I can't imagine sounds being much softer or sweeter than those of Australia's Ashera...Meet Anthony Wright fresh from releasing his latest, Colour Glow.
Ashera: Colour Glow (9.3)
(Ashera - 2000) - An absolute ambient gem conveys achingly peaceful moods in the warm ethereality.
d/form: what are you thinking (8.6)
(Zenapolæ - 1998) - Dark void-spaces let the mind almost-weightlessly trip in some Tron-like expanse of computerized microworlds.
Ferrella~Schaefer: Musical Catechism (8.2)
(Earthboys - 2000) - For fans of obscure improvised soundscapes, these brooding panoramas may prove to be a religious experience...
L. Gaab: Morphosis (8.3)
(Morphosis - 2000) - Fluid synth-symphonics, subdued by a sense of melancholia, exist within an oblique soundworld.
Jeff Karsin: Pandataria (8.3)
(Jeff Karsin - 2000) - Tonal drones aplenty in a self-created world of amorphously levitating sounds.
KSINE: dark ambient Christmas music 1 (8.6)
(mp3.com - 2000) - 'tis the season for slowly oozing Christmas soundcapes of moodily tonal dronality.
para!helion: Midaq Alley (8.3)
(Skin and Barrel Music - 2000) - An unpolished desert gem of musical wanderlust takes a do-it-yourself trek into dusty, pseudo-ethnic realms
Lou Reed: Metal Machine Music (8.2)
(Buddha - 2000) - This 25-year commemoration features squealing, reverberating guitar feedback which captures the raw power of experimental noise.
Robert Rich: Sunyata (8.4)
(Hypnos/Soundscape - 2000) - Take a time-trip to the first solo album of the trance-and-drone-master, with nary a trace of datedness.
TALES: Echoes from the Last Fairyland (8.2)
(Somewhere in Time Records - 2000) - Occasionally fraught with danger, these adept elfin adventures tend to stay on the safe side of an enchanted realm.
Various Artists: ambient.01@hyperreal (9.3)
(aquaFM - 2000) - This cyber-democratically-assembled collection is imbued with the combined effect of collective enthusiasm and burgeoning new talents.
Various Artists: Slumberland (episode two) (8.2)
(Waveform - 2000) - Various artists' exploratory beatronics twist ordinary musical forms into dream-warped electro-soundworlds
Vidna Obmana: The Contemporary Nocturne (8.5)
(Hypnos - 2000) - Everday instruments are reprocessed and shaped into fantastic tonal sculptures of nighttime soundshapes
Vir Unis: Aeonian Glow (9.3)
(Greenhouse - 2000) - So unreal, yet so lovely... nearly all traces of "normal" instrumentation are artfully smeared into a deliciously morphing soundworld.
December Overviews include:
Arvo Pärt, "Arbos"; Martin Atkins & the Chicago Industrial League, "An Industrial Christmas Carol"; Colette and Phil, "Ancient Ancestors"; Ozone Player, "Insane Logic"; Pablo's Eye, "Devotions"; Raymond Scott, "Soothing Sounds for Baby (Volume 2: 6-12 Months)"; J. Arif Verner, "A Vision Beyond Light"; sven vath, "the harlequin- the robot and the ballet-dancer"; Zuco 103, "Outro Lado"
This Month: "Virtual Santa"... 6 artists give cyber-gifts.
2000 Top Ten: a gathering of 2000's best, in my ears.
Contributed Reviews provided by FAX fan Alex Copeland include:
Tetsu Inoue and Bill Laswell, "Cymatic Scan"; Atom Heart and Victor Sol , "+N "Plane"; David Reeves, "Otras"; David Reeves, "Otras 2"; Pete Namlook and Bill Laswell, "Outland 2"; David Reeves, "In Starless Space"; Tetsu Inoue, Atom Heart, Bill Laswell, "Second Nature"; Atom Heart, "Softcore"