Local producer Big Cats has made some really great ambient music
As I’ve gotten older and my life has become infinitely more stressful, I have worked hard not to bury or ignore my continued love for finding and listening to new music. What I have found is that instrumental or ambient music helped fill what otherwise may be a gap by providing music that I still enjoyed having soak through my headphones while I worked, without the distractions of lyrics that would cause me to lose my focus. At first it was a marriage of convenience, but it quickly morphed into something more substantial, and now I would count ambient, from Eno and Cluster and Harmonia to Aphex Twin to current stars like Tim Hecker, Oneohtrix Point Never, Huerco S and Food Pyramid (and instrumental hip-hop, post rock and other sister genres, as some of my favorite music regardless of genre.
In a Minnesota twist, producer Big Cats has been at the helm of some of my favorite local music produced over the last half decade, whether the soulful, heartfelt collage of For My Mother or creating canvasses for some of the best hip hop with rappers like Toki Wright, Guante and others. Now he has ventured into my newfound homeland of ambient music, creating what he calls “study music.” He has uploaded two long videos on a Youtube page of the same name, and both are engrossing examples of emotional, resonate music that need minimal vocals or words to craft a vast landscape of beautiful sounds. Fans of Big Cats will recognize pieces thoughout, but you don’t need to be a fan of his to make these songs worth a listen. He suggests them for studying, meditating, focusing or relaxing, but I’d say they deserve your attention no matter what you are doing. Check out one track above and one below, and keep an eye on the Youtube page to see if this is an ongoing project.