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Dark Ambient Projects

Updated on September 19, 2011

A journey into the realm of one of the not-so-popular music genres

Dark Ambient (D.A.) is not for everyone. It can take you into the darkest soundscapes, bringing in mind horror movies, isolated places, dark forests, nightmares, ominous presentiments, feelings of isolation, despair, melancholy. The artists often use a combination of synths, organic sounds, handmade instruments, drones, samples, martial percussion. Brian Eno was one of the first who produced Dark Ambient in the '70s, but the genre became more widespread in the '90s. Dark Ambient is associated with other musical genres, like Industrial, Ambient Industrial, Ritual Ambient, Drone and Noise.

I became familiar with this genre a few years ago, in a period which has been the most contemplative of my life and Dark Ambient was the perfect companion.

This is a list of some of my favourtie Dark Ambient projects and artists. Music for your most private, introspective journeys.

Atrium Carceri
Atrium Carceri

Atrium Carceri

a D.A. project by Simon Heath

Atrium Carceri means "prison hall" in latin and it's the brainchild of the swedish artist Simon Heath, who is one of the masters of Dark Ambient. He produces multilayered sounds with great depth and emotion, creating a unique atmosphere of dark dreams, decayed metropolis, torn souls, landscapes lost in time, mental decadence. Heavy drones, echoing sounds, samples in japanese and other "exotic" languages, drive you into eerie mind trips and distorted realities. A must listen for everyone who wants to explore this genre.

Favourite Albums: "Ptahil" and "Kapnobatai".

Delve deep and observe what is really going on around us... and perhaps we will look into the same room on the other side of the glass.

Simon Heath

My Favourite Atrium Carceri's Albums

Halo Manash
Halo Manash

Halo Manash

a D.A. project by Anti Ittna Haapapuro

Halo Manash is a D.A. project from Finland, that could be better defined as ritual ambient. Their music is born out of dream visions, meditative states and subliminal impressions. Their sound is more "primitive", spiritual and tribal than that of other D.A. projects. They use instruments made out of natural materials, like bones and wood, that they build themselves. They have an affinity for spiritual practices, shamanism, paganism, magic. They want their listeners to use their music as a means of getting in touch with inner realities, the subconscious, dreams and altered states of consciousness. Their music evoces the elements, ethereal entities, subliminal and primordial knowledge.

Favourite album: "r.A.S.H.n.k.a-RA"

Travel through thundering subconsciousness towards the primal mana - Halo Manash

dahlia's tear
dahlia's tear

Dahlia's Tear

a D.A. project by Anil E.Dedeoglu

Dahlia's Tear is the D.A. project of the swedish Anil Dedeoglu, who offers a high quality sample of Dark Ambient. His music manages to describe through sounds, emotions like sorrow, pain, sadness, solitude, often using delicate melodies synthesized on massive drones and shapeshifting surreal impressions. His album "Seven Skies" is a masterpiece that one should not bypass. Powerful synths, manipulated field recordings, harmonic guitars, all add up to the mystical, contemplative atmosphere that this artist generates through his music.

Favourite Albums: "Seven Skies" and "My Rotten Spirit of Black"

Have you ever repeated the same nightmare time after time after time? - Dahlia's Tear

Raison d'être
Raison d'être

Raison d'être

a D.A. project by Peter Andersson

Peter Andersson is another swidish dark ambient artist, whose project's name means "reason to be", taken from a sentence in a book by the famous psychiatrist, Carl Gustav Jung: "the individuation is the raison d'être of the self".

He has released several albums and his soundscapes present a great variety. He blends industrial noises with melodic tunes, gregorian chants with tribal drumming that generate a hypnotic, aural, at times religious atmosphere.

Favourite Albums: "In Sadness, Silence And Solitude", "Within The Depths Of Silence And Phormations", "Prospectus I"

Raison d’être is a very existential term and can be used in a lot of different ways. I think it is a beautiful word and everyone can find his or her own meaning of it. - Peter Andersson

My favourite Raison d'être albums

desiderii marginis
desiderii marginis

Desiderii Marginis

a D.A. project by Johan Levin

Desiderii Marginis means "the edge of desires/dreams" and reflects Johan Levin's desire to create dreamlike, ethereal ambient. By means of his music, he tries to bring a subconscious message from one person to another, "It's about communicating without the limitations of

words". His music is more melodic than that of other D.A. artists, but no less suggestive or symbolic. Actually he shows a great ability to perform and move through the different styles of the genre, using orchestral synths, industrial sounds, whispered vocals.

Favourite Albums: "Deadbeat", "Seven Sorrows", "That Which is Tragic and Timeless"

Music is like a tinted veil hung before your eyes – sometimes it lets you see the world in a more flattering light, making you notice something of great beauty perhaps. Other times the veil blocks disturbing impressions enabling you to breath freely for a while. No matter how you put it music cuts you off from the real world to a certain degree. - Johan Levin

My Favourite Desiderii Marginis' Albums

Apoptose Blutopfer
Apoptose Blutopfer

Apoptose

a D.A. project from Germany

Apoptose means "apoptosis", "programmed cell death" and it happens when a system causes a sick cell to die, as a means of protection. Notwithstanding the scientific name of his project, Apoptose's music resonates with ancient traditions, pagan myths, spiritual practices, inner worlds. He uses powerful, martial percussion and harsh industrial sounds combined with atmospheric, mystical samples and natural sounds. Apoptose manages to create a great balance between his sounds, generating meditative, introspective soundscapes.

Favourite Albums: "Nordland", "Bannwald"

All people have got this dark side but most of them reject its existence. "Dark" doesn't mean that it is "negative" it is just an archaic part of us that has its roots thousands of years ago. This part of the consciousness still influences our everyday behaviour although we often don't recognise it. - Apoptose

Apoptose's Releases

What do you think of "dark" music?

Do you like it or hate it?

No, it sounds too depressive for me!

No, it sounds too depressive for me!

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  • Thrinsdream 5 years ago

    Fantastic, lets your mind travel

  • ghaelendlareh 5 years ago

    Slow, haunting music is not necessarily dark, to me. To me, dark music is the booming base that shakes my lumbar region to the core and irritates me beyond words. All music affects our emotions, and the booming bass is discordant far more than this beautiful music you are playing here.

  • SeraphicDeviltry 6 years ago

    impressive lens! well done!

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      Thrinsdream 5 years ago

      Another or your articles that is wonderful. With thanks and appreciation. Cathi x

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      Nice article and some great recomendations here! Some new artists for me to check out. I tend to like the "dark ambient" over the somewhat "gothic" kind... Thanks. :-)

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      moonlitta 5 years ago

      Besides scaring my daughter, I loved the music:) Blessed!

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      JoshK47 5 years ago

      Beautiful music selections here, all well-laid out with good information - blessed by a SquidAngel!

    • ghaelendlareh profile image

      ghaelendlareh 5 years ago

      Love the selections here! I listen to this and other haunting ambient music while I work.