Category Archives: Reviews – A

Another Fine Day

British composer and multi-instrumentalist Tom Green’s choice of pseudonym says it well – Another Fine Day makes music that’s positive, relaxed and clear of mind. artist: Another Fine Day country of origin: UK style(s): Chillout, nu jazz, folk, world music, lounge, Balearic, ambient pop decades active: 90’s – 10’s essential releases: Life Before Land (1994, […]

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Abakus

That Much Closer To The Sun is one of the greatest summer albums in ambient dance music, full of warm nostalgic melodies, rippling guitars and luminous synth figures that echo club trance and melodic techno. Davies has captured light in his music, and he’s managed to channel it in a vital, dynamic way that elevates […]

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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 […]

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The Atman Project

Although they never made another album together, on Love and Pain (1989) composers Skeckel and Russe made a significant contribution to Germany’s proud tradition of being the first to explore new music technology, Indeed, they pulled off something remarkable: the sound of machines crying. artist: The Atman Project country of origin: Germany style(s): Ambient, environmental, […]

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Michael Atherton

Atherton recorded some striking albums during the 1990’s that hold much appeal to ambient and downtempo fans. Classically trained but adept on a wide range of folk and ethnic instruments, his textural invention and sense of colour are in abundance on these releases. artist: Michael Atherton country of origin: Australia style(s): World music, contemporary classical, […]

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Asura

Opening with an orchestral, almost cinematic overture, Life Squared (2007) traverses most points of the ambient trance and ethno-ambient compass with emotion, invention and kind of tension-and-release dynamics that can make you feel giddy if you happen to be standing up. My advice: sit down and stay there. artist: Asura country of origin: France style(s): […]

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Ashra (Manuel Gottsching)

Alongside Tangerine Dream’s classics of the same period, the early albums Inventions For Electric Guitar (1975), New Age Of Earth (1976) and Blackouts (1977) are essential slices of mid-70’s German electronica. artist: Ashra country of origin: Germany style(s): Krautrock, Berlin-school ambient, ambient trance, psychedelia, prog rock decades active: 70’s – 10’s essential releases: Inventions For […]

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Artificial Intelligence (series)

This series remains ample proof that the re-emergence of ambient via the early electronic dance music scene of the 1990’s was – far from being the fad some accused it of – one of the most exciting and creative developments in late 20th century music. series: Artificial Intelligence (Warp Records) country of origin: UK style(s): […]

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The Art Of Chill (series)

The melodic and atmospheric roots of club trance and progressive house lie in the layered sounds of early psychedelic ambient ala Tangerine Dream. So it’s only fitting that iconic UK dance music label Platipus Records launched the first volume of this downtempo series by focusing on ambient material and remixes from its own artists. series: […]

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Aphex Twin

At its most accessible, Selected Ambient Works volume II has an engaging sense of harmony with billowing, delicate wafts of synthesisers, light percussion patterns and fragile melodies. At its most challenging, it wraps atonal techno bleeps and burps around muted percussion with such insistent repetition that you’ll find yourself either hypnotised or running screaming from […]

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Alpha Wave Movement

It is not hard to tell that American composer Gregory Kyryluk absorbed a lot of old-school German spacemusic in his formative years. We can be thankful he did because, along with fellow Americans artists Jonn Serrie and Spacecraft, he’s grown into one of the world’s most sensitive practitioners of ambient spacemusic. artist: Alpha Wave Movement […]

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Anyma

The album’s final track “Exordyum” is a spellbinding example of minimalist repetition and slow build, informed with that curiously Eastern sense of time where the music seems to grow out of the earth rather than simply start at one point and finish at another. artist: Anyma country of origin: Canada style(s): World music, ethno-ambient, gothic, […]

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Aleph Zero Records

The best psyambient remains apart from both the fickle commercialism of chilled house and the cold digital glitch aesthetics of much post-90’s ambient techno…Aleph Zero’s debut compilation Natural Born Chillers captures with utter perfection the richness of psychedelic downbeat music post-2000. label: Aleph Zero Records country of origin: Israel style(s): Psy-ambient, ethno ambient, exotic dub, […]

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Air

Air’s gently psychedelic brand of lounge music found commercial success worldwide between the late 1990’s and mid-2000’s and, though their time in the sun has now passed, at least two albums in their discography remain outstanding examples of ambient pop. artist: Air country of origin: France style(s): Ambient pop, retro lounge, synthpop, psychedelia decades active: […]

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Aeoliah

These four albums from very early in Aeoliah’s career – the early to mid 1980’s – offer some superb new age ambient music. They’re examples of just how good the early American new age music could be, before the bigger record labels caught the wave in the late 80’s and the sounds dissipated into bloodless […]

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William Ackerman

Although persistently tagged as new age, the appeal of Ackerman’s best recordings goes far beyond the music’s undeniable prettiness. Looking back now, his best albums exhibit intelligence, grace and an intriguing cosmic aura; they stand among the finest downtempo acoustic instrumental releases of the era. artist: William Ackerman country of origin: USA style(s): New acoustic, […]

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