Friday, December 27, 2013

Late Night Encounters Vol. 1

The title of this mix pretty much says it all.  This is a collection of tunes that works well at night.

I didn't want the mix to be dark & depressing or dark and scary, just something that feels more at home at night.  It's sort of the opposite of the Sunday morning mixes.  Although a few tunes could go either way.

I didn't start out making a "night" mix, it just sort of happened on it's own after the first few cuts.  The mix opens with a fantastic remix of Bowie's Sound & Vision.  This cut isn't necessarily a "night" tune but I just had to use it.  The next three cuts are what took the mix in the nightside direction.

I labeled the mix "Vol. 1" because I'd like to turn this into a series just like the Sunday morning mixes.  So look for more in 2014.  But there's still one more mix on it's way in 2013.


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T R A C K L I S T :

  • 00:00    David Bowie - Sound and Vision(Sonjay Prabhakar remix)
  • 02:50    Arve Henriksen - Shelter From The Storm
  • 06:00    Mark Kozelek & Jimmy LaValle - By The Time That I Awoke
  • 10:00    Moritz von Oswald & Nils Petter Molvaer - Step by Step
  • 15:45    Justin Walter - The Way Of Five
  • 20:10    A.A. Bondy - Mightiest Of Guns
  • 23:22    Loren Connors - Shadows
  • 26:30    Labradford - By Chris Johnston, Craig Markva, Jamie Evans
  • 31:00    Public Service Broadcasting - Late Night Final
  • 36:30    Jon Hassell - Amsterdam Blue
  • 44:30    The National - Hard To Find
  • 48:25    Jonathan Boulet - Cent Voix
  • 52:55    Ghosting Season - Lie
  • 56:00    Mirroring - Mirror Of Our Sleeping
  • 59:30    Loren Connors - Night In Vain
  • 1:01:45    Grace Cathedral Park - Hey Pretty, Could You Stay Awhile
  • 1:11:28    end

Best of 2013

Another year, another best of list.

This is my list of my favorite "normal" music of the year.  Indie, alternative, rock, Americana, whatever you want to call it - this is not the ambient music which goes into most of my mixes.

Over the last 3 or 4 years I've been listening to more and more "normal" music.  It's hard to keep up with the pace of new releases, new bands, new artists.  One can develop a sort of obsessive disorder where you consume more and more music, ever worried that you'll miss something.

My Spotify playlist of 2013 music has nearly 3000 tracks and that doesn't really include much of  the ambient stuff I listen to.  That's a lot of music to wade through in a year.  Spotify and other streaming services are changing the way we consume music and the way we think about music.  It's difficult to say whether that change is for the better.  

I do know that I love having so much music available all the time.  I love sampling new stuff, testing it out to see if it will have the staying power to make to the end of the year.  I like having a friend send me recommendations, being able to listen to the entire album instantly and sending a reaction or new suggestion back the other way.

At this time of year, with all the best of lists, I have added about 20 albums to that Spotify playlist just in the last week or so.  Which of course just puts me further behind.  But I LOVE IT!

And now here they are, my favorite albums of 2013.  What are yours?

1. Blaudzun - Heavy Flowers

2. John Vanderslice- Dagger Beach 

3. Volcano Choir - Repave

4. Vampire Weekend - Modern Vampires of the City

5. Phosphorescent - Muchacho 

6. Kacey Musgraves - Same Trailer Different Park

7. The National - Trouble Will Find Me

8. John Vanderslice - Diamond Dogs
"A Better Whirlpool"

9. Mikal Cronin - MCII

10. Darkside - Psychic

11. Jon Hopkins - Immunity

12. Vic & Gab - Love of Mine

13. Elvis Costello & The Roots - Wise Up Ghost

14. Boards of Canada - tomorrow's harvest

15. The Flaming Lips - Peace Sword ep

16. Wavves - Afraid of Heights

17. Rhye - Woman

18. Daughter - If You Leave

19. Public Service Broadcasting - inform - educate - entertain

20. San Fermin - San Fermin

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Best of 2013 - Instrumental version

It is strange that for someone who runs an ambient mix blog, I've been listening to less and less ambient music over the last two years.  I still love ambient but I no longer feel the need to accumulate huge amounts of it.  Maybe because I have so much already that it all starts to blend together and I don't feel I need another 70 minute drone album.

This year's "Best of" list is mostly ambient but contains some other instrumental albums as well.  Some of my favorite albums of the year in any genre were albums from artists like Esmerine, Arve Henriksen, Moritz von Oswald & Nils Petter Molvaer and Jon Hopkins.  There are other odd non-ambient albums, like Paris DJs Soundsystem & Calibro 35, which just stuck with me for some reason & got a lot of play this year.

Of course there was some straight forward ambient which was in heavy rotation all year.  Albums like The Seaman and The Tattered Sail - Light FoldsNobuto Suda - Transitorinessinfinite_coil - transmit, and Spheruleus - The Possibility Of Loss really hit the spot for a beautiful ambient listening experience.

I listened to a lot of ambient dub this year.  Only three actually made it to the list - Coppice Halifax, Deepchord and Optical Frameworks but there were many more dub recordings in this year's regular rotation.  A few other favs not on the list include
  Lars Leonhard - Stella Nova  Adam Michalak - Returning To Essence  Vytis - Deepchord Avenue
  VA - Mountain-Stream
  Nikosf. - Silence Speaks When The Words End
  krill.minima - Sekundenschlaf
  Miktek - elsewhere
  Blamstrain - Sunday Dub

Two great albums from 2013 both combine electronics with trumpet.  Moritz von Oswald & Nils Petter Molvaer - 1/1  and  Saffronkeira + Mario Massa - Cause and Effect are wonderful collaborations that gave a jolt to end of the year releases.

Here's my list of 2013 favs.  What are some of your favorites from 2013?

Best of 2013:
  1. The Seaman and The Tattered Sail - Light Folds
  2. infinite_coil - transmit
  3. Arve Henriksen - Places Of Worship
  4. Esmerine - Dalmak
  5. Moritz von Oswald & Nils Petter Molvaer - 1/1
  6. Optical Frameworks - Little Piece Of Perseverance
  7. Justin Walter - lullabies and nightmares
  8. Jon Hopkins - Immunity
  9. Boards of Canada - Tomorrow's Harvest
  10. Marsen Jules Trio - Présence Acousmatique
  11. Saffronkeira + Mario Massa - Cause and Effect
  12. The Green Kingdom - Dustloops - Memory Fragments 
  13. Field Rotation - Fatalist: The Repetition of History
  14. Roedelius - Stunden
  15. Marconi Union & Jah Wobble - Anomic
  16. Tessellate Recordings - Earthtones
  17. Deepchord - Electrostatic Soundfields
  18. Maps and Diagrams - Timbre
  19. Coppice Halifax - Inland By Night
  20. Spheruleus - The Possibility Of Loss
  21. Paris DJs Soundsystem - Rise of the Troubadour Warriors - tropical grooves & afrofunk international vol.3
  22. Nobuto Suda - Transitoriness
  23. CALIBRO 35 - said
  24. Hailu Mergia & His Classical Instrument: Shemonmuanaye
  25. Icebreaker & BJ Cole - Apollo

Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 14, 2013

A Winter's Dub

I love dubby ambient.  I think this is my third dub mix this year.  I'm sure I'll grow tired of this style of music but for now I'm soaking it in.  It was snowing while I made this mix & the music just seemed to fit the winter mood.  Hence the name "A Winter's Dub."

Many of the tracks in this mix came from Bandcamp.  As a matter of fact, all the links in the tracklist are to Bandcamp pages.  I love Bandcamp.  So easy & convenient.  And great for discovering new music.  I bought a bunch of stuff this year by following other folks & sampling we they buy.

Here is my Bandcamp collection for anyone that's interested.

Enjoy the dub!

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Friday, December 06, 2013

Deep Sky Time - music for stargazing 2013

I know this is not the best time of year for sitting out side and stargazing.  At least not here in Wisconsin.  But I haven't done a stargazing mix in a long time so i thought I'd throw this out there.

The piece that got me started on this mix isn't an actual song.  It's NASA's Voyager spacecraft recording the sound of interstellar space.  Voyager's plasma wave instrument detected the vibrations of dense interstellar plasma, or ionized gas, from October to November 2012 and April to May 2013.  You can find the recording here... Voyager

I couldn't resist using that sound as a launch pad for this mix.  The rest is pretty straight forward ambient/space music.  For some strange reason I felt compelled to make this mix nearly 2 hours long.  If you want to lay outside for two hours & gaze at the night sky in the middle of December, better bring some scotch & an electric blanket. ;)


[ 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    NASA Voyager recording of interstellar space
  • 00:40    Loscil - Second Narrows Specta Ciera Version
  • 03:30    Ishq - Globular Cluster
  • 07:30    Harmony & Decay - Hypnotic Sequence
  • 12:40    Eluder - The Event Horizon
  • 14:50    Marsen Jules - A Room Full of History
  • 19:15    Marconi Union - Always Numb
  • 23:40    Porzellan - Floating Reception
  • 24:30    Sonmi451 - Omicron Ceti
  • 29:30    Loscil - ss1.2 unit circle
  • 32:50    Wouter Veldhuis - Blue Forest I
  • 36:00    Variant - Thru the Cosmos(ison + spica)
  • 43:33    Brian Eno - Surf Birds
  • 46:10    Mark Rownd - Place of Grace
  • 52:20    Kissy Suzuki - rubbish & Beauties part 1
  • 56:30    Altus - Floating Free
  • 1:00:40    Diatonis - Whiring Above Our Heads
  • 1:04:15    A Produce - Inner Sanctum
  • 1:12:00    Aglaia - Dust Across the Border
  • 1:15:30    Christopher Short - Unknown Constellation #2
  • 1:22:30    Fripp & Eno - Meissa
  • 1:29:10    Ithaca Trio - Catching Monkeys
  • 1:34:00    Steve Roach - Deep Sky Time
  • 1:41:10    Sylken - Sleepless
  • 1:50:10    Deepchord - Driftwood
  • 1:51:10    Vidna Obmana - Night Blooming
  • 1:57:49    end