In this section, we introduce little-known, but remarkable finds from the world of ambient. Many of the releases we're exploring here aren't even available on most streaming platforms. We intentionally don’t limit ourselves to any specific genre or time. Our goal is to help ambient fans and music lovers find unique underrated records for their collection or just to have a good time.
Tokyo Bedroom Orchestra – Sora
Label: Sunset Park Studio (Japan), 2023
Most fans of ambient music and music equipment know Hiro Nakamura as TyBO or TyBO_AmbientSky. Some time ago, he was releasing short music videos on YouTube, Instagram and TikTok almost daily. Hiro is now devoting more attention to releasing his music on streaming platforms and Bandcamp as Tokyo Bedroom Orchestra, and has already released three full-length albums in 2023.
I could write about his last or penultimate albums, but it was Sora that stuck with me the most. This album is like a toy: you want to touch every sound of it. It is a very textured and original work. The song titles are all in Japanese and all the words are related to the sky. Here is the part of the sky that appears to touch the mountains in the Yamagiha track, and the evening fog in the Yuugiri track, and even hail in the Hyou track.
Blanket Swimming – Sensing
Label: Élan Vital (Macedonia), 2023
Format: digital, CD
Nicholas Maloney aka Blanket Swimming is a sound artist from the US who places particular emphasis on texture and smoothness of sound. Truly, the name of the project speaks for itself: Nicholas’ music is fluid, soft, smooth, and pleasant, like dreaming about swimming in the ocean waves when snugged in a warm blanket.
The album Sensing was gradually created over a long period of time. Any experienced artist knows this state when you seem to have done something, but you don’t feel like the work is truly finished and you need time to understand what’s missing. Mist of the time, what is actually missing is patience. Nicholas had enough patience to give time after each stage of work for the material to infuse and ripen for the next step. At first, these were just guitar sketches recorded in the spring of 2022. Then there was a long period of collecting field recordings on a portable recorder and finally, almost a year later from the first developments, recordings of nature sounds were mixed with a guitar and painted over with a synthesizer until the fluid form emerged.
Alyas – In The End, It Was All About Love
Label: Self-Released (Sweden), 2023
Alyas makes music in his free time, but his tracks do not sound amateurish at all. This is a very professional work with texture, timbres, and melodic components. Such good work does not go unnoticed. The album presented here has collected tens of thousands of streams on Spotify, but unfortunately, there was not the same excitement on the artist’s Bandcamp page.
In The End, It Was All About Love is a very beautiful album that inspires sensitivity and care. Only a person endlessly in love with life can compose such tender music. Very warm, pleasant sound, like a hand knit sweater in winter.
Please share your impressions of these releases in the comments down below and feel free to suggest albums for our next reviews. Reviewed by Dionis Afonichev (Dionisaf)
Edited by Iuliia Rychkova
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