Sunday, April 11, 2021

memories and tides


It's funny how mixes come together sometimes. I started this one only knowing I wanted it to be pretty straightforward ambient. The easiest thing to do was to start with some new music from the last month or two. As I laid down a few tracks I started to get this feeling of the sea, of drifting on the water, of a quiet harbor. So I went with it.

Before long I had an entire mix of new music that hung together with this beautiful ebb & flow. The theme came about organically. The tracks themselves dictated what the mood would be. I've done other sea themed mixes over the years and this one could be the most subtle. I didn't add any field recordings - any wave sounds were already in a track. It's more about feel and vibe than sound fx.

All the cuts are from 2021 except for Bursts of Static by Olga Wojciechowska. I heard that on the BBC the morning after finishing the mix and knew immediately that I had to include it.

This mix might work well as soundtrack for a rainy spring day or for a nap in hammock as you dream of drifting out on the tide.


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T R A C K L I S T :

  • 00:00    Jeannine Schulz - Riber (Luminous 2021)
  • 04:35    The Green Kingdom - Atmosphere 1 (Solaria 2021)
  • 09:21    Moss Covered Technology - Pressure Change (Seafields 2021)
  • 15:43    Andrew Heath & Anne Chris Bakker - November (How To Breathe Like A Stone 2021)
  • 26:18    Taylor Deupree - murmur (Mur 2021)
  • 29:21    Daar - Waves Your Back Describes (Entire 2021)
  • 34:25    Andrew Tasselmyer - What We Lost (Yesteryear 2021)
  • 37:40    Observatories - Visible Darkness (Flowers Bloom, Butterflies Come 2021)
  • 41:26    Jogging House - Between (Too 2021)
  • 44:08    Olga Wojciechowska - Bursts of Static (Infinite distances 2019)
  • 48:57    Tapes and Topographies - other distant mermaids (A Season of Loss 2021)
  • 52:33    Spheruleus - Danse de Chambre (Canvas Homes + Supplémentaires 2021)
  • 56:47    Masaya Kato & Valotihkuu - Viviante (Swallow 2021)
  • 59:07    halftribe - Fern Moss (Lucent Forms Travelling 2021)
  • 62:16    end

Sunday, April 04, 2021

Ambient Trumpet: A Jazz-Colored Solitude — by Paul Asbury Seaman

Photo by Alex on Unsplash

Back in January Paul emailed me about an album called "Bardo Tank" by Ron Miles playing trumpet in The Tank in Colorado. That email started me off in search of tunes for what became my "Resonant Spaces" mix. Paul went a different direction and sought out tracks for an ambient trumpet mix.

The result is a great collection of tunes that span different styles and old to new, while still maintaining an ambient atmosphere. Here's what Paul says about this mix:

“No musical instrument, at least in the Western world, conveys anguish and melancholy as effectively as the trumpet. One can trace a direct line from Miles Davis’s tender and gut-wrenching solos to the jazz-colored ambience of ECM Records. The signature sound of this European label is both intimate and austere, as reflected in the lonely landscapes of their album covers. There’s a delicate grandeur in the tunes I’ve gathered here. Or sometimes, just the sound of solitude.

For me, the overall effect was surprisingly similar to the tranquil, meditative state evoked by the bell-tone mix I did last December.”

Thanks Paul, for another superb set.


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T R A C K L I S T :

  • 00:00    Arve Henriksen - Patient Zero (Towrds Language 2017)
  • 02:02    Paolo Fresu - Se Va La Murga (In Maggiore 2015)
  • 06:47    Alaskan Tapes - Leita(Ft. Ryan Svendsen) (Leita/North 2018)
  • 10:28    Nils Petter Molvaer - Puri Jati (Buoyancy 2016)
  • 14:00    Oystein Sevag - Miles Near (Link 1993)
  • 15:35    Jeff Oster - The Lotus Within (Reach 2018)
  • 22:27    Ron Miles - Pacem (Bardo Tank 2013)
  • 28:49    Miles Davis - The Pan Piper (Sketches of Spain 1960)
  • 32:27    Mark Isham - Tibet part II (Tibet 1989)
  • 36:14    Arve Henriksen - Migration (Cartography 2008)
  • 41:38    Ralph Towner & Paolo Fresu - The Sacred Place(reprise) (Chiaroscuro 2008)
  • 43:27    Matthew Halsall - Canopy & Stars (Salute to the Sun 2020)
  • 51:04    Ambrose Akinmusire - Roy (On the Tender Spot of Every Calloused Moment 2020)
  • 53:26    Jon Hassell - Time And Place (Last Night The Moon Came Dropping Its Clothes In The Street 2009)
  • 56:55    Matthew Halsall - Stories from India (Oneness 2019)
  • 65:09    Tomasz Stanko Quartet - Tale (Lontano 2006)
  • 68:54    end

Sunday, March 28, 2021

Blade Runner Pop/Rock Soundtrack


What if the original Blade Runner film had a pop music soundtrack? You know how some films have an instrumental score but also an album of pop/rock tunes that were used in the film or inspired by the film. If Blade Runner had such a collection maybe it would sound like this mix.

This all started when I was listening to Pink Floyd - Shine On You Crazy Diamond part 1 and I thought that it sounded like it would sort of fit with the Blade Runner score we are all so familiar with. That got me thinking about the question posed at the top of this post. As I started collecting tracks the first place I went was Gary Numan & Tubeway Army - Replicas. How could I not use a song called "Replicas"? Likewise from the same album, how could resist the track "Are Friends Electric?"

I got some great recommendations from Mixcloud listeners in this thread -   Tracks from Public Image Ltd., John Foxx, Quieter Than Spiders and New Order came right from those suggestions. There were also some great ideas in that thread which will work perfectly in a Blade Runner alternative score mix. I'm hyped to do that mix but I should probably wait a bit after this BR mix.

This was a lot of fun to put together. I hope you enjoy it.


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T R A C K L I S T :

  • 00:00    Pink Floyd - Shine On You Crazy Diamond pt. 1
  • 03:36    Tubeway Army - Replicas
  • 08:25    Air - Kelly Watch the Stars
  • 12:00    Public Image Ltd. - The Order of Death
  • 16:26    John Foxx - A New Kind Of Man
  • 19:58    Kuedo - Memory Rain
  • 23:23    Ultravox - Your Name Has Slipped My Mind Again
  • 27:34    Air - Remember
  • 29:52    Kraftwerk - The Robots
  • 35:20    Ultravox - Mr. X
  • 41:45    Quieter Than Spiders - The Signs of Life
  • 46:52    Brad Mehldau - Paranoid Android
  • 48:23    Metric - Artificial Nocturne
  • 52:31    Tubeway Army - Are “Friends” Electric
  • 57:45    New Order - Elegia
  • 61:43    end

Monday, March 15, 2021

Guest Mix from Brad Deschamps of Polar Seas Recordings


This year I've had the good fortune of posting several cool guest mixes and that continues with this excellent collection from Brad Deschamps of Polar Seas Recordings.

It's not a mix of all Polar Seas releases, in fact only the opening and closing tracks are from the label. But it is perfect timing for a mix from Brad because Polar Seas is releasing three excellent new albums on Friday March 19th.

I love getting guest mixes because there is always great music in them that I have never heard. And that's the case with this one. I think I was familiar with 4 of the 9 artists in the set. So thanks to Brad for exposing me to even more good ambient music. But even more important thanks to Brad for running the great ambient record label - Polar Seas Recordings.


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T R A C K L I S T :

  • 00:00 - 03:38    Jeannine Schulz - Rooms and Surfaces I
  • 03:38 - 10:53    Laura Luna Castillo - Eight Pounds of Tuberose
  • 10:53 - 15:36    Sea Oleena - On Possession
  • 15:36 - 20:50    Sachi Kobayashi - Nostalgia
  • 20:50 - 29:38    Patricia Wolf - Position From the Sun
  • 29:38 - 35:43    Claire M. Singer - Wrangham
  • 35:43 - 40:01    Lisa Lerkenfeldt - Champagne Smoke
  • 40:01 - 42:53    Sofie Birch - Kandisae
  • 42:53 - 46:00    Clara Engel & Bradley Sean Alexander - Ghost Bird Alive, At Dawn

Sunday, February 28, 2021

snow on my piano


As I've said here before, solo piano is wonderfully evocative of falling snow. So this mix is a collection of piano tracks that remind me of snow.

All the tunes are new, being from 2020 or 2021. Including the opening track from a forthcoming album on Whitelabrecs, i=r by Lorenzo Masotto

There's not much else to say other than enjoy this last snow mix of the year. We still have a lot of snow on the ground but it's melting and I can sense spring just around the corner. Of course by saying that I probably just guaranteed that we'll get hit with another 12" storm by the end of month. Ugh. I think I continue to live in a cold, snowy environment just for the musical inspiration. ;-)


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T R A C K L I S T :

  • 00:00    Lorenzo Masotto - i=r(lake) (i=r 2021)
  • 03:58    Echoflex - D aeolian (Echoflex VI: Piano Net 2020)
  • 09:42    Snorri Hallgrímsson - Landbrot (Landbrot I EP 2020)
  • 12:19    Jon Hopkins - Dawn Chorus (2020)
  • 15:24    James Murray & Mike Lazarev - Animitta (Sunnata 2020)
  • 17:45    Nebel lang - Sigh (Hand in mine 2021)
  • 21:52    Polaroid Notes - Down By The Sea (Ennio's Muse 2021)
  • 25:04    Elskavon & John Hayes - L'etoile (Du Nord 2020)
  • 28:28    Julia Gjertsen & Nico Rosenberg - Proper Time (Distant Fields 2020)
  • 35:15    Ólafur Arnalds - Still _ Sound (some kind of peace 2020)
  • 37:42    Belly Full of Stars - Pattern 4 (Aura 2021)
  • 39:24    Snorri Hallgrímsson - Haustar (Landbrot I EP 2020)
  • 42:35    Ian Hawgood - Dear Trish (Ennio's Muse 2021)
  • 45:02    Echoflex - C aeolian (Echoflex VI: Piano Net 2020)
  • 52:11    Nebel lang - Inwards (Hand in mine 2021)
  • 67:51    end

Sunday, February 21, 2021

The Infinite Present


This mix is nice and straightforward - no funky locations, no focus on a single instrument - just straight up ambient. The closest thing to a theme would be that all the tracks are from 2021.

In trying to come up with a title for the mix, I looked through a list I keep of possible titles. If I hear an interesting phrase or combo of words I'll jot it down to possibly use later. In this case I came across "The Infinite Present." It seemed to fit because all the tunes are from 2021 and, even though we aren't through two whole months yet, the amount of new music can sometimes feel infinite.


T R A C K L I S T :

  • 00:00    Andrew Tasselmyer - Sleep Walking (Impulses 2021)
  • 05:05    Arovane - 10 dezember 2019 (Wirkung 2021)
  • 08:32    Crows Labyrinth & Wolfgang Merx - Ornaments I (Ornaments I 2021)
  • 12:50    Chuck Johnson - Serontiny (The Cinder Grove 2021)
  • 19:15    Free Dust - Early Gray (Woo'd Early 2021)
  • 23:50    Hipnotic Earth - Repose Longplay edit (Sleeping Whales 2021)
  • 29:25    Jazzdefector - Magomadas (Ennio's Muse 2021)
  • 32:00    Jogging House - Farewell (Flaws 2021)
  • 36:30    Maiya Hershey - What the Bearing Sea Takes (Music for Another Sky 2021)
  • 40:25    Mehrdad Kanani - Nerves and Veins (Forgotten Conversation 2021)
  • 44:30    Owl - Distant Transmissions (Infinite Horizon 2021)
  • 48:06    Simon McCorry - Ocean Song (All Creatures 2021)
  • 52:42    Thme - Acy (Ennio's Muse 2021)
  • 56:03    William Ryan Fritch - Resurface (Freeland 2021)
  • 57:40    zakè - Distant Shadow (Music for Another Sky 2021)
  • 61:17    end

Sunday, February 14, 2021

Resonant Spaces


Somehow last year I missed the album Transcendence by Sherry Finzer.

It's an album of solo flute improvisations recorded in an old water tank in Rangely, Colorado. It definitely has the same feel as Paul Horn's Inside the Great Pyramid from 1976. As I listened to it, I wondered if I could collect enough tracks to make a mix of music recorded in water tanks, silos and cisterns. Well, I guess I found enough because here's the mix - Resonant Spaces.

There were a few artists that I immediately knew I would include - Pauline Oliveros, Stuart Dempster, Paul Horn, and Jim Cole. From there I did a bit of research, got a recommendation from Sherry, and ended up with a nice collection of tracks. 

My first exposure to recording on-site, in an unusual location was Paul Horn's Great Pyramid album. I had that LP in college and it helped me through many nights of studying. Well, not that many because I didn't study a whole lot.

My next exposure was 1989's Deep Listening by Oliveros, Dempster, & Panaiotis. An iconic album recorded in a huge underground cistern in northwest Washington state. The space would eventually be known as Dan Harpole Cistern. Deep Listening is one of my favorite ambient albums of all time. It owes its unique sound to the incredible space in which it was recorded. 

According to the liner notes they parked their van next to the cistern and began to drop cables into the 14-foot deep cavern. They then rigged up rope and harnesses to lower chairs, accordion, sea shells, trombone, garden hoses, didgeridoos, tarps, cleaning tools and people. It was very dark, contrasted with the daylight streaming in from the hatch where they had come down.

The liner notes continue - "The remarkable thing about the acoustic space is the long reverb, which could approach 45 seconds, and the lack of slap echoes and distinct early reflections that are often characteristic of large cathedrals; only pure, smooth reverb...the amplitude of which appears to begin at the sane decibel level as the source. Consequently, it is impossible to tell where the performer stops and the reverberation takes over."

- - - - Here's a list of each artist, their album & a pic of where the recording was made. - - - -

1. Sherry Finzer - Transcendence - recorded at The Tank in Rangely, Colorado.

2. Jim Cole & Spectral Voices - Innertones - recorded in a 120-feet-tall water tank.

3. Stuart Dempster - Underground Overlays from the Cistern Chapel - recorded in a 2 million-gallon concrete cistern, now empty, in the Pacific Northwest known as the Dan Harpole Cistern.

4.  Jherek Bischoff - Cistern - also recorded in the Dan Harpole Cistern.

5. Paul Horn - Inside The Great Pyramid - Recorded in the King's Chamber inside The Great Pyramid of Gizeh.

6. Paul Kikuchi - Portable Sanctuary Vol. 2 - Live in the Great Hall - recorded in the Great Hall at Union Station, Seattle, WA.

7. Jherek Bischoff - Improvisations - recorded in the Dan Harpole Cistern in Fort Warden in Port Townsend, WA. 

7. Bodhi - Inside - recorded inside an old military bunker. 

8. The User - Silophone - recorded in an abandoned grain storage facility in the port of Montréal.

9. Brother Saturn - Live at The Tank - recorded at The Tank in Colorado.

10. Bob Guido - Silophonic - recorded in Silo #5, an abandoned grain storage facility in the port of Montréal.

11. Oliveros Dempster Panaiotis - Deep Listening - recorded in the Dan Harpole Cistern in Washington.

I hope you enjoy this other-worldly journey through Resonant Spaces.


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T R A C K L I S T :

  • 00:00    Sherry Finzer - Ancient Roots (Transcendence 2020)
  • 05:18    Jim Cole & Spectral Voices - Hear Earth (Innertones 2006)
  • 09:53    Stuart Dempster - Morning Light (Underground Overlays from the Cistern Chapel 1995)
  • 17:20    Jherek Bischoff - The Sea's Son (Cistern 2016)
  • 23:34    Paul Horn - Initiation (Inside The Great Pyramid 1976)
  • 29:22    Paul Kikuchi - Union Pacific (Portable Sanctuary Vol. 2 - Live in the Great Hall 2016)
  • 32:55    Jherek Bischoff - Two (Improvisations 2020)
  • 34:38    Bodhi - Relax (Inside 2020)
  • 35:28    The User - Silophone (2001)
  • 36:56    Brother Saturn - A Canopy Of Stars (Live at The Tank 2018)
  • 41:18    Bob Guido - Silophonic
  • 43:40    Oliveros Dempster Panaiotis - Lear (Deep Listening 1989)
  • 53:43    Jim Cole & Spectral Voices - Spectral Winds, Inward Voices (Innertones 2006)
  • 60:00    end

Sunday, February 07, 2021

Ambient Vaporwave - A mix by Innesti

Photo by Nick Reynolds on Unsplash

I am so psyched to have another excellent guest mix. This one comes from long-time friend of the blog, Innesti -

I have featured a bunch of Innesti music over the years and have hosted guest mixes from him as well. A couple of days ago I got an email asking if I was interested in another guest mix of ambient vaporwave tunes. Aww, hell yeah, I'm interested. Although I'm not quite sure what Vaporwave is. No worries, Innesti explains it for us:

Vaporwave is a niche genre of electronic music that combines the visual aesthetic of meme culture with the glitched out and stretched sounds of 1980's mall and infomercial music. It is not the kind of music that you would expect to appeal to listeners who enjoy deep ambient soundscapes. Nonetheless, buried deep within this genre are some amazing beatless and atmospheric pieces. I am drawn to these because they capture the kinds of atmospheres that I enjoy, but emerge organically within a completely different musical tradition. This mix represents a sample of some of my favorite ambient vaporwave tracks.

Sounds great!


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T R A C K L I S T :

  • 00:00    地球  -  ジャングル PART 2
  • 07:10    Subaeris - The City In Rain
  • 12:50    Lindsheaven Virtual Plaza - Polynomial Voices
  • 19:40    Corp. & t e l e p a t h - 進化  - 猫 シ
  • 23:12    Corp. & t e l e p a t h - A New Life Awaits You
  • 26:07    暗号零 - 我爱你我的孩子 (Mother)
  • 30.59    SONYA™ SleepStation - [program b] - sleep
  • 36:30    ∑ V ∑ R Y T H I N G - In this forest all of your problems become beautiful birds
  • 42:25    Zadig The Jasp - (海の前で-In Front Of The Sea.)
  • 52:12    ll nøthing ll - Cycle
  • 60:00    end

Sunday, January 31, 2021

The Long Polar Night


As I type this we are getting pounded with another 9" of snow, the second pounding in less than a week. Combine that with semi-lockdown we are still under and it sort of feels like I'm in a research station outpost about to hunker down for The Long Polar Night.

Most of the titles fit the theme as well as the feel of the tunes.. I added some weather radio recordings throughout the mix which I think worked out pretty well.

One happy accident that happened while putting this together is I accidently left two tracks by two different artists in the same spot. I didn't even notice at first. They were playing simultaneously and it sounded like it was meant to be that way. This happens at 51:21 of the mix.

Cheers and stay warm!

[ 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 & Weather Radio
  • 00:55    Owl - Moonshine Haze (Infinite Horizon 2021)
  • 04:16    Esther Kokmeijer & Rutger Zuydervelt - Stillness #5 (Stillness 2013)
  • 08:20    SineRider - Four Below Zero (Four Years Away 2018)
  • 11:42    offthesky - cold front (studies of form in transit 2003)
  • 14:40    John Butcher - wind piece (Resonant Spaces)
  • 15:47    Hanno Leichtmann - wind (Nuit Du Plomb 2006)
  • 19:00    Lauge - Icebound (Nothingness 2020)
  • 25:30    Gailes - Surface Variations in The Snowfall (Seventeen Words 2017)
  • 32:05    Marcus Fischer - Antarctic 3 (Arctic / Antarctic(version) 2020)
  • 34:45    Polaroid Notes - Don't Be Afraid Of Darkness (Home Diaries 014 2020)
  • 38:00    Rosalina Teche - Slightly Affected (Music for Another Sky 2021)
  • 40:23    stormloop - in the frozen morning light (arctic conditions 2013)
  • 48:25    Moss Covered Technology - Distant Station(Nocturne) (Once Hallowed 2019)
  • 51:21    Sinderider & Polaroid Notes - Frost & Into The Black played simultaneously
  • 55:35    Axs - Frozen Signpost (Arctic Circle 2011)
  • 65:20    end

Sunday, January 24, 2021

Bell Tone Meditation by Paul Asbury Seaman


Great minds think alike. Both Paul and I had the idea of doing a "bell" based mix. I, however, am a procrastinator, and after creating a save folder for bell tunes 3 months ago, I have one track in it. So who knows when that puppy was going to get done.

Paul, on the other hand, sought out tracks and compiled them into a perfect playlist that became this mix - Bell Tone Meditation.

Here's what he has to say about it:

“For thousands of years bells, more than any other instrument, have been used to convey a sense of reverence and mystery, to represent clarity, to facilitate both quiet, solitary meditation and communal celebration. And, given the challenging artistic paradox of using sound to express silence, bells are the musical instrument used most often to express that, too. So it’s curious to me that bells (and their various metal/crystal-bowl cousins) are not used more often in ambient music, a genre defined, perhaps more than anything else, by subtle textures and tonal resonance over melody and rhythm.

Bells also have been the most common instrument to express cold and ice. Another reason this mix makes a  perfect midwinter offering.”

Thanks Paul!


[ 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    Cousin Silas - Derwent (Submerged 2021)
  • 05:36    Andarctica - at rest (buried with the bells 2019)
  • 11:40    Robert Rich - Belltone Glass (Alien Zoology - Live Archive Vol 4 2009)
  • 15:37    Jack Hertz - Invisible Pyramid (Teoton 2020)
  • 19:17    Andrew Lahiff - The Ringing of the Silent Bells (Slow Paths Beyond 2014)
  • 25:47    Crown Of Eternity - New Dimensions in Infinite VIbrations (Universal Hum 2018)
  • 31:50    The Heart Is Awake - Healing Sound Meditation(Healing Arts reMix) (the Healing Arts reMIXES Vol III 2020)
  • 36:00    Steve Roach & Serena Gabriel - Nectar Meditation (Nectar Meditation 2020)
  • 45:15    Glenn Sogge - Aether/Or -- A Non-Philosophical Disquisition (Musics for Long Thinkings, volume 4 2016)
  • 53:30    jarguna - My Temple (My Temple 2020)
  • 1:10:00    end