Chill Out Album – Ambient Zone 2

Following the success of The Ambient Zone (“An excellent compilation from the always interesting Just Music labelThe Sunday Times), which featured the “world’s most relaxing song” (Time Magazine) in Marconi Union’s “Weightless,” Just Music has followed up with a second beautiful journey into the immersive word of ambient electronica. The atmosphere over the twelve tracks of ‘winter music’ perfectly encapsulates the approaching mood of quiet introspection, comfort  in solitude and promise of the new, following the long dark winter nights.  Contributors include   some new names alongside familiar Just Music artists and alumni in the likes of Jon Hopkins, Chris Coco, Marconi Union, Digitonal and Echaskech, and the album features nine brand new tracks created exclusively for the album in response to a a beautiful series of carefully selected photo images. Each artist responded to the atmosphere of the photo, translating the feelings evoked in them by the image into an exquisite and fascinating piece of music ambience.

To coincide with its release, director Richie Johnston (Weightless – Marconi Union, close to 1 million Youtube views) has created a unique and mesmerizing feature-length one hour music video to accompany the album in its entirety from beginning to end. Shot in one continuous take, the video features footage of a ballet dancer performing a live visualization and interpretation of the album, to which Johnston applies a concept he has developed using a digital version of an analogue technique called slit – scan photography to create a totally immersive experience, a fascinating  merger of sound and vision,  to the most spectacular and enthralling  effect.

As you watch, you cannot help but be drawn in with utter wonder and intrigue as the mind tries to make sense of the stunning imagery. At the same time, the video instills in the viewer a beautiful sense of calm and tranquility, a the perfect accompaniment for an album that produces the same effects within its listeners.

Here is what Johnston had to say about the video

I enjoyed producing the Weightless video for Just Music, they had an exceptional amount of trust in me which gave for a rare amount of creative freedom. With Ambient Zone 2 they wanted to replace the static album artwork with a short film. I knew there were very few videos out there that have explored this avenue so I took the commission.

I don’t want to give too much away but it’s an important part of the experience to fully understanding how deceptively simple the Ambient Zone 2 video is. Watching from start to finish will help paint the bigger picture. The shoot was an intense 4 hours and a scary two weeks of editing before I finally knew everything had come together correctly.”

Rachel Bodger (Dancer) :“After a trial run in my living room in Edinburgh and a few pointers from Richie I began to get a feel of what movement and positions would complement the effect. It would have been very difficult to choreograph and memorise an hour long piece of movement, and so the final performance was improvised. Richie was keen for it to be my own interpretation of the music, which lends itself to slow, controlled movement; exactly what suited the stretch effect of the video! While this wasn’t strictly a ballet dance, I feel that my history of ballet training helped create the fluid movement seen in the video.”

Ambient Zone 2 album (TAO059) is set for release 20th November. It is the 5th volume of the Just Music Cafe Compilation Series.

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