Thursday, April 17, 2008

Muting the Noise

Ambient music has been largely underground since its heyday in the early and mid 90s. Yes, there's been occasional releases that were good or excellent, but most producers have been innovating elsewhere. So, it's a pleasant surprise to hear so many good tracks on a new ambient compilation, Muting the Noise, on Innervisions.

The tracks all sound very modern, only a few are imitating the 90s. Like the ambient music of the 90s, they keep it very chilled.

The three best tracks are in the middle of the disc and are all quite different from each other. Ame begins the trio with "Doldrums", which combines a french horn, xylophones and other instruments for soothing, relaxing experience. Henrik Schwarz follows with "Arthur", a wonderful track with only piano, bells and a bit of bass. The melody repeats and subtly shifts throughout the track. I wonder if it was played live or programmed. Either way, it's a standout. i:cube follows with "Nuees Ardentes", a bubbly synth driven piece that sounds somewhat like Global Communications or Tangerine Dream.

Among the remaining seven tracks, Stefan Goldmann provides one of the better ones. "Life After Death" is a gently processed cello slowly examining a melody. A couple of bells complete the track. Kammerflimmer Kollektiv has the only track with vocals, "That's How The Lights Gets In". Koss presents "Negai", which sounds like a tribute to Tetsu Inoue. It's slow, delicate and spacy.

Finally, Klaus Schulz appears with the 18-minute "Invisible Musik". It was probably a coup to get him on this compilation, but it's not one of the best tracks here.

People still want like this kind of music, especially in clubs. See this mnml ssgs post, or this interview with Pole. Or read the press release for this cd:
At the beginning of the 90s it was normal to have an ambient floor on every bigger techno or house party. This culture got lost in the new millenium though - it became a niche and went more into cultural activities.
It will be released May 19.