Ἀρέθουσα, 30 September 2018


isol­a­tion, intro­spec­tion, relax­a­tion

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

Bio­sphereSub­strata (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 Ger­gisI 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.

Vari­ousIllu­min­a­tions 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.