Ambient music with vocals
January 22, 2011 5:23 PM   Subscribe

Help me find ambient tracks (or mixes) with vocal samples of someone talking about or lecturing on psychology, mysticism, psychedelic experiences, science, philosophy, art, space, etc.


Terrence McKenna - Alien Dreamtime
Butane - This Is Your Brain On Music
Underworld - Moon in the Water (First minute or so)

Rules: No psytrance/goa. Bonus points if the topic isn't about shamanism or psychedelics. Unlock the superbonus achievement with a track that loops the vocal in such a way that sounds like it's not looped, each sentence seems to follow logically from the last.
posted by AlsoMike to Media & Arts (21 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
Static (part 1, part 2) by Godspeed You Black Emperor! might fit the bill.
posted by munchingzombie at 5:26 PM on January 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: O.O.B.E. from The Orb's U.F.Orb samples a reading of New Pathways in Psychology by Colin Wilson, which discusses the noosphere.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:33 PM on January 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

Dreamfish - Dreamfish. Second track has a short Terrence McKenna sample.
posted by SueDenim at 5:35 PM on January 22, 2011

Yeah, you are pretty much going to want to go through the entire Orb back catalogue.

For something a little more uptempo you could mix it up with Snivilization by Orbital.
posted by Artw at 5:37 PM on January 22, 2011

'sideshow at free university' by le tigre
posted by sexyrobot at 5:43 PM on January 22, 2011

Somewhat ambient, you can check out "Group Autogenics I" by The Books
posted by AutoPilot83 at 5:48 PM on January 22, 2011

Best answer: Blithe Field--- Bible School

“See, wherever human beings have been around, you see rectangles and straight lines, because we’re always trying to straighten things out. And, so, that’s the very mark of our presence. I don’t know why we do it; that’s always been a puzzle to me.”

--Alan Watts
posted by priested at 7:01 PM on January 22, 2011

There is Bill Laswell produced album of readings by Hakim Bey that would probably qualify.
posted by alikins at 7:49 PM on January 22, 2011

Seconding Snivilisation. There's also a track on Orbital's Blue Album called You Lot that comes to mind. For once they're not sampling Doctor Who, but his rant on science is one the Doctor could well have spoken, so I like to pretend it's Nine.
posted by immlass at 7:53 PM on January 22, 2011 [1 favorite]

Muon is an ambient band based in Singapore. Most of the music I've heard by them has a brooding, cinematic style.

"negotiations with an inner voice" from their album In Flught might interest you. I'd been aware of Muon for a while, but didn't become a listener and fan until I made the awesome discovery that In Flught along with other albums can be downloaded for free from their myspace page (click on Blog and scroll down to the April 2009 entry).
posted by far flung at 8:53 PM on January 22, 2011

Pretty much any Boards of Canada, in particular Geogaddi.
posted by Artw at 9:12 PM on January 22, 2011

Fila Brazila - The Light of Jesus
posted by azpenguin at 9:50 PM on January 22, 2011

Best answer: Lucid Dreams 0096 has Celia Green reading from her book Lucid Dreams, about OOBEs and Lucid Dreams and whatnot.
posted by aubilenon at 11:28 PM on January 22, 2011

Best answer: Ooh, fun question. Let me see what I can pull together.

Paul Bowles - Baptism of Solitude - This is one of my all-time favorite albums, with Paul Bowles reading excerpts of his work over ambient soundscapes by Bill Laswell. Some are more poetic, but others, like the title track (linked above, sort of), might suit your needs perfectly.

Steve Reich - Three Tales - A whole 30 minute piece by the modern master about scientific disasters and discoveries over the past century. It was actually done as a collaboration with his wife, Beryl Korot, and is doubly awesome if you can find a version with her video contributions.

Lemon Jelly - Elements and Experiment No. 6 - These are probably dancier than you're looking for (the former, especially), but Lemon Jelly gets points for humor, so I figured I'd include 'em.

Boards of Canada - Dandelion - I'm really only seconding a recommendation made above here, but this particular track (off the already-recommended Geogaddi) is worth mentioning specifically simply because the narration is by the awesome and sadly deceased Leslie Nielson. Maybe the most appropriate though, would be From One Source All Things Depend, a Japan-only bonus track to Geogaddi with a bunch of little kids talking about God and Heaven. Totally amazing, underrated track.

OOBE by the Orb is a great recommendation as well - if you can find the Andy Hughes mix of the track, on the extended, re-released edition, it actually has an expanded version of the aforementioned sample. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a link to the track anywhere on the interwebs.

I feel like I must be missing tons, but I'm drawing a blank now. I'll pop back into the three if I remember anything - but looking over everyone else's posts, it looks like you've already got a pretty amazing list of suggestions.
posted by TheRoach at 2:05 AM on January 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

Best answer: This mix (via mnmlssg) that I've been obsessed with for the last few weeks has one towards the beginning, but the sample is by Timothy Leary, so it's about psychedelics. Also, it's more of the ambient side of techno than full-on ambient.
posted by azarbayejani at 4:05 AM on January 23, 2011

Best answer: Fish Dances!

Look into some of Mixmaster Morris work from the 90's, his Irresistible Force releases in particular.
posted by lovejones at 4:30 AM on January 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

Angelica in Delirium
posted by coffeefilter at 11:49 AM on January 23, 2011 [1 favorite]

Ram Dass & Kriece's album Cosmix (on Waveform records) is filled with this. It's basically psychill with a recorded conversation between Ram Dass and Timothy Leary (so it's more on the psychedelic side of the conversation, but still great for what it is). Example tracks:

Spacesuit for Earth.
Breath Inside The Breath

You might also try the sub-genre in Dark ambient known as Ritual Ambient. It's less lecturing, but often contains ambient mixed with vocals (usually ritualistic/occultish, not that I believe in any of it, but it makes for creepy background music).

Hexentanz's Necrokrafte is particularly good (they are seeking to recreate the atmosphere of middle age's witch ceremonies). Example:

Mark of the Witch.
posted by ollyollyoxenfree at 9:42 PM on January 23, 2011

Angelica in Delirium

I had totally forgotten that.

IMHO this oneis better: No Bounds
posted by Artw at 9:59 PM on January 23, 2011

A Reminiscent Drive - NYC Dharma ... and thanks for reminding me that I owned such a lovely album :)
posted by iivix at 4:39 AM on January 24, 2011

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