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Lee Jones' 'Down Into Light' Is a Minutiae-Scanning Beauty of Minimal Techno

Down Into Light feels like the album Lee Jones was always born to make. He's always had a lightness of touch, but here, his touch is more delicate than ever.

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Music

TENGGER Unleash Blissed Out Electronic Soundscapes with the Gentle and Exotic 'Nomad'

Ambient electronic ensemble TENGGER take cues from nature and world travel to inform their latest album, Nomad.

Music

TALsounds Offers Controlled Bliss on ​'Acquiesce'

TALsounds' Acquiesce reminds us that it's important to notice how brief moments of confidence or peace can unfurl in real-time, forming solid ground for us to walk forward.

Music

Noveller's 'Arrow' Creates Mini-Symphonies for Guitar and Effects

Experimental guitarist, Noveller's Arrow suggests discoveries, open spaces, the sense of a calm certainty re-occurring over repeated listens.

Music

The Durutti Column's 'Vini Reilly' Is the Post-Punk's Band's Definitive Statement

Mancunian guitarist/texturalist Vini Reilly parlayed the momentum from his famous Morrissey collaboration into an essential, definitive statement for the Durutti Column.

Music

Inventions' 'Continuous Portrait' Blurs the Grandiose and the Intimate

Explosions in the Sky and Eluvium side project, Inventions are best when they are navigating the distinction between modes in real-time on Continuous Portrait.

Music

Apparat's 'Soundtrack: Capri-Revolution' Stands Alone As a Great Ambient Experience

Apparat's (aka Sascha Ring) re-imagined score from Mario Martone's 2018 Capri-Revolution works as a fine accompaniment to a meditational flight of fancy.

Music

David Grubbs and Taku Unami Collaborate on the Downright Riveting 'Comet Meta'

Comet Meta is a brilliant record full of compositions and moments worthy of their own accord, but what's really enticing is that it's not only by David Grubbs but of him. It's perhaps the most emotive, dream-like, and accomplished piece of Grubbsian experimental post-rock.

Music

Inventions Conjure Mystery and Hope with the Intensely Creative 'Continuous Portrait'

Instrumental duo Matthew Robert Cooper (Eluvium) and Mark T. Smith (Explosions in the Sky) release their first album in five years as Inventions. Continuous Portrait is both sonically thrilling and oddly soothing.

Music

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith's New LP Is Lacking in Songcraft but Rich in Texture

Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith's The Mosaic of Transformation is a slightly uneven listen. It generally transcends the tropes of its genre, but occasionally substitutes substance for style.

Music

Fave Five: Rafael Anton Irisarri

As one of the most celebrated ambient composers working today, Rafael Anton Irisarri continues to evolve. We celebrate his metal-tinged new album Peripeteia with a look through the albums that made him.

Evan Sawdey
Music

Composer Kosta Jevtić Offers 'Reflections on a Journey' to the Mediterranean

Serbian composer Kosta Jevtić evokes the clement Mediterranean in solo piano form on the brilliant new album, Reflections on a Journey.

Music

Luke Schneider's 'Altar of Harmony' Hews Close to Ambient Tradition

Luke Schneider's Altar of Harmony often sounds eerily close to the Robert Fripp guitar of No Pussyfooting, only he trades in the old six-string for pedal steel.

Music

Markus Floats Creates a Warm Space That Never Dallies in One Place for Long

Third Album reflects experimental electronic artist Markus Floats' belief that music isn't just something one does. It's a life one leads, so each release is an excerpted component of an ongoing and all-encompassing journey.

Reviews

Sylvain Chauveau's 'Life Without Machines' Is an Indictment of How External Forces Falsely Shape Humanity

Whereas so many contemporary albums are created to harness flash and consumption, Life Without Machines allays bedazzlement. Sylvain Chauveau advocates for unplugging and disconnecting, and only then will we truly live.

Music

Nicolás Jaar's 'Cenizas' Is a Woozy, Ambient Masterwork

Cenizas is the sound of Nicolás Jaar skirting around the edges of his own sound—skeletal, stripped-back, examining the little things that made his music so great to begin with.

Music

DJ Python's 'Mas Amable' Is a Loopy, Continuous Dream

On DJ Python's Mas Amable, everything moves along in a liquid haze. Each song slowly mutates into the next, and each sound seems to become something unlike itself.

Music

Talking Book's New Ambient Score for an Imagined Film Is Engaging

The new LP from the Faith No More/Gigante Sound side project, Talking Book, is an interesting collection of ambient soundscapes, but could use more narrative heft.

Music

Matt Evans' Ambient Soundscapes Transcend the Genre on 'New Topographics'

New York-based percussionist/composer, Matt Evans brilliantly infuses his spacey sonic landscapes with the sounds of everyday life on New Topographics.

Music

Sufjan Stevens and Lowell Brams Create a Soothing 'Aporia'

Sufjan Stevens' and Lowell Brams' Aporia is ambient music meant to calm and provide a background to the quotidian aspects of one's day.

Music

Weeks Island's 'Droste' Is a New High Water Mark in Ambient Steel (EP stream) (premiere)

Lost Bayou Ramblers' Jonny Campos turns up as Weeks Island with Brian Eno/Cluster-inspired music straight from the bayou. Hear Droste in full ahead of its release on Friday.

Music

Nick Storring's 'My Magic Dreams Have Lost Their Spell' Is Beautiful, Haunting, and Otherworldly

Canadian composer Nick Storring's latest album, My Magic Dreams Have Lost Their Spell, is mysterious, multilayered, and unforgettable.

Music

Mute Duo Dazzle with the Ambient, Country-Tinged 'Lapse in Passage'

Mute Duo's second full-length album, Lapse in Passage, is dark, multilayered, and uncommonly beautiful. It's like David Lynch baked in the Texas heat. It's the soundtrack to a Cormac McCarthy-inspired fever dream.

Music

Quarterly's 'Pomegranate' is a Small Treasure of Charm and Warmth

Brooklyn-based duo Quarterly combine elements of folk and classical on the intimate, calm, and unique Pomegranate.

Music

Brian and Roger Eno's 'Mixing Colours' Is a Celebration of Contemplative Slowness

Brian and Roger Eno's Deutsche Grammophon debut, Mixing Colours, represents a refreshing antithesis of today's harsh and accelerated times.

Music

Magnetic Ghost's 'Pixels' Is Andy Larson's Most Majestic and Profound Music

Magnetic Ghost's Pixels is absolutely masterful stuff from a sound-sculptor sitting at the intersection of post-rock, post-classical, and strains of ambient music.

Music

Jazz Meets World Music on Jon Hassell and Farafina's 'Flash of the Spirit'

Originally released at the end of the 1980s to a bemused audience, will Jon Hassell and Farafina's Flash of the Spirit fare any better in the new millennium?

Music

Yann Tiersen's 'Portrait' Is a Fresh Interpretation of Past Glories

Amelie composer Yann Tiersen teams up with a coterie of collaborators on Portrait to revisit works from a 25-year career, with poignant and reinvigorating results.

Music

Kazuya Nagaya Wants You to Be Still While You Listen

Japanese ambient producer Kazuya Nagaya focuses on what dreams are telling us on his new album, Dream Interpretation.

Music

Melodic Improvisation Fuels Paul Haslinger's 'Exit Ghost'

Ex-Tangerine Dream and classically-trained pianist Paul Haslinger frees himself from 20 years of composing for television and film and looks inward for inspiration on his latest atmospheric journey through dreamlike soundscapes.

Music

Euglossine Creates a Gleaming Electronic Vista with 'Psaronius'

Underground electronic artist Euglossine's latest album, Psaronius, contains surprising warmth among the digital flash.

Music

Jacoti Sommes Gets Spacey and Soulful with the Irresistible 'Travel Time'

Ohio-based producer Jacoti Sommes creates a warm sonic world where trippy vibes coexist with funky jams on his typically strange, lovable new album, Travel Time.

Music

Asa Tone's Debut 'Temporary Music' Balances Technology and Nature

Melati Malay, Tristan Arp, and Kaazi team up as Asa Tone for Temporary Music, which mixes traditional Indonesian instrumentation and electronics.

Music

Ross Goldstein's 'Timoka' Is an Ominous Collection of Dark Instrumental Beauty

Composer Ross Goldstein forges a challenging musical path on his latest album, Timoka, a wondrous collection of dark, often bleak instrumental compositions.

Music

Crowhurst + Gavin Bryars Demonstrate the Powers of Collaboration With "Dead Swans of Dreams" (premiere + interview)

Veteran composer Gavin Bryars and "noise guy" Crowhurst present a new LP recorded in a 17th century hotel and brimming with musical imagination. Says Bryars, "To watch what Jay does was, sometimes, beyond my comprehension and I thought, at times, that Jay may be more intelligent than me. But it didn't last long!"

Reviews

Ambient Producer Steve Hauschildt Gets Glitchy on 'Nonlin'

Electronic artist Steve Hauschildt has made one of his most challenging records with Nonlin, but that makes it one of the most rewarding.

Music

The 10 Best Ambient Albums of 2019

Ambient music has grown with the birth of streaming, ushering in big audiences to sounds both challenging and relaxing. Here are ten best records of the year that say so much without saying a word.

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