Tag Archives: ambient

[Electronic] NOTNO – Live


New York City’s rising electronic act, NOTNO, has been cultivating some stellar sound design in recent months. I first caught wind of the duo when their uplifting tune “Take It Back” dropped around three months ago. Since then the energetic yet ambient style these two have mastered has been making multiple appearances in my kick back playlists.

Their most recent release, “Live,” builds on this juxtaposition between upbeat and downtempo approaches. The track opens by establishing a huge, spacey atmosphere that soon strongly driven by groovy basslines, high flying synths, and progressive percussion. To top it all off, echoing vocals accent the track’s otherworldly energy with a vocal hook that promises to stick in your head. Check out the tune here, and if you’re into it, give their other recent release, “Gold,” a listen.

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[Ambient] dream beach – the kiss of the century (ft. cub)

dream beach
the kiss of the century ft cub

Andy Oliver, AKA dream beach, has long been among my favorite forces in the ambient electronic scene. The watery, bell driven soundscapes he consistently crafts never fail to send me packing to extended vacations into my imagination. Thankfully, Oliver’s most recent endeavor, “the kiss of the century,” only expands on the otherworldly atmosphere that he has cultivated throughout his previous work.

The tune features fanciful singing from Detroit’s mystical vocalist CUB, and builds on it marvelously with swelling synths and hypnotic syncopation. In regard to his experience putting together this auditory imagery, Oliver told us:

“TKOTC I made mostly in total delirium. I can see myself fighting rest, barely even there, teary eyed. My favorite ideas come to me very late at night right before I’m about to fall asleep. To me the instrumental acts as audible hallucinations during what felt like temporary insanity.”

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[Downtempo] Finding Hope – Wonder

Finding Hope

With the clocks swinging forward earlier this month and daylight gone by the end of the work day, ever-present summery house music has begun to lose some of its topical appeal. As setting changes, so too does inspiration.

Enter the sound of winter: downtempo. With roots in ambient, drum and bass genres, downtempo is a more calming style of music. Conceptually, it is comparable to productions by Diversa and Explosions in the Sky.

The latest great downtempo track to grace our Soundcloud feeds, “Wonder”, comes from San Antonio artist Ashton Davila. Formerly of the name Audile, Davila now goes by the pseudonym Finding Hope. Similar to classics of the genre like “Can Do It”, “Mon Amour”, and “Nimrod”, Wonder builds slowly into a powerful melody at the :55 mark. The deep, pleasant reverie continues through a beat breakdown a minute later and does not end until the close of the song.

When I was writing Wonder, it started out as a soundscape and progressed from there… My main focus was fusing the organic elements with the electronic/dreamy side of things. – Davila

Fans of Finding Hope – including us at The Music Ninja – will be keeping tabs on his future productions via his Bandcamp and Soundcloud pages. Listeners can also download “Wonder” at toneden.

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[Electronic] Botany – Bad CGI


Austin-based producer Spencer Stephenson, known by the moniker Botany, stepped out onto the electronic scene in a big way with his new LP Dimming Awe, The Light Is Raw. Demonstrating a significant command of the frequency spectrum, Stephenson has once again created a work that effortlessly combines ambient, hip-hop and psych in a landscape that transports the listener to a place of heightened auditory perception upon the first listen. Stephenson’s artistic interest in paying homage to all the freaks (aka frequencies) is hugely seen in this LP’s own “Bad CGI”, a track that will get you vibing all around.

Opening with a drone-y vocal sample that will come back to haunt you later on in the song, the track has an experimental low end pulse that fittingly follows, setting the driving bass rhythm for the rest of the track. The intro flows seamlessly into a funkier tune as the bass line comes in along with the highs of ambient flutter effects that fill the background of the track. It soon becomes apparent that this is one you can get down to. The transition from a chanty bass track to the track that could easily be dropped at a club is impeccable, and I think that’s what attracts us to Botany’s work the most. Check out the rest of his stuff for a groove-ridden train ride across his Texas-made bridge between the experimental and beats that anyone can feel.

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[Electronica] Talal Qureshi – x1988

I love this gig. I really do. There’s a secret satisfaction in hearing something that you know will catch on way before the masses are aware of it, and x1988 is one of those albums that is bound to hit it big. With an interesting blend of down tempo beats, ambient sound, piano overlays and haunting melodies, Pakistani artist Talal Qureshi creates an album that is moody, atmospheric and sometimes dark, but not without enthusiasm and energy.

The first track “Leave My Hand” opens with broken down piano chords over a simple down tempo beat. When I first listened to this track I was in a desert during a monsoon. The track matched the scenery perfectly–dark desert skies,bleak landscape and torrential rain. “Juicy#2” follows in spirit, staying on the darker side of the spectrum with a simple beat, atmospherics, the signature piano riffs and a sitar sample, which I found fitting.

In contrast to the slower tracks “Blinds and Sheets,” and “Clubbing in Multan” provides the listner with more up tempo, driving electro songs. I’m not much of a dancer, but these songs had me bobbing along as I listened and never passed into the frenzied feel that accompanies some styles of electro.

The album is a good one for download, and with a 5 dollar suggested price tag, it’s definitely worth skipping that Starbucks run and downloading this album instead. The first two tracks are gratis and can be listened to here.

ps. We’ve also included a trapstep release from Quershi available on soundcloud for your consumption!

’Talal Qureshi – x2x2x’
’Talal Qureshi – Embrace’
’Talal Qureshi – Inertia’
’Talal Qureshi – Energy’
’Talal Qureshi – Clubbing in Multan’
’Talal Qureshi
Blinds and Sheets’
’Talal Qureshi x Meesha Shafi – Dhol Bajay Ga (Official Remix)’
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[Ambient] Submerse – Tears

“Crisp. Elegant. Percussive.”

The relationship between a person and electronic music is much like the relationship between two people… Three words can mean everything.With “Tears” Submerse has embodied the good vibes attributed to those words from beginning to end- and have been gaining quite a following because of it

The vocal sample pushes the song forward and makes it memorable, the organic tones fill out blank spaces, and the beat is vocal in its own right. Overall the track just feels good to listen to and is the perfect way to soundtrack a Monday morning.

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[Albums Review] Four Tet – There Is Love In You

Kieren Hebden’s latest album under the Four Tet moniker is, by a considerably margin, his strongest and most consistently rewarding release to date. Here, the beats are much less rooted in instrumental hip hop, and are more geared towards the dance floor. Instead of using complex or bloated chord changes, Hebden opts for methods practiced by composers like Manuel Göttshing, Wolfgang Voigt or Steve Reich with unchanging harmonic centers, using texture and volume to reveal the limitless potential of the sonic spectrum. Standout track “Plastic People” starts with a Gas-like steady bass drum pulse and adds understated, jazzy comps—hand claps, rim knocks, and up-beat pulsing shakers. These elements are methodically added to, and subtracted from the beat, maintaining a forward motion in a way that’s hardly noticeable but endlessly preservative of the track’s substructure. Read full review at inyourspeakers.com

Four-Tet-There-Is-Love-In-494433Four Tet – She Just Likes To Fight


Four Tet – Sing


Four Tet – Plastic People


Thom Yorke – Atoms For Peace (Four Tet Remix)

’Atoms For Peace (Four Tet Remix).mp3′
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