Various Artists

MBNT: A Collection of Proto-Ambient Music from Hearts of Space

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First of all, let me mention an important element of this album -- it sounds incredible on a surround sound system, especially Kevin Braheny's beautiful opening track. MBNT is a collection drawn from the Hearts of Space catalog, assembled by John Diliberto of Echoes (a radio show similar in scope and approach to the Hearts of Space radio show), produced by Hearts of Space's Stephen Hill. Diliberto's mission here is to demonstrate that a number of electronic and new age composers were already working through the same ideas being utilised by the current crop of ambient techno performers operating in the U.K. and here (this is hardly news to many in the new age field, but Diliberto's intent is noble enough.) MBNT succeeds very well in the ambient respect, and as a sampler for the deeper, dreamier edge of the Hearts of Space catalog; as an album of non-melodic instrumental pieces that drift, swirl and defy focus, it works beautifully.