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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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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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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In the Shadow of the Moon - Solar Eclipse 2017

August 20th, 2017

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With all the space themed mixes I've done over the years, there was no way I was going to miss making one for this solar eclipse.  So here it is - In The Shadow Of The Moon.

 

This mix is similar to the Juno mix in that it moves chronologically from sun to total eclipse back to sun.  The titles of the tracks describe the journey.

 

Cheers!

 

 

T R A C K L I S T :

  • 00:00    Arp - The Rising Sun
  • 05:30    Vidna Obmana & Jan Marmenout - Traveling Moon
  • 07:20    Max Richter - Falling Shadow
  • 08:58    Harold Budd & Robin Guthrie - Turn Off the Sun
  • 11:35    Goldmund - Shadow
  • 13:23    Ramin Djawadi - Blackhole Sun
  • 15:43    Johann Johannsson - the sun's gone dim and the sky's turned black
  • 21:10    STRSGN - Full Eclipse
  • 23:45    Marsen Jules Trio - Eclipse
  • 28:52    Marconi Union - In Shadows
  • 36:14    Horizon Fire - Pinhole Yellow Point
  • 41:45    Eno Moebius Roedelius - The Shade
  • 44:46    Max Richter - Shadow Journal
  • 49:46    Lisa Gerrard - See the Sun
  • 52:52    Jim Cole - Sun Showers
  • 54:25    The Beatles - Sun King(vocal remix)
  • 56:23    Vir Unis - Infinite Sun
  • 59:51    end

 

 

 

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Floating Through Moonlight

July 9th, 2017

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My musical friend, Paul Asbury Seaman, has given us another gift in this beautiful collection.  Paul picked out the tunes and the order & I stitched them together to form the mix.  It was a joy to assemble.

 

Here's what Paul had to say about the mix:

 

"This is another bedtime, dreaming, unwinding, floating-away-on-an-interior-journey mix. The starting inspiration came from Michael DeMaria’s piece, “Moonlight” from his 2004 album The River.  I was so struck by how precisely the music evoked the image of moonlight on water. I have always been drawn to rivers and from the early days of ambient/electronic music more than forty years ago, with the likes of Kitaro and Tangerine Dream, I have described this genre as “journey music”—Silk Road journeys, interstellar journeys and journeys down a moonlit river."

 

Thanks to Paul for another Stellar collection of tunes.

 

Cheers!

 

T R A C K L I S T :

  • 00:00    Byron Metcalf - As Clouds Dance(Inner Rhythm Meditations
  • 07:40    Erik Wollo - Sepia(Blue Radiance)
  • 10:45    Meg Bowles - Between, Shadows and Prayers(From the Dark Earth)
  • 14:20    Michel Banabila - Sana's(Float)
  • 18:55    Michel Banabila - Fragments of Memory(Float)
  • 25:40    Michael DeMaria - Moonlight(The River)
  • 35:20    Michael DeMaria - Moonlit Sea(In the Flow)
  • 37:35    Erik Wollo - Revealed in Time(Ble Radiance)
  • 41:30    Darshan Ambient - Tears to Rain(Songs From The Deep Field)
  • 43:45    Meg Bowles - Undulant Sea(The Shimmering Land)
  • 48:15    Erik Wollo - Blue Radiance(Blue Radiance)
  • 52:13    end
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 

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Ocean Echoes

May 21st, 2017

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The Ocean is a mighty harmonist.
               - William Wordsworth
 
 
This is pretty straight forward - a collection of tunes that will make you feel as if you are drifting along on ocean currents.  Almost all of the ocean sounds in this mix are in the original pieces of music.  I only added a bit of wave sounds around the 39 minute mark.  Enjoy the float.
 
Cheers!
 
 
 
T R A C K L I S T :
  • 00:00    Alonefold - Wanderer & Stone(Wanderer & Stone 2014)
  • 07:31    Riverrun - Conover Beacon(Romer Shoal 2016)
  • 11:15    Keenya - Remember Smiles(Moment Invisible 2016)
  • 14:35    Helios - Ebb/Flow(Rememberance 2016)
  • 18:18    Igneous Flame - North Sea Siren(Ocean Sighs 2016)
  • 22:05    Gareth Davis - Filament(Filament 2016)
  • 30:40    Brian Eno - The Secret Place(Apollo 1983)
  • 33:20    Urenga - Seafloor(Undercurrents 2015)
  • 39:15    Billow Observatory - Plum(Plains/Patterns 2017)
  • 44:20    Barry Lynn - Alpha Tauri(Taurus Tapes Vol. II 2017)
  • 46:36    Dolphins Into The Future - Lone Voyager(On Sea-Faring Isolation 2009)
  • 54:15    Riverrun - Dubos Point(Romer Shoal 2016)
  • 77:00    end

 

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Vox Eterna - A Wordless Hymn to a Luminous World

May 16th, 2017

 

 

 

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I'm not sure where this mix originated.  It may have started with Johann Johannsson's Kangaru from the Arrival soundtrack, God knows I listened to that a ton over the last 6 months.  Maybe it was Max Richter. 
 
Whatever it was I found myself collecting vocal tunes.  The kind of tracks that have vocals but many times no words or lyrics.  If there are words it's usually unintelligible or a language like Latin.  Once I gathered enough music then wa-lah here's an ethereal vocal mix.
 
Cheers!
 
 
 
 
T R A C K L I S T :
  • 00:00    Max Richter - Sketch for a Portrait #1(Morgan OST 2016)
  • 01:06    Olafur Arnalds - Raddir(Island Songs 2016)
  • 05:00    Ashera - Lullaby for Mother Earth(Ambient Selections 1997)
  • 08:00    Tim Hecker - Utropics(An Imaginary Country 2009)
  • 08:53    Jonsi & Alex - Boy 1904(Riceboy Sleeps 2009)
  • 11:30    Jim Cole - Astral(Godspace 2002)
  • 15:18    Jim Cole - The Way Beyond #10(The Way Beyond 2003)
  • 17:30    Brian Eno - 2-1(Music for Airports 1978)
  • 22:30    Melanie Pappenheim and Jocelyn Pook - Blow the Wind/Pie Jesu(Deluge 2009)
  • 24:50    Max Richter - Path 5(Sleep 2016)
  • 31:00    Johann Jphannsson - Odi Et Amo(Englaborn 2002)
  • 33:50    Murcof & Vanessa Wagner - Farewell, O World, O Earth(Statea 2016)
  • 41:00    Peter Gabriel - Dressing the Wound(Birdy 1985)
  • 44:20    Alio Die & Amelia Cuni - Churning the Ocean(Apsaras 2001)
  • 49:20    Johann Johannsson - Kangaru(Arrival 2016)
  • 51:50    Jon Anderson - Bless This(Global Communication Remix)(The Deseo Remixes 1995)
  • 57:44     Trio Mediaeval & Arve Henriksen - St. Birgitta Hymn(Rimur 2017)
  • 61:48    Voces8 - Vasks: The Fruits Of Silence(Winter 2016)
  • 66:30    end
 
 
 
 
 

 

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The Memory of Trains

May 1st, 2017

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I wonder why the sound of trains is so evocative.  Even for folks who have never been on a train there is something about the sound of a train on the tracks that stirs the imagination.  This mix will hopefully have the same effect.

 

I was surprised to find that I've only done two previous train themed mixes.  It sure seems like I've done more.  Maybe it's the use of train sounds in filed recording mixes that has me confused.  Anyway, here are the two previous mixes...

http://lowlightmixes.blogspot.com/2014/08/leaving-station.html

http://lowlightmixes.blogspot.com/2015/01/points-of-departure.html

 

This mix began with a recommendation from a follower on Mixcloud, Paul Asbury Seaman. I asked for any other train tunes he could suggest and he came through in a big way.  He did all the hard work and mapped out the whole mix for me.  I had a great time mixing it and discovering new music along the way.

 

Here's what Paul had to say about the mix...

 

"Berlin School synth/electronica can be pretty kinetic and thus an obvious source for a train mix, but I was going for a more melancholy sound, the wistful feeling evoked by the sound of Far Away Trains Passing By (the title of the Ulrich Schnauss album represented here). My working title for this mix was "Locomotive Lullaby."

 

While I was on the subject, I made a list of classic train songs (the sung kind) and came up with more than sixty--about three CDs worth! Here's a great article to start your playlist with: http://harpers.org/blog/2014/06/the-twenty-three-best-train-songs-ever-written-maybe/ Or contact Low Light Mixes for a copy of mine. Thanks, new friend Dave, for putting this together."

 

Thanks Paul, for all work on this excellent mix!  I still have more tracks to use so the next train mix will be more jazzy.

 

Cheers!

 

T R A C K L I S T :

  • 00:00    Erik Wollo - Church Mountain(Different Spaces 2017)
  • 04:04    Johan Agebjörn - Sleepless On The Kostomuksha-Petrozavodsk Night Train(We Never Came to the White Sea 2017)
  • 10:20    Between Interval - On Track(Legacy 2017)
  • 13:10    David Parsons - The Himgiri(Yatra 1990)
  • 18:40    Ulrich Schnauss - Nothing Happens in June(Far Away Trains Passing By...2001)
  • 24:25    Ascendant - Ephemeris(Source Transmission 2014)
  • 31:30    Mark Ward - Universal(Universal 2017)
  • 40:15    Hollan Holmes - Enduro(The Spirits of Starlight 2014)
  • 46:25    Erik Wollo - Rundreise(Different Spaces 2017)
  • 51:05    Al Gromer Khan - Stamboul Train(Turya 2006)
  • 62:15    end
 
 
 
 
 
 
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