The post following this one will take a while to load so I thought I’d write this so you can read it while all those squillions of bits transfer across the ether to your visual cortex….
Fact magazine has a list of what they consider the 20 best ambient albums of all time… How many have you heard and/or agree with?
01: BRIAN ENO – AMBIENT 1: MUSIC FOR AIRPORTS
02: POLE – POLE 3
03: WILLIAM BASINSKI – THE DISINTEGRATION LOOPS
04: CLUSTER & ENO – CLUSTER AND ENO
05: APHEX TWIN – SELECTED AMBIENT WORKS II
06: YOUNG MARBLE GIANTS – COLOSSAL YOUTH
07: ASH RA TEMPEL / MANUEL GÖTTSCHING – INVENTIONS FOR ELECTRIC GUITAR
08: THE ORB – THE ORB’S ADVENTURES BEYOND THE ULTRAWORLD
09: KRAFTWERK – RALF AND FLORIAN
10: MAIN – FIRMAMENT II
11: BOBBY BEAUSOLEIL – LUCIFER RISING OST
12: GLOBAL COMMUNICATION – 76:14
13: PSYCHE/BFC – ELEMENTS
14: BBC WILDLIFE SERIES – SOUNDS OF THE COUNTRYSIDE
15: KLF – CHILL OUT
16: BRIAN ENO, LARAAJI – AMBIENT 3: DAY OF RADIANCE
17: GAS – POP
18: BRIAN ENO WITH ROGER ENO & DANIEL LANOIS – APOLLO: ATMOSPHERES AND SOUNDTRACKS
19: IRRESTISTIBLE FORCE – FLYING HIGH
20: THE CARETAKER – A STAIRWAY TO THE STARS
The descriptions and contenders for each spot in the list are definitely worth a read, but for me personally: 1, 2, 5, 6, 8, 18 are top of the list, but some of the others I have never heard nor even heard of….
And other than #16 Gas, there is nothing else in the list from this decade, which means its really a historical ambient best of, or the author doesn’t listen to much new music!
Whats your favourite ambient album? I think mine would be either #1 or #18. Relatedly I remember going to see an exhibition of photos in Osaka, specifically out of focus photos, and the gallery had Enos Music For Airports quietly playing in the background & although I had heard that album many times many years prior, that context made me revisit the album & love it all over again. There is a good discussion of Enos first four ambient albums here