Tag Archives: Ambient

The Best New Ambient on Bandcamp: May 2019

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A quick browse through the Bandcamp ambient tag will reveal any number of ambient works from composers unified in their artistry through atmosphere, but with wildly differing approaches to how they achieve their goals. From the intimate and warm to the unsettling and tense, ambient is a diverse and endlessly thought-provoking genre. Every month, Ari Delaney will walk through the best recent releases you can find right here on Bandcamp.

In this edition, we’re highlighting albums released from April 15 through  May 15, including albums that take stylistic inspiration from trance and lo-fi rock, and the newest from genre veteran Tim Hecker.

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The Breeders Bassist Josephine Wiggs Goes Ambient on “We Fall”

Josephine Wiggs

Photos by Peter Ross

“It was really hard going,” laughs Josephine Wiggs. She’s speaking about the emotional shifts she needed to make while working on her meditative, mostly instrumental solo album We Fall during downtime on The Breeders’ 2018 tour. “It was very difficult to switch gear from doing this moody, ambient stuff and then going and playing a rock show.” 

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The Best New Ambient on Bandcamp: April 2019

best-ambient-april-1244A quick browse through the Bandcamp ambient tag will reveal any number of ambient works from composers unified in their artistry through atmosphere, but with wildly differing approaches to how they achieve their goals. From the intimate and warm to the unsettling and tense, ambient is a diverse and endlessly thought-provoking genre. Every month, Ari Delaney will walk through the best recent releases you can find right here on Bandcamp.

In this edition, we’re highlighting albums released from March 15 through April 15, including the standalone debut from an acclaimed video game composer, and the ideal road trip music for an imaginary countryside.

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Album of the Day: Visible Cloaks, Yoshio Ojima & Satsuki Shibano, “FRKWYS Vol. 15: serenitatem”

If anyone (besides the artists themselves) deserves credit for the sudden obsession with Japanese ambient music, it’s Spencer Doran. The Visible Cloaks co-founder spent nearly a decade sharing his favorite songs with the world, beginning with the foundational mix Fairlights, Mallets and Bamboo and its no-less-enlightening sequel. Doran’s love of artists like Midori Takada and Hiroshi Yoshimura runs so deep, in fact, that Light in the Attic tapped him to curate last year’s Kankyō Ongaku compilation of corporate-sponsored “environmental music” (muzak, essentially) from the ’80s.

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Ambient in Outer Space: Seven Artists Exploring the Final Frontier

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Animation by Andrew Khosravani

Space has always inspired contemplation. In his legendary work The Republic—published in 380 BC, over a millennium before Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarin became the first person to travel to space—the Greek philosopher Plato wrote, “Astronomy compels the soul to look upward, and leads us from this world to another.” For at least a century now, humans have sought not only to explore the great beyond, but soundtrack it: Gustav Holst wrote the seven-movement orchestral suite The Planets in 1916; Stanley Kubrick employed the works of grandiose composers such as Richard Strauss to signify the epicness of space; and Sun Ra and David Bowie employed transcendental jazz and art rock, respectively, to bring cosmic sounds to the forefront. But in terms of output, and scale, few genres can match the longstanding partnership of ambient music with space.  Continue reading

Hidden Gems: Various Artists, “Rien Ni Personne—A French Compilation”

HG-Rien-1244.jpgIn our series Hidden Gems, writers share their favorite Bandcamp discoveries.

In 2016, Tristan Koreya released Rien Ni Personne [“Nothing and Nobody”]—A French Compilation on his Ivory Coast-based Nostalgia de la Boue label. It is intended to be a definitive survey of the French experimental underground scene—including, as he puts it, “artists living in France whatever their nationality and French artists living abroad.” The result, at 91 tracks and nine hours’ running time, is both overwhelming and glorious.

Most of the music was recorded in the 2010s, though many of the performers, such as Bernard Hilpetti of Art & Technique and Axel, and Mitra Kyrou of Vox Populi!, have been recording since the ‘70s or ‘80s. In any case, the stylistic breadth is enormous. On one of the two tracks titled “Rien Ni Personne,” Nantes-based Airworld locks into a minimalist electronic groove: cool atmospheric menace, interspersed with angry clattering synth spikes. The Amor Fati Trio’s “Danse Sacrale,” by contrast, is improv free jazz for drums, guitar, and sax, which alternates between sparse, tenuous passages and blasts of broken funk. Enigmatic performer Internal Fusion, aka Éric Latteux, comes through with a dark keyboard dance track that sounds like it was beamed down from an extraterrestrial Renaissance Faire. The ambient New Age throb of Strangelucid morphs into the cold wave melancholy of Black Egg, which turns into the echoing ambient electro-acoustic noise art of Benjamin Aït-Ali, and follows on to Carroll Catcher’s beat poetry-mixed-with-Turkish-psychedelia. Most of the music on the comp is released here for the first time, so there’s plenty even for those well-versed in the French underground. And for new initiates, Rien Ni Personne is determined to introduce you to the entire scene, in all its dizzying depth and breadth.

Noah Berlatsky

The Devotional Music of Ana Roxanne

Ana Roxane

Ana Roxanne photographed in her studio by Inga Schunn



When ambient singer and composer Ana Roxanne originally recorded and released the unusually named six-song collection ~~~ in 2015, she did it alone, without any formal announcement or fanfare, keeping the deeply personal work largely to herself for fear of the reaction. Soon after, she moved away from her hometown of Oakland to Los Angeles. A friend passed her album along to producer Matthewdavid, who was looking for artists to perform at a daytime ambient series in a park. He reached out and offered to release her music on a larger scale. Leaving Records, the experimental label he co-founded, re-released ~~~ on March 15. “To share these songs again, years later, and have a positive response to them, it’s giving me so much motivation to keep going and not doubt myself as much anymore,” Ana says.

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The Freewheeling Jazz & Soul on Honey Oat’s Debut Grew From A 15-Year Friendship

Honey Oat

Honey Oat have only been a band for three months but its members, Janak JP and Gabe Stout, have been working together for nearly 15 years. “Listening to music together and experiencing music together is an integral part of our creative process,” says Stout. “It’s something that’s bonded us over the years.”

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