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Author Topic: The qualities of "ambient"  (Read 3564 times)
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absurdexposition
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« Reply #15 on: August 19, 2021, 12:59:40 AM »

Lustmord is probably one of the most famous dark ambient producers, and whilst I am not overly familiar with all of his back catalogue, this album stands out as my most played.  Such a powerful blend of vocal and ambience.  
https://lustmord.bandcamp.com/album/the-word-as-power

I picked up "The Place Where the Black Stars Hang" early last year and it's become one of my go-to's in this zone https://lustmord.bandcamp.com/album/the-place-where-the-black-stars-hang - There's enough structure to be enjoyable as a relatively active listen, but also low key enough to sit comfortably in the background if needed.

Other stuff that gets regular play are Eno's Discreet Music, Klowd, Damion Romero's Negative... Romero could also fit into the "minimalism done right" thread.
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Andrew McIntosh
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« Reply #16 on: August 19, 2021, 07:03:02 AM »

I picked up "The Place Where the Black Stars Hang" early last year and it's become one of my go-to's in this zone https://lustmord.bandcamp.com/album/the-place-where-the-black-stars-hang - There's enough structure to be enjoyable as a relatively active listen, but also low key enough to sit comfortably in the background if needed.

For years, this album has been my personal standard for Dark Ambient. It defines what I regard as the essential elements of what successful Dark Ambient should sound like. Ambient in that it relies on staid, slow, drone-like and repetitive qualities, dark in that the sounds and overall atmosphere genuinely invoke (for me) a sense of darkness. Cosmic Horror in sound.
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Soloman Tump
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« Reply #17 on: August 19, 2021, 11:19:37 AM »

The Caretaker...The artist himself has been diagnosed with early onset dementia
is that true? james kirby is 47, would be surprised if it was

nice to see kirby go from the prankster v/vm days (once named by ron lessard as the worst noise act he had ever seen live) to his current role as critical darling. the sounds are good

Ok, it's one of those annoying internet whispers.Taken from pitchfork / Quietus:

 However, Kirby himself has not been diagnosed with dementia, he clarified in an email to Pitchfork. “The Caretaker” has dementia, not him. “I have given the project dementia,” he wrote. “It's a fitting epitaph for a finite series of works which has always dealt with memory. There shouldn't be any confusion and it's not intentional if there is any.” In a new interview with The Quietus, he explained more about the project.
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Into_The_Void
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« Reply #18 on: August 19, 2021, 12:17:26 PM »

Between the most "avantgarde-ish" kind of ambient music can be surely mentioned Valerio Tricoli. Both records he released on PAN records, although are not strictly ambient, are a good example of concrete, phyisical, ghastly and spooky sounds mixed together to create "ambience". There´s a great mastery of sound design behind his stuff.
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V.T.R
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« Reply #19 on: August 20, 2021, 12:03:14 PM »

For me quality ambient is something I can put on for background music for hours and/or I can take a deep listen sessions with headphones. Some artists and records that has survived the test of time for me are:

Brian Eno

Obvious choice yep, but after listening ambient so many years and checking out lot of different artists and styles, Eno still rules big time. Albums have quality production, sound and compositions are perfect. Another thursday afternoon, Lux, Ambient 2 and 4 are maybe the most listened ambient albums ever for me and I still return to them when I want to listen something but don't know what to put on. Reflection is also good stuff. Also a big fan of what he has done with Robert Fripp and Cluster etc, but those are the different story. I like pretty much almost everything he has done in ambient field.

Steve Roach

I have most number of Steve Roach albums from ambient genre in my collection. Enough variation and something for every mood in his discography. Spacey "darker" stuff for night time listening when going to sleep and nice soothing background muzak for daydreaming. I still prefer the droning sound type of stuff (Mystic chords & sacred places, Immersions, deeper silence etc.) and minimal compositions; Structure from silence and quiet music etc. His "berlin school" style albums I don't care about at all...

Biosphere

Huge fan! Geir Jenssen is the master of loops in ambient. Maybe the nordic melancholy in his best albums resonates deeply in me, but I always return to Biosphere and I believe that this is the most listened artist for me during last 15 years. Shenzou, Substrata, Cirque and Dropsonde are masterpieces. I can put each of those albums for repeat to my cd player and never get bored. Works also in headphone listening sessions. Atmospheric stuff with good ear for details and minimalism done right. Autour de la lune is great drone album and N-plants ambient techno also does the trick to me.  


Matthias Grassow

Same thing as Steve Roach for me; I listen to Grassow a lot and there are album for almost every occasion. Quality ambient and not only synth stuff. Also some concrete sounds like singing bowls, sitars, choir chants in some albums. Not used in a cheesy new-age way.

Gas / Wolfgang Voigt

Ah! The master of scarf ambient/techno! I like everything Gas has made. Hazy atmoshperes that keeps your attention in headphone sessions or you can just the albums for background. Rückverzauberung 10 / Nationalpark under his own name is reeeeeally good ambient. I remember the first listen I tried it via spotify and was just meh, but I had already purchased it on cd. Forgot the cd for a while and when I returned to it and listened it with stereo equipment I realised how good it is. Modern minimal classical style, greatly composed and sound is super good!


Dark ambient and drone are different genres for me so I don't feel like listing the usual names so I return to those in another topics.

From noise side of "ambient" I like Mike Shiflet and Damien Romero.
« Last Edit: August 20, 2021, 04:23:58 PM by V.T.R » Logged

Bloated Slutbag
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« Reply #20 on: August 20, 2021, 04:38:58 PM »

I picked up "The Place Where the Black Stars Hang" early last year and it's become one of my go-to's in this zone https://lustmord.bandcamp.com/album/the-place-where-the-black-stars-hang - There's enough structure to be enjoyable as a relatively active listen, but also low key enough to sit comfortably in the background if needed.

For years, this album has been my personal standard for Dark Ambient. It defines what I regard as the essential elements of what successful Dark Ambient should sound like. Ambient in that it relies on staid, slow, drone-like and repetitive qualities, dark in that the sounds and overall atmosphere genuinely invoke (for me) a sense of darkness. Cosmic Horror in sound.

For the longest time, TPWTBSH was my go-to for contrariness. Honestly, I didn't think it held up to the prior submissions. And I think was the one that had the esteemed B. on the defensive for more than a bit (at least in interviews). But it is posts like yours that slowly had me come back, and around, at junctures, to reevaluate. I will say, I absolutely adore the pervection of atmosphere that envelops the closing notes of Dog Star Descends (closing ditty on the said release).

And it is here where I repeat myself ad stupidum to plug Jean-Claude Eloy's Shanti (1973), still imo the blueprint for the birth of the myriad pervections of atmosphere. At the highest possible levels, please.
« Last Edit: August 24, 2021, 07:17:05 PM by Bloated Slutbag » Logged

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« Reply #21 on: August 20, 2021, 11:57:05 PM »

I like the dark ambient and drone stuff that is more related to the noise scene but also enjoy different kinds of ambient music. Bought a few reissues of classic Japanese ambient records a few weeks ago and liked them a lot; Hiroshi Yoshimura - Music For 9 Postcards + Green, Satoshi Ashikawa - Still Way (really minimal), Inoyamaland - Danzindan-Pojidon. Also been listening to a lot of Enno Velthuys (reissue of Glimpse of Light on my own label + more to come). Also, i buy any Rafael Anton Irisarri records I see, great atmosphere and production. Kranky records; Stars of the Lid, Loscil & Tim Hecker. Deaf Center (ambient/piano). William Bassinki (ambient analog tape loops).
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V.T.R
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« Reply #22 on: August 21, 2021, 09:27:52 AM »

Satoshi Ashikawa - Still Way (really minimal)...

... Also, i buy any Rafael Anton Irisarri records I see, great atmosphere and production....

Still way is soooooo good<3 Check out Yutaka Hirose: Nova album if you haven't yet? It is more traditional ambient than Ashikawa with field recordings, bells, some synth, water... All in all solid stuff and not too cheesy.

I only have A Fragile Geography from Irisarri, but that one I have been listening a LOT during the years.

Stars of The Lid is also one of my favourites.
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Into_The_Void
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« Reply #23 on: August 22, 2021, 12:16:17 PM »


Still way is soooooo good<3 Check out Yutaka Hirose: Nova album if you haven't yet? It is more traditional ambient than Ashikawa with field recordings, bells, some synth, water... All in all solid stuff and not too cheesy.


Checked both, both very good but "Still way" it´s not my cup of tea, I got a little bit bored and it´s overall too "sweet" although is without doubt very good work.  "Nova" is good, I like this kind of field recording, natural streams-driven ambient, so to say, but I find it also a bit boring after a while and too "lushy", if you know what I mean.

Springing to a completely another musical area, but still remaining in the field of the clean sounding (dark) ambient, I suggest to everybody to listen to the last Beherit album, "Bardo Exist". Dense atmospheres, obscure feelings and interesting composition. A great end for one of the greatest bands/projects ever appeared in the extreme music.
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« Reply #24 on: August 23, 2021, 10:26:25 AM »

The Caretaker...The artist himself has been diagnosed with early onset dementia
is that true? james kirby is 47, would be surprised if it was

nice to see kirby go from the prankster v/vm days (once named by ron lessard as the worst noise act he had ever seen live) to his current role as critical darling. the sounds are good

apparently it's true, and thats why the caretaker album series goes from "still recognizable" to "blurred and losing it" ...it's an amazing listen, i picked up the whole packet from bandcamp
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impulse manslaughter
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« Reply #25 on: August 23, 2021, 12:49:09 PM »

Yutaka Hirose: Nova

This was already on my radar, thanks for reminding.

And yes, I also saw V/VM live once playing a pretty bad noise show with a pig mask on. It kept me from checking out The Caretaker despite all the good reviews..

Was going through my cd collection yesterday and noticed I have a lot of 12K cds collecting dust on the shelves. Today I played some old favorites like Pjusk, Taylor Deupree (label owner), Stephan Mathieu & Solo Andata. Usually these 12K releases are a nice mix of electronics and organic sounds. Recommended.

« Last Edit: August 23, 2021, 04:18:32 PM by impulse manslaughter » Logged
cantle
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« Reply #26 on: August 23, 2021, 02:48:20 PM »

The Caretaker...The artist himself has been diagnosed with early onset dementia
is that true? james kirby is 47, would be surprised if it was

nice to see kirby go from the prankster v/vm days (once named by ron lessard as the worst noise act he had ever seen live) to his current role as critical darling. the sounds are good

apparently it's true, and thats why the caretaker album series goes from "still recognizable" to "blurred and losing it" ...it's an amazing listen, i picked up the whole packet from bandcamp

It is the personna of 'The Caretaker' that has the disease- that was how and why the musical project was wound up: https://www.electronicbeats.net/the-caretaker-unsound-leyland-james-kirby/ Kirby himself is fine.
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« Reply #27 on: August 23, 2021, 07:00:49 PM »

ah ok
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Bloated Slutbag
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« Reply #28 on: August 24, 2021, 07:30:44 PM »

but also low key enough to sit comfortably in the background if needed

This is kind of a (but not the) crux, and a point at which I would be inclined to diverge. Would be, that is, if I could figure out where to place the line between distracted and concentrated listening.
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absurdexposition
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« Reply #29 on: August 25, 2021, 02:21:34 AM »

but also low key enough to sit comfortably in the background if needed

This is kind of a (but not the) crux, and a point at which I would be inclined to diverge. Would be, that is, if I could figure out where to place the line between distracted and concentrated listening.

Never more valid than in a discussion about ambient.
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