CD Reviews

Published on January 30th, 2015 | by The Beige Baron

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MIXTAPE: Ambient Volume 1

With my stress levels rising in direct relationship with noise produced by my bobble-headed-freak coworker–and her constant whispering, muttering, sighing, paper-shuffling, key-thumping–I went trawling through my iTunes to find something to block her out and calm me down.

Ambient. That’s what I needed. The sighing of waves on a beach, maybe some shimmering reverb guitar. Droning keys. Liquid colors. Something to allow me to concentrate on my work while transporting me out of this place.

Ambient 1 cover art.I don’t know much about ambient music, but suspect that I have so far been pretty lucky finding what I have. It must be very difficult to create good quality ambient– to build a mood, and to allow an idea to unfurl and breath over say 10 or 15 minutes without being boring. Drone is great, too, but I really have to be in the mood for it. Sometimes it’s a little too heavy, too leaden. The rules of ambient seem more flexible, allowing field recordings of birds and water and rain, the use of melody, and a more interesting choice of instrumentation.

With this mix I’ve tried to make each song flow into the other. It’s something you can put on at work or at home and float away with. Within the 17 tracks are pieces by pioneers Brian Eno and Walter Wegmuller (the latter taken from groundbreaking krautrock album Tarot, which featured Klaus Shultz on electronics), a few tracks from the early 1990s such as E.A.R. (a project of Spacemen 3’s Sonic Boom), and some more contemporary artists such as the French duo Natural Snow Buildings and Russian band XPAAM.

Criteria for selection was pretty basic. Minimal drums and maximal atmosphere. They’re just songs that I keep returning to and enjoying, and I hope you enjoy it too.

You can download the Ambient 1 mixtape here.

Tracklisting

1. Natural Snow Buildings — A Prophesy Fulfilled (FRANCE)

2. The Big Ship — Brian Eno (UK)

3. Es — Harmonia, Rakkautta (FINLAND)

4. Mojave Triangles — Eternal Light (USA)

5. The Alps — Manha Da Praia (USA)

6. Grouper — Moon is Sharp (USA)

7. Nicholas Szczpanik — Another Screened World (USA)

8. E.A.R. (Experimental Audio Research) — Hydroponic (UK)

9. Nurse with Wound — Track 3 (UK)

10. Sigur Ros — Varoeldur (ICELAND)

11. Stag Hare — to coyoto to hop (USA)

12. XPAAM — Lesnoi Apocalypse (RUSSIA)

13. Aphex Twin — Tha (UK)

14. Labradford — Air Lubricated Free Axis Trainer (USA)

15. Walter Wegmuller — Die Herrscherin (GERMANY)

16. Carlton Melton — Smoke Drip (USA)

17. Azusa Plane — Two Views of the New Zealand Landscape (AUSTRALIA)

 

 

 


About the Author

Groping for trouts in a peculiar river.



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