Brian Eno

isolatedmix 82 - Ocoeur

 
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It was 2013 when Franck Zaragoza’s beautiful electronic debut for n5MD grabbed our attention and secured itself as one of the years finest releases. Since then, Franck and his Ocoeur project, has continued on the label with three more albums - his latest, ‘Inner’ landing just last month on gold vinyl.

Looking back at Ocoeur’s evolution on n5MD over the past five years, there’s been a continual shift in approach, perhaps mimicking fast-paced life itself, or simply a natural progression and refinement in Franck’s sound. Whether purposeful or accidental, it’s evident Franck is continually in search of honing and perfecting his sound.

2013’s ‘Light As A Feather’ was, ironically, the deepest of Franck’s productions - rooted in electronica, and containing tracks that wouldn’t have sounded out of place in a dimly lit warehouse party, alongside more refined listening moments that were just a taster of what was to come over the next few years.

‘Reversed’ saw Franck lean further into the instrumental and modern classical side of his productions, with elegant piano and string moments, affirming his place as a master of atmospheres and a dab-hand should a big soundtrack offer come knocking at his door one day.

2018’s ‘Inner’ perhaps, by design and title, is Franck’s most introspective piece, with slow, burning, soaring synths that wouldn’t be out of place on a Blade Runner score, but without the expected assault of Hans-Zimmer-esque synth-splurges. Instead, Franck’s sound comes from the modern classical world in the truest of simple, delicate and sublime senses.

The comparison in five years alone shows how much Franck has to offer within his production arsenal, with each album somehow, succeeding the last.

For his isolatedmix, Franck has leaned on his own productions alongside complimentary inspirations that help portray a dream-like hour of ambience, dotted with highs and lows - demonstrating some of the many emotions Franck has continually painted over the past five years. Without even listening, seeing the likes of Murcof, Rauelsson and Cliff Martinez, alongside Ocoeur’s own productions within the track list should indicate how delicate and considered this mix is.

Download

Tracklist:

01. Zinovia Arvanitidi - Invisible
02. Ocoeur - In The Starlight - Pixys
03. Cliff Martinez - He Had a Good Time
04. Disasterpeace - Formations
05. Jessica Curry - Dear Esther - Always (Hebridean mix)
06. Ocoeur - Unseen
07. SineRider - Alouette
08. Murcof - Uri
09. Ocoeur - Passage
10. Ocoeur - Time Over (Rework)
11. Ocoeur - Mother
12. Rauelsson - Arrows
13. Ocoeur - Echo
14. Deru - Drink It In
15. Brian Eno & Harold Budd - Late October

Ocoeur | n5MD | Soundcloud | Facebook

 

isolatedmix 81 - Rich-Ears: Navigator

 
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A welcome return to our Balearic maestro, Rich-Ears, who keeps the dwindling connection I have with the white isle going strong all these years later. Now I’m on the other side of the world, I like to live vicariously through Rich-Ears' mixes, coming straight from the heart of Ibiza (the right side of the island I should add) as he enjoys summer life spinning his notorious samples and blends of downtempo, chill-out and ambient.

I've been a little slow these past few months on the site, so I must apologize to Rich-Ears for sitting on this one for so long, as he prepared it for the summer months and with ASIP’s ten-year anniversary in mind. Well, as the first day of the Autumnal Equinox, maybe there’s no better way to say goodbye to the summer…

Rich-Ears put a set together a few years back for our five-year milestone and was inspired to offer up his skills again for our celebratory ten-year, crafting this beautifully relaxed and calming set titled ‘Navigator’ as he plucks some classics in the form of The Orb, Eno, Midori Takada and Morricone; think of this as your own navigator through some essential ambient and chill listening by one of the finest selectors.

Download.

Tracklist:

01. Keichi Suzuki - Satellite Serenade (TransAsian Express) [The Orb remix]
02. Spacetime Continuum - Floatilla
03. The Orb - Alles Ist Schoen
04. [Rich_Ears_edit_Navigator_ambient]
05. Reagenz - Farewell (Live at Dommune)
06. Kaoru Inoue - A Day Of Radiance
07. Midori Takada - Through the looking glass
08. [Rich_Ears_edit_ambient_psy]
09. Brian Eno - The Real
10. 36 - Shadow Play (After Dark Reprise)
11. Halftribe - Well connected
12. All Into The Mix (ambient short edit)
13. Pink Floyd - Echoes (live)
14. Enzo Cage - Enoference
15. Murcof x Vanessa Wagner - Avril 14th (Aphex Twin)
16. Crossworlds - Sunwalk
17. DJ Food - Colors Beyond Colors
18. Ennio Morricone- La Voglia Matta: Sole e Sogni

Rich-Ears | Mixcloud | Facebook | Instagram

 

Portals: Music For Mindfulness

 
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Mindfulness, is undoubtedly subjective and situational. But one thing I’ve noticed, is that most of the material you hear on this topic often has a stereotypical sound; normally new-age, and often yoga or meditation focused with buddhist chanting, or crashing waves. Sometimes, you might be lucky enough to find a sweet-spot with Brian Eno, and with it, you draw a sigh of relief. 

I've often wondered how (or why) hotels and spa's choose their music and how this 'background style' has become so mistakenly synonymous with ambient music. Ask anyone who isn't familiar with ambient music is and they’ll likely say "spa music" or "meditation/yoga stuff". No digs on that type of music, I mean some elements even find their way in here - it's the root to many ambient concepts, and I could sit and listen to the sound of the sea and waves crashing for years on end. But as with all of these Portals series, I try to find and explore a different perspective where possible. 

The goal of this feature and accompanying mix was to create a journey of escapism and comfort. Whereas the previous Portals feature, ‘Music For Sleeping’ could be deemed very similar, the approach here focused on keeping an attentive layer/s that ended up being more pure to Brian Eno’s definition of ambient music: “As ignorable as it is interesting”, which aligns very well with the definition of what it means to be mindful; "the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something”

There’s a lot of ambient music that fulfills this goal, so what’s different here? As I was curating tracks for this mix, I found common themes that resonated with me personally when it came to mindfulness, which I tried to reflect throughout, and ultimately formed a filter for what should be included. Perhaps you’ll identify with one or more and can descend into a rabbit-hole of exploration, or hopefully you'll enjoy it as a whole. 

Nature
Field recordings and the pure sound of the outdoors is undoubtedly calming and reassuring. It’s an escape from our busy lives, and a reminder of what’s good in our world. The mix opens with my favorite field recording from Biosphere that somehow encapsulates the exact sound I used to hear from the field behind my childhood house. Nature sounds are a common theme throughout this mix, whether on purpose or inadvertently as an intro or ending to certain tracks. 

Submersion
The warm, blanket-like approach to ambient music is a favorite of mine, often created through analog equipment, or layers of undulating synthesizers that build, wrap and immerse. Markus Guentner, Donnacha Costello, Marcus Fischer, Heathered Pearls, bvdub, and Billow Observatory are just some of the many moments in here that keep you warm and comforted. 

Subtle/subliminal layers
The KLF’s ‘Chill-out’ album is one of ambient music’s most pioneering pieces, and on paper, it really shouldn’t be. The sound of trains, sheep and Elvis Presley are not the first ingredients that come to mind for relaxation, but the key here, is how they’re interwoven into a moving piece of musical art - an undercurrent of subtle moments that on their own would be distracting, but together form a story. They provide moments of interest and escapism - enough to keep one foot in the door, and one foot in a world of your own. I’ve tried to replicate this approach in this mix, by lowering volumes of certain tracks into the background, or including something a little unexpected in a few places, so if you see something you like in the track-list, don’t assume it will feature prominently. 

Choral sounds
Beautiful, emotional choir singing is pretty cliche, but who can argue against it when it comes to feeling good? Whether it’s the religious connotations, or just the simple realization that the sound you're hearing is coming from a person, is as stunning as it is comforting. Moments from Hammock and Jonsi & Alex provide the highs in this instance. 

String instruments
Whether it’s a slowly drawn cello, a harp, or a lone guitar pluck, there’s something about string instruments when it comes to reflecting positivity (and in the right context, ultimate sadness!) However, I often associate these sounds with light - I have no idea why - but perhaps thats why they feature in here so heavily. Be it the acoustic version of Aphex Twin’s ‘Rhubarb’, Mary Lattimore’s beautiful harp, or Kit’s portrayal of a walk on the beach as fireworks light the horizon. 

Strong-sounds can also go to the other end of the spectrum too, with reverb-laden guitar-haze forming complex palettes that you’d normally expect to come from synthesizers. Examples in here being Manual and to a simpler extent, Neozaïre. 

Repetition
We’re creatures of habits, and the beat of the drum is what makes all music so special. When it comes to ambient music, this often comes to life in loops, or slowly evolving textures that do just enough to keep you intrigued, yet are familiar enough to hypnotize and make you feel comfortable. Given its minimal nature, most ambient music is repetitive, but sometimes it can become more evident in its form, for example, a track here Klimek that anticipates each evolution and movement with a similar instrumental pluck of strings. 

Overall, I have tried to avoid anything that can be seen as daunting, intriguing or so vividly different that you switch into new worlds with every track. You may notice some distinct phases throughout the mix, where similar sounds are tied together, and you may prefer certain phases to others, but eventually I hope you finish on an extremely positive note. Just sat here listening back and writing this, I’m feeling better than I was a few hours back...

Thanks to everyone who commented on the original Facebook post with their own suggestions, a few of which made it into the final journey. 

Download.

Tracklist + links to buy/download:

01. Biosphere - As The Sun Kissed The Horizon [Biophon]
02. Ourson - Mountain, Calm Day, Birds, Saw [Self]
03. Brian Eno, Roger Eno, Daniel Lanois - Deep Blue Day [EG / Polydor]
04. Parks - Forest [Self]
05. Kit - Girl Walking on The Beach Wearing A Skirt [A Strangely Isolated Place]
06. Sage Taylor - Raintime Ten [Cold Fiction Music]
07. Bjorn Rohde - Intentionally Gone [Self]
08. Billow Observatory - Calumet [Felte]
09. Hammock - Now And Not Yet [Hammock Music]
10. Heathered Pearls - Glass Routine [Self]
11. Donnacha Costello - This Way [Ursa/Self]
12. James Devane - Rhubarb (Acoustic) [na]
13. Aphex Twin - Rhubarb [Warp]
14. Marcus Fischer - Arctic 2 [Luxus-Arctica records International]
15. Helios - Halving The Compass [Type/Unseen]
16. Yeter - Dart 2 [A Strangely Isolated Place]
17. bvdub - 10 [Self]
18. Markus Guentner - Express Yourself [Kompakt]
19. Leyland Kirby - Polaroid [Ghostly]
20. Martin Glass - Welcome To The Four Seasons [Kit Records]
21. David Bowie & Brian Eno - Moss Garden [RCA]
22. Klimek - Sun Rise [Kompakt]
23. Mary Lattimore & Jefre Cantu Ledesma - Borrego Springs [Soap Library]
24. Brian Eno - Music For Airports 1/1 [Polydor]
25. Jonsi & Alex - Boy 1904 [XL/Parlophone]
26. Neozaïre - Blue Bell Treasure [Fauxpas]
27. Manual - Azure Vista [Darla]
28. Peter Broderick & Nils Frahm - Sketch 24 [Fugues]

If you enjoyed this, dive deeper into ambient music with our in-depth introduction 'Neither Scene Nor Heard: An Introduction to Ambient Music', or some of the other Portals series, below. 

 

Portals: Music For Sleeping

 

The easiest way to describe ambient music to somebody who isn't aware of it, is often to explain it as background music, or music that puts you to sleep. I find myself in that situation regularly, be it with taxi drivers asking about the show I'm heading off to ("so you don't dance - you just listen?!") family members asking about the music I put on the label, or pretty much anyone who only listens to nothing but pop music and think this stuff doesn't exist... However, when you explain it as "music for sleeping", it doesn't do the genre any justice whatsoever. Just take a look on Youtube, or Google "music for sleeping"; it's packed full of generic new-age type material that probably does the job for the many mums out there, but isn't a true reflection of some of the amazing coma-inducing music available. Let's open this world up a little more.

Music for sleeping doesn't necessarily mean music with the least obtrusive manner, or the most unnoticeable of noise. In my experience, you can probably fall asleep to any music you personally enjoy, feel comfort in, and can zone out to - be it full-on techno, subtle field recordings, ancient chanting or never-ending guitar loops. I think I've fallen asleep to all of the above at some point. 

During this exploration, I found several themes or styles of music that I enjoy falling asleep to. So instead of listing out individual tracks in a random order,  I've separated out the music by the five stages of the sleep cycle and given them each a theme / style of music that matches. 

Sleep cycles are apparently 90-minutes long, so you'll find two mixes accompanying this feature, (two cycles each consisting of 90-minutes) with each mix made up of the five sleep stages. The selection includes some of my favorites, as well as suggestions from a few readers via Facebook and Twitter. Thank you to all who suggested albums, and made compiling this feature a new journey for me in many instances. 
 

Stage 1 "Fragmented Visuals" 

Light sleep; we drift in and out of sleep and can be awakened easily. Our eyes move very slowly and muscle activity slows. People awakened from stage 1 sleep often remember fragmented visual images. Many also experience sudden muscle contractions called hypnic myoclonia, often preceded by a sensation of starting to fall

For stage one, I've chosen music that creates detailed and immersive textures. Music that's been crafted with pictures in mind, often including field recordings, giving you the sense of something happening, painting the world you're about to enter. These tracks have just enough detail for you to tune into whilst awake, but enough texture and unknown space to zone out to.

These types of tracks are often in the purest of ambient form consisting of simple textures made famous by many of the early ambient pioneers, such as Brian Eno, Aphex Twin, The KLF and Biosphere

To help keep things interesting in this stage, the veterans sit alongside some more recent ambient/experimental artists such as Robert Rich, Gallery Six and Sage Taylor (Textural Being's more ambient guise). 
 

Stage 2 "Slowly floating"

When we enter stage 2 sleep, our eye movements stop and our brain waves (fluctuations of electrical activity that can be measured by electrodes) become slower, with occasional bursts of rapid waves called sleep spindles.

By now, I start to drift off and for this stage I've chosen the purest of ambient music focused on soft melodies and colorful textures - the easiest type of ambient music to fall asleep to due to its cloud-like feelings. It can range from simple synthesizer music, to orchestral scores, all uplifting and comforting in tone and texture; nothing too dark, and all very welcoming. 

This type of music ranges in style, from a more electronic feel to more instrumental. Kompakt's Pop Ambient Series is a great place to start (pretty much any of their stuff) and Pass Into Silence feature here alongside more soft electronic processing from Altus,  Home Normal'sChronovalve, the widely regarded Disintegration Loops from William Basinski, one of my favourite tracks from Helios and perhaps my most played album at bedtime by Jonas Munk's Billow Observatory project. 

Some of the more instrumental pieces that offer gentle, drifting lullabies include Hammock's inviting guitar drones, or beautiful soundtracks from Jon Hopkins and Stars Of The Lid's, Brian McBride - each a delicate balance between comforting melodies and a poignant attention-grabbing movie score. 
 

Stage 3 "Rhythmic waves"

In stage 3, extremely slow brain waves called delta waves begin to appear, interspersed with smaller, faster waves.

After drifting, comes the gentle trance-like repetition. For this stage I've chosen tracks with subtle rhythm, ambient pulses, or the gentle enveloping warmth of beats. It's hard to find music that doesn't disrupt within this style (an art it seems). Some will find this style too busy, whilst some will find the repetition soothing and comforting. 

This stage includes my personal favourite bedtime album from Yagya, the undercurrent of Wolfgang Voigt's, Gas project and fellow german Markus Guentner's pulsing ambient, the ethereal, angelic progression of bvdub and one of Loscil's finest ambient projects to date, Fern & Robin, taken from his album Endless Falls


Stage 4 "Into The Deep"

By stage 4, the brain produces delta waves almost exclusively. It is very difficult to wake someone during stages 3 and 4, which together are called deep sleep. There is no eye movement or muscle activity

The second stage of deep sleep requires indulging atmospheres, so the theme of this stage suited more intense sounds, erring on the side of drone music in many instances. These are the washes of sound that remove the finer details and blanket you with color and texture to confirm your paralyses. 

This stage includes the deep electronic experiments of Alva NotoLine's Tu 'M, and Thomas Koner, alongside the drone gods of Rafael Anton Irisarri and the infamous Stars Of The Lid 


Stage 5 (REM) "The Other Worlds"

 

When we switch into REM sleep, our breathing becomes more rapid, irregular, and shallow, our eyes jerk rapidly in various directions, and our limb muscles become temporarily paralyzed. Our heart rate increases and our blood pressure rises. When people awaken during REM sleep, they often describe bizarre and illogical tales – dreams.

By now, you're starting to dream, which calls for new worlds and vivid landscapes. This is perhaps one of the more popular styles of sleep music looking back at what's out there already. The psychedelic worlds and space-like ambient music is often the stereotype for escapism and outer-world experiences and along with meditation and relaxation. 

For this stage I've chosen the space-like sounds of Global Communication, Biosphere, Neel, Carbon Based Lifeforms, Solar Fields and Stellardrone, alongside the eery melody of Aphex Twin's Blue Calx - potentially the softest-ever travel pillow.

~

The list, and the mixes could have gone on forever but I had to stop somewhere, so maybe there will be a time for future sleep cycles if you enjoy them. For now, here's two to see you through a couple of horizontal sessions. 

As described previously, the mixes are split into the above sleep stages in a hope they mirror the overall sleep cycle. I'm no doctor or expert in sleep, so this is by no way mean't to actually be a prescriptive sleep session! It was just a nice way to structure the approach, and you never know, it might work for you. 

Once you've listened, feel free to comment below with your experience and if the mixes did the job. Of course, you probably wouldn't know if they did... 

Cycle 1 (90 mins) Download

Tracklist:
Stage 1.1 Brian Eno - Drift (Apollo A&S
Stage 1.2 Aphex Twin - Rhubarb (SAW II)
Stage 1.3 Sage Taylor - Raintime Ten (Raintime)
Stage 1.4 Gallery Six - The Frozen Lake (The Fogbound Island)
Stage 2.1 Pass Into Silence - Iceblink (Pop Ambient 2006)
Stage 2.2 Chronovalve - The Gravity Of Dreams (Trace of Light)
Stage 2.3 Billow Observatory - Pankalia (Billow Observatory)
Stage 3.1 Gas - Pop 3 (Pop)
Stage 3.2 Yagya - Rigning tiu (Rigning)  
Stage 4.1 Tu M’ - Monochrome #01 (Monochrome Vol.1)
Stage 4.2 Alva Noto - Xerrox Radieuse (Xerrox Vol.3)
Stage 5.1 Carbon Based Lifeforms - Somewhere in Russia (Twentythree)
Stage 5.2 Global Communication - 9.39 (76.14)
Stage 5.3 Neel - The Secret Revealed (Phobos)
Stage 5.4 Biosphere - Kobresia (Substrata
 

Cycle 2 (90 mins) Download

Tracklist:
Stage 1.1 Biosphere - ’t Schop (The Hilvarenbeek Recordings)
Stage 1.2 Robert Rich - Summer Thunder (Echo Of Small Things)
Stage 1.3 The KLF - Six Hours to Louisiana, Black (Chill Out)
Stage 2.1 William Basinski - The Disintegration Loops 3 (The Disintegration Loops)
Stage 2.2 Helios - Vargtimme (Eingya)
Stage 2.3 Brian McBride - Girl Nap (The Effective Disconnect
Stage 2.4 Jon Hopkins - Campfire (Monsters OST)
Stage 2.5 Hammock - Maybe They Will Sing For Us Tomorrow (Maybe They Will Sing For Us Tomorrow)
Stage 2.6 Altus - Sodium Glow (Black Trees Among Amber Skies)
Stage 3.1 Markus Guentner - Dockside (Talking Clouds EP)
Stage 3.2 bvdub - I Would Have Waited (Songs For A Friend I Left Behind)
Stage 3.3 Loscil - Fern & Robin (Endless Falls)
Stage 4.1 Rafael Anton Irisarri - Persistence (Unsaid EP)
Stage 4.2 Thomas Koner - Nuuk Air (Nuuk)
Stage 4.3 Stars Of The Lid - The Artificial Pine Arch Song (The Ballasted Orchestra)
Stage 5.1 Solar Fields - Silent Walking (Origin #1)
Stage 5.2 Stellardrone - Nightscape (Echoes)
Stage 5.3 Aphex Twin - Blue Calx (SAW II)

Spotify playlist featuring a majority of music from this post:

Feature image by Dorian DenesT-shirts with the Music For Sleeping design are now available on his website.

If you're new to ambient music or would like more of the same, try our in-depth feature, Neither Scene Nor Heard : a journey through ambient music

 

ASIP Wantlist #1

 
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Introducing a new feature series for the diggers out there; the ASIP Wantlist. We'll be asking friends and artists for the five records that sit at the top of their wish list, the records they make a beeline for every time they step into a record store, the covers they've never ran their finger across, the pieces of wax that long for a space on their shelf. 

Finding these elusive records has been made increasingly easier over the years with the likes of Discogs and eBay, but if you ask any record collector, nothing beats finding a piece of vinyl without the means of the internet; wrongly filed, turned backwards, hanging on to an original, busted sleeve, and inappropriately priced. The moment that goes through all of our heads; "is this it? Is it the original? Is it in OK condition? Yes! Why is it it filed in the Jazz section?? OK, how much is it..."

Some submissions in the series will undoubtedly be easily found on the internet, maybe at an extortionate black-market price, but this isn't just about highlighting the rarest LP's with only one acetate ever pressed. Instead, it's a personal love affair with a cherished format. It's a chance for the people who appreciate the physical product, to talk about the pieces they've wanted for some time, and the copies they long to find in a dusty old store - the earned find, not the one-click buy. Nothing beats it. 

I'll kick things off.

Doing this was harder than I thought given how many sought-after records have been re-pressed recently, but I found this to be a proof point in why this feature could be interesting. It wont be a list to show-off peoples collections; "hey why don't you tell me about all those great records you have?" No. It will probably end up being a weird anomaly of records that unearth a bit of nostalgia and personality surrounding said person. I toyed with including some wants from my techno list, my trance list even, but ultimately settled on an ambient theme to begin proceedings. 

And as a reference for all the true crate diggers, I've been collecting for about fifteen years now, which is not that much compared to many people, so expect a relatively modern list, all things considered. Future Wantlist features will undoubtedly dig even deeper...

 

1. Gas - Gas. 1996. Mille Plateaux [Discogs]

 
 

I'm yet to find a Gas vinyl in a record store  and I don't own any Gas on vinyl. It kills me. And given the quality across his four albums between '96 and '00, any of them could be on this list.  

The grandfather of ambient techno (you could say) Wolfgang Voigt, released his defining self-titled LP on the just-as-legendary Mille Plateaux label in 1996 and has seen nothing but praise and imitators (in the good sense) ever since. His sound undoubtedly went on to influence his curations for Pop Ambient  (this is where it started) and likely spawned a generation of washed-out, blissful techno music that straddled between ambient and dance-floor techno. 

Wolfgang is a big influence to many of the artists I listen to today and is responsible for Kompakt's infamous contribution to the ambient world, making his LP's top of my Wantlist by a long way. 

2. Slowdive - 5 EP. 1993. Creation Records. (12") [Discogs]

 
 
 
 

Perhaps an obvious choice, but I don't own many Slowdive records. I'm not sure if it's down to them generally being hard to come across; if I haven't had the urge to dig them out; or if deep down I can't even begin collecting Slowdive records properly until this one is in my collection (I'm an all-or-nothing type of person). 

In Mind is one of the most beautiful pieces of music ever created and Rachel's soft, angelic voice sounds even better on a warm, crackly piece of vinyl. I also want this to accompany my treasured Reload remixes of In Mind 12". Which leads me nicely on to...

3. Chapterhouse Retranslated By Global Communication ‎– Pentamerous Metamorphosis. 1993. Dedicated. (2xLP)  [Discogs

 
 
 
 

Another shoegaze related want, with Chapterhouse receiving the remix treatment from Global Communication at the very beginning of their infamous ambient era. Tom Middleton and Mark Pritchard set the bar high in 1993 with this unexpected remix album, yet managed to better it even further with the release of their genre defining 76:14 album a year later. Whilst I'm lucky enough to own an original copy of 76:14, it's this remix album I'm on the hunt for now. Each track, taking the core of a Chapterhouse melody, feeling or vocal and capturing the very essence of Global Communication each and every time. 

4. Brian Eno With Daniel Lanois & Roger Eno ‎– Apollo - Atmospheres & Soundtracks. 1983. Editions EG. (2xLP) [Discogs]

 
 

This is an example of an LP that is commonly available online, but one I long to come across in a record store, in pristine condition, sat there patiently waiting for me. It's a classic ambient album, inspired by America's conquest of new frontiers, and contains one of my favorite tracks of all time, An Anding (Ascent)It's the the blueprint for the likes of the KLF's Chillout album (combining elements of Country music for example), undoubtedly some of the Aphex ambient sound, and plenty of Pop Ambient musicians who went on to use subtle guitar loops as textures. It's heralded as one of the best-ever ambient albums for many reasons. Not to mention the track, Deep Blue Day, used in that infamous Trainspotting toilet scene. A must have in any collection, and surprisingly, one still missing from mine...

5. Alessandro Cortini - Forse 1. 2013. Important. (2xLP) [Discogs]

 
 
 
 

This last one took me a while to think about. There's hundreds of older records I'm on the hunt for (which I'll no doubt have to cover in later features), but I wanted to provide variety across the five, so I looked to more recent 'misses' which are now on my hit-list.

Alessandro Cortini (of Nine Inch Nails fame) has released three Forse albums and I unfortunately jumped on the bandwagon just a little too late, picking up the third (purple) last year.  I now need to track down the previous two, because not only do I have an obsession with completing sets (for example, I'm still on the hunt for a few remaining Donnacha Costello Color Series 12"s and a couple more Pop Ambient LP's to complete those collections) but Alessandro's albums are similarly worthwhile collectors items. Beautifully presented, color vinyls, quality packaging and above all, include some powerful, stunning music by Alessandro and his synth-obsessed world.

I think Alessandro's albums will undoubtedly become some of the most sought after records for ambient/ drone/ experimental fans in years to come. If you see Forse 1 or 2 in the store, you know where to send them...

~

Wantlist #2 coming soon, featuring five selects from friend, Jamie Mccue of Silent Season.