Kompakt Label head Michael Mayer slows the pace with his favourite ambient tracks
Celebrating a decade of Pop Ambient a series that's caused mass melts the world over Kompakt boss Michael Mayer has raided the horizontal section of his record collection to give us five all-time essential ambient moments and five from the Pop Ambient series. Lie back and be counted gang...
ARAM CHATSCHATURJAN - ADAGIO FROM SPARTACUS & PHRYGIA (Everest 1955)
"One my all-time favourite classic pieces. I got to know this as a child thanks to the British TV series 'The Onedin Line' and I still like to play it at the end of a very felicitous night. Luckily no Tiesto ever managed to turn this outburst of passion into a trance tune."
THE KLF - CHILL OUT (KLF Communications 1990)
"I tried hard to avoid listing this one... it's such a cliche it hurts! But it remains a titanic ambient record and this list would be a joke without it."
RYUICHI SAKAMOTO - ENERGY FLOW (Warner 1999)
"I could have taken so many other Sakamoto compositions he really is a genius of our time. 'Energy Flow' is one of his most touching piano works. I adore the inner silence it radiates. Very Japanese indeed."
PETER GREEN SHIPMEADOW - MACBETH ORIGINAL SCORE (Rephlex 2001)
"No not the Peter Green of Fleetwood Mac fame - although certainly I could also have included their majestic 'Albatross' in this list. This is taken from the album 'Macbeth: An Original Score'. A good ten minutes of blissful strings"
BEN FROST - BY THE THROAT (Bedroom Community 2009)
"Probably the most mind-blowing record of 2009. The other day I missed a train because I got totally carried away listening to it on headphones! Howling wolves drones hints of piano and daredevil sonic experiments. It's brutal and beautiful at once."
DETTINGER - INTERSHOP (Kompakt 1999)
"A defining moment in Kompakt's history: our first artist album release and an indestructible classic. I've listened to this album about 3897 times and it never lets me . I'm holding my breath in waiting for Dettinger to walkthrough the office door with the promised new album in his s. But I'm patient. "
MARKUS GUENTNER - REGENSBURG (Kompakt 2000)
"Our first strictly ambient 12" and an important milestone in the creation of the Pop Ambient concept. It's an eerie thing with this record: when you listen to it at Christmas it sounds like the ultimate Christmas record and while listening to it in summer it captures the mood of a summer night. Seriously we've got proof that even the Pope likes 'Regensburg'. "
ALL - ALLTAG 14 (Kompakt2001)
'Pop Ambient is my partner Wolfgang Voigt's brainchild and 'Alltag' was his first release on the then relatively young Kompakt label. I guess I would also say this if I didn't know him: he's one of the last two decades' greatest innovators. "
ANDREW THOMAS - HUSHHH (Kompakt 2004)
"Unless we sign an alien Andrew Thomas will remain our most remote artist. Residing in beautiful New Zealand he keeps sending us exceptional music: it's deep abstract and drastic at times but always warm and cosy at the same time. I'm happy to announce his album is coming up in February!"
JUERGEN PAAPE - 864M (Kompakt 2010)
"My personal pick of this year's Pop Ambient crop is Juergen Paape's contribution. He's not known for his ambient output but he's really got the as touch. This is actually an ambient version of his ten-minute monster 'Ofterschwang'. I have not the slightest idea how he turned the carnival-esque original into such a solemn beauty - it's simply magic!" ?
Pop Ambient 2010' is out on February 1 on Kompakt.