ambient Archive

Ultimate Trip: Riverside Sets Sight on North America (Part Three)

Continued from Part Two… You mentioned Lunatic Soul. To date, you’ve done a very good job of keeping Lunatic Soul as a separate project distinct from Riverside. Do you ever see a time in which the two might blend into a single project? I don’t think so. Of course, I’m the main composer in Riverside,

Ultimate Trip: Riverside Sets Sight on North America (Part Two)

Continued from Part One… The first three Riverside albums are a trilogy, but recent releases don’t so much have that conceptual continuity. Is the idea of conceptually-linked releases something that you’ve left behind? Reality Dream Trilogy was connected mostly because of the lyrics, mostly because of the Travis Smith [album] covers. And the music, let’s

Ultimate Trip: Riverside Sets Sight on North America (Part One)

Riverside isn’t exactly a household name in the American music scene, but the Polish rock group is on a mission to change that. Founded in 2001, the band balances metal, progressive and ambient approaches with a strong emphasis on melody. The group’s 2003 debut, Out of Myself, didn’t chart, but by the time of 2005’s

Free Planet Radio: Music from Alpha to Delta

For 17 years now, instrumental trio Free Planet Radio has been making its compelling brand of world music, suffusing jazz and pop forms with elements drawn from musical traditions around the globe. On its latest album, Stillness, the Asheville-based group takes a slightly different approach, crafting an album of contemplative, near-ambient compositions. Free Planet Radio

He Comes From Planet Jarre, Part Three

Continued from Part Two … Because a great deal of your work is instrumental, I’m curious about the inspiration for the pieces. Do you start with a non-musical concept, such as an emotion or story idea that serves as a catalyst for the song? Or do you start instead with a melody or a melodic

He Comes From Planet Jarre, Part Two

Continued from Part One … This may be a difficult question to answer. What do you see as uniquely French characteristics in your work? I think it’s maybe not that difficult. We should not forget that electronic music had nothing to do with the U.S. at the beginning. It has nothing to do with jazz,

He Comes From Planet Jarre, Part One

Last fall I had the honor of interviewing Jean-Michel Jarre for the second time (the two features based on our 2017 conversation are here and here). This second interview again resulted in two separate features; one ran in Stomp & Stammer; the other on Rock and Roll Globe. Here now is the full 2018 interview,

Album Review: The Orb — No Sounds Are Out of Bounds

Whether it was an association they originally wished for or not, the Orb were pegged early on as a sort of modern-day answer to Pink Floyd. Though the project (Alex Paterson and collaborators) has always been about more than ambient, dance-oriented space music — hey, they’ve worked extensively with reggae icon Lee” Scratch” Perry —

Album Review: All India Radio — Space

From the outset, All India Radio is all over the map. The name suggests a group from the Indian subcontinent, and the music draws clear inspiration from British late-period psychedelic/space rock (most notably Pink Floyd) and late-late-period American psych revival (specifically Flaming Lips). After all that, All India Radio is actually an ambient/chillwave group from

Jean-Michel Jarre on Making the Most of Music Technology

Jean-Michel Jarre built his music reputation on the strength of a series of groundbreaking 1970s albums. His second release, 1977’s Oxygène pioneered the use of analog synthesizers in a melodic context, and is widely viewed as an enduring influence upon today’s electronica artists. But Jarre remains busy with music today, and his approach isn’t stuck