Ambient music is often sidelined as merely the sort of thing played in hotel lobbies or while you are on hold to yet another abysmal call centre. And yet this genre has grown massively over the last few years. To the casual listener ambient music can seem boring and yet there is a great deal of depth and texture to the sound which makes it an extremely interesting contribution to the musical map. Here is a list of tracks to introduce you to this world.
Complex Heaven – Brian Eno
Brian Eno is one of the fore fathers of ambient music, these days he is probably better known for producing Coldplay and U2 albums. However it is with his own music that his creativity most comes through and this track in my opinion is one of his best.
Chinook – Loscil
Loscil is the project of Scott Morgan, he uses synthesizers, computer programming, samplers and other effects to create his sparse melodies. For this album he used his technical skill to lay down the rhythm and then had more organic instruments create the melody, it gives the sound a melancholic quality. It is an impressive album and this track is a highlight from it.
Don’t Bother They’re Here – Stars of the Lid
A beautiful track from a beautiful album. What more needs to be said.
Sketch 1 – Tim Hecker
A leading light in modern ambient music, seen as more experimental than some of his ambient colleagues Sketch 1 is Hecker at his best.
Low Grav Freefall – Ochre
This is one of the more upbeat tracks of ambient music. Although this could almost be described as simply electronic music it is still very much an ambient piece and very good while it is at it.
New Dawn Fades – The Sight Below
This cover of the Joy Division classic alters the mood of the original, there is more hope brought forth, The Sight Below have removed the death march drumbeat and I think it is a cover that brings a new side to the song.
The sound of someone you love who’s going away and it doesn’t matter – Pengiun Cafe Orchestra
Showing that not all ambient music is made using computers the Penguin Cafe Orchestra leads the way with folk infused ambient music.
Air Giant – Transglobal Underground
Adding a touch of world music to the ambient genre Transglobal Underground create slightly more lively pieces than others. Sit back and enjoy.