Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Best ambient/instrumental albums of 2014


Even though I don't listen to quite as much electronic & ambient music as I used to, I still listen to an awful lot of it.  And just like many other genres, it's difficult to keep up with all the new music.  I'm sure I missed some good releases but here is my attempt at a best of 2104 ambient/instrumental list.

It's no surprise that Loscil, Kyle Bobby Dunn and 36 are on the list.  They've all made lists in the past.  The Dirk Serries and tonepoet albums made the list because they are great examples of guitar ambient and I'm a total sucker for that style.

Full Circle by The Circular Ruins was a late season discovery thanks to the good folks at the Hypnos forum.  The first cut is a killer track.  The Janek Schaefer album, Lay-by Lullaby, is a gentle combo of road noise, field recordings, minimal music and found sounds.  

Two records here approach new age territory but manage to be engaging without being cheesy or too sweet.  One is eternell - Kalimba Ambience which uses improvisations on kalimba as the sole source material.  It's very peaceful & relaxing.  The other recording is Jordan De La Sierra - Gymnosphere: Song of the Rose.  It's a re-issue of an album originally released in 1977 at the dawn of the new age movement.  The music uses alternate piano tunings to create long, hypnotic pieces.  It's quite good.

Speaking of quite good...a unique album on the list is Dylan Howe - Subterranean - New Designs on Bowie's Berlin.  It is a collection of jazz versions of Bowie instrumentals form his Berlin period.  Freakin' excellent music!

Definitely check out the rest of the list as well, some very good stuff in there.

Another year and another hard drive full of great music.  Cheers!

BEST AMBIENT/INSTRUMENTAL ALBUMS OF 2014

1. Loscil - Sea Island
2. Dylan Howe - Subterranean - New Designs on Bowie's Berlin
3. Janek Schaefer - Lay-by Lullaby
4. tonepoet - Headspace
5. A Winged Victory For The Sullen - Atomos
6. Dirk Serries - The Origin Reversal
7. The Circular Ruins - Full Circle
8. Kyle Bobby Dunn - Kyle Bobby Dunn and the Infinite Sadness
9. Jordan De La Sierra - Gymnosphere: Song of the Rose
10. Benoît Pioulard - Hymnal Remixes
11. 36 - Dream Tempest
12. Locust - After the Rain
13. Thomas Koner - LA BARCA complete edition
14. Steve Roach - The Delicate Forever
15. ASC - Truth Be Told
16. eternell - Kalimba Ambience
17. Christopher Willits - opening
18. Brian Reitzell - Auto Music
19. Dirty Beaches - Stateless
20. Tangerine Dream - Sorcerer(Cinematographic Score)






3 comments:

Thomas Lindsey said...

Awesome, Dave, I really, REALLY appreciate the love and support. BTW, heading back to Wisconsin in the Summer (2015) and would love to hook up. I'll be in touch.

Tom (Tonepoet)

Dave Michuda said...

Tom,

It's been my pleasure to listen to your music, I can't wait to hear more in 2015.

And getting together in 2015 would be great!

Cheers

Doron Diamond said...

Great blog. Been a lurker for a while now! My three favorite albums of late have been

Brian McBride - When the Detail Lost It's Freedom

Kyle Bobby Dunn - Ways of Meaning

Dead Texan - Self Titled

Also Eluvium's Pedals/Petals is gorgeous. Any idea based on those what I should listen to next?

Thanks!