The Sun’s Gone Dim - A Tribute to Johann Johannsson

February 10th, 2018

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Johann Johannsson died on Friday, February 9, 2018.

 

Devastating. 

 

I absolutely adored his compositions.

 

I am at a complete loss for what to say about his music. So rather than try I made this mix.

 

Because I cross post all these mixes over on Mixcloud I am not able to make a mix with nothing but Johannsson music. Mixcloud has a policy of only 4 tracks from a single artist per mix. So I used 4 Johannsson cuts, some of my favs, and music from other artists that I have always grouped together with Johann.

 

I hope you will listen to this mix and also go seek out Johannsson's awesome library of music that is keeping his memory alive in this world.

 

 

 

Johann Johannsson Complete on Spotify

 

 

T R A C K L I S T :

  • 00:00    Johann Johannsson - The Sun's Gone Dim and The Sky's Turned Black
  • 05:33    Henryk Gorecki - Symphony No. 3 Lento(exerpt)
  • 08:30    Johann Johannsson - Flight from the City
  • 14:35    Max Richter - On The Nature Of Daylight
  • 20:43    Johann Johannsson - Kangaru
  • 23:22    Craig Armstrong - Choral Ending
  • 25:54    Just a Human - Johann
  • 28:15    Olafur Arnalds - Öldurót
  • 32:22    Clint Mansell - Together We Will Live Forever
  • 37:05    Johann Johannsson - IBM 1403 Printer
  • 44:05    Christopher Spelman - The Final Journey
  • 51:27    Hildur Gudnadottir - Unveiled
  • 54:48    Olafur Arnalds - Dalur
  • 58:31    lowlight - Memories of JJ
  • 62:07    end
 
 
 
 
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Rusted Tone Recordings Guest Mix

February 4th, 2018

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I have decided to reach out to a few folks in the ambient community about doing some guest mixes.  Basically I'm just lazy and want content without much work. ;-)  


Actually I thought it would be nice to come at these mixes from some new perspectives. And at the same time promote some artists and labels both here and on Mixcloud.


This first guest mix is exactly what I was looking for. It is a bit darker than I normally produce and that's why it's great to bring a new mindset to these mixes, it opens new doors and explores new sounds. There are definitely some awesome sounds in this mix.


This music comes to us from James Armstrong, the man behind Rusted Tone Recordings.  Check out their first sampler release here...


https://rustedtonerecordings.bandcamp.com/releases


Here's what James has to say about the mix...

"This mix was created to showcase the unreleased work of artists scheduled for solo releases on Rusted Tone Recordings throughout 2018 and into 2019. Ranging from the guitar-based melancholy of Wil Bolton, Spheruleus, and Darren Harper, to the abstract ambient manipulations of James Osland, Kepier Widow, and Red On Maroon, the mix promotes the diversity and creative dedication of the musicians on the RTR Roster. 


A majority of the tracks included were contributed by the artists themselves for the label’s initial sampler (see link below), with the exceptions of James Osland (White Label Recs. - forthcoming), BCOM (slef-release), and Red On Maroon (Quietest Records - The Tape Works #1). All tracks written and recorded by the respective artist, mastered by James Edward Armstrong."


Thanks!


T R A C K L I S T :

 

  • 00:00    James Osland - Just Fell Me Dear Human
  • 04:58    Wil Bolton - Nerine 
  • 08:42    Spheruleus - Dimly Lit 
  • 13:04    Building Castles Out Of Matchsticks - Shifting Insomnia And The Dream Incubator 
  • 17:04    SALTINGS - Sotto Voice
  • 21:18    Net - Hidden Pheasant 
  • 24:08    Darren Harper - A Thousand Tiny Heartbreaks
  • 29:30    Ghost Station - Cadence
  • 36:20    Kepier Widow - Congestion
  • 41:26    Gallery Six & Oblivia - Like A Winter Lake
  • 44:54    Red On Maroon - #2
  • 54:59    The Green Kingdom – Luminous

 

 

 

 

 

 
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Frontiers of Space

January 27th, 2018

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I recently stumbled upon an album by The National Pool called "Relaxation Tape for Solo Space Travel."  


https://infraction.bandcamp.com/album/relaxation-tape-for-solo-space-travel


First of all, what a great title!  And second, what fantastic cover art!




When I heard the song "Simpler Times" I knew that I had to buy the album and I knew that I had to make a mix with an retro, analog, space sound.  So I set about collecting tunes that sound like they could have come from an old space science filmstrip.  Some of the music is from current artists like Boards of Canada, Air, The Belbury Circle, Panabrite, Cafe Kaput, Moon Wiring Club, Schengen and Lunar Testing Lab.  But mixed in there is also old electronic music from Eric Vann, Paul Hart, Alan Hawkshaw and Frank Comstock. Much of the old music has a sort of cheesy, retro vibe that I love in a mix like this.


Grab some Tang and kick back for this journey to the moon and beyond.


Cheers!




T R A C K L I S T :

 

  • 00:00    Alan Hawkshaw - Probe 2
  • 01:06    Vector Lovers - Long Wave
  • 01:40    Boards of Canada - Wildlife Analysis
  • 02:01    The National Pool - Simpler Times
  • 08:42    Solvent - wig $1.00
  • 11:07    Eric Vann - Space Face
  • 11:55    Frank Comstock - Stairway to the Stars
  • 14:25    Panabrite - Departing
  • 17:28    The Belbury Circle - Light Industry
  • 21:42    Lunar Testing Lab - The Cosmic Unknown
  • 23:36    Café Kaput - Maranyl Is Chosen
  • 26:05    Paul Hart - Superfine
  • 26:41    Schengen - Me n'U
  • 27:22    Moon Wiring Club - Between  Two Worlds
  • 28:40    Alan Hawkshaw - Terrestrial Fanfare
  • 30:52    Air - Cosmic Trip
  • 34:51    Lunar Testing Lab - Lunar Radio Control(with Russian Conet voice added)
  • 36:25    Alan Hawkshaw - Saturn Rings
  • 40:15    Boards of Canada - Come to Dust
  • 43:36    Café Kaput - Ergonomo
  • 49:05    Orgasmo Sonore - Space Team
  • 50:52    Eric Vann - Astroport
  • 53:00    The National Pool - Through the Breach
  • 60:01    end

 

 

 

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A Mystical Ambience

January 18th, 2018
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image by Siobhan Allen

 

I am starting the year off right with another fantastic mix from my friend Paul Asbury Seaman.  You may remember his previous collections posted here - The Memory of Trains, Floating Through Moonlight, and Icelight.

 

This mix does a wonderful job of creating a mystical vibe, like the title says, but without being too new agey.  I love the nice long track from Louigi Verona in the middle of the mix.  Here's what Paul has to say about it...

 

“From the beginning, ambient-electronic music has been almost synonymous with “space music” as well as inward journeys. Whether through post-tribal rhythms or the meditative drones of long-form compositions, this is music designed to facilitate an altered consciousness, or maybe something much less talked about: a sense of reverence. Featuring three of the genre’s “tribal elders,” as well as some more recent masters, this is a mix for gentle meanderings into a space of grounded bliss."

 

I hope you enjoy Paul's excellent collection of Mystical Ambience."

 

Cheers!

 

 

T R A C K L I S T :

  • 00:00    John Serrie - Valley of the Nacoochee(Spirit Keepers 1998)
  • 05:55    Max Corbacho - Transparent Phenomena(Source of Presnt 2017)
  • 09:10    Robert Rich & Markus Reuter - Twining Branches Make A Path(Lift a Feather to the Flood 2017)
  • 18:08    Hollan Holmes - That Ephemeral Spark(Prayer to the Energy 2017)
  • 24:45    Craig Padilla & Zero Ohms - When the Earth is Far Away(When the Earth is Far Away 2012)
  • 29:10    Louigi Verona - Ocean of Seashells(Ocean of Seashells 2017)
  • 50:00    Steve Roach - Within the Mystic(Mystic Chords & Sacred Spaces 2003)
  • 64:53    end

 

 

 

 

 

 

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JAZZ 2017

December 27th, 2017

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This mix is less of a best jazz recordings of 2017 and more of a mix of jazz that I enjoyed in 2017.  I don't listen to nearly as much jazz as I do ambient and indie music. But I liked enough releases to come up with an end of the year jazz mix. So here it is.

 

The year was anchored by two spectacular recordings - Aytche by Joseph Shabason and All This I Do For Glory by Colin Stetson.  I saw Stetson at a small club and was blown away by his sound and technique.  If you get the chance to see him up close definitely go.

 

There are two albums that I discovered while compiling tracks for my mix, Rhythm of the Rails. Those two are Eternal Stories by Michel Portal & Quator Ebene and Simultonality by Joshua Abrams & Natural Information Society. Both excellent recordings.

 

Another highlight of 2017 was ECM records putting their entire catalog up on Spotify. I listened to nothing by ECM for a few weeks this fall.

 

This will probably be my last mix for 2017. I've already started on a guest mix for liftedicons.com that will be fun to put together.  Music definitely helped me get through a messed up 2017. Here's to a great 2018.

 

Cheers!

 

 

T R A C K L I S T :

  • 00:00    Joseph Shabason - Aytche(Aytche)
  • 03:40    Vijay Iyer Sextet - Wake(Far From Over)
  • 08:03    Ben Allison - Magic Number(Layers of the City)
  • 14:38    Bjorn Meyer - Provenance(Provenance)
  • 20:30    Quatuor Ebene - City Birds(Eternal Stories)
  • 27:55    Colin Stetson - Spindrift(All This I Do For Glory)
  • 33:36    Portico Quartet - Endless(Art in the Age of Automation)
  • 37:46    Kamasi Washington - Desire(Harmony Of Difference)
  • 42:07    Phronesis - Ok Chorale(The Behemoth)
  • 45:50    Joshua Abrams & Natural Information Society - Maroon Dune(Simultonality)
  • 54:48    Dorothy Ashby - Pawky(Hip Harp/In A Minor Groove)
  • 51:55    end
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
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Best Ambient of 2017

December 17th, 2017

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It's that time of the year again - end of the year Best Of list time!  It's always a difficult task to pick albums for one of these lists.  But it's also fun because I get to sort through a bunch of music and it's definitely cool to have a look at other lists and discover a ton of things I missed.

 

There is no way these lists are close to being definitive.  A lot of ambient releases can tend to blur from one into the next and the difference between making the list and not making it can boil down to what mood I was in when I first heard the album.  There's so much excellent music being released on a weekly basis it's impossible to keep up so this list and mix is just a bunch of stuff that I liked this past year.

 

Here are a few other good year in review lists:

 

http://www.astrangelyisolatedplace.com/blog/2017/12/5/asip-reflection-on-2017

 

https://irregularcrates.com/2017/12/12/end-of-2017-a-list-and-mix-by-harry-towell/

 

http://ambientmusicguide.com/best-of-year/best-albums-of-2017/

 

https://www.popmatters.com/best-ambient-instrumental-albums-2017-2513144740.html?page=2

 

 

My best of list is more of a best instrumental music list than just straight ambient.  The mix is mostly ambient but the list contains jazz, instrumental & ambient.  According to my Spotify data I played a lot of 36 last year so it's appropriate that he's got two albums in the top ten. I guess I'm too lazy to write up comments about all the music except to say that there's a lot of good stuff there. So take some time and hunt down these releases, you won't be disappointed. 

 

 

BEST INSTRUMENTAL ALBUMS 2017:

1. 36 - Tomorrow’s Explorers

2. Delia Derbyshire Appreciation Society - Delia Derbyshire Appreciation Society

3. Colin Stetson - All This I Do For Glory

4. Bing and Ruth - No Home of the Mind

5. Joseph Shabason - Aytche

6. Ruven Nunez - Altar of Sunlight

7. Benoit Pioulard - Lingnin Poise and Slow Spark, Soft Spoke

8. Chuck Johnson - Balsams

9. 36 - Black Soma

10. Bibio - Phantom Brickworks

11. Dungen - Haxan(versions by Prins Thomas)

12. Vijay Iyer Sextet - Far From Over

13. Penguin Cafe - The Imperfect Sea

14. Arovane & Hior Chronic - Into My Own

15. Christopher Willits - The Art of Listening

16. Vermont - II

17. High Plains - Cinderland

18. Roedelius and Arnold Kaspar - Einfluss

19. Tonepoet - N/E/W/S

20. Halftribe - Daydreams in Low Fidelity

21. Taylor Dupree - Somi

22. Kamasi Washington - Harmony of Difference

23. Loess - Pocosin

24. Hior Chronic - Our of the Dust

25. Tale of Use - Endless

26. Saltland - A Common Truth

27. Quatuor Ebene - Eternal Stories

28. Aware - The Book of Wind

29. Grails - Chalace Hymnal

30. The Prairie Lines - Eyes Down Slowdown

 

 

If you have a list of your own feel free to leave it in the comments. Or if you just have a favorite or two that you want to recommend please let us know in the comments.

 

Here's to a, musically, great 2017 & a better 2018.  Cheers!

 
 
 
T R A C K L I S T :
  • 00:00    36 - Poekhali(Tomorrow's Explorers)
  • 06:33    Delia Derbyshire Appreciation Society - Cloudface(Delia Derbyshire Appreciation Society)
  • 10:25    Bing & Ruth - Scrapes(No Home Of The Mind)
  • 15:10    Bibio - Capel Celyn(phantom brickworks)
  • 20:50    Benoit Pioulard Same Time Next Year(Lignin Poise)
  • 25:10    Tonepoet - The Moment You Were Swept From My Memory(N.E.W.S.)
  • 30:00    The Prairie Lines - Calm Landing(eyes down slowdown)
  • 36:00    Hans-Joachim Roedelius and Arnold Kasar - Asco(Einfluss)
  • 40:30    Dungen - Aladdin och lampan(Haxan (versions by Prins Thomas)
  • 47:10    Vermont - Langholmen(Vermont II)
  • 50:35    Island People - Ember(Island People)
  • 55:10    Saltland - To Allow Us All To Breathe(A Common Truth)
  • 59:10    Penguin Cafe - Cantorum(The Imperfect Sea)
  • 1:06:10    High Plains - Ten Sleep(Cinderland)
  • 1:09:05   Arovane & Hior Chronik - The Return(Into My Own)
  • 1:11:35    Chuck Johnson - Labradorite(Balsams)
  • 1:16:30    Ruven Nunez - As Above, So Below(Altar of Sunlight)
  • 1:26:00    Taylor Deupree - Autumn(Somi)
  • 1:31:40    Loess - Striae(Pocosin)
  • 1:37:00    Halftribe - Aphotic(Daydreams in Low Fidelity)
  • 1:40:55    Christopher Willits - Ama(The Art of Listening)
  • 1:44:10    Aware - But God Was Not in the Storm(The Book of Wind)
  • 1:47:10    Justin Walter - 1001(Unseen Forces)
  • 1:51:45    Tale of Us - Distante(Endless)
  • 1:59:13    Hior Chronik - Cosmos(Out Of The Dust)
  • 2:02:37    36 - Black Sun(Black Soma)
  • 2:07:40    end
 
 
 
 
 
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Alternative Blade Runner 2049 Soundtrack

December 3rd, 2017

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Being a science fiction & electronic music geek, it's no surprise that I'm a big fan of the soundtrack for the original Blade Runner film.  When I heard that they'd tabbed Johann Johannsson to do the score for the 2049 film I was very excited.  But then he was pulled from the project & replaced with Hans Zimmer.  While I've actually liked a few of Zimmer's recent scores, I wasn't overly impressed with his music for 2049.  It wasn't that I disliked it.  I think I was just disappointed that it wasn't Johannsson.

 

My son, however, liked the soundtrack much more than I did.  So much in fact that he went home after seeing the film, created his own track in the 2049 style and sent it to me the next day.  I was impressed with the track and immediately made plans for a Blade Runner mix.

 

The music here is a collection of tunes that sounds like it fit perfectly in Blade Runner 2049.  In searching for music I was happy to have rediscovered Xerrox, Vol. 2 by Alva Noto, such a great album.  I was also excited to find music and artists I'd not heard before like Ital Tek, Floating Machine & Island People.

 

Here's a link to my son's track which appears in the mix as track #3 - "Blade Running" by just a human.

 

https://soundcloud.com/axxmusic/blade-running-master/s-recEt 

 

 

Cheers!

 

 

T R A C K L I S T :

  • 00:00    Alva Noto - Xerrox Moonphaser 2
  • 05:00    Ital Tek - Jenova
  • 10:10    just a human - Blade Running(unreleased)
  • 12:18    36 - Black Future
  • 16:05    Ryuichi Sakamoto - life, life
  • 20:00    Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Same Dream
  • 23:51    Floating Machine - Nowhere
  • 30:40    Island People - vogelsang
  • 35:25    Andreas Tilliander - Syncussion Discussion
  • 40:10    Boards of Canada - Transmisiones Ferox
  • 41:35    Arovane & Hior Chronik - Into My Own
  • 45:35    Ryuichi Sakamoto - Fullmoon
  • 47:30    Island People - from the sky
  • 54:35    Alva Noto - Xerrox Moonphaser 1
  • 61:40    end

 

 
 
 
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beneath the dust

November 24th, 2017

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This mix was inspired by a couple of new releases from Benoit Pioulard.  Both recordings are hazy, dusty, blurry ambient beauty. 

 

Benoit Pioulard on Bandcamp

 

The rest of this mix all fits in with that dusty, softly granular feel.  It's dreamy and hazy without being too annoyingly noisey.

 

Cheers! 

 

 

T R A C K L I S T :

  • 00:00    Huerco S. - A Sea of Love
  • 06:44    Spheruleus - Blue Cast
  • 09:09    Benoit Pioulard - Never, just as you wanted
  • 14:00    Taylor Duepree - Thaw
  • 21:40    Hannu Karjalainen - Love is a Black Lion
  • 25:20    Pleq - Good Night(green kingdom remix)
  • 29:42    Floor Overhead - A Solution for Self Improvement
  • 33:50    Steve Pacheco - I Remember You
  • 39:30    Warmth - Dust(Chris Weeks remix)
  • 43:15    Wil Samson - Lua
  • 46:20    Porya Hatami - Sea
  • 52:00    Spheruleus - How Dwellings Shadowed
  • 54:35    Sonmi451 - Sarca
  • 59:50    Federico Durand - Música para Manuel 5
  • 61:48    end

 
 
 

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Sunday Morning Music vol. 15 - October Sky

October 22nd, 2017

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For this Sunday Morning Music installment I used almost all brand new music.  16 of the 19 tracks are from 2017 & most of those are from the last two months.  Two cuts are from 2016.  

 

One outlier is from all the way back in 1999.  That track is October Sky by Mark Isham.  As I was putting the mix together I came up with the title of vol. 15 - October Sky(cuz it's October) and thought that it sounded familiar.  I searched my hard drive and sure enough I found October Sky is a soundtrack by Mark Isham from 1999.  BTW, it's an excellent movie.  So I had to include that one old track in with all the new ones.

 

Also sorry for this not being uploaded on a Sunday morning.  Brunch with the kids took priority, then football, the nap.  So here it is on Sunday evening.

 

Cheers!

 

 

T R A C K L I S T :

  • 00:00   Joseph Shabason - Tite Cycle(Aytche 2017)
  • 05:12    Kasami Washington - Desire(Harmony Of Difference 2017)
  • 08:25    Clint Mansell - The Night Cafe(Loving Vincent 2017)
  • 10:40    Arovane & Hior Chronik - Morning Fog(Into My Own 2017)
  • 13:50    Four Tet - 10 midi(New Energy 2017)
  • 14:52    Hannu Karjalainen - Love Unconditional(A Handful Of Dust Is A Desert 2017)
  • 17:14    Lav & Purl - The Presnt Moment(still version)(The Present Moment 2016)
  • 21:33    Jakob Lindhagen - i parken(Skorheten 2016)
  • 22:30    Igneous Flame - Eevi(Sylvi 2017)
  • 26:45    Jonny Nash & Suzanne Kraft - Photo w/ grey sky white clouds(Passive Agressive 2017)
  • 33:33    Balmorhea - First Light(Clear Language 2017)
  • 34:54    Hans Zimmer - Rain(Blade Runner 2049 OST 2017)
  • 36:10    Kelly Lee Owens - Bird(Kelly Lee Owens 2017)
  • 40:27    Kiasmos - Blurred(Blurred ep 2017)
  • 45:27    Marl Isham - October Sky(October Sky 1999)
  • 49:56    Joseph Shabason - Long Swim(Aytche 2017)
  • 54:05    Ludmila - Day 4(1 day 1 track 2017)
  • 55:44    Bonobo - Second Sun(Migration 2017)
  • 59:09    Bjorn Meyer - Pulse(Provenance 2017)
  • 61:48    end

 

 

 

 

 

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A Distant Pulse

September 22nd, 2017

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Who remembers what a big thing tribal ambient was for awhile back in the 90s?  The first time I heard "Fearless" from the album Strata by Steve Roach & Robert Rich I was hooked.  There were many Roach albums from that time period that drew on the tribal ambient sound - World's Edge, On This Planet, Soma, Australia: Sound of the Earth, Forgotten Gods, Cavern of Sirens, Earth Island, Well of Souls, The Serpent's Lair,   - oh heck there's too many to keep track of!

 

I loved that sound.  But as so often happens I grew tired of it.  Part of that was just me overdosing on that style and part of it was as the style proliferated we ended up with crappy new age versions of tribal ambient.  So I stayed away for a long time while still revisiting the classic Roach recordings occasionally.  

 

Earlier this year I discovered the music of Al Gromer Khan, thanks to Paul Asbury Seaman.  I was listening to a few cuts from Lexus and I enjoyed the tribal sound and realized that I hadn't listened that style very much lately.  But those tracks got me going and the next thing you know, I'm collecting tacks for a mix.

 

The tracks in this mix are a good sampling of new cuts, older cuts from the tribal heyday and a few really old cuts from the early 80s.  The tracks are also a mix instrumentation from drum sounds to gamelan to marimba.  I love how this turned out and hope you do too.

 

Cheers!

 

 

T R A C K L I S T :

  • 00:00    Al Gromer Khan - Air Wave(Lexus 2002)
  • 04:30    Eno & Hassell - Chemistry(Fourth World 1 - possibles musics 1980)
  • 09:35    Steve Roach, Byron Metcalf & Mark Seelig - Six(Mantram 2004)
  • 17:50    Peter Gabriel - Slow Marimbas(Birdy 1985)
  • 20:40    Terje Isungset - Sunrise Horizon(Hibernation 2009)
  • 23:15    DavidParsons - Laplapan(Ngaio Gamelan 1999)
  • 28:15    SVLBRD - Hvit(Svalbard 2017)
  • 33:20    Michael Brook - Distant Village(Hybrid 1985)
  • 36:39    Wuhan Wuchang - Total Art of Percussion(Tropical Drums of Deutschland 2017)
  • 38:25    Uakti & Philip Glass - Paru River(Aguas da Amazonia 1999)
  • 41:52    Jon Iverson - Metalanguage(Alternesia 1999)
  • 47:10    Rapoon - Sanctum(Fallen Gods 2000)
  • 50:10    Eno & Hassell - Delta Rain Dream(Fourth World 1 - possibles musics 1980)
  • 52:50    Byron Metcalf - As Clouds Dance(Inner Rhythm Meditations 2016)
  • 61:25    Jonatan Bengta - Homerun(David Lynch: The Art Life 2016)
  • 62:30    Byron Metcalf - Presence of Longing(Inner Rhythm Meditations 2016)
  • 75:30    Loren Nerell - Tasku(Tasku 2003) mashed up with Evan Chapman playing    Opening by Philip Glass
  • 81:41    end

 

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