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Interview

Ascendant p6

Ascendant members Don Tyler and Chris Bryant mention some of their favorite ambient albums, and talk about the Exosphere, the new imprint for their label Synphaera…

READERSVOICE.COM: What albums have you really liked over the years in the history of ambience and related genres, and what websites or radio stations or other sources do you go to in order to find out about new music?

DON TYLER: The first time i heard Klaus Schulze it opened my mind. That whole golden-era Berlin School music like Schulze & Tangerine Dream was an influence on my early musical taste. Even outside of the Germans — Jarre, Vangelis, and then later here in the States, people like Robert Rich & Steve Roach carried the genre forward. Eno, of course, changed the world, and his whole extended collective like Harold Budd and Jon Hassell are still in heavy rotation here.

Good discovery methods for finding new music are an ongoing concern. It can be difficult to find the good stuff or the music that connects with you. Highly curated labels like Ultimae or Cryo Chamber are quite helpful in that regard. SomaFM is another great resource, as are DJs that play down-tempo & ambient.

CHRIS BRYANT: One album that I keep going back to is Martin Nonstatic’s Inner Landscapes which is such a brilliant display of technicality and songwriting. There have been so many memorable releases on Ultimae Records as well. Growing up my earliest influences of the genre were FSOL’s [The Future Sound of London] ISDN and The Orb’s Adventures Beyond The Ultraworld and Orbus Terrarum. Those albums pretty much got me into ambient even though I wouldn’t attempt to make music like it for another decade after.
As far as discovery goes, Bandcamp is my go-to for “crate digging” when I feel like listening to artists and albums I’ve never heard before. I am constantly searching for inspiration for my own music and trying to find new artists to listen to and connect with. I also do a live show on the streaming platform Twitch and I’ve met a ton of other artists that way. We are a small but growing group of streamers who have a passion for our chosen genre and love to share our secrets with each other and the rest of the Twitch community.

RV: What are some of your plans?

DON: The big news for the latter part of this year is that we’re starting a new imprint/sub-label for Synphaera called Exosphere which will focus on darker, more atmospheric & minimal works – the outer edges of electronic music. We also have two Ascendant albums in active production and they should begin to see the light of day in the coming months.

CHRIS: Along with our new sub-label, I’m really excited to continue growing our brand and getting more artists on board. One of my main goals is to be able to reach a wider audience with our music and draw in as many people as we can, because I know there are potential fans out there who have never heard of us but are dying to! When trying to achieve your goals, persistence is key. With the right amount of dedication and passion, there’s nothing you cannot achieve. Ad astra, to the stars!

– See synphaera.bandcamp.com and facebook.com/ambientascendant
– copyright readersvoice.com