words and art by w a l t e r w s m i t h

Music For Backgrounds 01: Dr. Atmo – Samarra (Sad World II)

Music For Backgrounds is my 2012 music reviewer which will explore new music in the electronic / ambient genre. I hope to continue what I began with last year’s 30-Day Song Challenge; introducing my readers to the music of artists from around the world. I am calling this series “Music For Backgrounds” because I want to bring a musical sensibility that supports participation from a distance. This is background music. Music for creating art, working around the house, reading, anything where your attention is needed elsewhere. It is music for repeated listening throughout the day. Most of the tracks will be slightly long in length (up to an hour will be the average), therefore I suggest that you make a copy of the URL and paste it in a folder or on your desktop. Because of the length of the music, I realize that it may be difficult to devote listening time while posting.

First up in the series is Dr. Atmo. In the 1990’s I was very much influenced by the FAX label out of Germany. The label, founded by Pete Namlook, brings together various musicians in the electronic sphere for collaboration and solo projects. Dr. Atmo produced the 2-cd masterpiece entitled Samarra (Sad World) in 1993. The track featured here is just over 40 minutes long. It is a long-flowing, mind-blowing excursion into a wall of sound. It begins with a wash of ocean surf and synths with a vocalization depicting a rather strange, surreal story of Jesus in the upper room. As the piece progresses, the cyclical synths are joined by drums and sequencing beats. Sad World is a beautiful and mysterious work of art. A true masterpiece.



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