The Ambient Music Guide blog

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

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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Best Albums of 2019: Ashan ‘Transfigurations’

ASHAN Transfigurations (Inner Islands) A masterclass in pastoral new age from another alias of California’s Sean Conrad, owner of the Oakland-based Inner Islands label and whose work under his Channelers alias has also featured previously in AMG’s best-of-year round-ups. The melodic fragments that comprise the six pieces on Transfigurations rise and fall like deep breathing […]

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Best Albums of 2019: Andrea Castiglioni ‘Soundtrack for the City of Tokyo’

ANDREA CASTIGLIONI Soundtrack for the City of Tokyo (I Low You Records) A thoughtful and striking travelogue of the mind by Italian multi-instrumentalist Andrea Castiglioni, who writes that “I’ve never been to Tokyo, but since dreaming is free, I picture it like this.” The clear, pulsing repetitions of cuts like “Shibuya Crossing” and “Synthetic Bokeh” […]

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REVIEW: Bersarin Quartett ‘Methoden und Maschinen’

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 classical, post-rock and ambient synth music, […]

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Uh oh. Influencer alert!

Maybe it had to happen sooner or later. I’ve started getting approaches from marketing agencies asking me to become – I retch at even saying this word – an influencer. Translation: a sell-out. Further translation: taking money or free product in return for doing advertising disguised as personal reviews, recommendations, playlists or whatever. As I […]

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REVIEW: Bluetech’s ‘Liquid Geometries In Dub’

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. It’s beatless foundations makes it an unusual candidate for remixing by dub and beat-driven electronica producers. […]

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New Ambient 2016 – three new mixes

My New Ambient 2016 mix series kicks off with three very contrasting ambient and downtempo mixes. Volume 1: Infinite Meadow Pastoral ambience and hyperreal impressionism from recent releases by Inner Travels, Hybrid Palms, Robert Rich, Sinepearl, Jim Ottaway, Erik Wøllo, Byron Metcalf, Slow World, Miyake and Omni vu Deity (Ishq). Volume 2: Sunshine Grooves Downtempo […]

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New mix: This is Tim Story

Enjoy my new mix spotlighting the deep, seductive, personal sound of American synthesist-pianist-composer Tim Story – chamber music for the 21st century. With a rich catalogue reaching back to the early 1980’s, Tim Story remains a highly distinctive voice in American ambient. The 90 minute mix spans his first album (1981) to his most recent (2014) and touches […]

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