Sunday, April 06, 2014

Sunday Morning Music Vol. 8 - slow mornings

Grab a cup of coffee and the paper with this mix as your Sunday soundtrack.

This iteration of the Sunday morning series uses mostly new music including a couple of great Bob Dylan covers from Sarah Jarosz and Phosphorescent.  I couldn't resist starting the mix with the wonderful "Morning" from Beck's new release.  I found this track on a mix by Bob Duskis over at Six Degrees Records.  Check out their excellent mix on Mixcloud here...SixDegreesRecords

From there we move on to a beautiful, jazzy track from Philémon Chante that I have been itching to use for a while.  That cut is from his album called Les Sessions Cubaines which you can find on Bandcamp here...Philémon Chante

There a couple soundtracks represented in the mix from two of the best films of 2013, "Her" and "Nebraska."  Arcade Fire and Owen Pallett collaborated for the "Her" soundtrack, with two cuts in this mix.  Mark Orton did the beautifully simple soundtrack for "Nebraska" and it shows up here in the track "The Old Compressor Escape."  I've got an Americana mix waiting in the wings which will have more from that soundtrack.

One of my other favs is the cut from Bill Callahan.  He remixed his 2013 album, "Dream River," as a dub album called "Have Fun With God."  It's fantastic!


[ 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 Beck - Morning
  • 05:12 M. Ostermeier - Sunlight on My Desk
  • 07:55 Sam Prekop - A Cloud to the Back
  • 11:30 Philémon Chante - J'arrive toujours un peu trop tard
  • 15:40 Sarah Jarosz - Simple Twist of Fate
  • 20:20 Mark Orton - The Old Compressor Escape
  • 22:50 Thievery Corporation - le coeur (feat lou lou ghelichkhani)
  • 25:45 Assia Cunego - Canto Ostinato Section 25-30
  • 29:00 Segue - slow mornings
  • 34:00 Bill Callahan - Small Dub
  • 37:45 Arcade Fire and Owen Pallett - Dimensions
  • 40:34 Darcy James Argue's Secret Society - An Invitation
  • 43:08 Nick Cave - Into My Arms
  • 47:17 Phosphorescent - Tomorrow is a Long Time
  • 51:30 Paul Buchanan - Mid Air
  • 53:45 Arcade Fire and Owen Pallett - We're All Leaving
  • 56:17 end

Sunday, March 23, 2014

things left unsaid

Most regular visitors to this blog are aware that I also post these mixes over at Mixcloud.  I love Mixcloud.  I got in very early on and so have developed quite a few followers.  It's been fun watching it grow.  

One thing that has helped in growing that following is being one of the featured cloudcasts in the Ambient/Chillout category.  Well, apparently now Low Light Mixes is also one of the featured cloudcasts in the Classical category.  Some of my mixes my have some classical related tunes but I definitely wouldn't characterize these mixes as "classical."  But, what the heck, I'll take the extra exposure.

Being featured in the classical category was the genesis for this new mix, "things left unsaid."  It's an all classical mix.  Maybe it would be better to call it an orchestral mix because about half of the tracks are from film soundtracks, so not classical in the purest sense.

Most of the music is fairly new.  The oldest cut being the Jonnie Greenwood piece from 2007.  There a few tracks from Caleb Burhans and David Lang that are from 2013 releases that didn't make it onto my year in review lists because I didn't find them until 2014.  I found them on someone else's best of list.  They are both excellent recordings.  And of course I had to include some Johann Johannsson because I pretty much like everything he does.

I hope you enjoy this classical diversion.

[ 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 Max Richter - Spring 0(Recomposed By Max Richter: Vivaldi, The Four Seasons)
  • 00:40 Johann Johannsson - By the River
  • 01:10 Caleb Burhans - The Things Left Unsaid
  • 05:00 Jonnie Greenwood - Open Spaces
  • 08:38 Alexandre Desplat - L'hôpital
  • 11:56 Jon Hopkins - How I Live Now
  • 16:15 Johann Johannsson - The Jewish Cemetery on Moellegade
  • 18:20 Tom Tykwer, Johnny Klimek, Reinhold Heil - Prelude, The Atlas March
  • 19:31 Maya Beiser - Spiegel im Spiegel
  • 28:58 David Lang - no. 5. i am walking
  • 33:10 Colin Stetson - All the Days I've Missed
  • 34:10 Caleb Burhans - nunc dimittis
  • 38:25 Alexandre Desplat - Skies
  • 43:30 Max Richter - Winter 3(Recomposed By Max Richter: Vivaldi, The Four Seasons)
  • 47:33 Tom Tykwer, Johnny Klimek, Reinhold Heil - The Cloud Atlas Sextet
  • 51:26 Johann Johannsson - The Rocket Builder
  • 57:39 Caleb Burhans - The Things Left Unsaid(end)
  • 58:55 Alexandre Desplat - De rouille et d'os
  • 1:00:51    end

Sunday, March 09, 2014

Across the Water

One of the benefits of making and posting mixes for all these years is getting to know some like-minded folks from around the world.  One of those is my good friend, Jason O'Gorman, from the city of Cork in Ireland.

Jason did a guest mix for me way back in 2008.  Wow, typing that just made me realize that Low Light Mixes has been around for a long time - 8 years this month, an eternity in internet years.

Anyway, back to Jason.  You can find his 2008 mix, called Satellite, here... Satellite.  I really like that mix and have always wanted Jason to do another.  And now, 6 years later, we have "Across the Water."  Jason describes it this way - "There's a lot of contrast in this mix due to the theme, but it still flows. The mix is a 'journey' across an ambient ocean, to dark and beautiful places."

When I listen to my own mixes, I always hear every transition which at times can distract from the music.  But with Jason's mix I get lost in the flow, as one tunes blends into the next.  I love not knowing what's coming next.  Jason's mix is wonderful at transporting you from one place to another.  I hope you will enjoy it as much as I have.  And hopefully Jason won't wait 6 more years to produce another gem.


[ 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 King Creosote & John Hopkins: First watch
  • 02:10 Mountains: Sand
  • 05:20 Stephan Mathieu: Promenade
  • 08:30 Ólafur Arnalds: Carry me anew
  • 10:07 Ólafur Arnalds: We (too) shall rest
  • 11:10 Apparat: K&F Thema (pizzicato)
  • 13:45 Lustmord: Babel
  • 17:45 Eluvium: Warm
  • 22:00 Mer-A: Aeolis Mons
  • 28:30 Mowgli: Canaan
  • 29:20 Ólafur Arnalds: Sudden throw
  • 32:35 White Moth Black Butterfly:Reluctance
  • 33:40 The Fun Years: Re: We're again buried under
  • 35:45 Goldmund: Downward to darkness on extend
  • 38:30 Mulm: Mørke
  • 41:50 Lustmord: Chorazin
  • 46:10 Murcof: Oort 1
  • 48:40 Bvdub & Loscil: Hespiredes
  • 53:00 Mer-A: Quasi Stellar
  • 56:10 Apparat: 44 (noise version)
  • 57:55 Apparat: 44
  • 60:55 Lustmord: Goetia
  • 63:30 Mountains: Circular C
  • 69:00 Jasper TX & Anduin: Walking in snow

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Kyle Bobby Dunn and the Infinite Sadness

Just a quick note to give folks a heads up that the new Kyle Bobby Dunn album, "Kyle Bobby Dunn and the Infinite Sadness."

There's nobody that does minimal drones as beautifully as Kyle Bobby Dunn.  From the samples here...
K B D sounds like this album will be a continuation of his excellent recent work.

Looks like advance orders for special vinyl edition start on March 1st with other formats on sale in late April/early May.

Can't wait for this release.

Sunday, February 02, 2014

Ghosts in the score

stirring up the dust
ghosts from the past whisper in
grooves of forever

There's a first for this blog - vinyl haiku.  I was looking for ways to describe this mix and as I collected expressive words, the list started to take on it's own poetic quality.   So I thought, what the heck, I'll just formalize it into an actual haiku.  It was fun, I haven't written any sort of silly haiku in years.

Anyway, the haiku fits this mix because the music is all dusty and scratchy.  It all has a old vinyl feel to it.  It some cases it has that feel because the music really is old, like early 1900s old.  Two of the tracks are actually old Edison cylinder recordings.  I searched through old recordings at for music that would blend well with the other ambient & neo-classical tracks in this mix.

I've done two previous mixes in this style - Sustain & Decay and Revenants of the Past.  A lot of ambient music makes use of noise, distortion, scratches, glitches, hiss & pops so the actual old recordings fit in nicely.  There are six old recordings that appear in the final mix.  Most of the ambient cuts are of fairly recent vintage.

I like the title for this mix because the word "score" takes on a double meaning as in a musical soundtrack as well as trench, channel or groove in a vinyl record or cylinder.

Enjoy the pops & hisses.

[ 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    1956 RCA Victor Vinyl Records Educational Documentary
  • 00:30    Arturo Toscanini - Romeo & Juliet Overture(Pt-1)1946
  • 01:25    The Caretaker - Mental Caverns Without Sunshine
  • 01:45    e and i - known things
  • 03:50    Maps & Diagrams - Longitudinal Vibration
  • 07:20    Billow Observatory - Helsinki Radio
  • 08:50    Tim Hecker - Sketch 6
  • 10:00    e and i - tiniest smile
  • 11:11    Philip Jeck - chime again
  • 14:05    Edison Bohemian Orchestra Lacinquantaine Cylinder Recording
  • 15:15    Ten and Tracer - By Twirling the Quicksphere
  • 18:00    Tape Loop Orchestra - The Word On My Lips Is Your Name
  • 19:50    Philip Jeck - Wipe
  • 23:15    Benoît Pioulard - Pidgin
  • 24:25    Mozart 'Gavotte in G' from 'Idomeneo' (1912)
  • 25:25    The Humble Bee - The Collecting Plate
  • 26:25    Part Timer - Undead part 1
  • 30:15    The Caretaker - Mental Caverns Without Sunshine
  • 31:00    Semiramide Overture 1912
  • 35:05    Maya Beiser - Time Loops
  • 37:25    From The Mouth of The Sun - Color Loss
  • 42:42    The Caretaker - A Last Glimpse Of The Land
  • 45:15    Tape Loop Orchestra - The Word On My Lips Is Your Name
  • 51:25    Albert Spalding - Thais(violin) Edison blue amberol cylinder 
  • 52:30    The Humble Bee - Fin
  • 54:07    end

Friday, January 17, 2014

Reflecting the Hybrid - by Chris Fraley, a member of the Hypnos Recordings Forums

This mix is a rare treat.  It's a guest mix from Chris Fraley.  I know Chris through correspondence and postings at the Hypnos Forum.  

I've been a member of the forum for a long time and I really enjoy the community there.  In this time of social networks and twitter it's nice to see that a classic forum still survives and thrives, mainly because of a shared love of ambient music.  Activity there ebbs and flows but there's always interesting topics and people hanging out.

As I said, I know Chris through the forum and as the two of us have similar tastes, I offered him the opportunity to do a mix for the blog.  He was hesitant at first because he'd never done something like this before.  But he decided to give it a shot and I'm very glad he did.

Chris said he "ended up making a mix based on some of the recent (2012 or later) neo-classical music that embodies the spirit of ambient and experimental acoustics."  The result is perfect.

I hope this is just the first of more guest mixes we may see from Chris.


[ 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:

Monday, January 06, 2014

a frozen world

It is freakin' cold here in Wisconsin right now.  It's going to be -20f below zero tonight and the high temp on Monday didn't get much above -10f.  Frigid temps like that call for a mix.

It's perfect timing for a freezing mix because a recent purchase was the album arctic conditions by stormloop.  With song titles like "Ice Wind," "In The Frozen Morning Light" and "Arctic Conditions," it was a perfect starting point for this mix.

Make some hot cocoa, sit back and try to stay warm.  Of course for listeners like Charles Glaspole in Australia, it's summer.  I guess you'll have to use your imagination.


[ 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    Wind and walking in snow
  • 00:30    Terje Isungset - Go North
  • 01:36    stormloop - ice wind
  • 05:45    Marcus Fischer - Arctic 1
  • 10:10    Panoptique Electrical - Glacier Show I
  • 16:35    Ulf Lohmann - On Frozen Fields
  • 18:45    Blamstrain - Tundra V
  • 24:05    offthesky - beneath the ice shelf
  • 26:50    Harold Budd - Ice Floes in Eden
  • 29:15    stormloop - arctic conditions
  • 33:55    Good Weather For An Airstrike - Frozen In Thought
  • 37:25    Kiln - The Ice Floes
  • 38:40    Forrest Fang & Carl Weingarten - Freezing Days
  • 41:10    David Tagg - Arctic Reflection
  • 50:10    Brian Eno - Fields Of Ice
  • 58:00    Segue - A View of the Frozen Lake
  • 1:01:40   stormloop - in the frozen morning light
  • 1:08:00    end

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.


[ 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 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!