The Top 10 Ambient Albums of June 2024

It’s been a strong month for ambient music. Numerous influential ambient albums have gotten the reissue treatment, including some early algorithmic music from 1981 to the electroacoustic artfulness of Steve Roden’s Splint. Many of the records we picked for our Top 10 Ambient Albums list feel oddly naturalistic while still having the otherworldly sheen ambient music is best known for.

From a fascinating reissue of David Rosenbloom to some gorgeous ambient pop from Belgium’s Annelies Monseré to the patient pastoral electronics of Patricia Wolf’s The Secret Life of Birds, here are our picks for the Top 10 Ambient Albums of June 2024.

Top 10 Ambient Albums of June 2024

10. SML featuring Jeremiah Chiu, Gregory Uhlmann, Josh Johnson, Booker Stardrum and Anna Butterss – Window Sill Song

Delicious trance-inducing post-Reich minimalism, layered with hypnotic beats and ineffable electronics.

9. Waclaw Zimpel – Japanese Journal Vol. 1

Gorgeous album of travel sketches and diaristic vignettes from Polish composer Waclaw Zimpel, made up of processed wind instruments and light minimalist microelectronics.

8. Production Unit Xero – The sky was the color of a television tuned to a dead channel [HTX133]

Cyberpunk-themed ambient music from Heterodox Records label-head Production Unit Xero, namechecking the iconic opening line of William Gibson’s Neuromancer.

7. Steve Roden – Splint (The Soul of Wood)

Originally released in 1997, sound sculptor Steve Roden’s Splint (The Soul of Wood) gets a vinyl reissue courtesy of Lawrence English’s Room 40 Records. Split is a short 20-minute EP of sonic manipulations coaxed out of a wooden chair leg designed by Charles Eames. At times as minimal as geiger counter recordings, at others as lush as walking through a pine forest, Splint manages to be simultaneously earthy and serene.

6. David Rosenboom – Future Travel

Early album of algorithmic music gets a vinyl reissue on Oren Ambarchi’s Black Truffle label. Future Travel sounds like some distant satellite picking up shards and scrambled fragments of popular music, radio broadcasts and indecipherable digital information along with a dose of solar radiation and space junk.

5. Annelies Monseré – I Sign, I Resign

Stunningly gorgeous ambient pop from Belgium’s Annelies Monseré has drawn comparisons to everybody from Nico to Broadcast. Need we say more?

4. Old Saw – Dissection Maps

A warm, hypnotic tapestry of acoustic instruments casts a thrall, putting you under the spell of its weezing harmoniums and ghostly slide guitars.

3. Grand River and Abul Mogard – In uno spazio immenso

First collaboration between Abul Mogard and Grand River starts off epic and becomes impressively minimal, like a mighty river eventually dwindling to a fine spray of crystalline rainbow droplets.

2. Celer – Gems II

Gems II pulls together 7 of Wil Bolton’s Gems compositions under his Celer imprint in one evocative, transportive reissue. It’s hard to believe that such slight gossamer drifts could ever have come from such earthy subject matter. Gems II is like a sub-molecular drift through a citrine and rose quartz universe.

Gems II is like a sub-molecular drift through a citrine and rose quartz universe.

1. Patricia Wolf – The Secret Life of Birds

Idyllic pastoral electronics from Portland’s Patricia Wolf spell out the interior life of birds with her signature blend of detailed field recordings, imaginative sound design and lots of heart.

You can hear all 10 of the best ambient albums of June 2024 on J’s Spotify playlist, and many more besides!

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