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13
Dec 2020

Quiet Indie Songs of 2020

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I listen to as much indie music as I do ambient music. I always keep a list of favorite albums and favorite songs of the year. As I was looking at some of my favorite songs I noticed that several of them were quiet tunes that would be appropriate for an LLM mix. So I grabbed those and a few more favs and came up with "Quiet Indie Songs of 2020."

Squirrel Flower was my big discovery this year. I'd never heard of the artist before and a few of her songs turned out to be some of my most played tunes of the year. Phoebe Bridgers had one of the best albums of the year but my two fav songs on it were a bit loud for this mix so I went with the beautiful "Moon Song." 

I also want to give a shout out to a local band that made my top ten list this year - Field Report. Their album, "Brake Light Red Tide," has a great sound and beautiful production. The song "Puget Sound" appears on this mix because I listened the heck out of it this year.

There's not much else to say other than enjoy this diversion from the usual LLM fair and an ambient 2020 mix is coming soon.

Cheers!

 

T R A C K L I S T :

  • 00:00    Squirrel Flower - Seasonal Affective Disorder
  • 03:33    Field Report - Puget Sound
  • 07:54    Devendra Banhart - Franklin's Tower
  • 16:19    Phoebe Bridgers - Moon Song
  • 20:48    Clem Snide - Roger Ebert
  • 23:36    Bonny Light Horseman - Bonny Light Horseman
  • 27:58    Kevin Morby - Sundowner
  • 32:56    Sarah Jarosz - Hometown
  • 35:48    North Americans - Rivers That You Cannot See
  • 39:28    Mute Forest - Crater Laugh
  • 43:28    Kronos Quartet with Meklit - The President Sang Amazing Grace
  • 47:15    Alexandra Savior - Soft Currents
  • 50:20    S. Carey - Take It With Me
  • 55:06    Tresspassers William - Winterstorms
  • 58:18    H.C. McEntire - Hands for Harvest
  • 62:28    Squirrel Flower - Headlights
  • 64:55    Bedouine, Waxahatchee, Hurray for the Riff Raff - Thirteen
  • 67:51    M. Ward - Migration of Souls
  • 71:19    end
 
8
Dec 2020

Wind in Lonely Fences - A Farewell to Harold Budd

 

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2020, you unrelenting bastard. Now you've taken Harold Budd from us. An icon in ambient music.

There's not much I can say right now except that I love his music. I have about 25 albums by Harold Budd. His music has been with me for more than 40 years. When I heard the news I knew the only tribute I could do was a mix. So here it is an hour-long mix that barely scratches the surface of his output.

Godspeed Harold, your music remains in our ears and on the wind.

 

T R A C K L I S T :

  • 00:00    Harold Budd & Brian Eno - Wind In Lonely Fences
  • 03:39    Harold Budd - Ice Floes In Eden
  • 06:51    Harold Budd & Brian Eno - An Echo Of Night
  • 08:53    Harold Budd & John Foxx - Coming Into Focus
  • 13:15    Harold Budd - As Long As I Can Hold My Breath
  • 20:07    Harold Budd & Zeitgeist - Emboldened-My Dreams Perish
  • 22:16    Harold Budd - Tong War
  • 27:40    Harold Budd - The Serpent in Quicksilver
  • 31:00    Harold Budd - The Radiant Bride
  • 34:33    Harold Budd - Sandtreader
  • 39:32    Harold Budd - Down the Slopes to the Meadow
  • 46:54    Harold Budd - Bismillahi 'Rrahman 'Rrahim
  • 56:40    Harold Budd - Mars And The Artist
  • 58:10    Harold Budd - The Pearl
  • 61:04    Harold Budd - Olancha Farewell
  • 63:20    end
 
 
 
 
6
Dec 2020

Melancholy Soundtracks: A Requiem for 2020

 

 

 

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A perfect mix for the end of 2020 comes to us from Paul Asbury Seaman. All soundtrack cuts, all with varying degrees of melancholy, all forming an ideal coda for 2020.
 
Here's what Paul says about the mix:
 

“I’ve been sitting on this playlist for more than three years. Never got around to firming it up for a Low Lights mix. It dawned on me just the other day that the eight movies from which these pieces are drawn are all meditations on death and loss. So now seems like a good time to share it. Also, all of these movies were released around the turn of the Millennium, except “Battle of Algiers” (1963) which has one of the most sorrowful themes ever put to music—by the great Ennio Morricone, who died this year.”

 

Thanks Paul for another excellent mix!

Up next - it's best of the year list time!  Cheers!

 

T R A C K L I S T :

  • 00:00    Clint Mansell - The Last Man (The Fountain 2006)
  • 05:42    Ennio Morricone - Sorrow in the Casbah (Battle of Algiers 1963)
  • 06:33    Ennio Morricone - Ali's Theme (Battle of Algiers 1963)
  • 09:38    Mark Isham - Flames (Crash 2005)
  • 17:06    Philip Glass - The Hours (The Hours 2002)
  • 24:37    Zbigniew Preisner - Van Den Budenmayer Funeral Music (Trois couleurs - Bleu 1993)
  • 26:32    Zbigniew Preisner - Reprise First Appearance (Trois couleurs - Bleu 1993)
  • 27:02    Javier Navarrette  - A Tale (Pan's Labyrinth 2006)
  • 28:50    Richard Thompson - Parents (Grizzly Man 2005)
  • 32:10    Zbigniew Preisner - Julie in Her New Apartment (Trois couleurs - Bleu 1993)
  • 33:48    Zbigniew Preisner - Reprise Flute (Trois couleurs - Bleu 1993)
  • 35:50    Mark Isham - Negligence (Crash 2005)
  • 38:23    Philip Glass - The Poet Acts (The Hours 2002)
  • 42:00    Richard Thompson - Main Title Revisited (Grizzly Man 2005)
  • 45:42    Javier Navarrette  - Lullaby (Pan's Labyrinth 2006)
  • 47:20    Alexandre Desplat - Death Convoy (The Painted Veil 2006)
  • 50:00    Alexandre Desplat - Kitty's Theme (The Painted Veil 2006)
  • 53:00    Clint Mansell - Xibalba (The Fountain 2006)
  • 58:09    end
 
22
Nov 2020

Keeping Time in the Golden Hour

 

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I'm in the process of making lists of my top 5 instrumental albums for each year from 1970 to the present. Yeah, it's going take a while. So I was digging around in my music hard drive looking for music that would fit those lists and I stumbled upon the track Tulpa Ovi by Robag Wruhme. I immediately loved the feel of tune and knew I needed it in a mix.
 
The cut has a feeling of motion similar to others I've used in train themed mixes. But it was more gentle, almost wistful. It made me think of traveling during sunset or the golden hour. Hence the title "Keeping Time in the Golden Hour."
 
From there I collected tracks, new and old, with a similar vibe. In addition to the cut by Robag Wruhme my other favorites in this mix are "St. Catherine and the Calm" by Francis Harris and "Ankeney, Iowa" by Tiki Obmar. I like all the tracks in this mix but those two really get me.
 
Normally I'd say this would be a perfect mix for traveling during the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday but it's 2020 so stay home. Put this mix on and do some virtual traveling.
 
Cheers!
 
 
 
T R A C K L I S T I N G :
  • 00:00    Francis Harris - St. Catherine and the Calm (Trivial Occupations 2018)
  • 08:25    Robag Wruhme - Tulpa Ovi (Thora Vukk 2011)
  • 10:42    Night Sea - Cherry (Still 2020)
  • 16:18    Tiki Obmar - Ankeney, Iowa (High School Confidential 2003)
  • 28:18    Ghosting Season - Through Your Teeth ( The Very Last Of The Saints 2012)
  • 32:43    Saphileaum - Soft Warming (In Distant Terra 2020)
  • 37:37    Sven Laux - Grass-Covered Plain (We Were Here 2013)
  • 46:08    Halftribe & Spinnet - Mr & Mrs Everywhere (Patterns of Sync 2020)
  • 53:14    Robag Wruhme - Prognosen Bomm (Thora Vukk 2011)
  • 56:25    vau - Nightfall (ways of stillness 2018)
  • 63:43    end
 
15
Nov 2020

The Stars Appear Like Diamonds

 

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As is well documented in this blog, I am a space nerd. Over the years I have posted a ton of mixes related to the cosmos. Whether it's a stargazing mix or a celebration of the discovery of the Higgs Boson particle or a requiem for a dying space probe, ambient/electronic music is the perfect companion for turning your gaze to the heavens.

Over the last couple of months we've been treated to beautiful views of Mars, Jupiter & Saturn. Mars has been visible just after sunset in the eastern skies and has looked terrific with it's red/orange color easily setting it apart from the rest of the celestial objects.

Jupiter and Saturn are headed for a "Great Conjunction." Jupiter is usually one of the brightest night objects, but in recent months it has stood out even more than usual because of the presence of bright Saturn trailing just off to its left (east).

 

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Jupiter & Saturn on Nov. 1, 2020
 
The two planets will continue to get closer and closer until Dec. 21 when they will be about one-tenth of a degree apart, appearing as a single star in the night sky. This will be their closest approach since 1623.
 
I thought about collecting a bunch of tunes with Jupiter and Saturn in the titles for a themed mix but instead I decided to go with a general stargazing mix because I had so many excellent new tracks from this year that fit perfectly. So all the cuts in this mix are from 2020 except for one random track by Altus from 2007.
 
Get outside and watch as the stars appear like diamonds and look for Jupiter and Saturn as they come together over the next month. And be sure to bring some space music with you.
 
Cheers!
 
 
T R A C K L I S T :
  • 00:00    Alva Noto - Xerrox Neige (Xerrox Vol. 4 2020)
  • 04:44    Loneward - Ethereal Glow (Moongate 2020)
  • 10:25    In The Branches + Bluetech - Celestial (Portals 2020)
  • 15:15    Thom Brennan - Night Lights Part 3 (Night Lights 2020)
  • 20:01    Machinefabriek - Waqur (To Yemen With Love 2020)
  • 23:12    Tatsuro Murakami - Inevitable Silence (Between 2020)
  • 28:46    Echoflex - 50°21'40"N 4°09'44"W veering S (Echoflex II 2020)
  • 33:55    Pulse Emitter - Winds (Calming Winds 2019)
  • 44:50    Lauge - Floating (Latitudes 2020)
  • 49:10    Altus - Dust Lanes (The Grand Expanse 2007)
  • 55:41    36 & zakè - Stasis Sounds for Long-Distance Space Travel Reduction 3 (Stasis Sounds for Long-Distance Space Travel 2020)
  • 64:22    end
 
25
Oct 2020

The Night Absolves

 

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Off-kilter, strange, a bit askew, weird, oblique - are all ways to describe this mix. It's a little creepy too which makes for a perfect mix for Spooky Season.

To create a Halloween mix it would be easy to grab some dark, dissonant ambient but as I've said before I'm not a dark ambient fan. So I went for the same feel I have used in the past - tunes that are a bit off-center. Tunes that make you think of midnight, distant headlights in the fog, street lamps and cigarette smoke.

I hope you enjoy the mix and play it during dias de los muertos.

Cheers!

 

 

T R A C K L I S T :

 

  • 00:00    Seabuckthorn - It Will Be Dark By Then (Other Other 2020)
  • 03:11    Brombaer - Triangle of Land (2013)
  • 07:44    Coti - Sine Shadows (Metamemoria 2020)
  • 11:55    Luton - Spectres of Mark (Black Box Animals 2018)
  • 14:05    Shadowdream - The Obsession Begins Tomorrow (The Sunsettler's Motel 2016)
  • 19:06    Labradford - G (Mi Media Naranja 1997)
  • 22:30    Pjusk - Dempet (Sart 2007)
  • 25:25    Several Wives - End Song (Veil on Veil 2020)
  • 26:30    Arve Henriksen - Recording Angel (Cartography 2008)
  • 28:24    Mikael Lind - Piano Says Goodbye (Give Shape to Space 2020)
  • 32:00    Harold Budd with Zeitgeist - Emboldened/My Dreams Perish (She Is A Phantom 1994)
  • 34:08    Arms And Sleepers - Atelier (The Organ Hearts 2011)
  • 36:13    Shadowdream - The Hour of the Wolf, Alfa and Omega (The Sunsettler's Motel 2016)
  • 38:34    William Ryan Fritch - Unraveling (The Letdown 2020)
  • 40:07    Wanderwelle - Decay (A State of Decrepitude 2020)
  • 44:00    The Insects - Ad Infinitum Ad Nauseam (Devs Original Series Soundtrack 2020)
  • 45:28    Several Wives - An Intermission (Veil on Veil 2020)
  • 46:05    Grails - Bad Bhang Recipe (Black Tar Prophecies Vols 1, 2, 3 2006)
  • 47:54    Eli Keszler - We Live In Pathetic Temporal Urgency (Stadium 2018)
  • 53:41    Calexico - Longboard (The Thread That Keeps Us 2018)
  • 56:18    Daniel Lanois - Sketches (Belladonna 2005)
  • 60:30    end
 
4
Oct 2020

Stay Inside

 

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photo courtesy of https://unsplash.com/@coleito

 

 

I started this mix on a cold, rainy fall day with no theme or plan. The first track I laid down was from Progressions by Anthéne and Andrew Tasselmyer on Constellation Tatsu. Listening to it, the track seemed perfect for a grey autumn day. 

Now I had my theme or vibe. From there I just browsed my new releases folder to come up with an ambient accompaniment for sitting inside with a good book, while outside it's cold and wet.

Cheers!

 

 

T R A C K L I S T :

 

  • 00:00    Anthéne and Andrew Tasselmyer - Progressions Pt. 5 (Progressions 2020)
  • 06:13    Christopher Bissonette - Overature (Wayfinding 2020)
  • 09:33    Halftribe - A Clearing (Cloud Dreaming and Shadows 2020)
  • 12:15    Andrew Heath - The Night Walker (The Alchemist's Muse 2020)
  • 19:30    Moss Covered Technology - Untitled Quiet Loops #6 (Quiet Loops 2020)
  • 25:25    thme - until then (that's what it will be like 2020)
  • 29:05    't Geruis - 002 (Que tu es belle, au revoir en douceur 2020)
  • 32:25    Seabuckthorn - I haven't Seen Tunis Since (Through A Vulnerable Occur 2020)
  • 35:47    Hainbach - Before We Break (Light Splitting 2020)
  • 39:33    Jörgen Kjellgren - Infinite Portals (Hollawood 2020)
  • 42:27    Innesti - Apples Appear in All the Old Fables (Apperception 2020)
  • 48:40    Zoltan Fecso - As Much As You Need (Daylight In An Empty Room 2020)
  • 52:00    Max Ananyev - Images in Time (Midday 2020)
  • 56:27    Wodwo - Suzuki-Miyaura ( Chematica 2020)
  • 59:02    Ian Hawgood - Modulations (You Lose Yourself, and That's OK 2020)
  • 60:56    end
 
27
Sep 2020

Strange Beauty - 4th Excursions Vol. 2

 

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sounds swim all around

drifting in the warm embrace

of this strange beauty

 

This my second 4th world mix and it's similar to the 2018 version. It still follows the Jon Hassell esthetic of  "a unified primitive/futuristic sound combining features of world ethnic styles with advanced electronic techniques."

Most of the tracks are new, 10 of the 17 tracks being from 2019 or 2020. I was almost done with the mix when an excellent new album from Halftribe dropped on the 24th. Listening to the first track I knew I had to buy it and sneak that cut into the mix somewhere. It fits perfectly.

https://shimmeringmoodsrecords.bandcamp.com/album/cloud-dreaming-and-shadows

The two recordings that got me going with this mix are Andrew Pekler - Sounds From Phantom Islands and Romeo Poirier - Hotel Nota.

https://andrewpeklerfaitiche.bandcamp.com/album/sounds-from-phantom-islands

https://sferic.bandcamp.com/album/hotel-nota

One of my favorite parts of this mix comes at the 24:30 mark. There two tracks playing simultaneously. One from Eli Keszler is mostly percussion and the other by Walt Rockman is shimmering electric piano with under water vibe. I didn't intend on those two going together, I just accidentally left one of the tracks on my timeline and when they played together I knew I had to keep it. 

I don't know if this type of mix works in the middle of autumn but I just couldn't put it off any longer. I hope you enjoy this Indonesian fever dream.

Cheers!

 

T R A C K L I S T :

  • 00:00    Andrew Pekler - Hy Brasil (Sounds From Phantom Islands 2019)
  • 04:00    Roméo Poirier - Du rocher (Hotel Nota 2020)
  • 07:45    Lemongrass - Bamboo House (Papillon 2012)
  • 10:40    MNO - Souce (Ambient Marimba - MNO Sleeps 2020)
  • 12:35    Wild Card - Under A Steel Gray Sky (Patterns In Cooperative Labor 2017)
  • 15:25    Halftribe - Hiking With Eve (Cloud Dreaming And Shadows 2020)
  • 20:25    Vieo Abiungo - A Branch Gave Way (The Dregs 2019)
  • 22:45    unkown - mbira with drone (2018)
  • 24:30    Eli Keszler - Which Swarms Around It (Stadium 2018)
  •              played simultaneously with Walt Rockman - reflections under water
  • 26:45    Ross Alexander - Albert Plays the Flute (Memorias, Vol. 1 - Bugandan Sacred Places 2017)
  • 31:12    Wu Cloud - Weh Island (Pulsa Rimba 2020)
  • 34:42    Luis Miehlich - Klock (Currents 2020)
  • 38:10    Meitei - Utano (Komachi 2019)
  • 41:50    the volume settings folder - i will not go now on the pastures to walk (Home Diaries 017 2020)
  • 46:15    Terje Isungset - Float (Floating Rhythms 2000)
  • 47:50    Forrest Fang - Water Village ambient remix (Letters To The Farthest Star 2015)
  • 55:00    Aglaia - Offline views (Offline views 2019)
  • 60:54    end

 

7
Sep 2020

Lighting Out for the Territories

 
This mix came about because I wanted to find a vehicle for some of the great music coming out of Lost Tribe Sound and their Fearful Void series. The bundle of releases includes 15 albums to be released between June 2020 and June 2021. You can find more info here...
 
 
Like the website says Lost Tribe Sound "specializes in organic and exploratory music that transcends genre, technique, or trend." The music in this new series is both grounded and otherworldly. I wanted to take that mostly acoustic, organic sound and spread it throughout this mix. There are a lot of wind instruments in this set. I find myself more and more drawn to sound and texture of sax, alto clarinet, oboe, trombone, etc. and this mix presented a great way to include some of that music.
 
The title doesn't really mean anything, I just like the sound of it. It's the title of a Laurie Anderson track on a live album from the 80s. I have it on a list of mix titles I keep in a google doc that I use for ideas and inspiration.
 
Cheers!
 
 
T R A C K L I S T :
00:00    Vieo Abiungo - A Cold Calculus (At Once, There Was No Horizon 2020)
06:27    Iñigo Ugarteburu - Tomodachi (For The Unknown 2013)
11:35    Esmerine - Sweet Surrender Be True (If Only A Sweet Surrender To The Nights To Come Be True 2003)
16:16    Seabuckthorn - Clears (Through A Vulnerable Occur 2020)
19:19    William Ryan Fritch - What's Left Unfilched (The Letdown 2020)
21:12    Mette Henriette - in circles (Mette Henriette 2015)
24:30    Clariloops - Part 1 (Mindful Movement 2020)
30:30    Claire Deak & Tony Dupé - the rain (the old capital 2020)
33:55    Michel Banabila & Joshua Samson - Unfinished Business (To Yemen With Love 2020)
38:15    Microwolf - Mara Instrumental (My Cauliflower Ears Instrumentals 2020)
43:53    Laurence Pike - Prophecy (Prophecy 2020)
47:49    Claire Deak & Tony Dupé - from a rooftop (the old capital 2020)
52:18    Spheruleus - Hollow Bloom (Home Diaries 006 2020)
54:54    Wodwo - Karenia (Chematica 2020)
56:11    Brambles - Pink & Golden Billows (Charcoal 2012)
58:30    William Ryan Fritch - Devi's Last Deal (Album: TBA)
 
 
 
23
Aug 2020

Rainfall Meditation

 

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Sometime in the last couple of weeks we got a good downpour here at Low Light headquarters. As I stood at the front door smelling the rain, listening to the cloudburst, I realized that I had some music playing softly in the background and it blended perfectly with the storm. I stood there for a good twenty minutes taking it all in. This mix is based on that experience.
 
The main idea here is to mix the music below the rain and thunder. Sometimes it is very low so that it sounds like it's coming from another room. Other times the music is more upfront. Some of the tunes already have rain fx in them and others do not. Most of the rain and thunder you hear I added. They came from recordings I did or my son did or from sites like freesound.org. I also snuck in some Blade Runner ambience around the 1 hour mark.
 
Cheers!
 
 
T R A C K L I S T :
  • 00:00    rain
  • 01:40    Segue - Rain Drone
  • 05:00    Snufmumriko - Rainfall Diary
  • 09:00    Cyber Zen Sound Engine & Matt Borghi - Endless Rain
  • 13:22    Echoflex - 50°21'14"N 4°10'12"W Veering ENE
  • 21:10    John Luther Adams - In The Rain
  • 30:15    Yo La Tengo - Rainy Night In New York
  • 32:20    Paul Vnuk Jr. - Silence Speaks In Shadow
  • 44:10    Music for Deep Meditation - Wind Chimes, Thunderstorm, and Rain
  • 56:50    Robert Davies - Dew-Drenched Hours
  • 62:00    Lindsheaven Virtual Plaza - Rainforest Hill
  • 75:15    Echoflex - 50°19'11"N 4°12'03"W Veering S
  • 85:48    end
 

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