These year end lists are always difficult. But at least the top 3 spots this year were easy selections -
Alva Noto - Xerrox, Vol. 3
Max Richter - Sleep
Chris Walla - Tape Loops
It doesn't really matter which one grabbed the top spot, I listened to these three over and over in 2015. Noto is known for his electronic minimalism but Vol. 3 is beautiful and lush. Max Richter's Sleep is a recording of epic proportion - 8 hours long, it amazes me each time I listen. Tape Loops by Chris Walla(drummer for Death Cab for Cutie) has an old school ambient feel. It reminds me of Eno's Music for Airports and Music for Films. As large as the first two albums on the list can sound, Tape Loops is just the opposite - simple and intimate.
A few albums worth mentioning - Brian Eno: Discreet Music by Contact is an orchestral arrangement of Eno's 1970s Discreet Music. Like Bang On A Can's cover of Music for Airports this one is familiar yet fresh and different. Worth checking out. I've used Sine Dust tracks in several mixes and I will probably use them for years because I love the classic, spacey edge to this EP from 36.
I made a few different end of the year lists, which I will post soon. One is Best Of 2015 - Instrumental, which is a combination of ambient, electronic, classical and jazz. For this mix I pulled out the 15 ambient albums on the list and mixed them in the order that I ranked them in that list. The mix flows very well considering I had the order already selected for me.
I'll post full year end lists soon.
T R A C K L I S T :
00:00 Alva Noto - Isola from Xerrox, Vol. 3
07:20 Max Richter - Return 2 from Sleep
12:35 Chris Walla - Kanta's Theme from Tape Loops
17:05 Benoit Pioulard - Shut-ins on Sunday from Sonnet
19:20 36 - Sunriders part 2 from Sine Dust
23:40 Olan Mill - Live at the Millenium Barn from Cavade Morlem
29:00 Mikael Delta & Hior Chronik - How to Define Existence from The First Ray
33:00 Bersarin Quartett - Bedingungslos from III
36:06 Contact - Brian Eno: Discreet Music
44:22 Marconi Union - Aftermath from Departures
48:40 Spheruleus - The Railroad from Chronota
55:05 Goldmund - Turncoat from Sometimes
57:57 Nils Frahm - Merry from Solo
61:45 Adam Bryanbaum Wiltzie - The endless battle of the maudlin ballade part 2 from Travels in Constants Vo. 24