All of us are passionate about exploring new styles of music, and when it comes to ambient and electronic, we're pretty lucky at how far and wide that spectrum spans. With such breadth however, comes a lack of knowledge in some of the hard-to-reach areas - the less accessible music maybe. Or for some, they don't take the steps to explore any further, to go outside of what they're comfortable with. Maybe it's a lack of time, maybe it's just not knowing where to start.
Genres are difficult and contentious subjects to navigate, but only when we draw boundaries instead of breaking them down. When exploring new music, it's much more helpful to say what genre a track may belong to, or what may have influenced it, than say what genre it doesn't belong to. And that openness often leads you into new territory.
So I'm starting a new blog series titled Portals.
In this series, I'll focus on one specific style of music or an associated topic - often a derivative or influence of ambient or electronic music, similar to how I explored ambient music in my long-read, "Neither Scene Nor Heard: a journey through ambient music". Each episode will look deeper into the specific style or topic in an attempt to introduce you to, open-up the aperture and hold open the door to an entirely new place. There will be ten tracks in each of the posts, and they will attempt to cover some of the styles that represent that topic - think of it as one-click down from "Neither Scene Nor Heard.."
There will be many of you down the rabbit-hole already; many of you better placed to tell the story of a style, so feel free to contribute in the comments below each post with tracks or artists you feel fit the topic. I'll also be featuring guest editors who better represent a specific style or topic.
The first Portals feature will focus on Modern Classical music, with ten tracks that have helped me fall in love with the style over the past few years. When I explain to some of my friends or family that I enjoy Modern Classical music, they find it hard to grasp. Classical music has connotations of 70-year-old men, dusty record shops with gramophones, or a theatre-full of tuxedos watching the back of a conductor. Modern Classical and the many artists pioneering it today are breaking new ground, crossing into electronic and ambient music, playing at major festivals, making techno music on the side, and doing it in style.
Coming soon: Portals: Modern Classical.