Wednesday, March 15, 2023

Replicant Memories


Blade Runner is obviously one of the great sci-fi films of all time, with one of the best soundtracks of all time. As a testament to the staying power of Vangelis' work, we still have a artists today that mimic the sound of the Blade Runner score.

The recording that got me started on this mix is brand new from Crows Labyrinth called "Neon Scenes I: Granular Dreams". It's a longform generative ambient drone track with a lead synth that has a great Blade Runner vibe. You can find it here...

As soon as I heard that track I knew I had to create another Blade Runner mix. This is my fourth one. Here are the links to the others:

One thing that sets this mix apart from the others is that many of the tunes are very purposely trying to replicate the sound of the original soundtrack. Some cuts even use rain, voices and effects to mimic the feel. I added a bit of BR sound fx on a couple of tracks to reinforce the vibe. Most of the time though it's that lead synth sound that transports me right back to 1982.

Some folks may have a problem with current artists so blatantly aping a style and sound(some more than others here). But I don't care, I just love the overall sound and feel of these tracks.

Here links to the music used in this mix:


T R A C K L I S T :
00:00    Crows Labyrinth - Neon Scenes I: Granular Dreams(Single Version) (2023)
03:40    State Azure - Nova Sonus (2022)
10:00    Andy Hagerty - Cadalach(Analogue Fantasy Mix) (Cadalach EP 2021)
14:50    The Rosen Corporation - A Good Joe (Pale Fire 2018)
22:12    Owl - Distant Transmission (Infinite Horizon 2021)
25:52    Boards of Canada - Collapse (Tomorrow's Harvest 2013)
28:00    Druid & Jok - Skyline Envelope (Terminals 2023)
31:54    Passengers - Ito Okashi (Original Soundtracks 1 1995)
34:50    State Azure - Folding Space (2020)
42:50    Monolog & Subheim - Colorful Flight (ConVIction 2017)
45:35    Graintable - UnIVersal Ash (UnIVersal Ash 2019)
50:24    Pye Corner Audio - Saturation Point (Let's Emerge! 2022)
53:53    The Rosen Corporation - Passing Thoughts (Neon Lovers 2020)
58:27    Alva Noto - A Forest (A Forest 2020)
61:48    The Rosen Corporation - The Warmth of Death (Pale Fire 2018)
66:20    end

Wednesday, March 08, 2023

Strange Dream - The Curious World of the Ondes Martenot

Maurice Martenot with his invention

Last year in my Halloween mix I included a track that used an instrument called the Ondes Martenot. I knew a little bit about it - that it was an old instrument played with a ring on a wire. But that was all I really knew. Then a listener pointed me in the direction of a piece for the Ondes Martenot written in 1937. Yikes, 1937?! I had no idea that "Oraison" by Olivier Messiaen was one of the first electronic pieces of music ever written. Of course, this lead me down a Ondes Martenot rabbit hole and this mix is the result.

The Ondes Martenot was invented in 1928 by the French inventor Maurice Martenot. It sounds very much like a Theremin with it's wavering tones produced by oscillators. The Ondes Martenot can be played with a metal ring worn on the right index finger. Sliding the ring along a wire produces "theremin-like" tones. The music definitely can have a spooky, other-worldly sound. But it can also be quite expressive in the right hands.

Current players of the Ondes Martenot include Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead. He uses it on "Kid A" and it appears in Radiohead songs including "The National Anthem", "How to Disappear Completely" and "Where I End and You Begin".

The other artist that is most well known for her use of the unusual instrument is Christine Ott, both in her solo work and with the band Snowdrops. The mix uses four of her tracks and two from Snowdrops. All of her work is excellent and worth checking out.

Here are a few videos for those interested in more Ondes Martenot info:


T R A C K L I S T :
00:00    Olivier Messiaen - Oraison (1937)
02:50    Tomas Bloch - Mare Teno(Michel Redolfi) (Music for Ondes Martenot 2004)
07:31    Christine Ott - Burning (Chimères (pour Ondes Martenot) 2020)
13:44    Snowdrops - Ultraviolet (Volutes 2020)
20:00    Sylvette Allart - Elegie(Darius Milhaud ) (Magie Des Ondes Martenot 1970)
22:46    Tindersticks - Percy's Theme (Minute Bodies: The Intimate World of F. Percy Smith 2017)
24:40    Peter Kohlmetz Moller - Song for AJ
26:08    Christine Ott - Comma (Chimères (pour Ondes Martenot) 2020)
31:42    Thomas Bloch - Sweet Suite 1 (Music for Ondes Martenot 2004)
36:00    Snowdrops - Firebirds (Missing Island 2022)
41:18    Jeanne Loriod & S. Laurent & P. Duclos - Ondes Spatiales (Ondes Martenot)
42:40    Christine Ott - Sexy Moon (Only Silence Remains 2016)
47:25    Christine Ott - Tempête / the Tabu (Tabu 2016)
53:30    Sylvette Allart ­- Nana(Falla) (Magie Des Ondes Martenot 1970)
55:22    Olivier Messiaen - Oraison (1937)
57:22    end

Sunday, February 26, 2023

Sunday Morning Music Vol. 23 - A Sunday Kind of Love

A couple of tunes were the inspiration for cranking out another Sunday Morning mix. First is the lead-off track - A Sunday Kind of Love by Etta James. It's simply a great tune that I'm surprised I haven't used before. Next is an track from 1971 that I'd never heard of until a few weeks ago. I stumbled on an Instagram reel that talked about the gentle beauty of "Curry Rice" by Kenji Endo. I immediately fell in love with it and the rest of the album.

That's where the mix started and from there it follows the usual formula - some jazz, some ambient, some folk - all flowing together in a sweet Sunday mix.

Here the links to all the music used in this mix:


T R A C K L I S T :
  • 00:00    Etta James - A Sunday Kind of Love (At Last! 1960)
  • 03:15    Fuubutsushi - Cicada Season (Fuubutsushi 2020)
  • 05:46    Kenji Endo - Curry Rice (Manzoku Dekirukana 1971)
  • 08:42    John Surman - Sunday Morning (Such Winters Of Memory 1983)
  • 15:30    Andrew Tasselmyer & Blurstem - Ray (Duets 2022)
  • 18:52    Carlos Niño & Friends - Ripples Reflection Loop (More Energy Fields, Current 2021) 
  • 21:17    Nyokabi Kariuki - Home Piano (Peace Places Kenyan Memories 2022)
  • 23:48    Foreign Body Sensation & Justin Maranga - In the Lair of the 5-Sided Serpent (Subterranean Environments 2023)
  • 30:30    Hior Chronik - Cloud Peels (Haze 2022)
  • 33:17    Peppermoth - Sun Dreamer (Ventrilokissed 2021)
  • 37:28    Cole Pulice - Scry (Scry 2022)
  • 44:39    Joan Shelley - Amberlit Morning (The Spur 2022)
  • 49:44    Los Indios Tabajaras - Wide Horizon (Always in My Heart 1964)
  • 52:28    Bill Frisell - Waltz for Hal Willner (Four 2022)
  • 55:04    Zolton Fecso - Morning's Theme (Daylight in an Empty Room 2020)
  • 58:07    Ben McElroy & A Spot on the Hill - A New Light (Everything Was Different Yesterday 2023)
  • 60:10    end

Wednesday, February 22, 2023

Now That's What I Call Ambient


Hmmm, what kind of mix do you think this one might be? I believe the gaudy cover art gives it away. This is essentially a continuation of my "Simply Ambient" series. A straightforward mix of new ambient tunes.

I got tired of coming up with variations of "simply ambient" such as absolutely ambient, purely ambient, totally ambient, etc. So I decided to ripoff the over-the-top "Now That's What I Call Music" series. I'm not sure if, like that series, I'll keep adding numbers to each mix so that I end up with "Now That's What I Call Ambient Vol. 84".

Here are the links to all the music used in this mix:

These are the labels all this wonderful music was released on:


T R A C K L I S T :
  • 00:00    Hummingbird - Leuken (Langd 2023)
  • 03:53    Flexagon - Ozanne Tower The Folly (The Towers I - Inaccessible 2023)
  • 08:30    David Cordero - Sunrise (Endless Lonliness 2023)
  • 11:42    Mike Lazarev - Tonality Number Three (Sacred Tonalities 2023)
  • 15:45    Loscil/Lawrence English - Yellow (Colours of Air 2023)
  • 20:00    Tomo-Nakaguchi - Noto (The Long Night in Winter Light 2023)
  • 23:50    Purple Decades - Forest (Journey Test 2023)
  • 26:27    Russ Young - Folding Valley (Cloak 2023)
  • 29:12    Hummingbird - Leuken (Langd 2023)
  • 36:50    blochemy - pone (blurr. 2023)
  • 40:00    Jogging House - Floor (Face 2023)
  • 43:18    A Journey of Giraffes - Ambient Gold Fudge (Empress Nouveau 2023)
  • 45:50    Arovane - Faraday (Sinter 2023)
  • 47:55    harry towell & polaroid notes - lepidodendron (petrologist's lens 2023)
  • 52:18    glåsbird - lokoteraina (pacifica 2023)
  • 54:43    Peter Kvidera - Kostrbatý (Verism 2023)
  • 58:00    end

Wednesday, February 15, 2023

Artificial Harmonies - A Hymn to the Vocoder


This mix started with the track "Light & Grace" by Schneider TM. When I heard it I was reminded about how much I like the sound of a vocoder. I also realized that I never did a follow-up to the the vocoder mix I did all the way back in 2010 -

So here is a new collection of vocoder tunes. I'm not sure how many of these tracks actually use a vocoder and how many are other vocal effects but I don't care. I'm just going for a sound and vibe. Many of these tracks are new to me as I discovered them in my search for vocoder songs. I am particularly taken with "Last Man Standing" by Cities of Foam. And of course the Eno track from his album of last year is fantastic.

Enjoy the robo-tunes!

[ s t r e a m ]    [ d o w n l o a d ]    [ a p p l e _ p o d c a s t s ]

T R A C K L I S T :

  • 00:00    Boards of Canada - Telepath (Tomorrow's Harvest 2013)
  • 01:26    Schneider TM - Light & Grace (The 8 Of Space 2021)
  • 05:18    Paul McCartney - Be What You See(Link) (Tug of War 1982)
  • 05:43    Dimmes - I Am Still (2018)
  • 07:53    Cylob - Are We Not Men Who Live & Die (IDMEMO - A Future of Nostalgia 2020)
  • 09:20    Holly Herndon - Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt (PROTO 2019)
  • 12:06    Cities Of Foam - Last Man Standing (A Great Day For The Race 2005)
  • 16:20    Vanishing Twin - Light Vessel (Ookii Gekkou 2021)
  • 19:52    Röyksopp - Daddy's Groove (Late Night Tales 2013)
  • 22:50    Peter Baumann - Biking Up The Strand (Transharmonic Nights 1979)
  • 25:12    Plone - Plock (Plock 1998)
  • 29:02    Tex La Homa - Vapour Trails (Some Lost Bliss 2006)
  • 34:50    Boards of Canada - 1969 (Tomorrow's Harvest 2013)
  • 38:40    Crys Cole & Oren Ambarchi - Burrata (Hotel Record 2017)
  • 44:47    Brian Eno - Making Gardens Out of Silence (FOREVERANDEVERNOMORE 2022)
  • 52:25   Brian Eno & J. Peter Schwalm - Rising Dust (Drawn From Life 2001)
  • 59:53    end

Wednesday, January 25, 2023

Ambient Solar System


Fire up the Epstein Drive, get settled in your crash couch and set forth on a tour of the solar system. We'll travel from the sun past the inner planets and through asteroid belt out to the gas giants, into the kuiper belt and oort cloud, and finally reaching interstellar space.

All the track titles make it clear where we are on this journey.

Incidentally, there is a comet, C/2022 E3, that hopefully will be visible now through the first week of February. It should viewable first with a telescope then binoculars and maybe even with the naked eye around Feb. 1. This mix might make a good soundtrack for viewing.

Link to most of the music used in this mix:

Enjoy fellow space cadets.


[ s t r e a m ]    [ d o w n l o a d ]    [ a p p l e _ p o d c a s t s ]

T R A C K L I S T :

  • 00:00    Delia Derbyshire Appreciation Society - She Brought the Sun (Wow and Flutter 2018)
  • 08:34    Underworld & John Murphy - Mercury (Sunshine OST 2008)
  • 10:25    Casino Versus Japan - Names on Maps of Venus pt. 6 (Casino Versus Japan 1998)
  • 11:50    Polaroid Notes - The Good Earth (Home Diaries 014 2020)
  • 14:58    Harold Budd - Mars and the Artist (In The Mist 2011)
  • 16:40    Brian Eno - Asteroid Dawn (Curiosities Volume II 2004)
  • 20:42    Erstlaub - Jupiter (Deconstructed Music 1 2004)
  • 24:50    Max Richter - The Rings of Saturn (Ad Astra OST 2019)
  • 27:35    NASA Voyager Recordings - Rings of Uranus (Symphonies of the Planets 2009)
  • 29:30    Johan Tronestam - Neptune (Space Collection 2017)
  • 37:25    Christopher Willits - Comet (Horizon 2017)
  • 41:50    Ishq - Pluto Shift (Deep Space Objects 2012)
  • 47:10    Bil Vermette - Kuiper Belt (Hunting for Planet 9 2021)
  • 52:35    Konstruct - Oort Cloud (Three (squared) 2021)
  • 55:12    Factory - Interstellar (Kage, Vol. One: Quiet Dreams 2016)
  • 57:50    Echospace - Where Are We Now (echospace [detroit] presents echoes in space 2014)
  • 60:00    end

Wednesday, January 18, 2023

A Foggy Winter's Dub


This mix is much more straightforward than the Antarctica set. This mix follows my "dubby & dreamy" formula of ethereal ambient dub tracks with a few gentle beats and lots of synth washes.

Here are the links to all the music used in this mix:


[ s t r e a m ]    [ d o w n l o a d ]    [ a p p l e _ p o d c a s t s ]

T R A C K L I S T :

  • 00:00 PLastikman & Chilly Gonzalez - Ekko(In Key) (Consumed In Key 2022)
  • 03:39 CELL - Onwards System - Fugitive Perpetuity (Onwards System 2022)
  • 09:00 ASC - Solitude (Ultimae Records - Isolated 2022)
  • 12:10 Solar Debris - It's All Dark When You Are Gone (Arctic Dub Compilation 2019)
  • 16:50 Owl - Distant Transmission (Infinite Horizon 2021)
  • 20:20 EROT - Observer Effect (Gneiss EP 2021)
  • 24:50 MYKJA - Vera Á Reiki (North Paths 2017)
  • 32:40 Motionfield - Midnight Metro (Optical Flow 2014)
  • 38:32 Earthen Sea - Shallow, Shadowless (Grass & Trees 2019)
  • 43:20 ASC - Sequence 4 (Sequenced 2017)
  • 47:00 Mr Zu - Echova (Driftwood EP 2016)
  • 53:00 Model 500 - Starlight(Intrusion dub) (2008)
  • 57:45 Daar - Coda (Entire 2021)
  • 60:00 end

Wednesday, January 11, 2023

The Frozen Wild: An Antarctic Expedition


A couple of years ago I watched and read a ton on Ernest Shackleton, the English Explorer who went to Antarctica 3 times. One of those was a journey that saw his ship, Endurance, get stuck in the ice and then crushed by the ice, leaving the crew of 27 adrift on an ice floe.

After 6 months of drifting they made their way in the ship's boats to Elephant Island. Shackleton and five crewmates set sail in one of the boats to South Georgia island, a journey of 800 miles (1,300 kilometres) through the Southern Ocean. 

Launching from Elephant Island
After a 17-day voyage, the crew and small boat reached the southern coast of South Georgia. Historians regard the voyage of the crew in a 22.5-foot (6.9 m) ship's boat through the "Furious Fifties" as one of the greatest small-boat journeys ever completed.

Shackleton and two others crossed the island's mountains on foot to a whaling station where they organized the rescue of the rest of the crew. Ultimately, the entire Endurance crew returned home, without loss of life. 

Welp, I hadn't intended on writing that much about Shackleton but it's such an amazing story. That was two years ago when I learned about Shackleton. Fast forward to today & I'm reading a book called "Antarctica" by Kim Stanley Robinson which has rekindled my fascination with the continent. I have now learned about Amundsen and his trek to the pole. And about Scott's tragic expedition in which he made it to the pole but froze to death on the way back. A surviving member of Scott's crew wrote a book about a part of the trip with a great title - "The Worst Journey in the World."

Oof, that was a long-winded way of saying that I have had Antarctica on the brain lately. Of course, I had to create a mix to go with my obsession. One way to approach this mix would be to use atmospheric dub tracks. A lot of ambient dub music uses environmental themes and cold, arctic imagery. I thought that was the direction I was going to go until I stumbled on a bunch of tracks from William Ryan Fritch. He had a ton with great titles that fit perfectly, such as "On Frozen Ground" & "Ghosts in the Gale". And a couple of new tracks, "Blistering Wind" & "A Fissure Too Wide", are from his new album, Polarity, coming out this week. 

After hearing those tracks I decided to go with a more organic sound. It seemed to fit better when thinking of journeys happening between 1905 to 1917. There are some electronics and synths that show up but generally, the mix has a more acoustic, orchestral feel. 

The track titles show how the mix will take the listener on a journey that is a composite of many expeditions in Antarctica. The track by Irezumi is called Endurance, the name of Shackleton's ship. He uses some spoken word in the track that I assume is supposed to be Shackleton. The mix finishes with a whispering wind and the beautiful track "Before My Time" with vocals from Scarlett Johansson and lyrics that work well with the theme.

Bundle up and enjoy this excursion to the bottom of the world.


[ s t r e a m ]    [ d o w n l o a d ]    [ a p p l e _ p o d c a s t s ]

T R A C K L I S T :

  • 00:00    Okomotive, Joel Schoch - Sail, my Friend! (FAR: Lone Sails Soundtrack 2018)
  • 03:10    Trigg & Gusset - Sea & Wind (Black Ocean 2021)
  • 06:00    Ben McElroy - The Sailor and the Albatross (The Word Cricket Made Her Happy 2018)
  • 09:45    Ugasanie - Shores Of Antarctica (Ice Breath of Antartica 2018)
  • 10:37    Vangelis - Back To Antarctica (Antarctica 1983)
  • 12:10    John Luther Adams - The Farthest Place (The Light that Fills the World 2002)
  • 15:10    Seabuckthorn - There Was A Vastness (And Spark And Singe 2021)
  • 17:35    William Ryan Fritch - On Frozen Ground (The Old Believers 2017)
  • 19:22    Terje Isungset - Ice Beauty (Igloo 2006)
  • 22:00    William Ryan Fritch - Ghosts In The Gale (Ill Tides 2016)
  • 23:54    Tim Hecker - Left on the Ice (The North Water 2021)
  • 27:23    Jóhann Jóhannsson & Hildur Guðnadóttir & Rutger Hoedemaekers - Trapped (Trapped 2019)
  • 28:44    From the Mouth of the Sun - Snow Burial(while blue skies gather) (Woven Tide 2012)
  • 31:48    John Luther Adams - Dream in White on White (The Far Country 1999)
  • 36:00    Staalklang - The White Plains (The Loneliness of a Polar Expedition Pt 2 2021)
  • 39:20    Tom Heasley - Adrift (Waves/Adrift)
  • 41:40    William Ryan Fritch - Blistering Wind (Polarity 2023)
  • 48:08    William Ryan Fritch - A Fissure Too Wide (Polarity 2023)
  • 49:15    Dan Romer & Benh Zeitlin - Death Bed (Beasts of the Southern Wild 2012) 
  • 50:20    Irezumi - Endurance IV (Endurance 2008)
  • 54:18    William Ryan Fritch - A Sad Whispering Wind II (Her Warmth 2016)
  • 57:42    J. Ralph & Scarlett Johansson - Before My Time (Chasing Ice 2012)
  • 61:22    end

Sunday, January 01, 2023

Jazz Tracks 2022


I usually listen to jazz at work while doing some computer maintenance or slogging through emails. I don't keep as close track of standout albums like I do with ambient and indie. So this is a collection of tracks that I happened to enjoy this year and of course they had to fit with the vibe of the whole mix.

My top 5 jazz albums are:

  1. Charles Lloyd - Trio Of Trios
  2. Makaya McCraven - In These Times
  3. Vega Trails - Tremors in the Static
  4. Tapani Rinne & Juha Mäki-Patola - Open
  5. Oren Ambarchi - Shebang  &  Oren Ambarchi - Ghosted

I cheated on number 5 and included two Oren Ambarchi albums, both of which aren't exactly jazz but I don't really know what genre they are so they get plopped into jazz. I absolutely love both albums and it's my list so I can do whatever I want. Number 4 on the list may not be jazz either as I had it in my top 10 for ambient albums. It's the perfect melding of the two genres. Makaya McCraven - In These Times has gotten a lot of mainstream attention and has shown up on a lot of year-end lists and it deserves it. The album by Vega Trails is essentially bass & wind instruments so it's nice and sparse which why I love it. Charles Lloyd - Trio of Trios is the most straightforward jazz and it's fantastic.

This is the last mix of 2022. Here's to another good musical year in 2023.


[ s t r e a m ]    [ d o w n l o a d ]    [ a p p l e _ p o d c a s t s ]

T R A C K L I S T :

  • 00:00    Omri Ziegele, Where's Africa - Sunflowerpower (That Hat)
  • 05:02    Makaya McCraven - High Fives (In These Times)
  • 08:40    Vega Trails - Train To Kyoto (Tremors In The Static)
  • 11:28    Charles Lloyd - Ay Amor(Live) (Trio Of Trios)
  • 18:38    Jakob Bro & Joe Lovano - Pause (Once Around the Room: A Tribute to Paul Motian)
  • 24:17    Tapani Rinne & Juha Mäki-Patola - Brevity (Open)
  • 28:31    Dexter Story - Kalimba, Then Space (Feel Recordings Volume 1)
  • 30:55    The Arteries of New York City - The Arteries of New York City (The Arteries of New York City)
  • 33:50    Akusmi - Fleeting Future (Fleeting Future)
  • 38:28    Oren Ambarchi - II (Shebang)
  • 48:50    Carlos Nino - Youwillgetthroughthis, I promise (Extra Presence)
  • 55:15    Ralph Heidel - SOII (Modern Life)
  • 59:10    Bill Frisell - Dear Old Friend(for Alan Woodard) (Four)
  • 61:34    end