10 or so chillout albums I'm diggin'

Some are old...some are new...all are good.

Marsen Jules-Herbstlaub(2005 - City Centre Offices) This may be my fave of the moment. Beautiful and orchestral without a beat in sight. Lots of strings. Part of a new wave of ambient artists using a hybrid of mostly orchestral instruments/samples and electronics.

Steve Hillage-Rainbow Dome Musick(1979 - Caroline Records) A lot of people know this as the album Alex Paterson was playing at the Land Of Oz club when Hillage entered and explained to him that "this is my album". Alex said something like "no it isn't. I paid for it" or so the story goes. Anyway Hillage of course later played plenty of guitar on many Orb releases as well as the System 7 stuff. I just don't think many people have ever actually HEARD what a great album it is.

Sub Oslo-The Rites Of Dub(2003 - Saedo Records) Great/authentic dub from Texas?! band. Nothing ground-breaking but really solid. Very comparable to Adrian Sherwood's Creation Rebel stuff. They're supposed to have a great live show.

Bell Orchestre-Recording A Tape The Colour Of Light(2005 - Rough Trade) Expensive but worth it. Ambient/post-rock side-project of some of the guys in Arcade Fire. LOTS of very strange instruments and not very quiet. No power chord guitars but does contain: glockenspiel, violin, xylophone, bells, typewriter, tympani, melodica, frozen cymbals, etc. Fantastic artwork!

Julien Neto-Le Fumeur de Ciel(2005 - Type Records) I play this one a LOT. Kinda like the Jules disc with an occasional glitchy rhythm/beat. Maybe if one of the Mille Plateaux artists used more strings and less glitch. Those who liked the Cliff Martinez - Solaris soundtrack will like this, the Jules disc and the next guy.

Max Richter-The Blue Notebooks(2004 - Fat Cat Records) More of this orchestral ambient stuff that I've started to hunt down. This one is one of the best. There is some bass on here that shakes my neighbor's house! Very soothing with a slightly sinister edge. Has a few Kafka quotes to boot.

Susumu Yokota-Symbol(2005 - Lo/Skintone Recordings) I ranted and raved about this guy about 6 months ago and had recommended his albums then. This is his newest and most classical in nature. In fact the liner notes reveal PLENTY of classical samples. Bach this is not.

Boards Of Canada-The Campire Headphase(just came out last week - Warp Records) It's a new BOC album...no not Blue Oyster Cult! If you like their other stuff you'll like this. It sounds exactly the same but with an occasional acoustic guitar loop. This is not a bad thing.

Porter Ricks-Biokinetics(1996 - Chain Reaction/Basic Channel) Crazy good ambient/techno/underwater dub. If I had a submarine this would be the album I'd play while driving it. Thomas Koner & Andy Mellwig are Porter Ricks and they know BASS. If you like Basic Channel's stuff or maybe Plastikman's - Consumed album you'll love this. Weird and minimal with shifting/out-of-sync rhythms. Good luck finding it though. It comes in one of those stupid metal cases that are notorious for cracking the cd. I've had mine for years and it finally cracked about 3 years ago so I emailed the Basic Channel guys and they sent me their very last personal copy for free!

Gigi-Illuminated Audio(2003 - Palm Pictures) Bill Laswell's wife. Guess who produced this album? Duh. Really nice stuff and beatifully produced as is most of Laswell's output. Another in his "remix an existing album" line.

Various-Swarm Of Drones(1995 - Sombient/Asphodel) 2 CD set of great experimental/ambient/isolationist artists. I had been looking for this one for a while so I was freaking when I found it for $5. A bunch of unreleased tracks from Steve Roach, Robert Rich, Vidna Obmana, Robert Fripp, Jeff Greinke and a bunch of others I'd never heard but now I'm looking for full-lengths from them. Especially the band Aloof Proof(anyone heard them?).

Adam Pacione-With Wakened Eyes(2005 - Primary Records) Recommended to me by the store clerk 'cuz he knows what I like. Semi-local Houston guy with a great record of drones and e-bow guitar work. Not recognizable as a guitar though. Very minimal and nice to fall asleep to.

I hope you enjoyed this installment...now go out and buy some of this stuff!
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I'm surprised you aren't into something by Air The French Band or Zero 7 from the UK.Thanks for the heads up on the Bands you mention,I'll try some out.JD
How about K&D or any of the G-Stone Recordings stuff?
Also,cannot go wrong with Pork Recordings or Mole Listening Pearls label.
I agree,Rainbow Dome Music is good indeed.
Or,btw,check out Visit Venus - Music for Space Tourism (1997 release).
I only know 2 out of the 10 of the listed artists, Susumu Yokota and BOC. My favourite Susumu Yokota release is "Sakura" which I'm still trying to hunt down (vinyl copy). I hope the new BOC is good. I was a little disappointed with their last "Geogaddi" release.

Thanks for the other recommendations...always looking for different sounds!!
I haven't listened to Air in a while. Their Moon Safari album is really good but I think they just keep going in the wrong direction. I don't really like that electronic/psychedelic-rock thing they currently have going. I have scanned through the newest Zero7 disc but I also don't really like that much vocals mixed with electronic stuff.
I think I have just about anything and everything Kruder & Dorfmeister have ever touched. My favorite is probably the self-titled Peace Orchestra album. GREAT demo disc. You stumped me with the Mole Listening Pearls and Visit Venus. I'll check those out.
If you like Susumu then I think you'll really like the Neto & Richter discs as well as the artist Colleen. Her album The Golden Morning Breaks is nice.
I have to mention that these are just things that I happen to be listening to a lot RIGHT NOW. My all-time list would include things like:
Global Communication-76:14
Pete Namlook-Air I & II
Michael Stearns-a bunch of albums
Steve Roach-a barrel of albums. I have at least 50 of his discs.
Irresistible Force-Flying High
Lustmord/Robert Rich-Stalker
I have a huge chillout electronica collection.

here are some albums i think you should try auditioning (I won't mention the big names since im sure you would have them) :


Sven Van Hees - Gemini
Boozoo Bajou - Satta
Praful - One Day Deep
Caia - The Magic Dragon
Minus 8 - Minuit
The Dining Rooms - Tre
Mylo - Destroy Rock&Roll
Plastyc Buddha - Throwing Stones IN Placid Pools
Lux - Northern Lights
Tom Y Joyce - Tom Y Joyce
The new BOC is good but I'm not a fan of Yokota's new one though I like him in general.
Harold Budd's La Bella Vista from this year is also good.

I reviewed Max Richter at Lugs the review site I set up to tie in with Audiogon but which never really caught the imagination of either Audiogon's owners,the people here or indeed some of the reviewers themselves.

Anyway here's the Richter link...again.

The latest Boozoo Bajou was kind of a letdown.I picked it up on vinyl in Tower Records,most of the tracks have vocals.No comparison to Satta.The same thing happened to Sie and Seelenluft last year.
The only consistent band i can name is Xavier Fischer Trio.
They still play excellent music since 1999.