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How Did You Discover Ambient?

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  • drling0
    Well, this is going to show my age...but here goes.

    (I had to go and check some dates when these things happened)

    1975 - Tangerine Dream ‎– Rubycon
    Explore songs, recommendations, and other album details for Rubycon by Tangerine Dream. Compare different versions and buy them all on Discogs.

    My cousin Kenneth played me this album.
    I remember asking him to play it because I was fascinated by the album cover.
    I was born in 1962 so it is surprising to me that I first heard Tangerine Dream when I was 13 years old.

    1975 - Gavin Bryars ‎– The Sinking Of The Titanic
    Explore songs, recommendations, and other album details for The Sinking Of The Titanic by Gavin Bryars. Compare different versions and buy them all on Discogs.

    This may have been 1977 / 1978. My mate Steve played me this album in his bedroom

    1975 - Fripp & Eno ‎– Evening Star
    Explore songs, recommendations, and other album details for Evening Star by Fripp & Eno. Compare different versions and buy them all on Discogs.

    I bought this in my hometown in a stationary shop that sold records upstairs.
    I think I bought it because I heard them playing it in the store while I was looking through the albums.

    A little bit later - but "firsts" for different reasons

    1978 - Brian Eno ‎– Ambient 1 (Music For Airports)
    Explore songs, recommendations, and other album details for Ambient 1 (Music For Airports) by Brian Eno. Compare different versions and buy them all on Discogs.

    Another album heard in Steve's bedroom.
    It was the simplicity of Robert Wyatt's piano that was the revelation to me.

    1987 - Robert Rich ‎– Live
    View credits, reviews, tracks and shop for the 1987 Cassette release of "Live" on Discogs.

    I used to go to the Freeman's shop in Leicester (before the shop, I once went to their house).
    They ran the Auricle label that release this. I read about sleep concerts for the first time here.

    Maybe the first time a piece of ambient music became part of my personal history and memory.

    1982 - Brian Eno ‎– Ambient 4 (On Land)
    Explore songs, recommendations, and other album details for Ambient 4 (On Land) by Brian Eno. Compare different versions and buy them all on Discogs.

    In 1983 I took my finals for my degree and every morning before I left home to take my exams I would listen on my headphones to:
    "Dunwich Beach, Autumn, 1960".
    Maybe it helped because I got a 2-1 degree.

    So a few firsts for different reasons.

    Love as always,

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  • Joe O
    Heard Music For Airports at college, in the theater department. After that, Music From the Hearts of Space on my local public radio station, where I found out about Robert Rich, Steve Roach, David Parsons, etc. Big Eno fan.

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  • DolGuldur
    Listening to Steve Roach's "Structures from Silence" was my first exposure to ambient music.

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  • pfig
    I blame Starthief (don't know their user name on here, though):

    EDIT: OH not Ambient Online.


    My best friend was a big Brian Eno fan. I was on a steady diet of Joy Division, and wasn't much into it - Here come the warm jets and Another green world didn't do anything for me. Then one day he got Discreet Music and I was hooked. We replicated the Revox setup with the cassette recorders we used to load computer games, and started an ambient band playing the resulting cacophony at half speed.
    Last edited by pfig; 03-12-2020, 03:02 AM.

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  • SubliminalSea
    What a grea idea for a thread... Ok, so here it goes:

    The first experience that really stands out to me goes all the way back to when I was very young, possibly some of the first music I remember hearing, and definitely some of the first music I was ever blown away by. I remember my dad had his record player on one of those wooden setups that was about shoulder height, filled with records, and an amp, etc; with speakers hung in the living room. I remember he put on one of his favorite albums, the Alan Parson's Project's I Robot. This wasn't ambient per se, but the first track has all of the important elements, and it just blew me away. I remember looking at the cover in awe as well.

    Fast forward about 20 some odd years later, and I'm already into electronic music; when I heard Cascade from the Future Sound of London for the first time, and decided to pick up Lifeforms from a local record shop. It was the first album that I noticed could play against the sounds of the outside world and meld together into one coherent experience. FSOL quickly became one of my favorite artists, as they are to this day. Shortly after I discovered Substrata, Global communication, and by the time I discovered Alien Mutation vs. Indigo Egg, I was hooked; but it wasn't until I got a pair of V-sonic GR07's around 2011 that I really started to dive deeply into FAX records, Pete Namlook and Tetsu Inoue , Instinct and Taylor Dupree's music, Kim Cascone and Silent, and the list goes on!

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  • YelloCat
    90s music. The Future Sound Of London. And glad to see so many people enjoying ambient here in all it's forms.

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  • windspace
    Originally posted by aoVI

    Oh, all that counts.
    It was good enough for LaMonte Young!

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  • nightlamp
    It probably doesn't qualify as ambient "music," but I've loved listening to ambient sound from an early age -- crashing waves, flowing streams and rivers, the droning sounds of fans, humidifiers, distant highway noise, etc.

    Interest in ambient music proper began with Tangerine Dream. Hearing some of their movie soundtracks prompted me to explore their back catalog. Loved both the Virgin sequencer stuff and the earlier Ohr cosmic/drone albums. A couple years later I started using Zeit and Atem as background music for my D&D game sessions, and I started looking for other albums that were similarly atmospheric yet unobtrusive. That was when I really became aware of "ambient" as a genre and a whole new world was opened to me.

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  • crepuscular
    Not sure but maybe from listening the beatless tracks of dance music compilations and albums. That trapped my attention for a new universe to explore. Also I listened a lot of stuff like sonic youth. ..
    Aphex twin's selected ambient works II + Harris / Plotkin's collapse among other ones did the rest.

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  • Aïma Dust
    If you agree Klaus Schulze as an ambient artist, I discover his album "Black dance" in year 1974 when I was 15. With such a shattering experience, no doubt I was going to spend my life there.

    Otherwise, it was with Michael Stearnes that I discovered ambient music in years late 80, a vinyl record imported by the French association "Crystal lake" (what a name!), which to my knowledge no longer exists. But I was focused on classical guitar and didn't do much ambient myself at that time.

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  • SnowRock
    I discovered ambient only about 10 years ago when a friend of mine was producing ambient tracks. I started to play with my synths in a similar way and I found the effect that the process had on my mind highly desirable, so I did it more and more often. It is like medicine for my soul.

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  • synkrotron
    I've probably said this before, so apologies for repeating myself...

    Fripp was backing Porcupine Tree one year. So that was a real bonus. Except for quite a few dick heads that just didn't get what Fripp was doing... Pretty much spoiled it for me to be honest.

    Steve Wilson is quite a big fan of KC and Fripp, which is why he was asked to back PT. A pity he didn't explain that to his ignorant fan base...

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  • seismic1
    Originally posted by Ironwork
    Oh, shit, and Fripp and Eno of course! Especially Evening Star, which I listened to a lot with friends at college.
    I'm going to see Fripp tomorrow

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  • Ironwork
    Oh, shit, and Fripp and Eno of course! Especially Evening Star, which I listened to a lot with friends at college.

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  • Ironwork
    My dad brought me his vinyl of Holst's Planets suite, and a record player, when I was in hospital at the age of 7.
    I was disappointed that it wasn't more like the Imperial March from Star Wars, but then I got into the mellower aspects.
    Since then (1978) I've listened to Echoes by Pink Floyd 4'762 times, and got into all kinds of music, playing in punk, black metal and folk bands in the UK, France and Switzerland.
    I discovered Ambient Online at the start of this year and I was blown away by the quality and diversity of the compilations.
    I also had a nice chat with S1gns Of L1fe who seems like a really good guy!
    Last edited by Ironwork; 06-02-2019, 04:09 AM.

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