I feel very pleasantly like I’ve been in a coma and have just come out. This new compilation album of relaxing chillout ambient music is as astonishingly beautiful as it is serene. I can’t think of better music to get me through the winter nights which have now drawn around us and I’m looking forward to these superb artists keeping me company. Listening to the album is simply like being in a waking dream once the sun has gone down.
The twelve tracks are all very different yet merge into one another seamlessly as though telling a gently undulating story. I’ll give you my brief thoughts for most of them but this really is an album which needs to be heard rather than read about.
The first track,’Sentinel‘ by Digitonal, is hauntingly beautiful with its repeated two note ostinato and slow build up of added layers. You can hear it for yourself here:
Afterhere’s ‘On Wings‘ is, once the piano enters, one of the most sublime things I’ve ever heard. Reminiscent of music from the movie Oblivion in many ways, it was too short in my opinion. I could listen to this for hours rather than the tantalising few minutes we are given.
Chris Coco, who also mixed the album, gives us ‘New Age Sunrise‘ which is gentle and full of hope with, presumably, the dawn of a new sun. But that sun isn’t here yet. Oh no – we have the dead of night to come yet.
Jon Hopkins gives us another piano piece, ‘Autumn Hill‘ with continuous broken chords which give the piece a filmic sense of lullaby. Again, all too short but enough to soothe any wakefulness left in you.
‘My Kingdom, Your Sunset‘ by Loner takes us into darker waters and provides us with our first true vocals. This is a piece which takes you to the edge of falling into the abyss and encourages you to open up your arms and embrace it.
This darker mood persists through to Opdot’s ‘Piano Monody‘ before we come to Marconi Union’s ‘Transient‘ with its opening of faux radio player hypnotic piano chords. I’ve reviewed Marconi Union before (see here) so I’m a big fan of theirs. This track doesn’t disappoint.
The clouds clear during Laki Mera’s ‘Talk To Me’ almost as though we’re preparing to leave this dream world we’ve floated through before hitting the final track, a guitar-based one – Dan Arborise’s ‘Paths‘. These two tracks tell you it’s time to wake up, the day is dawning, the sun is rising and it’s a good day.
Overall then, Ambient Zone 2 is an awesome album which is dreamy without becoming nightmarish yet takes you through a range of moods and textures which evoke all sorts of images in your mind. I found this album deeply affected my very core and, like a drug, left me craving more and feeling the need to hit play. Just. One. More. time.
If you fancy checking out the whole album and seeing the mesmerising visuals which have been designed to go with it, you can listen (and watch) it here:
Ambient Zone 2 is out on 20th January 2016