My good friend, Gene over at Ambient Landscape, asked me to do a guest mix for him and this mix is the result. Ambient Landscape is a great source of ambient info and mixes.
What got me started on this mix was an interesting video I found on YouTube by Wouter van Veldhoven called "two sad tape recorders." It's basically two portable reel to reel tape machines each playing their loops at the same time. Here's the video...
The sound of those two sad tape recorders reminded me of mixes I've done that combine very old recordings with new music that blends well with those scratchy, noisy old records. That's where this mix began and from there I went in search of old cylinder recordings, which have gotten easier to find since my first mix with this theme back in 2008.
The vintage cuts that I used in the mix come from Edison cylinders recorded around 1906 to 1908. Most of the old tracks are effected in some way. Sometimes I slowed the original way down, other times echo and reverb were added. For many of them the original is combined with the effected version to create some bizarre other-worldly sound.
The new music in the mix is a collection of stuff that seems to work well with this theme. Gavin Byars "Sinking of the Titanic" works on two levels - sonically is blends well with the tracks around it and it's about the sinking which took place in 1912.
When thinking about music that uses cracking, scratchy noises I immediately thought of Harry Towell aka Spheruleus. And wouldn't you know it, Harry just released an album entitled "William Barber" that makes use of a wax cylinder recording from 1906 as it's inspiration and sound source. It's a wonderful album. You can find it here...
It's remarkable how much excellent music Harry has put out over the years. Check out his music and his labels...
I think the mix does a pretty good job of mashing up the old and the new.
T R A C K L I S T :
- 00:00 various - vintage recording montage
- 01:01 The Edison Venetian Trio - Her Bright Smile Haunts Me Still 1908
- 01:55 The Edison Venetian Trio - Her Bright Smile(stretched and remixed)
- 03:50 Gavin Byars - The Sinking of the Titanic(2007 version w/ Alter Ego and Philip Jeck)
- 06:00 Gavin Byars - The Sinking of the Titanic(1994 version)
- 10:20 William Basinski - Cascade
- 15:45 Wouter van Veldhoven - two sad tape recorders(original and stretched played together)
- 18:27 Ian William Craig - Second Lens
- 20:50 unknown - 13_360º
- 23:00 Otto A Totland - pinÃ´
- 25:22 Guy Gelem - Jerusalem
- 28:05 Hans Kronold - The Swan 1906(reworked)
- 30:00 Field Rotation - Zeitreise(remixed by the frozen vaults)
- 35:20 Spheruleus and Friends - To Us Thy Memory Can Never Be Lost
- 37:20 Octavio Yanez - Anita 1907(reworked)
- 42:05 Bill Seaman and John Supko - The Hiding Place
- 43:50 Hildur Gudnadottir - Birting
- 46:05 The Frozen Vaults - Cloak of Lingering Fog
- 48:30 unknown - flute and violin phrase slowed down 20x
- 49:49 Spheruleus and Friends - All Good Things Come From Above
- 50:55 Bill Seaman and John Supko - And the Ice Appeared Blue
- 53:15 Hans Kronold - Chopin Nocturne 1907
- 53:45 Gavin Byars - The Sinking of the Titanic
- 57:50 end