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Ambient Temple of Imagination


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The Ambient Temple of Imagination is an open collective dedicated to activating the world’s imagination through experimentation.

Part ambient-trance group, part holistic listening-music healers, ATOI’s Mystery School project was founded in 1992 by Richard Sun and Seofon in San Francisco as they pioneered chill-out sound environments for raves around the area. With introspective chill spaces, ritual performance art, and spoken-word poetry, ATOI focused on the public ceremonial exploration of magick and sound.

As the ambient-house style entered dance music as a whole during the next few years, Sun continued developing ambient events and providing alternatives to dancing. The duo also began recording, and released two albums for San Francisco’s Silent Records, Mystery School and Sonic Acupuncture. Recorded live at a massive on Christmas of 1996, Planetary House Nation was released the following September. ATOI followed this two years later with Y2Kaos, a double-disc tour de force containing highlights from their sprawling full-length volumes along with new recordings and remixes. 2001 saw the beginning of a new era for ATOI with the release of Zero Point: Lessons in being nothing, an unprecedented collaboration with ambient music luminaries Vidna Obmana and Steve Roach.

2009 saw the return of ATOI after a long hiatus, with the release of ΛTOI on the Belgian label Plague Recordings, as well as the virtual release of their remastered back-catalog on their Bandcamp site.

The history of ATOI: Seofon explores the origins, ideas, and music of the Ambient Temple of Imagination (ATOI) through interviews and audio tracks.


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  • Iron_Storm

    stuck on Y2KAOS.. perfect stuff

    28 Apr 2014 Reply
  • AtoiMs

    All releases now available at

    23 Feb 2012 Reply
  • AtoiMs

    We just published the remastered version of "Sonic Acupuncture" here and on the ATOI website - so that completes the set! Enjoy. Lux, 777

    8 Mar 2011 Reply
  • chrisxanthus

    Anyone who thinks ATOI is ordinary isn't really listening. They have been blowing my mind since 1995.

    3 May 2010 Reply
  • AtoiMs

    Thanks for your comments, everyone! It's pleasing to think that Richard did capture some magickal moments with his lineup in the 1990s, and we hope that ATOI will be back soon with some new collaborators and sounds. It's certainly fair to accuse ATOI of pretense, as we always felt it important to speak without reservation about the things that excite and inspire us. We do feel that experimentation is at the heart of ambient music (cf. the podcast, link below). However, since ATOI is not a "band," our statements are intended apply to ambient music as a whole rather than exclusively to our own offerings. If our recordings don't take you beyond the ordinary, find some stuff that does and let us know about it!

    29 Apr 2010 Reply
  • Zypraxa

    Experimentation? It just sounds like ordinary ambient music to me. It's good though. Hasn't "activated my imagination", really... man these pretentious descriptions suck. :|

    16 Jan 2010 Reply
  • novagiant

    Food for the mind. Deep aural ambience with a fourth dimensional frequency that opens a doorway to the body's state of bliss.

    25 Dec 2009 Reply
  • plague23

    30 Oct 2009 Reply
  • AtoiMs

    The history of ATOI: Seofon explores the origins, ideas, and music of the Ambient Temple of Imagination (ATOI) through interviews and audio tracks. -

    20 Oct 2009 Reply
  • daz_poison

    Доставляет. За что люблю экспериментальный эмбиент , так это отсутствие каких=либо рамок и правил. Здесь психоделическая атмосфера переплитается с тёмными сторонами бытия, а временами можна встерить атмосферные , небесно чистые, бесконечные и невообразимо объёмные звуковые партии подкреплённые лёгкими гипнотизирующими даунтемповыми ритмами. Она излучает , излучает ослепительно белый свет. (ЗЫ : слушаю сейчас Star Flesh Of Nuit)/

    23 Jul 2009 Reply
  • iLLY4

    chillout? ))) мы называем эту сверхчеловеческую музыку electro-chanelling. atoi больше, чем музыка, это катарсис!

    23 Jan 2009 Reply
  • atomski23


    30 Sep 2008 Reply

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