Liminal / Space: Long-form Droning

February 10th, 2019



You know how when you see a certain director is involved with a film, like Christopher Nolan, you just know it'll be interesting. Or how music released on certain labels, such as 12k, will definitely be worth exploring. Well, that's how I feel when the tag "Curated by Paul Asbury Seaman" is attached to a mix.


Paul & I have collaborated on several mixes and all have been excellent. It's only Feb. 10th and already we've been treated to two of Paul's mixes. This one is a bit of a departure for him, using pieces that are, like the title says, long-form drones. For me droning ambient can be very hit & miss. This mix is definitely a hit.


Here's what Paul says about it:


“Most of us have contemplated the seemingly contradictory opposites that are a fundamental aspect of reality: good and evil, joy and pain, love and hate, our inner world and infinite space. But this ying/yang, male/female, fire/water dichotomy obscures the fact that much of life is lived in the in-between, in the places where light and dark overlap. Perhaps one reason so many people find calm and inspiration at the beach is its liminal quality—between the ocean and the land. In this mix I give you 71 minutes in that mysterious clarity between trance and tranquility.”


Thanks Paul!




T R A C K L I S T :

  • 00:00    Alio Die - A Place Beyond(Sitar Meditations 2015)
  • 10:46    Louigi Verona - droning198(droning198 2016)
  • 26:55    Louigi Verona - droning276(droning276 2017)
  • 46:28    Ascendent - Sylvan Rotation(Meridian EX 2018)
  • 58:08    Steve Roach - Part Seven(Ultra Immersion Concert 2013)
  • 71:32    end

Deep Freeze

January 27th, 2019




We were having such a nice mild winter here in Wisconsin but then I had to go and jinx it in the last post in which I said we hadn't very much snow. Well, since then we've had two significant snow storms with another 12 inches expected over the next two days.


Snow I can handle but the temps have plummeted - the high temp yesterday was 4° with wind chills around -25°. Ugh. But it gets worse - Wednesday's high temp is supposed to be -14°! That's the high temperature! So much for our nice mild winter. I'm getting too old for this!


I had an IDM mix all ready to post but the frigid landscape was calling for a frozen mix. Most of the tracks are new, 2017 & 2018. And every track has an appropriate cold word in the title. Such as winter, frozen, wind, ice, cold, arctic, snow, etc.


I recommend listening with a cup of hot tea nearby or better yet a large glass of scotch.




T R A C K L I S T :

  • 00:00    The Gentleman Losers - Make We Here Our Camp Of Winter(2018)
  • 05:25    Stray Theories - Frozen Skies(2018)
  • 10:08    Zoë Keating - Icefloe(2018)
  • 13:36    Helios - North Wind(2018)
  • 16:53    Luton - Ice Museum(2018)
  • 20:30    Spheruleus - Frozen(2010)
  • 22:37    r beny - Glacial Tongues(2018)
  • 26:02    Rapoon - Ice Whispers(2007)
  • 31:27    Porya Hatami - Snow(2012)
  • 37:54    Hotel Neon - Cold Suns(2018)
  • 47:47    Akira Kosemura - Snowy Sky(2017)
  • 49:20    Halo - Winter Lullaby II(2012)
  • 50:50    Seabuckthorn - Sent In By The Cold(2018)
  • 54:50    Michael Brook - On Ice(2017)
  • 55:46    Maiya Hershey - Arctic Waters(2017)



Best of the Rest - Ambient 2018

December 23rd, 2018


Right after I posted my Best Ambient of 2018 mix I started diving into a bunch of other year end lists. Of course I discovered some excellent releases that I would have included in my mix/list if I had known about them in time. I found enough music that I decided to create a second Best of 2018 mix.


I could probably make a third mix but I've got to stop sometime. What were your favorite recordings of 2018?


2019 is just around the corner and it will start with a mix curated by the very talented Paul Asbury Seaman.





 T R A C K L I S T :

  • 00:00    Francis Harris - St. Catherine and the Calm(Trivial Occupations)
  • 12:00    Luca Longobardi - Marte(The Garden)
  • 17:38    Off Land - Zircon(Mineral Echoes)
  • 26:40    Kenji Kihara - Sunny Spot(Scenes of Scapes)
  • 31:50    Innesti - In Currents(In Currents)
  • 39:45    Umber - Harvest(slow)(This Earth To Another)
  • 48:55    Cremation Lily - Outlined Expanse(In England Now, Underwater)
  • 53:12    Okomotive / Joel Schoch - Warmth in the Cold(Lone Sails)
  • 56:10    James Murray - Old Friend(Falling Backwards)
  • 61:20    The Gentleman Losers - Bend Low, Sweet Branch, Bend Low(Make We Here Our Camp Of Winter)
  • 65:53    Okomotive / Joel Schoch - Bridge(Lone Sails)
  • 67:13    Spheruleus - Saturday Drones(Saturday Drones)
  • 77:44    end





Ambient Xmas

December 16th, 2018


Even though Christmas music has gotten more interesting than Dean Martin and Bing Crosby, there is not an awful lot of ambient Christmas music out there. So I've only attempted an xmas mix one other time and it was just okay. Until this year.

Thanks to a wonderful album from Matt Borghi I decided to give a holiday ambient mix another shot. Matt's album is called simply - "Ambient Guitar for Christmas."

And it's exactly what it sounds like - slow, ambient guitar with tons of reverb playing recognizable tunes that drift in and out of recognizability. From there everything else flowed pretty easily with a combination of classic xmas tunes to winter and snow songs.

Cheers and Happy Holidays!

T R A C K L I S T :


  • 00:00    Matt Borghi - The First Noel(Ambient Guitar for Christmas)
  • 03:40    Fuzzy Lights - Snowstorm in a Snow Globe
  • 06:12    Dollboy - Look Darling, It's Starting to Snow
  • 08:22    Clem Leek - Away in America
  • 14:40    Rachel's - NY Snow Globe
  • 17:00    Voces8 - Winter
  • 20:15    The Green Kingdom - Sleep, Snow
  • 28:20    Casino vs Japan - Christmas Morning
  • 28:43    Matt Borghi - Shchedryk
  • 31:35    Wil Bolton - Coventry Carol
  • 33:54    Bill Nelson - The Christmas Gift
  • 35:05    Sara and Adam - Wonderful Christmastime
  • 38:35    Takahiro Kido - Christmas Song
  • 44:04    Helios - Sunes Christmas
  • 47:52    John Zorn - Christmas Time is Here
  • 52:22    Voces8 - For Now I Am Winter
  • 56:40    Matt Borghi - Silent Night
  • 69:00    end







Best Ambient of 2018

December 9th, 2018



As much as I like end-of-the-year lists, I also get a bit anxious about them. As I compile them I keep thinking that I've missed something. Then as I'm re-listening to albums I start thinking "Is this one really that good?" & "Maybe this one deserves a slot...or this one...or this one..." Eventually I realize that these lists aren't anything definitive that I'll be judged on. Unless there's an ambient god in ambient heaven who will let me in or cast me out based on a lifetime of music choices. In that case I will pay for having listened to so much Enya in the 90s. ;-)

So after that meandering introduction, here is my Best of 2018 list and mix. As you'll see, the list is longer than the mix. That's mostly due to not wanting a 4 hour mix and also to some stuff just not fitting sonically. 

It was another good year for music. Between my ambient/electronic fandom and my continued obsession with indie music, I barely have time to breathe sometimes. I'll post some links to Spotify playlists that kept me going this year.

In alphabetical order, here's the list of my favorite ambient albums of 2018:

1. A Strangely Isolated Place - Full Circle

2. Albrecht La'Brooy - Tidal River [2018]

3. Christina Vantzou - no. 4 [2018]

4. Dean McPhee - Four Stones [2018]

5. Delia Derbyshire Appreciation Society - Wow and Flutter [six degrees 2018]

6. Eli Keszler - Stadium

7. Frank Bretschneider - Lunik

8. From the Mouth of the Sun - Sleep Stations

9. G. B. Beckers - Walkman

10. GiGi Masin - kite

11. Halftribe - For The Summer - Or Forever

12. Helios - Veriditas

13. Hibernis - Middle of the Meds

14. Joseph Shabason - Anne

15. Kasper Bjorke Quartet - The Fifty Eleven Project

16. Khruangbin - Con Todo El Mundo

17. Klangriket & Sjors Mans - The Amsterdam Sessions

18. Leon Vynehall - Nothing Is Still

19. Lost Tribe Sound - We Stayed The Path That Fell To Shadow

20. Luton - Black Box Animals

21. Markus Guentner - Empire

22. Monty Adkins - Empire

23. Ocoeur - Inner

24. Olafur Arnalds - Re;member

25. Rival Consoles - Persona

26. Robert Davies - Elemental Shimmer


28. The Advisory Circle - Ways of Seeing

29. Triac - departure

30. William Selman - Musica Enterrada



And here's the mix:


T R A C K L I S T :

  • 00:00    Leon Vynehall - From The Sea It Looms(Nothing is Still)
  • 04:12    The Advisory Council - The Soft Dissolve(Ways of Seeing)
  • 07:20    Ocoeur - Mother(Inner)
  • 12:50    Halftribe - Balm(For The Summer-Or Forever)
  • 16:07    Helios - Harmonia(Veriditas)
  • 19:30    Delia Derbyshire Appreciation Society - She Brought The Sun(Wow & Flutter)
  • 26:28    Klangriket & Sjors Mans - Prinsengracht(The Amsterdam Sessions)
  • 31:47    William Selman - The Island Before The Internet(Musica Enterrada)
  • 36:11    Eli Keszler - Which Swarms Around It(Stadium)
  • 38:46    Taylor Deupree - The Lost Sea(Fallen)
  • 43:51    Need A Name - Road to Berlin(A Strangley Isolated Place - Full Circle)
  • 49:00    William Ryan Fritch - Burrow(Lost Tribe Sound - We Stayed The Path That Fell To Shadow)
  • 53:24    Olafur Arnalds - Undir(Re;member)
  • 58:15    Frank Bretschneider - Optik(Lunik)
  • 1:01:28    Kasper Bjorke Quartet - Os(The Fifty Eleven Project)
  • 1:12:48    Rival Consoles - I Think So(Persona)
  • 1:16:58    Markus Guentner - Refraction(Empire)
  • 1:25:20    Christina Vaztzou - No. 4 String Quartet(no. 4)
  • 1:28:02    Robert Davies - Tangled Undergrowth(Elemental Shimmer)
  • 1:35:28    Monty Adkins - Empire(Empire)
  • 1:41:31    Triac - departure three(departure)
  • 1:45:32    Luton - Ice Museum(Black Box Animals)
  • 1:49:22    G.B. Beckers - Klandschwaden(Walkman)
  • 1:54:19    Albrecht La'Brooy - Datbreak(Tidal River)
  • 1:59:24    end



The Dreamer Descends - InSight Lands on Mars

November 26th, 2018



After six months of travel from Earth, NASA's InSight spacecraft is on a precise trajectory to land on Mars. If all goes well it should be touching down on the surface of the red planet about 6 hours after this mix is initially posted.


The tracks for this mix have all been selected to tell the story of InSight and its journey to Mars. The track titles take us chronologically from Farewell, O Earth to Between Two Worlds to Arrival to Descent to Landing to Sunrise on Mars.


Godspeed InSight!





T R A C K L I S T :

  • 00:00    Murcof & Vanessa Wagner - Farewell, O World, O Earth
  • 07:15     Warmth - Insight
  • 14:50    Moon Wiring Club - Between Two Worlds
  • 15:52    Rival Consoles - Untravel
  • 21:10    Johann Johannsson - Arrival
  • 23:27    Nick Cave & Warren Ellis - Mars
  • 27:05    Nick Cave & Warren Ellis - Mars Theme
  • 28:40    Ohrwert - Angle of Incidence
  • 30:05    Pye Corner Audio - Descent
  • 31:15    Steve Roach - The Dreamer Decends
  • 35:30    Seabuckthorn - Blackout
  • 38:08    Tonepoet & Cloudfall - Free Falling Through Life's Cavernous Atmosphere
  • 43:25    Porya Hatami - Landing
  • 45:25    The Future Sound Of London - The Dust Settles
  • 48:25    Dirac - Elysium
  • 51:56    Lights Out in Asia - All Is Quiet In The Valley
  • 55:18    Heavenchord - Sunrise on Mars
  • 60:13    Julien Marchal - Insight XIV
  • 62:45    end



Breathe Deep

November 17th, 2018




I work in TV news so as you can imagine with the midterm elections, wildfires, mass shootings, presidential tweets, etc., things can get pretty crazy. Sometimes you need to step back and take a breath. That's where this new mix comes in.


This collection is called "Breathe Deep" because all the tunes have a pace to them that sort of mimics breathing. In and out, back and forth, ebb and flow. It's similar to three other mixes I've done that follow the same path. This works very well as a sleep mix because it follows the slow breathing of a sleepy human(and dog).


Breathe deeeeeep.





T R A C K L I S T :

  • 00:00    Helios - Mulier
  • 06:25    Deepspace - Dark Dark Blue
  • 14:25    Max Corbacho - Starlight Grace
  • 20:12    Chequerboard - A Field of Night
  • 26:07    Tonepoet & Cloudfall - A Recollection of Distances
  • 34:08    Time Rival - Thorn Bird
  • 40:04    Billow Observatory - Montclair
  • 44:20    Steve Roach - Magnificent Gallery
  • 52:45    Laraaji - Introspection
  • 63:16    end

Shimmering Land

November 4th, 2018




I have collaborated with Paul Asbury Seaman and several mixes and I look forward each and every one. Paul's mixes tend to be more ethereal, spiritual than mine and that's why I enjoy them so much. they take me on journeys I would go on otherwise.


They way Paul and I work on these mixes is he sends me his well thought out tracklist in order. Then I just mix them together so they flow well. Essentially, Paul does all the heavy lifting.


So here is our latest collab - Shimmering Land. Paul had this to say about it:


"Meg Bowles is one of the few (prominent) female artists working in the ambient/electronic genre. She has only released five albums, including Evensong earlier this year, seven years after her last one, so there’s cause for celebration. All her albums are top-notch ethereal/soothing journeys similar to the tracks by other artists featured here. This mix includes a beautiful piece by Deborah Martin from her recent compilation."


I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.




T R A C K L I S T :

  • 00:00    Meg Bowles - Into the Gloaming (The Shimmering Land 2013)
  • 08:25    Sherry Finzer & Tom Moore - Infinite Space (Whispers From Silence 2016)
  • 14:30    Alio Die - Radiance Revealed (Time Zone Portal 2017)
  • 22:25    Ishq - Scielienta (Lyght 2018)
  • 27:30    Jeff Greinke - High Flyers of the Night Sky (Before Sunrise 2018)
  • 35:50    Meg Bowles - The Forgotten Valley (From the Dark Earth 1999)
  • 42:55    Zero Ohms - Glimpsing the Eternal (Process of Being 2014)
  • 55:00    Deborah Martin - Blue Lake (Selections 2018)
  • 61:10    bvdub - Rainless [R]ivers (A Different Definition of Love 2018)
  • 72:07    end




mental medication

October 15th, 2018




My hometown baseball team, the Milwaukee Brewers, had a fantastic finish to close the regular season. They captured the central division title and are now in the playoffs. I am loving every minute of it but it's also stressful as heck! I am definitely too old for this kind of roller coaster ride.

I went to the first two games of the playoffs and between standing for half the game, clapping on every pitch, screaming my head off and the adrenaline rush of close games, I am exhausted! I don't know if I'll last the whole post-season.

So I figured I needed a little "mental medication" and came up with this mix. It's even more soothing than my normal ambient mix. This is music for meditation. Music for contemplation. Music for concentrating...on destroying the Dodgers. Oops! See that's exactly why I need this mix. Haha! This mix actually is a meditative type of mix that you could almost play in a spa. If that spa was way cooler than a normal spa and it played good music.


Cheers and Go Brewers!



T R A C K L I S T :

  • 00:00    Sonmi451 - Angel
  • 05:22    Bengalfuel - Arcs
  • 09:40    Julia Rovinsky - An Arc of Doves
  • 15:40    Ruven Nunez - As Above, So Below
  • 26:05    The Heart is Awake - Ec
  • 30:35    Spheruleus - Saturday Drones
  • 37:35    Hiroshi Yoshimura - Clouds
  • 42:30    Alex Crispin - Rosewater
  • 47:00    Raul Lovisoni & Francesco Messina - Prati Bagnati Del Monte Analogo
  • 58:45    Eternell - Resting On The Surface Of A Stream
  • 74:30    Ruven Nunez - As Below, So Above
  • 96:00    end



Memories are an old film

October 7th, 2018


The idea for this mix came from a track by Andrew Sherwell on his wonderful new album, Orthodox Tales, released by the excellent label Whitelabrecs.

The song, "And the Smoke of the Incense," starts off with the sound of a film projector. That sound is strangely evocative and I love how it sounds in that cut. After hearing that tune I created a folder called "My Life is an Old Film" and I would occasionally toss in similar sounding tracks. Eventually I collected enough cuts for a mix and decided to change the name to "Memories are an Old Film."

Many of these tracks have a bit of noise and scratchiness that one would associate with an old 8mm film. I added a few film projector sound fx here and there to continue the vibe.


T R A C K L I S T :


  • 00:00    Andrew Sherwell - And the Smoke of the Incense(2018)
  • 03:15    L. Pierre - 1948 part 2(2017)
  • 08:45    Ghost And Tape - Eostre(2017)
  • 13:25    Luton - Spectres of Mark(2018)
  • 15:38    Masaya Kato - Desensitization(2018)
  • 18:05    Max Richter - Old Song(2004)
  • 19:55    The Caretaker - Synapse Retrogenesis(2018)
  • 21:30    Parallelism - Tapes(2018)
  • 25:30    Lusine - drip(2004)
  • 27:25    Clem Leek - Rogers Park(2018)
  • 30:50    Aaron Martin - Memories are Drifting Bells(2018)
  • 32:15    Ashlar - Same Fate(2018)
  • 36:15    Tape Loop Orchestra - Inner Voice(2018)
  • 43:30    Time Rival - Carbon Fever pt. 3(2018)
  • 49:55    Max Richter - Shadow Journal(2004)
  • 52:10    The Caretaker - Advanced Plaque Entanglements(2018)
  • 53:55    Kilchhofer - Nihic(2018)
  • 57:41    Dakota Suite - De Ziekte Van Emile(2018)
  • 61:04    end