The Ambient Music Guide blog

Reviews of new stuff and posts on other assorted topics.

REVIEW: ‘After Today’ by Gregory Paul Mineeff

GREGORY PAUL MINEEFF After Today (Cosmicleaf) Australian artist Gregory Paul Mineeff’s fine new album sees the Greece-based Cosmicleaf label taking another successful departure from the psychedelic downtempo beats it’s best known for. The often beatless After Today is awash in electric piano lines, meshed with minimalist synth pads and textures and some weird phrasing using […]

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Best Albums of 2019: Wanderwelle & Bandhagens Musikförening ‘Victory Over The Sun’

WANDERWELLE & BANDHAGENS MUSIKFÖRENING Victory Over The Sun (Semantica) An eerie historical account of weird shit happening in the skies above Basel, Switzerland in 1566 is the inspiration for this dark and powerfully evocative blend of cinematic ambient and atmospheric techno. Dutch duo Wanderwelle were responsible for last year’s Polynesian ambient techno delight Gathering Of […]

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Best Albums of 2019: Silent Records

VARIOUS ARTISTS Tonic Immobility: From Here to Tranquility vol. 11 (Silent Records) LINGUA LUSTRA Red Shift (Silent Records) Rebooted in 2016 by founder Kim Cascone after a 20 year break, San Francisco’s Silent Records these days is very much about the psychoactive drone music and experimental noisescapes that its academically-trained founder has been immersed in […]

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Best Albums of 2019: Various Artists ‘Cosmic Duality’

VARIOUS ARTISTS Cosmic Duality (Synchronos Recordings) From San Francisco’s Synchronos label comes this fine sampling of the kind of downtempo instrumentals you’ll hear on the better chill stages at psytrance and electronica festivals. New tunes, and good ones, doused in multi-coloured tones, layered and trippy arpeggios and lots of head-nodding grooves. Dub is the cornerstone […]

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Best Albums of 2019: Fantasy Enhancing

URBAN MEDITATION Currents of Space (Fantasy Enhancing) SVEN KÖSSLER & SI MATTHEWS A Constant State Of Flow (Fantasy Enhancing) MOSS GARDEN Understanding Holy Ghosts (2013, reissue on Fantasy Enhancing) Fantasy Enhancing is one several fabulous new labels recently birthed by the respected – and apparently inexhaustible – Brit electronic producer/composer Lee Norris, his other current […]

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Best Albums of 2019: Sven Laux & Daniela Orvin ‘The Writings’

SVEN LAUX AND DANIELA ORVIN The Writings (Dronarivm) From the Moscow-based Dronarivm label comes this first-time collaboration between two Berlin-based artists, an exceptional quality hybrid of modern classical and droney electronica. The Writings is very cinematic at times with piano figures set against hovering strings in a way that echoes Thomas Newman. At other times […]

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Best Albums of 2019: Motionfield ‘A Clear Horizon’ and ‘Signals’

MOTIONFIELD A Clear Horizon (Txt Recordings) Signals (Neotantra) Swedish composer Petter Friberg’s contributions to ambient as Motionfield include the towering Luftrum (2015), a slow-motion masterpiece of lush, oceanic, IDM-inflected chillout. After that album he made a few more that commendably took a somewhat different direction, seemingly ignoring any pressure for more of the same. Now […]

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Best Albums of 2019: Ishq

ISHQ Autumn Leaves (ishq.org) In Diamond Light (ishq.org) Seasoned psyambient traveller Matt Hillier recently took a break from his Ishq project, but it didn’t last very long. This year we’ve recently seen a large swathe of Ishq releases in a wide array of sub-styles, from spectral tribal atmospherics and squiggly sci-fi futuretronics to lush psychedelic […]

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Best Albums of 2019: Hollie Kenniff ‘The Gathering Dawn’

HOLLIE KENNIFF The Gathering Dawn (n5MD) There are loads of electronic musicians making ethereal minimalist drone music, but how many of them can sing? Canadian-American artist Hollie Kenniff can, and beautifully. Her debut solo album The Gathering Dawn marries her reverberating wordless vocals with expansive, airy beds of synths, samples and rippling guitars, played mostly […]

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Best Albums of 2019: Bruno Sanfilippo ‘Pianette’

BRUNO SANFILIPPO Pianette (ad21 Music) Spanish electro-acoustic musician Bruno Sanfilippo’s new album Pianette is played on a piano that’s not quite a piano, and it’s utterly compelling. The slightly harpsichord-toybox-mechanical sound comes from his newly acquired Una Corda piano, built by German designer David Clavins and featuring a unique one-string-per-note design instead of the usual […]

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Best Albums of 2019: Brian Eno ‘Apollo: Extended Edition’

BRIAN ENO with DANIEL LANOIS & ROGER ENO Apollo: Extended Edition (1983, reissue on UMC/Virgin) Awe. That’s what the deeper tracks from ambient pioneer Brian Eno’s spacemusic classic Apollo still evoke, most of them from the album’s first half, and profoundly so. Pieces like “Under Stars”, “Drift” and “The Secret Place”. Glistening, shifting tones, mysterious […]

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Best Albums of 2019: Bluetech ‘Liquid Geometries in Dub’

BLUETECH Liquid Geometries in Dub (Liquid Sound Design) Although he’s best known for his punchy, quirky, dubby ambient pop instrumentals, Bluetech’s original Liquid Geometries album from 2018 was conjured in a beatless universe – all psychedelic drones, ethereal progressions and cosmic arpeggios, generally melodic and occasionally dissonant. These beatless foundations makes it an unusual candidate […]

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Best Albums of 2019: Biosphere ‘Hilvarenbeek Recordings’ & ‘Senja Recordings’

BIOSPHERE The Hilvarenbeek Recordings (Biophon Records) The Senja Recordings (Biophon Records) Like the sun and the moon, these two albums from Norway’s greatest gift to ambient are inseparably locked in orbit around one another, but each casts a different light. Following his welcome return to form with the atypical but evocative ghostly nostalgia of Departed […]

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Best Albums of 2019: Bersarin Quartett ‘Methoden und Maschinen’

BERSARIN QUARTETT Methoden und Maschinen (Denovali) It’s been four years since Germany’s Thomas Bücker released an album as Bersarin Quartett, during which he’s been performing live shows around Europe with an ensemble and further developing his beguiling sound. The new opus Methoden und Maschinen (“Methods and Machines”) doesn’t disappoint. It’s another epic melange of modern […]

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Best Albums of 2019: Banco De Gaia ‘Magical Sounds 20th Anniversary’

BANCO DE GAIA Magical Sounds: 20th Anniversary Edition (1999, reissue on Disco Gecko) Magical Sounds is the last of Toby Marks aka Banco de Gaia’s classic 90’s albums, ending a series of four groundbreaking and influential ethno-techno-trance-dub releases by which started with Maya (1994). This 20th anniversary release includes a handful of alt versions and […]

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Best Albums of 2019: Neotantra

AUTUMN OF COMMUNION Folk Etymology (Neotantra) BALSAM Soul Offerings (Neotantra) DARREN McCLURE On Opposites (Neotantra) The Neotantra label is another creation of respected Brit electronic producer/composer Lee Norris who has been making and championing electronica of many different hues since the 90’s. Neotantra is the gentler, mostly beatless cousin of his recently resurrected IDM techno […]

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