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low light mixes

Apr 2020

Of Reed and Breath


This mix started nearly two years ago when I created a playlist on Spotify called "Sax is Back." In there I collected tracks that used a saxophone as a main instrument and had an ambient vibe. I was careful to not let the tunes devolve into Kenny G on the beach schlock. But I still wasn't sure if an entire mix of sax tunes would work, but, I gotta say, this mix turned out really well. It's cohesive and a nice variation on straight forward ambient.

One caveat - I'm not entirely sure that the instrument in every song is indeed a saxophone. Soprano sax can sometimes sound like an oboe so there may be a couple of times where that may happen. But I don't really care, I just love the sound of this whole mix.

A few of my favorite tracks in the mix are:

-  Blue Chamber by Mute Forest from the excellent new album, Riderstorm, on Lost Tribe Sound. 

- A Break in the Clouds by Andrew Heath from Soundings

- Music for Airports by Delta Saxophone Quartet from Bowie, Berlin & Beyond


I hope you enjoy this slight detour into ambient sax.



T R A C K L I S T :

  • 00:00    Tortusa & Breistein - Mind Vessel [2018]
  • 05:30    Joseph Shabason - Long Swim [2017]
  • 09:45    Anenon - Panes [2016]
  • 12:34    Ben Bertrand - The Manmaipo [2020]
  • 16:40    Daniel Thorne - Fear of Floating [2019]
  • 18:52    Mute Forest - Blue Chamber [2020]
  • 21:42    Andrew Heath - A Break In The Clouds [2017]
  • 27:57    Jefre Cantu-Ledesma - Joy [2019]
  • 32:40    Rauelsson - Marbles [2018]
  • 35:03    Donny McCaslin - Warszawa [2016]
  • 38:00    Dylan Howe - Art Decade [2014]
  • 42:10    Delta Saxophone Quartet - Subterraneans [2018]
  • 47:50    Anenon - Mansana [2018]
  • 50:28    Tortusa & Breistein - Ladder [2018]
  • 53:43    Ben Bertrand - Those Behind Us That We Follow [2020]
  • 58:28    Delta Saxophone Quartet - Music for Airports [2018]
  • 64:05    end
Apr 2020

Lockdown - by Peter Van Cooten of Ambientblog.net


I like to think that I put a lot of thought and effort into these mixes. Hopefully, the mix as a whole is greater than the sum of its parts. But what I do is nothing compared to the transformative touch that Peter Van Cooten brings to his mixes.

 Each mix is a unique work of art. Peter rarely lets a track play in its complete form. Instead, he uses smaller samples and deftly weaves the tracks in and out of each other. Sometimes 2,3, or 4 tracks play simultaneously, creating something new from different elements. In this mix, he uses an incredible 41 tracks! Here's what Peter has to say about using so many short samples:

 "Sometimes I feel a bit embarrassed about using such short samples and/or editing the tracks (of these 41, only 8 are used in their complete form). It's a bit like cutting up the Mona Lisa to create a landscape patchwork with the fragments ;-)  But on the other hand, this is what I feel makes these mixes unique. Taken out of their context and in relation to other fragments, the music sometimes tells a different story."

 This mix is a bit darker than most of my mixes. But it's dark in an interesting way, not in a droney, dissonant way. The mix has a very cinematic feel and combined with the cover art and title I can imagine drone shots of empty streets and newspapers blowing across the square. Peter was hesitant about the name and the cover art. He says - 

"It may be too closely linked to the current worldwide crisis, but on the other hand I have tried to think of another name or context but the uncertain times seem to be too dominant to think of another name I could give it. The funny thing is, that if you listen back most of my mixes have a rather dark edge to them. There's always a lot of 'tension/release' to them. But in this case, it seems there's a bit more 'tension' than 'release'. Oh well, sign of the times..."

Peter runs his own ambient music blog called, appropriately, Ambientblog.net. Where in addition to his fine mixes(available in DTS surround as well), he has a ton of good reviews and recommendations. You can find it here...  

https://www.ambientblog.net/blog/   He's also on Mixcloud here... https://www.mixcloud.com/ambientblog/

When he creates these extraordinary mixes he posts a pic of the total track layout, layer upon layer of all the music used. Here is the map of this mix...




 Peter does his tracklist a little differently than I do. He gives listeners more info about each track, including start time, sample length, artist, title, album title, year and record label.

Thanks to Peter Van Cooten of Ambientblog.net for such an excellent mix. Hopefully, I can talk him into doing another one in the future.


Cheers, and stay safe.


T R A C K L I S T Start time - Sample length - Artist - Title

Album Title, Year, Label

00:00  03:23 Fovea Hex - Is 

Is Lanza Light and Given (Steven Wilson Remixes), 2019, Die Stadt/Janet Records

01:25  04:35 Maggi Payne - Fluid Dynamics

Arctic Winds, 2020, Aguirre Records

02:03  01:45 Pat Keista - Doppler

Still Of The Void, 2020, self-released

04:17  01:47 Dave Phillips - Phytognosophysiology

Post Homo Sapiens, 2020, Attenuation Circuit

05:10  02:45 Jóhann Jóhannsson and Yair Elazar Glotman - Prelude

Last And First Men, 2020, Deutsche Grammophon

05:42  02:00 Andrew Pekler - Fonseca Winds (Lament)

Sounds From Phantom Islands, 2019, Faitiche

07:29  01:19 Jóhann Jóhannsson and Yair Elazar Glotman - Telepathic Unity

Last And First Men, 2020, Deutsche Grammophon

08:13  03:10 Ben Bertrand - Those Behind Us That We Follow

Manes, 2020, Les Albums Claus

11:08  01:31 Fani Konstantinidou - (Variations)

Moving Music: Sounds From The Rocking Chair, 2020, Moving Furniture Records,

11:58  01:32 Aaron Martin - Overcoming Inertia

Test Subjects, 2019, self-released

12:53  01:51 A Journey Of Giraffes - Gone Is The New Fuji

Kona, 2019, Somewherecold records

13:29  03:30 Robert Haigh - Ghosts Of Blacker Dyke

Black Sarabande, 2020, Unseen Worlds

16:46  02:48 Snorri Hallgrímsson - Fear

Chasing The Present, 2020, Moderna Records

16:53  00:30 Mica Levy - Mensajero

Monos, 2019, Invada

17:40  02:30 Snorri Hallgrímsson - Suffering

Chasing The Present, 2020, Moderna Records

19:22  01:58 Bersarin Quartett - Prolog

Methoden Und Maschinen, 2019, Denovali 

20:41  01:09 Ruairi O'Baoighill - Scryer

To See Without Eyes, 2018, Cursed Monk Records

20:50  01:59 I Wound - The Choir Of The Drowned Sings 'Our Demons Are Real'

Homework Year 3, 2018, Taâlem

21:48  03:01 Christine Ott - Comma

Chimères (Pour Ondes Martenots), 2020, Nahal Recordings

24:22  02:34 Ida Toninato - Pour Retourner Au Silence

We Become Giants, 2020, Dragon's Eye Recordings

25:32  03:47 Merrin Karras - Drawn, Quartered

Northwest Passage, 2020, A Strangely Isolated Place

28:27  02:07 Ciro Berenguer - Luna Creciente

Eilean 100, 2019, Eilean Records

29:57  01:47 Yiorgis Sakellariou - B4

Diapsalmata: A Collection Of Short Works, 2018, Tanuki Records

29:57  01:19 Celer - Birds Inside The High Halls Of Hangzhou (06.23.17)

Xièxie, 2019, Two Acorns

30:12  03:18 Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Akritchalerm Kalayanamitr, Koichi Shimizu - Sharjah And Java

Metaphors - Selected Soundworks from the cinema of Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2017, Sub Rosa

31:24  00:44 Coil - Corybantic Ennui

Stolen and Contaminated Songs, 2019, Cold Spring Records 

32:32  01:22 Olivier Messiaen - Quator Pour Le Fin Du Temps III: Abîme des Oiseaux

Olivier Messiaen - Complete Edition, 2008, Deutsche Grammophon

33:54  01:26 Hildur Gudnadottir - Following Sophie

Joker OST, 2019, Watertower Records

35:14  00:55 Ryuichi Sakamoto - Countdown

Black Mirror: Smithereens, 2019, Milan

35:45  03:24 Silent Chaos - Nocturne On Ganimede 

Macro, 2020, We Don't Give A Fuck

38:52  04:03 Roger Eno and Brian Eno - Burnt Umber

Mixing Colours, 2020, Deutsche Grammophon

42:38  02:13 Martina Bertoni - Invisible Cracks

All The Ghosts Are Gone, 2020, Falk

44:29  03:30 Eivind Aarset and Jan Bang - Nightspell

Snow Catches On Her Eyelashes, 2020, Jazzland Recordings

46:21  02:13 Jana Irmert - Fog

Cusp, 2020, self-released

47:40  01:36 Fovea Hex - Given

Is Lanza Light and Given (Steven Wilson Remixes), 2019, Die Stadt/Janet Records

48:42  02:40 Frank Makowski - Fliegende Schatten - Canon 1

Canon der Finsternisse, 2019, Diffusschall

49:05  01:12 Michael Begg - Plain Chant

Sonambulo, 2019, Omnempathy

50:40  02:20 A Winged Victory For The Sullen - The Slow Descent Has Begun

The Undivided Five, 2019, Ninja Tune

52:35  04:30 Felix Blume - Horns In Fog Pt. 2

Fog Horns, 2019, Discrepant

55:49  03:02 Max Richter - Ursa Minor - Visions

Ad Astra, 2019, Deutsche Grammophon

58:30  00:40 Jóhann Jóhannsson and Yair Elazar Glotman - The Sun

Last And First Men, 2020, Deutsche Grammophon

59:10 End







Mar 2020

Piano Day 2020



Today, March 28th, is International Piano Day. This is what the Piano Day website says about today:


“Why does the world need a Piano Day? For many reasons. But mostly, because it doesn’t hurt to celebrate the piano and everything around it: performers, composers, piano builders, tuners, movers and most important, the listener.” – Nils Frahm

 Piano Day, an annual worldwide event founded by a group of likeminded people, takes place on the 88th day of the year – in 2020 it’s the 28th March – because of the number of keys on the instrument being celebrated.

 The aim of the day is to create a platform for piano related projects in order to promote the development of musical dimensions and to continue sharing the centuries-old joy of playing the piano. Piano Day welcomes all kinds of piano lovers — young and old, amateur and professional, of any musical direction – to join in this year's festivities. It is intended to be the most joyful of all holidays!


Piano Day gives me an excuse to put together an all-piano mix. I really like the vibe of this year's version. Most of it is very stripped down and simple. I've also found it to be very therapeutic during these quarantine times.

Hang in there everybody!
T R A C K L I S T :
  • 00:00    Plïnkï Plønkï - Hiraeth
  • 04:22    Mike Lazarev - Afflicted
  • 07:00    Olga Wojciechowska - All I Have Not Seen
  • 11:27    Innesti - Forgotten
  • 14:18    Klangriket & Sjors Mans - Leidseplein
  • 18:22    Nils Frahm - Some
  • 22:20    Ben Lukas Boysen - Only in the Dark
  • 25:35    Ólafur Arnalds - saman
  • 27:39    Sjors Mans - With You
  • 30:31    S.hel - Eia Popeia
  • 34:38    Hania Rani - Warszawa
  • 39:55    Infinite Scale - Across the Otherside
  • 42:03    Julien Marchal - Insight XXXVIII
  • 43:12    Roger Eno And Brian Eno - Blonde
  • 47:05    Yosi Horikawa - Thalfang
  • 50:50    Piano Day Website Remix
  • 63:29    end
Mar 2020

Alone Time - music for self-isolation



I have to come clean. I stole this idea. Dennis Huddleston, who records as 36, posted a Spotify playlist a couple of days ago and I thought it sounded like a good theme for a mix. Here's his playlist...




All the tracks in this mix have quarantine/isolation appropriate titles such as "Stay Home," "Return to Self" and "Being Alone Never Hurt Anybody." 

Working in tv news it was crazy watching email after email come in sating another school system closed, another performance canceled, another event postponed, another business shutting down. It was nuts! We went from virtually no school districts closed to essentially all of them closed in a couple of hours. 

Stay home, stay chill and enjoy some music.




T R A C K L I S T : 

  • 00:00    Justin Hurwitz - Quarantine (2018)
  • 02:06    William Ryan Fritch - Separation (2019)
  • 05:45    Pulusha - Isolation (1997)
  • 12:30    Heavenchord - Infinity From The Inside (2018)
  • 19:15    Warmth - Home (2017)
  • 22:40    Gray Acres - Return To Self (2018)
  • 28:25    Hildur Guðnadóttir - Alone (2019)
  • 31:47    Max Richter - Dream Solo (2019)
  • 38:24    Arovane & Mike Lazarev - Us, Inside (2019)
  • 41:35    Sean Curtis Patrick - Being Alone Never Hurt Anybody (2019)
  • 44:57    Dalot & Sound Awakener - Inside (2018)
  • 47:36    Dub Tractor - Stay Home (2017)
  • 51:15    Neil Cowley & Ben Lukas Boysen - Solitary Refinement (2019)
  • 56:00    R Beny - And Fall, Standing Alone Again (2019)
  • 62:53    Justin Hurwitz - Home (2018)
  • 64:28    end


Mar 2020

Lullabies for a Night Train by Paul Asbury Seaman



After the last mix, I was trying to decide what to do next - sea mix? orchestral? shortwave? train? Well, Paul beat me to it by sending a tracklist for another excellent train mix.


Here's what Paul has to say about this mix:

“The main qualification in selecting music for a train mix is that it has that distinctive rocking rhythm, like a cradle. Like a lullaby. Beyond that, there is the paradoxical elements of both wistfulness and anticipation—nostalgia and unknown adventures. This mix features a more mellow side of “Berlin School” sequencer-driven electronic music. I have also included one track each from my other three train mixes for Low Light Mixes: “The Memory of Trains,” “Galaxy Express” and “Places I’ve Never Been” (all available on Mixcloud). “Memory of Trains” was the first mix I did with Dave and Low Light Mixes three years ago. And life has never been the same! Happy travels, on this slightly longer-than-usual journey….”

Paul, thanks for another superb set!
T R A C K L I S T :
  • 00:00    Stellardrone - Twilight (A Moment of Silence 2011)
  • 04:10    Tom Moore & Mike Clay - Leaving Our Orbit (Beyond Our Orbit 2020)
  • 08:40    MHZ - Train Tracks (25 Peaks 2015)
  • 14:30    Marconi Union - Sleeper (Ghost Stations 2015)
  • 20:25    Cousin Silas - Green Mist (Midnight Beats 1 2020)
  • 25:27    Spiral Dreams - Anywhere (Anywhere 2016)
  • 32:45    John Agebjorn - Sleepless on the Kostomuksha-Petrozavodsk Night Train (We Never Came To The White Sea 2017)
  • 38:54    Paul Speer & Sherry Finzer - Venus Rising (2016)
  • 43:57    Von Haulshoven - The Multiverse Trip (Symptom of the Multiverse 2019)
  • 51:14    Stimulus Timbre - Look at the Stars and Think of Us (A Place We Never Been 2017)
  • 56:43    Germind - Time Consciousness (Antimatter 2014)
  • 62:45    Between Interval - On Track (Legacy 2017)
  • 66:02    Tigerforest - Vermilion (Songs of Reverence 2016)
  • 70:15    Sequentia Legenda - Au Revoir (Extended 2016)
  • 89:12    end
Feb 2020

Music for Meditation - healing vibes for election season



It's hard to believe there are still 9 months until the presidential election here in the US. It feels like the 2016 campaign never ended. Working in TV news I need to remind myself to step back, log off Twitter, turn off the tv, and listen to some ambient music, especially meditative music.


I know most ambient music is good for meditation but for this mix, I was looking for formless music that's not dark, something that wouldn't be too out of place at a spa but also not too gooey new agey either.


Most of the tracks used in this mix are new with three each being from 2020 and 2019 and one each from 2017 and 2013. This year is shaping up to be another excellent year for ambient music.



T R A C K S :

  • 00:00    Albrecht La'Brooy - Afternoon Carafe (Healesville 2019)
  • 08:02    Laraaji - Ocean Flow Zither (Bring On The Sun 2017)
  • 14:35    Sphontik - Late Summer Blue (2019)
  • 20:20    Raul Lovisoni & Francesco Messina - Prati Bagnati Del Monte Analogo (Prati Bagnati Del Monte Analogo 2013)
  • 31:00    Kenji Kihara - Hayama Ambient 010 (2019)
  • 36:52    Luis Miehlich - Flows (Currents 2020)
  • 43:50    Lindsheaven Virtual Plaza - Ember Valley (Rainforest Hill I + II 2020)
  • 53:57    zakè - Gaffney Fields (Carolina 2020)
  • 60:09    end


Feb 2020

Sequential Circuits


This is a re-posting of sorts. I was going through old mixes trying to figure out which ones had not been posted to Mixcloud. I plan on posting some of those old mixes as-is to Mixcloud in the coming months. 

One of the mixes I dug up is Sequential Circuits, originally posted 12 years ago. Yikes! I've been doing this for a long time. I really like this mix but while listening to it I decided to give it one little tweak. I dropped two tracks by Detroit Escalator Co. & Geometric Farms and replaced them with a cut from Ash Ra Tempel called "Slightly Delayed."

My favorite tunes in this mix are the Richard Pinhas tracks, "Sundial" from Steve Roach * "Hyperborea" by Tangerine Dream. I've been rediscovering Hyperborea lately and I think it's one of my top three TD albums. All this berlin school music has got me thinking about doing another sequencer mix using classic tunes like this one.

I hope you enjoy this resurrected mix. Cheers!

T R A C K L I S T :

  • 00:00    Arp - St. Tropez
  • 05:00    Solvent - wig $1
  • 07:15    Richard Pinhas - la ville sans nom
  • 10:30    Steve Roach - Sundial
  • 17:30    Klaus Schulze - Euro Caravan
  • 25:15    Richard Pinhas - Melodic Simple Transition
  • 28:20    Tangerine Dream - No Man's Land
  • 33:20    Robert Rich and Ian Boddy - Chamber
  • 37:18    Ash Ra Tempel - Slightly Delayed
  • 43:30    Richard Pinhas - Home ''ruitor''
  • 46:57    Steve Roach - Arc of Passion
  • 56:59    Tangerine Dream - Hyperborea
  • 61:27    end


Feb 2020

Guitarscapes 2020


This mix doesn't need a lot of introduction or explanation. It's a collection of ambient guitar tunes. The kind with swells of sound and long, slow washes of beautiful ambient guitar.


Some of the tracks came from ideas found in this thread on Mixcloud. Feel free to add any other tracks to the discussion.




Enjoy the ambient guitarscapes.




T R A C K L I S T :

  • 00:00    Wayne Robert Thomas - A Grey Morning, Later Lovely Sunshine (2019)
  • 06:29    Wil Bolton - Night Paths (2017)
  • 10:22    Stijn Hüwels - untitled IV (2016)
  • 13:18    Sean Curtis Patrick - If This (2019)
  • 16:50    Chihei Hatakeyama - Wilderness (2018)
  • 21:45    Ben Rath - Wait For It (2019)
  • 30:45    Noveller & thisquietarmy - Reverie 1 (2014)
  • 35:23    The Green Kingdom - Dripstone (2019)
  • 39:39    Pan American - Nightbirds (2019)
  • 46:53    M. Grig - h (2019)
  • 51:36    Pausal - One Watery Lens (2010)
  • 56:40    Wayne Robert Thomas - Well Now You Know (2019)
  • 60:20    end
Jan 2020

Worlds Within Worlds - Field Recordings 2020



I was digging through some old mixes that had never been uploaded to Mixcloud and I came across a couple of old field recording mixes. The plan was to combine the two into a new mix. Well, as usual, the mix changed and I ended up creating a new field recording mix from scratch. Sort of.


I did use a couple of snippets from the original mixes. The first is from about 4:40 - 6:30, next one comes in around 27:35 - 28:35, and one more from about 29:10 - 33:45.


I'm not going to provide a tracklist because most of the time there are 3 or 4 things playing at once and many times there aren't tracks associated with actual artists, some are just a bunch of sounds I found online. Or in one case, a file I found on my hard drive. I used a track that is called "rain thunder guitar loop." There is no artist associated with the file & I have no idea where it came from.


I'll point out a few specific artist tracks used in the mix(times are approximate):

-  10:44 - 15:00  Ross Alexander - Jinja on the Nile 

-  18:26 - 20:31  Spheruleus - Water Lane

-  21:38 - 25:30  Michel Banabila - Innercity

-  35:07 - 40:00  Wil Bolton - Crossing

-  42:42 - 43:51  Luis Miehlich - 3105

-  44:00 - 44:44  Wave Temples - Arrival at the Bay of Orpheus


There are definitely lots of other artists appearing throughout the mix but those are the most clearly discernible. Quick shout out to my neighborhood frogs which make an appearance from about 47:47 to 50:00. How do I distribute their royalties?


 I hope you enjoy this sound excursion. Cheers!


Jan 2020

Sunday Morning Music Vol. 19 - Rhodes to the 70s


This mix started with an interesting album I came across this past weekend, Ernest Hood - Neighborhoods. It was originally released in 1975 but was recently rediscovered and rereleased. It's a curious combination of field recordings and early ambient noodling. The result is captivating.


I picked the track "Saturday Morning Doze" as the starting point for a new Sunday morning mix. I noticed it had Fender Rhodes piano type of sound going on. I'm not sure if there is a Fender Rhodes playing or not but it definitely reminded me of the Rhodes sound from the 70s that I love so much. 

So then the mix changed from a normal Sunday morning mix to a Fender Rhodes 1970s mix. Each track is from the 70s(duh) and has the sound of Fender Rhodes piano in it. While digging up tunes I realized that all the electric piano sounds in this mix might not all be a Fender Rhodes. They could very well be some other vintage electric piano. But I don't care, it's the sound and feel that's important.

Longtime listeners will notice a few tunes that I've used before from Steve Hillage, Harold Budd, Brian Eno, and Daryl Hall(yes, that Daryl Hall). I generally try to stay away from using songs in multiple mixes but these cuts fit so perfectly that I couldn't resist. The other odd thing about this mix is the first 45 minutes are instrumental then we go to vocal tunes for the final 17 minutes. It wasn't planned, it just sort of worked out that way.

Enjoy this trip back to the 70s.


T R A C K L I S T :


  • 00:00    Ernest Hood - Saturday Morning Doze (1975)
  • 07:05    Steve Hillage - Garden of Paradise (1979)
  • 10:43    Camel - Rhayader Alone (1975)
  • 12:28    Gilgamesh - Lady And Friend (1975)
  • 15:45    Harold Budd - Bismillahi 'Rrahmani 'Rrahim (1978)
  • 21:05    Penguin Cafe Orchestra - The Sound of Someone You Love (1976)
  • 28:28    Soft Machine - E.P.V. (1973)
  • 30:57    Lilienthal - Gebremster Schaum (1979)
  • 36:32    Hugh Hopper & Alan Gowen - Waltz For Nobby (1979)
  • 45:22    Joni Mitchell - The Hissing Of Summer Lawns (1975)
  • 48:15    John Martyn - One World alt. version (1977)
  • 51:51    Brian Eno - By This River (1977)
  • 54:35    Roxy Music - Spin Me Round (1979)
  • 59:10    Daryl Hall - The Farther Away I Am (1979)
  • 61:50    end


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