Various: Ambient 4: Isolationism (1994, Virgin)

Posted in music by okkame on August 11, 2011



In the course of my renewed pilgrimage to Matthew Bower’s hypogeal halidom, I tripped over this compilation and thought it appropriate to adorn the already formidable wall of this hipster hall of fame with the album’s ambient ominousness. Hipsters do enjoy this sort of stuff. You’ll get the same answer from  employees at any worthy record store in NYC or in any other big cites all over the world alive with knowledgeable hepsters which are the direct opposite of Seoul, Korea, the last spiritless bastion of all things square ….. Screw all the grisly Bon Iver crap and those incorrigible Korean indiecretins.


Ambient 4: Isolationism is a 1994 compilation album released on the Virgin Records label, part of itsAmbient series. The compilation was issued as a double CD, packaged in a slimline case. It features liner notes by Kevin Martin of the Bug.




CD 1

  1. KK Null & Jim Plotkin: “Lost (Held Under)”
  2. Jim O’Rourke: “Flat Without A Back”
  3. Ice: “The Dredger”
  4. Raoul Björkenheim: “Strangers”
  5. Zoviet France: “Daisy Gun”
  6. Labradford: “Air Lubricated Free Axis Trainer”
  7. Techno Animal: “Self Strangulation”
  8. Paul Schütze: “Hallucinations (In Memory Of Reinaldo Arenas)”
  9. Scorn: “Silver Rain Fell (Deep Water Mix)”
  10. Disco Inferno: “Lost In Fog”
  11. Total: “Six”
  12. Nijiumu: “Once Again I Cast Myself Into The Flames Of Atonement”



CD 2

  1. Aphex Twin: “Aphex Airlines”
  2. AMM: “Vandoevre”
  3. Seefeel: “Lief”
  4. .O.rang: “Little Sister”
  5. E.A.R.: “Hydroponic”
  6. Sufi: “Desert Flower”
  7. David Toop & Max Eastley: “Burial Rites (Phosphorescent Mix)”
  8. Main: “Crater Scar (Adrenochrome)”
  9. Final: “Hide”
  10. Lull: “Thoughts”
  11. Thomas Köner: “Kanon (Part One: Brohuk)”



Isolate yourself password:


From the above passworded blog;


“In August of 1994, Virgin Recordsreleased the fourth and final volume in their definitive A Brief History of Ambient series. As things were starting to get a bit stale with the third volume, Virgin changed course, reaching beyond their own labels to widen the scope for this two-disc set. Focusing on the burgeoning Isolationism sub-genre, Virgin was able to license and compile a collection of exclusive tracks for this last blast. They also shortened the title this time around, omitting the A Brief History of part.

This compilation is the first major label release of this darker breed of ambient music. Most of the original indie electronic artists that pioneered this mid-90s musical variant are featured here. Stylistically, the ambient music that Brian Eno created in the 1970s was unique in that it was designed to work also as a passive experience; you could listen to it closely or let it play in the background as a non-distraction. Conversely, as this title’s producer, musician Kevin Martin, put it when he coined the term, Isolationism is designed to “push away” the listener. This repulsive effect manifests itself in music that, surprisingly, covers a wide variety of attack approaches. Personally, the only similarity I find in these disparate pieces is the gloomy tone that sits at their core. Don’t get me wrong, it’s all quite enjoyable, but is maybe best enjoyed in smaller doses. Regardless, this is the perfect instrumental electronica to listen to on a dreary day. Particularly if your goal is not to cheer yourself up.”


One Response

Subscribe to comments with RSS.

  1. okkame said, on August 11, 2011 at 4:26 am

    This is really great.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: