Tag Archives: ambient music

Weekly Vinyl – Digging it

13 Jan

Dig It
Klaus Schulze
(1980)
170121ksdi
The Dig in the title is short for digital. This is Klaus Schulze’s first serious foray into the then new digital musical synthesis realm.
And it sounds different than his previous offerings.
First there is the sound – gone are the analogue synthesizers. The sound is different. You can really hear the difference between the sound the two types of machines make when listening to a Klaus Schulz album when he plays analogue and this one. The sound is different – some will say better, others will say it is worse.
The main difference is in the music. You can hear the joy Mr. Schulze has and he is playing with his new synthesizers. Experimenting with the sounds and weaving joyful tapestries of music as a result of the new technology.
This is a fun album, less meditative and contemplative that his other works, but a great listen non-the-less.

Weekly Vinyl – Vollenweider

15 Jul

Down to the Moon
Andreas Vollenweider
(1986)
AWmoon
This guy, Andreas Vollenweider, encapsulate new-age music in the 1980s. One would go do parties and this somnambulist music would be easing out of large speakers placed at optimal places on the floor.
It was all right.
I guess.
I just could not get into it. I like ambient music, but this was a bit too Muzak for me. A bit to refined. It was music that was calming but did not go anywhere. There really was no bite to it. No purpose. I`ve listened to this album a bunch of times to make this review and honestly you either like the genre or you don`t. To say, “I don`t really fancy this,” or to say, “I don’t really mind it,” is more or less the emotional ambivalence that this music generates.
There are swells of music here but it is not really emotion. It does not conjure up the power of waves, or the mystery of wind – the music just moves a bit here, or there.
Aimlessly.
Pleasantly.
And in effect – infuriatingly.

Weekly Vinyl – Ricochet

26 Dec

Ricochet
Tangerine Dream
(1975)
SONY DSC
Not much really to say about this album except I put it on the record player about four days ago and have been listening to it non-stop.
This is a live album but you can’t tell because there is no audience noise. No one yelling, “Whoo-Hoo,” during the quiet parts. And the music does flow organically from very subtle delicate instrumentation to more rhythmic and industrial sound.
While the primary instruments of this trio are keyboards and synthesizers it is quite astounding how smooth and rich the sound is. This has a lot to do with the electronic instrumentation being analogue and not digital. The electronic manipulation was done through wires, transistors, capacitors and other tiny electronic bits. It was not all programmed onto a microchip. The sounds are lush and melodic.
As I was listening to this album for the umpteenth time, I searched for it on the Internet. I rarely do this. The Tangerine Dream Facebook page stated that December 23rd was the 39th anniversary of this album making it to the UK charts. That’s quite coincidental in an insignificant way.
This album is not insignificant. It is great.