Mille Plateaux’s recent re-release of Thomas Köner’s long-form dark ambient piece “Daikan” reminded me that I should probably add it to my personal “best of ambient” selection that I’ve been “curating” over the years. 🙂
Within about three weeks, the world has lost two pioneers of electronic music. First Klaus Schulze and just two days ago, Vangelis. Damn. I can honestly say that there’s probably no other musician who’s work is so strongly connected with my memories than Vangelis.
So far, the late Pete Namlook’s music, as well as other releases on Germany’s iconic FAX+49/69/450464 ambient/electronic label have been rather sparse or Bandcamp. A couple of Namlook’s collaborators made their releases available on their own Bandcamp accounts (Bill Laswell, Lorenzo Montana, Gaudi, Geir Jenssen and others), but the master’s own enormous back catalog remained out of reach and much of it was only available used.
I admit that I’ve fallen out of love with ambient a little bit. Not entirely, mind you, but enough that I do not really care much about actively finding anything new in that genre. Most recently for example, I bought the entire discography of a certain online label – they gave it away for an absolute bargain price on Bandcamp, so instead of buying the one album that I actually wanted, I bought all 47 of their releases.
Author of the Twilight, the Angling Loser‘s album from 2013, was a happy and coincidental find: for the release of their follow-up album Arena of Apprehension in 2016, …txt recordings sent out a promotional email with some free-download codes for Author of the Twilight, and that’s how I ended up with both albums (and in case you’re wondering, I think “Author…” is better than “Arena…”).
Moby has created some beautiful long-form ambient tracks, and offers them in the shape of an oversized album as a free download: Long Ambients1: Calm. Sleep. The tracks have vague reminiscences of Aphex Twin and Hecq here and there – minus the darker notes of Hecq, and, though repetitive (of course), also minus the more …
In my series about my personal “Best of Ambient” selection, this one’s an outlier: “Wabi” is a compilation (all the others so far are artist albums). But, despite the fact that there’s nine different artists contributing tracks to the compilation, the disc has a surprisingly coherent sound.