Author Topic: Bad Ambient  (Read 565 times)

drone on

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Bad Ambient
« on: September 03, 2014, 10:32:18 AM »
Sometimes on paper ambient music can look good.  Until you actually hear it and it sounds like cat farts. 

How about the term "bad ambient" (proposed pronunciation: buh-DAM-beeyunt)?

Do you have any warnings about stuff that is just plain awful?

The one that inspired this topic is "Variations for Organ, Keyboard, and Processors" by Vidna Obmana + Willem Tanke.  I really do want to like this.  Great cover art.  But music sounds like a 5 year old playing the organ.  I will have to give another spin just to be sure.

Crepuscule

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Re: Bad Ambient
« Reply #1 on: September 03, 2014, 10:45:42 AM »
I hear ya.

To me anything that sounds like a product is bad ambient:

Tomas Weiss

Mars Lasar

Dan Gibson (with few exceptions)

To name a few.
« Last Edit: September 03, 2014, 10:47:49 AM by Cosmic Fabric »

judd stephens

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Re: Bad Ambient
« Reply #2 on: September 03, 2014, 11:03:48 AM »
Mike Griffin, Jesse Sola, Forrest Fang, Anthony Paul Kirby, Steve Roach, Pete Kelly....



Oh, you said "bad ambient"?  Sorry nothing comes to mind  8) ;) ;D

Proceeding to run like the wind in 5.. 4...3..

drone on

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Re: Bad Ambient
« Reply #3 on: September 03, 2014, 11:10:38 AM »
To clarify, I don't mean cheesy new age. I mean "serious ambient" that tries to be evocative and deep yet fails miserably.

Numina

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Re: Bad Ambient
« Reply #4 on: September 03, 2014, 04:03:26 PM »
Mike Griffin, Jesse Sola, Forrest Fang, Anthony Paul Kirby, Steve Roach, Pete Kelly....



Oh, you said "bad ambient"?  Sorry nothing comes to mind  8) ;) ;D

Proceeding to run like the wind in 5.. 4...3..

 ;)

Castleview

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Re: Bad Ambient
« Reply #5 on: September 03, 2014, 04:16:39 PM »
I can't think of any bad ambient music that's not cheesy new age stuff.
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Robert Logan

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Re: Bad Ambient
« Reply #6 on: September 03, 2014, 06:04:27 PM »
I must say, some Tim Hecker (and similarly, Ben Frost's ambient moments) match what you're saying exactly. Whatever interesting things may be going on texturally in some of their pieces, and however much I enjoy these more extreme approaches to distortion, I find the harmonies behind it all so obvious and saccharine that the music trips up on itself. Now, I don't see any division between melodics, texture, production, harmony, or whatever other divisions people make: it all melts into one. And the musical clash of fragility and beauty with sonic violence is so exciting when it is done well. But this case is different. I've read people describe the harmonic movements of, say, Tim Hecker's 'Harmony in Ultraviolet' as 'emotional', but I find it hard to get emotional with such tried and tested progressions, and the excellent sonics actually makes the lack of imagination in that department all the more apparent to me. It's a weak juxtaposition, which is a same, as in theory I should love such a combination.

PS - I should say do like some of these guys' music very much!
« Last Edit: September 03, 2014, 06:07:49 PM by Robert Logan »

Crepuscule

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Re: Bad Ambient
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2014, 06:37:16 PM »
Steve Roach when uses didgeridoos is bad ambient.

drone on

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Re: Bad Ambient
« Reply #8 on: September 03, 2014, 11:44:09 PM »
Blasphemy!  Ah, well, to me the didge is the oldest, truly original acoustic ambient sound generator, but I suppose not everyone is going to "di(d)g" it. 


jkn

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Re: Bad Ambient
« Reply #9 on: September 04, 2014, 05:37:07 AM »
There are many albums I listen to once and go... ummm ... no - I'll be deleting that from the ipod... 

But I'm not sure that means it's bad - it just means I didn't like it at all.  One label was recommended to me, a lot of people like it / great reviews - but I didn't.  A lot of static drone and noises. 

I love drone with layers and movement... I love noise when it's not just noise for noise sake... I didn't like the few albums I tried from that label from different artists - so... moral of the story.  I didn't like it - so I never mentioned listening to them.    I'm not a critical reviewer.  Just someone who loves this music and the people who record and listen to it. 

John
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Crepuscule

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Re: Bad Ambient
« Reply #10 on: September 04, 2014, 09:56:20 AM »
Blasphemy!  Ah, well, to me the didge is the oldest, truly original acoustic ambient sound generator, but I suppose not everyone is going to "di(d)g" it.

Eating with bare hands is also one of the oldest and true original ways of eating. :)

I don't know, I never enjoyed primitive stuff in music.
« Last Edit: September 04, 2014, 10:13:45 AM by Cosmic Fabric »

chris23

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Re: Bad Ambient
« Reply #11 on: September 04, 2014, 01:59:31 PM »
There are many albums I listen to once and go... ummm ... no - I'll be deleting that from the ipod... 

But I'm not sure that means it's bad - it just means I didn't like it at all. 

Well said.

Some of my favorite artists have released albums that just didn't resonate with me. The vidna obmana one Drone On referenced is one that comes to mind. I also didn't really enjoy some of the collaborations with Asmus Tietchens.

One of the nice things about the interwebs is that it makes it easy to listen to samples before buying. These days I rarely end up with something that I don't enjoy.

jkn

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Re: Bad Ambient
« Reply #12 on: September 05, 2014, 06:37:11 AM »
Some of my favorite artists have released albums that just didn't resonate with me. The vidna obmana one Drone On referenced is one that comes to mind. I also didn't really enjoy some of the collaborations with Asmus Tietchens.

Exactly! And ironically - the 2nd disc of Dirk/Asmus - Motives for Recycling is one of my favorites - it took a while to grow on me but when it did... wow. Love it. 
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Julio Di Benedetto

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Re: Bad Ambient
« Reply #13 on: September 05, 2014, 07:45:43 AM »
If by bad you mean ambient that does not do anything for me.....I know lots but this is personally just not to my taste.  Also music that calls itself ambient and is not, and again thats my interpretation of what ambient is.  Lots of music that in miss cast.  And the last aspect is also music that does not resonate with me at first then later becomes enjoyable .

Like Chris said with the internet I have a good idea of what Im buying.....though Im starting to see artist with one longer excerpt from a single track of an entire album instead of a selection of tracks for preview and recently I have been disappointed by the rest of the album.  Not bad but not good.

Hearing bad ambient music would create an negative emotional response.......have had any of those in years, musically speaking.

petekelly

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Re: Bad Ambient
« Reply #14 on: September 05, 2014, 07:49:25 AM »
Quote
Eating with bare hands is also one of the oldest and true original ways of eating

Thanks for that, I'm always looking out for original ways to eat, I think I may stop using the digereedoos and use bare hands instead.
Bad, bad ambient...

Crepuscule

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Re: Bad Ambient
« Reply #15 on: September 05, 2014, 11:44:46 AM »
Quote
Eating with bare hands is also one of the oldest and true original ways of eating

Thanks for that, I'm always looking out for original ways to eat, I think I may stop using the digereedoos and use bare hands instead.
Bad, bad ambient...

You should use bare feet it requires more skills. I'm using nose these days, but I'm wayyy ahead of you.   ;)

petekelly

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Re: Bad Ambient
« Reply #16 on: September 06, 2014, 02:43:44 AM »
Back on topic,

I hear very little these days that I would described as being outright 'bad' ambient music. Mediocrity on the other hand, is another matter.

Altus

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Re: Bad Ambient
« Reply #17 on: September 06, 2014, 05:56:09 AM »
Bad ambient? Not really.

Uninspired ambient? Yup.
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Castleview

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Re: Bad Ambient
« Reply #18 on: September 06, 2014, 07:40:40 AM »
Motives For Recycling is excellent from start to finish. The Shifts Recycling isn't as good IMO. It's not quite ambient enough for me, particularly the first disc.

Asmus Tietchens' work is pretty abrasive and not for everyone, and that was their main sound source for those albums.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2014, 01:42:57 PM by Castleview »
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drone on

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Re: Bad Ambient
« Reply #19 on: September 08, 2014, 01:04:30 AM »
After enduring the Shifts Recycling I started calling it the Shits Recycling