Ambient Monkeys began its life as pre-concert music for Tangerine Dream's 1997 European tour, and was later released on their TDI label at the request of their fans. The album is aptly named, as the compositions fade in and out over a constant bed of prominent sound effects (which, aside from the aforementioned monkeys, also includes surf and trains). It is also ambient in the Brian Eno sense of the word, meant to be listened to as much passively as actively. Indeed, the repetitive sounds actually discourage intense listening. The music itself includes themes from a couple classical works, altered songs from albums such as Optical Race and Green Desert and some original pieces, most of which don't linger long enough to make much of an impression. Because of these features, it probably served its original purpose quite well. As an album, however, it is more of a curio.
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AllMusic Review by Brian E. Kirby