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Ambient 2: Imaginary Landscapes
Various Artists
Ambient 2: Imaginary Landscapes
Genres: Dance & Electronic, Alternative Rock, World Music, Special Interest, New Age, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
  •  Track Listings (16) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (16) - Disc #2


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Mr. A. Pomeroy | Wiltshire, England | 01/12/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This was the second in Virgin Records' four-volume 'Brief History of Ambient' series (its proper title is 'A Brief History of Ambient, Volume Two: Imaginary Landscapes'). The first compilation had been critically and commercially successful, and this was released only a few months later; Virgin were re-releasing a lot of their back catalogue at the time, perhaps to help pay for Janet Jackson.The compilation is restricted to releases from Virgin and its sub-labels, although this isn't really a handicap, especially as the CDs were assembled with loving care. Whereas the first had taken a broad approach to ambient - it had Hawkwind - this is more hardcore, although the overall mood is again upbeat and mysterious. The individual tracks are, as before, interesting, and again fortunately not overlong. The booklet gives sources.The album is essentially a re-run of the first, but purer; even the track listing is much the same (starting off with Brian Eno, Amorphous Androgynous and Tangerine Dream as before). Between them the Eno family and members of Tangerine Dream account for only six tracks this time, instead of eight ('Mountain of Needles', credited here to David Byrne, is from 'My Life in the Bush of Ghosts', a collaboration with Brian Eno). Track nine on disc two, credited to 'The Verve', is in fact the Verve of 'A Northern Soul' and latter-day hero-rock fame, although this sounds nothing like rock. Amorphous Androgynous are of course the Future Sound of London under another name. This compilation corrects a fault with the original, in that it has proper dub music.If the compilation has a flaw, its that it has no real standout tracks, and blends into one mass. After all this time I barely remember it; the inclusion of The Grid and Bass-o-matic was a mistake, but generally its inoffensive and a little dull. The third installment in the series was a bit more left-field, and the fourth was much darker and moodier, and is thoughy highly of today. This is much less essential unless you have the first and last."