Best Ambient of 2016

December 20th, 2016

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Every year I make two lists of my favorites albums of the year.  One list is generally indie music and the other is ambient/instrumental.  Even though I have a difficult time deciding on the final group it is easier coming up with the indie list than it is for ambient.  Maybe it's because after a year of music they all tend to blur together and sound the same.  There are definitely some stand outs, like the two releases from Johann Johannsson this year.  But generally it's tough to make a list because there are a lot of quality recordings every year.

 

As hard as it is, it's still a lot of fun digging through a ton of releases to find my favorites and then out them together in a coherent mix.  The tracks don't appear in any particular order.  I just figured out what cuts sounded good together.  Not all the tracks from my best of list made into the mix because that's just the way mixes go sometimes.

 

Here's the list, I'd love to hear about your favorite albums of the year, tell me about them in the comments.


BEST AMBIENT/INSTRUMENTAL OF 2016:

  • 1. Johann Johannsson - Orphee
  • 2. Ryuichi Sakamoto And Alva Noto - The Revenant OST
  • 3. Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith - Ears
  • 4. Paul Haslinger - Halt & Catch Fire OST
  • 5. The Green Kingdom - Harbor
  • 6. Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein - Stranger Things Season 1, Vol. 1
  • 7. Olafur Arnalds - Island Songs
  • 8. Huerco S. - for those of you who have never (and also those who have)
  • 9. Yagya - Stars And Dust
  • 10. Johann Johannsson - Arrival OST Coppice Halifax - Green Shape
  • 11. Coppice Halifax - Green Shape
  • 12. 36 - The Infinity Room
  • 13. Loscil - Monument Builders
  • 14. Oddisee - The Odd tape
  • 15. Olan Mill - Land Cycle
  • 16. Pye Corner Audio - Stasis
  • 17. Piers Faccini - no one's here
  • 18. Voces8 - Winter
  • 19. Marconi Union - ghost stations
  • 20. Mac Quayle - Mr. Robot, Vol. 1 OST
  • 21. AXX - Command Z
  • 22. Rezo Glonti - Budapest
  • 23. Riverrun - Romer Shoal
  • 24. Daniel Lanois - Goodbye To Language
  • 25. Spheruleus - Sundials
 
 
T R A C K L I S T :
  • 00:00    The Green Kingdom - Haze Layers
  • 06:46    Huerco S. - The Sacred Dance
  • 12:10    Yagya - Motes in the Moonlight
  • 16:25    Piers Faccini - no one's here 1
  • 20:00    Marconi Union - Shadow Scheme
  • 22:30    Johann Johannsson - A Song for Europa
  • 24:34    Olan Mill - Part 2
  • 27:35    Loscil - Weeds
  • 32:58    Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith - Existence in the Unfurling
  • 43:36    Paul Haslinger - It's Not Right
  • 44:41    Kyle Dixon & Michael Stein - This Isn't You
  • 46:50    Ólafur Arnalds - Raddir
  • 50:00    36 - Room 8
  • 52:25    Coppice Halifax - Green Shape phase 4
  • 57:10    Rezo Glonti - Pulse Added Two
  • 62:10    Heavenchord - Night Waterline
  • 67:13    Daniel Lanois - Time On
  • 72:10    AXX - Prelude
  • 73:31    Riverrun - Weehawken
  • 76:00    Ryuichi Sakamoto & Alva Noto - The Revenant Theme(Noto remodel)
  • 79:33    Johann Johannsson - Arrival
  • 81:33    end
 
 
 

 

 

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Cinematic Headspace

December 10th, 2016

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I've been on a big Johann Johnnsson kick lately.  He released one of my favorite albums of the year "Orphee" a few months ago and now he has scored the excellent film "Arrival."  It is a wonderful soundtrack that really adds to an already fantastic film.

 

Johannsson tells the story of how he made the first track in this mix, "Heptpod B," at Song Exploder here...

 

https://soundcloud.com/hrishihirway/song-exploder-johann-johannsson-arrival-score

 

That new soundtrack is the jumping off point for this cinematic mix.  All the music used was released this year with the exception of tracks from "The Martian" & "The Revenant" which are 2015 recordings.  All these soundtracks are superb and I hope you will seek out the full albums.  I've included the name of the film in the tracklist.

 

Cheers!

 

 

T R A C K L I S T :

 
⦁ 00:00    Johann Johannsson - Heptapod B(Arrival)
⦁ 03:25    Nick Cave & Warren Ellis - Daedalus(Mars)
⦁ 06:15    Harry Gregson-Williams - Message from Hermes(The Martian)
⦁ 08:50    Adam Bryanbaum Wiltzie - Bring This Place to Life(Salero)
⦁ 11:30    A Winged Victory for the Sullen - Metro, pt.3(Iris)
⦁ 15:05    Mac Quayle - leavem3here.flac(Mr. Robot)
⦁ 20:10    Starkey - Ticks(Charting Stardust)
⦁ 24:15    Paul Haslinger - Security is a Myth(Halt & Catch Fire)
⦁ 26:45    Ramin Djawadi - Something I Can Never Have(Westworld)
⦁ 32:10    Adam Bryanbaum Wiltzie - Lithium, the new era(Salero)
⦁ 35:20    A Winged Victory for the Sullen - Flashback Antoine(Iris)
⦁ 37:15    Dustin O'Halloran & Hauschka - Memories(Lion)
⦁ 38:40    Adam Bryanbaum Wiltzie - end credits(Salero)
⦁ 41:25    Johann Johannsson - One of Twelve(Arrival)
⦁ 44:05    Riuichi Sakamoto - Glass & Buffalo(The Revenant)
⦁ 45:40    Nick Cave & Warren Ellis - Mama's Room(Hell or High Water)
⦁ 47:55    A Winged Victory for the Sullen - endless battle of the maudlin ballade, pt. 3(Iris)
⦁ 50:25    Ramin Djawadi - Exit Music(Westworld)
⦁ 54:47    end
 
 
 
 
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