WARMER MIXTAPES #1345 | by Ryan Teague
1. Mokira | Untitled (3rd track on Album)
Hearing the Mokira LP Album led me to an embryonic Type Records who subsequently released my own music early on. Not only did I love this album, but it finally felt like I was part of a scene (albeit a disparate one!) representing New Ambient Music. This album was my guiding light around that time.
2. John Adams | Shaker Loops
I'd been exploring Classical Music a bit in my late teens, but never quite found what I was looking for - it was all too preoccupied with melody for me. I stumbled on Shaker Loops by accident and it was exactly what I had been looking for - it was the first time I'd heard Acoustic instrumentation speak in the kind of language I was familiar with in Electronic Music. This was hugely inspiring for me and was probably single-handedly responsible for my own adoption of Acoustic arrangements and techniques.
3. The Orb | Blue Room
I think this was the first time I really listened to Ambient Music as a young teenager and I was instantly drawn to their use of Textures, Space and Rhythm. I was listening to a lot of Pink Floyd at the time, so I was very drawn to Spacey Music, so this was the obvious next step which also set me on a path for all things Ambient/Electronica.
4. Colin McPhee | Tabuh-Tabuhan, Toccata For Orchestra And 2 Pianos: I. Ostinato (Performed by Eastman-Rochester Orchestra; Conductor: Howard Hanson)
This was the piece that first set me on a path towards Gamelan. A true masterpiece and clear forerunner to Minimalism from a largely unrecognised composer. Not only was it way ahead of it's time and one of the first pieces to incorporate authentic strands from beyond the Western Musical Language, it's also a thing of great beauty and accomplishment.
5. Vladislav Delay | Lokakuu
John Twells (Type Records) introduced my to Vladislav Delay when Demo(n) Tracks came out. Much like Mokira, this was hugely inspiring Music to me and it really felt like 21st Century Ambient Music. Apparently this album was constructed from fragments lost after a hard drive failure. If true, it's perhaps the best hard drive failure in History!
6. Nine Inch Nails | The Downward Spiral (The Bottom)
I think this NIN Remix Album was influential to a lot of people for different reasons at the time. It was significant to me in that it introduced me to Coil early on. This track The Downward Spiral (The Bottom) is possibly my all time favourite piece of Ambient Music. It's rhythmically and sonically incredible, especially when you consider the technology it was made on.
7. Gamelan Kyai Udan Arum | Gending Bonang Babar Layar
After discovering Colin McPhee, I begun exploring Gamelan Music in depth. It didn't take long to find the Nonesuch Explorer Series recordings which are probably the best Gamelan recordings that exist (appropriately some were sent into Space on Voyager). This piece in particular represents a vast and expansive composition which echoes hauntingly around the Javanese Pendopo whilst insects chatter in the distance.
8. Anton Webern | Five Movements, version for String Orchestra, Op. 5 (Performed by London Symphony Orchestra, Conductor: Pierre Boulez)
It's the sense of Space, Restraint and Economy that attracted me to Webern. Although heavily associated with the Serialists for redefining the Harmonic Language of Western Music, Webern's individual contribution was actually as significant for redefining the structural and conceptual foundations of Composition.
9. Peter Gabriel | Zaar (The Last Temptation Of Christ Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
Perhaps not widely appreciated for his soundtrack work, but Peter Gabriel's albums for the films Birdy, The Last Temptation Of Christ and Rabbit Proof Fence are truly excellent. They're like meting pots of styles, influences, explorations and experimentations, all unified by Peter's excellent ear for Melody and Emotion.
10. Burial | Street Halo
What can I say about Burial that's not already been said? I was a huge fan of Drum & Bass in the late 90s, so hearing Burial now is like hearing abstract echoes from a distant past! It actually renewed my interest in Dance Music, new and old, which has been feeding back into what I've been doing a bit lately.