Various – Leading a Horse to Water: Gathering Ambience

This 14 track (71 minute) album features New Zealand artists who performed in the ambient zone at The Gathering 2000. The Gathering was NZ’s largest outdoor dance party and was held over four days during New Years from 1997-2002 attracting between up to 10,000 people to one of the most beautiful parts of the country. This compilation was put together by John Heighes who was the organiser of the zone and all-round ambient guru.

Half the tracks are unreleased and exclusive to this album. Leading a Horse to Water features established artists such as and SJD and Dub Asylum as well as showcasing other adventurous sonic explorers from Aotearoa.

This is the perfect come-down album after a hard night’s activities or to gently massage the brain on a chilled out afternoon.


Leading a Horse to Water is a seamless, 14 track collection of locals who performed at the Gathering 2000′s ambient area and is compiled by John Heighes who organised that zone-out Zone.
It features washes of sound by SJD (the dreamy acoustic guitar textures of Oscillator), Dub Asylum with a homage to the king of surf guitar on the leisurely chiming Dick Dale in Outer Space, Lotus (label boss Braddock, not to be confused with the singer of the same name) with the tui song minimalism of World Soup, and the quasi-Indonesian trance of Gamelan Padhang Moncar.
This is ambient of the most gentle, whispered and diverse persuasion, and very attractive. Especially if coming down is where you want to be. – **** The NZ Herald

Leading a Horse to Water : Gathering Ambience is a compilation featuring some of the local artists who performed in the Ambient Zone at this year’s Gathering festival.
You thought ambient music was unmelodic? Take in the classical cadences of Charlotte 90′s Waiting to Wait. All electronic? Mandala by Gamelan Padhang Moncar is played entirely on ancient acoustic instruments, yet the mood of its hypnotic bells and chimes blends with the album’s more synthetic compositions. Humourless? Try Dub Asylum’s Dick Dale in Outer Space.
…Leading a Horse to Water shows you the scope of the genre and doesn’t force you to drink. – The Listener