Sunday, January 30, 2022

Between These Breaths


In April of 2020 I posted "Of Reed and Breath" which is an ambient sax mix. You can find that mix here:

When I created that one I wasn't sure how it would work. Turns out, ambient sax is a great theme to build a mix on. I've been planning on a follow up for a long time and it's finally here.

Since that first mix two years ago I have totally bought into wind instruments in ambient and modern composition music. That's why my fav album from last year was "Departures" by mastroKristo(who makes an appearance in this mix). From Clariloops to Sam Gendel to Dirk Serries to Andrew Heath, sax and other woodwinds have become a big part of my ambient listening habit.

All the tracks in this mix are excellent but I especially love the cut from Matt Borghi & Michael Teager and the cut from Dirk Serries. Perfect combo of sax and ambient. I also have to mention the final track Max Richter's On the Nature of Daylight by Signum Saxophone Quartet. That track is one of my favorites of all time so when I found a sax quartet cover of it I nearly lost my mind. Perfect way to end the 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    Ethan Braun + Sam Gendel - 1/2 SCULPTURE [Rio Nilo 66 2021]
  • 04:14    mastroKristo - The Breath [Depatures 2021]
  • 07:05    Phillip Schroeder - On Occasion [Passage Through a Dream 2015]
  • 10:25    Jefre Cantu-Ledesma - For Mothers [A Little Night Music Aural Apparitions from the Geographic North 2020]
  • 14:15    Matt Borghi and Michael Teager - Stationary Voyage [Subterranean Bearings 2020]
  • 19:25    Dirk Serries & Trösta - Oceanus [Island On The Moon 2021]
  • 26:22    Night Gestalt - Between Two Breaths [Thousand Year Waves 2021]
  • 31:34    Fuubutsushi - Cicada Season [Fuubutsushi 2020]
  • 34:00    Carmen Villain - Agua Azul [Sketch for Winter IX: Perlita 2021]
  • 38:25    M. Sage - Spinnaker on a Southerly [The Wind of Things 2021]
  • 41:14    Klaus Gesing, Björn Meyer, Samuel Rohrer - What We Leave [Amiira 2016]
  • 45:52    Pino Palladino, Blake Mills - Notes with Attachments [Notes with Attachments 2021]
  • 47:37    Sam Gendel & Shin Sasakubo - Reeds [Sam Gendel & Shin Sasakubo 2021]
  • 49:54    Okomotive, Joel Schoch - Sail, my Friend! [FAR: Lone Sails Soundtrack 2018]
  • 53:00    Signum Saxophone Quartet - On the Nature of Daylight for Saxophone Quartet and Cello [Echoes 2021]
  • 59:13    end

Sunday, January 23, 2022

Unfold the Universe

A million miles from Earth, the James Webb Space Telescope has arrived at it's parking spot at Lagrange Point #2, the perfect place to search the heavens for faint light from the most distant observable galaxies in the early universe. This mix tells the story of the Webb observatory as it seeks to "Unfold the Universe."

The telescope, like its mission, is big. When expanded to full size, it can’t fit into the nose cone of any available launch vehicle. One of Webb’s main components, sunshield, is the area of a tennis court. It was carefully folded and packed to fit inside the Ariane 5 rocket. In space, the sunshield will expand and separate into five distinct layers. The telescope's primary mirror, the largest mirror ever flown into space, is also too wide to fit into the rocket in one piece. So it is segmented into 18 hexagonal pieces on a hinged structure so it can fold up for launch and unfold in space. 

That unfolding is one of the themes of this mix and can be seen in track titles like "Tentative Unfolding", "Watching It Unfold" and "Unfold pt. 2." The story of the Webb telescope is told in other tracks such as "Lagrange Point"  "Gathering the Starglow" "Looking Into the Past" and "The Light Beyond."

Unfold the universe with the Webb Space Telescope & Low Light Mixes.


T R A C K L I S T :
00:00    intro noises
00:33    Lingua Lustra & Snufmumriko - Far Away from the Buzz [Dwelling in Sound 2015]
02:12    Astropilot - Drifting Away [Earthwalk 2022]
03:40    Robert Rich - Tentative Unfolding [Tactile Ground 2019]
08:35    Focus On The Breath - Unfold pt. 2 [Unfold 2021]
13:33    Lawrence English - Watching It Unfold [A Colour For Autumn 2009]
17:45    The Humble Bee - The Collecting Plate [The Indescribable Brightness Shone 2011]
19:00    Jeff Greinke - Mirrors [Timbral Planes 1988]
21:45    Robert Rich & Ian Boddy - Lagrange Point [Outpost 2005]
27:45    Lunar Testing Lab - Gathering the Starglow [Signalling The Stars 2016]
32:27    Shen - Peering Down Gazing Up [Outlines 2006]
33:15    Saul Stokes - Iris My Observatory [Portraits 2002]
36:22    Brian Eno - Stars [Apollo Atmospheres & Soundtracks 1983]
40:25    Detroit Escalator Company - Gathering Light [Black Buildings 2001]
42:55    Benn Jordan - Looking Into the Past [Pale Blue Dot: A Tribute to Carl Sagan 2008]
46:25    Wouter Veldhuis - To look further afield [Blue Forest 2013]
48:22    Altus - Overwhelmed by Starlight [Trailhead 2020]
55:35    Rohne - Past Light [Forms 2021]
57:09    Ruxpin - we are far away from all the things we know [This Time We Go Together 2013]
58:55    Jeff Pearce - The Light Beyond [The Light Beyond 2001]
61:09    end

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Hymns & Voices

This is a great way to start off 2022. We have an excellent guest mix from Kevin, the man responsible for "Cello Mood Swings" and "Not Seeing a Flower" which you can find here...

For this mix Kevin collected a bunch of vocal and choral tracks & I mixed them together. Here's what he has to say about the mix:

"The idea came from listening to Jonsi and Alex - Boy 1904, I realized that quite a few ambient artists used the voice to create a type of auditory ambience. A few hymns have been added and a couple of more classical based choral works. These songs are not about words but the sounds of the voices and the emotions they provoke. They have been chosen for their haunting mournful beauty. I hope you enjoy them."

Thanks Kevin for an excellent collection of tracks! Cheers!

[ 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    Russian Cathedral Bells
  • 00:23    The Russian State Symphony Cappella - Rachmaninov Liturgy Of St. John Chrysostom Great Ektenia
  • 04:00    Olafur Arnalds - Raddir ft South Iceland Chamber Choir (Island Songs 2016)
  • 07:55    Inca - Solo Soprano(for meditation) (Gregorian Chants: Chants of Monks for Meditation, Monk Chants for Quiet Time & Prayer 2013)
  • 10:20    Ulf Söderberg - Tidvatten Part 1 (Tidvatten 1998)
  • 14:40    St. Petersburg Chamber Choir - Chorale (Sacred Treasures III 2000)
  • 17:00    Julianna Barwick - Healing Is A Miracle (Healing Is A Miracle  2020)
  • 21:00    Voces8 & Olafur Aenalds - Nyepi(Choral Version) (re:member(choir versions) 2019)
  • 24:53    Samuel Barber - Agnus Dei
  • 28:28    Arvo Part - Da Pacem Domine (2004)
  • 33:55    Peter Gabriel - With This Love(Choir) (Passion 1989)
  • 37:10    Hans Zimmer - Aurora (2012)
  • 45:20    The Russian State Symphony Cappella - Hymn of the Cherubim(Excerpt 1)
  • 49:50    Jónsi & Alex - Boy 1904 (Riceboy Sleeps 2009)
  • 54:30    Anna Roxanne - Nocturne (~~~ 2019)
  • 59:36    Voces8 - A Pile of Dust by Johann Johannsson (Infinity 2021)
  • 64:38    end

Sunday, January 09, 2022

Jazz 2021


I don't do these year-end jazz mixes every year. Most of the time I'm just too lazy. I don't keep close track of what came out and what I liked. At some point this year I started tossing individual tracks into a playlist and that helped me remember what I enjoyed in 2021.

So here's my Jazz 2021 mix. It is by no means a "Best of" mix. It's merely a collection of jazz-ish tracks from albums I liked this year. And of course some of the tunes lean a bit toward ambient.


[ 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    Nala Sinephro - Space 8 [Space 1.8 on Warp]
  • 13:03    Eli Keszler - Dawn [Icons on Lucky Me]
  • 17:58    Joseph Shabason - 15-19 [The Fellowship on Western Vinyl]
  • 23:17    Sons of Kemet - To Never Forget the Source [Black to the Future on UMG]
  • 26:09    Benjamin Mørk & Arve Henriksen - Pasvikdalen [The Valleys]
  • 28:57    Sam Gendel & Sam Wilkes - Cold Pocket [Music for Saxofone and Bass Guitar More Songs on Leaving Records]
  • 32:09    Nick Garbett & Mike Majkowski - Aerial [The Glider]
  • 38:20    Floating Points, Pharoah Sanders & The London Symphony Orchestra - Movement 1 [Promises on Luaka Bop]
  • 43:12    Bell Orchestre - Nature That's It That's All [House Music on Erased Tapes]
  • 47:20    M. Sage - Spinnaker on a Southerly [The Wind of Things on Geographic North]
  • 50:12    Jeff Parker - Four Folks [Forfolks on Nonesuch]
  • 55:37    Fuubutsushi - Fresh Salt [Setsubun on Cached Media]
  • 58:32    Charles Lloyd & The Marvels - Ay Amor (Live) [Tone Poem on Blue Note]
  • 68:32    end

Sunday, January 02, 2022

Best(favorite) Ambient Albums of 2021 part 2

A few things I noticed from my year-end list - no berlin-school music, very little what I would call 'space' music, a fair amount of dusty, loop music like Maps & Diagrams or Tapes & Topographies, several guitar based albums like Dave Depper, Dave Nelson, SUSS, and Devendra Banhart, and lastly, a lot of modern classical/modern composition albums from Mastrokristo & Alapastel to Max Richter and Viktor Orri Árnason and Glåsbird.

That collection of favorites is nothing new for me. I've been a big fan of that dusty, noisy, loop-based style for a long time & as modern composition has grown over the years, so has my interest. Although, I may need to dive back into spacey, droney ambient like the stuff in the stargazing mixes.

I guess there's not much else to say for this post other than here is part 2 of my favorite ambient albums of 2021.


[ 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    Ben Seretan - Cicada Waves 1 [Cicada Waves on NNA Tapes]
  • 05:45    Sonmi451 - Lampenfiber [Seven Signals in the Sky on Laaps]
  • 10:10    Bombay Dub Orchestra - Cultivating Compassion (Instrumental Version) Part 3 [Cultivating Compassion (Instrumental Version) on Six Degrees]
  • 15:08    Glåsbird - Last Ritual [Siberia on Whitelabrecs]
  • 24:26    Sailcloth - Red Woods [Woodcut on Lost Tribe Sound]
  • 27:00    Dave Nelson - Easy and Preferred Answers [The Act of Vanishing]
  • 29:52    Devendra Banhart, Noah Georgeson - Three Gates [Refuge on Dead Oceans]
  • 33:25    Jens Pauly, Stijn Hüwels - The Leaves Will Fade [When The Night Ends on Vaagner]
  • 39:36    Dirk Serries - Recloose(excerpt) [Recloose]
  • 48:26    anthéne - Winter Sun [maritime on Ambientologist 2021]
  • 53:17    Wil Bolton - Unraveling [Cumulus Sketches on Home Normal]
  • 59:05    Jeannine Schulz - River [Luminous on Polar Seas]
  • 63:17    Just a Human - Revive(Outro) [Hibernate]
  • 65:25    Enrico Coniglio - Everything and Nothing [Alpine Variations on Dronarivm]
  • 68:50    Asc & Inhmost - Obscured Form [Dimensional Space on Auxilairy]
  • 75:07    Peter Gregson - Over [Patina on Deutsche Grammophon]
  • 76:51    end

Saturday, January 01, 2022

Best(favorite) Ambient of 2021


These year-end lists seem to be getting harder and harder to curate. The sheer number of releases makes it nearly impossible to keep up and listen to all the music. Through Spotify and Bandcamp most of this music is available immediately, which is great, but it can also foster a severe case of FOMO, fear of missing out. Whether it's ambient music or indie rock/pop I am on a constant prowl for new music, sometimes at the disservice of current music which I have not given time to sink in.

A list like this is obviously not a definitive "Best of" list. These are just some of my favorites from this year. Sometimes an album happens to catch me in the right mood, in the right place and it hits home. Is it better than all the other releases? Maybe. But all I know is it caught my ear at the right time, I latched on, listened, and it became one of my favorites.

I made the list with a top 5 and then listed everything else alphabetically. It's way too hard to say this one is #14 while that one is #22. That being said I totally loved the top 3 on this list. 


1. Mastrokristo - Departures [Lost Tribe Sound] 2. Dictaphone - Goats & Distortions 5 {Denovali] 3. Alapastel - Ceremony [Lost Tribe Sound] 4. Max Richter - Voices 2 [Decca] 5. Loscil - Clara [Kranky] -------------

  • AES DANA - (a) period. [Ultimae] Andrew Heath - Drawings from Imagined Cities [Elm Records] anthéne - maritime [Ambientologist 2021] Arovane - Reihen [12k] ASC & Inhmost - Dimensional Space [Auxilairy] Ben Seretan - Cicada Waves [NNA Tapes] Bombay Dub Orchestra - Cultivating Compassion(instrumentals) [Six Degrees Records] Calm Whale - Breathing Earth Meditation Christian Loffler - Parallels [Deutsche Grammophon] Clariloops - Sun//Rain Darkroom - The Last Sense To Fade [Whitelabrecs] Dave Depper - Europa [Jealous Butcher Records] Dave Nelson - The Act of Vanishing Devendra Banhart & Noah Georgeson - Refuge [Dead Oceans] Dirk Serries - Recloose Enrico Coniglio – Alpine Variations [Dronarivm] Glåsbird - Siberia [Whitelabrecs] Gray Acres - Dreams and Phantoms [Archives] Igor Yalivec - Still Life [Polar Seas Recordings] Jeff Parker - Forfolks [International Anthem] Jeaninne Schulz - Luminous [Polar Seas] Jens Pauly & Stijn Huwels - When the Night Ends [Vaagner] Just a Human - Hibernate Maps & Diagrams - Teygja Parts A & B [Handstitched] Merope - Salos [Stroom] Peter Gregson - Patina [Deutsche Grammophon] Sailcloth - Woodcut [Lost Tribe Sound] Sonmi451 - Seven Signals in the Sky [laaps] SUSS - Night Suite Tapes & Topographies - Monomials [Simulacra Records] Tapes & Topographies - In Muted Forms [Shimmering Moods] Taylor Deupree - Mur [12k] Toumani Diabate & London Symphony Orchestra - Korolen [World Circuit] Viktor Orri Árnason - Eilífur [PentaTone] Wil Bolton - Cumulus Sketches [Home Normal] William Ryan Fritch - Built Upon a Fearful Void [Lost Tribe Sound]

That's too much for one mix so I'll post part 1 and part 2. I also plan on doing a mix of favorite jazz-ish tracks from this year. I have a list of several non-ambient instrumental/jazz releases that I really liked so I'll post the list and a mix of fav tracks.

But first, my favorite ambient music, part one. Enjoy.

[ 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 [Vpices 2 on Decca]
  • 06:30    mastroKristo - Ocean [Departures on Lost Tribe Sound ]
  • 09:53    Dictaphone - Griot Dub [Goats & Distortions 5 on Denovali]
  • 14:05    Alapastel - Releaseness [Ceremony on Lost Tribe Sound]
  • 18:48    Loscil - Vespera [Clara 0n Kranky]
  • 22:45    Arovane - Sicht [Reihen on 12k]
  • 25:38    Aes Dana - Haphazard [(a) period. on Ultimae]
  • 28:18    Calm Whale - Breathing EARTH [Breathing EARTH Meditation]
  • 31:05    Merope - Vilnia [Salos on Stroom]
  • 35:13    Dave Depper - Vienna Five [Europa on Jealous Butcher Records]
  • 41:11    Christian Löffler - Pastoral [Parallels on Deutsche Grammophon]
  • 44:42    Tapes and Topographies - Spec Work as Magic [Monomials on Simulacra Records]
  • 47:23    Map & Diagrams - Mutability [Teygja Part B on Handstitched]
  • 50:50    Igor Yalivec - Nymphaea [Still Life on Polar Seas]
  • 55:40    Andrew Heath - Drawings from Imagined Cities [Drawings from Imagined Cities on Elm Records]
  • 65:02    end