In stressful times, it’s natural to seek comfort in the familiar. But even for people still inclined to hunt for new music, some genres can feel more welcoming than others. Thankfully, the current vogue for ambient, drone and music on the new age spectrum means there’s never any shortage of fresh sounds to soothe frazzled minds.
Japan has a rich tradition for this stuff, as documented on last year’s Grammy-nominated “Kankyo Ongaku,” a survey of “environmental music” from 1980-90 released by American label Light In The Attic. Often created for commercial purposes, this was music that didn’t so much fade into the background as subtly tweak it, gently perfuming the air.