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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Requiem for Cassini

September 15th, 2017

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As I said a few posts back, I am a huge space science dork.  My top 5 favorite NASA probes are:

 

1. Voyager

2. Cassini

3. Viking

4. Galileo

5. Spirit & Opportunity

 

Number two on that list disintegrated in the atmosphere of Saturn today.  Cassini was in orbit around Saturn for 7 years and made some of the most fantastic encounters of any planetary mission.  The most amazing discovery concerns a little moon called Enceladus.  Through Cassini, scientists have determined that Enceladus has a global subsurface saltwater ocean that might host hydrothermal vents.  It's probably our best bet for finding life in our solar system.

 

But Cassini was running out of fuel and rather than risk crashing into a moon and contaminating it, the folks at NASA decided to plunge the spacecraft into Saturn.  Cassini will dive into the planet's atmosphere, sending science data for as long as its small thrusters can keep the spacecraft's antenna pointed at Earth. Soon after, Cassini will burn up and disintegrate like a meteor.

 

This mix is a Requiem for Cassini.  Rather than an electronic, space music feel I went with all neo-classical and soundtrack cuts. The track titles tell the story.

 

Thanks to NASA and everyone on the Cassini team.

 

 

T R A C K L I S T :

  • 00:00    David Sylvian - Preparations for a Journey
  • 03:05    Cliff Martinez - Have a Good Trip
  • 04:47    Max Richter - Journey 3 & 5
  • 06:00    Balanescu Quartet - Empty Space Dance
  • 09:15    Robert Fripp & Theo Travis - Return to Saturn
  • 13:27    Cliff Martinez - Finally, you two meet
  • 15:15    Jóhann Jóhannsson & BJ Nilsen - I am Here
  • 18:35    James Newton Howard - I'm Listening
  • 20:03    James Newton Howard - Talk to Me
  • 20:41    Broken Gramophone - Titan
  • 23:55    Echospace - Longing for Life
  • 24:30    Adam Bryanbaum Wiltzie - Bring This Place to Life
  • 26:50    Nick Cave & Warren Ellis - What Must be Done
  • 28:40    Clint Mansell - Death is the Road to Awe
  • 35:00    Max Richter - Never Fade into Nothingness
  • 43:51    Hammock - Things of Beauty Burn
  • 48:00    36 - Sky Fire
  • 51:35    M83 - Undimmed by Time, Unbound by Death
  • 53:47    end


 

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Icelight

August 27th, 2017

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Here is another fantastic mix curated by Paul Asbury Seaman. His earlier mixes are "Floating Through Moonlight" and "The Memory of Trains."

 

I'm listening to it as I type this and it's another wonderful collection. Here's what Paul has to say about it:

 

“I’m no fan of winter, but I love the visual patterns created by ice. And I’ve always loved the bell-like sounds sometimes used in electronic/ambient music and featured prominently in the works of Rudy Adrian. The idea for this mix started with a rather dark compilation by Hypnos Records called Message from a Subatomic World, from which I got the title track here, and ended with my recent (and joyous) discovery of a stunning artist working with gamelan bells, Gordon Pigeon, which opens this set. The full piece from his album Acoustic Fireflies is more than 30 minutes long.”

 

Thanks Paul!

 

Cheers!

 

T R A C K L I S T :

  • 00:00 Gordon Pigeon - Lamasaerie vesperale(Lucioles acoustiques 2016)
  • 12:32 Jan Garbarek – Iceburn(In Praise of Dreams 2004)
  • 17:10 Jeff Greinke - One September(Wide View 2002)
  • 25:10 Jeff Pearce – Aftermath(The Hidden Rift 1996)
  • 29:35 Kirsty Hawkshaw - Ice CastleThe Ice Castle 2008)
  • 36:03 Rudy Adrian - Subterranean RiverDesrt Realms 2008)
  • 41:20 Justin Vanderberg - Cold Brightness(Synthetic Memories 2011)
  • 46:55 Kirsty Hawkshaw – Solitary(The Ice Castle 2008)
  • 52:38 Oophoi - Icelight(Message From A Subatomic World 2008)
  • 57:15 Meg Bowles - Glacial Dawn(A Quiet Light 2011)
  • 66:02 end

 
 
 
 

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