Please give me drones to put in my ear holes
June 12, 2015 6:07 PM   Subscribe

I used to be obsessed with ambient music. I realized recently that I've fallen away from it. Recommend me some good, newer stuff to nap out to!

Back in the day, I fell in love with the ambient scene that emerged from rave chillout rooms in the 90s. From there, I became an enthusiast of all things ambient. I used to love Thomas Köner, Stars of the Lid, Tear Ceremony, Rapoon, Scanner, Woob, Gas, Muslimgauze, Windy & Carl, Brian Eno, and so forth. I was down with the unsettling-industrial-drone thing, the Hearts of Space aging-hippie-borderline-New-Age Steve Roach / Robert Rich thing, the arty-glitchy-clinical-laptop thing, the drone-rock thing, the illbient-dub thing, the dub-techno thing, you name it. If it was trippy and electronicky and chilled the fuck out, I was into it.

Since then, I've gradually lost touch with that music. I no longer know what's new and exciting and vital, what labels to pay attention to, what websites to follow, etc.

So, basically, I want you to complete this sentence for me:

"If you like to smoke drugs and listen to droning noises, then you should try smoking drugs and listening to _____."

(disclaimer: drugs may not actually be smoked; I'm too old for that shit)

Snowflakes: Experimentalism is fine (desired, even), but I'm not really into the cold, clinical, needly laptop stuff, or harsh noise type stuff—I like things a little more warm and accessible than that. On the other hand, I also don't like it too New Agey (meaning cloying, melodic, tinkly, and/or fake-tribal).

Other than that, all suggestions will be enthusiastically accepted. I'm mostly asking for pure ambient (i.e., stuff without a beat)—but I don't mind recommendations of stuff that straddles the boundary with dub, or techno, or post-rock, or whatever.

Stuff that's available on Spotify is especially helpful, since that's my main source for music when I'm working.

posted by escape from the potato planet to Media & Arts (22 answers total) 67 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: A few of the ambient/drifty/droney albums I enjoy, off the top of my head, with links to hear them on bandcamp/youtube...

Belong - October Language
Tim Hecker - An Imaginary Country
Eluvium - Copia
Cinchel - Stereo Stasis
The OO-Ray - The Empty Orchestra
Sublamp - Lianas
Christina Vantzou - No. 2
Motion Sickness of Time Travel - Motion Sickness of Time Travel
posted by naju at 6:43 PM on June 12, 2015 [5 favorites]

Best answer: From Karachi, Pakistan: I've been digging the work of Ramsha.
posted by beijingbrown at 6:45 PM on June 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

We live in a magical future where a quality, never-ending ambient/drone radio station is just a click away. Drone Zone.
posted by eschatfische at 6:49 PM on June 12, 2015 [2 favorites]

So much good stuff out there. Two recentish faves:

Atheus: The Sound of Dark Matter, Terra Incognita

The Sight Below: Stagger
posted by googly at 6:54 PM on June 12, 2015 [1 favorite]

Not 100% sure if this is what you're looking for but maybe check out some stuff from here - ESM (electronic study music).
posted by pyro979 at 7:47 PM on June 12, 2015

Holy Other [Held]

Any soundtrack by Clint Mansell

Delia Gonzalez & Gavin Russom - The Days Of Mars
posted by nickggully at 7:55 PM on June 12, 2015

I am always looking for similar stuff to what you are asking for here, and three new(ish) favorites are:

Aftermath by Stratosphere (Belgian, associate of Vidna Obmana/Dirk Serries)
Asleep Versions by Jon Hopkins
Rigning by Yagya (Icelandic, dub techno... amazing sub-bass on good speakers)

Woob has a fair amount of new stuff, including a reimagining of 1194 that is interesting.
posted by lefty lucky cat at 9:23 PM on June 12, 2015

posted by Johnny Wallflower at 10:11 PM on June 12, 2015

Secede - Tryshasla
posted by Backslash at 10:19 PM on June 12, 2015

The Caretaker
posted by a lungful of dragon at 11:15 PM on June 12, 2015

You'd probably really like the early Blanck Mass stuff, particularly the 2011 self-titled album. There's a new album too, released last month, but that's a little more glitch/EDM-infuenced. All this stuff is on Spotify.

There are some good suggestions also in this drone-related AskMe from 2013.
posted by Sonny Jim at 1:46 AM on June 13, 2015

The writer Warren Ellis does a great podcast called Spektrmodule of drone/ambient stuff he finds on Soundcloud. Recommended, comes out semi-weekly.
posted by Happy Dave at 3:03 AM on June 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

Two recent(ish) favorites of mine: Monochromie - Enlighten Yourself While You Sleep and Pausal - Sky Margin.
posted by aparrish at 8:15 AM on June 13, 2015 [1 favorite]

Glacial Movements is an Italian label devoted to icy, arctic ambient. Most of their stuff is pretty great, and they've put out stuff by both some big names and some up and comers (including Netherworld, the project of label owner Alessandro Tedeschi).
posted by infinitywaltz at 8:24 AM on June 13, 2015

You should check out this series of mixes by ASC. 11 or so onwards are pretty much all ambient, but the earlier ones are well worth a listen too in the connected genre terms you outline.

On the more dub-bient techno front, I massively second Yagya; Rigning is one of the finest albums I've heard in any electronic genre. Echospace, Mindspan, krill.minima are some others worth checking out in this sphere.

On the more purely ambient front, some albums by Ishq, Marsen Jules, Sinepearl, Netherworld.

Although pure ambient is only a subset of their output, I would also reccomend checking out the labels Ultimae and Interchill for consistently great downtempo electronic music.

And finally Headphone Commute's best of year lists are an amazing source of new stuff... don't let the the whimsical category names put you off.
posted by protorp at 2:36 PM on June 13, 2015

Within the Darkness!!!
posted by dep at 5:23 AM on June 14, 2015

I have/had similar musical tastes, and currently I am loving anything by Stellardrone, and anything by Carbon-Based Lifeforms.
posted by mustachio at 8:12 AM on June 14, 2015

Chris Herbert is a veteran producer of redemption drones for the workshy. He has released two albums and there are lots of other snips and bits of his stuff floating around - all linked to from his site.

Also Oh/Ex/Oh does some very nice "Seance Fiction / Deep Space Drones". There's a load of his stuff up on Bandcamp.
posted by ZipRibbons at 11:45 AM on June 14, 2015

Julianna Barwick, if vocals are cool.
Ingram Marshall, Fog Tropes (not recent but great)
Heathered Pearls-Loyal
posted by mermaidcafe at 4:50 PM on June 14, 2015

Surprised that A Winged Victory for the Sullen hasn't been mentioned. They are Adam Wiltzie from Stars of the Lid and Dustin O'Halloran, really good stuff. The Dead Texan is another good ambient project by Wiltzie.
posted by aesacus at 12:05 AM on June 15, 2015 [1 favorite]

Seconding the Loscil above.

If you also enjoy Gas, check out the Osmos Soundtrack for ambienty gameplay music
posted by sauril at 4:31 PM on June 16, 2015

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