Here, on the flip side of the first Chill Out Tent compilation (which came out last summer), is the first in a series of ambient collections for time indoors, quiet contemplation and continental drift.
There are ten tracks, nine exclusive to this collection. The artists come from Japan, Ireland, Denmark, UK and Spain.
We begin with ambient sounds, birds and water then flow through various moods and styles. There are deep, pulsing arpeggios, sweet, angelic voices, muted conversations, distant drums and floating guitars, creating a sonic doorway to another place, a different mindset.
File under ambient / electronica / pastoral / piano / relaxation / meditation / contemplation
A dynamic duo of cuts from the brilliant comp, Buntús Rince: Explorations In Irish Jazz, Fusion And Folk 1969-1981, put together by Allchival in 2019. Allchival being the archival / reissue arm of Dublin institution, All City Records.
Grannys Intentions were “born” in 1965. Hailing from Limerick, success took the 5-piece first to Dublin and then London – where they were signed to Decca`s psychedelic offspring, Deram. Featuring beat group picking and mod organ flashes, the flute-led folk / jazz swing of Nutmeg, Bitter Sweet once found favour with, and radio airplay from, Andrew Weatherall.
Rosemarie Taylor – Mister Sleep – Allchival – 2019
This is taken from Rosemarie Taylor`s sole solo LP, Taylormaid, released on Dublin’s ID Records in 1977. It`s a great groovy ballad, with a freaky, phased, middle section.
A big thank you to Jeff Beckett for the heads-up on the compilation. Also check the label`s reissue ofMicheal O`Shea`s magical modified electrified dulcimer recordings, which has just been repressed.
Four Tet – Dreamer – Text Records – 2019
The frantic looped jazz / techno flip of Teenage Birdsong, but played at 33. Pitched down into something chunky and chugging. The busy circuitry chatter now bubbling bucolically.
Nuron – Minutes – Likemind – 2021
Lifted from last year`s Likemind 06 double-pack retrospective focused on the work of Nurmad Jusat, this slice of serene, syncopated techno dates from 1995. Romantic ripples of piano ride broken breaks, that are a clear precursor of drum & bass.
Plaid – Spudink – WARP – 1997
As part of Black Dog, Andy Hanley and Ed Turner were flag-bearers for that sophisticated UK techno sound. As Plaid they burned the blueprints they’d helped to put in place, and took electronic dance music somewhere altogether more idiosyncratic. Their rhythms, asymmetric, angular, non-repetitive, and seemingly abstract. Their melodies, bright, shiny, and impossibly pretty. Spudink is the B-side of the 1997 single, Undoneson.
For more musical musings from Dr. Rob, Balearic Mike, Dennis Kane, Cal Gibson, Adam Turner, and house music expert, The Insider, please visit Ban Ban Ton Ton.
We’re really happy to welcome Dr Rob as a very special guest writer here at the Chill Out Tent, he’s a busy guy and we really appreciate him making time to share his thoughts with us, enjoy his first post. Thanks Rob!
Recorded in 1981, privately pressed in 1990, there`s no trace of the OG of this album on Discogs. It was discovered by Douglas McGowan – now A&R at Numero Group –who included the track, Waterfall Winds, on his 2013 Light In The Attic comp, I Am The Center. Morning Trip reissued the whole LP in the fall of last year, and honestly it`s magical, a meditative marvel of ethereal, multi-tracked vocal new age.
Coil – Teenage Lightning (Guitar) – Infinite Fog – 2021
Loves Secret Domain is supposed to be Coil’s Acid House album. It, of course, sounds nothing like Acid House, but it does draw inspiration and energy from Rave, the ritual, mass trance-n-dance, and the drugs. Austrian label, Infinite Fog Productions, released a deluxe three LP edition in 2021, that includes outtakes and alternative versions, of which this is one. It`s the isolated recording of classical Spanish guitarist Juan Ramirez – who worked with Mark Almond (a close friend of Coil) on his 1990 LP, Enchanted. On the final version of Teenage Lightning Ramirez `s flamenco flourishes are completely shredded, but here they’re left intact and full of Paco de Lucia-like passion.
Coil have a few other “Balearic” moments, such as Weatherall favourite, Windowpane, and The Gay Man’s Guide To Safer Sex.
Erik Van Den Broek – Primerose – De:Tuned – 2019
Music out of The Netherlands released by Belgium`s De:Tuned. I’m not sure when this track was actually produced – since the imprint do a sterling job of unarchiving previously unheard treasures – but its “composer”, Erik Van Den Broek, has been making music since the early `90s, under countless different names. One of the first was the duo Shiver, who were responsible for the Sabresonic classic, Phobos. Erik is a contemporary of Wladimir M, Stefan Robbers, Eevo Lute Muzique, and a scene that grew from Psychick Warriors Ov Gaia`s extremely well stocked record shop in Tilburg. Primerose wears its joint influences of Detroit techno and Chicago jack proudly. It`s pace-y, but not pounding, instead pretty and introspective, running in parallel to the UK`s so-called IDM (Intelligent Dance Music). A TB-303 tickling the electro-tinged beats.
Eighth Ray – Axis Of Love – Emotional Rescue – 2017
This one came up in a conversation with Stuart “Chuggy” Leath, of Emotional Rescue / Response. I`d posted an interview with Spectrum / Land Of Oz DJ Roger “The Hippie” Beard, in which Roger talks about the first dance tents at Glastonbury. Turns out that Chuggy was there when Roger played, in 1991, as were Nick The Record and Felix Dickinson, and this was one of the big tunes – a record that was very popular with free festival folk, such as the mighty DiY Soundsystem.
The spoken intro had me thinking that was European, from Spain or Italy – but it was actually co-produced by Jahkey B (the man behind the classic house act, Lovebeads – do you remember “It`s a vibe-atory thing”?) and released on New Jersey label, Dancefloor. With its hook of swirling, spiraling synths, it`s a lot more “rave-y” than most stuff coming out of the States at the time. A soundtrack perhaps for the Bridge & Tunnel crowd who partied at Peter Gaiten`s Limelight – danced to DJs like Moby, and bought their X from Michael Caruso. Chuggy licensed it for ER a few years back.
Atypic – Henkhisesui – De:Tuned – 2019
More from De:Tuned, and a track by Atypic – an alias of Andy Turner and Ed Handley of Black Dog / Plaid. Fidgety, complicated, music that owes something to Detroit`s electronic innovators, but to be honest I don’t know exactly where it comes from. Often their kinetic double time rhythms are tethered to a dub bass-line – so reggae’s in there somewhere too. It`s the kind of thing that Colin Dale would play on his Outer Limits Kiss FM radio show (back when Kiss was a pirate), and which to me then sounded like the perfect nocturnal urban score – futuristic and alien. Busy and yet conveying a meditative calm, I`d fight for copies of this sort of stuff while stood at the counter in FatCat Records.
Creole – Walls Of Jericho (Dub) – Chin Africa – 2021
A high, high, quality, previously unreleased mid-late-70s dub, produced by Jo Jo Hookim at Channel One. Unless you’re an expert – which I most certainly am not – when listening to dub after dub after dub it can be hand to pick a standout. However, spinning something like this on its own, in isolation, the genius is immediately apparent. Compared to a lot of modern music, or other music full stop, the sheer stripped back physicality of it, not just the bass but the energy of the fiend on the faders, can be quite a shock.
Two Lone Swordsmen – Nostik – CPij – 2000
Dub of a different kind from Keith Tenniswood and Andrew Weatherall. Its mutated Mo`Wax / DJ Shadow beat is willfully lo-fi and raw. A rude, clanking skank, smothered in Joe Meek inspired “homemade” sound-effects. The keys however, take the track somewhere new – somewhere moving and emotive. Label founder, Nina Walsh, recently discovered a few copies of the 45 when relocating her studio. It was first come, first served, and I was one of the lucky ones.
Durutti Column – Grace – Les Disques Du Crépuscule – 2019
More cool, classy, IDM, but from the fucking Durutti Column. Floating and fragile with Vini Reilly`s famous guitar playing nowhere to be heard, this is taken from the 1996 LP, Fidelity. Finally pressed onto vinyl for a Record Store Day, I have DJ / digger Matthew Timms to thank for my copy.
Vini has created countless albums and while he for sure has a characteristic sound, each of them contains something unique and essential. Fidelity however, is like little else that he’s done, based as it is on beautiful bubbling machine melodies. The only thing that comes close is 1990`s dubbyObey The Time.
Tony Kinsey – Kaleidoscope – Cavendish Music Library – 2021
Lush, library music. Recorded in 1979 for an anonymous but sought after album o cinematic cues, this is now out on a 45. Horns, strings, fantastic, fully orchestrated funk. Folks`, myself included, love of this stuff doesn’t seem to fade.
Trees Speak – X Zeit – Soul Jazz – 2021
Modern library inspired grooves from the super prolific duo of Damien and Daniel Martin Diaz, aka Trees Speak. Rooted in jazz, and influenced by `70s kosmische, their album, Posthuman, pays heavy tribute to the classic Italian horror and giallo scores of Goblin and Giuliano Sorgini. Synthesizing incredibly authentic sonics, this is one of two albums that the brothers released last year. The other being the equally excellent Vertigo Of Flaws.
Dr Lonnie Smith – Why Can`t We Live Together – Blue Note – 2021
Dr Lonnie Smith, master of the Hammond B3, who we sadly lost last year, teams up with Iggy Pop for, in my opinion, a very Cafe del Mar take on Timmy Thomas` Why Can’t We Live Together. Iggy doing his best, broken, cracked, Chet Baker croon.
I love Iggy. He’s like this savant straddling high and low art. One minute incredibly erudite, the next catatonic, surrendering to the void. Here, he’s wheezing and whistling a little, just like the junkie jazz icon did after the mobsters he owed money smashed out all his teeth.
For more musical musings, from Rob, Balearic Mike, Dennis Kane, Cal Gibson, and house music expert, The Insider, please visit Ban Ban Ton Ton.
Dr Rob writes an extremely good blog called Ban Ban Ton Ton, he’s also a music fanatic and a rather good DJ. Here’s what he said about this exclusive guest mix that he did for us here at the Chill Out Tent:
‘These are all records that I pulled from the shelves, for a gig, DJing between artists at an ambient event held in Tokyo at the start of December. Musicmine and Mental Groove, Japanese and Swiss labels, respectively, co-hosted the show, at Galaxy Gingakei, in Shibuya, which acted as a launch party for Ayane Shino`s sublime album, Sakura. The evening featured amazing sets and performances from Ayane, Chillax, Takashi Kokubo, and Inoyamaland
Huge thanks to Rob for putting this beauty together for us.
Popol Vuh – The Garden Morya – Soul Jazz – 2015Over the last couple of years I`ve been sent a fair amount of slightly darker dance music to review – a lot of it marrying house and motorik. On the blog / site I’ve been collecting it together under the banner, Funky Alternatives – named in tribute to a series of influential compilations that came out in the `80s. The new tracks got me revisiting my old kosmische gear, searching for psychedelic, ambient – looking for pieces that I could play alongside them, to open sets. The Garden Morya is all sighing symphonic synths, and sampled, in this case I think field recorded, Tibetan chant. It`s taken from the soundtrack to Florian Fricke`s film, Kailash – Pilgrimage To The Throne Of Gods (Pilgerfahrt zum Thron der Götter), committed to tape in the early 90s, but unreleased until Soul Jazz rescued it in 2015.
Pablo Color & Lexx – Aire Nocturno – Ish – 2021I received the promo files for Pablo Color`s latest LP, Hora Azul, quite a way in advance. It sounded so fab that I made notes on it there and then, but when I emailed Michel at the label, Ish, he told me to hold off until autumn with the review. So I put the notes away for the summer. Come October, Michel then messaged me and said, “Hey Rob, that review you’ve got, can we use it on our Bandcamp page?” Now my handwriting`s well shoddy and I had to decipher, and try to make sense of, those notes sharpish. In the rush I accidentally left Lexx off the credits, so I’m including Aire Nocturno, a cracking collaboration between Pablo and Lexx, partly as an apology. Totally “ambient”, it`s a serene sonic shimmer of tremolo sustain. A musical mirage, an aural heat haze, a little bit Jon Hassell-y.
Steven Legget – Swivel – Firecracker – 2018 Andrew Weatherall and his Music’s Not For Everyone NTS radio shows brought me here. Taken from Steven Legget`s beautiful LP, Bathhouse, released on the now sadly defunct Firecracker label, this is built, I think, from treated bass-strings – made to sound like a marimba. Laura Reid`s melancholy cello melody constantly trying to break through. I`d hazard a guess that Steven`s spent some time dabbling with dub techno, and the tune reminds me a lot of his work with Robert Burroughs as Four Hands. This is fairly rare, but I sold a few records, and treated myself. Discos Paradiso in Barcelona sorted me out.
The Cinematic Orchestra – Breathe (Susumu Yokota Remix) – Ninja Tune – 2008Crackling away, this is an old, dusty, well-loved 12. Susumu Yokota reduces The Cinematic Orchestra to vapour, leaving the sad, jazz / blues vocal a near, almost, acapella. Released over a decade ago, I dug this out in order to align my mind, in preparation for penning some sleeve notes. Lo Recordings have a Susumu reissue planned. A big thank you to Jon Tye for asking me to be involved.
The Grid – Planet Of Blue – Apollo – 1993Interviewing Richard Norris, from The Grid, was a dream come true. He has so many stories, and such a deep musical knowledge, particularly of all things psychedelic. When I spoke to him about collaborating with singer, Billie Ray Martin – jokingly asking him if Your Loving Arms had made him a millionaire – he mentioned that the sublime, understated, Planet Of Blue, taken from 1993`s 4 Ambient Tales, is his favourite of the things he penned and produced with the famous electronica diva. The legendary BJ Cole provides pedal steel.
Idee Du Femelle – The Sea In Winter – Musica Maquina – 2021 Born in Barcelona, and rescued from an `80s cassette, Idee Du Femelle`s Sequences is the inaugural release on Oriol Riverola aka John Talabot`s new label, Musica Maquina. While the album`s got some great slightly darker moments – see Come Back To Bali – this track, The Sea In Winter, is part classic new age, and part the output of Klaus Schulze`s Innovative Communication imprint. The choirs of computerized sighs and Fairlight fanfares also remind me of Eno`s An Ending (Ascent), and Jack Nitzsche`s much-loved score for John Carpenter`s Starman. I`m not sure if the seagulls are samples, or sine waves.
MLO – Wimbourne – Music From Memory – 2021Time for another big thank you to Seahawks Jon Tye. When the mighty Music From Memory took a trip through the “ambient techno” archives of MLO – one of the many outfits that Jon was in way before partnering with Pete Fowler – Mr. Tye suggested that I write the liner. It was such a pleasure to spend so much time with so much great music, which, while previous unreleased, wasn’t totally unfamiliar – taking me back to the daze when I`d be a regular (nuisance?) in “specialist” stores like FatCat and Big Apple. Wimbourne is one of my favourites on the retrospective, Oumuamua – and its very much a mix of two halves. Starting out as highly synthetically strung, serene, sunrise gear, with sequences twinkling like the first refracted rays of dawn, its keys gradually take on a more organic, organ-like tone, while a beatific live bass-line begins to make its presence felt – its melody rising and falling in a hushed lullaby. There’s a ton of terrific MLO material that’s yet to see the light of day – Jon sent me a couple of twenty minute-long tracks to help me tune-in – so, fingers crossed, there’ll be a Volume II.
Stina Nordenstam – Little Star (B-Zet Remix) – Eastwest – 1994On the anniversary of Jose Padilla`s passing I published a beautiful essay that a friend, Lilac Camel, had written about his memories of Jose and the Cafe del Mar. In it he mentions two fairly rare records. This was the first, Stina Nordenstam`s Little Star, remixed by Sven Väth`s mate, and sometime studio partner, B-Zet. Musically it`s not so much a song, as a fragile vocal surrounded by similarly ethereal instrumental whispers, the sound of cosmic comet tails. Icelandic, and perhaps an attempt to jump on the Bjork bandwagon, a section in latin further enhances its prayer-like properties.
Woob – Wuub – Styrax – 2016This was the second Lilac Camel “drop”. Released on CD, on UK label em:t in 1994, it was a sunset staple of Jose`s. German imprint, Styrax later reissued it on vinyl in 2016. Sampled dialogue, I think from the `70s horror movie, Night Of Dark Shadows, and reverb-ed tribal cries ride a slow, tabla-like rhythm, which breaks down after about 5, 6, minutes to reveal treated and looped strings. These then build to a sort of orchestral roar, a la The Beatles` Revolution #9, before hitting a final fade. LC called it kinda spiritual, and I have to agree. There’s something about it that’s hyper hypnotic. Introspective and instantly inner space trance-inducing stuff. ‘
Welcome to a New Year special edition of THE SUNRISE SESSIONS, kicking off the new year with a lovely mix from Norway’s First Lady of all things eclectic, ambient and cosmic, Helene Rickhard. Helene is a record collector, DJ and producer from the coastal town of Arendal in southern Norway, where she lives with her synths, records and a cat called Enya.
Well known for her eclectic musical taste, she is often to be found behind the decks at clubs and festivals across the Nordics, most notably Camp Cosmic, Zone Disco Autonome and Skogsfestivalen in Sweden. Her cassettes and mixtapes for Dream Chimney, HMD Records, Origin Peoples and Dublab are definitely worth checking out.
Check out the official video of her most recent track ‘Melodi Os2’ which appeared on the Drum Island Records compilation album Sommer 3 – Ambient, Balearic & New Age from Norway compiled by Rune Lindbæk.
A big thanks to Helene for finding the time to record this mix for the series!
‘@0’ AMBIENT COMPILATION FEATURING NEW RECORDINGS FROM RYUICHI SAKAMOTO, SUZANNE CIANI, SIGUR RÓS, STEVE ROACH, KAITLYN AURELIA SMITH, SKEE MASK, HELENA HAUFF, JULIANA BARWICK, A WINGED VICTORY FOR THE SULLEN, LARAAJI, AND MANY MORE.
The release also includes new compositions and remixes of music by Imogen Heap, James Heather, Specimens, Nailah Hunter, Coldcut and more. Ninja Tune will be donating their share (50% of net receipts) to three charities: CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably), Mind and Black Minds Matter.
He’s back, our ovine overlord of bucolic Balearic, the Chill Out Tent’s very own Chris Coco with the third edition of his now legendary #Sheepwatch mixes, this Sunday, the 30th May 2021 as part of our Edition #14 of the Chill Out Tent.
He sent this message via carrier pigeon from his secret highland pastures…
‘As everybody knows, sheep watching is a Great British Tradition that dates back to, well, the past, when the workers from our great cities would head out to the countryside to watch sheep and marvel at their animal woolliness. Here, Chris Coco continues that tradition, which is now baked into the mixed-metaphorical fabric of The Chill Out Tent, and creates a soundtrack both for the people watching the sheep and the noble beasts themselves as they go about their grazing and looking-after-the-lambs business. Musically you can expect emotional, slightly epic festival vibes. Think – lounging in a field in the sunshine with your mates, various types of alcohol, a small plastic bag, that you picked up off the grass just now, that seems to contain some sort of unidentified powdery substance, oh, and some sheep, obviously. Expect everything from ambient to Aretha to David to dub… And sheep, lots of lovely sheep…’
This Sunday, the 25th April it’s Edition #13 of the Chill Out Tent, and we’re very excited to be starting the event with a session from Tokyo. The K5 Loft Streaming sessions are recorded at a prestigious new venue in the city with some of Tokyo’s finest food, coffee, cocktails and beer in addition to some beautiful guest rooms & suites. The hosts describe the concept as follows…
‘These streaming events deliver Bedroom / Lounge Music which is courteously selected by two Japanese sound curators, Calm and EITA, who curate music for the hotel. The setting scene for the first session is ”Nap.” People everywhere in the world including Tokyo are facing various difficulties lately. We believe that we may need take a rest a bit time (Nap) staying home and living calmly. Then, the world will slowly wake up and move forward. The two sound curators alternately put records on to create an impromptu playlist. Music is selected from a wide range of Japanese and international records.’
We think you’ll agree this sounds a perfect fit for the Chill Out Tent, expect beautiful calming music presented with reverence and style.
We’re adding to our video archive on YouTube again, some ‘Slow TV’ seasonal content this time. It’s ‘Sheepwatch’ with Chris Coco from our first edition of the Chill out Tent, a sublime ambient set, it’s a fine day…