Ἀρέθουσα, 28 March 2019


isol­a­tion, intro­spec­tion, relax­a­tion

ambi­ent, folk, drone, acous­tic, vocal, field record­ings, early music, spir­itual

I’m all about folk drones, and Alison Cot­ton deliv­ers in spades on her latest album All Is Quiet At The Ancient Theatre. Strings, har­monium, vocals, all min­imal, slowly mov­ing. ‘The Bells of St. Agnes’ delves into some proper cere­mo­ni­ous bal­ladry for a moment, but most of the album is calm med­it­a­tion and gentle timbre shifts. (2018, LP/CD/MC/digi via The Left Out­sides / Blox­ham Tapes)

Sidhe Folk by Bog­gart’s Field is a series of enchant­ingly min­imal synth com­pos­i­tions straight from the land of faerie. We would call it dun­geon, but it’s not quite dun­geon. This is music from forest and fen, grove and glade. (2018, Brave Mys­ter­ies)

Bright, so very bright! Curved Light’s new tape on Con­stel­la­tion Tatsu is a glor­i­ously shim­mer­ing synth work­ing. Flow and Return helps us con­nect with the uni­verse’s flux and cadence. Join me!

Con­stel­la­tion Tatsu is a good home for mod­ern New Age ambi­ent tunes. In fact, it might be the best. Sac­red World by Eco­v­il­lage is from the latest tape batch, and con­tains lush, expans­ive scapes for us to hide in.

Per­fect, bliss­ful calm is an art, and Eter­n­ell is a mas­ter. Still Light takes me where I need to go. Soft synths, soft rhodes, soft gui­tar, soft voices. A warm embrace. (2018, Sound in Silence)

Expanses (2014) is a clas­sic, gor­geous The Green King­dom album. And it now has an expan­ded reis­sue, with gor­geous remixes by Tobias Hellk­v­ist, Halftribe, et al. The snow is there, but it is man­age­able. It’s cold, but you’ll sur­vive. The sun is there, even though the days are shorter. This is essen­tial ambi­ent for the winter, when you’re try­ing to get it to be less bleak.

Out this week on CD/digi over at Dron­arivm.

Gentle ambi­ent on || nøth­ing ||‘s post-vapory arti­fi­cial nature (2018). Soft organ(ic) pads stretch out, tickled by hazy string pluck­ings. We’re lying down, let­ting the plants embrace our will­ing bod­ies. #nature­wave

MED GEN - Brit­tle­roots (2018, ΠΑΝΘΕΟΝ)

I retreat to my swamp, the place where few expect to find me. They think I’m too stuck up to get dirty. Here the sounds of the anim­als and the deep breaths of the earth are per­fectly undis­turbed. As am I.

I don’t always go for ‘dark’ ambi­ent. But some­times it’s the only place where you’ll be left truly alone, because few want to tread in these places. I can stay a long time silent, amongst the brittle roots.

The Rubies are put­ting out some rock-solid elec­tro-acous­tic ambi­ent works, and I love it. Their latest is Sleep­ing World, a tape on Alien Gar­age (2018), just about half an hour of the gentlest waves, gui­tar pick­ings, and field record­ings.

Sangam does some exten­ded dreamy chil­lage on Soul­less Other (2018, No Prob­lema Tapes). It’s calm­ing, but slightly unnerv­ing, intrus­ive mind­waves from an ambigu­ous future of shif­ted spaces and iden­tit­ies.