Bass Communion – Ghosts on Magnetic Tape
The 2004 masterpiece Ghosts on Magnetic Tape by the musical mastermind Steven Wilson shows his versatility as a musician by creating evocative pieces of minimalism with the aid of processed field recordings as well as using old 78 rpm records played at half speed to achieve an aural, ethereal sound that is all together haunting as it is beautiful. The... [Read more of this review]
Biosphere – Patashnik
Patashnik has been my favourite album for years: as I am on here to replace the snapped tape in immortal optical plastic, I thought I’d share my impressions. Its actually a good one to own on tape, for a bit of analogue comfort-noise and ease of continuously looping it.
First off, the album is haunting but hummable. Certain other works of Jensen’s... [Read more of this review]
Harold Budd – Avalon Sutra
Harold Budd was a new name to me but apparently he’s been around for some time & has worked with some quite high profile characters in the music world. Brian Eno & the Cocteau Twins to name but two. This is perfect home listening of a more classical, soundtrack nature. Warm & delicate instrumentation is the order of the day. Not being... [Read more of this review]
Brian Eno – Apollo
In some ways, Apollo reminds me of the soundtrack to ‘2001’. They’re certainly not similar in musical style, but what brings them together is their dense and pervasive atmosphere. They both exude an astonishing range of moods – fear, triumph, beauty, mystery – all coming from the dark recesses of the universe but ending up resonating deep... [Read more of this review]
Phaedra – Tangerine Dream
Tangerine Dream’s first disc for Virgin and an absolute classic! Brooding synthesiser sounds over complex pulsing sequencer patterns, where the intonation constantly shifted and where tunes and melodies and the other trappings of popular music are entirely absent from an album unlike anything else of its day.
The title track opens the disc and... [Read more of this review]
Boards of Canada – Music Has the Right to Children
Sitting in my new bedroom as the remaining few hours of 2008 dwindle, I bring with it my final review of the year, I present you with Boards of Canada’s “Music Has The Right To Children”. BoC are a duo who use the warmest electronic equipment and make it nostalgic, the kind that sticks to your insides and heart. Although this particular... [Read more of this review]
The Future Sound of London – Dead Cities
This album is a testament to advanced creative thinking. It always was ahead of its time, and i think it still is almost 8 years on. Nothing else exists that sounds anything like this.
Having been an FSOL fan for much of my life, i have never been compelled to write anything about them. Til now, mainly because of the fact that they are still going strong... [Read more of this review]
Max Richter – The Blue Notebooks
Conceptually, Max Richter’s The Blue Notebooks– German-born composer mixes contemporary classical compositions with electronic elements in a dreamscapy journalogue featuring excerpts from Kafka’s The Blue Octavo Notebooks as narrated by Tilda Swinton– reads like a relentlessly precious endeavor, as new age music for grad students,... [Read more of this review]
Eluvium – Copia
Eluvium is the project of Matthew Cooper, who has abandoned many of the conventional instruments used by bands and by him in the past. There is no guitar to be found on this instrumental epic, but varied brass, keyboards, piano, and stringed instruments fill the speakers with beautiful emotive brilliance. Copia is the result of a transformation for... [Read more of this review]
Helios – Unomia
This is the first album from Portland-based ambient artist Helios that I’ve had the pleasure of listening to, and I must say it was an incredibly eye-opening (or should I say, mind’s eye-opening) experience. We use words like “evocative” and “atmospheric” and “captivating” to describe certain kinds of... [Read more of this review]
Solar Fields – EarthShine
This is the fifth album from Solar Fields, released on Ultimae, but this in not your usual Solar Fields album, this is TRANCE! I am not going to go into depth about the track, but rather talk about my feelings about this fine piece of work.
Being a fan of Solar Fields, I did not know what to expect, and I rarely listen to samples, cause they dont really... [Read more of this review]
Carbon Based Lifeforms – Hydroponic Garden
A brilliant ambient album, and I’m so happy I randomly as hell downloaded this thing. It was Released on Ultimae in June 2003 and been out for some time before I discovered it. Just glancing at the cover of this, I had a feeling it would be a beautiful experience. This was a true headphones album, but it went one step further…it was a headphones... [Read more of this review]
Burial – Untrue
I have been listening to various forms of electronic music since I was 8 years old in ’88 and pedalling to the local record store to buy house 12″s, so perhaps unlike a few here because of that I’m not quite so easily won.
I have seen the ‘saviours’ and the ‘geniuses’ come and then fade. All have left thier... [Read more of this review]
Steve Roach – Structures from Silence
Decades ago there was a program on KCRW (NPR affiliate in Santa Monica, CA) called “Discrete Music” (yes, named after Eno) that was broadcast at 5:00 am Sundays. I believe the DJ was Dean Suzuki. I would set the clock radio next to my bed to activate at 5:00 am on very low volume and the ambient tunes would flow in and out of my conscieousness... [Read more of this review]
Stars Of The Lid And Their Refinement Of The Decline
The ambient scene is dying, and the general attitude towards ambient music has almost spiraled back into what it was before Brian Eno pioneered it forty years ago. People just don’t seem to have the enthusiasm for atmosphere anymore. Less than experience, people now lean on beats and catchy, trashy melodies. They scoff at the thought of this... [Read more of this review]
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