Author Topic: Long Term Listening - your ambient classics  (Read 19668 times)

APK

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Long Term Listening - your ambient classics
« on: January 07, 2010, 06:29:37 AM »
Brian B. recently posted in another thread:
"What's the music you've listened to with regularity over the long term?"
Which made me think this would be an excellent topic of its own.

So please post in here those electro-ambient (and related) albums you come
back to again and again, over years, or at least more than one season.
A list of personal classics, rather than recent finds.
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jkn

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Re: Long Term Listening - your ambient classics
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2010, 06:46:37 AM »
I'll probably have to post again later - here's a few.

Saul Stokes - Zo Pilots ... I dearly love this album and have listened to it countless times.   I distinctly remember one winter where Heidi and I had to drive to Chicago for a birthday party and we were hit with a blizzard...  it took a couple hours longer than normal to get there, visibility wasn't any further than the front of the car, sometimes Heidi had to help me find the edge of the road (and yet there were still idiots trying to pass?  sheesh).   An amazingly stressful drive - and I just put Zo Pilots on repeat - it helped me remain focused on driving and calm.    I love this album.

Saul Stokes - Outfolding ... no stories for this one - but I spin it nearly as often as Zo Pilots.

Plastikman - Consumed ... more on the minimal techno side of things - but it feels "ambient" to me.  I like to describe this albums as making me feel like I'm driving late at night through a foggy forest with no other cars on the road.

Forma Tadre - Automate ... while his first album Navigator was more on par with industrial/ebm, Automate is a somewhat dark sci-fi film soundtrack sounding album that I love.

Eno/Budd - The Pearl ...  gorgeous - although I've only owned it a couple years now, this is the one I return to repeatedly.

Vidna Obmana - Surreal Sanctuary ... first half of the album.   I can listen to those first 4 tracks over and over and over and over.  Gorgeous, beautiful, melancholy.  The rest of the album isn't bad in any way - but there's just something utterly amazing about the first few tracks.

Jonathan Hughes - Trillium ... I can't count the number of times I've listened to this beautiful album and highly recommend it.

....

Edit:   Need to add:

Datacide - Flowerhead
David Sylvian


« Last Edit: January 08, 2010, 07:42:36 AM by jkn »
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uhurit

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Re: Long Term Listening - your ambient classics
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2010, 10:43:00 AM »
My musical tastes have (d)evolved form hard-hitting Berlin and glitch to interesting drones and some "ethno-tribal". Here's my personal classics:

- Makoto Kawabata, Inui 1-4
- K. Wiese/J. Cole, Plejades
- pretty much anything by Alio Die and his comrades
- Phil Niblock
- Robert Davies
- Holy Domain, Grassow/Wiese/Agthe
- Rapoon of the early "tribal" phase
- Jorge Reyes
« Last Edit: January 07, 2010, 10:40:46 PM by uhurit »

Brian Bieniowski

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Re: Long Term Listening - your ambient classics
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2010, 12:02:36 PM »
For my own part, I want to ignore things on my classics list from pre-2000, since I don't want to make a list of all the stuff we already know about and fete already (ie Dreamtime Return, Rubycon, etc.).

So, just off the top of my head, and much of this stuff is still unsung:

any of Kiln's albums
Scott Solter—One River
Much of the recent Alio Die material, especially the work with Zeit
Ashera's albums
the three Exuviae albums, especially Settling Density
Shuttle 358's stuff
Forrest's Gongland
Never Known—On the Edge of Forever
Susumu Yokota—Sakura
the work of Pub
Klaus Wiese—Soma
Sola Translatio
Saul Stokes—Fields
Fennesz
Tim Hecker
Markus Guentner
Jonathan Hughes's Trillium
Loess
Yagya's incredible Rhythm of Snow
Basinski's Disintegration Loops
Polmo Polpo—Like Hearts Swelling
Off the Sky—Cold Distances
The first Aglaia album
Jim Cole's Innertones

Gotta go look at my CD collection ...

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Re: Long Term Listening - your ambient classics
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2010, 12:11:47 PM »
Early listening (pre-Hypnos) that I still listen to quite often:

Eno - Neroli
Eno - On Land
Lustmord - The Place Where the Black Stars Hang
Harold Budd - everything until the bad poetry crept in
Jeff Greinke - In Another Place
Jeff Greinke - Timbral Planes
Robert Rich - Trances/Drones
Steve Roach - Structures From Silence
Steve Roach - Quiet Music (I still don't have a copy of the 2cd version of this)
Thomas Koner - Nonatak Gongamur
Koner - Permafrost
Koner - Aubrite
Klaus Schulze - various early works (for some reason, especially Dune, though I don't think it's one of his best)
O Yuki Conjugate - Equator
O Yuki Conjugate - Peyote
Paul Schutze - Apart
Robert Scott Thompson - Silent Shore
Vidna Obmana - Ending Mirage
Vidna Obmana - River of Appearance
Tangerine Dream - Phaedra
Tangerine Dream - Zeit
Zoviet France - Shouting at the Ground
Zoviet France - Shadow, Thief of the Sun
Zoviet France - What Is Not True (greatly underrated IMO)

I just realized these are very nearly in alpha order.  I must have been astrally projecting myself in front of my CD shelves when I typed this list!

I will make a more relevant, on-topic list of stuff from 95-96 or so to present.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2010, 12:22:39 PM by mgriffin »
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APK

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Re: Long Term Listening - your ambient classics
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2010, 12:55:47 PM »
I can't imagine not playing these again and again in the future.

- Gas: Pop
- Marcus Guentner: In Moll  (the new Doppelgaenger will join this)
- Pub: everything
- Keith Berry: The Ear That Was Sold To A Fish
- Biosphere: I rotate through them all
- Eluvium: Life Through Bombardment (to add them all)
- Jeff Greinke: Soundtracks
- Last Days: everything
- Loscil: I rotate through them
- Martinez: Solaris soundtrack
- Múm: everything
- Murcof: Remembranza
- Nest: Nest
- Off The Sky: a number of things
- Max Richter: everything
- Roedelius: Jardin au Fou
- Saul Stokes: I rotate through them
- Stars of the Lid: Tired and Their refinement
- Philip Weigl: everything

I expect there is more, but these jumped out when I eyed my hard drive.
I'd add a bunch from DataObscura, but modesty forbids.
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ech3

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Re: Long Term Listening - your ambient classics
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2010, 06:49:24 PM »
I'm not sure if all these fit the definition of "ambient", so it's a little of this, a little of that. 

The only thing I left off this list are hard-core Berlin school/sequencer stuff (probably more appropriate in the EMPortal forums).

23 Degrees - An Endless Searching For Substance
Al Gromer Khan - Turya
Aphex Twin - Selected Ambient Works 85-92
Aphex Twin - Selected Ambient Works vol II
Ashra - New Age Of Earth
Banco de Gaia - Last Train To Lhasa
Between Interval - Secret Observatory
Biosphere - everything, but a few top favorites are:
       Patashnik
       Substrata
       Dropsonde
Brian Eno - the Ambient series and many other titles
Electric Skychurch - Knowoneness
Evan Marc & Steve Hillage - Dreamtime Submersible
Giles Reaves - Wunjo (Joy)
Giles Reaves - Sea Of Glass
Global Communication - Pentamerous Metamorphosis
Global Communication - 76:14
Global Communication - Remotion
Harold Budd & Brian Eno - The Pearl
Harold Budd & Hector Zazou - Glyph
Ishq - Orchid (2 disc ed)
Johann Johannsson - Virdulegu Forsetar
Johann Johannsson - IBM 1401, A User's Manual
Johann Johannsson - Fordlandia
Kwook - Skywave
Mark Isham - Vapor Drawings
Michael Stearns - Planetary Unfolding
Moodswings - Horizontal
Richard Bone - several, but I'll name Distillation, his only compilation
Robert Rich - several, but Trances/Drones is a standout
Saafi Brothers - Mystic Cigarettes
Single Cell Orchestra (self-titled disc)
Sounds From The Ground - Kin
Stars of the Lid - everything, but these are masterpieces:
       The Tired Sounds of Stars of the Lid
       And Their Refinement of the Decline
Steve Roach - too many to name, but a few that stand out:
       Structures From Silence
       Dreamtime Return
       Mystic Chords and Sacred Spaces
       Proof Positive
Telomere - all 3 of his albums
Tetsu Inoue - Ambiant Otaku
The Irresistable Force - Flying High
The KLF - Chill Out
The Orb - The Orb's Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld
The Starseeds - Parallel Life
The Starseeds - There Is Enough For Everyone
Torch Song - Toward The Unknown Region
Vangelis - L'Apocalypse des Animaux
Vangelis - Antarctica
Vangelis - Bladerunner soundtrack
Wendy Carlos - Sonic Seasonings
Woob - emt 1194

Some all-time favorite compilations:

A Taste Of Pork (Pork label sampler)
Barramundi (series)
Euphoria - Chilled Euphoria
Euphoria - Deep and Chilled Euphoria
Excursions In Ambience (series on the Caroline label)
Fahrenheit Project (series on the Ultimae label)
Feed Your Head (series on the Planet Dog label)
From Here To Tranquility (series on the Silent label)
Interior Horizons
Miambient
Pop Ambient (series on the Kompakt label)
The FAX Compilation 1
The FAX Compilation 2
Compilations on the Waveform label like the AD series, Voodoo Roux, and Slumberland

ffcal

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Re: Long Term Listening - your ambient classics
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2010, 08:57:23 PM »
Here is my list of long-term ambient favorites:

Jade Warrior - Waves
Steve Roach - Structures From Silence
Budd/Eno - The Pearl
Popol Vuh - Hosianna Mantra
Steve Tibbetts - Safe Journey
David Sylvian - Gone To Earth
Michael Brook - Cobalt Blue
The Durutti Column - LC
Kit Watkins - Thought Tones Vol. 2
Jon Hassell - Dream Theory In Malaya
Tetsu Inoue - Organic Cloud
Mark Isham - Vapor Drawings

A fairly old list, but I'm still breaking in the newer releases.

Forrest

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Re: Long Term Listening - your ambient classics
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2010, 09:06:28 PM »
Artists that are always in circulation;
Kraftwerk
Stars of the Lid
Tetsu Inoue
Alio Die
Eno
Budd
Cocteau Twins
David Sylvain
Namlook
Biosphere
Rapoon
Roach
Rich
Vir Unis
My all time fav ambient would be Biosphere-Substrata

hdibrell

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Re: Long Term Listening - your ambient classics
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2010, 10:06:09 PM »
  • Steve Roach - Dreamtime Return
  • Robert Rich - Trances And Drones
  • Saul Stokes - Outfolding
  • Jade Warrior - Island Recordings
  • Micheal Stearns - Planetary Unfolding
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Hypnagogue

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Re: Long Term Listening - your ambient classics
« Reply #10 on: January 08, 2010, 09:17:02 AM »
Hmm...

Steve Roach--Early Man
Christopher Orczy--Transition
Most Igneous Flame, particularly Oxana. (I can't hear "Loss At Sea" enough.)
Numina--Sanctuary of Dreams

First ones that come to mind, anyway.
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avec

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Re: Long Term Listening - your ambient classics
« Reply #11 on: January 08, 2010, 08:40:20 PM »
steve roach - structures from silence - there are many roach albums I am incredibly attached to, but if I was forced to choose one...one of the most beautiful records I've ever heard.
stars of the lid - refinement, tired sounds - massive slabs (triple vinyl!) of intricate drone.  I've listened to these numerous times and never gotten fatigued (okay, only when under the covers!).  I listen to refinement frequently when I'm out on the job.   
aphex twin - 2 - needs no explanation.  this album was my personal bombshell, first ambient album I'd heard and still more engaging than most of the other stuff I've ever heard since. 
constance demby - sunborne, sanctum sanctuorum - sunborne is an incredible flowing piece of music, very celebratory and unique.  her voice is lovely.  sanctum is a little cheesy with the gregorian voices and the "hallelujah's," but it works to transport me to an incredibly peaceful place. 
eno - music for airports - minimal ambient at it's finest, in my opinion.  played this more than anything in college.  still love it almost as much as my pillow. 
kevin drumm - imperial distortion - the aphex twin 2 of the new century?  maybe. 
budd - serpent (in quicksilver) - something peculiar about this one that begs repeated listens from me.  a number of different moods to the tracks that somehow work together.   
windy and carl - consciousness - they sculpted something incredible out of those guitars for this one!  rejuvenates me every time I hear it. 
aloof proof - piano text - crystal clear beauty. 
vidna obmana - river of appearance - I didn't like this one at first.  I thought it sounded a little forced and melodramatic, perhaps a little new age in a bad way?  Over time (and listening to it at work helped) It's grown to be an indispensable piece of music.  Couldn't live without this one now. 
milieu - beyond the sea lie the stars - thank you brian grainger (spelling?) and infraction for this one
mwvm - rotations - kind of came out of nowhere, bought it and instantly loved it.  put out another!
lustmord - place where the black stars hang - needs no explanation, great stuff
sans serif - tones for lamonte - still in love with this ethereal, thin metallic drone work
tim hecker - harmony in ultraviolet - a woolly mammoth crushing my brain!  let's listen again, shall we?
rosy parlane - jessamine - this had been blowing me away, but I haven't listened to it in a while.  Still, I'll call it a classic just for the hype, because I feel that way right now...
christopher bissonnette - in between words - quite bonded with this one right now and ready to hear whatever comes out of his speakers from now on. 

triksterb

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Re: Long Term Listening - your ambient classics
« Reply #12 on: January 09, 2010, 12:32:50 AM »
Robert Rich - Somnium (The album length version), Inner Landscapes, Calling Down The Sky
Steve Roach - Midnight Moon, Spirit Dome, Mantram
Stars Of The Lid - The Ballasted Orchestra
Windy & Carl - Antarctica

A few albums from darkwinter.com but mainly:
Samsa - A Forest Without Trees
Caul - Apophasis
Seetyca - Im Traum

And another netlabel one, one which is probably the coldest album I've ever heard:
Nagual Art - Adoria
from here: http://www.archive.org/details/plague016

And I don't know if it really counts, since it's more drone doom than ambient, but:
Sunn O))) - White 2

abasio

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Re: Long Term Listening - your ambient classics
« Reply #13 on: January 09, 2010, 06:39:15 AM »
Albums that I have listened to time and time again and never got tired off  :)

Global Communication - 76:14 I feel like I am trapped on a recently deserted island
Enigma - Le Roi Est Mort, Vive Le Roi! Not ambient per say but a really nice relaxed world album
Dreamfish - Dreamfish Hymn floors me every time. For a track that is close to 30 minutes and I am still wanting more when it ends is something else.
Ishq - Orchid (The Dakini 2CD version) Beautiful natural ambient for a summers day
Atrium Carceri - Seishinbyouin Dark ambient set in a Japanese mental hospital
The Infinity Project - Mystical Experiences Spacey psy-ambient but still great
Solar Fields - Extended Really cold beautiful atmospheres
The Circular Ruins - The Alchemy Concert I am pleasantly surprised every time I put it on. I can never remember anything except that I love it and therefore it is always new.
False Mirror - Chronostatic Scenes Dark, wet lovliness
Krill.Minima - Nautica My perfect by the ocean album
Cymphonic - Strataradialis Some really nice descriptive tracks
Gus Till - Aquana Vol.1 - Stillness Something even my girlfriend likes. Really really lush natural sounds
Juno Reactor - Luciana Just one long dark ambient track, revisits itself and really has time to discover its inner reaches
Nunc Stans - The Palm At The End Of The Mind Puts me in mind of bleak grey countryside
Colourform - Visions Of Surya Like veing inside an alien on acid's head without anything banging away
Shaolin Wooden Men - A Binary Input To Flesh Antenna Great weirdness
The Circular Ruins - Falling Into The Sky Especially Immer Du, this album just has wonderful soundscapes
Ishvara - Magik Square of the Sun Like colourform but more mehanical
Spielerei & Mantacoup - Cold War Like a nuclear winter put on the soundwaves
Tetsu Inoue - Ambiant Otaku Great sparkly space ambient

And a few compilations too
The Mystery Of The Yeti (TIP Records) A nice themed album showing the ambient side of psy-trance producers quite well
The Mystery Of The Yeti Part 2 (TIP Records) An even better follow up.
Collection 1: Opening (Databloem) My favourite spacey ambient comp
Oxycanta (Ultimae Records) Some lush ambient tunes with some psy/natural/spacey elements

« Last Edit: January 12, 2010, 04:50:03 AM by abasio »

Brian Bieniowski

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Re: Long Term Listening - your ambient classics
« Reply #14 on: January 09, 2010, 11:16:56 AM »
Telomere - all 3 of his albums

I completely neglected to mention these.  What outstanding albums they are (my favorite is probably Zoetosis).  Totally underrated artist.

DeepR

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Re: Long Term Listening - your ambient classics
« Reply #15 on: January 09, 2010, 05:06:31 PM »
it's nice but nowhere near the level of Planetary Unfolding

Paul Vnuk (Ma Ja Le)

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Re: Long Term Listening - your ambient classics
« Reply #16 on: January 10, 2010, 09:42:47 PM »
Hmmm,

What I go back to time and time again when all else fails...



Paul
« Last Edit: January 10, 2010, 09:48:53 PM by Paul Vnuk (Ma Ja Le) »
"I liken good ambient to good poetry ... enjoyable, often powerful, and usually unpopular" APK

Alan Imberg

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Re: Long Term Listening - your ambient classics
« Reply #17 on: January 11, 2010, 11:15:26 AM »
My "classics:
  • Eno/Fripp: Evening Star. In my opinion, much better than "No Pussyfooting" and the pre-Frippertronic tape looping is fascinating from an esthetic stand point as well as a historic one.
  • Eno: Music for Airports. I echo Mr. Vnuk's sentiment.
  • Eno: Apollo - Atmospheres and Soundtracks.
  • Steve Roach: Structures from Silence. Still my fave of Roach's which is not a disparagment of the rest of his catalog which is impressive.
  • Steve Roach: Dreamtime Return
  • Michael Brook: Cobalt Blue. Not necessarly 100% ambient but a good one from one of the Eno-family tree.
  • Peter Gabriel: Passion. Again, I concur 100% with Paul's sentiment. When I saw "The Last Temptation of Christ", I was bored to tears with the movie but the music just floored me. That one is one of my "desert island" CD's for sure.
  • Robert Fripp: A Blessing of Tears.
  • Apex Twin: The two Ambient collections.

Paul Vnuk (Ma Ja Le)

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Re: Long Term Listening - your ambient classics
« Reply #18 on: January 11, 2010, 11:20:10 AM »
Cant argue with any of those Alan!

Well maybe with the Evening Star VS No Pussyfooting part  ;D

I actually agree that tracks 1-4 on Evening Star are much better than No Pussyfooting, but I usually skip Index Of Metals.

Paul
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Mark Mushet

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Re: Long Term Listening - your ambient classics
« Reply #19 on: January 11, 2010, 04:26:41 PM »
In terms of endless returns (ie. proven and continiued longevity) it must be:

Budd/Eno: Plateaux of Mirror and The Pearl
Budd/Foxx: Drift Music
Budd/Guthrie: all collabs

But I see many lists here I could duplicate!

Somnium would be a contender but for format/system config issues!