Category Archives: Reviews – W-X-Y-Z

Zoviet France

The UK collective Zoviet France is a strong contender for the ultimate cult electronic band. Anonymous, uncompromising, wryly humorous and famously fond of weird album packaging, the band has grown a loyal and obsessive fan base since the original lineup made their recorded debut in 1982. artist: Zoviet France country of origin: UK style(s): Industrial […]

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Zero 7

Beneath the restrained delivery and surface polish, Henry Binns and Sam Hardaker’s songs and instrumentals show a talent for harmonic progression that’s consistently impressive and occasionally jaw-dropping. Simple Things (2001) and When It Falls (2004) are Zero 7’s first two albums, and they remain the band’s finest releases. artist: Zero 7 country of origin: UK […]

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Zen Connection (series)

Zen Connection’s blend of spicy world melodies, trippy breaks, hazy dub and new age prettiness unquestionably echoes the more famous Buddha Bar albums but is a better proposition all round. The Zen series is more adventurous and relies less on the slick soft pop and Latin clichés that its overpriced, better-known French cousin too often […]

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Xerxes

Xerxes is the ambient pop and downtempo beats project of Norwegian electronic composer Klaus Lunde…although he has only ever released one proper, cohesive full-length solo album, The Mirror Formula (2006) sets a standard that is exceptionally high. artist: Xerxes country of origin: Norway style(s): Ambient pop, chillout, psyambient, cinematic decades active: 00’s – 10’s essential […]

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Woob

The atmospheric electronica of Woob is cinema of the mind with few peers: cerebral, musical, vivid and emotional. In particular, the first two Woob albums – released in on the legendary UK ambient label Emit Records – are among the most refined, subtle and innovative examples of the meeting between electronics and live instrument sampling […]

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George Winston

Probably the best known of all the “new age” pianists active in the 80’s and 90’s, George Winston sold millions of records during this period with relatively little media hype. His music has been described as impressionistic, folk, blues, jazz and any number of other terms. Winston himself prefers ‘folk piano’. artist: George Winston country […]

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X1 Project

X1 Project’s intelligent, euphoric, multi-coloured instrumentals straddle techno, classical minimalism, gentle cosmic psychedelia and the bubbling arpeggios of old-school Berlin ambient trance…both of these albums are essential listening for fans of melodic, spacey electronica. artist: X1 Project country of origin: Australia style(s): Berlin-school ambient, ambient trance, ambient techno, spacemusic decades active: 2000’s essential releases: The […]

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Windham Hill Records

Although some of it’s artists also used electronics, the American label Windham Hill pioneered new acoustic music to such an extent that during its peak years the label became a genre in itself. No need, it seems, to use words like folksy, melodic and moody: it’s just Windham Hill. label: Windham Hill Records country of […]

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Waveform Records

The brilliant and eclectic Waveform Records was founded in 1994 by U.S. West Coast ambient icon DJ Forest, host of the long-running American public radio show Musical Starstreams. Waveform is the surviving offspring of now defunct UK label Beyond Records, which in the early-to-mid 90’s pioneered an exotic strain of ambient dance music called ambient […]

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