For this week’s playlist, we’re diving into the soothing soundworld of ambient, new age and electronic drone.
It’s a deep realm, which has bubbled under the surface for years, fuelled by the eighties experiments of Brian Eno, Jon Hassell, Midori Takada, Laraaji and Ariel Kalma.
While their work still looms large, recent compilations including Light In the Attic’s I Am The Center and Optimo’s exhaustive Miracle Steps (Music from the Fourth World 1983-2017) have helped unearth obscurities in the genre.
Their undulating synths, minimal melodies and scant beats have since ignited a new generation of electronic music-makers, with Free Love (formerly Happy Meals), Pendant (aka Huerco S), Lord of the Isles and Visible Cloaks all embracing their tactile textures.
So much so that ambient is now a fertile breeding ground for boundary-pushers of every hue; something that Lo Recordings’ founder Jon Tye (one half of Seahawks) has successfully tapped into for the label’s ace new compilation, Spaciousness.
Landing today (Friday 16 November), it’s the first volume in a series that seeks to explore the connections, overlaps, roots and future of a music variously referred to as ambient, deep listening, new age and even post-classical.
It gathers a stellar cast of contributors, from scene-makers Iasos, Laraaji and Abul Mogard to newcomers including India Rose and Yamaneko, who run the New Atlantis record label and the monthly Ambient Social.
Here, we pick some of our favourite inclusions, alongside some seminal tracks which have helped shape the genre over the years.
Dig in and space out…
In London tonight? Head down to the launch party of Spaciousness at Lo Recordings HQ, Shoreditch. Fireworks and sausages have been promised! More info