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The ambient/IDM thread.


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Damn, dude.  Oliver Lieb just put the entirety of his 2014 album Inside Voices up on YouTube: Even in YT quality, this thing is worth a listen if one is remotely interested in minimal,

This isn't really ambient nor IDM: It is, however, simultaneously the most 1980s thing imaginable and absolutely timeless.  Aged like a fine wine, made by two Swiss lunatics.  

This, right here. Gorgeous, like ambient Bach from space.

Damn, dude.  Oliver Lieb just put the entirety of his 2014 album Inside Voices up on YouTube:

Even in YT quality, this thing is worth a listen if one is remotely interested in minimal, ambient IDM etc.  OL is one of the most consistent producers in all things electronic.  He's had a stellar track record since his first release in 1989.  Mostly he produces dancefloor oriented techno, which managed to be interesting enough that one might want to actually listen to it in a setting outside of the nightclub.  5 years ago he decided he wanted to produce a piece of art that had nothing to do with club culture and boy did he ever.

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https://www.factmag.com/2019/06/24/autechre-warp-tapes-89-93-for-free/

Oh snap.  '89-93 is the era when Ae made music that I actually liked.  Well, to be fair, they did decent stuff through 1995.  In any case, that's some prime vintage material they're giving away.

For some reason, the Fact mag link is giving me trouble, so I had to go here: https://www.residentadvisor.net/news/43993  File is 1.1 GB on Wet Trans Fur.

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I downloaded and listened this afternoon while I did work around the house.  A few things:  It's two 1 hour mixes.  Being a DJ, I'd have preferred individual tracks, but I'll take what I can get.  The actual release is a pair of .wav files.  Apparently Ae haven't heard of FLACs.  Fortunately it's trivial to convert them and add tags + artwork.  Being me, I cropped the massive image that was in the zip file to a square an embedded it in the FLACs:

Y2RZEEm.jpg

As for the music itself ...ayep, that's some late 80s/early 90s rave.  It's decidedly weird by the standards of the genre and still recognizable as Autechre.  There were parts of both mixes I quite enjoyed and a not insubstantial number of parts I could do without.  I do love me some golden era UK rave sound, but I pretty particular in my tastes.  There is some fantastic Ae analogue synthesis going on at times.

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The album originally came out in 2014 on Psychonavigation Records.  It was my album of the year for 2014,  oddly enough.  It's the Bandcamp re-release that's new.

Oliver Lieb has worked as a mastering engineer for years now and his skills in that area really show in his own work.  OL is an absolute master at using reverb and EQ to arrange the elements in his tracks in a glorious fashion.  I am actually envious of any Stax owners or HCers with serious speaker rigs who get to hear Inside Voices.  It's such a 3 dimensional experience even when listening to it via, say, comparatively humble HD580s and a HRMH.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Let's talk about some fricken expensive records, shall we?  Dan Lacksman is a Belgian fella who did a fair amount of noodling with his Moog modular in the 70s.  He produced at least one timeless classic:

A guy I met on slsk in the early 00s turned me on to Electronic System.  Same guy who sang the praises of FLACs to me (this was at a time when I thought 320k mp3s were overly large.)  

Oww, my ass!  $400, pls.  This is in spite of the above track (which is really the only reason to own the album) being released on this compilation a couple years ago.  (Yes, I have both a needle drop of the '74 vinyl and the 2017 CD in FLAC.)  Regular listeners to Test Tone will note that I have long held the belief that one does not want to enter into a bidding price pissing contest with serious ambient collectors.  Strictly speaking, Electronic System is (electronic) lounge, but the overlap in the venn diagram of the listening base is pretty large.  Add to that the Moog modular synth provenance, scarcity of the records and hoo baby, thats some expensive wax.

Footnote, there's an earlier pressing with some truly terrible artwork ("let's put a bikini babe on there, we'll sell a million!") but as the bard would say, herein lies the rub: the '73 version of Skylab is shorty, faster and more Moogy.  This I do not have and really do want to hear.  I have something of a fetish for 70s Moog noodling.

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4 hours ago, Knuckledragger said:

I have something of a fetish for 70s Moog noodling.

Then are you aware of David Borden/Mother Mallard's Portable Masterpiece Company?  I'm sure you are, just mentioning him/them just in case.

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Thanks.

I presume it's that almost-electric-piano-through-some-sort-of-modulation-pedals sound?  Yeah, one of my favourite patches on the Prophet 5 was a (self-) modified version of their Electric Piano patch.  I really need to get my Prophet 5 fixed so that I can recreate it.  I haven't been able to recreate it on the Prophet 6 or the Arturia virtual Prophet 5 instrument well enough to my liking.

I love the song titles on that album.  (I have many Recycle Or Die albums, including that one.)

Also, unrelated, I thought this video might interest you (unless I got it from you, which I probably did):

 

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This isn't really ambient nor IDM:

It is, however, simultaneously the most 1980s thing imaginable and absolutely timeless.  Aged like a fine wine, made by two Swiss lunatics.  

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If we're Talking music leaking from 80's Hi-Fi Show demo rooms, then I think we need to mention ...

"Can your come up with a reference track that will be played to death, somewhat blunting the sonic qualities through ubiquity?"

Yello: Hold My Toblerone!

 

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  • 4 weeks later...
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I made quite the discovery today.  In the early 2010s, I bought a lot of indie video game bundles from a variety of sites.  A number of them no longer exist (Indie Royale), have been sold to a much larger company (Humble Bundle) or have mutated into storefronts (Fanatical, who used to be *mumble*).  One oddball from that era was Groupees.  Strange name, even stranger site.  They sold product keys for Steam, Desura and ShinyLoot (the latter two no longer exist.)  They often included comic books in PDF format and lots of music in their bundles.  As part of the massive data migration I've been working on for a year now, I went through some ancient bundle detritus.  Among the files was a bunch of stuff from Groupees.  Out of curiosity, I checked their site out.  They're still very much active, primarily selling indie music now including a bunch of synthwave(!)  I was surprised to see that they didn't have no-name artists either.  For example: https://groupees.com/occamslaser

Occams Laser is the \m/ of synthwave.  There is nothing chill about the music he makes.  It's like the soundtrack to an action/horror movie from a much cooler version of the 1980s that never existed.  I own a bunch of his EPs and I'm still buying that bundle because there's a couple on there I don't have in FLAC.

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I didn't realize this was time limited (11d as of this writing), so thanks for the prompt the other day, @Knuckledragger.  After I purchased it, it showed me another purchase I had made from 2011, so they have a pretty good memory!  (Celldweller, by the way)

Unrelated -- what was that ambient piece that was titled something like "Main Menu" or "DVD Menu" that was just the background music for the main menu?  For some reason, it's been on my mind, I need to revisit it.

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