Thursday, December 25, 2008

Best of 2008

It was another good year for music, a lot of which made it's way into the mixes posted here. I put up about 14 mixes this year which is a good number, I'd like to post at least one per month. I already have two in the can which will be posted in January. I'm sure there will be another field mix this year, as well as a new shortwave mix & Sustain & Decay part 2. If anybody has any requests or ideas pleae let me know.

I lack the mental discipline to limit my year end list to a top ten list. So somehow this year I ended up with the random number of 24 in my "Best of" list. What are some good albums that I left off this list? What does your list look like? Here is the 2008 list in alphabetical order...

  • Alio Die - aura seminalis - alio die released some great music this year. I guess I could group all of them together here but I'll list this as my favorite. The cd "tries to recreate the solemn atmospheres of the courts of the Italian Renaissance", and amazingly it comes off as transcendent instead of cheesy. Stefano Musso's recent releases all do this very well, like his collaboration with vocalist Martina Galvagni, Elusian Lullaby. He takes concepts, that would not work in the hands of another, and makes them work beautifully.
  • Arve Henriksen - cartography - a beautifully layered recording from trumpeter henriksen. Texture is more important than virtuosity here. A melancholy, tranquil landscape works perfectly with Henriksen's vocal-like trumpet.
  • Belong - Same Places (Slow Version) - crushing, shimmering drones dissolve & decay in a wonderful wall of sound.
  • Bersarin Quartett - bersarin quartett - actually this is a one man show of cinematic music. Strings, ambience, some occasional beats combine for a lush, melancholy trip.
  • bvdub - dreams of red chambers - a release that is more ambient than the usual dubby sound form bvdub.
  • David Tagg - Waist Deep Seas Of Milk - gorgeous, expansive guitar-based drones. His “Stele” split release was excellent as well.
  • Deaf Center - vintage well - More great cinematic music. I guess there was a lot of fantastic cinematic music this year.
  • Disturbed Earth - Butterfly - An excellent ambient release from Atmoworks. From a live "living room" concert in August 1977. The album
  • was recorded live with no overdubs using a double neck guitar
  • and a violin bow on the 12-string and playing the 6-string. He
  • used two tape decks set up about 8 feet apart in a continuous loop. A classic ambient feel that is even more amazing knowing how & when it was recorded.
  • Elbow - Live from London – Beautiful, intimate, live iTunes only release. Any fan of Elbow MUST own this.
  • Elbow - the seldom seen kid – There isn’t any other band that evokes beauty, melancholy & joy like Elbow. This is an absolutely fantastic recording.
  • Eluder - the most beautiful blue - deep layers that never get too dark or too light. A just right mixture of drifting textures & aquatic sounds.
  • Grouper - Dragging a Dead Deer Up A Hill - a good collection of eerie folk songs wrapped in reverb & hazy ambience.
  • Hakobune - melting reminscence - an excellent release for lovers of guitar-based drone.
  • Hans-joachim Roedelius & Tim Story - inlandish - I love how this release sounds old & new at the same time. Some of the tunes just have this indescribable retro Roedelius feel to them, like the song "Beforst". A warm, melodic beauty.
  • Jacaszektreny – Real instruments played by real musicians with some electronic manipulation make this a stellar release in a year filled with great cinematic music.
  • Jeff Pearce - Rainshadow Sky – I know this one is a bit too close to New Age for some regular forumites, but I found it to be beautiful without being too sappy.
  • Johann Johannssonfordlandia – This cd from Johannsson takes the cinematic/orchestral theme of this year to another level. He does it with a 60 piece orchestra, piano, organ, choir & electronics. The music is lush and intense.
  • Marconi Union - a lost connection – more dubby ambient music. I listened to a lot of dubby stuff this year & Marconi Union does this style wonderfully.
  • Martin Grech - march of the lonely – this one actually came out in 2007 but I discovered it right at the beginning of this year and I listened to constantly from then on. From an online review “…a moody acoustic delicacy, dreamlike calm and layered vocals which recall monastic plainsong or a lovelorn choir.”
  • quantec - unusual signals – great dubby ambient-ish beats.
  • Rameses IIIBasilica - A double cd of live recordings & remixes, the two discs contain some beautiful, quiet, and moving instrumental compositions.
  • Rod Modell - incense & blacklight - noisy, shifting dub rhythms, and way deep bassy goodness.
  • Steve Roach - a deeper silence – I played this for days all through the house, the slow washes & low bass hum rumbling from room to room. I felt like I was on some inter-stellar spacecraft. Great sleep music too.
  • the caretaker - Persistent repetition of phrases - Similar to his other releases in that it sounds like he is channeling the haunting atmospherics of The Shining. However, this one is a bit more ambient.

---- I know these don’t count as actual releases, but I think I listened to the guitar mixes of Alan Lockett more than anything else this year. You can find them here… http://albient.livejournal.com/2468.html]http://albient.livejournal.com/2468.html . These mixes are a great collection of ambient guitar meanderings that introduced me to a lot of new artists & music.


Honorable mentions :
stephan mathieu – radioland
Bohren & der Club of Gore – Dolore
taylor deupree - sea last
The Winterhouse - Lost
jasper tx - this quiet season
the caretaker - recollected memories from the museum of garden history
emanuele errante - humus [2008]
Richard Skelton - Marking Time
Hammock, ‘Maybe They Will Sings For Us Tomorrow
sigur ros - Með suð í eyrum við spilum endalaust
Sans Serif - Tones For LaMonte

Friday, December 12, 2008

a northern holiday


The mixes keep coming fast & furious.  

Last year I downloaded a very cool holiday compilation.  It's called "That Fuzzy Feeling".  It looks like they still have downloads available but are sold out of the cd's.  You can have find it here...

That release was the starting point for this mix.  There are three cuts from the compilation in the mix....Brave the Cold by Vincent Oliver and Isan...Family, Giving by Peter Broderick...Snowstorm in a Snow Globe by Fuzzy Lights.  From there I just looked for other tunes that fit the theme.

So grab some hot coco & trim the tree with some ambient goodness playing in the background.  Happy Holidays from all of us(actually just me) here at Low Light Mixes.

Download :

T R A C K L I S T :
  • 00:00    Vincent Oliver and Isan - Brave the Cold
  • 02:35    Freescha - Holiday Frost
  • 07:25    Takahiro Kido - Christmas Song
  • 12:50    Chris Abrhams - Christmas Island
  • 19:10    Stuart Busby - Snowfall
  • 22:13    Peter Broderick - Family, Giving
  • 25:30    Dakota Suite - December 8, 1980
  • 27:40    Maps of the Heart - Skating Away
  • 31:40    July Skies - Holidays to Wales
  • 33:00    Fuzzy Lights - Snowstorm in a Snow Globe
  • 35:50    Northern - December
  • 39:57    end


Friday, December 05, 2008

motion for relief

I thought I'd try something a bit different...a mix that is beat driven.  Of course it's not going to be some house music mix or techno dance trax.

The mix is sort of in the same vein as the ones done
by Alan, of Great Axescapes fame.  He has a fantastic mix called "nowthatswhaticallmnmlambidubtechno! vol.1".   You can find it here...vol. 1.

This mix is similar in that dubby, ambient way.  Only one artist, Quantec, in common though.  

I wasn't sure how the mix would work but I like the results very much.  I'm listenbing to it as I type this, nice & loud so the low dubby bass lines reverberate around the house.  Excellent.

The other different thing about this mix is it is shorter than the others.  An online friend, Mick, is running The "15 Minutes Of Fame’ Mix Series" & he asked me to do some mixes.  The only requirements are up to 40 minutes in length & no more than 10 tracks.  That should help with some experimentation, may be an idea will work in a 30 minute mix but not for the usual hour-long mix. Here's the link to Mick's thread at Dogs On Acid...http://www.dogsonacid.com/showthread.php?threadid=602380&highlight=muttley+minutes

I should be able to crank out 3 more mixes by the end of the year.  Next up...a piano mix, a noisy-droney-scratchy mix and a best of the year mix.

d o w n l o a d  :  (right click/save as)

t r a c k l i s t :
  • 00:00    Plastikman - consumed
  • 04:44    Marconi Union - buildings without people
  • 08:05    Trentemoller - miss you
  • 11:50    Yagya - rhythm of snow #5
  • 17:55    Underworld - pizza for eggs
  • 20:20    Quantec - unusual signals
  • 25:25    Ontayso - procesamiento 2.05
  • 28:45    Tiki Obmar - ankeney, iowa
  • 39:30    end

Saturday, November 15, 2008

november buddha

This mix is called November Buddha in honor of the new Buddha Machine 2.0 which was just released.  Mine is on it's way right now.  There's not much of a theme here, just a bunch of new tunes that I've been listening to lately.  

The Lullaby LeagueSleep Robot tracks are new discoveries thanks to the fantastic mixes from Alan, an online friend.  You can find the mixes here Great Axescapes: an Archaeology of Drone-gaze Tone-haze Guitar-wranglings.
 I probably have listened to these mixes more than anything else this year.  Just an absolutely fabulous collection of guitar ambient.

Most of the artists in this mix can also be found in Alan's Axescapes mixes.  A couple exceptions are Eluder, which is a brand new Infraction release.  And Disturbed Earth, an excellent recording on Atmoworks.

Download(right click/save as) :  153mb, 64 min.

T R A C K L I S T :
  • 00:00    buddha machine 2.0 loop construction
  • 05:30    Apalusa - Obadiah
  • 10:30    Sleep Robot - Prayer Wheel
  • 15:40    Eluder - Autumn Hips
  • 21:30    Shirk - Mocked
  • 27:45    Fabio Orsi - Pure Love
  • 31:40    The Lullaby League - Cantus
  • 38:00    Disturbede Earth - Butterfly
  • 44:30    Hakobune - Melting Reminiscence
  • 47:00    The Fun Years - Garbage Man, Poet
  • 50:30    David Tagg - Stele 

Saturday, October 25, 2008

sustain and decay

The idea for this mix came from frequent low light mixes downloader/listener, Ron Sylvester.  He sent me some mix cd's he had done, all of which are fantastic & intriguing.

One idea in particular interested me.  Ron downloaded some recordings of old 78rpm records from archive.org.  The thought of old, scratchy opera recordings was too much to resist. 

So that's where this mix started.  I had intended it to be similar to my shortwave mixes but it didn't exactly end up that way.  Part of the reason is my own impatience, I wanted to get a new mix posted but didn't want to take weeks to sort through the tons of possibilities presented by archive.org & other sites.  

So I collected some pieces, ripped off several other tracks from some of Ron's various mixtapes and grabbed some newly purchased & downloaded music and set off to mix it up.

I found that the perfect compliment to the old 78's is music from The Caretaker.  His music was inspired by the ballroom scene from "The Shining".  From the Caretaker website..."The first release played and extended this theme of altering 1920's and 1930's ballroom music creating an eerie and haunted soundworld. Subsequently the sound has become darker and often more abstract over time, moving away from the initial idea of a haunted ballroom into territories involving the mind and its abilities to recall memories."   You can download some of the full albums here...Caretaker Releases.  I have 3 Caretaker tracks in the mix, which is more of one artist than I usually put in one mix but I think these cuts work very well.  

The mix sort of veers away from the old & scratchy theme about two-thirds of the way through.  It just sort of morphed on it's own as I pulled tracks.  Mixes can be funny that way, developing their own path. 

I'd like to thank Ron for the ideas & for the tunes in his mixtapes that I ripped off for this mix.

Download (right-click/save as) 115mb, 60 min. :

T R A C K L I S T :
  • 00:00    intro
  • 00:25    Caretaker - False Memory Syndrome
  • 03:15    Belong - Girl from New York
  • 04:47    Ave Maria remix
  • 05:50    Still - futility
  • 08:35    Ólafur Arnalds - Haust
  • 13:30    Caretaker - Rosy Retrospection
  • 18:00    Fabio Orsi - North of Me(at midday)
  • 21:35    Josef Hollman - traumerei (op. 15, no. 7)
  • 25:05    Eleni Karaindrou - litany: variation i
  • 27:50    SzilagyiImreZenekara - Kranzna
  • 29:50    The Winterhouse - Lost
  • 39:10    Caretaker - Past Life Regression
  • 42:35    Julien Neto - from cover to cover
  • 47:00    Vikki Jackman - The Snow Queen
  • 51:15     Fax - caldera i
  • 55:30    Andrew Deutsch - untitled #1(from The Sun)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

nothing from something - an ambient video

This is a a first for Low Light Mixes…an ambient video. Most ambient videos are fairly boring and this one most definitely is as well. It’s more of an experiment than entertainment.

The volume is fairly low so you may need to crank it up a bit.


Several years ago I made a short ambient video from shots of dust floating in a beam of sunlight in a dark room. I made the video black & white & slo mo, so that it looked at times like stars. It was very cool, most viewers had no idea they were looking at shots of dust.

I’ve always wanted to repeat that experiment and this is the result. I could have gone out shot tons of video and sorted through it looking for interesting shots. I could have planned out shoots & locations & themes. But that would require time & effort, so instead I kept it simple. It can be interesting, creatively, to limit your choices. Like an ambient musician limiting the sound source to only guitar or only using acoustic instruments.

As in the dust video, the source is one location, all shots of basically the same thing. I shot with my son’s camcorder in about an hour one afternoon. I then edited at at work using an Avid Newscutter editing system. The contrast, brightness & saturation have been changed on every clip and fx have been added in few cases. The finished product is interesting, to me anyway. I’m not sure how many other people will find it so.

It was fun to start with a limited number of clips, all of essentially the same thing & try to make something out of it. Although, I was actually trying to make nothing from something - take what would have been recognizable video & turn it into a psychedelic, ambient experiment, where the original source is obscured & unimportant.

The music is from two Infraction Records artists, Adam Pacione & Northern. I hope you find it interesting at some level.


Sunday, September 07, 2008

sea of stars

This is a mix from our annual trip to the Wisconsin northwoods. As the title suggests it's a mix for star gazing.

As I have mentioned in other posts, Rick, who runs the Hydrogen Cafe blog, and I sit out at the end of the pier and watch for shooting stars and satellites. We each make a soundtrack for the experience. Rick's are usually much more thought out than mine(his mix this year was great!).

I limited myself to fairly new music, stuff I have been listening to a lot lately. I knew I wanted to include new music from
Area C - Sea of Rains. It was commissioned by the NASA RI Space Grant Consortium and the Museum of Natural History in Providence, RI as an original score for their "Mission Moon: past, present, future" exhibit at the Museum of Natural History. It has some Nasa recordings mixed in with the music so it was a natural for this mix.

After that the other tracks are just tunes that are kind of new, sound a bit spacey and flow well together.

Download (right click/save as) :
sea of stars

t r a c k l i s t :

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Clouds in my Coffee

I made this latest mix for our annual trip to northern Wisconsin. I usually try to make one stargazing mix & one morning mix. The stargazing mix will be posted soon. This is the morning mix, to be listened to while drinking Intelligentsia coffee & reading the morning paper.

At our northern cabin we didn't have daily newspapers so I made due with coffee, crossword puzzles & science fiction.
To go with the morning coffee & sunlight reflecting off the calm lake waters, this music is suitably light.

The majority of the tunes are new, most are from 2008. Some old favorites with new music make the mix, including Max Ritcher, Yellow 6, Marconi Union, Milieu & Goldmund. New discoveries include Shirk, bvdub & Segue.


So grab a cup, put your feet up & enjoy.

Download (right click/save as) :
clouds in my coffee 107mb 58:28


T R A C K L I S T :

  • 00:00 Bersarin Quartet - nachtblind
  • 03:50 Jacaszek - rytm to niesmiertelnosc
  • 08:30 Jonathan Hughes - monoline
  • 11:41 Shirk - stupid dick
  • 12:50 Segue - a glass darkly
  • 16:20 Max Ritcher - found song for P
  • 18:20 Yellow 6 - kulterhuset
  • 26:25 Goldmund - clement danes
  • 30:20 Milieu - mirage
  • 32:05 bvdub - different place different time
  • 38:40 Planivaar - adrift
  • 43:30 Bersarin Quartet - geschichten von interesse
  • 48:05 Marconi Union - buildings without people
  • 51:31 Koda - the tension was beautiful
  • 55:18 Library Tapes - fragment V

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Even more mixes

Here are some more mixes & links that I think everyone will enjoy.

First up is some more ambient dub goodness. From Alan Lockett comes nowthatswhaticallmnmlambidubtechno! vol.1 - a self-assembled continuous minimal ambient dub techno mix. Excellent mix that lead me discovering bvdub, which was the subject of the previous post. Alan write reviews for several zines & really knows his stuff.

Alan recommended this compilation from the cism netlabel. The V/A comp is called
Cismarine, a wonderful collection of ambient/techno/dub tracks. Here's the direct link to the zip download... http://www.cismsound.net/cism_5/cism_5.zip

Here are links to radio shows & mixes by severence... http://www.severence.net/index.html http://www.severence.net/sound.html
More excellent mixes with the recent radio shows featuring more of the ambient dub sound I've been yacking about.

Play My Tape has a ton of guest mixtapes/podcasts for download. Have fun browsing.

The Quiet Sounds is another great source of music. The most recent podcasts are straight mixes. While some of the older ones have Brian B. introducing the tracks & enlightening the listeners along the way.

That should be enough to keep everyone busy for now.

Post any other mixes you've found in the comments sections.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Wonderful Mixes

Just thought I'd let everyone know about some mixes I found. I have been listening to a lot of ambient-dub lately and was recently turned on to the music of bvdub. Really excellent minimal/dub/techno/ambient music.

Anyway, Brock Van Wey alias bvdub has a page full of his own mixes that most Low Light listeners would really enjoy. I'm spinning "9900 sorrows | ambient guitar drone" right now. A great mix I wish I'd done myself.

Here's the link to the bvdub mix page...


Saturday, July 05, 2008

a scattering of ashes

There is no clever theme to this new mix. I noticed a similar feel to much of the new music I was listening to so I decided to cobble it together in a mix.

All of the music in this mix is new, either 2007 or 2008, except for the Andrew Deutsch cut which is from 2005(although it is new to me).

The music in this mix has a sort of subdued, orchestral fell to it. I started thinking about this mix listening to the new Deaf Center release. Layers of strings create a beautiful, melancholy experience. That pretty much describes the rest of the music in this mix.

Download(right click/save as) :
a scattering of ashes 109mg, 59:53

T R A C K L I S T :

00:00 Emanuele Errante - leaves
01:25 Deaf Center - Vintage Well
06:10 Bersarin Quartet - es kann nicht ewig winter sein
09:45 mwvm - context where
17:50 Andrew Deutsch - untilted #1(from cd "The Sun")
26:00 Svarte Greiner - kobbergruve....
29:20 Jasper, TX - things could stay
37:30 Emanuele Errante - lucus
49:10 Deaf Center - ashes
50:30 Stars of the Lid - slight on the childproof
55:00 Bersarin Quartet - Inversion

Saturday, June 28, 2008

retroact 1.0

I listen to music every night when I go to sleep. Most of the time I keep a small stack of recent cd's on the nightstand for nighttime listening. I was getting tired of the selections so I dug into the back catalog & pulled out Steve Roach's Structures from Silence. Wow, it was great to hear that recording again!

That lead me to pull out a couple of other oldies, which then lead to this mix. All the music in this mix, retroact 1.0, is at least 10 years old. Structures from Silence is from 1984! The Aphex Twin cut is from 1994. I cheated with a couple of tracks, such as Tollefson & Vidna/Pearce, that are from 1999.


It was wonderful to listen to albums I hadn't heard in years. I had forgotten just how great Saul Stokes Washed in Mercury is. I am very happy to have worked in Thom Brennan's The Path Not Taken, one of my all-time favorite ambient tracks. This mix is not supposed to represent a certain time period or demonstrate evolving styles. It's just a bunch of older cuts that I sort of randomly pulled out & thought would work well together. I hope you enjoy this ambient trip down memory lane.

download(right click/save as)...
retroact 1.0 114mb, 62:40

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

  • 00:00 Brian Eno - Sparrowfall 1 [1978]
  • 01:00 Aphex Twin - rhubarb [1994]
  • 08:00 Steve Roach - Structures from Silence [1984]
  • 17:20 Biosphere - Chukhung [1997]
  • 23:55 Saul Stokes - Sweet Parafin [1997]
  • 26:40 Brian Eno - Sparrowfall 2 [1978]
  • 28:05 Vidna Obmana & Jeff Pearce - A Scattering Flock [1999]
  • 31:35 David Tollefson - Maja [1999]
  • 36:10 Paul Schutze - Sleep 2 [1995]
  • 43:30 Thom Brennan - The Path Not Taken [1997]
  • 55:40 Jeff Greinke - Glacial Returns [1988]
  • 01:21 Brian Eno - Sparrowfall 3 [1978]

Thursday, June 05, 2008

a ghost in the phase

I was having a tough time coming up with an idea for a new mix. The shortwave mix, a drift on the signal, is one of my favorite mixes so I decided to do a sequel.

And thus, through ionospheric transit, comes...a ghost in the phase. The formula is pretty much the same as before, a nice mixture of real shortwave radio recordings & ambient music with shortwave elements. Most of the shortwave stuff comes from the Shortwavemusic blog. That's the same source I used for the last shortwave mix. It's run by Myke Weiskopf. Here are a couple of his other sites...
Myke Weiskopf & Myke's Live Journal

Lots of cool sounds at all three sites.

After the last shortwave mix a listener said it reminded him of Tetsu Inoue's World Receiver. How could I have forgotten that disc?! This time I made sure to include it. It's such a fantastic recording. You can buy it from Infraction records . Another excellent release that made it into the mix is the new one from Steven Mathieu called Radioland. Check it out.

The Entia Non & krill.minima & Unproduct cuts are all available for free download.

Download(right click/save as):
a ghost in the phase
The times in this tracklist are just approximations. Sometimes there are several cuts playing at once, things fading in & out, etc.

T R A C K L I S T :

  • 00:00 - Pulse Wave FX & JBO Tokyo Radio
  • 00:16 - Entia Non - Cultural Plagiarism
  • 01:28 - Fennesz - A Year in a Minute
  • 04:33 - Myke Weiskopf - Shortwave Condensation
  • 05:55 - Djivan Gasparyan - dle yaman
  • 06:56 - Cairo Radio
  • 07:45 - Punkt - Speechless
  • 08:24 - Cairo Radio
  • 09:13 - Rod Modell - Aloeswood
  • 12:38 - Tetsu Inoue - Elevator Drops
  • 19:05 - Stephen Mathieu - Auf der Gasse
  • 22:45 - Fennesz & Sakamoto - Aware
  • 26:37 - Radio RASD
  • 26:54 - My Fun - Signal Drift
  • 29:06 - Felicia Atkinson with Sylvain Chauveau - Aberdeen
  • 34:11 - Chris Bissonnette - Traveling Light
  • 40:00 - WEWN
  • 40:46 - Post-Soviet Melancholia Pt. V: "Мой Рок и Ролл" via Russian International Radio
  • 42:40 - krill.minima - Projektor
  • 45:34 - Myke Weiskopf - The Grotesque
  • 46:23 - Unproduct - Radio Canvas 3
  • 46:52 - numbers
  • 47:40 - pulse transmission
  • 50:30 - Rameses III - Origins IV May 25, 2007
  • 53:20 - Stephen Mathieu - Radioland
  • 02:30 - Pulse Wave FX

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Suspended in Air


Last year I discovered British drone master Paul Bradley. This year it's the beautiful drones of David Tagg. I have two of his recordings now, "Expanding Electronic Diversity" & "Waist Deep Seas Of Milk". Two excellent albums.
So because I've been listening to more drones than usual I've decided to do a drone mix.
Nothing extraordinary here, just one drone slowly slipping into the next.
Most of the music here is fairly new. Almost all of it released this year or last, except of course for the Aloof Proof, which almost counts as new because of the reissue last year. This was fairly easy to put together but it flows nicely. Should be excellent for sleeping.

Download(right click/save as)
s u s p e n d e d i n a i r

T R A C K L I S T :

  • 00:00 Paul Bradley - Irenic
  • 05:45 Stars of the Lid - Virgina
  • 09:00 Andrew Chalk - Suspended in Air
  • 14:00 David Tagg - Waist Deep in Seas of Milk #6
  • 20:30 Emeralds - arbol del tule
  • 28:05 Belong - Vowel
  • 35:00 Nelson Foltz & Tom Lynn - still life interlude
  • 43:00? David Tagg - The 25th Door
  • 49:30 Aloof Proof - The Last Leaf
  • 59:30 Paul Bradley - Chroma #1
  • 02:30 The Beautiful Schizophonic - cantiques la gloire du soleil