Breathe It In  -  Ambient Jazz Ensemble

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Breathe It In - Ambient Jazz Ensemble

I love it when a musical connection is made! I’ve been banging on about Zero 7 and then their offshoot, Fragile State, on this curation and then what happens? I come across someone new with a name that sounds like I should like them – Ambient Jazz Ensemble – and who’s central to them? None other than Neil Cowley…

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Big Time  -  Hardage feat. Peter Gabriel

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Big Time - Hardage feat. Peter Gabriel

I can barely believe that I’ve let this curation go so long without more than a passing reference to the legend that is Peter Gabriel – though Genesis feature here with “Cinema Show” from “Selling England By The Pound” which has him on lead vocals…

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The Suns of Afterlife  -   Bliss

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The Suns of Afterlife - Bliss

In keeping with the "world" themes of this curation, Bliss hail from Denmark, though their collective owes as much to influences from Guinea and Sweden! They first appeared in the early 2000's which really was the halcyon period for ambient chill stuff it seems - a golden age? …

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All Kinds  -  Kinkajous

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All Kinds - Kinkajous

Bang up to date sounds of alt-jazz from this five piece outfit that hail from London. Travelling through places where borders disappear, Kinkajous give birth to an innovative sound that very much reminds me of another favourite band of mine that features on this collective; namely Submotion Orchestra…

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Aphrodite’s Child - Aegean Sea

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Aphrodite’s Child - Aegean Sea

A Greek band from the 60’s and 70’s with quite an antecedence – the keyboards man was “Chariots of Fire” composer Vangelis and their singer was “Ever and Forever” Demis Roussos…legends. This track is taken from their 1971 album “666” which is generally regarded as their best…

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Elysian Fields  -  Minus 8

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Elysian Fields - Minus 8

This is one of those gentle tracks that repeats a subtle riff overdubbed with echoing voices and held together by cymbals and congas. Sounds all so simple but this one’s riff really infiltrated me…

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Summertime  -  Angelique Kidjo

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Summertime - Angelique Kidjo

OK I know there’s a myriad of covers of this Gershwin classic, and I already have featured Deep Dive’s version of it on this collection, but this puts a West African twist on the same song, and is beautifully different with its acapella style…

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Nothing More  -  Fotheringay

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Nothing More - Fotheringay

Fotheringay emerged from Fairport Convention in the late 60’s. “Nothing More” is from their one and only album, and is Sandy Denny’s attempt to reach out to her former bandmate Richard Thompson, quietly grief-stricken in the wake of the crash that killed his girlfriend Jeannie Franklin and Fairport drummer Martin Lamble…

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Spanish Steps  -  Van Morrison

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Spanish Steps - Van Morrison

If you’re expecting to hear the distinctive gravel sounds of The Man, well, unusually, this is an instrumental from him; a sweet sax piece with underlying piano and strings which then further develops into a piano solo. It comes from his lesser known 1987 album “Lesser Champions Compose”…

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Aquarius - Boards of Canada

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Aquarius - Boards of Canada

Championed by John Peel, and often cited as one of the pioneers of electronica, BOC – a pair of brothers called Michael Sandison and Marcus Eoin - hail from Scotland. “Music Has The Right To Children” from which this track comes was their album released in 1998 after sending out countless demos to labels…

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Mother Nature’s Spies - Fila Brazillia

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Mother Nature’s Spies - Fila Brazillia

A short-lived collaboration between two guys from Hull, Fila nevertheless were one of the new millennium electronica acts forging tongue-in-cheek stuff with wacky treatments and even wackier names – check out their albums “Maim That Tune” and “Luck Be A Weirdo Tonight”!…

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Castellorizon  -   David Gilmour

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Castellorizon - David Gilmour

Is David Gilmour the “real” sound of Pink Floyd?

If, like me, you’re something of a Pink Floyd fan then no doubt you’ve already struck gold by listening to David Gilmour’s solo album from 2006 “On An Island” from which this track is taken…I guess if you haven’t then you’re in for a treat…

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Cleo - Fragile State

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Cleo - Fragile State

Fragile State were another one of those short-lived electronica collaborations like Lemon Jelly that seemed to proliferate at the turn of the millennium – a golden age for sampling and downbeat. FS were formed by two guys, one from Zero 7 – Neil Cowley - and Ben Mynott…

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The Cinema Show - Genesis

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The Cinema Show - Genesis

Now this is the real McCoy, from Genesis’s best album (in my humble opinion) – “Selling England By The Pound” – released all those years ago (1973!) and featuring Peter Gabriel of course. They’d already broken new ground with “Foxtrot” and “Trespass” with their lengthy rambles into instrumental riffs allied to absurdist lyrics from Gabriel - have a listen to “Get Em Out By Friday” or “Supper’s Ready” if you want a real taste of that!..

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Daydream In Blue -  I Monster

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Daydream In Blue - I Monster

This is one of those electronica songs I first heard quite by chance on a late-night radio show back in 2001…and was thoroughly annoyed that the DJ failed to give me a name check of either the track or the artist! Ah!!! Now what? How to find it?…

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Finest Hour – Submotion Orchestra

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Finest Hour – Submotion Orchestra

My second submission, after “Red Dress”, by this Leeds based band featuring the dulcet tones of Ruby Wood, and the lush pseudo-orchestration led by the trumpet of Tommy Evans. This is a seven minute build of electronica/jazz which pretty much sums up the musical style you can expect from each of their four albums…

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Chariots – TransGlobal Underground

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Chariots – TransGlobal Underground

Can their album “Psychic Karaoke” really be over twenty years old now? Released in 1996, I heard “Chariots” up first and was absolutely hooked by the depth of sound, the subcontinental/Arabian voice of Natacha Atlas (!) and the changes of rhythm and sounds. The super duper highway indeed!…

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People Make The World Go Round - The Stylistics

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People Make The World Go Round - The Stylistics

In the early 70’s the sound of Philadelphia was all the rage and along with bands like the O’Jays, The Stylistics were at the forefront. They had a sugary sound that didn’t always appeal to me – songs like “Betcha By Golly Wow” for instance - but I absolutely LOVE this song – this full length version’s great!…

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