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.


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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:


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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.


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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.


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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