient types. Faint heart never won fair droidy!

droid
04-01-2018, 07:45 PM
Well, he made the best ambient LP of all time (probably)...

cwmbran-city
04-01-2018, 08:58 PM
volunteer at a refugee center in Cardiff assisting a music therapist who holds Guided Imagery & Music sessions for folks waiting for treatment for ptsd

its a holding operation but the crux is a lot of the music that can help relaxation techniques, full body relaxation scans for tension, the progress through moods & the playlists involved, is proving mind-blowing with what seems to work

its not meditation even if aspects of it might appear that way, the main difference being full immersion in a composition, then slowly descriptions are asked for of the emotional resonance & subjective journey taken, they're then invited to illustrate this experience/journey as a painting/graphic representation

after about 5-6 sessions a lot of people will confront those core experiences that make up war trauma & its stunning to have seen human beings move through these thresholds toward healing where music combined with painting are 2 of the 4 main components

not at home but will post a few playlists asap, spare the Jungian details bit

the main thing with whateverthefuck ambient is or isnt is that something loosely surrounding certain sonic signatures & styles can be both consistently solid with new productions + like House & Drone i dont know if its possible to have listened to everything worth listening to, not by a considerable margin of difference, so its one of those release hunting quests that'll prob never end, at least not personally cos we all fkn die.......saaaaaaaaaaaaafe

entertainment
06-01-2018, 09:42 PM
Both the ambient and noise scene are both pretty interesting and spectacularly active in Copenhagen compared to how boring and derivative the general electronic and rap scene is. The people of Posh Isolation are incredibly dedicated to the genres and put out probably the best stuff in Scandinavia.

From the due which started the label (I think)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dNw4vwJeZpM

entertainment
06-01-2018, 09:43 PM
Some of the latest stuff of theirs is a bit more melodic and structured.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-LRNLWprzY

entertainment
06-01-2018, 09:45 PM
The Body Sculptures album "A Body Turns to Eden" is definitely one of my favorite things from 2017. Takes departure in what sounds like Fennesz "Endless Summer", but has a different plan with it. They're a scandinavian collab formed by different approaches to the genres. Based in Posh Isolation as well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4rsroAO7D3s

droid
09-01-2018, 03:22 PM
Thanks for those - will have to investigate further.

One of the new Atlantis bods released a pretty good LP last year:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dqfyzLm5Sr4

droid
10-01-2018, 04:04 PM
There's about 50 or so worthwhile records from last year in this thread.

https://twitter.com/noplace_drone/status/951040754436231168

I reckon that's a bit under half of the top drawer ambient/drone releases from last year (that I know of).

Doing some further calculations Id say that makes up about 10% of all the ambient/drone I discovered last year.

It's a seemingly endless reservoir.

CORP$EY
11-01-2018, 09:22 AM
This will sound like a cheeky question but really I'm posing it to tease out some discussion points - I wonder how is it you distinguish between good and bad, worthy and worthless when it comes to ambient music?

IT ALL SOUNDS LIKE MASSAGE MUSIC TO ME M8

droid
11-01-2018, 09:50 AM
lol.

How do you know if poetry is good or bad?

Its all just words.

CORP$EY
11-01-2018, 11:21 AM
Post an example of bad ambient

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KgbSjRMqyjc

padraig (u.s.)
11-01-2018, 11:24 AM
Post an example of bad ambient

Selected Ambient Works Volume II

droid
11-01-2018, 11:27 AM
Selected Ambient Works Volume II

:confused:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FXBAU8HsAqk

padraig (u.s.)
11-01-2018, 11:28 AM
all aesthetic judgments are subjective

padraig (u.s.)
11-01-2018, 11:29 AM
I've never liked any of that mid-90s electronica ambient proper, Biosphere, Pete Namlook, Global Communication

droid
11-01-2018, 11:31 AM
Post an example of bad ambient


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpSHonGeYjg

droid
11-01-2018, 11:36 AM
I've never liked any of that mid-90s electronica ambient proper, Biosphere, Pete Namlook, Global Communication

Biosphere... the first LP is quite chill out but has some nice moments, the later more isolationist stuff is generally quite good.

Namlook/GC, Im not so keen on, but I would say that along with Rising high they are epitomes of 90's chill out and define that particular aesthetic.

SAW 2 stands alone amongst 90's electronica ambient in many ways. Its light years away from the chill out end in terms of minimalism, mood and texture - more akin to canonical Eno. Tunes like this cannot be denied.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=goDd02TTxBA

padraig (u.s.)
11-01-2018, 11:37 AM
the real point is that ambient is the most amorphous of genres

or "ambient" the genre vs the property of ambience or whatever

virtually anything could be massage music if you play it in the background at a low enough volume

droid
11-01-2018, 11:37 AM
Or this:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_AWIqXzvX-U

droid
11-01-2018, 11:38 AM
Or, indeed, this:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baKA1B5Ymuo

droid
11-01-2018, 11:42 AM
I do think SAW II is overrated to some extent, but Ive had a difficult relationship with it through the years. Back in the day, It was one of those records I was afraid to put on whilst under the influence of certain substances.

That's not something anyone will ever say about a FAX release.

Corpsey
11-01-2018, 11:42 AM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jpSHonGeYjg

Yeah this is shit. Buddha Lounge vibes.

Perhaps the more interesting division would be between ambient which is NOT SHIT but also not particularly good and ambient which is particularly good. As you say it's all a matter of aesthetic judgement/taste. I guess I'm interested in what it is that makes an ambient track stick out for a coniosseur - but maybe it's one of those things you have to be a coniosseur to be able to hear.

padraig (u.s.)
11-01-2018, 11:44 AM
90's chill out and define that particular aesthetic

yes, that is precisely what I can't stand. chill has to be one of the most abused words in the English language in recent times.

iirc that era was like your first love, right? Mixmaster Morris and all that. I respect that.

that first AFX you put up is pretty good, not as keen on the second one. I wasn't being totally serious, it's not my favorite thing but ofc he's operating on a totally different level from those other people.

Corpsey
11-01-2018, 11:45 AM
Maybe one metric (if metrics we must have) of judgement would be how cliché ridden a track is. Anything using a digeridoo or eastern spiritual chanting or crickets chirping etc.

I really like the aphex stuff generally. I guess some of it falls into clichés of sinister sounds but the best stuff feels inhuman but organic. Like it has been recorded not created almost?

droid
11-01-2018, 11:47 AM
I dunno. Its difficult to pinpoint the precise qualities which elevate a piece of music - like with any genre. Youd have the same problem with rock, jazz, house etc.

I guess, when Im trawling through endless ambient playlists there's a few questions I ask myself. Does it make me feel something? Do I feel compelled to leave it on? Can I use it in some way?

padraig (u.s.)
11-01-2018, 11:50 AM
my definition of "ambient" is broad, but it definitely includes things I don't think you could call massage music, i.e.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h3H4QIbcXpI&t=2547

CORP$EY
11-01-2018, 11:51 AM
I have found that, listening to Eno for example, an ambient track tends to be damaged or even ruined by too obvious an intervention on the part of the composer.

'An author in his book must be like God in the universe, present everywhere and visible nowhere.' - Flaubert, reviewing 'On Land' in The Wire, 1852

CORP$EY
11-01-2018, 11:52 AM
But I concede your point, and ambient is surely the LAST genre which one should expect to be explicable via language.

droid
11-01-2018, 11:52 AM
yes, that is precisely what I can't stand. chill has to be one of the most abused words in the English language in recent times.

iirc that era was like your first love, right? Mixmaster Morris and all that. I respect that.

that first AFX you put up is pretty good, not as keen on the second one. I wasn't being totally serious, it's not my favorite thing but ofc he's operating on a totally different level from those other people.

No, not quite, my early trajectory was Bowie>Eno>Kraftwerk>Aphex>U-ziq>FSOL>Autechre. I certainly played a fair amount of chill out back in the day, but that was my job, and I went deep into the more austere end of electronica once I had the money and resources.

Never had much love for the cheesier end of things, though I did admire Morris for his diversity and approach to mixing.

And even with the Namlook disses - he did have his moments.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c1gbGPrebzU

droid
11-01-2018, 11:55 AM
Maybe one metric (if metrics we must have) of judgement would be how cliché ridden a track is. Anything using a digeridoo or eastern spiritual chanting or crickets chirping etc.

I would have agreed once, but:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QhumFrrre1o

padraig (u.s.)
11-01-2018, 11:55 AM
Does it make me feel something? Do I feel compelled to leave it on? Can I use it in some way?

this is a much more useful approach than good/bad, I think, in fact with all art in general.

the most difficult thing is to make art that gets a reaction from people, especially now with the literally endless amount of content out there

droid
11-01-2018, 11:57 AM
And this - full of birdsong, but beautifully sincere:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UT1xwXRWpiQ

padraig (u.s.)
11-01-2018, 11:57 AM
digeridoo or eastern spiritual chanting


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BGTvxxKoHM
can't resist

padraig (u.s.)
11-01-2018, 12:00 PM
also every Alice Coltrane record, tho tbf she was an actual convert, but still

padraig (u.s.)
11-01-2018, 12:03 PM
but ya anything can potentially be good, anything can be bad


but that was my job, and I went deep into the more austere end of electronica once I had the money and resources

fair play, that was intended in a loving manner anyway

droid
11-01-2018, 12:05 PM
:x: I'm not ashamed of my chill out dalliances.

BUT NEVER MENTION THEM AGAIN.

padraig (u.s.)
11-01-2018, 12:17 PM
Flaubert, reviewing 'On Land' in The Wire, 1852

"Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, I am become as a resounding gong" -Paul the Apostle, explaining ambient to the Corinthians

there is an interesting bit to me, the codification of ambient as a genre with parameters, attributes, boundaries. like, ambience is the natural state of experiencing sound. music is among other things a fixing of sound in time/place. Eno is performing a detournement of music as fixed thing, but at the same time creating the framework of a new, artificial structure. this is a complicated way of explaining why I'm usually not into post-Eno self-consciously ambient music, and also maybe one answer to Corpsey's original question about why it feels more difficult to figure out whether things are good or not.

padraig (u.s.)
11-01-2018, 12:27 PM
what I mean is, genres are useful because you need ways to organize information

if you describe or listen to a death metal, grime, disco, whatever record, there are rules. they can be broken or followed, but they exist.

ambient has no rules, anything can be ambient, i.e. 10 hours of fan oscillation noises or whatever

it's why people + critics struggle more with abstract art in general, I'd guess

Corpsey
11-01-2018, 12:40 PM
And that returns me to that idea of ambient disguising it's own composition (so that the more composed it seems the less compelling) - I really like listening to the Aelion harp album recommended on a blog or summat I found through this thread, and - aside from setting up the harps, and picking the eight minutes of sound - there's no composition going on. So that it feels strange to praise it. Because discussing music (not listening to it, necessarily) is about praising or criticizing the artist's choices.

droid
11-01-2018, 12:45 PM
There's some discussion earlier in this thread about the definition of ambient.

As you've noted, there is a complicating factor with ambient in general which goes to the core of the definition of music itself. Can noise/drones etc. be considered music at all?

There's only one worthwhile definition of music and that is 'organised sounds', and in this context, the intent, the packaging the presentation of the sounds all become important factors.

droid
11-01-2018, 12:47 PM
And that returns me to that idea of ambient disguising it's own composition (so that the more composed it seems the less compelling) - I really like listening to the Aelion harp album recommended on a blog or summat I found through this thread, and - aside from setting up the harps, and picking the eight minutes of sound - there's no composition going on. So that it feels strange to praise it. Because discussing music (not listening to it, necessarily) is about praising or criticizing the artist's choices.

Aeolian harps are a good example, an early forerunner of generative music, but of course, someone made those harps - designed the cords, valves & tubes in order to create particular sounds, so the intent and purpose is there.

padraig (u.s.)
11-01-2018, 01:13 PM
well sure + before that aleatory music. 4'33" is conceptually both the beginning and end of "ambient music", surely, and it definitely fits into "organization of sound with purpose"

there is choice in all music, composition being only one area of choice

personally I don't feel I'm criticizing or praising an artist's choices. I know (usually) whether or not I like something, but I don't pass judgement.

art can have moral, political, etc dimensions that are good/bad but I very firmly believe all aesthetics are subjective taste.

ambient music is more amorphous than other music so naturally its appeal/lack thereof is also more amorphous.

padraig (u.s.)
11-01-2018, 01:22 PM
for example, I'm definitely into lo-fi/no-fi aesthetics, across the arts. intentional (or not) badness. not exclusively, but extensively, tho I also like plenty of fancy high art whatever.

surely if the last 60 years of popular culture have proved anything they've proved that there is no such as good or bad art

Gerhard Richter once said that everything since Duchamp (a touchstone for Cage) was a readymade, even if it was hand-painted

in the same way I think you could say every record since Eno is an ambient record, even if it isn't

droid
11-01-2018, 01:27 PM
well sure + before that aleatory music. 4'33" is conceptually both the beginning and end of "ambient music", surely, and it definitely fits into "organization of sound with purpose"

I was thinking of that when I was posting actually.

Not so sure. 4'33' isn't an organisation of sound per se. Its an attempt to make an audience view non-organised sound in the context of performance. You might say its the origin of environmental music, or perhaps an attempt to force the audience to consider a mode of ambient listening.

Satie would be the first conceptual definition of ambient as background music - and the one that's stuck unfortunately, but again it depends on your definition. The original new age bods would probably point you back to the organum and other devotionals.

droid
11-01-2018, 02:05 PM
Im probably a bad person to ask about quality btw as my interaction with ambient is completely warped by DJ'ng. I'll listen to the most appalling new age with the aim of finding an angle - of how it might add a twinkle to the surface of some Kevin Drumm noise-drone or offer a sprinkle of light after some austere Radigue.

padraig (u.s.)
11-01-2018, 02:08 PM
Not so sure

I was thinking that the organization was Cage's specific decision not to have any composed sounds, an organization of lack of intentional sound if you will. However, I can also see your reasoning.

I know Cage was following predecessors, most prominently Satie, but definitely he took that idea to its logical conclusion. I mean specifically in an academic, conceptual context.

That's why I keep making the "ambient" vs ambient distinction, as irritating as I'm sure it is

100% drone/ambient has existed for a very, very long time (and without needing to resort to any new age pseudohistory). Byzantine ison chanting always gets mentioned, Indian classical music, but it goes back much further still. I'm no expert but I know there's a bunch of ethnomusicology on shamans + indigenous music mimicking natural sounds, most famously probably in throat-singing. I wonder if anyone has ever written about conceptual birth of music as a separate category from naturally occurring sound.

padraig (u.s.)
11-01-2018, 02:11 PM
I'll listen to the most appalling new age

never apologize, my dude

anyway hasn't new age been rehabilitated cool for like 5 years now, both to listen to and as inspiration/influence to cite?

everything is recuperated eventually. in fact I'd suggest we are currently in a true golden age of musical recuperation.

droid
11-01-2018, 02:19 PM
never apologize, my dude

anyway hasn't new age been rehabilitated cool for like 5 years now, both to listen to and as inspiration/influence to cite?

everything is recuperated eventually. in fact I'd suggest we are currently in a true golden age of musical recuperation.

There is a distinction to be made between original late 60's - 70's 80s private issue new age - devotional, meditative, eastern influenced, deadly earnest & sincere and often very good & late 70s -80s/90s new age as a cynical homeopathic CD compilation crystal marketing aid. You could make a case of the original new age being a mirror to the eastern influenced avant classical origins of ambient, Cage, Riley, Young etc.

But yes, it is enjoying a renaissance as serious music and an aesthetic now - and perhaps rightfully so, there's a lot of new age in Kosmische, prog outliers and genuine synth experimentation, and indeed in Eno's formulation of ambient.

droid
11-01-2018, 02:20 PM
100% drone/ambient has existed for a very, very long time (and without needing to resort to any new age pseudohistory). Byzantine ison chanting always gets mentioned, Indian classical music, but it goes back much further still. I'm no expert but I know there's a bunch of ethnomusicology on shamans + indigenous music mimicking natural sounds, most famously probably in throat-singing. I wonder if anyone has ever written about conceptual birth of music as a separate category from naturally occurring sound.

Absolutely, its arguably the oldest music, or perhaps the second oldest. The drum and the drone.

droid
11-01-2018, 02:21 PM
never apologize, my dude

You'll notice there was no apology. ;)

padraig (u.s.)
11-01-2018, 02:46 PM
You could make a case of the original new age being a mirror to the eastern influenced avant classical origins of ambient, Cage, Riley, Young etc

I would go further, I think they're all on a single spectrum, with people like Joanna Brouk, Deuter, Ariel Kalma, etc somewhere in the middle. It depends what you count as new age.

personally I'm definitely into the freeform, improv, psychedelic side. stuff like Iasos, not so much


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkUGS1oZz6I&t=4109s
stuff like this

droid
11-01-2018, 03:14 PM
I would go further, I think they're all on a single spectrum, with people like Joanna Brouk, Deuter, Ariel Kalma, etc somewhere in the middle. It depends what you count as new age.

Yeah, arguably, thought the difference might be that the avant took eastern ideas about tonality and sonics and the new agers took their ideas about spirituality and musical function.

luka
11-01-2018, 03:33 PM
This will sound like a cheeky question but really I'm posing it to tease out some discussion points - I wonder how is it you distinguish between good and bad, worthy and worthless when it comes to ambient music?

IT ALL SOUNDS LIKE MASSAGE MUSIC TO ME M8

this is what i was saying. it's almost impossible to make 'bad' drone which devalues the whole project to some degree.

droid
11-01-2018, 03:42 PM
this is what i was saying. it's almost impossible to make 'bad' drone which devalues the whole project to some degree.

I dont think thats true. Ive heard plenty of bad drone. It just sometimes takes a while to figure out exactly how bad it is.

luka
11-01-2018, 03:50 PM
i was at a william basinski thing with my sister on sunday just to loop the thread back to it's beginning.

droid
11-01-2018, 03:54 PM
The thing about bad drone is, its flat - there's no textural depth, no envelopment, no overtones, no ganzfeld effect.

Bad drones actually become fairly apparent after a while because there is nothing extraneous to distract you from the drone. The purity makes it a very difficult thing to fake.

droid
11-01-2018, 03:55 PM
i was at a william basinski thing with my sister on sunday just to loop the thread back to it's beginning.

How was it? I hear he's been doing a new piece.

padraig (u.s.)
11-01-2018, 04:02 PM
it's almost impossible to make 'bad' drone which devalues the whole project to some degree

yes + no. it is harder to make "bad" drone than to make actively bad rock but it's also much, much harder to make drone that stands out.

I think this is true to some degree for all abstract art.

it's like looking at Kazimir Malevich or whatever + saying anyone could do that. well, yes. but no, they can't.

good and bad are kind of meaningless terms, true, but not in a non-falsifiable way

revision: rather than it's hard to make bad drone I think it would be better to say that listeners without a lot of experience have a much harder time distinguishing between higher and lower quality drone than they do with rock or disco or whatever. this is also why I never really understood the massive popularity of mnml outside of trendiness (+drugs. probably mainly drugs)

padraig (u.s.)
11-01-2018, 04:09 PM
that is interesting about the sonics of bad drone. this is why it helps to have a producer around.

it reinforces the point that drone is a quality, not a genre. or that drone the quality is different from drone the genre.

droid
11-01-2018, 08:29 PM
that is interesting about the sonics of bad drone. this is why it helps to have a producer around.

it reinforces the point that drone is a quality, not a genre. or that drone the quality is different from drone the genre.

Ahem, failed producer.

I hate to betray my inarticulacy, but to make a visual comparison; anyone can get out the acrylics and paint a dark red square on some cartridge paper, but that doesnt make you Rothko.

CORP$EY
15-01-2018, 03:01 PM
Thanks to bruno for his recommendation of this album

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d4Ws3jTM_cQ

It's wunderbar!

droid
16-01-2018, 09:43 AM
All about Japan now I see.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dh3awu1LKN8

droid
16-01-2018, 12:21 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UNP9MHQFS5c

luka
17-01-2018, 09:21 PM
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GYhXa3FLdQc

this is the bollocks

droid
18-01-2018, 01:30 PM
Vol 3. is my favourite.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtjbGGGf_vY

luka
18-01-2018, 01:48 PM
not sure ive heard it. will check it out. 2 is one of my favourite bits of music.

thirdform
18-01-2018, 09:38 PM
this is what i was saying. it's almost impossible to make 'bad' drone which devalues the whole project to some degree.

Do you really need much drone after discovering Eliane Radigue would be my question i guess.

droid
18-01-2018, 09:45 PM
Lovely Eliane.

Drone/Ambient is blessed with a surfeit of female originators. More so than any other electronic genre. Radigue, Oliveros, Oram, Spiegel, Amacher... tons of prominent female artists too, new age full of them also.

luka
22-01-2018, 09:01 AM
http://www.factmag.com/2018/01/14/japanese-ambient-hiroshi-yoshimora-midori-takada/?utm_content=buffer72396&utm_medium=social&utm_source=facebook.com&utm_campaign=buffer


Over the last few years, obscure Japanese ambient classics like Hiroshi Yoshimura’s Green and Midori Takada’s Through The Looking Glass have surged in popularity. Lewis Gordon investigates the phenomenon, talking to the record collectors and vendors in the US, UK and Japan that helped inform a new wave of interest.

turns out my sisters got me a ticket for that alva noto thing in march

CORP$EY
22-01-2018, 09:15 AM
i know this is a cringeworthy buddha loungey thing to do but yesterday (while high, natch) I had an ambient music accompanied shower and it was an absolute good, according to the categorical imperative

go forth, get high, have a shower listening to biosphere

luka
22-01-2018, 09:20 AM
i know this is a cringeworthy buddha loungey thing to do but yesterday (while high, natch) I had an ambient music accompanied shower and it was an absolute good, according to the categorical imperative

go forth, get high, have a shower listening to biosphere

cant let the cringe keep you from the absolute good! particularly when no ones watching.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0-mJPxUt8RE

entertainment
22-01-2018, 07:28 PM
The record store guy talked me into getting Ravedeath, 1972 by Tim Hecker because we were discussing ambient and I hadn't heard it. It's quite a nice experience playing ambient on vinyl. It's definitely easier to get drawn in and feel immersed in the textures. The album is also very good but apparently a classic in the genre.

luka
22-01-2018, 11:03 PM
i really like the hecker stuff. ive picked this idea out of nowhere that hes maybe slightly less credible than some of the other artists but maybe im just imagining that.

entertainment
23-01-2018, 12:52 PM
it's very generally praised, but I guess there could be an inherent trait about ambient that if it gets too popular or receives too mainstream acclaim, then it's compromized on some level.

droid
23-01-2018, 01:09 PM
Generally held in high regard. I have my reservations myself. Too much digital noise at times.

I fell asleep when I saw him live.

droid
23-01-2018, 01:21 PM
Matt adds to the japambient hype.

http://www.woebot.com/2018/01/hiroshi-yoshimura.html

Saddened by the overall lack of love for Yoshio Ojima.

CORP$EY
23-01-2018, 01:24 PM
I broke my hip in the shower listening to Tim Hecker

Drifted off and next thing I know I've got a faucet up my arse

sufi
04-02-2018, 02:08 PM
erm https://www.theguardian.com/news/video/2016/jan/04/the-asmr-videos-that-give-youtube-viewers-head-orgasms-video i darent watch the video in case i get addicted

Corpsey
04-02-2018, 02:17 PM
That's Sunday sorted cheers

luka
26-02-2018, 10:46 AM
https://www.songkick.com/concerts/32175549-philip-jeck-at-iklectik

CORP$EY
27-02-2018, 12:01 PM
<iframe width="100%" height="166" scrolling="no" frameborder="no" allow="autoplay" src="https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=https%3A//api.soundcloud.com/tracks/405563451&color=%23ff5500&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false&show_teaser=true"></iframe>

it's ya boy

Corpsey
06-03-2018, 07:05 AM
https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b09tbh10/tones-drones-and-arpeggios-the-magic-of-minimalism-series-1-1-california

Possibly would fit better in the drone thread but I never check the drone thread out so I'll forget I posted this link here and forget to watch it too

version
14-03-2018, 01:44 PM
The Terekke LP on MFM is one of the better things I've heard this year.

https://soundcloud.com/music-from-memory/sets/mfm-028-terekke-improvisational-loops