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Title: The Ambient Collection
Author: Sam King
Source: Sounds
Publish date: July 7 1990

‘The Ambient Collection’

IF THERE is one single musical genre over the last year that smacks totally of hype, pretence and self-edification, it’s got to be Ambient House. Subtitled ‘a journey into peace’ and filed alongside the new ‘brain machines’, floatation tanks and other new mystical paraphernalia, it is to House what Tangerine Dream and Faust were to the hippy, an extended escapade into the lesser ranks of the BBC’s nifty sound effects library.

Art Of Noise for their part have never been able to resist the lure of an approaching bandwagon; indeed their first outing anticipated the whole sampler theft movement. This, however, is very much a last gasp attempt, not least because the band has since split up. Indeed it’s almost a travesty to describe it as Ambient House as it’s really little more than another sad collection of Art Of Noise songs tied together with the odd dose of funny noise.

At its worst, which is often, ‘The Ambient Collection’ is nothing more than a sorry excuse for more of The Art Of Noise’s tedious button twiddling. Apparently the reason given for the group’s demise is that they became “too mainstream”, but if that’s the case they really should have cashed in when Duane Eddy got on the case. Utterly missable.

Sam King