@@@ Nils Frahm: Old Friend (Leiter, 2021) I’m listening to a couple of releases from Pitchfork’s favorite ambient records of 2021. This is a big banger of a record with 23 pieces totalling just under 80 minutes. Old Friend is the last tune of the record and it’s a solo piano piece and although it’s ambient piano I’m not sure if there will be other ambient elements. I’m not sure how to classify this style of playing — it’s neither classical nor jazz/improvised, and it’s plain without being particularly lounge-y or New Age. I’m giving a quick peep to the opening track which is entitled 4:33 (a tribute to John Cage) and I’m feeling this more than the last track I peeped. There is a slight mute being applied to the piano and it’s very pleasant. Same sort of genre-less and slightly vanilla playing style. And to answer my question there are no other ambient elements here, just a well recorded piano.
@@@ Gacha Bakradze: Impression (Lapsus, 2021) I found this record on Pitchfork’s best of 2021 ambient records, but the Apple Music blurb about him is a bit not helpful as it’s up its own ass and confusing as to where this release is vis a vis previous work. Thankfully we can listen and peep for ourselves. This is a church pipe arpeggiated synth with bird sounds and meh, but I will peep a couple of other tracks, it’s just a bit too New Age for me. I’m checking out the opener Indivisible. The Apple Music blurb said something about ultra vivid sound design and honestly I don’t know what distinguishes vivid sound design from ultra vivid or vivid sound design from regular flavored sound design. These music guide – boneheads. This track is more sonically balanced with some machine/insect type sounds laying a foundation under the same sort of aspirational New Age-ish arpeggiated breathy pipe patches. This is just my personal preference if you roll with New Age sounds, have at it!!! The second tune, Thanks for the Upload is more to my liking as it focuses on more rhythmic bits, and a droning synth and what could be a sub bass and a little drum ‘n bass flavored business.