Looking for new (to me) ambient and soul music...
August 26, 2009 8:16 AM   Subscribe

Music recommendations at two ends of the spectrum: Soul/R&B and Ambient/Drone/F'd up 20th C. classical... And, bonus question: what are your favorite sources for buying these kinds of music and finding out more about them? Examples of what I like inside...
posted by You Should See the Other Guy to Media & Arts (19 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
You already know way more than me, so I will assume you are already familiar with Betty Harris, which would be my best contribution to your search for Soul/R&B. That and Jaco Pastorious's one-off with Sam and Dave, Come on, Come over (but that's just one song).

For ambient drone, I can only offer Biosphere off the top of my head.

Favouriting your question for the links to great music!
posted by molecicco at 8:23 AM on August 26, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks molecicco. I don't actually know that much. I thought I did but then I dogsat for Dobbs over the summer and he has an insane music collection so I've just been throwing things on at random but I thought it would be nice to find him something he doesn't already have as a way of thanks to exposing me to this stuff.

He doesn't have Betty Harris so will check her out. Biosphere he has and that's exactly the kind of recommendation I'm looking for. Thanks!
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 8:32 AM on August 26, 2009

For ambient drone, I can recommend Windy and Carl, Fear Falls Burning, and Steve Roach.
posted by infinitywaltz at 8:33 AM on August 26, 2009

For drone, check out both Mission Control and Drone Zone on soma.fm. They have playlists for each radio station when you hear things you like. Great stuff.
posted by zennoshinjou at 8:44 AM on August 26, 2009

Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings are very much in that classic soul vein. examples: Tell Me or from Letterman, 100 Days, 100 Nights.
posted by gspm at 8:49 AM on August 26, 2009

For the Ambient/Drone/F'd up 20th C. classical part of your question:

max richter
the dead texan
tim hecker
evan miller
bark cat bark
aphex twin
current 93
the caretaker
posted by extrabox at 9:00 AM on August 26, 2009

Music recommendations at two ends of the spectrum: Soul/R&B and Ambient/Drone/F'd up 20th C. classical

Why not get Bitches Brew and hit both ends at once?
posted by Pollomacho at 9:16 AM on August 26, 2009

I've found some really wonderful stuff through the blog Funky 16 Corners. The archive has a large amount of music and has led me to some new favorites.

Perhaps not precisely the genre you're looking for but I just enjoy the heck out of it and want to share it.

Forgive me.

Also, thank you for posting those soul links, I'm enjoying them as well.
posted by sciencegeek at 9:19 AM on August 26, 2009

Tell you what, I can hit both with one suggestion!

Spiritualized (especially Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating in Space) combines freak out psych drone with soul harmonies and song structure. If you like them, grab their other albums, and look into Spacemen 3, the band of Jason Spaceman (the main guy in Spiritualized) prior.

Past that, here is what I've been listening to lately on those tips:

Ambient, drone, noise, modern composition, weirdo-noize-freakout:
—Dead C
—Wooden Shjips
—Steve Reich (especially "Early works" which includes "It's Gonna Rain," as well as his collaboration with Pierre-Laurent Aimard on African Rhythms).
—The Forte Four

Soul, etc (some weirdness included):
—Oneness of Juju
—Ike Turner's Black Man's Soul
—Brenton Wood
—Eddie & Ernie
—Lafayette Afro Orchestra
—Chambers Brothers
—The Parliaments
—The following excellent comps: Searching For Soul (Detroit rare cuts), The Get It (Raw Funk '67 to '72), Double Shot of Soul (LA's Double Shot Records), Saturday Night Fish Fry, Rare Detroit Funk 45s, Midwest Funk (45s from Tornado Alley), Eccentric Soul (Deep City Label), and the Ladies of Detroit Soul vol. 1. If anyone reading this has or has ever seen any of the other volumes, please, please, lemme know where I can find 'em. It's by far one of the best comps I've ever heard. The label it's on unfortunately folded after the guy behind it hanged himself.
posted by klangklangston at 9:47 AM on August 26, 2009 [2 favorites]

The Eccentric Soul Series issued by Numero Records is just excellent. All the volumes I have are great.
posted by OmieWise at 10:07 AM on August 26, 2009

RE Detroit, the soundtrack for Standing in the Shadows of Motown is pretty good.

For finding new stuff, I have liked emusic.
posted by chocolatetiara at 10:32 AM on August 26, 2009

Can't really speak to the soul side, although if you don't have "Off Track v.1" by Kon and Amir you're totally missing out (oh! and maybe Nigeria70? That record's totally funky), but on the Ambient/Drone/Neo-classical side here are some you might try:

Murcof - martes (neo-classical)
Susumu Yokota - Sakura (ambient)
Labradford - Mi Media Naranja (post-rock)
Pan American - Quiet Cities (post-rock)
Sleep - Dopesmoker (drone metal)
posted by word_virus at 10:37 AM on August 26, 2009

i'm not sure this fits into your requirements, but i love pretty much everything that cantaloupe puts out. (i'm thinking in regard to the f'd up 20th century classical, but they've got all kinds of stuff that could loosely be classified as jazz, progressive, and classical.
posted by msconduct at 10:56 AM on August 26, 2009

Seconding Numero Group and Funky 16 Corners. I would add Soul Sides, though it has a 500 Days of Summer post on the top right now. Definitely check out waxpoetics if you can get your hands on it. Pretty solid music magazine.
posted by hue at 2:27 PM on August 26, 2009

You might like Autechre. I loved loved loved their last record, Quaristice. Composer/drone guitarist (and very, very nice guy) David First might interest you, too.
posted by mintcake! at 6:11 PM on August 26, 2009

for ambient/drone based stuff that hasn't already been mentioned, i really like:

william basinski
birchville cat motel / black boned angel
andrew chalk
jonathan coleclough
colin potter
hafler trio
posted by soi-disant at 8:29 AM on August 27, 2009

A lot of that kind of points to AMM, imo. Check out Keith Rowe's music (was their guitarist).

Also, to the source, Morton Feldman...Iannis Xenakis...Eliane Raidigue...

(but seriously, what is "F'd up 20th century classical"? Whatever it is I'm pretty sure I have some recs, but that's a pretty crappy way to refer to an area of music, especially one that you clearly don't know about)
posted by Joseph Gurl at 10:25 AM on August 29, 2009

Well, both Edgar Varese and Aaron Copeland are 20th Century "classical," but Varese would undeniably be the one he means when he says "fucked up." If the language offends you, substitute experimental, non-traditional, discordant, atonal, 12-tone, or any number of other terms.

Weird0 "composed" music.
posted by klangklangston at 10:50 AM on August 29, 2009

none of those areas of music are "weirdo" areas of music.

Anyway, nobody's like Varese, but you might like some Stockhausen (the Verlag releases are hard to come by...slsk's your friend), James Tenney, Alvin Lucier.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 5:32 PM on August 29, 2009

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