good vibes
September 27, 2008 12:13 PM   Subscribe

Tell me about ambient & instrumental music that features vibraphones, marimbas, xylophones &/or similar instruments.

I'm looking for music that uses instrumentation that produces rich, resonant, vibrato dreaminess. Here's some examples of pieces I like:

Cloister - Loscil
Nagoya Marimbas - Steve Reich
Cadenza - MNO
Lubricate Your Living Room - The Bionaut
Gassenhauer - Carl Orff
Flite - The Cinematic Orchestra

and here's something I don't like:

Tubular Bells - Mike Oldfield

some other considerations:

- Not looking for anything with vocals/lyrics

- I'm already pretty familiar with vibey jazz (Bobby Hutcherson, Milt Jackson, Gary Burton, etc.)

- What's wrong with Tubular Bells? I don't know - too proggy maybe?

Lastly, recommendations for any mp3 blogs out there that might feature this kind of music would also be welcome.

posted by jammy to Media & Arts (27 answers total) 22 users marked this as a favorite
This album is a stunner.
posted by Crotalus at 12:19 PM on September 27, 2008 [1 favorite]

Also, you might checking out the sound samples at these labels:

Hypnos - The forum here is populated with ambient musicians and aficionados, and posting your question here will get many useful replies.
Spotted Peccary
posted by Crotalus at 12:26 PM on September 27, 2008

Jazz Vibraphonist Bobby Hutcherson, specifically Solo/Quartet.

Pram also might fit the bill, though they are not really instrumental, but nearly so. Strange, lush, and underwater-sounding.
posted by activitystory at 1:21 PM on September 27, 2008

Probably the BEST bass/vibes solo I have ever heard in my life, hard to find, criminally underrated. Alo some very good vibes improv on this album. Stunning to fault.
posted by timsteil at 1:33 PM on September 27, 2008 [1 favorite]

You might like the soundtracks of Cliff Martinez, particularly Solaris, which have the feel of a Steve Reich piece (using a lot of repeating delayed percussive effects) even though I suspect it's instrumental rather than using vibraphone or marimba.
posted by skylar at 1:38 PM on September 27, 2008

If you can find their album, Safri Duo is worth checking out.
posted by parmanparman at 2:00 PM on September 27, 2008

You might dig The Hylozoists.
posted by scruss at 2:05 PM on September 27, 2008

This is kind of a glib answer, but:

The Dylan Group cover of Towers of Dub!

(you might like other stuff by The Dylan Group too)
posted by pullayup at 2:30 PM on September 27, 2008

Lou Harrison, his work is heavyly influenced by traditional gamelan and uses a lot of those instruments.
posted by doctor_negative at 3:09 PM on September 27, 2008

Are you into minimalism? Steve Reich's Music For 18 Musicians includes marimba players (but when it was new, I thought the combined sound of his ensembles had to be synthetic).
posted by Rash at 3:09 PM on September 27, 2008

You might like this by Thomas Newman (lots of xylophone):
American Beauty soundtrack
and this by Hans Zimmer (haunting title track with xylophone):
True Romance soundtrack
posted by bricoleur at 4:40 PM on September 27, 2008

asana - kupu (japanese post-rock/ambient)

Actually I notice quite a bit of Japanese stuff that incorporates xylophone/musicbox/toy piano, but I think this is more an ambient/indie extension of the Japanese post-rock scene. I notice them going for intimate folksy acoustic sound more so than a lush resonant sound, but perhaps there's some overlap - a couple examples - Yuko Ikoma, Miroque.
posted by p3t3 at 5:31 PM on September 27, 2008

^ Oops, that asana track is called "kupa kupa" (forgot the second kupa), it's the title track from the kupa kupa album.
posted by p3t3 at 5:34 PM on September 27, 2008

Colleen - "I'll Read You A Story" (good representation of a lot of her music).
Stars of the Lid - Requiem for Dying Mothers (Check out their most recent album)
Aegina Airlines by The Dead Texan (lots of good videos on YouTube with their music.
Au Revoir Simone - The Winter Song
Alice Coltrane - Journey in Satchidananda
posted by extrabox at 6:15 PM on September 27, 2008

^^ Ok, that's just sad. Made new typos while correcting my other typo. The asana album is "kupu kupu" from 2002.

I don't see a copy on Amazon, and it's not listed on, but if you/anyone wants to hear the rest of the album, drop me a MeMail and I can share my mp3 copy for you to preview.
posted by p3t3 at 6:15 PM on September 27, 2008

Mice Parade!
posted by scose at 7:40 PM on September 27, 2008

First thought: Rachel's, Selenography
posted by Beardman at 8:11 PM on September 27, 2008

Hmm. After listening to the Orff piece linked above, I know where Herr Zimmer ripped off borrowed the idea for the True Romance theme.
posted by bricoleur at 4:04 AM on September 28, 2008

Philip Glass - Japura River is a very good example of what i think you are looking for (some of my other examples I suggested earlier have what you are looking for, but not necessarily in the clip I provided....
posted by extrabox at 11:09 AM on September 28, 2008

muchas gracias, MeFolks! what a cornucopia of possibilities!

ironically, I've been listening to The Who all this morning & afternoon because of this thread & I'm all amped up - I'll have to calm down a bit before checking all these out :)
posted by jammy at 11:12 AM on September 28, 2008

Sydney band Prop, play lovely music with moog, vibraphone, xylophones etc...they were around a fiar bit a few years back, not sure if they're still active, but they have at least one album out.
posted by robotot at 4:35 PM on September 28, 2008

More info of Prop here. Looks like they have a couple of albums out. I can only speak for "Small Craft, Rough Seas" which should be exactly the sort of thing your looking for.
posted by robotot at 4:37 PM on September 28, 2008

hola! me again...

I just wanted to say thanks to y'all one more time - I've been marking "best answers" but some of those that I haven't checked are simply because I haven't been able to find much to listen to yet

so, THANKEE KINDLY ALL - I really appreciate it - this stuff is great!

I know I said I was familiar with Bobby Hutcherson in the original question but thanks, activitystory, for reminding me of "Solo/Quartet" - that is a truly great album

thank you also, rash, for suggesting "Music for 18 Musicians" b/c you made me go back & listen to it again (I should have mentioned that I'm a Steve Reich *freak* & have all of his albums) - good gravy, that piece is amazing! anyone who's interested in this thread should most definitely check it out
posted by jammy at 4:39 PM on September 29, 2008

Here's another I stumbled across in my playlist - Sogg by Amina.
posted by extrabox at 9:24 PM on September 29, 2008

After listening to the Orff piece linked above, I know where Herr Zimmer ripped off borrowed the idea for the True Romance theme.

Can't access YouTube from my current location, but I assume that "Gassenhauer" track by Orff is the well-known Badlands music, which "True Romance" (and its theme) is an homage to (although the latter film is really crap, when compared to the former).
posted by Rash at 3:48 PM on October 2, 2008

Here's that Orff - "Badlands" music details
(since there was never a soundtrack): it's
"4 Stücke Für Xylophon: Musik Für Kinder III, No. 15:
Gassenhauer Nach Hans Neusiedler Für Sopran-, Altxilophon, Castagnetten, Trommel, Schellentrommel Und Pauken" and it's by both Carl Orff and Gunild Keetmann.
Supposedly you can find it on iTunes.

And an entirely different suggestion - not sure if it qualifies, but I certainly sense dreaminess (as well as cheesiness) in the 60s lounge music of the Baja Marimba Band. Olé!
posted by Rash at 8:15 PM on October 2, 2008

for those who are interested, motel de moka has Gassenhauer at the moment...

and, yes, it was featured in the soundtrack for Badlands
posted by jammy at 5:11 AM on October 3, 2008

« Older To bail or buy?   |   ** Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.