My 33 1/3 book, on Aphex Twin's Selected Ambient Works Volume II, was the 5th bestselling book in the series in 2014. It's available at Amazon (including Kindle) and via your local bookstore. • F.A.Q.Key Tags: #saw2for33third, #sound-art, #classical, #juntoElsewhere: Twitter, SoundCloud, Instagram

Listening to art.
Playing with audio.
Sounding out technology.
Composing in code.

Worth Getting Lost In

Like perfume, ambient music comes in lots of different flavors, and it isn’t always as subtle as its fans might imagine. On Fade (Austere), Austere paints quiet music with broad strokes — singular, thick swells that can sound like giant steamships passing overhead, albeit muted by a thick ceiling and, no doubt, a pillow or two. The result here is much more corporeal than the group’s packaging suggests (all white, with barely legible typography), but that physicality is very much in the music’s favor. This is immersive stuff, ranging from vast expanses of sound to something closer in timbre to a digital didjeridu. The last track on Fade experiments with near-intelligible vocal samples, and the result is especially haunting. Worth getting lost in.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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