Ambient Sunday +1 with: The Orb, and John Derek Bishop

•May 22, 2023 • Leave a Comment

Ambient Sunday is a day late. Sorry. But to make up for it, tracks from The Orb, and John Derek Bishop.

The Orb need no introduction after more than 30 years. Here’s H.O.M.E (high orbs mini earths) from their new album Prism.

H.O.M.E (high orbs mini earths) is for the first half of the track a conscious throwback to their early days. Beatless and beautiful. Unusual vocal samples abound and space is everywhere. But approaching halfway beats are brought in. A reminder that The Orb always talked about Ambient House.

Space remains paramount but there’s also that danceable Orb sensation that’s too oft overlooked. Never too insistent but allowing some near peaks to ensure you get the message. Overall, the first half is classic Orb. The second half a reminder of dancing at Orb gigs but somehow not quite as essential.

For the first half of the track a beguiling listen.

John Derek Bishop (alias Tortusa) is a Norwegian-American electronic musician and producer from Stavanger, Norway. If you’re looking for a reference point this is more Global Communication or Biosphere. It’s all about the sensation of sound and something almost organic and with a warm throb of life.

The featured track is Cyan. It was made using various modular synths, electric piano and field recordings. But it’s more than the sum of its parts.

Cyan is a wash of sound with bumps and almost that metronome sound from 76:14. A beatless soundscape that allows the regular keyboard sounds to act as an almost percussive substitute. But this is a deeply relaxing track.

Electronics tinkle. Tones are held, dodging the dead hand of drone. Waves wash whether from the sea or the sound of your blood. When I put a seashell to my ear it all comes back to me.

Breakbeat dub lounge with: Orca Silent – Natural Venom (Kill3rhertz remix) #Dub #Breakbeats #Lounge

•May 20, 2023 • Leave a Comment

This remix was described as Ambient Lounge but it’s too damn funky for the mimsy that this might evoke. The Kill3rhertz remix of a Silent Orca track takes almost breakbeat beats and a bit of bassy dub to the track Natural Venom.

The original track has a dub techno feel with ambient elements. On the remix Kill3rhertz adds a sense of spaciness but also a denser texture of beats. This takes the track away from any real ambient genres and into something more electronica or breakbeats. The beats have a tightness that’s still loose.

And it has the courage to deliver a rather fine break to shout about. This makes the most of Silent Orca’s fabulous bass. A sleek shark of a collaboration.

Organic House lushness from: Paji – Hewa #DeepHouse #OrganicHouse #TropicalHouse

•May 19, 2023 • Leave a Comment

Let’s shimmy into the weekend with some lush deep house or organic house care of Paji.

Berlin, Germany’s Paji (pajwan faroch) is a violinist, composer, producer and also employs a wide array of instruments whose names are pretty much unpronounceable. Originally from Aachen with Iranian heritage his work doesn’t sit naturally into Berlins usually cool sounds. His work is emotive stuff.

Emotion is also central to featured track Hewa. It’s a mix of deep house and an unabashed old school house more at home in London or New York. But neither is it simply in those styles. This is sound that flaunts and revels in disco origins and vibrant shades.

This is a sound full of colour and life and the gay abandon of classic piano house but without quite having the need to deliver those stabbing piano chords. Live life fully with Paji.

Study Beats with Big Tronic, and Mixhelle #Chill #Downtempo #StudyBeats

•May 18, 2023 • Leave a Comment

A couple of tracks with which to chill from Big Tronic and Mixhelle.

Big Tronic is first up. Ferdinando Liberti Is from Italy and was born in ‘99. This is all we get from him. So, let’s focus on featured track Night Mood.

Night Mood is, as you might imagine, a track for the small hours. Its rich lofi beats leavened by a mournful and melancholic keyboard line. There’s nothing complicated here. Everything is kept pared back and unadorned. This lets the quiet drama of the piano and heartbeat percussion hold you in its thrall.

And so to Mixhelle who is apparently Michelle Lunique. They do a range of trap and hip hop which is too contemporary for me but among that was this beautiful Demo 18.

Demo 18 is only 1:35 but packs a lot in. It’s all built on a guitar sample with a whisper of beat and later some tinkling accompaniment. Full of ascending phrases this uses xylophone to lift the spirits brilliantly.

This is summery, tropical and shimmering with light and a welcoming positivity.

Midweek brightness from B. Visible x Kariyan, and Jimmi King #Electronica #Downtempo @bvsbl @jimmikingking

•May 17, 2023 • Leave a Comment

A couple of tracks to brighten your midweek mood from B. Visible x Kariyan, and Jimmi King.

B. Visible is from Vienna, Austria, as is remixer Kariyan. He’s a German/Kurdish musician from Vienna. He says “Making music has always been very inspiring for me because it allows me to convey emotions that I find difficult to communicate in real life.” And this remix is all about emotion.

B.Visible’s track Plane gets a remix that’s less a rework than everything highly polished and tuned to 11. The focus of the track is twin counterpoints of guitar licks and choral vocals. It overflows with emotionally affecting sound. In the wrong hands this would sound overwrought but here it’s beautiful.

The track is one of constant epiphanies and highs. Beats clatter around in an almost folktronica way. This is a righteous remix.

the original version

London’s Jimmi King ( formerly in NVOY) also goes for the ethereal and emotional in a joyous fashion on Angel Key.

Angel Key features a sample of Instupendo – Comfort Chain. It’s a dizzying mixture of garage, house and electronica. It’s light on its feet and has a song in its heart.

The beats are almost garage, the keyboards are almost house but it still has an ambient tinge. This is restless and jittery in a ready to go out their way, rather than any edgy anxiety. A track that smacks of Londons late 80s/early 90s positivity and that anything is possible.

I defy you to do anything but feel uplifted by this beautiful track.

Remixing classics: Only Gray – Love On A Real Train (Tangerine Dream cover) #Synth #Synthwave #Electronic

•May 16, 2023 • Leave a Comment

OK, so this is a cover rather than a remix but it still sits nicely in the Remixing Classics corner. It’s a cover of a Tangerine Dream track Love On A Real Train by Colorado based Only Gray.

Only Gray is from Denver, Colorado. He cites the wonderful Lane8 as an influence and that’s apparent here since the synth cover comes with a deep house and progressive house spin that Lane8 fans would recognise.

Of the track Only Gray says “I can still picture my old VHS copy of Risky Business. The box was tattered and held together with tape. I loved the soundtrack as much as the film, maybe more. This is my cover of the famous Tangerine Dream track, modernized with a progressive house feel.”

That this isn’t a faithful cover is what really lets it fly. The base is Tangerine Dream but totally updated with a smooth progressive house feel and a real lushness. The beats don’t hit you they ripple around and between the synths. A bit of reverb and everything accommodates a bit of pulsing synth bass.

This isn’t a suburban bone shaker of a slam stock train this is top quality comfort on a late night Elizabeth line train.

Techno Tuesday but on a Monday with: Pilú and The PDC #Techno #ProgressiveHouse #Acid #AcidTechno

•May 15, 2023 • Leave a Comment

It may be Monday but let’s have some techno from Pilú and The PDC.

Pilú (previously Pilkush) is from Paris, France. He started on drums and that focus on the beats is apparent in his work. Here’s Stay from the Faux-Départ EP.

Stay is ultimately a melodic techno track. But is starts with a wonderfully percussive feel of a tribal type before the melody comes in. The uplifting synths with their JMJ twang and the fragments of female vocal give this an almost throwback feel. A main room good time tune but all traces of fromage excluded.

A disco house of sheer abandon.

To the other side of the world now and Australia for The PDC (Adam Murray). This is The People’s Dance Collective, an African born and raised producer/DJ that calls Melbourne/Naarm home.

Here’s Off Piste from the Cavalry008 EP. This is Acid House in its original form that magpie like happily took inspiration and influences from anywhere.

Off Piste is a mix of some seriously wonderful acid lines and bass whilst mixing it with that day glo fun of Italo House. Another track that’s now afraid of the main room. This wants to flaunt its influences and parade them in front of you. But it also wants to parade its intelligence.

There’s nothing cheap here. Peaks are built and earned. Layers are offered to be savoured. A delicious taste of late 80s/early 90s souped up and served fresh.

Ambient Sunday triple bill with: Khris Riley, Jakliu, and No Time For Tapes #Ambient #Chill #Downtempo

•May 14, 2023 • Leave a Comment

Been a bit of a strange week so haven’t been able to post for a few days. To make up for it here’s an Ambient Sunday triple bill from Khris Riley, Jakliu, and No Time For Tapes.

Finland’s Khris Riley returns with a totally summery track Garden of Eden.

This features lots of guitar at the centre but a truly ethereal vibe. The guitar is deliciously acoustic but processed into something more heavenly. The beats are hip hop but suitably lofi and kept back in the mix.

This is warm and comforting. It’s a mix of only good things. The guitar hook keeps chiming and makes downtempo properly uplifting.

A new artist here is Jakliu (Jack Lewins). Jakliu is a 27-year-old Electronic artist from Dublin, Ireland. Working from his bedroom, he creates music that is both melancholic and atmospheric. And that melancholic feel abounds on new track Far.

Far is a mix of a piano line which is always heading downwards and hissy squirts of electronics. The beats have a bit of Bicep but only if they were on a massive comedown. There’s something reassuring about the melancholia – even the “you’ve reduced me to ashes” line. It doesn’t shy away from knowing that everything isn’t always upbeat. It understands that you can only enjoy the good times if you’ve endured the bad.

Beautiful work.

And finally to another returning artist, No Time For Tapes. No Time for Tapes is based in Erfurt, Germany. He is writing tracks inspired by nature and everyday life. Lots of nature and folk tropical sounds on new release Lakeside.

Lakeside takes acoustic guitar kept taut and mixes it with hip hop shouts, trip hop beats and a folk orchestra of sound. This is texturally dense with layer upon layer. But it manages to never feel crowded.

The guitar holds the centre ground as beats thud and electronics offer warm washes of sound as water rushes around. It’s both peaceful and alert. A glitchy dichotomy and uplifts and enervates.

Downtempo scratching with: Koncise, and AnZeux #Electronica #Downtempo #StudyBeats #Chillwave #InstrumentalHipHop

•May 3, 2023 • Leave a Comment

Some cheery and perky downtempo from Koncise, and AnZeux.

Koncise is from the UK. Or more specifically a musician and producer from South London. Here’s Represent, taken from Koncise’s Breaks On Loops LP. Released on 12″ vinyl and digital platforms at the back end of last year on Millennium Jazz Music.

Represent uses samples to get us back into the debate about whether sampling is plagiarism or the creation of something new. I rather think that debate is settled but also that’s slightly off point. This is a cracking track giving study beats back to its hip hop and scratching, crate digging roots.

Beats have a real weight on presence. No tinny lofi here. And there’s a squelchy disco funk bass that brings in that who other aesthetic. But it’s all sooooo laid back. This track nods its head and skins up as it moseys along. Coming atcha with a cloud of sweet smoke this is such fantastically easy listening. Class.

AnZeux from Tokyo, Japan goes for the dawn of time on primeval Genesis.

Genesis is chilled and yet also epic. It’s one of those slightly unclassifiable things that has me reaching for the catch all Electronica genre. But genres be damned this is wonderfully uplifting.

The track opens with the dawn of tom toms before twinkling synth stars appear. Sirens wail but there’s nothing to dull the mood. This is offering wide eyed wonder at all of creation. The bass buzzes and tumbles all around.

Riffs soar ever upwards and it’s as catchy as hell with its constant spirals and ear worms. If this is the start of everything then it’s a very good thing.

Ambient Sunday is off to space with moon:and:6, and Tivit #MicroHouse #Ambient #IDM #AmbientTechno @moonand6 @tivit_rndmfleet

•April 30, 2023 • 1 Comment

Yes, it’s an Ambient staple but space and NASA and all things interstellar just work so well with Ambient flvoured tunes, as moon:and:6, and Tivit demonstrate.

moon:and:6 is the returning Michael Chambers from Canada and here’s the lovely Apollo 7ven on Maisonnueve Music from Hamilton, Ontario. Unsurprisingly the track takes samples from the Apollo 7 mission in 1968. Musically, it’s a bit more up to date but with a strong 90s and early 00s ambient techno feel.

The control room samples accompany a rippling synth and lift off through to the first break. This is techno but of a gentle spacey sort with psychedelic influences. It’s all quite delightfully trippy. The sounds even have that early cid feel for a retro futuristic effect.

There’s something of early Fluke about this track. And that’s a compliment. A beautifully produced track that knows perfectly how to weave techno and NASA into something that’s just magical.

Taking a more low key lofi micro House approach is Germany’s Tivit. An artist from Hamburg he is producing “results from his imaginary cooperation with NASA’s Aimes Research Center.”

Here’s Dyno. This is a gentle micro techno beat with an echoing bass that gives the track an almost dub techno air. The track this has a throb of life that is enhanced by exquisite strings.

This track isn’t aiming for lift off. It’s too busy floating in space. It’s off on a space walk of its own. The track is a six minute long groove of almost timeless dimensions but with an underlying melancholy of the strings that it never quite shakes off.

This track is out there and it’s resigned to never coming home. Earth will dwindle to a dot and eventually disappear but the bass dubs on.