From humble beginnings as an ambient side-project for Front Line Assembly, Delerium grew through the 1990s into a unique mix of global influences with electronic backing, before discovering remixes and taking the charts by storm with the help of Sarah McLachlan.
Obviously the enormous Silence (reissued in 2000), their contributions to the Tomb Raider soundtracks, and you probably won’t know a lot else.
Where to start
The 2004 compilation The Best Of has its failings, but is a fair introduction to all the different aspects of their sound. If you’re feeling confident, you could just jump to the trio below.
What to buy
The best way to experience their studio albums is probably to start with Karma (1997), and then move on to Poem (2001). Then you could go in a couple of directions, but my recommendation would probably be Chimera (2003).
Don’t bother with
Much from before 1994 – the compilations Archives I and II (2002) will likely give you everything you need. The acoustic collection Voice (2010) is rather anticlimactic.
Semantic Spaces (1994) documents the development of their sound, and has some great tracks hidden on it too. Stargazing, one of the bonus tracks from Music Box Opera (2012) is incredibly good. Oh, and apart from the album version, the essential mix of Silence is probably the Airscape one, available in a couple of different places.