I usually enjoy the mixes on Fluid Radio so Danny Norbury’s new mix was almost anticipated. A wonderful low-key blend of quiet melodies and sounds and vocals, this is a delicious album-length (41 minutes) outing.
00:00 The Humble Bee – A Century Of Sea Stories (Xmas 1936)
03:20 Cornelius – Omstart
07:46 Sunwrae – Autumn Never Fall
13:36 John Fahey – Night Train Of Valhalla
15:48 Dick Annegarn – Coutances
18:38 Moondog – Fujiyama 2
23:03 Hope Sandoval – Baby Let Me
24:23 The Boats – The Arrow Home
29:52 The Medium Necks – My Mane
31:56 Vincent Gallo – Yes I’m Lonely
35:38 Squarepusher – Goodnight Jade
38:19 Gabriel Fauré – In Paradisum
Listen to the mix here.
I’ve been listening to a few CDs from Ryonkt’s Slow Flow Records lately. On high rotation has been Stanze di te by Misound. This is a deep and delicious immersion: a great way to relax through an hour of writing. Some wonderful sound patterns, deep, moody, at times a little glitchy, at times quite melodic, sometimes with some distant and almost recognisable field recordings to it.
You can stream a track here through Soundcloud – well worth a listen.
I am an unabashed fan of Taylor Deupree’s 12k label – an imprint that focuses on minimal music, but has evolved over the years. I frequently listen to Shuttle358, Sawako, Steinbruchel and others from the roster as I write. Taylor has made an hour-long mix of tracks For all the things we did in May which has just come out as a stream on Fluid Radio (of which I’m also a fan). The mix is wonderfully low-key, beginning with one of my favourite pieces, Shuttle358’s “Gone”, then progressing fairly organically through tracks I’m familiar with, and some I’d never heard.
A wonderful introduction to 12k’s roster and style.
Mark from NTNS radio – a show on Still Stream an internet ambient radio station, has made numerous compilations of creative commons recordings, available for streaming and download. Stroll is an eclectic mix of sometimes busy, sometimes very quiet pieces, that runs the length of a decent CD – full disclosure: Stroll includes a Venus Vulture track from Heavy Skies. Certainly for me that is part of the appeal – to hear my own track in a different context, next to pieces by different people.
Stroll is one of four sets making up the best of NTNS radio from April, May and June 2009 – the others, Meander, Trip and Cruise, are all similar in length and tone, all easily available and very listenable.
I’ve burned Stroll to CD and fire it in to write to – after all the reason I first began making ambient music was because I couldn’t find enough readily available to listen to as I wrote (the Internet has really changed that – there’s more than enough now). It was great over the weekend to listen to an hour and a quarter while I worked hard on a longer, pacey dieselpunk story – it was just the right kind of laid back but still edgy kind of music to really help keep the words flowing.
I’ve just uploaded a new track to the Venus Vulture Reverbnation page. This is a quirky thing, with a slight beat, an odd melody. I think I like echo too much, but perhaps that suits the ideas of ghosts.
I had a couple of tracks – Ghosts in the Trees, and Ghosts in the Hall – with a similar feel and similar sound, but neither seemed to really work. So I made this track by taking elements of each and creating a new mix.
I often sing the praises of Fluid Radio – an eclectic internet radio station from Experimedia in the UK with a couple of varied channels. Usually I listen to their mixes more than the radio stream – it’s cool having artists I recognise bringing some of their favourite tracks, whether their own or those of others, together in a honed set.
Something I’ve been listening to lately is the Taster – a mix of tracks from forthcoming projects on Fluid Audio. Best, I think, for listening to with the lights low, perhaps only with the light from your screen.
2010 Taster |Fluid Radio:
My latest ambient excursion, and longest for a while, is now available for free download or streaming on theVenus Vulture page at Reverbnation. “Sand under my toes, Dust in my hair” goes through a number of changes. Really it’s an attempt at narrative through sound. The track begins with a walk along a beach at sunset, then the wind cools and picks up and we hurry along almost lost until finally descending into a cave in the cliff, just lit by the sliver of crescent moon. Well, that was the mood I was looking for. Perhaps you’ll hear something different.
I listened to The Sleeping Morning, a 21 minute ep, last night while I edited a new story. Two of the four tracks include vocals, which is a bit different to the usual stuff from 12k, and different to what I’d normally write to, but it works. The tracks are quite distinct, minimal and controlled. Ysatis and Deupree have worked together a lot over the last decade or so, with some long gaps – this came out after quite a long gap (many years), and they have worked again more recently on another piece – hourglass – which is available on vinyl, but also (as with Sleeping Morning) as a download through itunes. Definitely worth checking out.
Fluid Radio is hosting a four track, forty-five minute mix of some of Michael Tanner’s fairly unreleased tracks. I didn’t really know Tanner’s work before this – there’s plenty of information about his bands and musical history at the Fluid Radio site there. What I enjoy about the selection is how unhurried it is, slow delicate builds of guitar and piano over some lovely soundscape washes – absolutely fantastic to write too: so moody and haunting.
Each of the tracks is already a mix of other tracks, so it’s intriguing:
1. A Pelagic Recital – Dawn reflects in the East
2. Bridegroom of Snow – Solicitude
3. Summerhouse – The rest I leave to the poor
4. Gloaming – Sirens
There are two ambient acts called S.E.T.I. – both, as I understand it, take their name from the original S.E.T.I. Institute, as in Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence. Websites such as Wikipedia or allmusic seem to confuse the two and lump their releases/activities together.
One S.E.T.I. is made up of Taylor Deupree and Savas Ysatas, and they released several albums. While the two artists still collaborate, they no longer use the S.E.T.I. moniker.
The other S.E.T.I. is Andrew Lagowski, who uses other names (his own, Legion) as well as S.E.T.I., and still does perform/record as S.E.T.I. – he’s performing on May 24th at a festival in Germany.
The Geometry of Night by the Lagowski S.E.T.I. has had a lot written about it – just search the web, far more than I can do justice to or need to duplicate here. It has been around for a while – first released in 1996, but still available. The music is complex and often quite rhythm driven, though never really danceable. The rhythms drive the mood. The bass lines, the melodies, the choirs, the strings: it all swells together into something dark and brooding, though somehow uplifting. While I only listen to the album as a whole – it builds and swirls and demands this kind of extended listening – my favourite track is Mare Crisium: five minutes of sound development before any beat kicks in. This is precise and finely crafted music. Writing to this is energising and vital and gives a real vibrancy to my words.
You can stream the music from last.fm, or better yet, stream or purchase the download from bandcamp