isolation, introspection, relaxation
ambient, folk, drone, acoustic, vocal, field recordings, early music, spiritual
Biosphere - Substrata (1997, All Saints)
In-store listening session at Morbus Gravis was good. A central release in late 90s Scandinavian ambient, as the genre turned darker and more based on sampling and field recordings.
La Capella Reial de Catalunya; HESPÈRION XXI, Jordi Savall - Villancicos y Danzas Criollas de la Iberia Antigua al Nuevo Mundo 1550–1750 (2003, Alia Vox)
Bridging renaissance Iberia and the foundations of colonial Latin American music.
Gyütö Tantric College - Tantras of Gyütö: Sangwa Düpa ◾ Mahakala (1988, Nonesuch)
This one goes deeeep.
If you’re pining for the warmth of summer, turn to Halftribe. For The Summer, Or Forever (2018, Dronarivm) is a serene, cosy ambient collection, with soft nighttime waves, snatches of piano and voice, and dreamy mindscapes.
Late night relaxation with Lesa Listvy’s warm ritual ambient on Way Home (2018, Cryo Chamber). This Moscow quartet brings a ton of dynamism: drones, beats, sparse passages, thick swathes of sound. Could recommend this to [v∞] and [ΜΕΛΙ] too!
Mark Gergis - I Remember Syria (2004, Sublime Frequencies)
I like mental travel. Gergis’ 2CD collection of field recordings from turn-of-the-millennium Syria helps us do just that. Conversations, radio, nightlife, traffic, industry, animals… it’s all there.
Calm, minimal, deep ambient waves on Fieldem by Silent Vigils (2018, Home Normal). SV is Stijn Hüwels and James Murray teaming up, dedicating themselves to music that urges us—gently—to open up and be at peace.
Various - Illuminations II (2018, Dronarivm)
Last year’s New Year compilation by Dronarivm was already an intense collection, but this year’s was even better. Too many great artists to name, just dive in and chill out with two hours of ambient gems.
Virtual Forest’s ambient is filled with folk instruments and percussion, obscured, looped, into long organic compositions. Those ingredients are dithered, hiss-covered, on Telling The Bones, the project’s latest, out on Yerevan Tapes.
Visions and Phurpa, now that’s a felicitous collaboration. On Monad (2018, Cyclic Law) we hear that meld: misty© chants piercing through thick drones. In the tradition of self-effacing ritual music, somehow gentle.
[ΜΕΛΙ likes the dark bits]
Maxime Vavasseur’s Witxes is back, deep into ambient territory. Orients (2018, Consouling) is warm and gentle on the first half, but intense, jangling, on the second. Riveting stuff. Full review in the upcoming issue of Ex Abyssō.