Tag Archives: Stellardrone

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

A Massive Survey of Contemporary Ambient Music

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Nicole Ginelli

Ambient music has been on its second (or third?) rise for a little while now, but at present it’s rivaling the wave of the mid ‘90s, when it soundtracked millions of ravers’ comedowns and backroom conversations.

Brian Eno, founding father of the genre, has just released his first ambient album in an age—the literally never-ending (if you play it in its app form) Reflection. On The Orb’s C.O.W. (Chill Out World) from 2016, they return to pure ambience (plus, they’re hosting a huge celebration of ambient music in London this April). Scene-defining London DJ Mixmaster Morris has just made his first album as The Irresistible Force in two decades, set for release later this year.

But it’s not just that the old greats are back at work. Threads in new music that were formerly hugely disparate—elements of post-rock, noise, dubstep, neo-classical, gallery installation music, documentary field recordings, even grime—are increasingly finding themselves woven back together into endlessly spaced-out tapestries. From the misty minimalist compositions of Bing & Ruth, to the grime-inspired sci-fi cityscapes of Yamaneko, some of the most exciting music being made right now exists free from traditional rhythm or structure—and plenty of the most cutting-edge DJs are bringing these together into sets that are completely cut free from the dancefloor. Here, we present just a small overview of the oceans of ambient sound to be found on Bandcamp right now.

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