Selected Ambient Works 85-92
is a desperately sparse album: thin percussion and several haunted-synth lines are the only components on most songs, and Richard D. James
added only one vocal sample on the entire album ("We are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of dreams"). Also, the sound quality is relatively poor; it was recorded direct to cassette tape and reportedly suffered a mangling job by a cat. All this belies the status of Selected Ambient Works 85-92
as a watershed of ambient music. It reveals no influences and sounds unlike anything that preceded it, due in large part to the effects James
managed to wrangle from his supply of home-manufactured contraptions.