Tag Archive: dark ambient


architects

Randal T. Collier-Ford has been creating dark ambient music since 2012. He has participated in projects including Black Sun, Chernobyl Ghosts, Mors Universa, The Temple of Algolagnia, Non, The Seven-Crowned and Grey Light Shade. The first time I heard his material was when I discovered Dark Corners in 2012 released via Kalpamantra and knew that here was a dark ambient artist worth keeping an eye on. His style varies according to project but there is no doubt that Randal T. Collier-Ford makes great dark ambient.

His latest release is The Architects via Cryo Chamber, the dark ambient label established by Atrium Carceri’s Simon Heath. Cryo Chamber has been making a name itself because of the high quality dark ambient albums it has released so far and The Architects is going to maintain the high regard with which it is held. Overall, The Architects is without a doubt an excellent dark ambient album. I enjoy music that fills my mind’s eye with images and The Architects cries out for a video accompaniment.  Very dark, very deep, it is more of a statement of what might have been in the dim and distant past and what could be in the future. The tracks are amazing – they are structured as opposed to long droney landscapes and take you places, they create a world populated with beings of immense physical and mental power.

A symphony of behemoths introduces the album and heralds the beginning of the New Age. They bellow their triumph after passing successfully from one Eon to the next. You have the impression of gargantuan creatures celebrating through a deep bass ritual, the soil beneath your feet is shaking and there is no doubt who rules now.

Weaving etheric materials into physical, solid form and welding them using massive currents of electricity, the second track leads the mind’s eye through the creation of a demon. The creature is taught how to communicate verbally and by tapping out sounds. Wings flap rapidly as it tries out its body. A steampunk construct designed to serve those who now rule here.

The Return is a long climactic piece – ominous in the extreme. Hinting at irrepressible power/force. I will not bias you by describing what pops into my imagination when I listen to the rest of this album. All I can say is that this is what I regard as true dark ambient. It isn’t ‘darkly’ primal or primitive, it goes way beyond that. This is what darkness evolved might sound like. It is what an established darkly etheric culture would sound like. If the norm was a shadow world populated by a highly evolved and unforgiving race whose entire cultural origins were developed from and based around a ruthless need for survival, this is what it would sound like.

I asked Randal if he would like to share some thoughts about the creation of The Architects – what drove it, what it is about. He was kind enough to respond with the following:

The Architects was an endeavor I undertook while I worked on Our Gods Never Sleep with the ideas and pre-production of the album. It was meant to be the album that I wanted to push forward as far as production, theme, design, and technique, and the previously mentioned album would serve as my drawing board. I’d like to say that Our Gods Never Sleep wasn’t just a random album to make and get over with, it was it’s own entity of a raw and uncompromising nature, and it served it’s purpose on it’s own.

So this sets the timeline for this album beginning around summer and fall of 2014.

I chose the name, The Architects, to keep with a momentum of Our Gods Never Sleep, because in their own way, they are connected. Much like looking at an object from different angles, this angle is one of wonder, awe, and ferocity. But the name itself, is meant to convey old and recent theories of otherworld, or inhuman, entities of a larger nature. Beings tied into religion, spirituality, metaphysical speculations and out of body vision. Theories to to try an makes sense of multiple plains of existence layered onto our physical plain, and how in their own right, are just as physical and feed into our own (and have through out time). What has come of this is the concepts of Gods, deities, Devils, and messengers of Heaven. Beings layered through out our realm of existence, capable of formulating and manipulating our realm, beings that have walked among us, ruled us, lead us, and ruined us. From stories of Chariots of Fire from the Heavens to the stories of monsters formed from the very Nothingness, and how their existence is intertwined to these things all at once in their own individual ways, The Architects is a collection of these theories as contemplative visions. Because these stories are as old as we are, they have stimulated the greatest of minds through our known and unknown history, from artists to prophets, emperors to dictators, these stories have shaped us on many levels. So I wanted this album to return to the roots of this, instead of picking up where we all left off, where we are now with these theories in the hopes that maybe in can stimulate minds once again from the ground up. Some of the most passionate forms of art have come from forms of spirituality and philosophy, and I hope that the passion I put into my work falls under this as well. But I hope just as much that my art can impress on others to do the same as so many others before us have done with art, and what I hope I am doing as well through awe, wonder, and fear.

I think Randal succeeded!

Seriously, this is one of the best ‘dark’ dark ambient albums I have heard in quite a while. You can stream the album for free using the link near the start of the article. If you are interested in discovering more about Randal T. Collier-Ford and his music check out the following:

Soundcloud, Mixcloud, Facebook, Bandcamp

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Dark Ambient Journeys

Emptywhale : Fearscapes

Fearscapes is one of those albums where you close your eyes and suddenly realise you are no longer sat in front of your speakers. Track 1, ‘Fields’ drops you in an empty, open and lonely expanse, the terrain has been blasted, nothing grows here. Five tracks of emotive, melancholic dark ambient that will transport you to different realms for 35mins. Available through HAZE via Archive.org

Instant Pyrolysis : The Asylum

Valenten’s album is a triumph of intelligently crafted dark ambient music. Those lucky enough to get the limited edition will also enjoy a lot of bonus material along with the signed album. This moves well beyond the usual DA fare. It is directed along a narrow path, but the diversity of the sounds is astounding. One of the better dark ambient albums that has been released this year.

IOK-1 : That Which Remains Is Silence

I am a huge fan of IOK-1 and listening to That Which Remains Is Silence is, like listening to all his music, an immersive experience. David has the rare ability to create music that is skeletal in content, but which is so well made and produced that you quite literally feel you are hanging in space – there is nothing to impede these sparse sounds from impacting every sense you own. Download it from Etched Traumas

Subterrestrial : Lifeform

Subterrestrial recently re-released two albums for free. One was the dub-themed Agartha (another of my favourite genres), and the other was an ambient excursion into nature called Lifeform. Subterrestrial is an accomplished artist whose work varies enormously. When you listen to Lifeform you are struck by the melding of different genres and emotions that combine to create a very listenable and enjoyable piece of music. Light and dark, airy ambience and subtle menace, abstract sounds and electronic noise are all used to illustrate Lifeform.

Honourable Mention 2

Listen to some of these – ambient, minimal techno, dub-techno, dark ambient, downtempo, drone… Some very good albums here. If I had the time I’d write a lot more. Ctrl+click on the image to open the download/purchase page in a new tab.

Tillman Slayer – Chiquandella Street – Orignal experimental ambient music.

 

 

 

 

Giriu Dvasios – Visa – Very deep Dub-Techno

 

 

 

 

Dan Miñoza – Winter Kept Us Warm – Dark industrial ambient longform. Technological dounds…

 

 

 

 

The Circular Ruins – Invisible Cities – Clean clear shimmering ambient

 

 

 

 

Point – Deepending – Quality groovy techno

 

 

 

 

Smooth Genestar – Rem Phase – Warm comfortable downtempo sounds.

 

 

 

 

Sandwell District – Feed Forward – Excellent smooth techno rhythms. These tunes are mature and well rounded.

 

 

 

 

SlowNoise – The Cold Ground – Superb heady dub-techno that’s heavy on the dub. Spacious!

 

 

 

Giriu Dvasios – Ziema – Dub Techno with deep bass textures. Subliminal!

 

 

 

 

Reptilian Fur – Compilation album featuring many types of ambient to suit all moods.

 

 

 

 

Kirill Platonkin – Pines At Sunset – quality dense drone ambient from Russia!

 

 

 

 

Wings Of An Angel – In My Darkest Dreams – Massive ambient/dark ambient album. Some very long form tracks totalling 4hrs!

 

 

 

 

Aythar’s Soundcloud profile – Lots of great electronic mesmerising ambience. Very good sounds! Check out Aythar and Aythar3 too.

 

 

 

 

Red Fog – Anthracite Winter Over The Lidocaine River – From Paralucid – another great ambient drone album with a sprinkling of dark ambient too…

 

 

 

 

i AM esper – Floating Black – More guitar work from New Brunswick soon to be released on Vomit Bucket Productions and Depressive Illusions Records

 

 

 

 

Harkonnen : Harkonnen

Harkonnen’s eponymous album is a gem. There are two versions available. The version for sale on the Harkonnen website includes nearly an hour of bonus material taken from a rare live performance. Buy it anywhere else and you’ll just get the studio tracks.

Harkonnen are Rob Warner and Uwe D’rose. Rob plays synths and Uwe plays guitars. These two guys have produced an amazing album where all the music flows around a common theme. When asked, Uwe says that both he and Rob were in one mind as to what the finished product would sound like. It shows. This is a well performed, well laid out album. Rob Warner was responsible for the technical and production duties and has done an excellent job. Uwe describes Harkonnen as the ‘other side’ of Beyond.

Harkonnen opens with a scorching track called Rise Of The Machines that employs some amazing gutar work. The riffs used here are deep and menacing, the sort of sound you would associate with the implacable will of a mechanised construct. Awesome. Age Of The Machines is similar – powerful music with gritty lead guitar, but which is a celebration of all things industrial and robotic.

Ghosts In The Bitstream uses a soft lead to evoke a sense of loss – lead guitar creating a melancholic drone. The sound, though, is still within the Harkonnen recipe. (R)age Of The Machines starts gently then drops you back into a harsh industrial environment with plenty of twisted lead and awesome riffs.

All Human Is Error makes an unequivocal statement. Humans? Who needs them!

The Last Robot and The Final Sunset have a certain melancholy. The drones in The Final Sunset evoke a beautiful image of the sun setting, but you know that it will never be appreciated by the mechanised society over which it sets.

The Machines (Live) is a showcase of what lead guitar can sound like when done well. The lead overlays a rich synthesised background and the two harmonise very well. When you listen to the live tracks on the extended version of the album (remember – only available from the Harkonnen website), you may not realise that what you are hearing is the work of Rob Warner on his own. He plays everything. There are three live tracks, two longform at about 20mins (The Man In The High Castle Pts 1 and 2), separated by a shorter track named The Machines which is rich with plenty of guitar work. The Man In The High Castle Pt 2 begins with robotic murmurings and quickly becomes quite dark, lending it a tense atmosphere. This is maintained when a rythmic pulse gently creeps up on you, and the voices occassionally become louder and more ominous. The track is a showcase for deep minimal mechanical noises put together to create a powerful dark industrial soundscape. Man In The High Castle (Part 2) live is original dark ambient synth style. This is a classy piece of music and ends the album beautifully.

Rob and Uwe have worked together on various projects for 35 years and it shows in this album. The elements harmonise very well, the live performance is excellent, and the album has a common theme throughout. When you hear any particular track from the album you can most definitely recognise it as being ‘Harkonnen’. It varies from full-on melodic lead, awesome synths and gentle drone. There are classic elements of electronica here too, particularly in All Human Is Error, where the voice reading the charge appears to emanate from some kind of Orwellian mechanoid. The album is inexorable. The tracks march on, effortlessly overcoming all obstacles. Production is excellent, especially on the live tracks – everything is clear and stands out.

I’ve played this album many times and it really appeals to me. If you enjoy classic lead guitar, great riffs, marvellous and original synth sounds, and if you prefer your albums to play around a common theme, then this is definitely for you. I can’t recommend this enough!

Rob Warner is presently working on three other projects: The Beyond (With Uwe), BROADKAST (an industrial dance project) and the record label/sample library Ambient Source. He is also part of an as yet unnamed elctro-acoustic ethnic folk project. Uwe D’rose is the guitarist in Landmarq who have just released a double CD and will be playing various UK dates this year.

Last February Waiting World Records released Like Hemlock by Dan Miñoza  & M. Peck.

Just over one hour of music begins with Bloodwood, a silken track with organic sounds accompanying synths and a base drone that carries it along. The track hints at innocence, before descending into a dark landscape before it finishes. The dark ending of Bloodwood prepares the listener for the tense start of Kapala – something ominous this way definitely comes. As Kapala progresses, industrial sounds are introduced, hinting at some mechanical process.

The amazing dark ambient sounds that comprise Atlantia are deep and bassy. Rising and falling, the track pulses with a palpable atmosphere that places you in some scary environment. The track develops very slowly, with just the occassional sound of something being moved about, scraped along the wall or being torn. A great track that is tense and forbidding.

The slow extended distortion that introduces Mara rapidly develops into an intriguing piece of music that is the essence of strange. This is as close to ‘noise’ as the album gets, and the stereo panning with delay effects on this makes it a must for the headphones. The track is in no way unstructured, and it will certainly transport you to a strange place.

Redjinnerate has a great atmosphere that incorporates both light ambience and darker layers. It is difficult to pull off tracks that merge light and dark aspects but this one definitely succeeds. Dejinnerate, on the other hand is a wonderful piece of light airy ambience. It shimmers with an Eastern flavour and uses light synth sounds to create a bright atmosphere that is uplifting and relaxing.

The title track is excellent. Organic sounds overlay a strange landscape. Underlying drones provide an edgy backdrop to a track that becomes cinematic. Sometimes syncopated, the music here is rich and varied and finishes on a very smooth ambient note.

Like Hemlock succeeds in presenting mixture of ambient compositions ranging from tense, dark and sometimes industrial imaginings through to bright light pieces. A varied piece of work which maintains a very high quality throughout. The tracks evolve slowly, their minimalist style contributing to a professional piece of work. You won’t go far wrong by purchasing this.

Listen to more of Dan Miñoza’s work and collaborations here. You can hear more of Michael Peck’s sounds here

Official Press Release:

The debut album from Dan Miñoza and M. Peck is a masterwork of isolated kinetics, turgid textures and vast dynamics drawing the listener in with stark minimalism and dark ambient atmospheres coupled with sparse sound design.  

These collected works were inspired by the novelist Charles Bukowski and photographer Sally Mann, from whom both Miñoza and Peck draw much influence. The album was recorded from August 2011 through December 2011, then later mixed and mastered by Peck at Audio Propulsion Labs in January of 2012. The result is an intimate voyage into the abyss with two of today’s most diverse independent ambient musicians.

Honorable Mention 01

I listen to a lot of music and only the smallest fraction of that is reviewed. I hear some good stuff, and there is quite a bit that I really enjoy. So, these are some of my personal favourites that I have heard recently and I think they deserve to be shared. Ctrl+Click on the images to open the download/review/purchase pages in a new tab.

In The Mist’s Lost album is gloomy atmospheric longform dark ambient released by Nulll netlabel. Great for those dusky moments 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

Magnetic Wind : Storm- a break from the usual ambient sounds made by Magnetic Wind, this is a much more energetic album. Full of electronic goodness. Get it from Bandcamp.

 

 

 

 

D. Kuhl – live PA @ golden gate, berlin, 05/01/2012 A live set featuring D. Khuhl’s own tunes  – do not miss this dub-techno feast. The guy has talent. Get it from his Soundcloud page.

 

 

 

 

Kristus Kut – The Black Queen Kompendium. I am very wary of ‘noise’ as some noise just turns me straight off. Kristus Kut, however, was very enjoyable. A professional blend of noise that uses a minimal dark ambient base. Get it from Sombre Soniks’ bandcamp page.

 

 

 

 

Ludal – Jupiter. This is a great mix. Featuring dark ambient tracks that phase into some gentle, then full-on noise, before subsiding back into dark ambient. Check it out on archive.org courtesy of LoadandClear netlabel 🙂

 

 

 

 

 

i AM esper – Echoes From A Cold Planet and Explosion Of The Red Giant. i AM esper’s two longform tracks are great. These EP’s represent a break from the traditional i AM esper style and comprise cold, stark ambience with a very dark edge. Both are excellent. Available from Bandcamp.

 

Kirill Platonkin – Taiga Dream. Released via Darkwinter, Kirill’s Taiga Dream is a very ‘organic’ piece of dark drone ambient. It is a reflection of his experience of the Taiga region during winter-time. Highly recommended.

 

 

 

 

Smoke And MirrorsBen Sims – Smoke and Mirrors. This is a techno gem. Full-on original groovin’ music that will get you moving. Buy it from Beatport, Juno, and eMusic.

 

 

 

 

 

Descending OutKino Oko – Descending Out Into The Distance released by Digital Diamonds netlabel.  Kino Oko’s album is a happy, groovy feast of quality techno music. Available via Digital Diamonds and Ektoplazm.

 

 

 

Ekoplex – Discovering The Ancient. Superb tribal downtempo beats. This really gets under your skin and communicates with something deep inside. Released via Ektoplazm.

Mon0 : Colliding Textures

Mon0 aka Andre Zufall is a German artist from Solingen. He started his musical career as a DJ in the second half of the ’80’s and creates ambient and dub-techno music.

This album, called Colliding Textures (what a great name!), and released by Test Tube begins with some incredibly well done industrial drone sounds. Cathedral Of The Lost evolves slowly, introducing a sense of urgency, then of expectancy, or perhaps it is conveying a sense of discovery. Listening to this is great – I got the distinct feeling that the track was trying to convey searching for something and not being able to find it. It is also, in my mind, one of those pieces of music that manages to be light and dark at the same time. Brilliant!

Next, consider a parched, empty landscape. Imagine a slow, difficult journey through this place where you have no choice but to move on, your feet creating a sonorous painful cadence, driving you inexorably to some distant, unseen location. Hints of something pass you by, rising and falling, out of sight and out of reach… This is Marching Into Desperation. Quite evocative.

The third track, Distant Reality, introduces some rushing atmospherics, moaning horribly. Deep bass regularly punctuates the track, keeping time with some obscure rhythm. Frail tortured sounds wash in and out like a tide, exposing a voice then smothering it again.

One other track, Orbit is also worthy of praise, but I’ll leave you to decide how best to interpret what you hear 🙂 I enjoyed it very much.

This is an incredibly rich album. Here are 60mins of dark ambient impressions that stand out – atmospheric sounds designed to stimulate the senses. This goes well beyond the ears 🙂 I’ll definitely be listening to more of Mon0’s work. Check out his Soundcloud page, too 🙂

Colliding Textures: Cathedral Of The Lost [13.36], Marching Into Desperation [12.32], Distant Reality [14.24], Orbit [19.12]

Kundar : The Ghosts Still Haunt Me

Kundar is a project by the same person responsible for The No-Tone Project and Descent Into The Void. The track ‘The Ghosts Still Haunt Me’, available via Soundcloud is a wonderfully immersive piece of ambient music with blunt dark edges. By that I do not mean that it is raw or without finesse, but that the music has a palpable, almost physical effect. It is heavy and you get the feeling that it is trying to push against you, to smother you.

This is one of those pieces of music that can be described as a ‘soundscape’. As such, it is best enjoyed through headphones and should be played Loud. As the track plays out, you can almost feel those vibes buffeting you, as if you were stood in a windy place. The dense bass rumble hovering in the background suggests that something huge is there, keeping its distance, but supporting everything you hear. As the track nears completion, you can hear the sounds of something trying to speak, to escape. It is a great effect and the track is highly recommended. The latest news is that we can look forward to more music from this project. That will be a treat!

 

Alchemist : Fire (and) Water

Alchemist has released two EPs via Sombre Soniks, a label which promotes ritual dark ambient music and ‘Muziks for thee darker side of life’. The EP’s each comprise just a couple of tracks with alternate mixes/demos. But, these tracks are amazing. The EPs released so far, named Fire and Water, are part of four from this artist whose home is in Helsinki, Finland.

Joka Vuotaa Verta introduces Fire. It also appeared on Explorers Of The Darkest Depths Vol. 1 http://eotdd.blogspot.com/2011/06/blog-post.html and is a great composition that merges a classic dark ambient rumbling background with a light but edgy repeating synth with a distinctly ominous air. Translated as ‘that which is leaking blood’ you can imagine the life-force of some esoteric creature slowly ebbing away. Tumma Alkemisti, or ‘dark alchemist’ is more ‘organic’, and very atmospheric. The imagination conjours a subterranean environment housing the work place of this mysterious entity, whose experiments are scattered around, created, alive and unable to escape from this forbidding place.

Two other versions of Joka Vuotaa Verta are included – a demo and a remix by P23, and a demo version of Tumma Alkemisti closes Fire.

My favourite of the two EP’s is Water. Essence kaiken elämän (Essence of All Life) is an 8 minute piece that is much lighter than the two tracks found on Fire, but which still retains an element of mystery. The track is more of a journey as opposed to the feeling of a single environment that I got with Fire. My favourite of all the tracks, though, is Kallioilta merinäköala (From the Cliffs Overlooking the Sea). This is more of a  classic dark ambient composition, but what really stands out is that is has a retro sound that would not be amiss in a 70’s horror flick. The difference, though, is that this is a very professional track. It has an amazing cinematic feeling. The retro organ sound really gets the imagination going. I can’t really describe it adequately. It is dramatic without being loud or in your face.

As with Fire, Water includes a P23 remix and a demo of the introductory track and a demo of Kallioilta merinäköala.

Overall, the EP’s certainly compliment each other. Fire is 23 minutes and Water is 43 giving an hour of dark ambient sounds which are guaranteed to stimulate the senses. Cinematic, dramatic and evocative, the listener is taken on a journey through aspects of both elements. I’m definitely looking forward to the rest of the series.

[Edit 13 Feb 2012]

Air has just been released. Get it from here

 

Some of this years music favourites…

I have listened to a lot of music this year and there have been some great albums and even newly discovered (for me) genres. This list is not confined to releases from 2011 but comprises music I’ve really enjoyed listening to. Check out some of this stuff. Much of it is free and released under a Creative Commons (CC) license (free for personal use) unless specified. So, dip in and sample some of these treats. This list could have been a lot longer.

Dub-Techno (all CC)

I’m a big fan of dub, and a big fan of techno. Both are, imo, awesome, but discovering a fusion of the two ‘dub-techno’ this year was serendipity. A few of the artists that really stand out for me are:

Slownoise – The City’s Shore. Beautifully crafted dub sounds over a minimal beat that sparkles. For me, this sound is top quality and is suitable both for personal listening and with friends.

Gennaro Molino – Dub Land. This is deep, bassy, rich, contemplative dub-techno. This is a cut above the rest. Slow and luxurious.

Brickman – Consume. An emerging young artist, Brickman displays an astonishing talent for original sound composition and mixing. Check out his work.

44minds & Subform. This is another great piece of work. This one features remixes by several artists and is worth listening to.

Other artists that I have enjoyed listening to include Marc Atmost, Ocralab, Echoton, Rob Velasquez and Urenga.

Various flavours of Trance and Techno

I’ve been a big fan of trance since the early 90’s and it is good to see this genre is still going strong. Stuff that made me get up and dance my socks off include:

Ace Ventura’s Judo Chop,  and The Jolly Roger (with Captain Hook) blew me away. Thumping trance that really gets you moving.

System 7 have been around for a long time and have produced some top quality sounds. This month they released a free recording of their Boom Festival performance

Timedrained : Dilemma. Been out for some time but, seriously, you won’t go far wrong listening to this. Nicely paced and truly mesmeric trance.

This is where I cop out and genralise. I have listened to a LOT of trance and techno and most of it has been released under a CC license. There are two netlabels to watch:

If you enjoy psytrance then check out Ektoplazm run by DJ Basilisk. This netlabel pumps out consistently high-quality music from some very proficient artists. Ektoplazm also releases techno and down-tempo. BPM’s range from <100 to >160 and some actually peak over 190. Something for everyone 🙂 The netlabel is very active and serves in the region of 20 terrabytes of free music to the trance community each month  – I think that in itself is testament to the quality of the music released here.

If you enjoy Techno then Digital Diamonds is the way to go. Specialising in pure quality techno, this label often co-releases material on Ektoplazm as well. The catalogue is restricted but the term ‘small but perfectly formed’ springs to mind.

There are also the copious mixes… I’ve listened to a lot, but one DJ that I’ve taken a shine to is Anyer Quantum. I came across him when he won a mix competition on Digital Diamonds. He’s since released several mixes. Keep up with his work on his SoundCloud page. A versatile DJ, he’ll appeal to many fans of trance and techno.

Various flavours of Ambient

A vibrant genre that always sees a huge number of releases. Apart from those albums I’ve reviewed, I’ve also really enjoyed these:

Aes Dana’s Aftermath. Ambient and hypnotic, this album is suited to all environments.

Anything by Palancar and Tange! For a big selection of CC releases featuring Palancar or Tange (plus a LOT more), check out Earth Mantra Netlabel. These artists have produced consistently good albums/live sessions that are great to listen to again and again.

A Winged Victory For The Sullen’s eponymous album. Emotive ambient classical music designed to get under your skin. Deep. If you like this then you should also listen to Stars Of The Lid.

Anything by Kirill Platonkin. Deep ambient drone with a subliminal edge. Ethereal, light and truly relaxing.

Complex Silence Series. A collection of over 20 ambient soundscapes by various artists. Quality listening!

Red Fog’s Dronerider. Dark and ambient. Along with Milk of Amnesia and Sculpted in Luminol (and reviewed here), Red Fog produces top notch ambient with a dark edge.

IOK-1’s Sensorisk Deprivation. Brilliantly composed minimal dark ambient that stands out. Also check out his collaboration with Red Fog: Bortom Reparation. Although the physical release sold out quite quickly, IOK-1’s Poems is extreme minimal (even skeletal) ambient.

A dark ambient treat was released on the Kalpamantra label a short while ago. Saur Maas comprises 8hrs of top of the range sounds by various artists. For a decent overview of the dark ambient genre the Kalpamantra compilations are a good start.

The artist that got me into dark ambient: Kerovnian – Far Beyond, Before The Time. Dark and melancholic sounds that are truly atmospheric.

Osman Arabi – I first heard this guy’s stuff on a Kalpamantra compilation. He recently released Snakes, Lizards and Shamans which is an incredibly atmospheric and dark piece of music.

There is so much more ambient I would like to include, but the list would be LONG!

Funeral Doom

I discovered Funeral Doom quite by accident. I enjoy Electric Wizard (Doom Rock) and find Funeral Doom to be an extreme version of all things doom and rock. Fantastic stuff I’ve listened to mostly from the Nulll-Void netlabel. Fall Of The Grey Winged One, Until Death Overtakes Me, Uncertainty Principle – if you like doom taken to extremes then this stuff is for you.

Ambient Doom

A lot of i AM esper has been pumped out through my speakers. Ambient and doom, the sounds are characterised by his electric baritone guitar.  If you like dark ambient but also like well crafted guitar feedback ‘doom-style’ that makes you want to practice your air guitar you should check his music out.

Bits’n’Bobs

Music I’ve heard this year that I can’t categorise, or which has been out for years but which I still find superb listening.

Mahatma Dali’s Steam-Powered Serpent, Noiseflowr’s My life is my own, This Mortal Coil’s Filligree and Shadow, Faith No More’s The Real Thing, Cocteau Twins’ Head Over Heels, Philip Glass A Nonsuch Retrospective – More than 100 tracks (nearly 12hrs) from one of the masters of minimalist classical music. Ptarkh’s Insulin, Inade’s contribution to Tesco Disco – Heavy electronics II, Bungle’s Move On, The Orb featuring David Gilmour – Metallic Spheres, Mystified’s Bone Drone series and Hawkwind’s Eponymous album.

Great stuff 🙂

[edit]

Updated Dec 20 to flesh out i AM esper and to add Osman Arabi