Sunday, June 06, 2021

Aromas from the East - by Paul Asbury Seaman


I've had a good run lately, posting a lot of mixes. But due to busy schedules and a bit of laziness, I've run out of fresh mixes ready to upload. Then comes Paul to the rescue!

This mix is a breath of fresh air, going in a different direction than any of my recent mixes. Here's what Paul has to say about this excellent set:

“This mix features oud, sitar and koto, moving from the Near/Middle East, across South Asia to the Far East. This is not a Folkways sampler, but focuses on the rich tapestries created when Eastern and Western musical styles and instruments are blended together, with both traditions being equal participants, rather than one used merely as “exotic” embellishments for the other. Such cross-cultural musical experiments go back to the mid-20th century’s jazz /rock fusion groups (e.g., Oregon); early EM pioneers like Kitaro, Osamu Kitajima, Popul Vuh and David Parsons; and visionary new record labels like ECM. Here, I’ve highlighted more recent work, and while the options are much more plentiful now, the Low Lights leitmotif of gentle atmospheres has guided my selection. Even so, a couple of mid-tempo gems—essential to this kind of survey—have snuck into the mix."

Thanks, Paul, for another great contribution to the Low Light Mixes canon.

[ 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    Dhafer Youssef - Shaanti 'Atihi Devo Bhava' Suite (Sounds of Mirrors 2018)
  • 04:10    Rahim AlHaj - Letter 1 Eastern Love Sinan (Letters from Iraq: Oud and String Quintet 2017)
  • 10:41    Sachal Studios Orchestra - Take Five (Interpretations of Jazz Standards & Bossa Nova 2010)
  • 16:20    Prem Joshua - Night Rain (Sky Kisses Earth 2001)
  • 22:45    Anoushka Shankar - Prayer in Passing (Rise 2005)
  • 28:52    Hans Christian - First Light (Nanda Devi 2015)
  • 35:20    Al Gromer Khan - I Got Vilayat Khan's Blessing (Sitar Secrets 2014)
  • 39:14    Hiroshima - Kototsu-Han (Pbon 2005)
  • 44:04    Luna - Tubular Bells (Luna 2013)
  • 48:09    Gates of Morheim - Omagatoki (Omagatoki EP 2020)
  • 53:15    Kitaro - Shining Spirit of Water (Sacred Journey of Ku-Kai, Vol 2 2005)
  • 57:33    Rabih Abou Khalil - Bukra (Bukra 1989)
  • 65:25    end

Sunday, May 30, 2021

LUMINOUSOUNDS - Orchestral Strings & Strands


I've been wanting to make an orchestral mix for a long time. Sometimes individual tracks will show up in other mixes but I haven't done one devoted exclusively to modern classical music in a long time.

What finally got me going with this mix was the new album from Max Richter - Voices 2. It's a beautiful album with lots of tracks that would work for an ambient leaning modern classical set. 

I really like how this one turned out. All but two of the tracks are from 2021. They flow from one to the other really well, making for a nice cohesive mix.


[ 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 - Psychogeography (Voices 2 2021)
  • 06:40    Glowworm - A Late Arrival (Midnight Intervals 2020)
  • 10:30    Sven Laux - Fragment 3 (Scattered Fragments of Separation 2021)
  • 13:48    Christine Ott - Pluie (Time To Die 2021)
  • 18:35    That Which Is Not - Twin (The Basic Sharpness Of Emotions 2021)
  • 24:56    Simon McCorry - Full Circle (And Where Are You Really From? 2021)
  • 28:33    William Ryan Fritch - Resurface (Freeland 2021)
  • 30:01    Christian Löffler - Pastoral (Parallels 2021)
  • 33:33    A Winged Victory for the Sullen - Every Solstice & Equinox (Invisible Cities 2021)
  • 35:42    Jóhann Jóhannsson - Flight From the City(Vikingur Olafsson Rework) (Retrospective II _ Rarities 2021)
  • 41:29    Elskavon & John Hayes - Du Nord (Du Nord 2020)
  • 45:55    Peter Gregson - Somnia [2021]
  • 48:40    Max Richter - Movement Study (Voices 2 2021)
  • 53:41    Slow Dancing Society - The Devil Knows How To Row (Galilee's Dream 2021)
  • 58:38    Ross Gentry - Nobody Wants To Leave (Prism of Dust 2021)
  • 62:00    end

Sunday, May 23, 2021

Secret Songs of the Harp


Last year saw a trio of very fine albums of harp music from Andrea Cortez, Mary Lattimore, and Kirsten Agresta Copel. Here are links to all three albums:

I used "The Secret Song of Plants" quite a bit as a work-from-home soundtrack. Then recently I realized that I'd never made a mix devoted to harp music. So here it is. It's beautiful and relaxing without being spa, new age crapola.


T R A C K L I S T :
  • 00:00    Assia Cunego - Section 25-30 (Canto Ostinato 2009)
  • 03:42    Alice Coltrane - Vrindavana Sanchara (Transcendence 1977)
  • 07:22    Andrea Cortez - Song 3 (The Secret Song of Plants 2020)
  • 14:20    Mary Lattimore - Pine Trees (Silver Ladders 2020)
  • 17:28    Lavinia Meijer - Gnossienne No. 1 (Voyage 2015)
  • 21:45    Kirsten Agresta Copely - Winter's Bone (Around The Sun 2020)
  • 26:51    Claire Deak & Tony Dupé - for bernadette (the old capital 2020)
  • 29:27    Lavinia Meijer - Glassworks Opening Piece (Glass:Metamorphis The Hours 2012)
  • 35:33    Susan Jolles & Bert Lucarelli  - Claire De Lune (Music for Oboe & Harp 2012)
  • 40:35    Julia Rovinsky - An Arc of Doves (Dusk 2010)
  • 46:52    P.G. Six - #1 For Wire-Strung Harp with Echo (Music From The Sherman Box Series and Other Works 2006)
  • 49:49    MItch Greer - Ambient Harp Midnight Reverie (Ambient Harp Midnight Reverie 2020)
  • 65:55    end

Monday, May 17, 2021

Quiet Indie Songs #2 - Spring 2021

At the end of 2020 I posted a mix called "Quiet Indie Songs" and it did a lot better than I expected. A few folks thought it should be a recurring series and I agreed. So here you have installment #2 - "Quiet Indie Songs #2 - Spring 2021."  

I'm sneaking this in under the wire as it's barely spring anymore. Most of the songs are from 2021, with 4 of them from 2020. There are some old favorites in there, like Damien Jurado & Phoebe Bridgers. And also a lot of new to me artists like Arooj Aftab, Becca Mancari & Mt Went.

I'm always open for suggestions for new indie artists to use for this series so let me know in the comments if you have some ideas.


[ 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    Vagabon & Courtney Barnett - Reason to Believe (2021)
  • 02:25    Damien Jurado - Helena (2021)
  • 05:05    Helado Negro - Sound & Vision(Bowie cover) (2021)
  • 08:16    Damielle Durack - There Goes My Heart (No Place 2021)
  • 12:46    Bryce Dessner - Another World(String Arrangement  (Impermanence/Disintegration 2021)
  • 16:31    Arooj Aftab - Saans Lo (Vulture Prince 2021)
  • 20:22    Jack Symes - Overwhelming (Tompkins Park 2021)
  • 25:08    Phoebe Bridgers - Halloween (Punisher 2020)
  • 29:20    Piers Faccini - Together Forever Everywhere (Shapes of the Fall 2021)
  • 33:27    Mt Went - Light in the Dark (Lit Way Down 2021)
  • 38:20    Dawes - St. Augustine At Night (Good Luck With Whatever 2020)
  • 43:23    Laura Marling - For You (Song For Our Daughter 2020)
  • 47:14    Alexia Avina - Inner Garden (Unearth 2020)
  • 50:31    Gia Margaret - Solid Heart (2021)
  • 54:08    Waxahatchee - Streets of Philadelphia(Springsteen cover) (2021)
  • 58:03    Skullcrusher - Song for Nick Drake (Sorm in Summer 2021)
  • 60:47    Becca Mancari - Annie (Juniata 2021)
  • 65:23    end

Thursday, May 13, 2021

Meditation & Solace

The origin of this mix is very simple - I wanted a new collection of meditative tunes to sleep to or zone out to while sipping tequila on the deck.

Once I decided to go with a meditation mix I immediately thought of a recent purchase of music from an artist known as Calm Whale. You can't go wrong with any of their releases. Just close your eyes and pick one and it will be beautifully calm and meditative. 

Calm Whale on Bandcamp

The rest of the mix is almost all new stuff except for one random track from 1980 sneaking in.

Go sit in your comfy spot of choice and zone out to Meditation & Solace.


[ 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    Lab Cloud - Serenity 5am (The Structure Of Emotions 2021)
  • 06:00    Don Slepian - Sea of Bliss (New Music for Digital Orchestra 1980)
  • 13:03    Hipnotic Earth - Sadness Too Deep (HomeWorld 2021)
  • 21:41    Calm Whale - Flowing In Harmony - Tibetan Bowls & RAV (Flowing In Harmony - Tibetan Bowls & RAV 2021)
  • 29:33    Clariloops - Solace (Sun-Rain 2021)
  • 32:32    zakè & City of Dawn - Fragile Dreaming In A Fragile Mind (Frizzell & Duque: A Sorrow Unrequited 2021)
  • 39:27    the heart is awake - the Return ii(Healing Arts reMix) (the Healing Arts reMIXES Vol III 2020)
  • 45:11    jarguna - My Temple (My Temple 2020)
  • 50:15    Calm Whale - Breathing EARTH (Breathing EARTH Meditation 2021)
  • 62:17    end

Sunday, May 02, 2021



A year or two ago I read a sci-fi novel in which some of the main characters were sentient robots. When two of them would meet they establish secure channels with dialog such as "I am Paladin. You are unknown. Here comes my data. We want information about a pirate named Judith Chen. She goes by Jack … That is the end of my data." For some reason the line "Here comes my data" stuck with me.

I immediately wrote it down as a possible title for a mix. I thought it would fit well with a slightly more upbeat electronic mix. And so this mix was born, or more like artificially grown in a lab.

The mix starts with a track from Saul Stokes. I haven't listen to Stokes in years but when I stumbled on his album "Local Crowd," I knew I had to include it. He still has a unique sound which comes from, I believe, the fact that most of his synths are built from scratch. 

The rest of the mix a a nice combo of new music with some older tracks, some from as far back as 2003. Oops! One short track is from 1987.

I think the whole mix hangs together quite well, with the vibe of a digital handshake.


T R A C K L I S T :

  • 00:00    Saul Stokes - My memory I hope you remember (Local Crowd 2017)
  • 04:12    Time Rival - Vaporous (Vertigo Sessions 2021)
  • 08:22    Joel Vandroogenbroeck - rock program (Digital Project 1987)
  • 08:57    Hannah Peel - Fir Wave (Fir Wave 2021)
  • 12:45    Polypores - Fairy Rings (Shpongos 2021)
  • 17:03    Coti - Tiptoe (Metamemoria 2020)
  • 19:49    Zoltan Fecso - Wave (Silken Wave EP 2019)
  • 28:55    Robert Lippok - Schemes Like These (Falling Into Komëit 2004)
  • 31:15    Jan Jelinek - B1. ICE 897 (Ice Compositions 2021)
  • 32:40    Nalepa - Porcelain (Beneath The Surface 2006)
  • 36:55    Hainbach - Amtsweg (Landfill Totems 2021)
  • 38:40    Pye Corner Audio - Phase B (Where Things Are Hollow 2 2020)
  • 42:38    Belbury Poly - ffarisees (The Gone Away 2020)
  • 46:37    Frank Bretschneider - Optik(For Yen-Ni) (Lunik 2018)
  • 50:53    Atom™ - Computermusik (This Is Computermusik 2021)
  • 54:25    Johnny Woods - Secret Commonwealth (Behind The Sky Presents: Portals 2020)
  • 58:31    Komet - Blau (Gold 2003)
  • 63:30    end

Sunday, April 25, 2021

Ambient Folk & Cosmic Roots


After the craziness of the last mix it's nice to slow down. And what better way to slow down than with a guest mix from James over at The Slow Music Movement. They have a wonderful new album called "Future Folk: Friendly Faces; Different Spaces."

After I heard it I asked James to do a guest mix featuring some tracks from that album along with other cuts that fit the vibe. The result is a unique journey through folk-influenced ambient and ambient-influenced folk.

While this mix only has three tracks from the new album they share a similar vibe and outlook. Here's what James has to say about his new compilation:

     "This compilation came about with my increasing interest in folk music after years of focusing on the 25 year old golden age of musical fusion that is still playing out. Having ridden the industry waves and ripples since the MP3 & digital stones were rudely thrown into the music pond, I am constantly fascinated by 20th century holdouts looking back wistfully to the good old, bad old days of smoky venues, hounding newsagents for music magazines, easily damaged vinyl, ancient instruments, terrible sounding tapes, label dependency, photocopied fanzines and stamp licking.
     So I contacted a few of the artists that had lit my folk flame to see what they had to say? Artists that know their roots, but who are keeping their eyes on the road ahead and the world of possibility they now enjoy. Shortly after, from home studios in spare rooms and internet enabled remote collaborations, wildly processed instruments from hazy late night jam sessions, digitally mutated acapellas and 13th century songs covered in an age that the long dead and sadly forgotten writer could never have imagined, started to drift into my inbox.
     Is an evolutionary leap the key to folk’s survival? Time, the whims of the coronavirus gods, the folk community’s response to today’s existential stresses, adaptation to changing media consumption habits, marketing decisions and ultimately, people’s decisions on what style of music suits them best, will decide."

Interesting side note - James made this mix as a one take live recording. Nice!

Here are some important links:

Slow Folk playlist on Spotify

Future Folk on Streaming Services

Future Folk on Bandcamp


[ 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    El Conejo - Tres Tigres Tristes
  • 05:40    Jörgen Kjellgren - Dulcet
  • 08:32    Adeline Hotel - Reliable Feelings
  • 11:10    Kerry Devine - Vehicle
  • 15:43    John Stammers - Waiting Around
  • 20:00    The Howard Hughes Suite - Smoke from a Future Fire
  • 24:08    Tim Linghaus - You Called it Love
  • 27:07    Boduf Songs - Unseen Forces and How to Use Them
  • 32:40    Roddy Woomble - Everday Sun
  • 36:50    Black Brunswicker - Black Grouse Raag
  • 41:25    M. Grig - Call, (45.50) Lightbath - Insinyur Cahaya
  • 49:00    Ben McElroy - The Silence Has Spoken
  • 52:00    Cynefin - Ffarwel I Aberystwyth
  • 56:00    Burnt Paw - Arthur's Sea
  • 58:40    Andreas Söderström & Rickard Jäverling - Klockan
  • 62:53    end

Sunday, April 18, 2021

The Canterbury Scene

And now for something completely different. This mix is a collection of instrumental tunes from the progressive rock sub-genre known as The Canterbury Scene.

According to Wikipedia:  

The Canterbury scene (or Canterbury sound) was a musical scene centered around the city of Canterbury, Kent, England during the late 1960s and early 1970s. Associated with progressive rock, the term describes a loosely-defined, improvisational style that blended elements of jazz, rock, and psychedelia. The Canterbury scene is largely defined by a set of musicians and bands with intertwined members. "The real essence of 'Canterbury Sound' is the tension between complicated harmonies, extended improvisations, and the sincere desire to write catchy pop songs."  "In the very best Canterbury music...the musically silly and the musically serious are juxtaposed in an amusing and endearing way."

The bands most often associated with this sound are Soft Machine, Caravan, Gong, Hatfield & the North, Egg, & National Health. And some of the artists include Robert Wyatt, Kevin Ayers, Allan Holdsworth, Steve Hillage, Phil Miller, Hugh Hopper, Richard Sinclair, Fred Frith and Dave Stewart.

I am not a fan of Canterbury tunes that have vocals, which eliminates a lot of stuff by Caravan and some Soft Machine. So that's why this mix sticks with instrumental tracks. Listening to this set it's easy to hear the similarities between the bands.

I discovered the Canterbury Scene when I was in college, listening to Bill Bruford(drummer for Yes & King Crimson) solo material. His keyboardist was Dave Stewart who played with Egg, Hatfield & The North, and National Health. I loved Bruford's solo stuff, especially "One of a Kind" so that lead me to listen to anything that Stewart was involved in. This mix opens and closes with two tracks featuring Dave Stewart and two of my favorites in the genre.

I hope you enjoy this little diversion from the usual ambient mixes. It sure was fun digging up all these 1970s classics.


[ 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    National Health - The Bryden 2-Step(For Amphibians)Part 1 (Of Queues And Cures 1978)
  • 08:15    Matching Mole - Smoke Signal (Little Red Record 1972)
  • 11:30    Cos - Nog Verder (Viva Boma 1976)
  • 13:40    Supersister - Dreaming Wheelwhile (Present From Nancy 1970)
  • 15:55    Gong - The Isle of Everywhere (you 1974)
  • 23:39    Soft Machine - Song Of Aeolus (Softs 1976)
  • 27:33    Quiet Sun - r.f.d. (Mainstream 1975)
  • 30:37    Gong - Three Blind Mice (Expresso II 1978)
  • 35:23    Egg - Part 2 (The Polite Force 1971)
  • 40:00    Henry Cow - Solemn Music (Unrest 1974)
  • 41:02    Quiet Sun - Trot (Mainstream 1975)
  • 44:29    Caravan - Waffle(Chance of a Lifetime) (For Girls Who Grow Plump in the Night 1973)
  • 47:58    Gilgamesh - We Are All / Someone Else's Food / Jamo And Other Boating Disasters - From The Holiday Of The Same Name (Gilgamesh 1975)
  • 55:39    Steve Hillage - Meditation Of The Snake (Fish Rising 1975)
  • 58:32    Bruford - The Sahara Of Snow Parts 1 & 2 (One Of A Kind 1979)
  • 66:03    end

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.


[ 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    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.


[ 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    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