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The Best Ambient/Instrumental Music of 2017

In a year when the daily damning headlines make us all want to retreat into ourselves, the ambient/instrumental crowd aren't being idle by any stretch of the imagination. In fact, this roundup of brilliant new voices proves that ambient artists are taking more risks and breaking more ground than we ever thought possible.

Evan Sawdey
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The Bug Vs. Earth: Concrete Desert

This is difficult, oppressive music, full of sounds that would rather suffocate than eviscerate. The Bug vs. Earth really feels more like Earth's, and specifically Dylan Carlson's, project, in mood if not instrumentation.

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High Plains: Cinderland

High Plains take their name from a geographic area of the United States, an area known for its barren landscape and low population. Their debut album Cinderland evokes this isolated feeling.

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Vermont: II

There is a very singular sort of trajectory to II, lived-in and about as vital as ambient music ever deigns to be.

Music

Loscil: Monument Builders

Monument Builders is a tribute to those who have sought to make grand artistic statements in their medium of choice, and Scott Morgan subverts this concept by adhering to a minimalist script.

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