Room Ambience - SOUND EFFECT - Atmosphere House Background Tone Quiet Raum SOUND ((LINK))
An unusual form of dance-music became popular in England during the1990s: "ambient house". The idea (originally from 808 State) was tooffer music to "chill out", but soon the soundtracks for "chill-outrooms" created a genre of its own, at the border between techno andminimalism. It caused a major stylistic revolution.
Room Ambience - SOUND EFFECT - Atmosphere House Background Tone quiet Raum SOUND
The manifesto of "ambient house" was Chill Out (? 1989 - feb 1990), by the wacky duo of Bill Drummond and Jimmy Cauty, KLF (1), who mixed field recordings, celestial organ drones, languid guitar tones, musical samples, and electronic sounds.
One of England's great inventions at the turn of the millennium was"trip-hop", the style that bridged downtempo breakbeats, psychedelic dubtrance and soft-jazz atmosphere.Pioneered in the 1980s by dance collectives such as A R Kane andColdcut,by sophisticated singers such as Sade and Neneh Cherry, and by pop bandssuch asCowboy Junkies and Blue Nile,trip-hop was born in earnest in Bristol, England, the home base ofthe collectives that turned the world of dance music upside down.Soul II Soul, the project of disc-jockey Jazzie B (Beresford Romeo) and arranger Nellee Hooper, launched the genre in march 1989 with Keep On Movin', a whispered, sensual scat over shadowy bass lines, softly hypnotic beats and orchestral counterpoint.Bristol created a clear demarcation between techno/house/jungle and atmospheric, ethereal dance music.Massive Attack (1), an emanation ofthe sound system Wild Bunch (disc-jockey Grantley "Daddy G" Marshall,rapper Robert "3-D" Del Naja and rhythm engineer Andrew "Mushroom"Vowles), formalized that dividing line on their influential Blue Lines(? 1990/? 1991 - apr 1991), featuring vocalist Shara Nelson, whichestablished the sonic standard of trip-hop: a blend of soul vocals, dubbass lines, languid strings, ambient electronica, intricate drumpatterns, and eerie atmosphere. The idea was not terribly original (itwas basically a revamping of easy-listening, new-age music, orchestralsoul and cocktail-lounge music for the affluent white disco crowds), butthe choreography was clearly more important than the music, as Mezzanine (? 1997 - apr 1998) proved in an even more seductive manner.
The career of Manchester-based disc-jockeys Sean Booth and Rob Brown, better known as Autechre(22), actually comprised two careers. The first one was about dancemusic whose beat had been deformed and suppressed, melted into a waterysubstance and emptied of its narrative content, but was still relativelywarm and organic. The smooth and detached tones of Incunabula (?? - nov 1993), perhaps the most austere and implacable album in thehistory of dance music, coined a new form of ultra-minimal techno thatwas expanded on the more colorful Amber (? ? - nov 1994),insinuating those minimal/artificial sounds in the most obscure orbitsof the subconscious, and on the more claustrophobic Tri Repetae (? ? - nov 1995), that resorted to metallic sounds and subsonicfrequencies. These works were inspired by Steve Reich's minimalism,Kraftwerk's robotic trance, and Brian Eno's ambient music, but theiremotional content (if any) was radically different. Chiastic Slide(? ? - nov 1996) was the dividing line, the discontinuity that caused aphase shift. The menacing texture of digital beats, repetitive noisesand dejected melodies mutated into alien beings with a life of theirown. Autechre's second career, best represented by LP5 (? ? - jul 1998) and Confield(? ? - apr 2001), was about dissonance, icy ambience, irregular rhythmand non-linear development. Both careers were characterized by austere,meticulous and intricate sound design. Autechre's tracks often seemed tobe labyrinthine mirages: the closer one went, the more lost one felt.
By Paul Acquaro I think it is easy to get a little intimidated by a new Nate Wooley recording. There is usually a concept that tries to answer a question about the process of creation and creativity that he presents eloquently and humbly, but as a listener you may be inclined to wonder, as I sometimes find myself doing, 'will I get it?' It's easy to let this happen, but let me say right now, 'don't let it!', especially with Mutual Aid Music, there is no professional development needed to enjoy the music that pours forth from this generous recording. You can just as easily forget discussion of battle pieces and mutual aid, and realize that what the composer and trumpeter has done is entrusted a group of top-notch musicians to co-develop his musical vision by relying on - and sometimes questioning - their musical intuitions. The result, as I have already more than hinted at, is a marvel.So who here is involved? Wooley plays trumpet and he augments the group that has played on the previous Battle Pieces recordings, namely saxophonist Ingrid Laubrock, pianist Sylvie Courvoisier, vibraphonist Matt Moran, with additional piano from Cory Smythe, percussion from Russell Greenberg, and string work from violinist Joshua Modney and cellist Mariel Roberts. The aforementioned Battle Pieces group has released three albums to date on Relative Pitch, vols 1, 2, and 4, and following the extensive liner notes, it seems that this enhanced group is building on the currently unaccounted for vol 3. A Battle Piece, as far I currently understand it, draws on composed snippets of music in the service of constructing longer pieces. As Wooley himself puts it, Mutual Aid Music provides material as a form of limitation that allows the mind to free itself of egoistic concerns, in turn, keeping the players from relying on muscle and musical memory as they enter and retreat from the slowly forming chaos of the group sound." For more context to this approach see Keith Prosk's excellent piece 'A Context for Mutual Aid Music.' For my purposes, what is most important here is that what Wooley and company develop is engrossing from the start to end of this double album.The album begins with 'Mutual Aid Music I' and over the course of 10 minutes it shifts and morphs in unexpected but inviting ways. Moran's vibraphone and Wooley's trumpet are the first sounds to be heard. The shimmer of the slowly shifting tones of the vibraphone gives the trumpet a supportive and open canvas to work on. One of the pianos slowly takes over the harmonic layer, as Laubrock fills in some of the sonic gaps. Halfway through the track, the cello leads the group to a close after which a new movement begins. Now, the strings are more prominent. Modney's violin skates, scratches, and skips along with the other instruments for a while before the focus again shifts. I started looking for parallels or obvious structural elements in the set up on the recording and jumped to the next 'disc' (virtually, as I'm listening to mp3 files) to listen to 'Mutual Aid Music I-I' but did not locate them. This version begins with a strong statement from the percussion family, but instead of the vibraphone, it is the crash/splash of a gong, which is then followed by the two strings in an extended duet. The violin skitters across the octaves while the cello provides a shifting foundation of low drones and slippery runs. Flipping back to disc one, 'Mutual Aid Music II' starts with Laubrock and Wooley edging into the sonic center from opposite sides. They connect with snippets of melody and counter-melodies and eventually are joined by the vibraphone, giving the configuration a unique, floating sound. This piece in particular picks up the tempo with a piano's energetic contribution. To stick to the pattern I've begun, 'Mutual Music Aid II-I' on the other disc begins like a gentle ballad, the piano introducing a gentle melody, to which the violin provides textural plucks and a sonorous improvised line from the cello. Some of the passages on this track grow tense at times, while others introduce more playful moments.I suppose one could keep flipping back and forth for a bit longer, as there is a lot of music to discover. It is also probably safe to say that there is not an uninspired part of the album over the course of the two discs. So, either the system that Wooley has been developing has worked to great effect or the musicians involved have brought such an invigorating and fresh perspective to the performance that nothing could derail them. I suspect the final output here is a mixture of the two, and regardless of how it is constructed, Mutual Aid Music is a fantastic listen.Mutual Aid Music by Nate WooleyWatch a performance at Roulette in NYC: createSummaryAndThumb("summary1887074766506375684"); 041b061a72