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Thread: 10 Classic Ambient Albums

  1. #26
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    The Pearl ia s fantastic album. While I like the similar Plateux of Mirrors, this resonates deeper with me and has an exceptional ambience.

  2. #27
    I'm sure most of you fine folks know about this already, but Budd's collab album with Cocteau Twins "The Moon & the Melodies" has some awesome work from all of them.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aEWZEydUyrY
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  3. #28
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    Perhaps more in the drone camp, but worthy of consideration, is Glissando Guitar Orchestra-Live at The Kozfest Festival 2014.I have the cd and it's a winner.
    "please do not understand me too quickly"-andre gide

  4. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by battema View Post
    For me personally, Global Communication's 76:14 is a desert island disc.
    I've never heard it before. Currently on track 4 and lovin' this!

  5. #30
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    The article is subtitled "For People Who Don't Know Shit About Ambient."

    That includes the author.

  6. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisXymphonia View Post
    Hmm.... most of what he has on that list I wouldn't hardly call ambient as there is far too much rhythm going on. For me ambient means an album can literally be put without being a distraction. A true ambient classic is one that works both in that way and holds up when under more close scrutiny (i.e. actually paying attention to it). A few of my classics:

    Tangerine Dream - Zeit
    Michael Stearns - Encounters
    Steve Roach - Structures From Silence
    Vangelis - Soil Festivities
    I'm surprised the list didn't have Roach, but it IS LA Weekly.

    That said, nice to see a name drop for Soil Festivities, which is one of Vangelis' finest moments.

  7. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    The article is subtitled "For People Who Don't Know Shit About Ambient."

    That includes the author.
    I wouldn't go quite that far, but he could definitely use some schooling.

  8. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by battema View Post
    Paul Schütze is a great thought. Someone I forget about too often...
    Well, New Maps of Hell from '92 comes close to being an ambient paradigma from modern days, I think. Some may consider it too overtly composed to really fit the bill, though.

    A couple of seminal contemporary ambient releases were the two double sets by the Divination collective, released on the Zorn/Downtown Subharmonic label in the late 90s; the first one named Akasha features lengthy pieces by Laswell, Haruomi Hosono, M.J. Harris, Anton Fier and DXT, the second (actually released on SubMeta) has the first four plus Paul Schutze, Pete Namlook, Thomas Koner and the wonderful Tetsu Inoue. These two are both utterly essential modern ambient collections, IMO.

    Another, even more obscure but equally idiosyncratic ambient work is Charles Vrtacek's incredible When Heaven Comes to Town from 1988. It contains what may be my single fave post-70s ambient number - being almost 'music for a funeral':
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
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  9. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by dropforge View Post
    I've never heard it before. Currently on track 4 and lovin' this!
    I really like that one - but I kinda dig Pentamerous Metamorphosis even more. Wish it was longer.

  10. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phlakaton View Post
    This list is invalid without Boards of Canada. I'm kinda surprised GC made that list - I love GC. No Future Sounds of London either?
    The music of BoC is designed to give people the willies and therefore I dunno if I'd really classify it as "ambient".

    The Global Communication album is good. The first and last track are incredible. I think it's neat that they were just a one-shot group.

    Surprised that SAW 85-92 made the list rather than SAWII - the latter is one of the most praised ambient discs ever, and one of the few that really does put me in a dreamlike state. It's quite unwieldy but so incredibly beautiful.

    Really glad to see Chill Out make the list - I thought people forgot about it! Those early Orb recordings were really something - not the static sort of ambient that Eno & company made, but rather something much more free-flowing and wild. Orbus Terrarum is one of the most complex ambient albums ever made, I wish more people knew of it.

    By the way - Underworld also made some really great ambient stuff, if you knew where to look. In '05 and '06 they did these download-only EPs and the 3rd one is particuarly nice. I've linked it below - only 30 minutes and it's all great, but the second half really is stunning.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xxK7AyNMUBQ
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  11. #36
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    Good to see the mentions of Steve Roach.
    Besides being a fascinating and prolific composer, he is a genuinely nice guy.

  12. #37
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    for me Pearl( Budd, Eno), David Sylvian's second disc of Gone to Earth, On Land by Eno, and Tangerine Dream Sorcerer

  13. #38
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    Escape From The Northern Wasteland
    Why is it whenever someone mentions an artist that was clearly progressive (yet not the Symph weenie definition of Prog) do certain people feel compelled to snort "thats not Prog" like a whiny 5th grader?

  14. #39
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    I'd be including Steve Roach, either The Light Fantastic or Proof Positive.

    For dark ambient it's hard to go past the Robert Rich / Lustmord collaboration Stalker.

    And some raison d'etre as well - probably Requiem for Abandoned Souls

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  15. #40
    Quote Originally Posted by JAMOOL View Post
    The Global Communication album is good. The first and last track are incredible. I think it's neat that they were just a one-shot group.Really glad to see Chill Out make the list - I thought people forgot about it! Those early Orb recordings were really something - not the static sort of ambient that Eno & company made, but rather something much more free-flowing and wild. Orbus Terrarum is one of the most complex ambient albums ever made, I wish more people knew of it.

    By the way - Underworld also made some really great ambient stuff, if you knew where to look. In '05 and '06 they did these download-only EPs and the 3rd one is particuarly nice. I've linked it below - only 30 minutes and it's all great, but the second half really is stunning.
    Ha...well, actually Global Communication did more material than just 76:14...it's just that nothing came quite close to that particular peak I have a few additional items from them, including a full length (possibly a comp) called Pentamerous Metamorphosis which is excellent ambient music with a slightly more digital sound, and an EP called Maiden Voyage which has some interesting variations on the material from 76:14. One of the two members of GC, Tom Middleton, also has an album called 'Lifetracks' which shares some of the GC DNA while being a bit more modern.

    Orbus Terrarum is my favorite Orb album

    Underworld is responsible for about half the soundtrack to Sunshine, and it is some great, beautiful ambient and abstract music (some of it also was built from tracks off Oblivion with Bells).
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  16. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    Well, New Maps of Hell from '92 comes close to being an ambient paradigma from modern days, I think. Some may consider it too overtly composed to really fit the bill, though.

    A couple of seminal contemporary ambient releases were the two double sets by the Divination collective, released on the Zorn/Downtown Subharmonic label in the late 90s; the first one named Akasha features lengthy pieces by Laswell, Haruomi Hosono, M.J. Harris, Anton Fier and DXT, the second (actually released on SubMeta) has the first four plus Paul Schutze, Pete Namlook, Thomas Koner and the wonderful Tetsu Inoue. These two are both utterly essential modern ambient collections, IMO.

    Another, even more obscure but equally idiosyncratic ambient work is Charles Vrtacek's incredible When Heaven Comes to Town from 1988. It contains what may be my single fave post-70s ambient number - being almost 'music for a funeral':
    Wow...thanks for that. Really sublime. Time to go hunt that one down.

    I only have two of Schutze's releases, Annihilating Angel and New Maps of Hell II (which from everything I've read is fairly different from the first release). Gave them both a listen last night...very cool stuff. In some ways AA reminds me slightly of some of Jon Hassell's excursions.

    I'll have to chase down the ambient comps you mentioned above as well.

    One more somewhat random one...there was a band called Mount Florida that did a weird electronica/post-something album back around 2001. It is an interesting album overall, but the final three tracks are this lovely mix of sampled strings, voices, and even the sound of a concrete block being moved. Well worth hunting down...

    Ephemeral Sun - because I gotta do something about these boxes of CDs in the basement: http://www.ephemeralsun.com

  17. #42
    Quote Originally Posted by dropforge View Post
    I've never heard it before. Currently on track 4 and lovin' this!
    Sweet! Finally found something to suggest up for you
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  18. #43
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    Never sure if what i post qualifies for the criteria given, but,what the hell, i've loved this piece from the first and it seems to fit the bill,so, here goes....Alvin Curran-Songs and Views From the Magnetic Garden.

    "please do not understand me too quickly"-andre gide

  19. #44
    Good stuff walt! Listening now...very cool
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  20. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by grego View Post
    Tangerine Dream Sorcerer
    Definitely not ambient!


    Quote Originally Posted by MYSTERIOUS TRAVELLER View Post
    Escape From The Northern Wasteland
    Ditto, especially if you mean 'Departure' from....

  21. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by battema View Post
    Sweet! Finally found something to suggest up for you
    Haha! You know lots of stuff I have yet to hear!

  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by wideopenears View Post
    some cool stuff there...I'm partial to Harold Budd/Eno's Plateaux of Mirrors, my all-time fave ambient thing....though I suppose some may not call it ambient.
    I waffle back and forth...Pearl or Plateaux...
    Both are excellent. But all of his discs--and there are a lot--have fine moments

  23. #48
    Steve Hillage - Rainbow Dome Musick

  24. #49
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    But the author does get my respect for including Wendy Carlos "Sonic Seasonings." It practically invented the genre.

  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gizmotron View Post
    But the author does get my respect for including Wendy Carlos "Sonic Seasonings." It practically invented the genre.
    I pull that one out a lot more than I thought I would. Something really special about that one.

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