Nov 2013 01

Various Artists - Ambient Selections Vol. 1Various Artists
Category: Compilations / Ambient
Album: Ambient Selections Vol. 1
Stars: 3
Blurb: A collection of undiluted and pure ambient music from this specialty label makes for a lovely and lush listen.


The soothing sounds of waves upon the shoreline followed by the trickles of chimes that give way to a wash of dreamy pads enters with a progression that might bring to mind the likes of Vangelis; so begins the first track, Underline Words’ “Autumn Lullaby,” of the first volume of Ambient Selections from Cyan Music. Formed in 2004 by Gus and Andrew Till with Tony D’Oporto – a.k.a. The Gnome – with the expressed purpose of promoting chill out and ambient music, Cyan Music lives up to its charter as this compilation presents 13 tracks of audio serenity. From the ethnic flairs of “Shoka No Ilo” by Zen Lemonade, the peaceful breaths of a Shakuhachi-like melody and twinkles reminiscent of a Javanese gamelan evoking a distinctly Eastern flavor that reminds this writer of “Moss Garden” from David Bowie’s “Heroes”, to the sprinkles of celestial arpeggios that adorn tracks like ManMadeMan’s “Stars Above” and the nebulous mesh of breathy drones and atmospheres on Displacer’s “Green,” this collection is pure sonic calm. The chattering of evening life gives way to a chorale-like sprinkling of luminous pads on Steve Law’s “Cambewarra” and Ornament’s “Chimes,” while Hesius Dome gives us “K-Loop” in which a repeating melodic refrain builds upon itself into a soundscape of utter tranquility. Label co-founder Tony D’Oporto offers up two tracks of his own entrancing style, with “Alone in the Path Way of the Ancients” featuring stereo oscillations and light melodic plucking that do well to instill a sense of antediluvian civilization, and “Time” having a much more spacey feel, the faint hisses of radio chatter rising against an ominous sliding tapestry of ethereal impressionistic strokes of synth. In lieu of a Gnome & Spybey track, which might have seemed an obvious choice for inclusion, Mark Spybey does make an appearance with Dead Voices on Air as the abstract and almost formless and hollow “The Blofeld Tape” distinctly stands out on this compilation. In short, Ambient Selections Vol. 1 is ambient music at its purest and most undiluted. Some may find it uninteresting or downright boring, but genre aficionados will surely be rewarded as there are no grant displays of instrumental showmanship or musicality, favoring simplicity of tonality and allowing the listener to drift into ethereal sonic calm.
Track list:

  1. Underline Words – Autumn Lullaby
  2. Zen Lemonade – Shoka No Ilo
  3. The Gnome – Alone in the Path Way of the Ancients
  4. Broken Word – Broken Word
  5. Displacer – Green
  6. ManMadeMan – Stars Above
  7. Gnomes of Kush – Time
  8. Steve Law – Cambewarra
  9. Citta Flow – Float
  10. Ornament – Chimes
  11. Dead Voices on Air – The Blofeld Tape
  12. Hesius Dome – K-Loop
  13. Gus Till – Waking Light

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Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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