Reverb Machine Deconstructs Eno's Music For Airports
And he ends with some practical advice -
The best way to get into this style of composition is to start using tape. If you can’t commit to getting big reel-to-reel machines, you can always start with cheaper cassette players. Some great online resources for this cassette tape loops are Amulets, Hainbach, and Gemini Horror.
If you want to work with this style in your DAW, turn off the grid and start creating loops in seconds/milliseconds instead of bars/beats. In Ableton Live you can press ⌘ + 4 (Ctrl-4 on Windows) to turn off the grid, allowing you to create unquantized loops that work in a similar way to the tape technique. Create several clips of different lengths, set them all to loop simultaneously, and record the results.
To dig deeper into this style of tape loop ambient music, check out William Basinski’s The Disintegration Loops. Basinski used the same concept as Eno, only the tapes he used rapidly deteriorated upon playback, causing the musical material to degrade over the recordings length.
And if you haven’t heard “Music for Airports” it is on YouTube, of course. but you can also find the record if you search long enough at local record shops. D has managed to find Ambient 1, 2 and 4 all used for our collection.