Various Artists-Ocean of Sound

October 21, 2008

Various Artists(Compiled by David Toop)

Ocean of Sound (Virgin UK 1996)

links are down, but will be reposted tomorrow.

Although it sometimes spends too much time sniffing its own arse, The Wire, a British magazine, has helped turn me on to new horizons during the thirteen years I have read its pontifications. Yes, I could do without its testimonials to grime and its ill-fated interludes with post-rock, but no current magazine delves into the nitty gritty of oddball musics like they do. Although he doesn’t seem to write for them anymore, David Toop’s meanderings on music warped my mind in new directions. To be honest, I read them now and find less to love, but his articles and book Ocean of Sound provided the context for why I found whirrs, buzzes and drones to be such a wonderland. In 1996, Toop wrote a book entitled Ocean of Sound which attempted to trace the history of ambient music as well as the motivations behind those who devoted themselves to its creation. He touched on Satie, Terry Riley, Eno and Aphex Twin and how supposed background music became an artform. I still kind of dig this book, but years have hardened me and I no longer have the same bright-eyed and bushy-tailed look as I read the words. However, this book really gave my musical loves a sense of place. It connected dots and made sense of things that my young mind didn’t grasp until then.

A double cd was released in conjunction with book and I’ll be damned if there isn’t a better compendium of music to correlate with the book’s explorations of the ability of music to create an atmosphere. Now the book and compilation do not limit themselves to mellow bubbles and chirps since Peter Brotzmann and Ornette Coleman play a role as well as My Bloody Valentine and Jon Hassell. I love the diversity of this collection because its field recordings of howler monkeys and rain songs just melt into the more austere terrain of Harold Budd. At heart, it is just an excellent mix tape devoted to the power of sound by a man who put all of his love into each selection.

4 Responses to “Various Artists-Ocean of Sound”

  1. digital djigit Says:

    Hi, I really like your blog. Not only does it have a lot of music that I’ve never heard of but I also enjoy your writing. It’s personal but does great service to the music and gives me an idea if it’s something I want to hear.

    I read “Ocean Of Sound” last year and it really gave me an appreciation of ambient and made me want to hear a lot of music mentioned. I haven’t made much progress in that area so I am really excited about this compilation. Unfortunately the links provided don’t work.

    Thanks anyway. I’ve been listening to Shodha Todi and Killed By Death comps a lot.

  2. rezzue Says:

    dude, could we get a reup or could you send me a link to this? please so much. i dont know where else i can find it.

  3. rez Says:

    any chance of getting a new upof this? could you very please email it to me or re-up? probably the one place i will ever find this comp.

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