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Good Ambient/Electronic Music

Re: Good Ambient/Electronic Music
December 02, 2010, 06:53:12 PM
Im also looking for some very vocal heavy ambient in the vein of DCD preferably with the same ancient, ecclesiastical kind of atmosphere.

Try Arcana - Dark Age Of Reason. It's not as amazing as Dead Can Dance, but it is a very strong work, and might be close to the atmosphere you're looking for. There's a similar band to Arcana called Elend, but I've been pretty underwhelmed by everything I've heard by them.

The only other closest thing I'm aware of, and I don't think it will be exactly what you're looking for, is, well, Lisa Gerrard's solo work. I've heard the Mirror Pool, which I thought was decent, but I only gave it a few listens.

Elend, Dark Sanctuary, et al. are pale "gothic" imitations of what Dead Can Dance initiated -- more Evanescence and less Beethoven or early Church music.

Die Verbannten Kinder Evas is a neoclassical side project of Richard Lederer of Summoning, heavily influenced by John Dowland and other Renaissance composers (in addition to Dead Can Dance):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=reosmjevWP0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gzs6StMpocI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j7PnMwm8Ft8

All albums are good, though they arguably suffer from monotony and lack of ideas. If you're more interested in solemnity than warrior spirit, though, maybe you won't mind; in either case, there is an exhilarating piece on each album every three tracks or so.

You could also go for the real thing and listen to Gregorian chant, John Dowland, and William Byrd. Claudio Monteverdi's Vespro Della Beata Vergine and Selva Morale e Spirituale are also worth a listen, and are available for free on the Internet. Examples:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OQ6u5Pafka8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LX6vn2sbKiE

Really makes you realize how silly a lot of droney "dark ambient" is, and that ambient music isn't really a new phenomenon, per se.

MLK

Re: Good Ambient/Electronic Music
December 03, 2010, 01:22:04 AM

A:
- Ildjarn
- Incantation
B:
C:
Trimmed fat.

Re: Good Ambient/Electronic Music
December 03, 2010, 03:17:22 AM

A:
- Ildjarn
- Incantation
B:
C:
Trimmed fat.

Alright, if you think that Myein is fat, that's your loss. Also, the whole point of a hierarchical list is to arrange music according to quality, so inevitably, in an A-B-C list, the "C" section is going to be "fat." Recommendation lists are different in that they're for promoting the best material; a list like this puts a genre as a whole into perspective by making relative comparisons, and in being comprehensive, has nothing to do with trimming anything. I can put Panzerfaust in a list of "C" albums, but that doesn't mean that I think it's worth anyone's time.

Out of curiosity, since you make music inspired by Biosphere, what do you think differentiates Nest's Retold from Substrata (or Eno and Budd's The Pearl, for that matter)? Are the pianos too light and frivolous? Not enough sound samples? What makes the former "fat," but the latter essential? Or is it nothing tangible, and you just have to "get it"?

Re: Good Ambient/Electronic Music
December 03, 2010, 12:07:56 PM
He means to say they're not really ambient. Well, Ildjarn is but not obviously so. It's a type of ambient whereby song-fragments form the constituant parts of a greater whole (the album). Incantation like all death metal is way too dynamic and tangential to be able to be called ambient, I think the production lends to the cavernous/atmospheric feel but the music structure itself isn't.

Re: Good Ambient/Electronic Music
December 04, 2010, 05:25:30 PM
He means to say they're not really ambient. Well, Ildjarn is but not obviously so. It's a type of ambient whereby song-fragments form the constituant parts of a greater whole (the album)

Your guess is as good as his, but I doubt it. Ildjarn also writes ambient in more obvious ways.

MLK

Re: Good Ambient/Electronic Music
December 04, 2010, 06:10:07 PM
Out of curiosity, since you make music inspired by Biosphere, what do you think differentiates Nest's Retold from Substrata (or Eno and Budd's The Pearl, for that matter)? Are the pianos too light and frivolous? Not enough sound samples? What makes the former "fat," but the latter essential? Or is it nothing tangible, and you just have to "get it"?

Nest i'll concede that I fucked up on. worth being in the C grade though maybe (who cares ultimately? take this sort of thing as a rough guide, the moment it gets too bureaucratic it becomes lifeless). Maeror Tri and Steve Roach are just boring, Mortiis is dross.

Quote
inevitably, in an A-B-C list, the "C" section is going to be "fat."

If thats so then I dont think theres any point bothering to mention them. Rather I'd say the fat should be the D, E etc categories. An equivalent C grade metal album would be something like  Terminal Spirit Disease by At The Gates - good ideas but ruined by poor development or bad decisions.

Ildjarn is ambient music. Incantation I just assumed was for humour, still a great band.

Re: Good Ambient/Electronic Music
December 04, 2010, 08:22:41 PM
Mortiis is dross.

You're wrong.  Mortiis was one of the most unique, powerful, and clearly-articulated visions to come out of the black metal scene.  If you think it's dross, then that's just a lack of understanding on your part.  

Re: Good Ambient/Electronic Music
December 05, 2010, 12:45:00 AM
Whats a good Mortiis album to start off with?

Re: Good Ambient/Electronic Music
December 05, 2010, 04:50:27 AM
I very much need to check out his old stuff, his new work is just techno goth/industrial garbage.

Mortiis links need fixing in the audio file section, if anyone has any mp3s

Re: Good Ambient/Electronic Music
December 05, 2010, 08:52:38 AM
Whats a good Mortiis album to start off with?

Start with Keiser Av En Dimensjon Ukjent.  I put a working link for it in audiofile.

MLK

Re: Good Ambient/Electronic Music
December 06, 2010, 05:33:25 PM
You're wrong.  Mortiis was one of the most unique, powerful, and clearly-articulated visions to come out of the black metal scene.  If you think it's dross, then that's just a lack of understanding on your part.  

wowzzz, truly outstanding stuff this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yrAXLzD74tM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iBvtIhky2dU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f95w11ttFkQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kYyJRiGnTi8

Seriously folks, just go listen to some Early Music or some Väsen, its a hell of a lot more satisfying than this ropey two/three chord synth crap.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ncsqIe-S-Fg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=foa82jaONqs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-7wUQP6G5EQ

Re: Good Ambient/Electronic Music
December 06, 2010, 10:03:37 PM
Saying those songs are an alternative to Mortiis is like saying Mozart is an alternative to Darkthrone.  Mortiis was not trying to recreate the music played in ancient times.  They are a thousand miles apart.

Mortiis is not complex music, but that's partially what makes it so magical.  You should understand that, having already given your support to Ildjarn as an ambient musician.  Mortiis is the sound of decayed magic, like a powerful ancient spellbook found amongst ruins.  Of course, these spells would lose their power if brought into daylight.  In the cold fluorescent lighting of the modern scientific world, magic like this will be laughed at, like if the troll who composed this music were found in Walmart instead of a rotting dungeon.  So in that way it requires suspension of disbelief, of a very similar kind required to appreciate black metal, though you will be rewarded in an entirely different way.

MLK

Re: Good Ambient/Electronic Music
December 07, 2010, 03:10:34 AM
Saying those songs are an alternative to Mortiis is like saying Mozart is an alternative to Darkthrone.  Mortiis was not trying to recreate the music played in ancient times.  They are a thousand miles apart.

you're right I guess, because Mortiis actually has more in common with this than it does with Tallis:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kffacxfA7G4



Quote
Mortiis is the sound of decayed magic, like a powerful ancient spellbook found amongst ruins.  Of course, these spells would lose their power if brought into daylight.  In the cold fluorescent lighting of the modern scientific world, magic like this will be laughed at

Funny how Spem In Alium loses none of its magic in the modern age though, isn't it?

Re: Good Ambient/Electronic Music
December 07, 2010, 05:18:18 AM
Actually it does.  There's a significant difference between listening to Spem In Alium on youtube after having been "enlightened" by modern culture and science, and walking into a Church hearing it performed live having only heard music on special occasions and fully believing in God since religion's power was as strong as science is today.

But you completely misunderstood what I was saying.  What I was saying was that Mortiis is not classical, educated music like all of your "alternatives" to it (except justin bieber (seriously, how old are you?)).  I was saying it would be laughed at by the common man in the same way that Burzum would be.  You gave Burzum your suspension of disbelief, otherwise you would've just sneered at the ugliness and simplicity and turned it off like a normal person.  And after you let it take you, you found that beneath the ugliness there was a strange, mysterious beauty, something lost deep within us.  Mortiis is magic because it utilizes simple, primitive musical ideas to convey beauty within decay and darkness.  It does it in a very similar way to black metal, except it is less warlike and more mystical.  Classical church music and ancient folk music like your examples are wonderful, but they have existed for hundreds, even thousands of years.  They were composed for a people living closer to the state of nature, closer to where our biological minds were meant to be.  Black metal and Mortiis are music for sick souls yearning for something forgotten, something within us that has been destroyed by globalism and one ugly consumerist mono-culture.  That something did not need to be recreated in ancient times because it was probably a normal, accepted part of life.  And so art was simply something that was meant to complement certain events and activities such as church, or rituals, or festivals, or whatever.  Now art exists to fill a void within us.  The modern world is shit, but it's an unstoppable mountain of shit, so escaping to a beautiful fantasy that resonates with our spirit functions almost as a painkiller for people who are very sick from modernism (a disease to which we do not yet have a cure, and the search seems futile).

Beauty within a decayed primitive sound resonates with us because we are decayed primitive people (we all are, thanks to this modern world), but the best art suggests something powerful and unspeakable within, and I think Mortiis has that.  It's like a mystery that we can never know the answer to, and yet it's beautiful because of that, because it suggests that even in the darkest times there's still something.... it's not hope, but it's something.

Re: Good Ambient/Electronic Music
December 09, 2010, 08:04:44 PM
Ildjarn is ambient music. Incantation I just assumed was for humour, still a great band.

Incantation was for humor first, though Onward to Golgotha maintains a certain kind of atmosphere and is monotonous in an almost Transilvanian Hunger kind of way. It was mostly for humor, though.

On Mortiis: I actually enjoy the early material quite a bit. To be entirely objective, I will note that, like Summoning, it suffers from too much repetition (especially evident on the first release, "The Song of a Long Forgotten Ghost"), and often ventures into cheesy Lord of the Rings territory. Still, there is a strange familiarity about both projects that is not represented very well in early music or subsequent classical or folk, let alone anything modern. Maybe the stuff that truly does shed the cheese was wiped out by the Church when they came along and outlawed sorcery and ritual. Anyone know of anything authentic and pre-modern that has a similar spirit to Mortiis?

I'll mention this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZJ_NCxcJGhs&feature=related

Came from Iceland in the 18th century, but was reported by the locals of the day to be pre-Christian. The bone flute being used is an actual archaeological finding, I think. It's a bit sappy, like something you'd hear at the funeral of a warrior, so not quite as dark as Mortiis, but the flute itself is interesting enough, and the melody doesn't suffer from the plainness of medieval music.

Black metal and Mortiis are music for sick souls yearning for something forgotten, something within us that has been destroyed by globalism and one ugly consumerist mono-culture.  That something did not need to be recreated in ancient times because it was probably a normal, accepted part of life.

I don't know. Germanic war music was reported to be pretty intense stuff, even by Tacitus and some Byzantine emperors. I think that the Germans even used swords and shields as drum sticks/drums before battles, and the common rituals did exude a kind of intensity that mere prayer or rumination cannot imitate. The trances and physiological transformations tied with both male and female music of the day, for example, are more or less extinct in modern times. So, while black metal may be a yearning for an ancient, more "real" time, if anything, I think that it's an extreme expression of something that was probably already extreme. Knowing that your children will starve or become Roman slaves if you don't sack that one city in Gaul was likely quite a powerful emotional impetus, and I can definitely see how music could have aided to that end. It still can if we let it, but many people have been conditioned since birth to perceive anything "too serious" as bad for them, unfortunately.