I can't tell you how excited I am for this mix. Well, actually I'm telling you right now so that first line was bullshit. Suffice it to say I love this mix. It comes from our good friends at Lost Tribe Sound, an amazing record label that is having a hell of a year. Of course, last year was pretty darn good as well.
Ryan Keane, the man behind Lost Tribe Sound, has put together a mix that is interesting and varied. It's cohesive without sounding all the same. This is a wonderful collection of tunes.
Here's what Ryan has to say about this mix:
Rarely do I get the chance to work on creating mixes of music, but I’m definitely more inspired to do so when I can ground the mix in a solid theme or concept. When I was given the chance to create one for the highly-esteemed Low Light Mixes, I figured, it better be decent.
‘The Western Divide,’ my latest mix, is a grab bag of emotions, sort of manic, nostalgic, playful, with the ever-present tinge of dread and uncertainty that really mirrors how I’ve been feeling about life and society as a whole lately. I partly wanted to see how bizarre the music I mixed together could get while still remaining palatable. Honing in on some pieces of music that come across as somewhat otherworldly spaghetti western sounding, I set about juxtaposing them with odd forms of jazz, electronic, hymn-like horn and organ pieces. It may have a bit of that Ennio Morricone score to some dystopian future General Hospital sort of vibe to it.
I’ve been infatuated as of late with unique uses of horns in experimental music, it seems that most of the time horns can easily be a pitfall in many styles of music. Either from overstaying their welcome, riding too long on what I like to call the “Dad Chords,” where it just gets cheesy, or simply becoming too noodly and irritating that the song would be better off without them. So hopefully I’ve combined some enjoyable uses of horns into the mix that avoid these situations, but who knows, I’m quite possibly out of touch.
In full disclosure, I run the label Lost Tribe Sound, so a few of the selections in the mix are from recent or upcoming albums on the label. The opening piece is from a brilliant electro-acoustic Danish trio, Skyphone, which we’ve have the honor of putting out two albums for this August. Kali Malone follows with her perfect use of a church organ as the ultimate drone machine. Next, a very odd find from a Spotify suggestion of all places, Jeremy Krinsley and Greg Heffernan’s only album together, ‘Material Culture 9.19.15’ is some left-field electronica, filled with loads of charming moments.
Next, Hampshire & Foat kick in, their ‘Saint Lawrence’ album from this year is an instrumental masterpiece for those into dim-lit jazz fueled folk. Sailcloth up next, also blew my mind, primarily an experimental upright bassist, the featured selection works more off of a droning horn and subdued bass notes than some of the other more pronounced tunes on the EP, ‘Close Keeping.’ Then, Danny Scott Lane who’s recent album on Shimmering Moods is about as perfectly refined an example as one could hope for from an experimental drone/classical album. Hoera is a mixed bag of tricks as well, bizarre combos of electronics, jazz, ambient and folk somehow fold into a very satisfying whole, definitely recommend all three of their albums. Drombeg, another tasty discovery, thanks to the Thesis label, an intense focus of melody and progression make this breed of classical well worth checking out.
Working in his way slowly into the tail end of Drombeg is a new piece from Ben McElroy, a highly emotive and creative songwriter, his whole catalog is sublime. Mute Forest, a long-time favorite, lent me an exclusive song from his upcoming album for this mix, introducing “The Riven Sun.” Followed that with a rising master of primitive guitar experimentalism, Seabuckthorn, from his new album, “It Can Ashen” is a droning genius. Next up, Spheruleus with his title track from his brand new and highly engaging electro-acoustic album for my label Lost Tribe Sound. Zakè follows with some seriously delicious droning classical string and tape experiments from this year courtesy of Past Inside The Present. Kinbrae’s album, ‘Landforms’ from earlier this year totally destroys me, and is a great example of how to use those horns properly. After that, Federico Mosconi delivers beautiful finger-picked guitar, bathed in the most melancholic waves of static and synths one could ask for!
MALK comes next with ‘Re-treat’ and delivers one of the most offbeat, original albums Lost Tribe Sound has ever produced, just give in to it. The penultimate piece comes from Offthesky, who’s had a hugely impressive year with two new albums that I’d consider among the best of the year. “Future Fire” provides another gorgeous example of how horns can work so beautifully in ambient music. Finally, the mix closes with one of my favorite artists of all time, Geir Sundstøl. Geir’s newest genre-bending album on Hubro, is beyond genius. I’ve got give a special thanks to Hubro, who’ve finally uploaded their entire catalog to Bandcamp, making it far easier to enjoy, definitely go explore the music they put out.
Hope you enjoy these tunes. Thanks for listening and having a read.
T R A C K L I S T :
0:00:000 - 4:00:000 - Skyphone - Les Clouds - Marsh Drones (Lost Tribe Sound)
4:00:000 - 6:56:000 - Kali Malone - Sacrificial Code - The Sacrificial Code (Ideal Recordings)
6:56:000 - 10:08:000 - Jeremy Krinsley / Greg Heffernan - Material Culture 9.19.15, Pt. 1 - Material Culture 9.19.15 (Godmode)
8:00:000 - 13:04:000 - Hampshire & Foat - The Undercliff - Saint Lawrence (Athens Of The North)
13:04:000 - 15:04:000 - Sailcloth - Year Long Storm - Close Keeping (Self Released)
15:04:000 - 18:08:000 - Danny Scott Lane - Four - How To Empty A Cup (Shimmering Moods Records)
18:08:000 - 21:20:000 - HOERA. - Jin - Jaunu (Granvat)
21:20:000 - 27:52:000 - Drombeg - The White Raven - Thesis Drive 2/3 (Thesis)
27:52:000 - 29:50:000 - Ben McElroy - They Told Us Not To Wonder - They Told Us Not To Wonder (Self Released)
29:50:000 - 33:20:000 - Mute Forest - The Riven Sun - Riders Storm (Self Released)
33:20:000 - 37:20:000 - Seabuckthorn - It Can Ashen - Crossing (Eilean Recs)
37:20:000 - 39:44:000 - Spheruleus - Light Through Open Blinds - Light Through Open Blinds (Lost Tribe Sound)
39:44:000 - 42:24:000 - Zakè - 000425978 OTS1 - Orchestral Tape Studies (Past Inside The Present)
42:24:000 - 48:04:000 - Kinbrae - Meander - Landforms (Truant Recordings)
48:04:000 - 51:20:000 - Federico Mosconi - Melody Not Melody - Light Not Light (Shimmering Moods Records)
51:20:000 - 54:08:000 - MALK - Re-Treat - WMAIDIT (Lost Tribe Sound)
54:08:000 - 57:36:000 - Offthesky - Future Fire - Illuminate (Eilean Recs)
57:36:000 - 62:28:000 - Geir Sundstøl - Waterloo - Brødløs (Hubro)