2022 / A Few Favourites / Ambient

In 2022, I seemed to do a lot of “deep listening”, while either walking the dog through the hills at the foot of Mount Asamayama, or soaking in the bath once my chores were done. The latter providing a sort of sensory deprivation, allowing me to focus only on the music. The former causing references to the striking, seasonally changing, landscape to weave their way into my reviews. Both were / are escapes, and, I suppose, forms of meditation. I guess I should be pretty chilled. I’m not sure what went wrong : )

Over the years I’ve written a lot about this sort of stuff, but I can`t really say why some it works, and some of it doesn’t, other than in my case at least it’s totally subjective. Completely dependent on my surroundings, mood, and the medicine I might need at that moment. Here are a “few” favourites that have eased symptoms over the last 12 months. Compositions and improvisations that cut through any anxiety and uncertainly, to provide a calm from which, perhaps one day, some clarity will come. 

Mark Barrott / Johatsu

(Watch out for the vinyl reissue this April)

Mark Barrott Johatsu

Kasper Bjorke / Mother

KASPER BJORKE - MOTHER

Clair / Body Blossom Revelations

CLAIR - Body Blossom - Revelations

COH Meets Abul Mogard

COH MEETS ABUL MOGARD

Ian William Craig / Music For Magnesium_173

Ian William Craig - Music For Magnesium 173

Kenny Dickenson / Les Rivieres

Kenny Dickenson

Nils Frahm / Music For Animals

Nils Frahm - Music for Animals

Robin Guthrie / Springtime

robin guthrie springtime

Troels Hammer / An Introduction

Troels Hammer An Introduction

David Harrow / By The River

David Harrow - By The River

IKSRE / Awake Within The Dream

IKRSE Awake Within A Dream

Simon James / Electronic Breeze

Simon James Electronic Breeze

Clarice Jensen / Esthesis

CLAIRE JENSEN - ESTHESIS

OG Jigg / The Land Dictates The Lay Of The Stone

The Land Dictates the Lay of the Stone

Flore Laurentienne / Volume II

FLORE LAURENTIENNE - VOLUME II

Damian Lazarus / Beijing Spring

Damian Lazarus - Forest Of Forgotten

Emilie Levienaise Farrouch / Ravage

Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch : Ravage : 130701

Kyoto Connection / The Flower, The Bird, And The Mountain

Kyoto connection

Log(M) & Laraaji / The Onrush Of Eternity

Log M Laraaji

Gigi Masin / Vahine

Gigi Masin Vahine

Other Lands / Matter Reshaped

other lands matter reshaped

Other Lands / Archipelagos

Other Lands - Archipelagos

Vince Pope / Together Apart

VINCE POPE - TOGETHER APART

Pye Corner Audio / Lets Emerge

Pye Corner Audio - Lets Emerge

Steve Queralt & Michael Smith / Sun Moon Town

Michael Smith Sun Moon Town

Seahawks / Infinite Echo

Seahawks - Infinite Echo

Seaming To / Natural Process

Seaming To - Natural Process

Set Fire To Flames / Sings Reign Rebuilder

Set Fire To Flames Sings Reign Rebuilder 2022_10_05

Snowdrops / Missing Island

Snowdrops Missing Island

Suso Saiz  / Resonant Bodies

suso saiz-ResonantBodies-Cover-WEB

Tenka / Hydration

Tenka - Hydration

Ozan Tekin / Anarya

OZAN TEKIN - ANARYA

Christina Vantzou, Michael Harrison, & John Also Bennett

Christina Vantzou, Michael Harrison and John Also Bennett

Nina Walsh / Music To Fall Alseep To: Delta Waves

Nina Walsh - Music To Fall Asleep To - Delta Waves

Andrew Wasylyk / Hearing The Water Before Seeing The Falls

ANDREW WASYLYK cover

on in out

There are few things listed above that I didn’t manage to write about, but that are amazing records / albums all the same. A special mention must go to the Advanced Public Listening compilation, On In Out. The inaugural release on the imprint, founded by Miho Mepo, it’s the definition of a  labour of love. Miho has just returned to Japan, after spending the last 2 or 3 decades in Europe. With Berlin as a base, Miho became something of a legend on the electronic music scene, involved in running labels, clubs, and artist management. A little of Miho’s story can be found in the accompanying extensive, expansive, sleeve notes. The 22 tracks on the collection – either double CD, or 4X12” vinyl box, where no expense has been spared – are all exclusives, provided by super talented friends that Miho’s made along the way – a cast that includes a whole load of “household” names, such as Atom™, Thomas Brinkman, Tyree Cooper, Thomas Fehlmann, Roman Flügel, Matthew Herbert, Move D, Patrick Pulsinger, Roedelius, and Ricardo Villalobos. Everything thing on offer is pretty chilled. While the second half is a little more beat driven, to give you feel for the proceedings, The Irresistible Force’s IDM-esque MULTIBALL represents the set at its most “banging”. 

Of the musicians that were new to me, Takeshi Nishimoto’s ambient guitar pieces, collaborations with saxophonist Roger Doring leapt out. I was lucky enough to catch a stunning solo performance by Takeshi at the first Zim Zam Zu! event at the beginning of last year. At the same gig I also had the pleasure of meeting the mighty force of nature that is Ms. Mepo. 

The next Zim Zam Zu!, by the way, is this Saturday…

Zim Zam Zu FlyerJan2023withLogo copy

Track-lists

Part 1 / In A Wonderland

Snowdrops – Nostalgia de la Luz

Clarice Jensen – Love

Flore Laurentienne – Navigation IV

Vince Pope & Dmitry Evgrafov – Everything Matters

Log(M) & Laraaji – Sundog Suite

Ozan Tekin – Sunsick

Andrew Wasylyk – The Life Of Time

IKSRE – Mire (Winter, 9:27pm)

Kasper Bjorke – Miocene

Other Lands – Open Sea

Clair – Body Blossom (Euan Dalgarno Remix)

Seaming To – Proneandsupine

Ian William Craig – Sentimental Drift

Tenka – This Is The Treatment…

COH Meets Abul Mogard – Fire And Hold

Simon James  – A Sound Has An Inside

Christina Vantzou, Michael Harrison, John Also Bennett  – Harp Of Yaman

David Harrow – Icelander

Steve Queralt & Michael Smith – In A Wonderland

Set Fire To Flames – Fading Lights Are Fading

Seahawks – Forever Now

Gigi Masin – Marilene (Somewhere In Texas)

Part 2 / Let’s Emerge!

Nils Frahm – Right Right Right

Kyoto Connection – Mindscape I

Pye Corner Audio – Sunstroke

Suso Saiz – El Espejo

Kenny Dickenson – Pour Marthe

Robin Guthrie – The Faraway

Troels Hammer – Memorial Mountains

Other Land – Matter Reshaped

Emilie Levienaise Farrouch – Ravage (solo piano)

Mark Barrott – Icarus

Kenny Dickenson – Les Rivieres Vont A La Mere

Suso Saiz – Looking At You In Silence

OG Jigg – The Land Dictates The Lay Of The Stone

Troels Hammer – Unika

Kyoto Connection – A Night At Kumano Kodo

Damian Lazarus – Forest Of Forgotten

Pye Corner Audio – De Hibernate

Mark Barrott – Kyoto

Kyoto Connection – The Flower The Bird And The Mountain (Part 1)

Troels Hammer – Bogota

Suso Saiz – Changes And Reality 

Pye Corner Audio – Luminescence 

Robin Guthrie – Another Part Of Nowhere

Damian Lazarus – Oath

Julie Marghilano – Human

Takeshi Nishimoto – Dream

Emilie Levienaise Farrouch – Tendrils

Hania Rani & Colin Stetson – In All This

Kenny Dickenson – Trilogy 3: Phoenix Rouge

One thought on “2022 / A Few Favourites / Ambient

  1. I’ve listened to a lot of ambient over the last few years- it started with Richard Norris stuff, his Abstraction albums which helped me chill out during the Brexit/ Trump years when the world was going to shit. You’re spot on about not knowing why some of this stuff works and some doesn’t other than it being totally subjective.

    Like

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