Ambient! Exciting isn’t it?? Anyways, I’ve been a long time fan of ambient music and it’s a term that is sometimes really difficult to pin down. In my opinion it’s something that creates a really nice ambience which makes it good for reading or more chilled out activies/non-activities. I tend to snob a little by excluding all new age style pan flue crapness from the definition but you’re welcome to define that as ambient…although it will make BINNI RAGE!! …Which would lead to me having to sit down and listen to some great ambient music.
Here are 5 awesome ambient songs in no particular order. There were so many good ones that I think I will be doing this kind of post regularly. 🙂
As a fun question for comments…which one of these was recorded in Iceland, my home country? Bonus question would be where and through what unorthodox method…
Biosphere – Kobresia
Blanck Mass – Chernobyl
Max Richter – Horizon Variations
Tim Hecker – Piano Drop
Stars of the Lid – I Will Surround You
Since I’ll be over the Atlantic or somewhere in Europe tomorrow for my 20 hour transit back home from LA to Stockholm I’m posting this one today instead of the real 80’s day…which is Friday! The lack of female singers stood out quite dramatically in the last list so I intend to rectify that error here by selecting 5 great 80’s songs with female singers! These are all of course amazing. It’s funny how resilient 80’s music is really. My sons, 7 and 9, have Spotify and seem to have discovered 80’s music. They really seem to listen to A-ha and Cyndi Lauper a lot for some reason! Good music is always good music.
So without further ado, the songs.,, I cheated a little since one of them is from 1979. 😛
Kate Bush – Running up that hill (A deal with god)
Blondie – Union City Blue
Mike Oldfield – Moonlight Shadow
Laura Brannigan – Self Control
Bonnie Tyler – Total eclipse of the heart
Again I’d like to point out my 80’s Music Spotify list. I seem to listen to it a bit more than is healthy.
So what is it about Zelda, A Link to the Past? This game is by far my favorite old-school console game and in my opinion the best game Nintendo has ever done. I keep coming back to it. Whenever I become jaded with games or think I’ve outgrown Nintendo then it’s a good reminder to pick this game up again to realize it’s not that…it’s just that Nintendo aren’t making games like this anymore (with the exception of Super Mario Galaxy). Well actually most games aren’t close to this, with the most recent exception being Dark Souls, which for me is basically this game but darker, more complex and tougher.
For me Link to the Past does everything right. It has great mechanics and a great setting, freedom of exploration, great art and music… and surprising twists and turns. It’s not nostalgia for me, since I discovered this game around 2000, when I was in my twenties…the game is just plain great and expertly designed and it really shows all it’s qualities right away…in the first dungeon:
It starts dark. The game is surprisingly dark to begin with, which is something Nintendo seem to have forgotten. You hear a desperate cry for help in your sleep. The weather is terrible and your guardian (father, uncle..who knows?) goes out on an errand. You are left alone. After you wake up you decide to venture outside into the rain…
It’s raining and it’s dark. There’s a thunderstorm. No sign of your guardian. You walk around but there is danger everywhere. Eventually you find a heavily guarded castle and sneak in through a hole in the ground.
You find your guardian. Seems like he has met with the palace guards. He also meets with his death. Seems like he was on a quest to free princess Zelda from something evil. If this was a movie this would be the grimmest beginning…however it’s a pretty 2D video game which tones it down a bit. You take his sword after he passes away and continue his quest.
You run around killing palace guards in your search for Zelda. This is one tough kid! Eventually you find her locked away in the deepest dungeon. After killing her morning star wielding guard you free her. Now you have the task of keeping her safe. She knows the way to freedom…
However this isn’t an easy route. You stumble through grim darkness with only a lantern to help you. There’s snakes and spiders hidden in the darkness. Your only way is to find torches and light them, but they usually go out very quickly. In the end however you reach freedom…
You are a hero! And to really underline that as soon as you go outside this heroic theme starts and follows you around while you explore the world: (until you reach the darkworld that is… which has an equally memorable overworld theme)
And now I think I’m just going to finish this game again. It’s like my warm cup of gaming cocoa 🙂 There’s a huge world to explore yet again, secrets to find, gadgets to use and monsters to kill!
I started a new tradition last year. It’s a Friday only tradition. Basically when I get home from work I pour a glass of ice cold beer, make pizza and listen to 80’s music. As I’ve found out weekends just can’t start better! So because of this grand tradition here are 5 awesome 80’s songs. (Note: This list excludes things like The Smiths, Buzzcocks, Echo and the Bunnymen and The Cure. If they were allowed nothing else would be there and the list would be boring…This list is about cheesy 80’s!….not music nerd approved 80’s!).
So in no particular order. The best 80’s songs! Note that if I made the list next Friday it would probably look totally different. Being and 80’s fan means you love them all equally… like your own children. I hate myself already for not including Total Eclipse of the Heart! I mean …WTF Binni?!? This is why this list is part 1…
Ultravox – Vienna
Tears for Fears – Everybody wants to rule the world
The Cars – Drive
Men without hats – Safety dance
Toto – Africa
Also enjoy my 80’s Music Spotify list. It is the best Spotify list.
So, Proteus? Described as an ambient exploration experience. Sounds like a weird mixture of things I love so I had to try it.
Turns out that description wasn’t wrong. Basically you open your eyes and discover you are standing in an ocean. In the distance is an island. This is where things become really strange…and just keep on being strange. It’s a dreamlike and sometimes really gorgeous experience. I wouldn’t call it amazing but it does come damn close through fleeting moments…for instance when a big bass sound rumbles over the world and the trees start to shake their leaves as a consequence. In this world the world and the ambient music are one and your travel through it guides the music.
Here’s a trailer:
I was going to blog about my experience with the game in detail but I just ended up taking a lot of photos, because that’s the only thing you can do..walk around and take photos. Here are some from my walks:
You can buy Proteus at http://www.visitproteus.com/. Supporting crazy indie developers gives you a warm feeling in your tummy so go ahead and get it if the description above interests you. Also Notch loves it and we all love Notch right? Available for Windows, Mac and Linux.