Dr Atmo and Ramin

The tracks 'Apadana' and 'Terasury' which bookend the first album are high points, based around Third World-style vocal swells with a deep, aching beauty that will just wipe you out. The vocals are set against a backdrop of haunting yet warm analogue synth drones and anchored by slow, incredibly hypnotic percussion loops.

artist:
Dr Atmo & Ramin

country of origin:
Iran/Germany

style(s):
Ethno-ambient, chillout, ambient techno, drone

decades active:
90's

essential releases:

  • Sad World 1 (1993, Fax Records)
  • Sad World 3 (1995, Fax Records)

Reviewed by Mike G

In its 1990's heyday the new-school ambient label Fax Records attracted some of the most gifted electronic musicians in the world. The Iranian-born, German-based DJ and composer Dr. Atmo (real name Amir Abadi) was one of Fax's brightest talents. As a DJ he was one of the artists who hung out at Frankfurt's legendary XS Club, a Sunday chillout event where many young e-musicians connected with the dance music scene performed and got to know each other. Atmo was a prolific composer during these years, though he much preferred collaborations to solo work. His collaborators included some the era's most outstanding ambient dance albums with names like Oliver Lieb, Pete Namlook and Deep Space Network (see those artists for the reviews).

Atmo also proved to be a remarkably dab hand at ethno-ambient on the Sad World series, an electro-acoustic recording project he made with the enigmatic collaborator known only by the name of Ramin. The first and third volumes are highly recommended. The tracks "Apadana" and "Terasury" which bookend the first Sad World (1993) are high points, based around Third World-style vocal swells with a deep, aching beauty that will just wipe you out. The vocals are set against a backdrop of haunting yet warm analogue synth drones and anchored by slow, incredibly hypnotic percussion loops. These two tracks alone represent a meeting of Eastern music and contemporary sounds that's every bit as powerful as music by masters of the form such as Popol Vuh and David Parsons. Elsewhere on these records you'll hear strange spoken voice monologues, ambient dub and long drone-based synth excursions sprinkled with global exotica. The strangest track is a meeting of tribal drums, bouncy Mid-Eastern strings and Oldfield-style choral chants called "Kirkuk".

Since the 1990's, Atmo's musical pursuits have been mainly as a DJ - including compiling several loungey mix compilations - and he has also produced an intriguing multi-genre project called Atmo And The Lightz.

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