I’ve recently been enjoying some of the recorded performances of various kinds of electronic music on YouTube. There is an artist named Rufes who has a studio to die for and plays some really interesting subdued techno. Not exactly ambient but it has the right vibe.
Cool stuff. Give it a listen!
A little music for those who want to get into the zone and stay there (yes, that is a software engineering reference). Today’s recommendation is some dark ambience by Canadian artist Red Fog called Zone of Avoidance.
This is a truly fascinating blend of lushness, mystery, and something slightly more sinister. Disturbing and soothing at the same time, if you can imagine. Sort of like the somewhat twisted return to nature and wilderness that occurs in a place after humans are forced to abandon it after a nuclear disaster. Hence the title.
Great music to work to, or for active listening, whichever you prefer.
Check it out!
Some more work music for you, this time coming from back in 2005. Back in that day, Scott Turner ran a weekly live electronic music program called Organbient, in which he played some of the deepest ambient music I’ve heard. It was a great community of artists and listeners alike. One of the coolest things that came out of that era was a compilation of longform ambient pieces that the regular artists contributed: the Organbient Longform Ambient Compilation Volume 1.
I can’t give you a link because this album is no longer available (it was released through the now-defunct Blue Water Records). But here is a small sampling of the artists:
An awesome lineup and simply wonderful ambient music.
Oh my goodness, I am stoked. Tonight one of my very favorite electronic artists will be performing live on-air on Chuck van Zyl’s incomparable Star’s End program: none other than Saul Stokes.
Saul has this distinctive voice that just stands out. Whenever I hear a Saul Stokes track I’ve never before heard, I can immediately tell it is him. I don’t know if it is the subdued low end, or the singular timbres he coaxes out of his gear, or the lush and slightly quirky melodies he conjures. Whatever it is, I love it.
Don’t miss this broadcast. If you’ve never tuned in before, tonight will be a great night to start! You can listen on the internet from xpn.org (see the link at the top).
Sometimes it’s easy to forget that we live in magical times. Yes, the world is deeply flawed and divided right now, but when it comes to ambient music, there has never been a better time to be alive.
One of the artists I have recently discovered is North Hive, a Russian ambient, electronic, and new age artist who puts out some of the finest music around. Tonight, I’m listening to Gaia, a 2015 release of immense beauty and maturity.
If you like your ambient music refined and visual, you can’t go wrong with North Hive. Highly recommended.
Some more work music for you. Today’s music comes from all the way back in 1977, New Age of Earth, from the classic ambient electronic group Ashra.
Just … wow. Absolutely sublime synthesizer and guitar based ambience, from masters of the genre. Check it out!
A little work music listening that I thought I’d share with you. Today as I’m coding away, I’m listening to Dan Pound’s magnificent 2012 release Cocoon.
I thought I was familiar with Dan’s music and his sound, but I was actually quite surprised by this album. Instead of Dan’s trademark ambient with new age / tribal overtones, this is a quite electronic ambient release, replete with sequences and pulsations of synthesis everywhere, alongside the gentle ambience. A lovely, mature piece of electronic music.
Check it out!
If you’ve been paying attention at all to the world of electronic music, you are probably already aware of Steve Roach’s Grammy award for his magnificent album Spiral Revelation, which reflects his recent move back towards his roots in the world of analog synthesizer music. Followed by such albums as Molecules of Motion and Electron Birth, I think it is safe to say that he is firmly back in sequencer music territory.
Well, Steve is back at the modular synth again, this time with a sublime collection of electronic ambient pieces called Skeleton Keys.
I cannot speak highly enough of this album. I’ve listened to it multiple times already since it was released a few days ago, and I’m just gobsmacked. If you love Berlin School electronica, synthesizer music, or ambient music in general, you owe it to yourself to check it out. Spectacular.
It’s Hallowe’en, and so today I’m listening to dark ambience. And folks, it simply does not get any darker than this:
Victory In Europe by Darkness and Silence is one of the most grim and depressing pieces of music I have ever encountered. Which is to say, this album hits the mark right in the bulls-eye. This is not uplifting music to make you feel better. This is dark ambient music that reminds us of what the word ‘horror’ means. Most of all, it helps us to never forget. Brilliant work.
Also dishearteningly timely given current events. Check it out. With the lights out, preferably. But don’t say I didn’t warn you.
Today’s work music comes courtesy of Brin Coleman:
Simply mesmerizing ambient drone music that puts me into the coding zone every single time. Highly recommended!