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Thread: why is ambient so popular now

  1. #16

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    I always listen to early 90s UK ambient techno in January. My pick this year is the first Global Communications album.

  2. #17

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    This is a favourite every January:


  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by craner View Post
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by droid View Post
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by droid View Post
    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

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    Quote Originally Posted by empty mirror View Post
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by droid View Post
    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

  8. #23
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    The two tendencies in 'ambient' - experimental avant performance and amorphous chill muzak out are practically diametric opposites.

    Noise is not meditative.

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    Quote Originally Posted by empty mirror View Post
    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.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by droid View Post
    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.

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    goes both way, though. dark ambient can be unsettling and foreboding, while other ambient is soothing and relaxing.

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  13. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrowleyHead View Post
    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Leo View Post
    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.

  15. #29
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    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.

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    Quote Originally Posted by droid View Post
    '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.

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