Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

The 50 Best Ambient Albums of All Time

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • The 50 Best Ambient Albums of All Time

    The 50 Best Ambient Albums of All Time
    by the Pitchfork staff

    "...For our exploration of the greatest ambient albums, we polled critics for their favorites, with the suggestion that “ambient” meant, in part, music that creates an environment, something like a cloud of sound, be it soothing, sad, haunting, or ominous. We also suggested that our take on ambient music shies away from heavy rhythms and tends more toward “drifting” than “driving,” which meant de-emphasizing ambient house. And we considered the fact that not all albums in a given artist’s catalogue qualify as ambient. Taking into account our writers’ interpretation of those loose guidelines, here’s our list of the 50 best ambient albums."

    http://pitchfork.com/features/lists-...s-of-all-time/
    Jim Hurley
    https://soundcloud.com/jimhurley

  • #2
    My word, so many records i've never even heard of...

    Thanks.
    Latest release: never to be repeated

    Hearthis | Soundcloud

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by GaryG View Post
      My word, so many records i've never even heard of...

      Thanks.
      same for me - I think when we started a family all those years ago I went into a mode where any spare music time was time when I tried to make some - and I've never got out of that habit

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by GregH View Post
        Originally posted by GaryG View Post
        My word, so many records i've never even heard of...

        Thanks.
        same for me - I think when we started a family all those years ago I went into a mode where any spare music time was time when I tried to make some - and I've never got out of that habit
        I hear what you're saying there.

        I consciously slowed down with my record buying about fifteen years ago, was buying way too many records that I later struggled to even remember. Then at about the same time I met my wife and we started a family fairly soon after and, yeah, from then on seemed more focused on music creation than appreciation. Though I do seem currently more engaged with what's out there then I have been for ages. I guess thanks to recommendations here, sites like Headphone Commute, Sound of a Tired City, Stationary Travels etc.

        EDIT: Just seen your post regarding Stationary Travels, spooky.
        Last edited by GaryG; 09-27-2016, 07:39 AM.
        Latest release: never to be repeated

        Hearthis | Soundcloud

        Comment


        • #5
          It's a decent list though I find it hard to take this seriously as I wasn't even mentioned.

          The nerve of some journalists.


          ;)

          Comment


          • #6
            John Dilberto, host of "Echoes" had this to say on facebook today about this list:

            "Pitchfork has put on their Top 50 Ambient Albums. Not a bad list but a lot missing and some hipstersyncratic selections. Good on Steve Roach but no Robert Rich Michael Stearns? Ashra but no Tangerine Dream - Band? WTF. So many others. Aphex Twin is so overrated."

            So I produce ambient with beats...does that make me hipstersyncratic? Cool! :cool:
            Synphaera Records
            Space | Time | Matter

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by aoVI View Post
              It's a decent list though I find it hard to take this seriously as I wasn't even mentioned.

              The nerve of some journalists.


              ;)
              probably same as for me - saving you for an all time greats regardless of genre.
              Nothing else makes sense

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by aoVI View Post
                It's a decent list though I find it hard to take this seriously as I wasn't even mentioned.

                The nerve of some journalists.
                Amateurs, the only explanation.


                Originally posted by S1gnsOfL1fe View Post
                John Dilberto, host of "Echoes" had this to say on facebook today about this list:

                "Pitchfork has put on their Top 50 Ambient Albums. Not a bad list but a lot missing and some hipstersyncratic selections. Good on Steve Roach but no Robert Rich Michael Stearns? Ashra but no Tangerine Dream - Band? WTF. So many others. Aphex Twin is so overrated."

                So I produce ambient with beats...does that make me hipstersyncratic? Cool! :cool:
                You trailblazer, defining a new musical style: Hipstersynbient. All lists are going to be subjective and not to everyone's tastes; I think they made a good job trying to pay respects to the classics and also highlight the contemporary ambient around now.

                I wouldn't say Aphex Twin is overrated, more that others have built on his work and taken it to new heights. I listened to his Classics CD recently and did find it, maybe structurally, a little simple. I guess you can appreciate Muddy Waters but still prefer to listen to the Stones or Led Zep (maybe that's a really bad analogy, educate me Blues fans. ) I'd argue though that Selected... Vol II absolutely deserves to be there, such a landmark release, still sounds totally modern now.

                More importantly, in the words of Mac: Tangerine Dream - it's not Ambient, it's Berlin School!
                Last edited by GaryG; 09-28-2016, 07:42 AM. Reason: Tpyo
                Latest release: never to be repeated

                Hearthis | Soundcloud

                Comment


                • #9
                  Edgar still go a mention though...
                  >]:| ~ > Bandcamp < ~ |:| ~ > SoundCloud < ~ |:| ~ > YouTube < ~ |:[<

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by GaryG View Post

                    More importantly, in the words of Mac: Tangerine Dream - it's not Ambient, it's Berlin School!
                    I still say Zeit is the best ambient album. Evah. The Berlin School thing arrived with Phaedra, imho
                    Whatsisname's Little Fluffy Clouds | Campsite | Hearthis | Orfium | SeismicTC | Twitter | Ello

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by seismic1 View Post
                      Originally posted by GaryG View Post

                      More importantly, in the words of Mac: Tangerine Dream - it's not Ambient, it's Berlin School!
                      I still say Zeit is the best ambient album. Evah. The Berlin School thing arrived with Phaedra, imho
                      I remember buying the album in the first week it came out (1972? or there abouts). Haven't listened for many years and must admit that I don't remember much about it.
                      Must get back into it.
                      | Bandcamp | Hearthis | website |


                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Maharg View Post
                        Originally posted by seismic1 View Post
                        Originally posted by GaryG View Post

                        More importantly, in the words of Mac: Tangerine Dream - it's not Ambient, it's Berlin School!
                        I still say Zeit is the best ambient album. Evah. The Berlin School thing arrived with Phaedra, imho
                        I remember buying the album in the first week it came out (1972? or there abouts). Haven't listened for many years and must admit that I don't remember much about it.
                        Must get back into it.
                        I found Zeit quite boring when I was young, but my taste has changed over the years, perhaps I would like it now. Did not listen to it for decades, seems that I must get back into it too...


                        To me, the best-of-list should at least contain Lustmord, Kammarheit, Atrium Carceri or someone like that, dark ambient is definitely underrepresented in it. Yes, I know, that it is a niche subgenre, but it is still a part of the ambient genre and should be mentioned with 2, 3 albums.
                        Latest Album (Sept. 2020): Tenth Region Of The Night
                        Soundcloud - Bandcamp - Youtube - Essentia Mundi - Winter-Light

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I assume the pitchfork writer was probably around couple decades younger than I, and experienced listening to these works under different circumstances with a different perspective and in a different order. Listening to On Land in the 21st century on your iPod probably isn't as mind-blowing as grabbing a copy at a Record Bar in the early 80's, popping in the cassette in your car as you are parked in an old claypit, fogging up the cabin a'la Cheech & Chong.

                          And if listening to Ascendant is hipster, then I'll just go ahead a sport a manbun and be done with it. I am guessing JD is speaking more towards pitchfork's demographic than the artists audience or genre.

                          Coincidentally, listened to Zeit just last weekend for the first time in well over two decades. Maybe even 3.

                          Last time I listened to it I was fairly unschooled about recording techniques; it was neat listening again with wiser ears, being able to at least take educated guesses at what was being done from an engineering POV.
                          Last edited by aoVI; 09-29-2016, 10:13 PM.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I have heard of 21 of the artists mentioned, deliberately listened to about 6 of those, seen maybe 3 or 4 in concert, heard 4 of the albums on the list. I am really glad they put in links to each of the artists as even if I only like half of them that will be a fair bit of listening
                            Last edited by GregH; 09-30-2016, 12:08 AM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I think I have about nine of the LPs mentioned though heard a few more (thanks anonymous youtube uploaders...) Still plenty to investigate as they all sound quite intriguing.
                              Latest release: never to be repeated

                              Hearthis | Soundcloud

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X