Behold: a list of ambient albums and also songs, perfectly tailored for a year that tested the boundaries of our selfish resolve.
Apple Music Playlist:
Top of 2020 – Top Albums (Ambient)
11. Mary Lattimore – Silver Ladders
A classically trained harpist, Silver Ladders is Lattimore’s newest LP. Produced by Slowdive’s Neil Halstead, who had never recorded a harp before, at his studio (located on an old airfield) in late 2019. The resultant album is a mesmerizing soundscape that teleported me to a pristine ocean of calming waves.
10. The Soft Pink Truth – Shall We Go On Sinning So That Grace May Increase?
Pretty impressive for a musical side project that basically exists because of a dare. Rewards repeat spins.
9. Sarah Davachi – Cantus, Descant
Just put it on.
8. Mort Garson – Music from Patch Cord Productions
Mort Garson first really showed up on my radar in 2019, with the reissue of his most-excellent record, Plantasia. A writer, conductor, and arranger for many years, Garson’s turning point allegedly arrived when he encountered an early prototype of Robert Moog’s synthesizer at the Audio Engineering Society’s West Coast convention in 1967, where he purchased one of the machines and set about experimenting with it copiously. Over the ensuing turbulence of the 60s and the 70s in the USA, he maintained a prolific output and employed the synth in nearly every project he worked on. Eventually, in 1976, he recorded his 1976 magnum opus, Plantasia. Garson also dabbled between projects, recording days’ worth of material that never saw daylight outside of his home studio.
Music From Patch Cord Productions showcases Garson’s ability to straddle multiple worlds, from the commercial to the far, far out, dude. Via Garson’s wizardry, the synthesizer transcended novelty to ubiquity and dominance.
7. Bing & Ruth – Species
6. Carlos Niño & Miguel Atwood – Chicago Waves
5. Laraaji – The Piano Trilogy
Music for empty sanctuaries.
4. His Name is Alive – Return to Never (Home Recordings 1979-1986), Vol. 2
Sublime tape hiss.
3. Roy Montgomery – Scenes from the South Island (1995)
2. Pauline Oliveros, Stuart Dempster & Panaiotis – Deep Listening (1989)
Music for cisterns.
1. Roger Eno & Brian Eno – Mixing Colours (Expanded)
A collaborative album between brothers, Mixing Colours is something at once sweeping and grand, and at the same time, intimate and secretive. Welcome to my private study, please feel free to examine my gem collection.