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Ambient Music is Dead

My January 2023 mixtape

My January 2023 mixtape

Hi there! Long time no see.

We are at the start of a new year (even though it's already February as I write this), and same as ever, I don't know the exact amount of time I will dedicate to my "ambient music is dead" endeavor this year (for the last couple of years, it was none). BUT, family, work, and heavy, hard-hitting procrastination notwithstanding, I want to share some tunes with the world, and that's an urge that you can't control! So, this is not news; this is not a deep dive on any particular thing, artist, or album: Just some tracks I listened to a lot in January. I hope you'll discover or rediscover some good stuff. See you all next month!

Autechre - IO

Fifteen years ago, Quaristice from Autechre was released. A strange one from the duo, full of small, alien-sounding pieces. It was hard to pin down at the time (I think I liked it (?) ). A "few" years later, it sounds very fresh, and this time, I'm sure I enjoy the weirdness.

Autechre - IO, Quaristice (2008)

The Flashbulb - Far from it

Yup, still spellbound by Benn Jordan's new year's gift. This track is ready for next summer and a sunny trip outside but works a treat on a cold morning.

The Flashbulb - Far from it, Kirlian Tapes v1.0 (2022)

Chvrches -  How not to drown

It's my 9 Yo daughter's favorite band, and I'm pretty sure she thinks Lauren Mayberry is an Angel, even though the themes on "Screen Violence" are far from angelic (my little one isn't fluent in English yet, so it does not matter much to her). However, the Robert Smith duet is the album's highlight. I love the layering of the vocals on this track.

Chvrches -  How not to drown, Screen Violence (2021)

Tim Hecker - Lotus Light

A new Tim Hecker is coming in April, and judging from that first preview alone; he means business. What a crescendo! There is a lot to unpack in this long track, but it sounds very familiar from the get-go, almost like a less punchy Clark tune. I can't wait to hear the rest. (With names like 'Total Garbage', 'monotony', 'monotony II', or 'Pulse Depression', we're in for a lot of fun)

Tim Hecker - Lotus Light, No Highs (2023)

Last Days - Close the Windows

Another preview. This time from UK producer Graham Richardson. His new LP, Windfall, is coming in March on n5md. Some earnest post-rock vibes in this short track. Quite curious about where this is heading.

Last Days - Close the Windows, Windfall (2023)

Hammock - Love in the void

Hammock is still doing its thing in its 12th (!!!) LP with the spirituality,  the ethereality, the grandeur,  the beauty… this time with a little more guitar, a bit more reverb on the drum, a little more of this (lyrics ?), a little less of that (reflective moment ?). It's all the same, and it's all new in "Love in the void". And it works perfectly. Like taking some sedative during an Explosion in the Sky concert, you feel like a calm, pure, focused, soft wave of energy. (Yeah, I know it's too much, but I really, really like this album)

Hammock - Love in the void, Love in the void ( 2023)

Future Sound of London - Hopiate

New tracks from FSOL are not rare these days (their last few releases were mostly new stuff), but after 10+ years of releasing archives stuff on fsoldigital, one can doubt his ears about the exact year an FSOL track has been made. Not that any of it matters,  music is music, and fsol music is as timeless as it gets. Rituals >e7.001 eluded me last year, but this album is excellent. Maybe more firmly in the FSOL canon (less "Amorphous Androgynous" than the previous LP, if you allow me the distinction), and Hopiate is a banging opener to an album that never stops banging. If you fell off the FSOL wagon at some point, this is your reconnection point.

Future Sound of London - Hopiate, Rituals >e7.001, 2022

Notable mentions :

ASC - the shadow of everyone, Colours of Absence (2022)

Phauss - Audiodrome (Zürich - Zürich 1986), Audiodrome (2023)

Jason van Wyk - Glimpse, Descendants (2022)

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