1 part story, 3 parts atmosphere
October 15, 2008 5:30 PM   Subscribe

MusicFilter: I'm looking for ambient music that features short &/or fragmentary bits of monologue or narrative.

Tell me your favorite ambient musical pieces that have used bits & pieces of spoken word to create a dream-like narrative space. Here's some examples of what I'm looking for:

Day 42 - Mind Soup

Little Fluffy Clouds - The Orb

Scilly Automatic - Ott

Jack And Jill (Selffish Remix) - Benfay

Long Road - Funki Porcini

Space Walk - Lemon Jelly

couple other considerations:

- for the purposes of this question ambient = electronica, dub, downtempo, chillout, folk &/or jazz instrumentals

- not really looking for complete spoken word or performance pieces

Thanks, hivemind! I know I'll appreciate whatever you can distill...

bonus subquestion! there's a piece I remember from awhile ago, but I don't know the title or the artist - it features a vocal sample that goes: "Who needs physics when we've got chemistry... chemistry, chemistry" - ring a bell, anyone?
posted by jammy to Media & Arts (30 answers total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: The Books are fantastic. Start with The Lemon of Pink.
posted by oulipian at 5:54 PM on October 15, 2008 [1 favorite]

Best answer: the third track on global communications 76:14 is one of my favorites-also a big fan of the first track on biospheres patashnik(sp?) -lots of early biosphere has excellent spoken word with top notch ambient music
posted by donabean at 5:55 PM on October 15, 2008

also by the Orb: "the land of green ginger".
Chris Coco: "What do you do when the dancing stops?"
posted by canoehead at 5:57 PM on October 15, 2008

Best answer: Celia Green
posted by rhizome at 6:02 PM on October 15, 2008

Best answer: Max Richter (Songs from Before and The Blue Notebooks in particular.)
posted by Utilitaritron at 6:05 PM on October 15, 2008

Voyage 34 by Porcupine Tree.
posted by Schlimmbesserung at 6:06 PM on October 15, 2008

I second The Books; one of my all time favorite bands.
posted by shamble at 6:13 PM on October 15, 2008

Mr. Scruff - Fish
Boards of Canada - Aquarius

It seems that if you haven't already heard it, Blue Jam would provide 17.5 hours of the kind of thing you want.
posted by Neon at 6:55 PM on October 15, 2008

Seconding Voyage 34 - such a good album, though more Pink Floyd than electronic.

Seconding tracks 4 and 6 on Global Commmunication's 76:14 as well as a song by Biosphere called "Kobresia" on the Substrata album featuring the recording of a Russian telepath describing an object he couldn't see or feel.

Harold Budd has some simple, unobtrusive poems woven into the tracks on his album By The Dawn's Early Light as well as a collaboration with Andy Partridge called Through the Hill.

If you can find the "Vesper" bootleg edition of the Blade Runner soundtrack, I think that features dialogue samples from the movie woven into the Vangelis score.

Secede's song "Ballroom Arcade" from Bye Bye Gridlock Traffic features some absolutely unexpected and terribly sad dialogue dubbed in at about the 1:30 mark.

Tribes of Neurot has a song called "The Road to Sovereignty" on an album called Grace (meant to be played concurrently with the Neurosis song of the same name) that features a short monologue at the end.

Karl Sanders' album Saurian Meditation has a lot of vocals and some spoken word but it's too jarring in parts to really be ambient.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 7:10 PM on October 15, 2008

Wings of Desire soundtrack

My Life in the Bush of Ghosts

The Tape-beatles - Music with Sound

And a blatant self-link. (Sorry, but I use this technique more than anyone I can think of...)
posted by mykescipark at 8:00 PM on October 15, 2008

dj shadow - private press
posted by thenuts at 8:02 PM on October 15, 2008

Best answer: Biosphere - Substrata
posted by The Straightener at 8:16 PM on October 15, 2008

I will also recommend The Books. In fact, it was the first group to spring to mind when I read your question.
posted by ktrey at 8:16 PM on October 15, 2008

Other Channels, or Mind How You Go by The Advisory Circle.

The Focus Group, also on Ghost Box.

The MySpace examples' MP3s don't fully illustrate the spoken parts, unfortunately. (At least at the time of this posting.)
posted by galaksit at 8:18 PM on October 15, 2008

V/Vm's "There Was A Fish In The Percolator" would also be a good example of something to track down, but was super limited.
posted by galaksit at 8:21 PM on October 15, 2008

Best answer: Here's the specific Biosphere track I was thinking of.
posted by The Straightener at 8:21 PM on October 15, 2008

Slug Dub - The Orb
Cycles - Terre Thaemlitz
Red Bruise - Scanner

The story doesn't start in the Terre Thaemlitz track until 10 minutes in but it's so powerful it's worth the wait.
posted by antitext at 8:43 PM on October 15, 2008

There is a lot of found noise in Godspeed You Black Emperor's Lift Your Skinny Fists Like Antennas to Heaven. You don't - for my money - get more dream like than GYBE.
posted by shothotbot at 8:45 PM on October 15, 2008

The KLF - Chill Out
posted by softlord at 9:42 PM on October 15, 2008

Sensations of Tone (GOL)
posted by coffeefilter at 10:45 PM on October 15, 2008

Squaremeter - the bitter end. Fantastic album. Seems to have samples from a reading of the Lord of the Rings, or the Hobbit.
posted by vernondalhart at 11:06 PM on October 15, 2008

Ebb & Flow by Baby Mammoth, The Light of Jesus by Fila Brazilia.
posted by paradoxflow at 11:29 PM on October 15, 2008

Lumpy Gravy.
posted by nicolin at 2:28 AM on October 16, 2008

You would probably like some of the Seelenluft stuff.
posted by tallus at 3:08 AM on October 16, 2008

Sara Ayers, especially A Million Stories.
posted by chocolatepeanutbuttercup at 5:24 AM on October 16, 2008

Whoops, bad link. Try this.
posted by chocolatepeanutbuttercup at 5:25 AM on October 16, 2008

I don't have any specific songs to recommend, but you could listen to Groove Salad or Space Station Soma at somafm.com. Many of the songs they play use bits and pieces of spoken word.
posted by diogenes at 6:33 AM on October 16, 2008

Holger Czukay : Movies
posted by Dr.Pill at 7:27 AM on October 16, 2008

Best answer: Sunworshipper by Mylo
posted by vytae at 8:15 AM on October 16, 2008

Response by poster: I ask a question, I go to sleep, I wake up & shazam! a veritable smorgasbord!
it's like magic, the way that works - thanks much, MeFolks

I'm home sick with the head crud so this will all help make the time pass more pleasantly... I'll give these all a listen (what ones that I can) & check in later to mark best answers
posted by jammy at 9:14 AM on October 16, 2008

« Older I Swear I'm Not Steampunk   |   decaying human flesh? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.