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Jon Longhi's Best of 2018

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, December 18, 2018 04:07pm | Post a Comment

Brian EnoBy Jon Longhi

Brian EnoMusic For Installations (CD & LP Box Set):
One of the things I've always loved about Brian Eno is that he seems to have an almost limitless output of new music. His body of work is gigantic. I've been buying his cds for decades and it's nice to know that he'll always come up with something new to charm, beguile, or soothe me. His ambient pieces tend to be my favorite ones. In these works, he tries to create a kind of music that sounds like it is going on forever and you are just hearing a tiny excerpt of it. In the book that accompanies this new box set, Eno reveals that he has been obsessed with creating music that doesn't just sound like it goes on forever but actually DOES go on forever. To aid him in this quest, he created what he refers to as "generative systems." These are either tape loops or computer programs that take simple harmonious tones and fragments of melody, and then randomly recombines them in patterns of music that will not repeat themselves for sometimes years or even decades. He even developed a computer program called 77 Million Paintings that creates an endless output of ambient music that NEVER repeats itself and is a truly infinite piece of music. This box set is a retrospective of some of the best of these sonic experiments. The title Music For Installations is quite literal because most of these works were composed to accompany art installations and Eno went to great lengths to make sure that every person who visited the art exhibits heard a different and unique piece of music. Some of these art installations were open for six months but had soundtracks that could play for over two centuries! This is a transcendentally beautiful set of music and it goes on for hours and hours. Like the best ambient music, it can either be in the background or the foreground of your life. The soothing sonic textures are guaranteed to heal your soul and move your troubled mind to tranquil peaceful places. The set is a little expensive, but since you get six CDs and roughly as many hours of music, you're only paying about ten bucks per CD/hour, which in the long run is a real bargain.

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17 Releases to Look for on Record Store Day

Posted by Amoebite, April 10, 2018 06:27pm | Post a Comment

17 Record Store Day Releases to Look For

It's wish list time! The good people behind Record Store Day have outdone themselves this year, with a bumper crop of limited edition, long out of print, colored vinyl, and just plain cool exclusives hitting our shelves on Saturday, April 21st. Old favorites receive a celebratory nod. Unreleased tracks by classic acts will be unleashed upon the world. Impressive new works shine in the RSD spotlight. There's something for everyone, whether your interests lean towards classic R&B, dreamy indie, psychedelic tropicalia, and everything in between. Read on to discover the new releases we're excited about this Record Store Day.

Mark your calendars: RSD happens April 21, 2018. Watch this space for info to come on the most exciting store happenings, sales, and special events taking places across all three of our stores in honor of the indie record store industry's biggest day.

Aaliyah Back & Forth

Aaliyah - Back & Forth (12") 

This reissue of Aaliyah's debut single is out on opaque purple vinyl, featuring the original version as well as five dance mixes. An RSD exclusive release.

Arcade Fire Arcade Fire Record Store Day

Arcade FireArcade Fire EP (LP)

Ten Lovely Ambient Albums of 2017, For When You Want to Get Mellow

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, January 2, 2018 04:31pm | Post a Comment

10 Ambient Albums of 2017

By Michael Henning

Everybody needs to unwind at some point, whether it's at the end of a long week of work, a stressful day where things feel like they are getting out of control, or even just hearing about another frustrating development on the political front. When you start to feel the need to mellow out, these ten lovely ambient albums released in 2017 will help you to calm down and really relax. Or, if you're already pretty chill, they will help you to achieve ice cold status, like a polar bear eating an ice cream sandwich on top of a glacier.

Delia Derbyshire Appreciation Society

10.  Delia Derbyshire Appreciation Society - Delia Derbyshire Appreciation Society (Six Degrees)

Lovely languid clouds of synthesizer melodies from this duo, which includes Bombay Dub Orchestra main man Garry Hughes. Where that project focuses on global fusion beats with eastern-influenced orchestral arrangements, this is simply two guys making simple ambient music with a large collection of synths. The mellow works on this CD are very nice for nighttime listening, or a pleasant way to start your day in a quiet introspective mode.
Secret Pyramid

9.  Secret Pyramid - Two Shadows Collide (Ba Da Bing)

The Top 20 Vinyl Reissues of 2017

Posted by Amoebite, December 28, 2017 05:14pm | Post a Comment

Top 20 Vinyl Reissues of 2017

A bumper crock of quality vinyl reissues rocked our world this past year. A steady stream of (sort of) new and improved LPs from heavy hitters kept our turntables spinning, as did a nice selection of cleaned up soon-to-be-classic releases from some of our recent favorites. The top sellers at our stores in 2017 were an intriguing mix of eternally cool masterpieces, revered releases by the dearly departed, and long out-of-print rarities available for the first time on vinyl. Read on for the good, the bad (in a cool way), and the super ultra expanded editions that made a splash at Amoeba over the past twelve months.

Read all of our Best of 2017 lists.

Thom Yorke - Tomorrow's Modern Boxes

20. Thom Yorke - Tomorrow's Modern Boxes [180-gram White Vinyl]

Back in September 2014, Radiohead's Thom Yorke released his second solo album as a bit torrent bundle. The record was summarily downloaded several hundred thousand times and is now on its third vinyl pressing. The album is a sonic manifestation of what trying a new avenue would sound like. Yorke sounds very playful in this ambient glitch atmosphere he has created. It is in that spirit of playfulness where the record shines. There is little expectation having been almost 10 years since his last solo outing and therefore there is no grave preciousness attached. Refreshing and flighty, Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes is a piece from Thom Yorke that questions ownership. His or otherwise. 

Recent Brian Eno

Posted by The Bay Area Crew, October 23, 2017 05:59pm | Post a Comment

By Jon Longhi

When I was a kid I always used to hear this kind of perfect music in my head that I could never find in reality. It was this kind of gentle formless music of the spheres that didn’t have traditional drums and bass, and just kind of drifted in a timeless space. Sometimes I’d hear elements of it in Beatles songs or in musical passages by psychedelic bands. But it wasn’t until I heard a couple of tracks on Brian Eno’s Music For Airports that I finally heard something that matched what I heard in my head. Critics eventually named this music Ambient Music and I’ve been a huge Eno fan ever since I first heard those tracks.

If you’re a Brian Eno fan, the past few years have been golden. Ever since 2005’s Another Day On Earth, he’s been on a roll and has provided his fans with a steady output of material in various styles. Another Day itself was the first vocal album he’d done in years and it has a few of the best vocal tracks of his career on it. “This” and the title track are as good as any vocal song he’s ever written, and the classical music break in the middle of “How Many Worlds” may be one of the most sublime passages of music in his entire catalog.



In 2006 he released 77 Million Paintings, a generative software program. When you install it on your computer it randomly combines sounds and images so that your computer will endlessly create ambient music that never repeats accompanied by a music video that endlessly changes. If you run it through your widescreen TV you can turn your living room into a Brian Eno art installation that constantly evolves into endlessly trippy soothing vistas.

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