Glad it’s hitting the spot…have to say it sounds like you’ve got the optimum location for listening there. I’d like to go to Finland one day…
Great pick and one I think could stick around for me. I got a bit distracted in the middle - not sure if it’s because of the lack of variety in sound palette or because I’m very tired right now. I suspect it’s the latter and that subsequent plays will reveal more intricacies.
The album has a very ‘organic’ feel which reminds me of Shenzhou era Biosphere, FSOL’s Lifeforms and, more recently, Illuha. Contrast with, I dunno, someone like Global Communication which feels more ‘electronic’.
I’m not generally a fan of piano-led ambient but there’s lots of other things going on here. Strings are a bit reminiscent of Richard Skelton maybe and add great texture. And, as noted earlier, the percussive elements work nicely to keep the tracks moving forwards. Again, contrast that with 14:31 by Global Communication and it’s interesting to see how the genre has evolved to incorporate rhythmic elements more ‘naturally’.
Well if piano led ambient isn’t typically you’re thing…I’m glad this is, in some way, bucking that trend. I actually find the mid-section (especially Salt Photographs) to be the most subtly interesting, so hopefully you get another chance to listen soon.
Totally agree with Richard Skelton comparison…Verse of Birds was another contender for me (I wondered if it was too classical rather than electronic)…and I might plump for it in the future.
Yeah I’m left pretty cold by folks like Nils Frahm for some reason. I need something else going on alongside it like Alva Noto’s rhythmic pulses accompanying Ryuichi Sakamoto. Or the Hammock-style/contributed harmonies with Slow Meadow. The field recordings are doing a lot of heavy lifting here for me, along with the rhythms.
Listening to Salt Photographs again now. I like the pulsing keyboard (?) chords in it a lot. Feels like the sort of thing the n5md label would have released around 2010 before their quality dipped.
I’ve been absent from this thread due to being away, but all three picks thus far have been great. Interesting that @AphexTwinkletoes mentioned the sense of movement across all three as that’s the thing that’s struck me too.
They all seem to have this sense of forward motion, whether carried by clicks and whirrs of Loscil, the propulsive bass in Shenzhou or the plucks in and pulse in some of Brambles.
Lots of static, but not stationary.
Great choices folks.
Yeah it’s interesting (to me) how different nominally ‘ambient’ music can be in that respect. It’s absent from things like early Eno but as early as SAW 2 there are tracks with a real sense of movement without using percussion.
I also have a lot of time for folks like Taylor Deupree where it’s much more textural, but I’m probably more drawn to things like Loscil and Biosphere on the balance.
With the exception of ambient techno stuff like Gas or The Field (or classics like SAW), I tend to listen to more texturally focused drone stuff when I’m yearning for something ambient so these have all been quite enjoyable for me. Something within my wheelhouse, but still different enough to feel like I’m hearing something new.
I think of Gas as 50% textural - often the loops are so drawn out that you lose the sense of movement even with the pulse of a kick drum. Pop 4 is one of the few which swirls like a Field track.
Just looked at last.fm and I have 6k plays of Timmy H and another 2k for Fennesz so texture clearly does something for me!
On topic, still got a bit lost in track 4/5 in Brambles on second listen before getting sucked back in for the home stretch.
I’m loving this thread. Already knew the Loscil album but hadn’t heard the other two. Great recommendations.
@wonton listening again while I work and Salt Photographs has proper stopped me in my tracks. Those pulsing chords around 2:30 are just sublime.
Enjoying this now. Such a lovely album. Subtle pulses in ambient are my favourite thing.
Still finding tracks 5 and 6 lose me - I think for whatever reason the melodies just don’t land. Deep Corridor is magical though. Reminds me of Biosphere’s Sphere of No Form or Gravity Assist where it feels like falling into a sonic abyss.
Unsayable is a strong closer as well. Has the feel of a closing scene music in an indie movie about the futility of everything. And I say that in a good way rather than to suggest it’s made-for-TV music - it just has a real narrative vibe to it.
Unsayable is very similar in feel to bits of the Donnie Darko score, e.g.:
You should have a listen, if you haven’t already.
Oh yeah! It’s exactly that vibe - the sonic representation of the idea that a momentous arc in the life of an individual is but a single thread in the tapestry of the world.
I’d have gone for “mellow”, but, yeah
Another good choice. I see @wonton has described it as dark ambient but in places it’s pretty close to post-rock (minus guitars). Some of the tracks remind me of a band called Gregor Samsa particularly track 3 which I think is the strongest on the album.
Not sure I agree with @AphexTwinkletoes about tracks 5 and 6 being weak. Not my favourite tracks and track 5 is a bit lightweight I suppose but that’s OK. I really like when track 6 picks up halfway through and the double time rhythm comes in.
I general, I’m enjoying this thread so far. All three choices are albums I probably would never have listened to. My favourite so far has been the Loscil album. I suppose it would loosely be described as ambient but it is still really rhythmic. The first track has a similar feel to this:
which in turn is a total rip off of a Tangerine Dream track I believe.
Good comparison, this. Had been toying with GC for my next pick (albeit we have a lot of folks to make picks before that comes back round!). Hooked up my record player for the first time in a while a couple of weeks back and listened to all my Reload/Jedi Knights/GC records I’ve picked up over the years. Such an important duo.
I’ll be honest, I know nothing about them beyond that one track. Should probably investigate further.