Sunday, December 20, 2009

Remember Tomorrow

I was listening to music from Lunar Testing Lab the other day. The album, "Space Program", has a sort of retro/space/electronic feel to it. Boards of Canada in space?

I thought a whole mix of music with this kind of feel would be fun, so the result is "Remember Tomorrow". I tried to use tunes that had that retro, space program vibe without being too kitschy or cheesy. It's fine line & I hope I walked it successfully.

Lunar Testing Labs of course makes several appearances in the mix and of course Board of Canada had to be included. I am especially happy about being able to squeeze in the track "Cowboy" from
The Units. I remember listening to it in college and absolutely loving the tune, so it was was fun to get it into a mix. I am also happy to have two Bowie cuts in there, "V-2 Schneider" & "Weeping Wall".

I found some sound from a recording called "Bob & Betty go to the Moon" and I used a couple clips from that old, corny recording. I tried not to use too much as it can easily distract from the music. I ended up using 4 samples, the coundown open & three other quickies. Using sound samples can be very tempting, tt's fun to use some but they can quickly get in the way of the music.

Although this mix is more beat-oriented than the typical Low Light offering, I think it's a fun trip.

Download(right click/save as) : 93mb, 51:00 min

Remember Tomorrow

T R A C K L I S T I N G :

  • 00:00 Countdown from "Lunar Adventure in 1985"
  • 00:13 Belbury Poly - Adventures in a Miniature Landscape
  • 02:00 The Units - Cowboy
  • 06:05 Harmonic 33 - Departure Lounge
  • 10:30 Lunar Testing Lab - Lunar Radio control
  • 11:30 EU - New Osc's
  • 13:00 Boards of Canada - Wildlife Analysis
  • 13:50 Freescha - The Sun is Still
  • 16:00 Lunar Testing Lab - Orbiting Lunar Observatory
  • 16:40 TRS-80 - moon Patrol
  • 22:30 David Bowie - V2 Schneider
  • 25:10 Bochum Welt - interlude
  • 28:25 Lunar Testing Lab - Phantom Cosmonaut
  • 30:50 Signaldrift - Children of the 70's
  • 32:20 Harmonic 33 - Planet 54
  • 35:50 Frank Comstock - Music from Outer Space(when you wish upon a star)
  • 37:50 Boards of Canada - Nova Scotia Robots
  • 38:50 Bernard Szajner - A Kind of Freedom
  • 41:30 Talvihorros - A Rural Place
  • 43:35 David Bowie - Weeping Wall
  • 46:35 Boards of Canada - Dayvan Cowboy
  • 51:05 end

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

a solitary sea

I haven't had time to do anything new lately but today I'm home sick so I had some time in between naps.

I was listening to "Nautica" by krill.minima, and it got me in the mood for some "sea" music.

A few things came to mind immediately, such as Eluder, Loscil & a new track by Intrusion. From there I just searched for tunes with 'sea', 'water', 'ocean' or other watery words in the titles. I think the tunes work pretty well together. The first 20 minutes has a great ebb & flow, breathing-like quality which I love.


Download(right click/save) : 110mb, 60:00 min.
a solitary sea

T R A C K L I S T :

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

landing dust

landing dust The year was 1982.  I was a student at UW-Madison and very much into ambient music.  Eno had released the 4 ambient albums along with others like Music for Films, Discreet Music, Evening Star, No Pussyfooting and I had them all.

I don’t play any instruments but I enjoy playing with anything musical.  My roommate had a Teac reel-to-reel tape machine that I loved to play with.  Through Fripp & Eno I had learned to feed the output of the play head back though to the rec input to create a nice loop/echo effect.  I’d sit & play with it for hours.  I made recordings as I strung rubber bands on the legs of the coffee table, poured water into metal bowls, beat coffee cans with pencils, created feedback by dropping the mic into various containers and so on.

One of my favorite things to record was my cheap little Casio keyboard, the kind with only four voices…piano, flute, violin and organ.  Eventually I figured out how to get the system to create nice drones & feedback loops.  This track is the result of that experimentation.  There is little or no musicianship involved.  It was improvised live to tape using the Casio keyboard & the Teac reel-to-reel.

At least I think it was live, there might have been some drone recorded in the first pass then played back on some crappy cassette deck while more loopy feedback was played along with it.  Either way, I was just making it up & twiddling knobs as I went along.

It brings back a lot of memories of messing around with any sort of audio gear I could get my hands on as I was growing up.  Walking through the neighborhood with a recorder & headphones on, sitting in my parents basement til 2am trying to get some Jean Michel Jarre sounds out of an old synth, laying in bed at night trying to tune in a barely-working shortwave radio, wiring old car speakers to the furniture in my bedroom when I was 14.

I actually like this track, “Landing Dust”, that came from that reel-to-reel experimentation.  It’s definitely the only thing close to musical or ambient I’ve ever recorded.  I have no idea if anyone else will find this listenable.  But I wanted to throw it out there anyway.

Download :   49mb,   20:26

Landing Dust

Saturday, October 31, 2009


Muttley - My folks in Cornwall 3 copy

My output hasn’t been great the last couple of months but thanks to some talented guest mixers Low Light Mixes has new material to post. This is the third guest mix in the last 4 or 5 months and they are all greatly appreciated.

For this mix Muttley presents – Back to Mine Pt. 2 – Reflections. This is our second mix from Mick, who did “Drones in Duality” back in June. He describes "Reflections" as “music for healing bereavements, remedying mental disorders brought to light, enacting occupational therapy, and cherishing the good memories that can sometimes be hard to reach.”

Mick has other fine mixes floating around the intertubes. You can find some at Subversion and his Ambient Lovers thread(congrats on 300 posts!). Soon he will have mixes available at Hydrogen Cafe and Presto Samo. Mick also collaborated with Rick at Hydrogen Cafe on a great mix called “Transference”. Check out all of the Muttley mixes, wherever you may find them.

Download : 169mb, 74:00min.


T R A C K L I S T :

01. Brian Mcbride - The Guilt Of Uncomplicated Thoughts (from the album "When The Detail Lost Its Freedom" - Kranky)
02. Philip Jeck - Wholesome (from the album "7" - Touch)
03. Rameses III - The Kindness Of Letting Go (from the album "I Could Not Love You More" - Type)
04. Mogwai - Aidan's Waltz (from the album "Come On Die Young" - Chemikal Underground)
05. Hilmar O Hilmarrson & Sigur Ros - Degradation (from the album "Angels Of The Universe" - Import)
06. Olafur Arnalds - Lost Song (from the album "Found Songs" - Erased Tapes)
07. ASC - Highbrow (from the Warm008 12' - Warm Communications)
08. Autechre - Nil (from the album "Amber" - Warp)
09. The Drift - Noumena (from the album "Ceiling Sky" - Temporary Residence)
10. The Alpha Rhythm - The Return (from the album "Proof Of Concept" - Seedknowledge)
11. The Cinematic Orchestra - Diabolus (from the album "Motion" - Ninja Tune)
12. Badmammal - Sending And Taking (goodluck/badluck unreleased)
13. Glint - Double Vision (from the album "Sound In Silence" -
14. A Silver Mount Zion - The Triumph Of Our Tired Eyes (from the album "Born Into Trouble As The Sparks Fly Upward" - Constellation)

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Beyond this window

Generally I like autumn. I don't mind the colder temps, colors are great, don't have to mow the lawn anymore, etc. But this year the weather has been nasty, too cold too soon & lots of rain.

So I set out to do a bleak, cold October mix. But as usually happens with mixes, they take on a life of their own and lead you in different directions. I realized, as I was collecting tunes, that I didn't want the mix to turn into some dark, Halloween-ish affair.

Ultimately I turned to all new music as source material. While most of it is not all bleak & depressing, neither is it all sunny & bright. I'm glad to have worked some currents favs into the mix, such as Leyland Kirby, Sufjan Stevens, Loren Dent & Volcano Choir.

Even though today was a beautiful, sunny fall day, I'm sure there will be plenty of opportunities for a hot cup of coffee, listening to this mix & gazing beyond this, or any, window.

D o w n l o a d : (right click/save as) 81mb, 59:22
Beyond this window

T R A C K L I S T :

Sunday, October 11, 2009


This weekend I came across the site MixCloud. The site launched in September. It allows users to upload mixes, listen to mixes and follow dj's/mixers.

The first user I decided to follow is Fluid Radio. They have several mixes available for streaming. All of the them are excellent, featuring artists such as Mico Nonet, Greg Haines, Deaf Centre, Taylor Deupree, Richard Skelton, Off The Sky, Relmic Statute and more. Great mixes of ambient, modern classical, glitch, acoustic music. I think Low Light listeners will really enjoy these mixes.

Here's the most recent Fluid Radio set...

Sunday, October 04, 2009

revenants of the past

One of my favorite mixes from last year was Sustain & Decay. It was fun digging up old recordings & mixing them with new releases.

So I decided to do a follow-up, with the result being "revenants of the past". It follows the same basic formula of last years mix(which was also released in October). I browsed through a ton of files at, looking for things like old vinyl records & Edison cylinder recordings from as far back as 1888. I mixed these recordings with current music that either sounds old or in some cases actually uses old recordings as a sound source to be manipulated into something new.

In the last mix The Caretaker figured prominently and here too there is an extended track in the middle of this sequel mix. The track is an excerpt from a mix James Leyland Kirby, AKA The Caretaker, did for Fact Magazine.

I think "revenants" is a good mix of familiar & unfamiliar artists here. I had to get William Basinksi's Disintegration Loops in somewhere & so the mix closes with a track from Loops #2.

Enjoy the entropy.

Download : 82mb, 60 min.
revenants of the past

T R A C K L I S T :

Thursday, July 30, 2009


I have been very busy this summer and I haven't had time to even think about a new mix. So it's perfect timing that I have a new guest mix to present.

"Gravity" is a fantastic new mix by Jason O'Gorman. Jason did a mix called "Satellite" for us in March of last year. I really enjoyed that mix & was always hoping he'd do another and here it is.

About the mix, Jason says...
"Think I'll call it "gravity", my head's stuck into plenty of books about quantum mechanics, parallel universes and all that at the moment - so gravity fits - or does it? :-p LOL. The vast majority of the tracks are fed through lots of reverb and eq feedback - giving a nice wash of sound during the crossover stages of the mix, therefore "blurring" the boundaries, so to speak. And I've selected tracks which are pretty much "in key", or work musically. Suffice to say, Im pretty happy with the final result :-)"

I think everyone will be happy with the final result. One look at the tracklist & I knew it was going to be good then I heard the long, wonderful segues & I was hooked. Jason added this about the segues & start times...
"One thing, the track times listed - are the times they start, that doesn't necessarily mean you'll "hear" them at that time, but they're there, creeping in. Sometimes they're are 4 tracks playing together - the transitions are pretty long!"


Download (right click/save as) :

t r a c k l i s t :
  • 00.00 Like The Foot Prints Of An Invisible Man - Jasper TX & Anduin
  • 00.20 A Box of Wood in the Storm - Jasper TX
  • 05.00 Excerpt 2/3 - ww.lowman
  • 05.10 Cosmos 1 - Murcof
  • 08.30 Pillar - David Daniell
  • 11.40 Everything Disappears In A Tunnel Of Light- Jasper TX & Anduin
  • 15.20 In a Stony Place - Mira Calix
  • 18.45 Still Upon the Ocean Floor - Loscil
  • 20.00 Invocation - Gregg Kowalsky
  • 20.10 Auf der Gasse - Stephan Mathieu
  • 23.15 Stele - David Tagg
  • 28.00 Mulm Og Mørke - Mulm
  • 31.40 Untitled 3 - William Basinski & Richard Chartier
  • 35.10 Opening Sky - Steve Roach
  • 37.00 Nocturne - Stephan Mathieu + Taylor Deupree
  • 37.30 Pictures from Airplanes - David Tagg
  • 41.45 The Sirens - St. Kilda
  • 45.40 Filitosa - Melodium
  • 47.15 A Stop at the Chord Cascades - Tim Hecker
  • 47.33 V - Gregg Kowalsky
  • 49.15 Vi-Vii - Gregg Kowalsky
  • 52.00 Monochrome 1 - Tu M'

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Ambient Blog

This is just a quick post to draw attention to an excellent ambient blog. is run by Peter van Cooten. He has been doing mixes for years as well as a weekly radio show on Dutch Radio 6. The radio program was recently discontinued so Peter decided to put all of his ambient mixes online, for free download/podcast subscription.

Peter's mixes are uniformly superb, always an interesting collection of known & unkown tunes. Take a few moments to visit

Sunday, June 14, 2009

I fell asleep at my desk while making this mix

I listen to ambient music every night when I go to bed. I usually browse my recent acquisitions to find something for sleep music. There are a few recordings which get used more than others.

Two recent releases by Steve Roach get regular airtime here at Low Light Mixes. Last year's "A Deeper Silence" and this year's "Dynamic Stillness".

There was a time when I played Deeper Silence in the background all around the house everyday for a week. It created this strange feeling like I was on a spaceship. Mostly this 73 minute-long tune gets used for sleep music. The same goes for "Slowly Revealed" off of "Dynamic Stillness". I have fallen asleep to this track many times.

Another nighttime favorite...the "Beautiful Land of Nod" mixes from Mr. Asphalt Eden(aka - Brian Bieniowski). I played these two mixes quite a bit when I first downloaded them & still return to them often. I remember Brian saying he liked sleep music that seemed to rise & fall like breathing. It was that idea that inspired a mix that I did called "breathing music". I use this mix fairly often for drifting off to sleep.

This brings us to the new mix. I wanted to do a new sleep mix so I could incorporate the Steve Roach cuts. So I dumped some tracks to a portable hard drive, brought it to work & starting mixing in between "real work". I had 4 or 5 tracks laid down & I was listening to one of the transitions & literally fell asleep at my desk, hence the title of the mix. A lot of the tracks sound very much like each other which I guess is good in this case because one track stretches into another, in a long, trance inducing, ambient lullaby. At 90 minutes, the mix is longer than most, but I thought the length worked a bit better for sleeping.

Sweet dreams...

download : (129mb, 90 min.)
I fell asleep at my desk making this mix

T R A C K L I S T :

Saturday, June 13, 2009

My last mix was done for SubVersion and now Mick was kind enough to return the favor with a mix for Low Light Mixes. It's an excellent mix which Mick describes this way...

"Drones In Duality" is the first in a series of mixes dedicated to Bridewell Gardens, which I visit every week to engage in therapeutic conservation and decorating work. The name is a reference to the double meaning properties of each track title, and the transference of a gesture in two different timeframes - before mucking in, and after a days' graft.

For instance, Bibio's "Cherry Blossom Road" encompasses the ability to walk down roads adorned with flowers, to and from the bus trip to Bridewell, while "Sleep In The Eyes" identifies the product of doing much work on the premises, or getting cobwebs out on the journey in. Hammock's "We Will Say Goodbye To Everyone" nods to the friendly atmosphere I've encountered, and the desire to wish well each person I meet there. Pan American's "So That No Matter" curtails an extended metaphor for "so that no matter what problems I face, I can get through the day, with help from my friends and family".

This is segued into Hakobune's "Realization At Dusk", which symbolises the enjoyment factor I weigh up the evening prior (getting sorted to make a stop) and heretofore the welcoming in of darkness (post-assignments and seeing everyone off). Oophoi's "Beyond These Skies" is the subsequent result of thinking forward, to what can be sentimental gold beyond nostalgic trifles. Then "Diamonds In The Sky" arrives to calm the listener: "They shine in the night / The diamonds in the sky / The sweet dreaming girl's paradise". "Softkiller" harks back to my relationship with the woman I've been so preocuppied with. Incomprehensible lyrics act as the undertow to ethereal guitar noodling and hushed chants.

Grouper is juxtaposed with the grainy metamorphosising of Evangelista to end, "The Frozen Dress" a direct correlation to the freeze-frame behaviour of "Heavy Water / I'd Rather Be Sleeping". All in all, "Drones In Duality" is a 23-minute endeavour into fresh ground for me.

There's lots of drones, granted, but these are counterbalanced with an accessibility from the vocals and brimming harmonies. Next up: "Time Heals All Wounds".

download : (53mb 23:20)

Saturday, June 06, 2009

still falls the rain

I said in  the last post that I did two rain mixes, well here is number two.

It's an instrumental rain mix, more like a traditional low light mixes mix.  Mick, over at SubVersion, asked me to do a mix for his blog so I did two rain mixes one for here & one for Mick.

You'll find the download link & the tracklist at SubVersion.  Mick sent me a mix called "Drones in Duality" which I will beposting here in the next few days.  Also keep an eye out for a "sleep" mix which may be done by the end of the week.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

I Love the Rain

The transition from spring to summer brings two new mixes from Low Light Mixes central command.  We've had a fair amount of rain lately so both mixes are "rain" mixes.

Rain evokes so many memories & emotions, it's a great theme for mixes.  Using field recordings really helps hold the mix together.  I try not to over do it with the rain sounds, hopefully it works well.

This first mix is a vocal mix, well mostly vocal, there are three instrumentals hiding in there.  All the tunes have the word "rain" in the title.  It was fun discovering tunes I did not know very well, like The Decemberists track & the cut from Susanna & The Magical Orchestra.

The second rain mix is an instrumental mix and it will be posted over at the SubVersion blog.  Mick will be posting it there soon.  And I will be posting a drone mix from Mick here at Low Light Mixes soon as well.  I've also got a "sleep" mix in the works.

DOWNLOAD :  77mb  40:00min

T R A C K L I S T :
  • 00:00    Susanna & The Magical Orchestra - It's Raining Today
  • 04:40    The (real) Tuesday Weld - I Love the Rain
  • 08:37    Asche & Spencer - A Walk in the Rain
  • 09:49    The Handsome Family - Famous Blue Raincoat
  • 14:40    Daniel Lanois - Rain Weather
  • 18:20    The Decemberists - Raincoat Song
  • 20:40    Joe Purdy - I Love the Rain the Most
  • 25:00    Oblong - Rain Over the Deverils
  • 28:54    REM - I'll Take the Rain
  • 34:15    Rivulets - Rain All Winter Long
  • 40:00    end

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Check out these mixes

I want to call attention to some good mixes & podcasts over at The Bovine Life Support System.  BLSS is run by Chris Dooks and he describes the site's purpose this way..."it’s listening to new music religiously – and a move to Glasgow that has inspired this show which I began as a new year’s resolution at the start of 2008. And I’ve kept it up. It’s partly personal diary, part info about the artists (occasionally) but the main point of it is for me to soundtrack my life and sort out my ever expanding music collection."

I started with in the mixtapes section & have really enjoyed the Bedtime Barbiturate Mix & the Half-Life Studies Mix.  I have barely scratched the surface of the podcasts but have already discovered new music which I will be seeking out.  One piece which I re-discovered via the podcast was Odi at Amo by Johann Johannsson, a gorgeous piece from Englaborn.  

I'm looking forward to listening to the rest of the podcasts.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


I got the idea for this mix over at the Hypnos records forum.  In the "Now Playing" thread, someone posted several entries in a row about listening to various soundtracks. Some favorites of mine, Cliff Martinez's "Traffic" & "Narc" and Clint Mansell's "The Fountain", were on the list.  It got me thinking & listening to soundtracks for a week or two and this new mix, "Cinematica", is the result.

There are 25 tracks in this mix, so it keeps moving pretty well I think.  I realized after I was done that a few of the tracks appear in other low light mixes.  Oh well, that's bound to happen with so many mixes and fewer and fewer brain cells.

I would say my favorite soundtracks from the past 10 - 15 years would have to be "Solaris" from Cliff Martinez & "The Fountain" by Clint Mansell.  I purposely used a lesser known Martinez cut from "Wicker Park" but one that had the same "Solaris" feel to it.  Then of course I discovered that I'd already used the same cut in an earlier mix. Duh!  

This mix was easy & fun to put together so I'm sure I'll be doing another one in the future.  Any suggestions for essential soundtracks that I should check out?

Download : 110mb  59:50min

T R A C K L I S T :
  • 00:00    Nick Cave & Warren Ellis - The Proposition #2 (The Proposition)
  • 02:00    Graeme Revell - Cue 34 (Until the End of the World)
  • 04:10    Thomas Newman - Drive Away(End Title) (Lemony Snicket)
  • 06:50    Cliff Martinez - What Shoe Size (Wicker Park)
  • 08:05    Andrey Dergatchev - Port (The Return)
  • 10:05    Max Richter - Shadow Journal (Valse Avec Bachir)
  • 12:15    John Murphy/Chrales Gounod - Taxi(Ave Maria) (28 Days Later)
  • 14:07    Mogwai - 7-25 (Zidane, a 21st Century Portait)
  • 18:20    Clint Mansell - Death is a Disease (The Fountain)
  • 20:40    Explosions in the Sky - From West Texas (Friday Night Lights)
  • 22:26    Brian Eno - Always Returning (Apollo)
  • 25:35    Corker/Conboy - First Crossing (3 Degrees Colder)
  • 27:05    David Byrne - Canal Life (Lead Us Not Into Temptation)
  • 29:20    Peter Gabriel - A Sense of Home (Long Walk Home)
  • 30:50    Sigur Ros - #3 untitled (Hlemmur)
  • 33:05    Andrey Dergatchev - Georgians (The Return)
  • 35:13    Hilmar Orn Hilmarsson - Ars Moriendi (Children of Nature)
  • 37:20    Philip Glass - Organic (Koyaanisqatsi)
  • 42:10    Gabriel Yared & Underworld - Mending Things (Breaking & Entering)
  • 44:20    Cliff Martinez - Helicopter (Traffic)
  • 46:05    John Murphy - Red Dresses (28 Days Later)
  • 46:43    Devotchka - The Winner Is (Little Miss Sunshine)
  • 49:35    David Byrne - Dirty Hair (Lead Us Not Into Temptation)
  • 52:06    Peter Gabriel - Passion Extras #4 (Passion)
  • 53:55    James Newton Howard - I'm Listening (I am Legend)
  • 55:45    Brian Eno - an ending(ascent) (Apollo, 28 Days Later, Clean, Traffic)
  • 59:50    end

Saturday, April 04, 2009


I was inspired by my daughter's mix cd's to do my own vocal mix.  She does great mixes that I listen to in the car and I thought I'd do a similar one of my own.  Of course the finished product is not as uptempo as hers.   This being an ambient mix blog, most of the tunes are fairly quiet.

There is no unifying theme here, other than I like these tunes.  The Martin Grech tunes are from "March of the Lonely" which made it on my best of 2008 list.  I could have put in a ton of David Sylvian tracks but ended up with just two.  Hmmm, maybe I should do an all Sylvian mix someday.  There are two new songs in there,  "Another World" by Antony & the Johnsons and "Foreground" from the new Grizzly Bear.  The rest are a mix of old & fairly new cuts.

I did cheat a little bit by sneaking in one instrumental track.  It's "Bell Toll by Daniel Lanois from his fantastic Omni series box.  Somehow it just fit right.  I also cheated on the graphic.  I took an album cover by Dan Deacon and wiped out his title & put my own in.  The pic just worked so perfectly with the title of the mix.

I called the mix "Refuge" because I think of music as a refuge and this mix as an escape from from other crappy music...from work...from laundry...from the economy...from normal, crazy life.  I hope this mix can be a refuge for you too.

download :

00:00    Canyon Country - Dead or Dreaming
03:50    David Sylvian - Maria
06:15    Martin Grech - Kingdom
09:30    Sufjan Stevens - Holland
12:50    Grizzly Bear - Foreground
15:54    Antony & the Johnsons - Another World
19:35    Peter Gabriel - Father, Son
24:20    Roxy Music - Spin Me Round
28:50    REM - Star Me Kitten
31:45    Daniel Lanois - Bell Toll
33:00    David Bridie - Sad
36:30    David Sylvian - When Poets Dreamed of Angels
41:00    Martin Grech - Ashes Over Embers
46:30    P.G. Six - Lily of the West
51:35    Trespassers William - Love is Blindness
58:31    end