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Juno Recommends Ambient / Drone Best of 2020

Juno Recommends Ambient/Drone

Juno Recommends Ambient/Drone

Juno Recommends Ambient/Drone Best of 2020
2 Dec 2020
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1
Cat: ISS 006. Rel: 29 Jun 20
Ambient/Drone
  1. Cafe Mu (4:29)
  2. Frogsplash (Reshape) (5:11)
  3. MDP 5 (5:42)
  4. Dolby (5:08)
  5. MBASS 123 Excerpt (4:45)
  6. Henk (version Whatever) (6:50)
Review: Creamy Encouraging Mystical Mantras.
! low stock $12.80
2
Cat: PITPWLS 03. Rel: 29 Jun 20
Ambient/Drone
  1. 36 - "All Possible States" (9:40)
  2. Isaac Helsen - "Before The Wind" (9:23)
Review: Two Past Inside the Present artists that have previously released works on the PITP label come together for this anonymous split ep. 19 minutes of lush, slow-moving ambient trails. With this record we want listeners to go in blind, without ego or expectation, with the sole focus on what truly matters: the music. The artists and titles will remain anonymous until the vinyl sells out and then we will reveal all.
 in stock $23.87
3
Cat: PITPWLS 01. Rel: 30 Mar 20
Ambient/Drone
  1. My Lights Kiss Your Thoughts Every Moment (2:13)
  2. Rushing (3:20)
  3. Stalagmites & Helictites (2:52)
  4. Sun (5:29)
  5. There Is A Space In Between (4:55)
Review: Based in Bristol, UK, experimental musician and vocalist Lucy Gooch is certainly a name to keep an eye on right now. While boasting little by way of discography, this being her debut EP which follows the self released 2018 record, 'Sun', she has all the hallmarks of an established synth-y siren. You heard it here first (possibly). Compris-ing five sumptuous tracks that are pared back but, upon closer inspection, incredibly deep and immersive, elements of Bjork and Imogen Heap are audible in the songs here. Warm notes, sensitive, ethereal vocals and a sense of real passion behind the work itself. The likes of 'Rushing' comes close to a sombre choral mood at times, 'There Is A Space In Between' could stand with the best ambient work, while 'Stalag-mites & Helictites' is a hypnotic journey into the inner mind. Or somewhere near.
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 in stock $22.18
4
Cat: THESIS 10. Rel: 25 May 20
Ambient/Drone
  1. Track 1 (6:45)
  2. Track 2 (6:06)
  3. Track 3 (3:43)
  4. Track 4 (6:46)
Review: Second time around for Julianna Barwick and Rafael Anton Irisarri's lauded contribution to the THESIS label's series of collaborative 10-inch singles. The 2017 set has been in high demand since it first appeared in stores, and with a limited number available outside the US for the first time we're expecting it to sell out in double-quick time. Musically, it's one of the most picturesque things that Irissari has been involved in. The untitled opener delivers a near perfect fusion of layered improvised vocals and wispy ambient electronics, while the track that follows brilliantly builds to a crescendo of Tangerine Dream style arpeggio melodies, densely layered textures and acid-esque motifs. The flipside opener is a more softly spun, deep ambient soundscape, while the EP's closing cut is sparkling, spacey and hugely alluring.
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 in stock $22.74
5
Cat: REALITYUSEDTOBEAFRIENDOFMINE 20181CLEAR. Rel: 31 Aug 20
Ambient/Drone
  1. Goodbye (5:50)
  2. In My Heart (5:28)
  3. Heal Yourself (10:18)
Review: Repressed after its original release, we're talking super-emotionally charged electronic music recalling, at different moments, classic Orbital, the most euphoric hardcore breaks and the hybrid dance-chillout sound popularised during the 1990s. Forget the nostalgia trip, through, while this is grounded in - and coming out of - the ongoing classic 'rave music' revival, it's clearly born in our era.

Opening on the staggeringly confident "Goodbye", broken kicks and loose percussion brings the weight beneath one hell of an epic, slow looped string harmony, vocals crying out passionately over the top. Flip it, or skip it, to find the equally melodic but more rolling "In My Heart" (who said synthy dub techno was dead?), while closer "Heal Yourself" might be the best of the lot - beatless, blissful, indescribable noises wrapped around invisible rhythms that could just as soon open or close a club set as score your meditation.
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 in stock $11.94
6
Cat: THESIS 02. Rel: 25 May 20
Ambient/Drone
  1. The River Cold & Primal (5:58)
  2. Viscous (4:48)
  3. Dust Clouds (4:45)
  4. As If I Already Knew (4:42)
 in stock $22.74
7
Cat: SOSR 025. Rel: 10 Feb 20
Ambient/Drone
  1. New Dawn (4:27)
  2. Mabuquiri (5:24)
  3. B-Wave (4:18)
  4. Capricio (5:18)
  5. After The Rain (5:13)
 in stock $14.78
8
Cat: PITP V032. Rel: 09 Nov 20
Ambient/Drone
  1. Expand (12:30)
  2. Collapse (7:15)
Review: We're not sure Endless Melancholy is the most appropriate name for Oleksiy Sakevych, an electronic ambient artist based out of the sprawling and musically vibrant Ukrainian capital of Kiev. As this two-tracker goes to show, there's every chance you'll feel elated after pressing play on his studio work.

Following on from releases for labels like Thesis, Sound In Silence, and his own Hidden Vibes, we're given a pair of long form compositions that feel organic in nature, even if the production was synthesised. 'Collapse' seems to switch its mood like a living thing, evolving through crystalline chimes from reflective opening notes, as though starting to realise its own stunning power and majesty. "Expand' is more rooted in drone, albeit a particularly euphoric version - all long refrained bliss, the way things should be.
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 in stock $22.74
9
Cat: SAT 047. Rel: 21 Sep 20
Ambient/Drone
  1. Penrose Stairs (2:42)
  2. Dawn Is Mine (7:50)
  3. Lilac (2:01)
  4. Midnight Arp (2:24)
  5. Myst (5:17)
  6. Show Me (5:41)
  7. Wild Things (1:25)
Review: Villete is the alias of Amsterdam based producer Anne Korteweg, who returns to Scissor & Thread to follow up her debut effort in the fall of 2016 - which quickly sold out. On the new EP we are treated to seven tracks of deep and understated beauty. Amongst many floating ambient journeys, there are moments equally suited to reflection as they are the dancefloor. Take for instance the glacial and cavernous dub of the title track, or the Balearic-tinged downbeat chill of 'Myst' and the emotive mood music of 'Show Me'. All in all, Korteweg's new release explores the more abstract sides of electronic music in sophisticated fashion.
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 in stock $10.22
10
Cat: OMWEAPON 2. Rel: 16 Mar 20
Ambient/Drone
  1. Our Beautiful Peacock (6:05)
  2. Red Little Rose (5:40)
  3. The Prudent One (9:03)
  4. The Eagle (8:18)
  5. The Dream (5:39)
 in stock $22.74
11
Cat: THESIS 04. Rel: 25 May 20
Ambient/Drone
  1. A Pretty A Day (4:14)
  2. Sight & Unseen (5:11)
  3. Just Above The Pavement (8:27)
  4. Ends Of Tape (2:36)
 in stock $22.74
12
Cat: THESIS 18. Rel: 20 Jul 20
Ambient/Drone
  1. Black Brunswicker, Lucy Gooch & Zake - "Wash Away" (10:07)
  2. Black Brunswicker - "On A Sunny Shore" (10:23)
Review: This is a beautiful new project from Lucy Gooch (UK), Black Brunswicker (US) and zake (US)-

Lucy Gooch's vocals become an ocean of loops and washes that float above the Black Brunswicker lap steel swells and zake drones.
 in stock $31.57
13
Cat: GCR 001. Rel: 30 Mar 20
Ambient/Drone
  1. Falling Frontwards Into Pincers (6:30)
  2. O As Satan Took Them (7:44)
  3. Grinner (5:14)
  4. Look From Below (6:01)
 in stock $11.94
14
  1. XYR - "Bamboo Haze" (6:14)
  2. Beck Junghyun - "Flow" (5:33)
  3. Ryuji Ono - "Should Be There" (7:37)
  4. Mamazu - "Blueprint" (6:51)
  5. Fortunato - "Sharihotsu" (4:36)
  6. DJ Bowlcut - "Dream Valley" (6:19)
Review: Another special delivery direct from South Korea's burgeoning experimental electronic scene, courtesy of Tonal Unity, six track here take leads from downtempo, ambient, found sounds, field recordings and lo-fi slo-mo dance, making for a broad release that's true coherency is found in the quality of its tracks.

So while 'Bamboo Haze' feels born in the sticky heat of South East Asia, creating sweaty, mystical moods, 'Should Be There' shares more in common with percussive outsiders like Harmonious Thelonious, with a drop of How To Dress Well's alt-R&B also in there. Mamazu's 'Blueprint' layers Arabesque sounds atop one hell of a hook-y rhythm and beat section, whereas 'Flow' is late night nu-jazz blues for smoky, candlelit after hours soirees. All great, and seemingly all here to make sure you never get bored.
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 in stock $19.05
15
Cat: RE 23. Rel: 18 May 20
Ambient/Drone
  1. Fulmar (3:13)
  2. Opaque (4:23)
  3. Myvatn (3:03)
  4. There Is Nothing Else (3:44)
 in stock $15.07
16
Cat: THESIS 05. Rel: 25 May 20
Ambient/Drone
  1. Overge (2:04)
  2. Beacon (3:22)
  3. Abandon (For Gregory) (2:48)
  4. Prism (2:16)
  5. Arc (3:41)
  6. Nothing Ever (6:11)
out of stock $22.74
17
Cat: EASTGATE 078CD. Rel: 20 Apr 20
Ambient/Drone
  1. Green Summer Clouds
  2. Meteor
  3. Tyger 2013
  4. Reaching Ravenna
  5. Nemesis
  6. Logos 2014
 in stock $21.33
18
Cat: ENAU 006. Rel: 27 Apr 20
Ambient/Drone
  1. Johanna Knutsson & Lioness - "Oramics" (6:23)
  2. Tora Vinter & Lioness - "Delian Archives" (6:15)
  3. Fjader & Lioness - "There There Theremin" (feat Ravens'vor) (7:39)
Review: Each successive EP on Nikki Pryke AKA Lioness' Envelope Audio imprint has been a multi-artist affair, offering tracks that explore the margins of techno, electro and ambient. The label's latest EP follows this template, with Pryke playing a central role on a selection of tracks that veer towards the more slowly shifting and spacey end of the ambient spectrum. Pryke first joins forces with Johanna Knutsson on the languid, synthesizer-heavy bliss of "Oramics", before collaborating with Tora Vinter on "Delian Archives", a fine tribute to Radiophonic Workshop pioneer Delia Derbyshire rich in icy motifs and modular bleeps and glitches. Arguably best of all though is B-side "There, There, Theremin", a celestial ambient excursion crafted by Pryke and Fjader that wraps deconstructed Theremin sounds and ghostly chords around tactile, easy-going electronics.
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out of stock $11.10
19
Cat: EASTGATE 034CD. Rel: 20 Apr 20
Ambient/Drone
  1. Love On A Real Train 2008
  2. Scrapyard 2008
  3. Sally's Garden
 in stock $7.96
20
Cat: HMD 002. Rel: 21 Sep 20
Ambient/Drone
  1. Ascending (19:57)
  2. Distance (20:13)
 in stock $11.10
21
Cat: THESIS 07. Rel: 25 May 20
Ambient/Drone
  1. Alte Insel (6:48)
  2. Limehouse (3:53)
  3. Himmelgeist (4:21)
  4. Afar (4:01)
 in stock $22.74
22
Cat: LCS 01. Rel: 21 Sep 20
Ambient/Drone
  1. Gyoza (8:55)
  2. Tholt Patch (1:55)
  3. Toasted Gammon (5:47)
  4. Storm (6:41)
 in stock $7.68
23
Cat: AMEN 008. Rel: 23 Dec 19
Ambient/Drone
  1. Neural Partitioning (5:58)
  2. Aether Drag (7:17)
  3. Cloning (6:36)
  4. Mechanical Concept In The Mental Fluid (7:04)
  5. Ubulawu (6:17)
  6. Simotron (6:08)
Review: Fresh from marking his return to wax with a limited edition dose of experimental jazz on 2 Headed Deer, Antonio Marini AKA Healing Force Project delivers a mini-album that joins the dots between that freewheeling style and his usual leftfield electronica, feverish ambient and mutilated techno. Compositionally, "Sideral Escape" is rather interesting, with Marini combining chopped and looped recordings of jazz instrumentation (double bass, drums, screeching guitars), with outer-space electronics, sparse drum machine beats, broken computer sounds and an impending sense of doom. It's hard to accurately describe, let alone pigeonhole, but that's no criticism; in fact, it's what makes it such an intriguing and enjoyable listen.
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 in stock $19.05
24
Cat: FV 006. Rel: 06 Jul 20
Ambient/Drone
  1. Surfing Blank Mind (7:02)
  2. Temporary Loss Of Corporate Dream (6:11)
  3. Billboards Or Crash Barriers (6:16)
  4. Random Encounters With Landscape (6:54)
 in stock $11.37
25
Cat: MORC 63. Rel: 02 Mar 20
Ambient/Drone
  1. Summer Eyes (13:45)
  2. A Sweet Thing (3:44)
 in stock $17.05
26
Cat: BH 001T. Rel: 24 Aug 20
Ambient/Drone
  1. Phonaestheme (feat Kenny Anderson, Nerea Bello, Aidan Moffat, Emily Scott, Su Shaw, Hanna Tuulikki & Andrew Wasylyk) (14:53)
  2. Borrowing (feat Kenny Anderson, Nerea Bello, Aidan Moffat, Emily Scott, Su Shaw, Hanna Tuulikki & Andrew Wasylyk) (3:49)
  3. Organised Breathing (feat Kenny Anderson, Nerea Bello, Aidan Moffat, Emily Scott, Su Shaw, Hanna Tuulikki & Andrew Wasylyk) (0:43)
  4. Onset & Rime (feat Kenny Anderson, Nerea Bello, Aidan Moffat, Emily Scott, Su Shaw, Hanna Tuulikki & Andrew Wasylyk) (4:42)
  5. Reconstructed Form (feat Kenny Anderson, Nerea Bello, Aidan Moffat, Emily Scott, Su Shaw, Hanna Tuulikki & Andrew Wasylyk) (4:11)
 in stock $17.35
27
Cat: PRINTTRACK 02. Rel: 20 Jul 20
Ambient/Drone
  1. Will Samson - "Refem" (3:55)
  2. Will Samson - "Some Kind" (feat Benoit Pioulard) (5:40)
  3. Benoit Pioulard - "Incalesce" (4:39)
  4. Benoit Pioulard - "Language Burial" (5:20)
 in stock $30.42
28
Cat: PRINTTRACK 01. Rel: 20 Jul 20
Ambient/Drone
  1. Ed Carlsen - "Larvae" (2:50)
  2. Ed Carlsen - "On A Sunday" (0:50)
  3. Ed Carlsen - "Sleepless At A Loss" (1:55)
  4. Ed Carlsen - "Those Who Look For You" (3:34)
  5. Heather Woods Broderick - "All Your Leaves" (6:07)
  6. Heather Woods Broderick - "Leaving" (4:27)
out of stock $30.42
29
Cat: THESIS 15. Rel: 25 May 20
Ambient/Drone
  1. For John Cage (12:04)
  2. Yojengi (10:03)
 in stock $22.74
30
Cat: GCR 010. Rel: 05 Oct 20
Ambient/Drone
  1. Mouth Feel (5:04)
  2. Deep Sea Berth (6:39)
  3. Second Sight (5:31)
  4. Belong To Be Here (4:30)
  5. Exp + Mem (3:26)
Review: The Spanish guitar has a long history of use in sunkissed dance music, the sort of tracks that never fail to perfectly soundtrack the poolside recovery to the night before or early evening sunset session. 'Mouth Feel' is the first proof this EP gives us that the formula still works, a rolling slow house number that's all warm vibes and good drinks.

From thereon in the evidence only mounts. 'Deep Sea Burn' takes almost any reference to dance music per se out of the equation, owing much more to the meditative ambient tradition before emerging into the light deep electronica of 'Second Sight'. Things are rounded out nicely with 'Belong To Be Here', a pared back, rhythmic slice of minimal, percussive electro and the cinematic moods of 'Exp+Mem'.
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 in stock $15.64
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