December 31st, 2010
This last mix of 2010 is a mix that I did for Headphone Commute about 3 months ago. They were kind enough to ask for a mix & I was honored to add it to their great collection of mixes they post at their own site & at their Mixcloud site.
I realized that if I was going to post this piano mix I'd better do it now because the title is "pno 2010" so I need to squeeze it into 2010 before it's gone.
This mix starts with John Cage – “On a Landscape”, which is appropriate, because that tune is the reason I did this piano mix. I’d never heard “In a Landscape” when a friend linked to it on youtube. What a great piece of music. So I decided to build a piano mix with that as the jumping off point.
The other unusual piece in this mix is Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guébrou – “Golgotha” by an Ethiopian nun living in Jerusalem. Her music is unique, it filters the traditional Ethiopian pentatonic scale through classical technique– in the end sounding like impressionistic jazz. Wonderful music.
T R A C K L I S T :
- [00:00] John Cage – In a Landscape
- [04:15] Kyo Ichinose – Engine #5
- [05:20] Worrytrain – Hospitalized
- [06:45] Max Richter – Infra #6
- [09:35] Nest – The Twelve
- [14:00] Tanner Menard – Laws of Attraction
- [19:50] Emahoy Tsegué-Maryam Guébrou – Golgotha
- [24:27] Craig Armstrong – Gentle Piece
- [27:10] Ben Woods – Stare Out in Silence
- [32:25] Gavin Bryars – My First Homage
- [38:10] Kyo Ichinose – Lontano #0
- [40:00] Chris Abrams – Christmas Island
- [44:45] Arovane – Tokyo Ghost Stories
- [49:50] Christian Fennesz & Ryuichi Sakamoto – Kokoro
- [53:15] Andrey Kiritchenko – Agravic Illusion
December 28th, 2010
Here's a couple more year-end lists & thoughts.
My 5 favorite Low Light Mixes of 2010:
- In Foreign Lands
- Left in the Desert
- A Canticle Unfolds
- Beneath the Surface
Other fav mixes from around the web:
- :papercutz - Dream Scores - a Headphone Commute mix
- Subheim - Headphone Commute mix
- Invisible Ink - An Ambientblog mix
- Everything Old - a Quiet Sounds podcast
- echochorus - chiekurspace mix
- Marooned - a Harry Towell mix
Other favorites things in 2010 :
- Tiny Desk Concerts - this is a series of very intimate concerts over at NPR Music. Whether it's Olaf Arnalds, The Tom Tom Club, Black Dub or The Red River, the concerts are always entertaining. There is video of each & the audio is downloadable.
- Slaapwel Records - a small label that specializes in music to fall asleep to. All their recordings are excellent. I eagerly await each new release.
- Filmography 2010 - one of my favorite online videos from the past year. The editor took clips from 270 films of 2010 & cut them to great music with great results. The first minute, where she remixes "Nostrand" by Ratatat with "Power" by Kanye West & audio from films clips, is brilliant!
- Wixel - 12 Records in 12 Months - Wixel is Wim Maesschalck, who also runs Slaapwell. He set out on a crazy project back in 2009, to release 12 records in 12 months. He does a nice job of keeping the quality high & changes things up enough to make all the releases interesting. Not really a best of 2010 entry, but I discovered it this year & wanted to draw attention to an outstanding project.
December 28th, 2010
Yesterday I posted my favorites ambient releases of 2010. Today it's a few other year end lists.
I spend most of my time listening to ambient/electronic music but enough"normal" music sneaks in there that I thought I'd do a top ten list for pop albums. I'll also list a few recordings that don't fit into either ambient or pop.
First up, my top ten pop albums:
- 1. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - the vs. ep
- 2. Efterklang - magic chairs
- 3. Vampire Weekend - Contra
- 4. Ra Ra Riot - Orchard
- 5. lost in the trees - all alone in an empty house
- 6. Neil Young - Le Noise
- 7. The Maple Mountain Sunburst Triolian Orchestra
- 8. Sun Kil Moon - admiral fell promises
- 9. Horse Feathers - thistled spring
- 10. Matt & Kim - sidewalks
- 11. Damien Jurado - saint bartlett
- 12. Black Dub - black dub
Some favorite single pop songs from 2010:
- 1. Paul Simon - Getting Ready for Christmas Day
- 2. Kanye West - Power
- 3. Janelle Monáe - Tightrope
- 4. Vampire Weekend - Cousins
- 5. Damien Jurado - Cloudy Shoes
- 6. Matisyahu - One Day
- 7. New Pornographers - Crash Years
- 8. Mumford & Sons - Sigh No More & Winter Winds
- 9. Jon Hopkins - Monsters Theme
- 10. Peter Gabriel - Flume
- 11. Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - Life is Cinema
Some other favorites recordings that didn't fit into pop or ambient categories:
- Steve Reich - double sextet 2x5 [Nonesuch]
- Michael Daugherty - metropolis symphony & deus ex machina [Naxos]
- Max Richter - infra [fat cat]
- Maya Beiser - provenance [innova]
- Dakota Suite -vallisa [glitterhouse]
- Steve Tibbetts - natural causes [ecm]
December 22nd, 2010
Here is the obligatory top ten list for the end of the year. I might do a quick mix before the end of the year to highlight some of the releases on the list.
It was another good year for music, although nothing stood out as a new trend or a ground breaking recording. Alio Die put out a bunch of excellent recordings that I'm just trying to keep up with. Under the Spire & Low Point each had 3 recordings make the list, all of them are excellent. It was nice to see Hypnos back on the list with their wonderful release, Herion - Out & About.
Another label worth mentioning is Audio Gourmet, a new netlabel that produces a ton of quality releases. Label owner, Harry Towell, also made the list with his own release, Spheruleus - Frozen Quarters.
The ambient best of list is a bit long so I'm not going to make comments about each release, I'm getting lazy as I get older. Feel free to add your own lists in the comments.
Top Ambient Releases of 2010:
December 12th, 2010
The term "dubscapes" in the title of the mix pretty much says it all. This is dub mix. I've used dubby style songs in mixes before but never did a whole dub mix.
Of course after setting out to do an all dub mix, I veered off course pretty quickly by including a cover of the Twin Peaks theme & track from Vangelis. I'd been looking for a way to work those two tunes into a mix & they seem to fit pretty well here.
The Twin Peaks cover is by Talvihorros. He has an excellent recording out on Hibernate called "Music in Four Movements". After buying that album Ben Chatwin(Talvihorros) was kind enough to send me a copy of his cover of the Twin Peaks theme. I liked this version immediately & knew I had to find a home for it in a mix.
One track in the mix is from an album that will end up in my top ten list this year. The album is Deepchord presents Echospace - Liumin/Liumin Reduced. It's a double album with the first being great ambient dub/techno and the second an album of field recorded treatments made by Rod Modell in Tokyo. An immersive record that I highly recommend.
The dub used in this mix is fairly ambient, especially towards the end where the ambient drones & washes come in & the beats slow way down.
T R A C K L I S T :
- 00:00 Fluxion - Field
- 03:25 Polmo Polpo - Rottura
- 08:55 Marconi Union - Temperature Drop
- 13:28 Talvihorros - Twin Peaks Theme
- 17:55 Deepchord presents Echospace - In Echospace
- 21:30 Vangelis - Antartica
- 26:30 The Orb - Slug Dub
- 31:25 Rod Modell - Mars Oil
- 36:16 Fluxion - Plain
- 38:50 Mokira - Lord, Am I Going Down
- 42:00 Wixel - You're Inside Your Own shadow
- 44:45 Sval - Valldal
- 51:20 end
December 4th, 2010
I have always loved the sound of Djivan Gasparyan's music. He plays the duduk, a double reed instrument related to the oboe. It's got a great melancholy, other-worldy feel to it.
I took the "other-wordly" idea to make a mix of music that is vaguely foreign sounding, at least foreign to my American ears. The music is Middle Eastern, Asian, African, Eastern European and Indian.
I go back to a familiar source for some of the sounds, the Shortwave Music blog of Myke Weiskopf. Whether it's the night call to prayer in Bulgaria or Qur’an recitation from BSKSA Saudi Arabia, Myke has great recordings that everyone should take the time to investigate.
The times in the tracklist are rough. Sometimes there are two or three tracks playing at once & not all are listed in the tracklist. I also messed with a few tracks, adding stretched audio as a backing track or adding reverb.
At various times haunting, beautiful, calming or hypnotic, the music in this mix will hopefully stir your imagination.
T R A C K L I S T :
- 00:00 Djivan Gasparyan - You have to come back to me
- 02:22 Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan & Michael Brook - Night Song
- 06:20 Hildegard Westerkamp - Gently Penetrating
- 07:00 Night call to prayer in Draginovo, Bulgaria
- 09:20 Peter Nooten & Michael Brook - Suddenly II
- 10:25 Maya Beiser - I was there
- 15:00 harmonic fx
- 15:50 Gamelan Madu Sari - thinly roundly
- 18:15 Ayub Ogada - Kothbiro
- 22:00 Jon Hassell - Frontiera
- 22:30 Hildegard Westerkamp - Into the labyrinth
- 22:55 Geir Jenssen - Camp 2, world music on the radio
- 23:30 Gamelan Madu Sari - Dreams he is a ball of fire or a hummingbird
- 26:30 Peter Gabriel - Wall of Breath
- 28:15 Galata Mevlevi - Nay Taksim
- 29:40 Hildegard Westerkamp - Soundscape of cities, Delhi
- 30:10 Forrest Fang - Garuda
- 31:15 Jon Hassell - Tramonto
- 33:00 Qur’an recitation from BSKSA Saudi Arabia
- 34:20 Lamp of the Universe - Heru, part 1
- 36:55 U Srinivas & Michael Brook - Think
- 41:30 Anouar Brahem - L'oiseau
- 45:45 Djivan Gasparyan - dle vaman
- 49:30 Peter Gabriel - A sense of home
- 51:14 end