Ambience

Back in the early to mid 90’s there was a big hullabaloo about “ambient” music.  This was right around when I started listening to electronic music more seriously, but I had a hard time getting into much of it.  At the time I preferred more bombastic stuff, as to me, that’s what I thought electronic music should be.  As my tastes matured, though, I began digging deeper into the bowels of electronic music.  This is when I rediscovered ambient music and actually came to appreciate the stuff.  I usually sprinkle some bits of ambient into my show, but I’m thinking of doing quite a large section of ambient for this week.  I feel like there’s some really beautiful stuff out there that just never gets any sort of attention.

c - PA09Sadly I think there are fewer and fewer labels putting out ambient music.  Kompakt is always good for their yearly Pop Ambient series (which I love).  Early labels like Warp, Instinct, and FAX were rich with ambient tracks, but now that is increasingly harder to find.  In fact, Warp is the only label still putting out anything like that, though the stuff tends to fall more into IDM territory.  Smaller, one-person show labels are taking up this calling a little better though.  One label that comes immediately to mind is 12K.  I truly miss Mille Plateaux.

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c - moby-ambientMoby’s original pressing of Hotel actually had an accompaniment cd entitled Hotel:Ambient…which is kinda cool to see since his original Ambient (on Instinct) was one of my favorite records of his.  I never got a chance to give Hotel:Ambient a listen though, so I’m going to try to dig up some tracks while that’s on my mind.  M83 has an interesting approach, and a few songs on every one of his records has clear ambient underpinnings.  M83 even released an entirely ambient record a few years ago (Digital Shades Volume 1), but sadly it didn’t contain the gravity of what makes his ambient pieces interesting.  No matter what though, I think people will still treat ambient as a side piece.  Maybe there are some negative connotations brought up in the music world when the word “ambient” is used.  Some people may think its just boring, droning sound; or perhaps they think of the brief moment of popular music culture that embraced New Age music and threw it under the harsh limelight.  I think I will take it upon myself to give Ambient a little bit more of a spotlight and help to show its unique musical perspective.  This week’s show should be interesting!

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~ by curbmerchant on August 24, 2009.

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