Cover Image: Soda Lite – In Eco, 2017
The 10s saw a slow but steady resurgence from new age in a few different forms. The blossoming period was around 2015-2017. FACT called this story ‘how music’s most maligned genre finally became cool’. Eventually, Simon Raymonde wrote about it. While smaller than many other online-based genres in 2020, I can predict it’s growing. After all, the much-discussed resurgence in calming, nature-centric music is going strong.
To make my best summary, I’d call the revival a few loosely connected scenes in one. Like the original new age, it has a looseness and tendency for overlap. Common roots for these artists are 80s-90s retro culture, lo-fi tape scenes, ambient and psychedelia. Many older artists are long-time fans or collectors; others have experience with all-out meditation.
Finally I can share this, made on-and-off over a six-month period. For my second-ever entry in this popular RYM-birthed series, I put great effort into illustrating this loose, wipe-open ‘scene’. (Check out my first one on 80’s library music too.)
- Intro explaining some origins and influences
- Two-part mix, made from popular or influential releases within the niche, plus a few personal faves
- A ‘further listening’ section: ‘close but not quite’ entries in the niche, compilations, labels
- Many quotes and links for full immersion
It began a simple idea for fun; after all, this is super niche and deserves more interest. Given the surprising lack in canons and communities (I thought all small genres had a subreddit!) though? It got tricky to get ‘definitive’ enough. I had at least three moments bordering on giving up. I struggled to find a good collaborator on RYM, since not many users care about this music. The few who did weren’t so active, so I ‘finished’ it alone.
I figure smaller edits will come, then, but I’m surprised I cut this down and mixed it up as much as I did. So please, check this out and discover some new artists!
🌻 I Heart Noise 🌻
🌲 YouTube 🌲
Excited for the debut of my new spring-time mix and 2nd guest post for I Heart Noise! (Here’s the first one)
The legacy of vintage stock music usually centers on edgy funk samples, but it’s soft side is notable for it’s own reasons. For one, the ever-present ‘pastoral’ category brought the gentlest, most touching sounds in the field. These were nostalgic chamber pieces filled with harp, strings and timid flutes; the soundtrack to barns, cabins or a grandmother’s cottage.
The pure tenderness of this music was quick to strike a nerve with me. Like an unspoiled garden or antique, this is a very straightforward and fragile kind of tenderness. It seems many generations could find something nostalgic in here. Fitting as it sounds that it wound up stashed away like a dusty farm diary, they’re too beautiful not to un-dust.
Dedicated to my grandmother’s backyard ❤
- John Cameron & Paul Martin – Moment Of Warmth (Little Creatures, Bruton)
- Fiachra Trench – Reminiscence (Pastorale, KPM)
- Paul Williams – Wistful Dreams (Memories, Parry Music)
- Eugene Cines – Natures Colours (Seeds In The Wind, KPM)
- Brian Bennett – Drifting Shapes (Tone Poems, Bruton)
- Richard Harvey – The Water Garden (life cycles 2, KPM)
- James Clarke – Running Waters (Nature Study Vol. 1, Bruton)
- Dick Walter & Eugene Cines – Quiet Reflection (Seeds In The Wind, KPM) [YouTube Only]
- James Clarke – Midsummer Haze (Country Calendar, Music House) [YouTube Only]
- Joel Vandroogenbroeck – Romantic Garden (Open Air Impressions, Coloursound)
- David Snell – Recollections (Reflections, Bruton)
- Adone Grossi – Fiumi e Salici (Agreste/Bucolico, Commenti Musicali) [YouTube Only]
- Andre Tschaskowski – Personal Mood 2 (Emotionally, Coloursound)
- Volker Kriegel & The Groove-Combination – The Gentle Old Man (Leaf, Biton)
- Johnny Pearson – Autumn Reverie 60-Second Edit (Piano and Orchestra 1, KPM)
- John Fiddy & Norman Candler – Tender Feeling 2 (Softly, Sonoton) [Mixcloud Only]
- Andre Tschaskowski – Sentimental View 1 (Emotionally, Coloursound)
- Keith Mansfield – Wonderlust (Soft Horizons, KPM)
- Brian Bennett – Summer Reverie (Love’s Themes, KPM)
- Robert Viger – Limpidite (Climats, Musique Pour L’Image)
- Paul Williams – Pretty Flowers (Electric Piano Solos, Bruton)
- Jim Lawless – Rest (Reflections, Bruton)
- Nino Nardini – Morning Dew (Nature – Nocturne, L’Illustration Musicale)
- John Tender & Mladen Franko – Sweet Dreams 2 (Children Pets And Clowns, Coloursound)