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Pinky's vibe selections

Archive for the 'ambient' Category

Steve Hackett – Voice Of Necam
2nd March, 2009 | 690 views

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Reminiscent of 10cc’s I’m Not In Love, with the vocal harmonies; for some reason this track always brings to my mind Holkham Beach in Norfolk. Perhaps the sand dunes that stretch into the distance when the tide is out beneath an open blue sky, give an expanse that mirrors the atmosphere created by this song. Or maybe it was played on a portable radio when I was there and forms one of my first musical memories… Something I’ll probably never find out. The album it’s from, Please Don’t Touch, is very strange but in a positive experimental manner and whilst not as overtly prog rock as his debut solo album, Voyage Of The Acolyte (a title that loudly proclaims it’s progressive rock credentials), still has some flute action as well as guests including Richie Havens and Randy Crawford.

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Steve Hackett - Please Don't Touch cover

Steve Hackett - Please Don't Touch center label pic

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Simple Minds – Kant Kino
3rd February, 2009 | 155 views

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A brief track from the Scottish songsmiths which has been ably employed in ambient mixes by those in the know, including Jon Marsh (of Beloved fame) on his simply sublime Travelogue mix. Perhaps this was the beginning of the habit amongst eighties ‘rock’ artists of including a leftfield slab of ambience tucked away on an album? Always exciting to discover an album that you’ve previously only recognise from the artist or the songs that were released as singles, has something completely different in pace and vibe tucked away unobstrusively in the middle of the B-side. Long may I continue to discover them.

Simple Minds - Empires And Dance cover pic

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DJ Mix: On Earth – 110 Life
13th January, 2009 | 290 views
On Earth - 110 Life cassette cover

An ambient mixtape with a few more livelier tracks weaved in and throughout. A few unknown track IDs remaining; are you ambient enough?

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Solar Quest – The Belle Of Atlantis
11th January, 2009 | 88 views

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Sunday – a day of rest, contemplation and reflection from the travails of the week just passed and planning for the week ahead. The Belle Of Atlantis, weighing in at over ten minutes long, affords you some opportunity to do that; perhaps even take a micro nap for the more mature listener. Brought to my attention by one of the mixes that Bruce Bickerton put up on his website and have since also heard him play on his wonderfully eclectic radio show that I’ve unfortunately fallen out of the habit of listening to of late. This is an astoundingly beautiful track that fully deserves it’s extended playing time and is but one track from a double album of ambient material that is worth time and effort to acquire. Put your feet up, close your eyes and let your mind’s eye journey to the legendary city, summoned by her call.

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Aphex Twin – We Are The Music Makers
25th November, 2008 | 405 views

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Continuing with the Aphex Twin, his own work this time. My favourite track from Selected Ambient Works 85-92; the spongy, slightly squelchy bass and the sample of Gene Wilder from Charlie And The Chocolate Factory.

We are the music makers
And we are the dreamers of dreams

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The Gentle People – Journey
24th November, 2008 | 129 views

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Ease into Monday with the Aphex Twin Care Mix of Journey by The Gentle People. Hopefully the below mantra doesn’t describe your day in the office, as you stare listlessly into space with a Thousand-yard Stare working for The Man but instead offers a time-out inside your head. I’m a sucker for strings and it has them aplenty, a hallucinogenic tide that by the end carries you along on a swell of sound.

This trip is an endless story
We’re taking you on a journey

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G.T.O. – Pure (Beautiful Mix)
5th November, 2008 | 202 views

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A short mix but still enough time to induce feelings of peacefulness and tranquillity, more familiar to some for the techno rave Pure Energy mix on the A side which now sounds a little dated. Plan to incorporate this into an ambient mix in the near future.

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Art Of Noise – Robinson Crusoe
25th October, 2008 | 349 views

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The Ambient Collection, the album this track is from, along with The KLF’s Chill Out, were possibly the first two releases of the early nineties ambient era that I came across that built on my then fledgling taste in this genre of electronic music, adding to some of the possibilities that I had been introduced to by the German electronic outfit, Tangerine Dream. The whole album is a high quality tapestry of sounds from start to finish but, when forced to choose, this aural evocation of a desert isle with the crystal clear sea lapping gently at shoreline, transports me instantly in my mind’s eye. A brief free holiday, which is no bad thing living in the UK.

Notes from sleeve:

With the advent of the nineties a new decade of clubs and DJ’s have floated into our conciousness. Their trip is a journey into peace. An ambient ecstasy. The creation of a new musical travelogue. A minimalistic embrace of everything good about the hard and uncompromising trance-dance of house and the surrealism of ambient instrumentalism.

Ambient or ‘chill-out’ rooms have been set up in clubs all around the country as an alternative to the dancefloor. Pure ecstasy escapism. Rooms for day-dreaming, fantasising or hallucinating.

This ambient collection is a sound step into the future. A collection of tracks alternatively known as ‘New Age House’ or ‘Ambient House’. Everyday sounds, noises and atmospheres we’ve imagined and heard all our lives but never consciously listened to. An unfocused daydream with no background or foreground. A sense of not being yourself, of being apart from what you’re listening to. A drift into tranquillity, in and out of reality.

Oft played and more than often sampled the Art Of Noise have long been torchbearers for this form of ambient instrumentalism.

This collection has been compiled, defiled, remixed and generally ‘presided over’ by producer ‘Youth’. His thanks go to those who worked after ‘nights high noon’.

So…..chill out.

The sleeve notes above are interesting in that the concept of the ‘chill out’ room has disappeared in clubs, perhaps coinciding with the commercialization of club/rave culture. The youth movement had been co-opted, re-packaged and sold back to the generation that spawned it. The reaction of the establishment in the face of the moral panic that was provoked by the first wave in the late eighties, meant that licenced venues had new rules to abide by and these didn’t include providing rooms with cushions for people to lie down, relax, dream or talk in. Bloody chillers didn’t buy many alcoholic drinks anyway…

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