July 20th, 2014
This is one of those mixes where the title pretty much says it all...Summer Sleeps. I found that if I keep titles fairly straight forward and clear that plays on Mixcloud go up a bit.
I listen to music every night when I go to bed. And lately I was getting bored with old sleep mixes so of course the solution is to make a new one. There's not much else to say about this mix, just lay back and zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
T R A C K L I S T :
- 00'00 Stephen Vitiello and Taylor Deupree - From the Fish House
- 06'00 Manual - Last Light
- 10'50 Moon Eye Lids - My Only Moon...
- 18'30 Sonmi451 - Ruis
- 25'20 Budd and Eno - Against the Sky
- 29'00 James Johnson - Entering Twilight
- 37'50 Steinbruchel - Home
- 44'15 Kyle Bobby Dunn - Powers of None
- 48'22 Ruben Garcia - Rainy Day
- 52'20 Tom Heasley - Ground Zero
- 1'00'50 St. Kilda - You Are In Every Dream
- 1'03'53 Tonepoet - So Gently We go
- 1'11'20 Tiny Isles - With Thanks Petal
- 1'15'00 Alio Die and Saffron Wood - The Sleep of Seeds
- 1'18'10 33bowls - Morning
- 1'24'10 James Johnson and Stephen Phillips - Lost at Dunn's Lake
- 1'40'44 end
July 6th, 2014
The timing on this could be better. I've been very busy lately and haven't been able to do a mix. So it's the perfect time for a guest mix.
This mix comes to us from Ryan Bissett who produces ambient music as Halftribe. What I love about guest mixes is that I'm usually unfamiliar with many of the tracks. And this mix does exactly that. Only two artists were known to me before I heard this mix. Thanks to Ryan for introducing me to even more new music that I'll never have enough time to listen to. LOL!
Halftribe music is one of the discoveries in this mix. Any ambient music fan will appreciate the music of Halftribe. Here are some useful links to Ryan's music...
Thanks for the mix!
T R A C K L I S T :
- 00'00 Halftribe - Excursion 40
- 06'48 Pines - Dowsing Rod
- 09'06 Letna - Koritnik
- 13'22 Ex Confusion - Two Things
- 15'19 Lost Trail - A Stained August For The Jetcrash
- 18'36 Moshimoss - Homeland
- 21'30 Letna - Mokra Gora
- 24'50 Halftribe ft OJWoods - Sleep Song
- 29'10 Sandstars - Separation Anxiety (original mix)
- 32'15 Izzard - Airways
- 35'15 Caught In The Wake Forever - Meditation In Exile #2
- 37'15 Linear Bells - L'Oisseau
- 48'36 Ben Woods - No Word From Above,
- 50'00 Easychord - With Your Feet On The Dash
- 53'20 Tone Color - Drone, 55'09 Milkky Wayy - Drone Me
- 57'52 Zudi - Thank You Mr Karoshi
May 18th, 2014
I know this blog is supposed to be about ambient music but over the years I've posted some outliers - "Quintessential Jazz" "Footsteps" "Psalms and Lullabies" "Sunday Morning Music" "Vox Electronix" and some other odd balls. It gets a little boring just mixing nothing but floating ambient so it's nice to branch out every now and then.
This mix, "Always & Forever," is definitely on a different branch of the musical tree than ambient. It's a collection of Americana style tunes that I've been listening to a lot lately.
I've been a fan of the Avett Brothers since my daughter introduced me to them 7 or 8 years ago. Listening to the banjo as used by the Avetts and Sufjan Stevens started me on a path to enjoying stripped down, acoustic, country/americana/roots/whatever-you-want-to-call-it music.
Even though this mix is Americana music I think it still retains some of the Low Light Mixes feel. Most of the tunes are simple and laid back.
There are two soundtracks represented here, "Beasts of the Southern Wild" and "Nebraska." I love the beautiful simplicity of the "Nebraska" soundtrack. It always conjures up the black and white landscape images from the film.
Oops, there are three soundtracks used in this mix. I forgot about "Inside Llewyn Davis." Another of my favorite films from last year. The job Oscar Issac did was fabulous and so I couldn't resist using two cuts from the album.
Also included in this mix are four artists that I heard for the first time in 2013, Elephant Revival, Valerie June, Johnny Flynn and Gregory Alan Isakov. All excellent recordings.
Some other artists that I just had to include are The Avett Brothers because, well, they're the Avett Brothers. Also Blessed Feathers because they are local duo that does awesome music. And Andrew Bird because he has become my favorite all around artist over the last 2 or 3 years.
I hope you all enjoy this newest diversion from the ambient formula. I like this mix so much that I'll probably do more.
T R A C K L I S T :
- 00:00 Oscar Issac & Marcus Mumford - Fare Thee Well(Dinks Song)
- 02:52 We Are The West - JV Tryouts
- 07:00 Night Beds - Even If We Try
- 10:50 Avett Brothers - Souls Like The Wheels
- 14:40 Mark Orton - Their Pie
- 16:40 Blessed Feathers - Everyone I Love Is You
- 20:55 Delta Spirit - Devil Knows You're Dead
- 24:15 Benh Zeitlin & Dan Romer - The Survivors
- 27:15 Elephant Revival - Spinning
- 29:33 Valerie June - Somebody to Love
- 32:57 Johnny Flynn - Einstein's Idea
- 38:45 Andrew Bird - Lit From Underneath
- 42:00 Carolina Chocolate Drops - Leaving Eden
- 46:22 Gregory Alan Isakov - A Suitcase Full of Sparks
- 50:15 Sarah Jarosz - Floating in the Balance
- 53:00 Andrew Bird - Danse Carribe
- 58:05 Oscar Issac - Green, Green Rocky Road
- 1:01:08 Elephant Revival - Remembering a Beginning
- 1:04:55 Mark Orton - Magna Carta
- 1:07:24 end
April 26th, 2014
I've already done a "Favorite Ambient Albums" mix and a "Favorite Ambient Artists" mix so it makes sense that there would eventually be a "Favorite Ambient Tracks" mix. And here it is.
Ambient music is definitely not a song based genre. I like to remember works as a whole or an artist's work as a whole. There are artists that I absolutely love but can't name more than a handful of specific tunes. So it sort of goes against form to make a list of fav ambient tracks. That being said, when I sat down to make a list there were a few cuts that I immediately knew I wanted in the mix, like Structures From Silence.
This is a looong mix, clocking in at 2 hours and 9 minutes. I wanted to let some of the longer tracks breathe, even if I couldn't play the entire 28 minutes of Structures.
Here's a few thoughts on the tunes that made the cut...
The first track in the mix is a beautiful watery tune, Submarine Poetry, from krill.minima. I used this one as the first cut in my first "sea" mix and every time I play that mix I marvel at how perfect this tune is.
Next up is Lantern Marsh by Brian Eno. I could have filled this entire mix with Eno favorites but I had to try and limit myself somehow. I love On Land and this cut pretty much sums up that wonderful album for me.
Track number three is Lear by Stuart Dempster, Panaiotis and Pauline Oliveros. I'm curious as to how widely known the album Deep Listening is. This is not classic Eno or Roach ambient. The recording took place inside a huge cistern which is responsible for its tremendous reverb. The unusual instruments of accordion, trombone, didgeridoo and voice use the acoustics of the cistern to create long sustained drones. The effect is hypnotic & beautiful.
The fourth cut is the previously mentioned Steve Roach track, Structures From Silence. A lot of ambient music doesn't really have a recognizable melody but this song is about as close as you'll get. I've been listening to this one for a loooooong time and never seem to tire of it.
Next is Peter Gabriel's The Nest That Sailed The Sky from the Ovo album. The album is pretty hit and miss but this tune is gorgeous.
Another Eno tune drops next and its Drift from the Apollo album. There several cuts on this album that could make a lot of great ambient lists but I just like this song because it reminds me of the scenes it was used with in the film For All Mankind. If you haven't seen the film do so asap!
The next cut has been a sleep time favorite for years. It's A Smooth Surface by A Produce. I love all the space between notes. It doesn't really change much over the course of a long track, but that's what I love about it.
I have a special place in my ambient heart for the eighth track, Silence Speaks In Shadows, because it was recorded not far from where I live here in Wisconsin. Paul Vnuk Jr. recorded environmental sounds near his studio in Cudahy. Those sounds included thunderstorms, street noise, trains and even a police siren wailing in the night. Combine those field recordings with some droney synths & you've got a great night time atmospheric piece.
The Most Beautiful Blue by Eluder is the next cut. This is a track that I didn't realize how much I liked it until I realized that it kept showing up in mixes & playlists. Similar to Submarine Poetry, it has that great ocean/sea feel to it that I love.
This next cut, Diamond Cove, is from a favorite artist of mine, Kyle Bobby Dunn. It's from his album Bring Me The Head Of Kyle Bobby Dunn. Just like Eno I could pick a bunch of KBD songs to put in this kind of mix but I settled on this one because I like its simplicity.
The KBD song segues nicely into the Olancha Farewell by Harold Budd. I didn't know how much I loved this track until I recently heard for the first time in years. Normally when I think of Harold Budd I think of piano but this track is just too beautiful to keep out of this mix. It's similar in feel to the KBD song that precedes it and to Rhubarb by Aphex Twin. Olancha Farewell is from the album Lovely Thunder.
The Marsen Jules song, Oeillet Sauvage, is similar in feel to the A Produce track from earlier in the mix. It has lots of space in between notes, which I love.
The third Eno song in the mix shows up next. It's 1/1 from Music for Airports. I remember buying this on vinyl the day it was released back in 1978. I had come to Eno through David Bowie so I knew of some of his quieter stuff on Low and Before and After Science. But I was unprepared for the deliberate repetition and slowness of Music for Airports. It blew me away. This album has remained a favorite to this day.
After Eno we move on to Mark Rownd - Painting Twilight. I hesitated to put this track in because the album as a whole treads very close to new age territory. But I sort of fell for this album back when it was released in 1998 and it has stayed with me. Especially the title track, Painting Twilight. Its got that ebb and flow, breathing quality that I go for.
Next up is the classic Aphex Twin cut, Rhubarb from Selected Ambient Works, Vol.II. I read somewhere once that this cut should be the theme song form the monolith in 2001:A Space Odyssey.
The next cut is even more Eno music, this time in the form of the Budd/Eno tune, An Echo Of Night from The Pearl. A great atmospheric tune that would fit well on Eno's On Land.
One of my favorite ambient albums of the last ten years is Butterfly by Disturbed Earth. First released on Atmoworks in 2012, it was originally recorded in 1977 using a Fripp-style two reel to reel set up. I love ambient guitar in general and this one just hits the sweet spot of ambient guitar, ebb and flow, and classic sound and fell.
I'm not sure how many folks would put this next track on their best of all time lists. If I were hearing this cut, The Path Not Taken by Thom Brennan, for the first time today I'm sure if I would like it as much as I do. I know that part of my love for this track is wrapped in the time I discovered it back in the mid 90s when tribal ambient was a big deal. I've pretty much stepped away from the tribal stuff now, but this track still gets me every time.
We reach the end of this epic mix with Fripp & Eno - Evening Star, the title track from Evening Star. I know, more Eno. But I couldn't resist this one. Beautiful cut, perfect end for a favorite mix.
Wow! That's easily the most I've ever written for a mix post. Hope that didn't bore you to death. I wasn't planning on a track by track essay but I started talking about a few and it just took off. Anyway I hope you enjoy this mix I much as I did.
T R A C K L I S T :
- 00:00 krill.minima - Submarine Poetry
- 07:25 Brian Eno - Lantern Marsh
- 11:50 Stuart Dempster & Panaiotis & Pauline Oliveros - Lear
- 20:15 Steve Roach - Structures from Silence
- 28:40 Peter Gabriel - The Nest That Sailed The Sky
- 33:00 Brian Eno - Drift
- 35:25 A Produce - A Smooth Surface(deep meditation version)
- 46:15 Paul Vnuk - Silence Speaks in Shadows
- 53:30 Eluder - The Most Beautiful Blue
- 58:15 Kyle Bobby Dunn - Diamond Cove
- 01:01:20 Harold Budd - Olancha Farewell
- 03:20 Marsen Jules - Oeillet Sauvage
- 09:00 Brian Eno - Music for Airports 1/1
- 19:00 Mark Rownd - Painting Twilight
- 24:30 Aphex Twin - Rhubarb
- 31:00 Budd & Eno - An Echo of Night
- 33:05 Disturbed Earth - Butterfly
- 45:30 Thom Brennan - The Path Not Taken
- 02:01:30 Fripp & Eno - Evening Star
- 02:08:54 end
April 6th, 2014
Grab a cup of coffee and the paper with this mix as your Sunday soundtrack.
This iteration of the Sunday morning series uses mostly new music including a couple of great Bob Dylan covers from Sarah Jarosz and Phosphorescent. I couldn't resist starting the mix with the wonderful "Morning" from Beck's new release.
From there we move on to a beautiful, jazzy track from Philémon Chante that I have been itching to use for a while. That cut is from his album called Les Sessions Cubaines which you can find on Bandcamp here...Philémon Chante
There a couple soundtracks represented in the mix from two of the best films of 2013, "Her" and "Nebraska." Arcade Fire and Owen Pallett collaborated for the "Her" soundtrack, with two cuts in this mix. Mark Orton did the beautifully simple soundtrack for "Nebraska" and it shows up here in the track "The Old Compressor Escape." I've got an Americana mix waiting in the wings which will have more from that soundtrack.
One of my other favs is the cut from Bill Callahan. He remixed his 2013 album, "Dream River," as a dub album called "Have Fun With God." It's fantastic!
T R A C K L I S T :
- 00:00 Beck - Morning
- 05:12 M. Ostermeier - Sunlight on My Desk
- 07:55 Sam Prekop - A Cloud to the Back
- 11:30 Philémon Chante - J'arrive toujours un peu trop tard
- 15:40 Sarah Jarosz - Simple Twist of Fate
- 20:20 Mark Orton - The Old Compressor Escape
- 22:50 Thievery Corporation - le coeur (feat lou lou ghelichkhani)
- 25:45 Assia Cunego - Canto Ostinato Section 25-30
- 29:00 Segue - slow mornings
- 34:00 Bill Callahan - Small Dub
- 37:45 Arcade Fire and Owen Pallett - Dimensions
- 40:34 Darcy James Argue's Secret Society - An Invitation
- 43:08 Nick Cave - Into My Arms
- 47:17 Phosphorescent - Tomorrow is a Long Time
- 51:30 Paul Buchanan - Mid Air
- 53:45 Arcade Fire and Owen Pallett - We're All Leaving
- 56:17 end
March 23rd, 2014
Most regular visitors to this blog are aware that I also post these mixes over at Mixcloud. I love Mixcloud. I got in very early on and so have developed quite a few followers. It's been fun watching it grow.
One thing that has helped in growing that following is being one of the featured cloudcasts in the Ambient/Chillout category. Well, apparently now Low Light Mixes is also one of the featured cloudcasts in the Classical category. Some of my mixes my have some classical related tunes but I definitely wouldn't characterize these mixes as "classical." But, what the heck, I'll take the extra exposure.
Being featured in the classical category was the genesis for this new mix, "things left unsaid." It's an all classical mix. Maybe it would be better to call it an orchestral mix because about half of the tracks are from film soundtracks, so not classical in the purest sense.
Most of the music is fairly new. The oldest cut being the Jonnie Greenwood piece from 2007. There a few tracks from Caleb Burhans and David Lang that are from 2013 releases that didn't make it onto my year in review lists because I didn't find them until 2014. I found them on someone else's best of list. They are both excellent recordings. And of course I had to include some Johann Johannsson because I pretty much like everything he does.
I hope you enjoy this classical diversion.
T R A C K L I S T :
- 00:00 Max Richter - Spring 0(Recomposed By Max Richter: Vivaldi, The Four Seasons)
- 00:40 Johann Johannsson - By the River
- 01:10 Caleb Burhans - The Things Left Unsaid
- 05:00 Jonnie Greenwood - Open Spaces
- 08:38 Alexandre Desplat - L'hôpital
- 11:56 Jon Hopkins - How I Live Now
- 16:15 Johann Johannsson - The Jewish Cemetery on Moellegade
- 18:20 Tom Tykwer, Johnny Klimek, Reinhold Heil - Prelude, The Atlas March
- 19:31 Maya Beiser - Spiegel im Spiegel
- 28:58 David Lang - no. 5. i am walking
- 33:10 Colin Stetson - All the Days I've Missed
- 34:10 Caleb Burhans - nunc dimittis
- 38:25 Alexandre Desplat - Skies
- 43:30 Max Richter - Winter 3(Recomposed By Max Richter: Vivaldi, The Four Seasons)
- 47:33 Tom Tykwer, Johnny Klimek, Reinhold Heil - The Cloud Atlas Sextet
- 51:26 Johann Johannsson - The Rocket Builder
- 57:39 Caleb Burhans - The Things Left Unsaid(end)
- 58:55 Alexandre Desplat - De rouille et d'os
- 1:00:51 end
March 9th, 2014
One of the benefits of making & posting mixes for all these years is getting to know some like-minded folks from around the world. One of those is my good friend, Jason O'Gorman, from the city of Cork in Ireland.
Jason did a guest mix for me way back in 2008. Wow, typing that just made me realize that Low Light Mixes has been around for a long time - 8 years this month, an eternity in internet years.
Anyway, back to Jason. You can find his 2008 mix called Satellite here... Satellite. I really like that mix and have always wanted Jason to do another. And now, 6 years later, we have "Across the Water." Jason describes it this way - "There's a lot of contrast in this mix due to the theme, but it still flows. The mix is a 'journey' across an ambient ocean, to dark and beautiful places."
When I listen to my own mixes I always hear every transition which at times can distract from the music. But with Jason's mix I get lost in the flow as one tunes blends into the next. I love not knowing what's coming next. Jason's mix does is wonderful at transporting you from one place to another. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I have. And hopefully Jason won't another 6 years to produce another gem.
T R A C K L I S T:
- 00:00 King Creosote & John Hopkins: First watch
- 02:10 Mountains: Sand
- 05:20 Stephan Mathieu: Promenade
- 08:30 Ólafur Arnalds: Carry me anew
- 10:07 Ólafur Arnalds: We (too) shall rest
- 11:10 Apparat: K&F Thema (pizzicato)
- 13:45 Lustmord: Babel
- 17:45 Eluvium: Warm
- 22:00 Mer-A: Aeolis Mons
- 28:30 Mowgli: Canaan
- 29:20 Ólafur Arnalds: Sudden throw
- 32:35 White Moth Black Butterfly:Reluctance
- 33:40 The Fun Years: Re: We're again buried under
- 35:45 Goldmund: Downward to darkness on extend
- 38:30 Mulm: Mørke
- 41:50 Lustmord: Chorazin
- 46:10 Murcof: Oort 1
- 48:40 Bvdub & Loscil: Hespiredes
- 53:00 Mer-A: Quasi Stellar
- 56:10 Apparat: 44 (noise version)
- 57:55 Apparat: 44
- 60:55 Lustmord: Goetia
- 63:30 Mountains: Circular C
- 69:00 Jasper TX & Anduin: Walking in snow
February 2nd, 2014
stirring up the dust
ghosts from the past whisper in
grooves of forever
There's a first for this blog - vinyl haiku. I was looking for ways to describe this mix and as I collected expressive words, the list started to take on it's own poetic quality. So I thought, what the heck, I'll just formalize it into an actual haiku. It was fun, I haven't written any sort of silly haiku in years.
Anyway, the haiku fits this mix because the music is all dusty and scratchy. It all has a old vinyl feel to it. It some cases it has that feel because the music really is old, like early 1900s old. Two of the tracks are actually old Edison cylinder recordings. I searched through old recordings at archive.org for music that would blend well with the other ambient & neo-classical tracks in this mix.
I've done two previous mixes in this style - Sustain & Decay and Revenants of the Past. A lot of ambient music makes use of noise, distortion, scratches, glitches, hiss & pops so the actual old recordings fit in nicely. There are six old recordings that appear in the final mix. Most of the ambient cuts are of fairly recent vintage.
I like the title for this mix because the word "score" takes on a double meaning as in a musical soundtrack as well as trench, channel or groove in a vinyl record or cylinder.
Enjoy the pops & hisses.
T R A C K L I S T :
- 00:00 1956 RCA Victor Vinyl Records Educational Documentary
- 00:30 Arturo Toscanini - Romeo & Juliet Overture(Pt-1)1946
- 01:25 The Caretaker - Mental Caverns Without Sunshine
- 01:45 e and i - known things
- 03:50 Maps & Diagrams - Longitudinal Vibration
- 07:20 Billow Observatory - Helsinki Radio
- 08:50 Tim Hecker - Sketch 6
- 10:00 e and i - tiniest smile
- 11:11 Philip Jeck - chime again
- 14:05 Edison Bohemian Orchestra Lacinquantaine Cylinder Recording
- 15:15 Ten and Tracer - By Twirling the Quicksphere
- 18:00 Tape Loop Orchestra - The Word On My Lips Is Your Name
- 19:50 Philip Jeck - Wipe
- 23:15 Benoît Pioulard - Pidgin
- 24:25 Mozart 'Gavotte in G' from 'Idomeneo' (1912)
- 25:25 The Humble Bee - The Collecting Plate
- 26:25 Part Timer - Undead part 1
- 30:15 The Caretaker - Mental Caverns Without Sunshine
- 31:00 Semiramide Overture 1912
- 35:05 Maya Beiser - Time Loops
- 37:25 From The Mouth of The Sun - Color Loss
- 42:42 The Caretaker - A Last Glimpse Of The Land
- 45:15 Tape Loop Orchestra - The Word On My Lips Is Your Name
- 51:25 Albert Spalding - Thais(violin) Edison blue amberol cylinder
- 52:30 The Humble Bee - Fin
- 54:07 end
January 17th, 2014
This mix is a rare treat. It's a guest mix from Chris Fraley. I know Chris through correspondence and postings at the Hypnos Forum.
I've been a member of the
forum for a long time and I really enjoy the community there. In this
time of social networks and twitter it's nice to see that a classic
forum still survives and thrives, mainly because of a shared love of
ambient music. Activity there ebbs and flows but there's always
interesting topics and people hanging out.
As I said, I know Chris
through the forum and as the two of us have similar tastes, I offered
him the opportunity to do a mix for the blog. He was hesitant at first
because he'd never done something like this before. But he decided to
give it a shot and I'm very glad he did.
Chris said he "ended up making a mix based on some of the recent (2012 or later) neo-classical
music that embodies the spirit of ambient and experimental acoustics." The result is perfect.
I hope this is just the first of more guest mixes we may see from Chris.
T R A C K L I S T:
January 6th, 2014
It is freakin' cold here in Wisconsin right now. It's going to be -20f below zero tonight and the high temp on Monday didn't get much above -10f. Frigid temps like that call for a mix.
It's perfect timing for a freezing mix because a recent purchase was the album arctic conditions by stormloop. With
song titles like "Ice Wind," "In The Frozen Morning Light" and "Arctic
Conditions," it was a perfect starting point for this mix.
Make some hot cocoa, sit back
and try to stay warm. Of course for listeners like Charles Glaspole in
Australia, it's summer. I guess you'll have to use your imagination.
T R A C K L I S T:
- 00:00 Wind and walking in snow
- 00:30 Terje Isungset - Go North
- 01:36 stormloop - ice wind
- 05:45 Marcus Fischer - Arctic 1
- 10:10 Panoptique Electrical - Glacier Show I
- 16:35 Ulf Lohmann - On Frozen Fields
- 18:45 Blamstrain - Tundra V
- 24:05 offthesky - beneath the ice shelf
- 26:50 Harold Budd - Ice Floes in Eden
- 29:15 stormloop - arctic conditions
- 33:55 Good Weather For An Airstrike - Frozen In Thought
- 37:25 Kiln - The Ice Floes
- 38:40 Forrest Fang & Carl Weingarten - Freezing Days
- 41:10 David Tagg - Arctic Reflection
- 50:10 Brian Eno - Fields Of Ice
- 58:00 Segue - A View of the Frozen Lake
- 1:01:40 stormloop - in the frozen morning light
- 1:08:00 end