Digging Psybient Tunes

Lately, I (and my fiance as well) have been getting into a new-to-me/us form of music commonly called “psybient,” or psychedelic ambient. It’s basically a form of electronica also often called “chill out” music. Maybe you’re already familiar with it. I wasn’t.

I don’t know how I discovered psybient music. I was wandering around iTunes looking for some good ambient music to relax and go to sleep to when I came across several bands, and some of them sounded pretty good! Among these were Magic Sound Fabric, Zero One, Daksha, and Blue Stone. According to Wikipedia, “psybient is far more focused on creating a vast soundscape that can be experienced over the length of an album, focusing less on beatmatching and allowing for a myriad of tempo changes.” It’s almost completely instrumental, and it’s typically comprised of gentle grooves, although sometimes you get a song that’s nearly techno. Also, these groups are usually the project of just one person, although sometimes there are apparently some collaborations.

While still searching around using these groups as launching boards, I discovered another cool group — Carbon Based Lifeforms. CBL is a great psybient band produced on a French label called Ultimae Records. This label produces nothing but psybient music, some really good stuff. Some of the bands from this label that I’ve gotten into lately include Solar Fields, Cell, Aes Dana, Asura (really good!), Jaia, and my favorite, H.U.V.A. Network, a collaboration between Solar Fields and Aes Dana. It’s got a trance-like quality, a solid base beat, an ethereal sense to it, and it’s wonderful to relax to. Some non-Ultimae bands I’ve been listening to include Ott, Pitch Black, and Phutureprimitive.

Psybient music, or music that formed it, started back in the 1990s. One of the originators of this type of music was The Orb, known for their song, “Little Fluffy Clouds.” Other bands started creating similar music, and soon there was chillout, psydub, trance, ambient electronica, and now psybient. I’ve really enjoyed my foray into this musical world. If you want to kick back and relax to some mellow tunes, consider checking some of the bands I’ve mentioned out. You might be surprised with what you find!

4 thoughts on “Digging Psybient Tunes

  1. nzu

    ultimae puts out some awesome tunes. love the fahrenheit projects. zymosis is amazing. shulman and entheogenic are amazing.

    listen to shulman – transmissions in bloom (alive mix), such an amazing song.

    also check out some darker psybient from aether division:

    [audio src="http://www.themostincredibleyou.com/xyala/aether_division-apzu.mp3" /]


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