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Thread: why is ambient so popular now

  1. #286
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    It think that's a fundamental misreading. Unlike a lot of artists I don't think he's ever been shy about admitting that his primary mode of operation is synthesis, and that is how culture evolves - by accretion, recontextualising other people's ideas to produce something new, or delivering something old in a new context.

    He's quite like Bowie in that respect, chameleon, corinthian, comedian and caricature. He's the chancer, the gadfly, the dilettante, the salesman, the faker, being in the right place at the right time... but he's also, simultaneously the innovator, the autodidact, the propagandist, the risk taker, the instigator.

    His current status doesnt matter. His body of work stands up for itself, and its one of the most influential and consistently brilliant of any 20th century artist.

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  3. #287
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    Quote Originally Posted by blissblogger View Post
    is ambient on some level philosophically or spiritually opposed to ideas like progression, innovation, linearity of time?

    it seems to be about suspension from time.... the dilation of the now.... or it can be elegaic and memoradelic (as with On Land or The Caretaker or whoever)

    perhaps to evolve would be to go against its fundamental nature, or its deepest drives
    It depends if we're talking about sonic evolution or functional evolution. If the former, I think we can point to plenty of examples, countless sub genres, phases of development.

    If the latter, the question Id ask is why would we expect it to? Has dance music evolved beyond its core function? Jazz? Rock?

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  5. #288
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    Quote Originally Posted by blissblogger View Post
    is ambient on some level philosophically or spiritually opposed to ideas like progression, innovation, linearity of time?

    it seems to be about suspension from time.... the dilation of the now.... or it can be elegaic and memoradelic (as with On Land or The Caretaker or whoever)

    perhaps to evolve would be to go against its fundamental nature, or its deepest drives
    Isn't this the Ben Watson line? The reason he thinks it is evil and must be destroyed (strongly suspect it is tied in with his violent loathing for David ocean of sound Toop as well)

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  7. #289
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    What bliss bloggers comments make me think about and question is what we mean when we say art "evolves". I'm not saying it's wrong to say that, but when you start thinking about what evolution is, scientifically, it seems like a trickier concept than you might assume. Probably a different thread there, though
    Αι ψυχαί οσμώνται καθ΄ Άιδην.

  8. #290
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    And also the word "progress", it's a loaded term, isn't it? It doesn't just imply change or movement.

    I use these words all the time myself. The other day I was saying that drum n bass was a regression from the extremity of jungle.
    Αι ψυχαί οσμώνται καθ΄ Άιδην.

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    We've done that at some length at least once recently. It's largely about mapping the possibility tree

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    Just the voice.


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    This is an outstanding record:


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  13. #294
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    We did a Seefeel special. Its alright.

    https://www.mixcloud.com/DublinDigit...fford-profile/

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    Very interesting thread peoples

    Just to jump back on that question of why ambient has become so popular now

    Firstly, the rise of internet radio, which prioritises the drift of the mix and the curation of the DJ, as opposed to the stop-start quality of conventional broadcasting and its aspiration to journalism, of some sort at least. Basically, internet radio encourages radio shows which are just one or two hours of textural immersion, no track IDs, no intervention from the DJs. Partly this is because people are submitting shows from all over, sometimes with no microphones, maybe just sequencing tracks together on a laptop; also people may be operating in different time zones so the sense of place is lost; also the audience may often be diffuse and listening at work, in shops, etc, where the music works best if it is 'secondary'. Also, there's surely an element of fetishism of the DJ as the creative force in such platforms as NTS, Rinse, etc.

    Secondly, streaming platforms like Spotify etc, which in turn often function to provide music for people to work, concentrate, revise, block out the rest of everyday life, to help ease insomnia or anxiety, to much greater and more formalised degrees that previous platforms for music. Basically, Spotify desires an endless ever-changing amount of this kind of stuff. And, because of the Jukebox Jury effect of Spotify it encourages instant skipping, liking, rather than taking time to listen it encourages a certain bland, smooth, regular quality to background music

    That's not to say I don't love some of this stuff Joe Muggs's idea that ambient of the 90s was his punk resonated strongly with me, the idea that it was multi-function, full of possibilities, a frame in which everyone could do it, etc.

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