Saturday, December 31, 2011

fire and ice - an Icelandic mix

For such a small country, Iceland has produced a surprising number of excellent artists.  From Bjork to Mum to Seabear to Olaf Arnalds to Sigur Ros, it's really extraordinary the amount of wonderful music that comes from that island.

This last mix of 2011 is an Icelandic journey.  All the music is created by artists from Iceland.  The brilliant idea for it came from loyal listener, Kevin.  I wasn't sure how much music of Iceland I had in my collection but I was surprised to find quite a bit.

Icelandic music for me begins & ends with Sigur Ros & Bjork.  They are both in the mix, with Jonsi, from Sigur Ros, making multiple appearances.  In addition to the Sigur Ros tune, Jonsi contributes "Stokkseyri" from Riceboy Sleeps & "9" by Frakkur.

When Kevin suggested the mix & the title, he was thinking of Iceland as a land of extremes...glaciers & volcanoes, 24hr days & 24hr nights.  This mix doesn't swing too wildly from one extreme to another.  It's more ice than fire.  A few of the tunes do build in typical post-rock fashion, but generally things are fairly subdued.

I used two Johann Johannsson tracks fairly close together, which I normally don't like to do but the IBM track just seemed to fit perfectly with the preceding cut.  Plus I was just happy to be able to use that IBM track again because I LOVE it!

The pic in this post is from a terrific blog called "Stuck in Customs."  Check out the blog or go to his Flickr stream to see some amazing photos.  I'm a little tired of the HDR effect in photos but Tret Ratcliff does a really nice job with it & it definitely helps that he is shooting in unbelievable locations.

This was a fun mix to put together & I'd like to thank Kevin for suggesting it, I'm very happy with how it turned out.






T R A C K L I S T :
  • 00:00    Amiina - Boga (from kurr 2007)
  • 06:01    Johann Johannsson - The Flat (from And In The Endless Pause There Came The Sound Of Bees 2009)
  • 08:15    Olafur Arnalds - Himininn er a hrynja, en stjornurnar fara per vel (from Variations Of Static 2007)
  • 12:05    Johann Johannsson - Part 2 Ibm 1403 Printer (from Ibm1401-A Users Manual 2006)
  • 15:50    Stafraenn Hakon - Veggur (from Gummi 2007)
  • 18:55    Valgeir Sigurðsson - Equilibrium is Restored (from Ekvilibrium 2007)
  • 30:54    Jonsi & Alex - Stokkseyri (from Riceboy Sleeps 2009)
  • 37:49    Sigur Rós - Álafoss (from () 2002)
  • 46:15    Hilmar Örn Hilmarsson - Sudurgata (from Children of Nature 1996)
  • 49:08    Bjork - Cosmogony (from Biophillia 2011)
  • 53:40    Frakkur - 9 (from songs for the little boy 2008)
  • 1:01:23   end



Sunday, December 18, 2011

I can hear the snow fall

For some reason,when I think of falling snow, the instrument that comes to mind is the piano.  Maybe it's from years of listening to Vince Guaraldi's Charlie Brown Christmas album.  So it's no surprise that there is a fair amount of piano music in this "snow" mix.

We didn't have any snow yet but I had been thinking about doing a "first snow" mix for awhile & decided to throw one together Friday night.  Then I woke up Saturday morning to a light dusting of snow on the ground.  Maybe next I should do a mix for winning the lottery. ;)

 As I said there is a lot of piano music in here.  Led by Nils Frahm, from his excellent Felt album.  A release that will end up on my best of the year list & one which everyone needs to hear.  I think this mix works well as an early season "snow" mix versus the more bleak mid winter drones that will show up later.

I expect to crank out at least one more mix before the end of the year.  Plus I'll have a year-end top 20 list, so start thinking of your own lists if you'd like to contribute.

Enjoy.






T R A C K L I S T :
  • 00:00    Nils Frahm - less [erased tapes]
  • 05:20    Bernocchi, Budd, Guthrie - Heavy Heart Some More [Rarenoise Records]
  • 09:35    Deepspace - Whisper
  • 12:50   The Humble Bee - Sky Litter [cotton goods]
  • 15:22    Willamette - Echo Park [infraction]
  • 18:10    Pleq + Lauki - II (antonymes remix) [somehow recordings]
  • 24:44    Cliff Martinez - Wrong Floor [lakeshore records]
  • 25:45    Max Richter - eternal flowers question stars [Metropolis Movie Music]
  • 27:48    e and i - Pearls for Alma [cotton goods]
  • 29:40    Isnaj Dui - Always Close [hibernate]
  • 32:48    I've Lost - in this cold, empty place [future sequence]
  • 36:35    Diatonis - Whiring Above Our Heads
  • 40:00    Nils Frahm - Pause [erased tapes]
  • 44:25    Cliff Martinez - He Had A Good Time [lakeshore records]
  • 45:39    Harold Budd - Three-Fingered Jack [darla]
  • 47:40    Maps & Diagrams - Groghe(fort) [nomadic kids republic]
  • 51:00    S. Carey - Rothko Fields [jagjaguwar]
  • 54:50    Part Timer - seed collection [mobeer]
  • 58:20    Nils Frahm - Keep [erased tapes]





Friday, December 09, 2011

Vote

Mixcloud has started taking votes for Mixcloud Cloudcaster of the year.  So I'm basically shilling for votes.

If you click on the link it will take you to my Mixcloud page.  Unfortunately there is no simple "vote" button.  You have to "share" on Facebook to vote.  I hate that.  There are probably other cloudcasters I'd vote for but I don't like cluttering up my Facebook with random stuff like that.

Anyway, if anyone doesn't mind the Facebook sharing aspect, I'd really appreciate any votes you can throw my way.  Last year Low Light Mixes finished surprisingly high.

Thanks for your support.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Launch of Curiosity

This past Saturday NASA launched the Mars Science Laboratory known as "Curiosity" on a 9 month journey to the planet Mars.  As I was watching video of the launch, I was thinking about music that would work well with a launch & space voyage.  I quickly collected some appropriate tune & cranked out this mix at escape velocity speed.

The tracks are all electronic/electronica cuts that I thought seem to fit the theme.  As it turns out, many of the tunes have titles that are perfect for a mix like this.  Titles such as "Towards Unknown Space", "Solar Sailer", "Born to Fire", "Your Wings Make You Fly" and of course "Phobos & Deimos Go To Mars".

That "Phobos & Deimos" tracks was one of my absolute favorite tracks in college.  I had a clear vinyl version of the Synergy album "Cords".  There aren't going to be too many times that I can sneak that cut into a mix so I'm glad I got that one in here.

The NASA audio is all from the actual launch of the Curiosity Mars rover mission.

In the coming months maybe I'll do "Flight of Curiosity" & "Curiosity Lands" mixes.




T R A C K L I S T :

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

drowsy

I recently had surgery on a broken collarbone & had to spend a fair amount of time laying around, recuperating, sleeping.  So I decided to make a mix that would work well with Percocet & Vicodin.

I've produced other sleep mixes before, "I fell asleep at my desk making this mix", "slo mo", "slow & sleepy", and have often relied on them for nighttime listening.  Of course most of the mixes found here could work as "sleep" mixes. 

This new mix, "drowsy", fits right in with those others.  It's a soothing mix of drones & synth washes that will put anyone to sleep.




T R A C K L I S T :






Saturday, November 12, 2011

psalms & lullabies

A friend of mine made an excellent Spotify playlist called "Atmospheric Songs for Travelers" which had some great music from John Martyn, Nick Drake, Wilco & more.(I saved it as my own playlist which is why name is on it if you click the link.)

Listening to that collection made me want put together my own mix of vocal music.  I don't do vocal mixes very often but I thought it'd be nice to do one now, while all that music is swimming around in my head.

The songs are very laid back.  Most are acoustic.  Some new music(Antlers, Bon Iver, Horse Thieves) and some old stuff(John Martyn, Loudon Wainwright, Cat Stevens).

Somehow the mix ended up with 3 covers in it -  Iron & Wine - Love Vigilantes(New Order Cover),   Josh Rouse - Straight to Hell(Clash cover) and Radiohead - Wish You Were Here(Pink Floyd cover).  All brilliant covers.

I have some leftover vocal tunes that might make it into a new mix fairly soon.  Then it'll be back to good 'ol low light ambient.  For now, enjoy this vocal detour.





T R A C K L I S T :
  • 00:00    Bon Iver - Flume(daytrotter session)
  • 03:25    The Horse Thieves - (I was) Crazy (About You)
  • 07:55    J. Tillman - Earthly Bodies
  • 12:00    Josh Rouse - Straight to Hell(Clash cover)
  • 16:35    Cat Stevens - The Wind
  • 18:07    Damien Juardo - Beacon Hill
  • 21:05    Johm Martyn - Let the Good Things Come
  • 23:55    Radiohead - Wish You Were Here(Pink Floyd cover)
  • 30:50    The XX - Stars
  • 34:55    The Antlers - Corsicana
  • 38:15    Bon Iver - Wash.
  • 42:45    David Sylvian - September
  • 43:55    Loudon Wainwright III - Lullaby
  • 46:45    Iron & Wine - Love Vigilantes(New Order Cover)
  • 49:50    Alexi Murdoch - All My Days
  • 54:35    Red House Painters - Song for a Blue Guitar
  • 1:00:20    end




Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Shadowland


Josh, from Nocturne Records,  requested a Halloween mix.  

At first I was reluctant because I'm not a big fan of dark ambient.  I've never really cared for Lustmord records, although I do have "The Place Where Black Stars Hang."  While I do have a fair amount of drone music, I don't like dissonant drones.

When I set out to do this mix I wasn't sure what direction it would take.  Would it be noisy, scary ambient drones?  As I was looking through my music I came across "The Twin Peaks Archive" by David Lynch & Angelo Badalamenti.  I thought, now there is some dark-ish music that would be cool to use in a Halloween mix.

Three Twins Peaks tunes made it into the final mix & helped establish a sort of film noir feel.  There are definite dissonant moments but hopefully the mix is more creepy & shadowy rather than outright scary & annoying.

It was fun putting this together and I'm looking forward to making this an annual ritual.





T R A C K L I S T :














Thursday, October 13, 2011

AUTUMN IN SLOW MOTION

It hasn't felt much like autumn around here, with temps in the 70's & 80's the last week or two.  But the leaves are still falling and before you know it we'll have snow flying.  

So I figured now is as good a time as any to publish this new mix, "Autumn in Slow Motion."  This is a fairly straight forward mix with a nice blend of old & new tracks.  As you can tell all the tracks have the word "autumn" or " leaves" in the title.  I'm pretty sure I've used the track by Eluder, "Autmun Hips", before but I just had to include it again because it's absolutely beautiful.

Normally I don't use my own pics for these posts, but the last two have been Low Light originals.  This one was taken last fall on a photo hike through a nature park in my neighborhood.  If you shoot a ton of pix one or two are bound to turn out.

Enjoy.




T R A C K L I S T :





Monday, September 12, 2011

future days

I guess you could call this mix "Televison Sky #2".  It's a continuation of the sounds found in that mix.

This has more beats than a normal low light mix, more of an electronica sound.  I think it has a nice mix of old & new material.  The oldest cuts are from Can, Eno & Earthstar, 1973, 1975 & 1981 respectively.  In the middle we have the Casino Versus Japan cut from 1999 & the Aspen track from 2000.  Then there are a few newer tunes like the ones from Tobacco & Maps & Diagrams.

I was happy to sneak in part of a long track from B. Fleischmann called "Take Your Time".  I listened to it recently for the first time in a long while & remembered how much I like it & knew that I had to squeeze it in somewhere.

I was also happy to have done the accompanying pic myself.  It's from a picture I took in New York & then messed with in my video editing software, rather than photoshop, because I don't how to use photoshop. :(   It's nothing great but it was fun to come up with something sort of original.




T R A C K L I S T :
  • 00:00   ATOM™ -  weisses rauschen (zweiter teil)
    02:44    Earthstar - Cafe Sequence
    04:13    Brian Eno - In Dark Trees
    06:15    Can - Future Days
    08:45    Field Rotation - lichtermeer
    14:55    Joey Fehrenbach - Don't Wake me
    19:05    Aspen - Are You that Retail Snob?
    24:05    B. Fleischmann - Take Your Time
    31:03    Black Dog - Rainbow Bridge
    35:07    Tobacco - Stretch Your Face
    37:49    Casino Versus Japan - Warm Windows
    42:25    Maps & Diagrams - Waking Up
    44:25    Digitonal - After the First Death
    49:40    ATOM™- weisses rauschen (erster teil)
    53:22    Boc Scadet - Ganymede
    56:10    end
 




Friday, August 19, 2011

porch music

"Several times I've seen the evening slide away. Watching the signs taking over from the fading day."
- Brian Eno from Golden Hours

This is music for sitting on the porch in the evening, as the day slips into night. The sounds of traffic, lawn mowers & kids fade away as the first stars come out.

I stole the title from a recording by Fognode, which you can find here... Fognode - Porch Music. Brian Siskind is Fognode & he has some fantastic albums that have been released over the years. Definitely worth checking out here... FOGNODE.

Enjoy.


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T R A C K L I S T :



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Saturday, July 23, 2011

graceful silence

"Music is the space between notes."
- Claude Debussy


I found a couple of tunes recently that exemplify that Debussy quote. So I looked for more tracks that had definite valleys between the peaks of synth washes or long pauses between piano chords and then I let the mix take off from there.

The result is similar to the "breathing" mixes I've done before with the lulling ebb & flow that I like so much. This mix differs in it's use of piano & guitar tracks. There is a section in the middle where there really isn't a whole lot of "silence", more of an up & down of synth washes. But like happens so often with mixes, they just go places I didn't expect & then I've got to bring them back.

"Music and silence combine strongly because music is done with silence and silence is full of music."
- Marcel Marceau


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T R A C K L I S T :


Sunday, July 10, 2011

Marsen Jules mix at ASIP







I'd like to call your attention to an absolutely brilliant mix from the folks at astrangelyisolatedplace .

Ryan has been very kind to low light mixes over the years & I don't think I ever returned the favor. ASIP is a fantastic site for mixes & discovering new music. I especially like finding good, new electronica through ASIP.


This mix from a favorite artist of mine, Marsen Jules. His new release, Nostalgia, is wonderful. For this mix he "tried to assemble the material around the trademark sound of Kompakt's Pop Ambient series." This is a beautiful, flowing mix with one song bleeding into the next. It's is transporting.

Go here...isolated mix 18...to get it.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Multiples


UPDATE: The first "Multiples" file abruptly ended at 57 minutes for some unkown reason. But it has been fixed & the full mix is now online.


I am a chronic procrastinator. Paperwork piles up on my desk until I am forced to deal with it because I can't see the actual desktop anymore. There are to do lists scribbled on scraps of paper all over the house, most of the lists unfinished.


With that in mind I present this latest mix which began more than a year and a half ago. Mick from the music blog, Subversion, had an idea for doing a cooperative mix. The plan was for each of us to do a section of the mix, each one getting longer by multiples of 9. So first two sections are each 9 minutes, next two are 18 minutes each, then 27min(although in the final version section 5 was less than 27).

Mick was good at holding up his end of the donkey but I would just putz & putz between sections. We had some weird pitch problem with a section & the whole mix sat dormant for some time. Then Mick sent me a revised mix with a new section 5 and we decided to just leave it there so it could get posted. If I had to do another section or two it may never be released.

It's kind of interesting hearing the mix after so long because it uses cuts I haven't listened to much since doing that section of the mix. That's a problem with so much good music that is constantly being released, I focus on new music & too quickly forget about music that is barley months old.

I'm glad that this mix will finally make it out into the world.

While you're out in the world looking for some of this music, head over to Entropy Records. The Buddha Machine Music cut used in section 5 is available there.


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


T R A C K L I S T :

  • Section 1 - Muttley
  • 01. Stars Of The Lid - Broken Harbours Pt.1 (from "The Quiet Sounds Of Stars Of The Lid", Kranky, 2007)
  • 02. Steinbruchel - Home (from "Home", Slaapwel, 2008)
  • 03. Richard Devine - Murman (from "Idol Tryouts", Ghostly International, 2003)
  • 04. Grouper - Disengaged (from "Dragging A Dead Deer Up A Hill", Type, 2008)

  • Section 2 - Low Light @ 8:50
  • 05. Strom Noir - Rusty Nails (from "Sen Zimnej Noci", Hibernate, 2009)
  • 06. Fieldhead - I'm Fond Of Maps (from "They Shook Hands For Hours", Home Assembly Music, 2009)
  • 07. Rhythm & Sound - Imprint (from "Rhythm & Sound", Efa Imports, 2001)

  • Section 3 - Muttley @ 18:00
  • 08. Ateleia - Salt Horse Sculpture (from Formal Sleep, Xeric, 2007)
  • 09. Foci's Left - Regurgitated Impulses (Spheruleus remix) (from Spillage, Audio Gourmet, 2010)
  • 10. James Toth, Kerry Kennedy & Jason Meagher - The Time Machine (from Honest Strings, Jack Rose, 2010)
  • 11. David Tagg - Pentecost 1 (from Pentecost, Install, 2010)
  • 12. The Sight Below - Shimmer (from It All Falls Apart, Ghostly International, 2010)
  • 13. Lawrence English - Droplet (from A Colour For Autumn, 12K, 2009)
  • 14. Quosp - Deep Space (from Soundscapes I, U-Cover, 2007)
  • 15. Eluvium - As I Drift Off (from When I Live By The Garden And The Sea, Temporary Residence, 2006)

  • Section 4 - Low Light @ 35:00
  • 16. Loscil - Cello Drone
  • 17. Listening Mirror - Not Yet Ready for the Day
  • 18. Marc Codsi - A white rabbit in a hole
  • 19. Mantsevich Dzenis - November
  • 20. Taylor Deupree(I think) - rough

  • Section 5 - Muttley @ 52:30
  • 21. Heidi Harris - Stolen Child
  • 22 . Helios - First Dream Called Ocean
  • 23. Enuui - Morality
  • 24. Beatsystem - The Sound Of Two Eskimos Kissing(The Sound Of Two Eskimos Kissing LP, Entropy)
  • 25. Fursaxa - Birds Inspire Epic Bards
  • 26. Foci's Left - Ear Nest
  • 27. Foci's Left - Stable Ghosts
  • 28. Jan Linton remixes Fm3 - Zhongruan Ceng Yu (Entropy Records)
  • 29. Danny Saul - My Escape
  • 30. Implodes - Wendy
  • end @ 1:08:00

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

an uncharted sea

"The loneliness you get by the sea is personal and alive. It doesn't subdue you and make you feel abject. It's stimulating loneliness."
- Anne Morrow Lindbergh


So much of ambient music has a beautiful ebb & flow that lends itself perfectly to sea metaphors. Whether its bobbing up & down on the surface or plumbing the depths, ambient music music seems to fit well with imagery of the sea.

I could crank out sea mixes just using tunes with water, ocean or sea references in the track titles. This mix does have a few tracks with obvious sea titles, but in general it's just another collection of tunes that have that "sea sound."


[ 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 foghorn
  • 00:20 Stuart Dempster - Standing Waves 1976
  • 01:41 Dolphins into the Future - Memory of Self
  • 04:45 Enrico Coniglio - pastor et nauta
  • 07:40 Brian Eno - Invisible
  • 10:20 Alio Die - Suono Ipogeo(part 1)
  • 12:50 Echospace - Reflection II
  • 15:00 Burial - Night Bus
  • 16:55 Dean Santomieri - The Boy Beneath the Sea
  • 19:35 Andrew Chalk - Ukigiri
  • 21:15 Beautumn - Everfields
  • 27:00 M. Ostermeier - Central
  • 31:30 Deaf Centre - New Beginning(tidal darkness)
  • 34:00 Riceboy Sleeps - Sleeping Giant
  • 39:45 Dolphins into the Future - Lone Voyager
  • 47:35 Enrico Coniglio - Da Mar
  • 52:15 Stuart Dempster - Standing Waves 1976
  • 54:40 end