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Thread: why is ambient so popular now

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mr. Tea View Post

    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 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. 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.




  2. #32
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    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.

    Quote Originally Posted by tox View Post
    Obviously depends how you define ambient
    la sonrisa es divina, la risa humana, la carcajada animal

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  4. #33
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    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.

    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.

  5. #34
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    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.

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    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.'

    Quote Originally Posted by droid View Post
    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.

  7. #36
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    Or perhaps, in noise, 'everything happens' whereas in ambient 'nothing happens' - but neither really 'goes anywhere.'

  8. #37
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    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?
    Last edited by firefinga; 23-01-2017 at 08:28 AM.

  9. #38
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    That's the sort of mid90s ambient I caught bits and pieces of. Still like it today

  10. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Corpsey View Post
    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.

  11. #40
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    Listening to this:

    Quote Originally Posted by tox View Post
    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?
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  12. #41
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    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.

  13. #42
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    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.
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  15. #43
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    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,

  16. #44
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    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.

  17. #45
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    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.

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