The Ambient Music Guide blog

Reviews of new stuff I like & posts on random other topics.

REVIEW: Kompakt’s ‘Velvet Desert Music vol. 2’

VARIOUS ARTISTS Velvet Desert Music vol. 2 (Kompakt) This is a marvel. German musician/producer/selector Jörg Burger’s second Velvet Desert Music compilation for Cologne’s Kompakt label serves up warm, groovy, atmospheric electronica of startling freshness. The exclusive and mostly instrumental tracks by artists from France, England, Mexico and Germany – including Jorg himself – were commissioned […]

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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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