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

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Sounding out technology.
Composing in code.

Renditions of Idealized States

The pursuit and avoidance in naturalness of ambient music

Almost all ambient electronic music is environmental. The question is often whether or not that environment feels natural to the listener, and in turn whether, in the case of naturalness, it feels ordinary or extraordinary — or more to the point, how far along those continua it might be situated. “Prelude for Spring” by Araceae, from the new album Lunae Semita, succeeds by keeping the ear guessing at various interstices throughout. It moves from space music to meadow atmospherics to vocal-infused heavenly choirs and back again over the course of just under seven minutes. According to a brief liner note, the actual field recordings were sourced in Upper Michigan, Detroit, Berlin, and Amsterdam. In the ear, they are all hyper-realized into sedate, emotionally rich renditions of idealized states. That is, up until the very end, when the crunch of (what sounds like) leaves underfoot fades in, and puts everything that preceded into further perspective.

Araceae is Ryan Malony, who also records as Uun and is based in Detroit, Michigan. Track originally posted at soundcloud.com/faint-faint-music. Get the full album at faintmusic.bandcamp.com. More at and discogs.com.

By Marc Weidenbaum

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