Dr John, curator of The Ambient Zone, selects the essential tracks for an intergalactic sonic journey
TRACK BY TRACK
1. Weightless Part 1
An acclaimed piece of ambient music with over 27 million YouTube views, “Weightless” is one of the many seminal pieces of music put out by this inscrutable three-piece band from Manchester.
2. First Flight
Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith
This 31-year-old Californian composer is a rising star of synthesiser music, a visionary soundscaper who has heavenly, ethereal vocals to match. Smith creates compositional, textural music that mystifies and enchants. Her new album The Kid drops soon, so don’t miss her live dates.
3. Starboard Home
Jon Hopkins & King Creosote
This beautiful track is taken from the special edition of Jon Hopkins and Kenny Anderson’s wonderful, Mercury Prize-shortlisted Diamond Mine album, a musical project inspired by sea and space.
4. Unter Deck
A delicious, teasing track by the Berlin-based DJ that drifts, dazzles, and comes back again, accompanied by a hint of a smile through the visor of a helmeted, giggling girl in a spacesuit.
5. Friday’s Child
Pure Balearic: lush, mellow, melodic and rapturous. Exactly what you’d expect from one of the grand masters of sunset music – a DJ, tastemaker and one of the early pioneers of the chill-out scene on Ibiza and on the airwaves. Music for inner and outer space.
The classical composer, clarinetist and beats wizard brings immense talent to the ultimate musical anti-depressant. Uplifting and joyful, the sky is most definitely the limit.
“To the heart” – au coeur – is the expression toyed with by this composer and sound designer. The piano on the track takes you straight there, while the strings and electronica whirl you about. A delight.
8. Landing Cliffs
Explosions in the Sky
An inspirational, surging track from this Texan post-rock colossus of a band. Music with a compositional virtuosity worthy of a place at the highest tables in this genre. Sublime.
Glenn Gregory of 80s titans Heaven 17 partners with vocalist Berenice Scott for a new track that moves through spheres and bathes you in its light. Like being propelled through space in cotton wool.