Category Archives: Reviews – B

David Byrne & Brian Eno

The album is remarkably prescient…listen closely and you’ll hear some of the foundations being laid for hip hop, digital sampling and the mad eclecticism that would distinguish a good deal of electronically produced music to come. artist: David Byrne & Brian Eno country of origin: USA/UK style(s): World beat, entho-ambient, art rock essential releases: My […]

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Harold Budd

The distinctively dreamy, often extraordinary and occasionally ominous music of Californian pianist Harold Budd is affecting and rich in images, and has been widely imitated by ambient composers over the years. Imitated, but never bettered. artist: Harold Budd country of origin: USA style(s): Ambient, impressionist, neo-classical, electronic, environmental decades active: 70’s – 10’s essential releases: […]

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Gavin Bryars

These two orchestral pieces based on simple tape loops have struck a resounding chord with non-classical audiences – particularly ambient fans – and stand among the most unique pieces of late-20th century music in any genre. artist: Gavin Bryars country of origin: UK style(s): Minimalism, contemporary classical decades active: 70’s – 00’s essential releases: Jesus […]

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Michael Brook

The Canadian-born Brook is not an especially prolific solo artist but when you make albums as good as these, who cares? These two ethno-ambient works from early in his career are his best albums and remain high watermarks in the fusion of world music with ambient electronics. artist: Michael Brook country of origin: Canada style(s): […]

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Kevin Braheny

Braheny is one of the pioneers of American ambient spacemusic…as the first artist to appear on iconic Californian ambient label Hearts Of Space Records, his cosmic impressionism was a defining influence on what many of the label’s 80’s releases would generally sound like. artist: Kevin Braheny country of origin: USA style(s): Ambient spacemusic, ethno-ambient decades […]

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Bonobo

British DJ/composer/producer Simon Green aka Bonobo creates a unique, tuneful and intimate brand of instrumental hip hop…oh alright then, trip hop. At once stimulating and soothing, it perfectly encapsulates breakbeat label Ninja Tune’s more downtempo side. artist: Bonobo country of origin: UK style(s): Trip hop, breakbeat, cinematic, exotic lounge, world beat decades active: 00’s – […]

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Richard Bone

As an exercise in atmosphere The Spectral Ships (1998) is exceptional…the nine tracks are all named after ghost ships of nautical folklore which would appear on the horizon at dusk or dawn. It’s a work of eerie, lovely abstraction with non-rhythmic pieces that don’t begin so much as evolve. artist: Richard Bone country of origin: […]

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Boards Of Canada

While some ambient electronica takes you to exotic, alien or idealised worlds with polished lushness and smooth textures, Boards Of Canada’s techno-influenced instrumentals are intentionally imperfect. The duo’s unique take on psychedelia is to create a tantalising distance between you and the destination by passing one or more elements through lo-fidelity filters and generally degrading […]

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Bluetech

On his brilliant early releases – Prima Materia (2003) and Elementary Particles (2004) – American composer Bluetech debuts a striking and original take on the downtempo-electronica-with-psychedelic-undertones school of instrumental chill…these releases establish what many fans still regard as the classic Bluetech sound. artist: Bluetech country of origin: USA style(s): Ambient pop, ambient dub, psyambient, lounge, […]

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Blu Mar Ten

Coming from a UK dance production duo who were previously known for their drum ‘n’ bass tunes, Blu Mar Ten’s eclectic chillout masterpiece The Six Million Names Of God (2003) is an unexpected and deeply trippy shot out of the, well, blue. Describing an album as being like a movie in your head is hardly […]

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