The Best Ambient on Bandcamp: September 2023

Bandcamp Daily, a blog that showcases the best music from the Bandcamp platform, has released its monthly list of the best ambient albums for September 2023. The list features a diverse range of artists and styles, from experimental legends to emerging talents, from dark and murky soundscapes to serene and uplifting atmospheres. The list is curated by Ted Davis, a writer and musician who specializes in ambient and electronic music. Davis says that he structured the list to take the reader on a journey from darkness to light, like a drive that starts at midnight and ends at dawn.

Jefre Cantu-Ledesma: Severed Belonging

The first album on the list is Severed Belonging by Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, a veteran of the experimental scene who has been releasing music since the late 90s. The album is a single hour-long composition that features Cantu-Ledesma’s piano playing, which is deep and reverberant in contrast to the fuzzier sounds that have dominated his past works. The album is released by Liz Harris, better known as Grouper, who also publishes a magazine called PRESENCE. The magazine’s second issue, titled The Sea, features poetry, photography, and other multimedia art from Harris’s friends. Severed Belonging is intended as music for leafing through the magazine, creating a plaintive grayscale atmosphere.

The Best Ambient on Bandcamp: September 2023
The Best Ambient on Bandcamp: September 2023

Chantal Michelle: 66 Rue L

The next album on the list is 66 Rue L by Chantal Michelle, a New York-based musician who blends musique concrète and improvised jazz. The album consists of three sprawling compositions that are split into three separate movements. The album features the collaboration of Mexican experimentalist Germán Bringas, who plays saxophone and piano. The album is released by Warm Winters Ltd., a label based in Bratislava that focuses on clean-but-challenging ambient music. The album is both serene and uneasy, exploring the sounds of urban spaces and human interactions.

Pmxper: Pmxper

The third album on the list is Pmxper by Pmxper, a new collaboration between Perila and Pavel Milyakov. Perila is a Berlin-based musician who creates gloomy IDM music, while Milyakov is a Russian musician who is known for his bassy work under the name Buttechno. The album is a collection of six tracks that combine Perila’s ethereal vocals and Milyakov’s rhythmic textures. The album was released on Bandcamp ahead of their performance at the Berlin Atonal festival, a prestigious event for avant-garde music. The album is dark and mysterious, evoking a sense of nocturnal exploration.

KMRU: Logue

The fourth album on the list is Logue by KMRU, a Kenyan musician who is one of the most acclaimed artists in the African ambient scene. The album is a follow-up to his previous release Peel, which was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best New Age Album in 2022. The album consists of four long-form pieces that use field recordings, synthesizers, and tape loops to create immersive sound environments. The album is released by Injazero Records, a label based in London that specializes in ambient and electronic music. The album is subtle and soothing, creating a sense of calm and contemplation.

Mary Lattimore: Silver Ladders

The fifth and final album on the list is Silver Ladders by Mary Lattimore, an American musician who plays the harp. The album is a collaboration with Neil Halstead, the frontman of Slowdive, a legendary shoegaze band. The album features eight tracks that showcase Lattimore’s delicate harp playing and Halstead’s guitar effects and production. The album is released by Ghostly International, a label based in Michigan that is known for its eclectic roster of artists. The album is bright and beautiful, creating a sense of wonder and joy.

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