Leisure System co-founder Barker and label manager Gonsher take it down a notch: tune in for an hour’s worth of almost serene sonics and near-meditative atmospheres.
As with any other genre, tagging something as ambient creates a varied set of expectations, which for many skew negative. “Is this going to be shapeless music I can only listen to while recovering from an accident in a hospital bed? Will it just sound like my flatmates’ yoga music? I don’t like rainforest sound effects and pan flutes.” For Leisure System, though, the associations of ambient are overwhelmingly positive and the style an essential part of their musical vocabulary, even if it’s not always on display at the typical Berghain club nights. However, LS co-founder Barker and label manager Gonsher have spent the last few years exploring the distinct overlaps and contradictions of their own taste in ambient music, including playing long sessions the last two years on New Year’s Day at Berghain’s Halle am Berghain, a true heaven-on-earth for anyone who wishes every party still had a chill-out room. Here, they put together a mix they chose to call Almost Ambient, reflecting a taste for psychedelic unpredictability and the various transformative powers of the human voice.