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Jan 2022

Best(favorite) Ambient of 2021

January 1, 2022

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These year-end lists seem to be getting harder and harder to curate. The sheer number of releases makes it nearly impossible to keep up and listen to all the music. Through Spotify and Bandcamp most of this music is available immediately, which is great, but it can also foster a severe case of FOMO, fear of missing out. Whether it's ambient music or indie rock/pop I am on a constant prowl for new music, sometimes at the disservice of current music which I have not given time to sink in.

A list like this is obviously not a definitive "Best of" list. These are just some of my favorites from this year. Sometimes an album happens to catch me in the right mood, in the right place and it hits home. Is it better than all the other releases? Maybe. But all I know is it caught my ear at the right time, I latched on, listened, and it became one of my favorites.

I made the list with a top 5 and then listed everything else alphabetically. It's way too hard to say this one is #14 while that one is #22. That being said I totally loved the top 3 on this list. 

 

FAVORITE AMBIENT ALBUMS OF 2021:

1. Mastrokristo - Departures [Lost Tribe Sound]
2. Dictaphone - Goats & Distortions 5 {Denovali]
3. AlaPastel - Ceremony [Lost Tribe Sound]
4. Max Richter - Voices 2 [Decca]
5. Loscil - Clara [Kranky]
-------------
AES DANA - (a) period. [Ultimae]
Andrew Heath - Drawings from Imagined Cities [Elm Records]
anthéne - maritime [Ambientologist 2021]
Arovane - Reihen [12k]
ASC & Inhmost - Dimensional Space [Auxilairy]
Ben Seretan - Cicada Waves [NNA Tapes]
Bombay Dub Orchestra - Cultivating Compassion(instrumentals) [Six Degrees Records]
Calm Whale - Breathing Earth Meditation
Christian Loffler - Parallels [Deutsche Grammophon]
Clariloops - Sun//Rain
Darkroom - The Last Sense To Fade [Whitelabrecs]
Dave Depper - Europa [Jealous Butcher Records]
Dave Nelson - The Act of Vanishing
Devendra Banhart & Noah Georgeson - Refuge [Dead Oceans]
Dirk Serries - RecloosE
Enrico Coniglio – Alpine Variations [Dronarivm]
Glåsbird - Siberia [Whitelabrecs]
Gray Acres - Dreams and Phantoms [Archives]
Igor Yalivec - Still Life [Polar Seas Recordings]
Jeff Parker - Forfolks [International Anthem]
Jeaninne Schulz - Luminous [Polar Seas]
Jens Pauly & Stijn Huwels - When the Night Ends [Vaagner]
Just a Human - Hibernate
Maps & Diagrams - Teygja Parts A & B [Handstitched]
Merope - Salos [Stroom]
Peter Gregson - Patina [Deutsche Grammophon]
Sailcloth - Woodcut [Lost Tribe Sound]
Sonmi451 - Seven Signals in the Sky [laaps]
SUSS - Night Suite
Tapes & Topographies - Monomials [Simulacra Records]
Tapes & Topographies - In Muted Forms [Shimmering Moods]
Taylor Deupree - Mur [12k]
Toumani Diabate & London Symphony Orchestra - Korolen [World Circuit]
Viktor Orri Árnason - Eilífur [PentaTone]
Wil Bolton - Cumulus Sketches [Home Normal]
William Ryan Fritch - Built Upon a Fearful Void [Lost Tribe Sound]

 

That's too much for one mix so I'll post part 1 and part 2. I also plan on doing a mix of favorite jazz-ish tracks from this year. I have a list of several non-ambient instrumental/jazz releases that I really liked so I'll post the list and a mix of fav tracks.

But first, my favorite ambient music, part one. Enjoy.

 

T R A C K L I S T :

  • 00:00    Max Richter - Psychogeography [Vpices 2 on Decca]
  • 06:30    mastroKristo - Ocean [Departures on Lost Tribe Sound ]
  • 09:53    Dictaphone - Griot Dub [Goats & Distortions 5 on Denovali]
  • 14:05    Alapastel - Releaseness [Ceremony on Lost Tribe Sound]
  • 18:48    Loscil - Vespera [Clara 0n Kranky]
  • 22:45    Arovane - Sicht [Reihen on 12k]
  • 25:38    Aes Dana - Haphazard [(a) period. on Ultimae]
  • 28:18    Calm Whale - Breathing EARTH [Breathing EARTH Meditation]
  • 31:05    Merope - Vilnia [Salos on Stroom]
  • 35:13    Dave Depper - Vienna Five [Europa on Jealous Butcher Records]
  • 41:11    Christian Löffler - Pastoral [Parallels on Deutsche Grammophon]
  • 44:42    Tapes and Topographies - Spec Work as Magic [Monomials on Simulacra Records]
  • 47:23    Map & Diagrams - Mutability [Teygja Part B on Handstitched]
  • 50:50    Igor Yalivec - Nymphaea [Still Life on Polar Seas]
  • 55:40    Andrew Heath - Drawings from Imagined Cities [Drawings from Imagined Cities on Elm Records]
  • 65:02    end