The Ten Best Ambient Works

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The Independent Culture

1 AN ENDING Brian Eno (EG, 1983)

This is from the compilation Music for Films Volume 2, and there's a version on Apollo - Atmospheres & Soundtracks, which is the accompaniment to the film that Nasa made about Apollo's approach to the Moon, called For All Mankind. The film is about astronauts and their dreams and aspirations when they're on the Moon. The music for the film is wonderful.

2 INSIDE RIVER Kaito (Kompakt, 2003)

Kaito is the Tokyo-based DJ and producer Hiroshi Watanabe, and this is a phenomenally lovely ambient piece of music and a must for any chill-out room. It is from the album Special Love, and I play it out a lot.

3 POP AMBIENT 2003 Various (Kompakt, 2002)

This is a compilation of various chill-out tracks: it has things such as Markus Guentner's "Express Yourself", Triola's "Leuchtturm", Klimer's "Milk and Honey" and our own track "DilMun". I've been playing pieces from this album over techno tunes, and they blend in quite nicely. I mix them with minimal techno with lots of string arrangements over the top. I feel honoured that they put an Orb tune on it: I feel like I'm in the right place on that level of music.

4 POP AMBIENT 2002 Various (Kompakt, 2003)

Also superb. To me, the whole Pop Ambient range is what ambient music should be doing in the 21st century. Ambient music has always worked well on compilation albums, and I could have chosen any from the Kompakt series, they're all so good.

5 BECAUSE BEFORE Ulf Lohmann (Kompakt, 2001)

This is another album from the Kompakt label. I think of this boy as the Mozart of the 21st century. I've played the album in front rooms and ambient rooms, and it always gets a real reaction, the biggest turn of heads.

6 KONIGSFORST Gas (Mille Plateaux, 1999)

This is another out of Germany, produced by Wolfgang Voigt under one of his many pseudonyms. I've almost become German by listening to so much of their music. I've always listened to German music, beginning with Can and Kraftwerk and Neu! and the Krautrock scene. This is a great album to sleep to, as it's entirely beatless in places.

7 THE PEARL Harold Budd/Brian Eno (EG, 1984)

This is the song from the album of the same name, which I'm sleeping to at the moment. It's got this tiny little melody that pops out beautifully for about two minutes and then sticks in your mind. It's just so peaceful.

8 OOBE The Orb (Strange Fruit, 1996)

This track is on our Peel Sessions Volume 2 EP. It's my favourite of all the ambient things we've ever done. Which says it all, really.

9 E2-E4 Manuel Göttsching (Spalax/Racket, 1984)

This is an early trance/techno classic and is always heard in chill-out rooms. It has always been a staple of our set. It's 35 minutes short, with a classic fluid, understated guitar groove to it.

10 CHILL OUT The KLF (KLF Communications, 1990)

This is a blast from the past, a bit shorter than our track "The Blue Room". Although it has different tracks, it was mixed live in the studio as a continuous 44-minute piece and should be considered as one long track or album. It has all the elements of what you need to grab your pipe, pop your slippers on and kick back and watch the sun come up.

The Orb's new album, 'Bicycles & Tricycles', is out now on Cooking Vinyl

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