Thursday, January 18, 2018

A Mystical Ambience

image by Siobhan Allen

I am starting the year off right with another fantastic mix from my friend Paul Asbury Seaman.  You may remember his previous collections posted here - The Memory of Trains, Floating Through Moonlight, and Icelight.

This mix does a wonderful job of creating a mystical vibe, like the title says, but without being too new agey.  I love the nice long track from Louigi Verona in the middle of the mix.  Here's what Paul has to say about it...

“From the beginning, ambient-electronic music has been almost synonymous with “space music” as well as inward journeys. Whether through post-tribal rhythms or the meditative drones of long-form compositions, this is music designed to facilitate an altered consciousness, or maybe something much less talked about: a sense of reverence. Featuring three of the genre’s “tribal elders,” as well as some more recent masters, this is a mix for gentle meanderings into a space of grounded bliss."

I hope you enjoy Paul's excellent collection of Mystical Ambience."

Cheers!



[ s t r e a m ]    [ d o w n l o a d ]    [ i t u n e s ]




T R A C K L I S T :

  • 00:00    John Serrie - Valley of the Nacoochee(Spirit Keepers 1998)
  • 05:55    Max Corbacho - Transparent Phenomena(Source of Presnt 2017)
  • 09:10    Robert Rich & Markus Reuter - Twining Branches Make A Path(Lift a Feather to the Flood 2017)
  • 18:08    Hollan Holmes - That Ephemeral Spark(Prayer to the Energy 2017)
  • 24:45    Craig Padilla & Zero Ohms - When the Earth is Far Away(When the Earth is Far Away 2012)
  • 29:10    Louigi Verona - Ocean of Seashells(Ocean of Seashells 2017)
  • 50:00    Steve Roach - Within the Mystic(Mystic Chords and Sacred Spaces 2003)
  • 64:53    end








Wednesday, December 27, 2017

JAZZ 2017


This mix is less of a best jazz recordings of 2017 and more of a mix of jazz that I enjoyed in 2017.  I don't listen to nearly as much jazz as I do ambient and indie music. But I liked enough releases to come up with an end of the year jazz mix. So here it is.

The year was anchored by two spectacular recordings - Aytche by Joseph Shabason and All This I Do For Glory by Colin Stetson.  I saw Stetson at a small club and was blown away by his sound and technique.  If you get the chance to see him up close definitely go.

There are two albums that I discovered while compiling tracks for my mix, Rhythm of the Rails. Those two are Eternal Stories by Michel Portal & Quator Ebene and Simultonality by Joshua Abrams & Natural Information Society. Both excellent recordings.

Another highlight of 2017 was ECM records putting their entire catalog up on Spotify. I listened to nothing by ECM for a few weeks this fall.

This will probably be my last mix for 2017. I've already started on a guest mix for liftedicons.com that will be fun to put together.  Music definitely helped me get through a messed up 2017. Here's to a great 2018.

Cheers!



[ s t r e a m ]    [ d o w n l o a d ]    [ i t u n e s ]



T R A C K L I S T :

  • 00:00    Joseph Shabason - Aytche(Aytche)
  • 03:40    Vijay Iyer Sextet - Wake(Far From Over)
  • 08:03    Ben Allison - Magic Number(Layers of the City)
  • 14:38    Bjorn Meyer - Provenance(Provenance)
  • 20:30    Quatuor Ebene - City Birds(Eternal Stories)
  • 27:55    Colin Stetson - Spindrift(All This I Do For Glory)
  • 33:36    Portico Quartet - Endless(Art in the Age of Automation)
  • 37:46    Kamasi Washington - Desire(Harmony Of Difference)
  • 42:07    Phronesis - Ok Chorale(The Behemoth)
  • 45:50    Joshua Abrams & Natural Information Society - Maroon Dune(Simultonality)
  • 54:48    Dorothy Ashby - Pawky(Hip Harp/In A Minor Groove)
  • 51:55    end









Sunday, December 17, 2017

Best of 2017


It's that time of the year again - end of the year Best Of list time!  It's always a difficult task to pick albums for one of these lists.  But it's also fun because I get to sort through a bunch of music and it's definitely cool to have a look at other lists and discover a ton of things I missed.

There is no way these lists are close to being definitive.  A lot of ambient releases can tend to blur from one into the next and the difference between making the list and not making it can boil down to what mood I was in when I first heard the album.  There's so much excellent music being released on a weekly basis it's impossible to keep up so this list and mix is just a bunch of stuff that I liked this past year.

Here are a few other good year in review lists:

http://www.astrangelyisolatedplace.com/blog/2017/12/5/asip-reflection-on-2017

https://acloserlisten.com/tag/acl-2017/

https://irregularcrates.com/2017/12/12/end-of-2017-a-list-and-mix-by-harry-towell/

http://ambientmusicguide.com/best-of-year/best-albums-of-2017/

https://www.popmatters.com/best-ambient-instrumental-albums-2017-2513144740.html?page=2

https://diveintosun.wordpress.com/2017/12/11/best-albums-of-2017/

http://textura.org/archives/articles/2017top10s.htm#10ambient


My best of list is more of a best instrumental music list than just straight ambient.  The mix is mostly ambient but the list contains jazz, instrumental & ambient.  According to my Spotify data I played a lot of 36 last year so it's appropriate that he's got two albums in the top ten. I guess I'm too lazy to write up comments about all the music except to say that there's a lot of good stuff there. So take some time and hunt down these releases, you won't be disappointed. 


BEST INSTRUMENTAL ALBUMS 2017:
1. 36 - Tomorrow’s Explorers
2. Delia Derbyshire Appreciation Society - Delia Derbyshire Appreciation Society
3. Colin Stetson - All This I Do For Glory
4. Bing and Ruth - No Home of the Mind
5. Joseph Shabason - Aytche
6. Ruven Nunez - Altar of Sunlight
7. Benoit Pioulard - Lingnin Poise and Slow Spark, Soft Spoke
8. Chuck Johnson - Balsams
9. 36 - Black Soma
10. Bibio - Phantom Brickworks
11. Dungen - Haxan(versions by Prins Thomas)
12. Vijay Iyer Sextet - Far From Over
13. Penguin Cafe - The Imperfect Sea
14. Arovane & Hior Chronic - Into My Own
15. Christopher Willits - The Art of Listening
16. Vermont - II
17. High Plains - Cinderland
18. Roedelius and Arnold Kaspar - Einfluss
19. Tonepoet - N/E/W/S
20. Halftribe - Daydreams in Low Fidelity
21. Taylor Dupree - Somi
22. Kamasi Washington - Harmony of Difference
23. Loess - Pocosin
24. Hior Chronic - Our of the Dust
25. Tale of Use - Endless
26. Saltland - A Common Truth
27. Quatuor Ebene - Eternal Stories
28. Aware - The Book of Wind
29. Grails - Chalace Hymnal
30. The Prairie Lines - Eyes Down Slowdown


If you have a list of your own feel free to leave it in the comments. Or if you just have a favorite or two that you want to recommend please let us know in the comments.

Here's to a, musically, great 2017 & a better 2018.  Cheers!



[ s t r e a m ]    [ d o w n l o a d ]    [ i t u n e s ]



T R A C K L I S T :
  • 00:00    36 - Poekhali(Tomorrow's Explorers)
  • 06:33    Delia Derbyshire Appreciation Society - Cloudface(Delia Derbyshire Appreciation Society)
  • 10:25    Bing & Ruth - Scrapes(No Home Of The Mind)
  • 15:10    Bibio - Capel Celyn(phantom brickworks)
  • 20:50    Benoit Pioulard Same Time Next Year(Lignin Poise)
  • 25:10    Tonepoet - The Moment You Were Swept From My Memory(N.E.W.S.)
  • 30:00    The Prairie Lines - Calm Landing(eyes down slowdown)
  • 36:00    Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Arnold Kasar - Asco(Einfluss)
  • 40:30    Dungen - Aladdin och lampan(Haxan (versions by Prins Thomas)
  • 47:10    Vermont - Langholmen(Vermont II)
  • 50:35    Island People - Ember(Island People)
  • 55:10    Saltland - To Allow Us All To Breathe(A Common Truth)
  • 59:10    Penguin Cafe - Cantorum(The Imperfect Sea)
  • 1:06:10    High Plains - Ten Sleep(Cinderland)
  • 1:09:05   Arovane & Hior Chronik - The Return(Into My Own)
  • 1:11:35    Chuck Johnson - Labradorite(Balsams)
  • 1:16:30    Ruven Nunez - As Above, So Below(Altar of Sunlight)
  • 1:26:00    Taylor Deupree - Autumn(Somi)
  • 1:31:40    Loess - Striae(Pocosin)
  • 1:37:00    Halftribe - Aphotic(Daydreams in Low Fidelity)
  • 1:40:55    Christopher Willits - Ama(The Art of Listening)
  • 1:44:10    Aware - But God Was Not in the Storm(The Book of Wind)
  • 1:47:10    Justin Walter - 1001(Unseen Forces)
  • 1:51:45    Tale of Us - Distante(Endless)
  • 1:59:13    Hior Chronik - Cosmos(Out Of The Dust)
  • 2:02:37    36 - Black Sun(Black Soma)
  • 2:07:40    end





Sunday, December 03, 2017

Alternative Blade Runner 2049 Soundtrack


Being a science fiction & electronic music geek, it's no surprise that I'm a big fan of the soundtrack for the original Blade Runner film.  When I heard that they'd tabbed Johann Johannsson to do the score for the 2049 film I was very excited.  But then he was pulled from the project & replaced with Hans Zimmer.  While I've actually liked a few of Zimmer's recent scores, I wasn't overly impressed with his music for 2049.  It wasn't that I disliked it.  I think I was just disappointed that it wasn't Johannsson.

My son, however, liked the soundtrack much more than I did.  So much in fact that he went home after seeing the film, created his own track in the 2049 style and sent it to me the next day.  I was impressed with the track and immediately made plans for a Blade Runner mix.

The music here is a collection of tunes that sounds like it fit perfectly in Blade Runner 2049.  In searching for music I was happy to have rediscovered Xerrox, Vol. 2 by Alva Noto, such a great album.  I was also excited to find music and artists I'd not heard before like Ital Tek, Floating Machine & Island People.

Here's a link to my son's track which appears in the mix as track #3 - "Blade Running" by just a human.




Cheers!


[ s t r e a m ]    [ d o w n l o a d ]    [ i t u n e s ]



T R A C K L I S T :

  • 00:00    Alva Noto - Xerrox Moonphaser 2
  • 05:00    Ital Tek - Jenova
  • 10:10    just a human - Blade Running(unreleased)
  • 12:18    36 - Black Future
  • 16:05    Ryuichi Sakamoto - life, life
  • 20:00    Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Same Dream
  • 23:51    Floating Machine - Nowhere
  • 30:40    Island People - vogelsang
  • 35:25    Andreas Tilliander - Syncussion Discussion
  • 40:10    Boards of Canada - Transmisiones Ferox
  • 41:35    Arovane & Hior Chronik - Into My Own
  • 45:35    Ryuichi Sakamoto - Fullmoon
  • 47:30    Island People - from the sky
  • 54:35    Alva Noto - Xerrox Moonphaser 1
  • 61:40    end












Friday, November 24, 2017

Beneath the Dust


This mix was inspired by a couple of new releases from Benoit Pioulard.  Both recordings are hazy, dusty, blurry ambient beauty. 






The rest of this mix all fits in with that dusty, softly granular feel.  It's dreamy and hazy without being too annoyingly noisey.

Cheers!



[ s t r e a m ]    [ d o w n l o a d ]    [ i t u n e s ]




T R A C K L I S T :
  • 00:00    Huerco S. - A Sea of Love
  • 06:44    Spheruleus - Blue Cast
  • 09:09    Benoit Pioulard - Never, just as you wanted
  • 14:00    Taylor Duepree - Thaw
  • 21:40    Hannu Karjalainen - Love is a Black Lion
  • 25:20    Pleq - Good Night(green kingdom remix)
  • 29:42    Floor Overhead - A Solution for Self Improvement
  • 33:50    Steve Pacheco - I Remember You
  • 39:30    Warmth - Dust(Chris Weeks remix)
  • 43:15    Wil Samson - Lua
  • 46:20    Porya Hatami - Sea
  • 52:00    Spheruleus - How Dwellings Shadowed
  • 54:35    Sonmi451 - Sarca
  • 59:50    Federico Durand - Música para Manuel 5
  • 61:48    end



 


Sunday, October 22, 2017

Sunday Morning Music vol. 15 - October Sky


For this Sunday Morning Music installment I used almost all brand new music.  16 of the 19 tracks are from 2017 & most of those are from the last two months.  Two cuts are from 2016.  

One outlier is from all the way back in 1999.  That track is October Sky by Mark Isham.  As I was putting the mix together I came up with the title of vol. 15 - October Sky(cuz it's October) and thought that it sounded familiar.  I searched my hard drive and sure enough I found October Sky is a soundtrack by Mark Isham from 1999.  BTW, it's an excellent movie.  So I had to include that one old track in with all the new ones.

Also sorry for this not being uploaded on a Sunday morning.  Brunch with the kids took priority, then football, the nap.  So here it is on Sunday evening.

Cheers!



[ s t r e a m ]    [ d o w n l o a d ]    [ i t u n e s ]




T R A C K L I S T :
  • 00:00   Joseph Shabason - Tite Cycle(Aytche 2017)
  • 05:12    Kasami Washington - Desire(Harmony Of Difference 2017)
  • 08:25    Clint Mansell - The Night Cafe(Loving Vincent 2017)
  • 10:40    Arovane & Hior Chronik - Morning Fog(Into My Own 2017)
  • 13:50    Four Tet - 10 midi(New Energy 2017)
  • 14:52    Hannu Karjalainen - Love Unconditional(A Handful Of Dust Is A Desert 2017)
  • 17:14    Lav & Purl - The Presnt Moment(still version)(The Present Moment 2016)
  • 21:33    Jakob Lindhagen - i parken(Skorheten 2016)
  • 22:30    Igneous Flame - Eevi(Sylvi 2017)
  • 26:45    Jonny Nash & Suzanne Kraft - Photo w/ grey sky white clouds(Passive Agressive 2017)
  • 33:33    Balmorhea - First Light(Clear Language 2017)
  • 34:54    Hans Zimmer - Rain(Blade Runner 2049 OST 2017)
  • 36:10    Kelly Lee Owens - Bird(Kelly Lee Owens 2017)
  • 40:27    Kiasmos - Blurred(Blurred ep 2017)
  • 45:27    Marl Isham - October Sky(October Sky 1999)
  • 49:56    Joseph Shabason - Long Swim(Aytche 2017)
  • 54:05    Ludmila - Day 4(1 day 1 track 2017)
  • 55:44    Bonobo - Second Sun(Migration 2017)
  • 59:09    Bjorn Meyer - Pulse(Provenance 2017)
  • 61:48    end




 

Friday, September 22, 2017

A Distant Pulse


Who remembers what a big thing tribal ambient was for awhile back in the 90s?  The first time I heard "Fearless" from the album Strata by Steve Roach & Robert Rich I was hooked.  There were many Roach albums from that time period that drew on the tribal ambient sound - World's Edge, On This Planet, Soma, Australia: Sound of the Earth, Forgotten Gods, Cavern of Sirens, Earth Island, Well of Souls, The Serpent's Lair,   - oh heck there's too many to keep track of!

I loved that sound.  But as so often happens I grew tired of it.  Part of that was just me overdosing on that style and part of it was as the style proliferated we ended up with crappy new age versions of tribal ambient.  So I stayed away for a long time while still revisiting the classic Roach recordings occasionally.  

Earlier this year I discovered the music of Al Gromer Khan, thanks to Paul Asbury Seaman.  I was listening to a few cuts from Lexus and I enjoyed the tribal sound and realized that I hadn't listened that style very much lately.  But those tracks got me going and the next thing you know, I'm collecting tacks for a mix.

The tracks in this mix are a good sampling of new cuts, older cuts from the tribal heyday and a few really old cuts from the early 80s.  The tracks are also a mix instrumentation from drum sounds to gamelan to marimba.  I love how this turned out and hope you do too.

Cheers!




[ s t r e a m ]    [ d o w n l o a d ]    [ i t u n e s ]




T R A C K L I S T :
  • 00:00    Al Gromer Khan - Air Wave(Lexus 2002)
  • 04:30    Eno & Hassell - Chemistry(Fourth World 1 - possibles musics 1980)
  • 09:35    Steve Roach, Byron Metcalf & Mark Seelig - Six(Mantram 2004)
  • 17:50    Peter Gabriel - Slow Marimbas(Birdy 1985)
  • 20:40    Terje Isungset - Sunrise Horizon(Hibernation 2009)
  • 23:15    DavidParsons - Laplapan(Ngaio Gamelan 1999)
  • 28:15    SVLBRD - Hvit(Svalbard 2017)
  • 33:20    Michael Brook - Distant Village(Hybrid 1985)
  • 36:39    Wuhan Wuchang - Total Art of Percussion(Tropical Drums of Deutschland 2017)
  • 38:25    Uakti & Philip Glass - Paru River(Aguas da Amazonia 1999)
  • 41:52    Jon Iverson - Metalanguage(Alternesia 1999)
  • 47:10    Rapoon - Sanctum(Fallen Gods 2000)
  • 50:10    Eno & Hassell - Delta Rain Dream(Fourth World 1 - possibles musics 1980)
  • 52:50    Byron Metcalf - As Clouds Dance(Inner Rhythm Meditations 2016)
  • 61:25    Jonatan Bengta - Homerun(David Lynch: The Art Life 2016)
  • 62:30    Byron Metcalf - Presence of Longing(Inner Rhythm Meditations 2016)
  • 75:30    Loren Nerell - Tasku(Tasku 2003) mashed up with Evan Chapman playing    Opening by Philip Glass
  • 81:41    end









Friday, September 15, 2017

Resquiem for Cassini



As I said a few posts back, I am a huge space science dork.  My top 5 favorite NASA probes are:

1. Voyager
2. Cassini
3. Viking
4. Galileo
5. Spirit and Opportunity

Number two on that list disintegrated in the atmosphere of Saturn today.  Cassini was in orbit around Saturn for 7 years and made some of the most fantastic encounters of any planetary mission.  The most amazing discovery concerns a little moon called Enceladus.  Through Cassini, scientists have determined that Enceladus has a global subsurface saltwater ocean that might host hydrothermal vents.  It's probably our best bet for finding life in our solar system.

But Cassini was running out of fuel and rather than risk crashing into a moon and contaminating it, the folks at NASA decided to plunge the spacecraft into Saturn.  Cassini will dive into the planet's atmosphere, sending science data for as long as its small thrusters can keep the spacecraft's antenna pointed at Earth. Soon after, Cassini will burn up and disintegrate like a meteor.

This mix is a Requiem for Cassini.  Rather than an electronic, space music feel I went with all neo-classical and soundtrack cuts. The track titles tell the story.

Thanks to NASA and everyone on the Cassini team.




[ s t r e a m ]    [ d o w n l o a d ]    [ i t u n e s ]



T R A C K L I S T :
  • 00:00    David Sylvian - Preparations for a Journey(Alchemy: An Index of Possibilities 1985)
  • 03:05    Cliff Martinez - Have a Good Trip(Wicker Park ost 2004)
  • 04:47    Max Richter - Journey 3 & 5(Infra 2010)
  • 06:00    Balanescu Quartet - Empty Space Dance(A Serene Dance For You And The One You Hate 2005)
  • 09:15    Robert Fripp and Theo Travis - Return to Saturn(Follow 2012)
  • 13:27    Cliff Martinez - Finally, you two meet(Wicker Park ost 2004)
  • 15:15    Jóhann Jóhannsson and BJ Nilsen - I am Here(i am here 2014)
  • 18:35    James Newton Howard - I'm Listening(I am Legend ost 2008)
  • 20:03    James Newton Howard - Talk to Me(I am Legend ost 2008)
  • 20:41    Broken Harbor - Titan(Gramophone Transmissions 2011)
  • 23:55    Echospace - Longing for Life(echospace [detroit] presents echoes in space 2014)
  • 24:30    Adam Bryanbaum Wiltzie - Bring This Place to Life(Salero ost 2016)
  • 26:50    Nick Cave and Warren Ellis - What Must be Done(White Lunar ost 2005)
  • 28:40    Clint Mansell - Death is the Road to Awe(The Fountain ost 2006)
  • 35:00    Max Richter - Never Fade into Nothingness(Sleep 2015)
  • 43:51    Hammock - Things of Beauty Burn(Mysterium 2017)
  • 48:00    36 - Sky Fire(Pulse Drive 2015)
  • 51:35    M83 - Undimmed by Time, Unbound by Death(Oblivion ost 2013)
  • 53:47    end







Monday, August 28, 2017

Icelight


Here is another fantastic mix curated by Paul Asbury Seaman. His earlier mixes are "Floating Through Moonlight" and "The Memory of Trains."


I'm listening to it as I type this and it's another wonderful collection. Here's what Paul has to say about it:

“I’m no fan of winter, but I love the visual patterns created by ice. And I’ve always loved the bell-like sounds sometimes used in electronic/ambient music and featured prominently in the works of Rudy Adrian. The idea for this mix started with a rather dark compilation by Hypnos Records called Message from a Subatomic World, from which I got the title track here, and ended with my recent (and joyous) discovery of a stunning artist working with gamelan bells, Gordon Pigeon, which opens this set. The full piece from his album Acoustic Fireflies is more than 30 minutes long.”

Thanks Paul!

Cheers!



[ s t r e a m ]    [ d o w n l o a d ]    [ i t u n e s ]




T R A C K L I S T :

  • 00:00    Gordon Pigeon - Lamasaerie vesperale(Lucioles acoustiques 2016)
  • 12:32    Jan Garbarek – Iceburn(In Praise of Dreams 2004)
  • 17:10    Jeff Greinke - One September(Wide View 2002)
  • 25:10    JeffPearce – Aftermath(The Hidden Rift 1996)
  • 29:35    Kirsty Hawkshaw - Ice CastleThe Ice Castle 2008)
  • 36:03    Rudy Adrian - Subterranean RiverDesrt Realms 2008)
  • 41:20    Justin Vanderberg - Cold Brightness(Synthetic Memories 2011)
  • 46:55    Kirsty Hawkshaw – Solitary(The Ice Castle 2008)
  • 52:38    Oophoi - Icelight(Message From A Subatomic World 2008)
  • 57:15    Meg Bowles - Glacial Dawn(A Quiet Light 2011)
  • 66:02    end




 

Thursday, August 24, 2017

New music


I haven't posed about about anything other than new mixes in a loooooong time.  But I've been playing new releases from some online friends that I think deserves some attention.

First up is an album that I somehow missed last year from Lunar Testing Lab.  It's called "Signalling the Stars" and it's excellent! Space music with some beats, throw in some fx and nasa type transmissions and you've got an wonderful album.



https://lunartestinglab.bandcamp.com/album/signalling-the-stars










Next we have another great recording from Tonepoet - N/E/W/S.  The main instrument here is guitar which is great because I love ambient guitar.  But it's not just guitar, more instrumentation and arrangements are used.  The Tonepoet albums have really progressed over the years and this one could be my favorite.





https://tonepoet.bandcamp.com/album/n-e-w-s








Finally I've been playing a couple releases from labels run by Harry Towell.  On Audio Gourmet comes a "name your price" recording by Polaroid Notes called "Days of Our Lives."  These are beautiful pieces of piano with atmospherics.  They drift and float and are perfect.





https://audiogourmet.bandcamp.com/album/days-of-our-lives







And on Whitelabrecs we have "The 4th" by Steve Pacheco.  This album has a little more of a drone feel than the other ones in this post. There are beautiful, delicate drones that are accompanied by occasional piano and processed kalimba, xylophone or other acoustic sources. It's a beautiful, hypnotics recording.





https://whitelabrecs.bandcamp.com/album/the-4th








Check out these fine releases when you get a a chance.

Cheers!