Rust (Mix) – The Video Version

When publishing the mixes for Ambientblog, I have always been looking for a way to ‘visualise’ the artist credits for the mix.

Most of the fragments and samples used in the mix-collages are almost indistinguishable, yet the interested listener might want to find out about the release details. 
This is why most mixes on ambientblog also feature a ‘sequence scheme’ image which shows the building blocks of that particular mix.

For my most recent mix, “Rust”, I decided to try out a different feature: a video version, which is showing the track details at the very moment they are used in the mix.

Rust (Mix)

The title of this mix is taken from the beautiful soundtrack it heavily leans on: Alexandre Desplat’s “Rust and Bone” (De Rouille et D’Os”).

“Rust” usually refers to ‘decay’, but in dutch “Rust” simply also means ‘rest‘, (‘tranquil – or ‘repos’ in french).

But – as we say in Holland: “Rust Roest”
or: “Too much rest will make you rusty…”

In other words: don’t expect just ‘tranquil’ sounds in this mix..
This is nót meant to be your average ‘healing session ambient’ soundtrack… so be prepared…

26 Shades of Darkness (Mix)

The sheer volume of the Headphone Commute’s …And Darkness Came’ compilation – issued as a charity fundraising for the victims of Hurricane Sandy, and boasting 87 tracks (over 6 hours) of music – was also a kind of invitation to create a mix from it.
Presenting a wide range of music from well (and lesser) known artists – covering most of the ambient/electronic/post-classical/improv spectre, the compilation is an overview and ‘who’s who’ of what’s happening at this very moment.
Its diversity of sounds and musical ideas will appeal to everyone with open ears.

Broken Lines (Mix)


HAL's eye

If you have ever watched Stanley Kubrick‘s 2001 – Space Odyssey, you will definitely remember the impressive scene in which the memory modules are slowly taken away from HAL, the ship’s main computer, because it started to disfunction and became a threat to the astronauts and their mission.
Just before his memory fades completely, HAL remembers being programmed to sing“Daisy”, one of his earliest digital ‘childhood memories’.

With this scene (as well as with HAL‘s name), Kubrick directly referred to the IBM 7094 computer (used to control the Mercury and Gemini space flights, as well as the Apollo missions) which was programmed to sing Daisy in 1961 – a remarkable accomplishment at that time!

Computer systems revolting, loss of memory, human utterings that seem to come from lost souls….
I guess you’d better be prepared for a dark and suspenseful listening hour …

If you have listened to this mix, I’m really curious to know what you think, so please let me know!
(and please let your friends know, also… just spread the word and make these mixes heard …  thanks for your help!)

"Both Were Moving" (Mix)


image by Asifthebes

At the closing of 2012, I’m proud to present this new ‘dialogue mix’  (the only other collaboration on ambientblog is the Division Dialogue mix created together with Muttley in 2010).

When Christophe Ywaska, creator of the weekly Klankschap radio shows on VillaBota webradio (whose mixes can also be found on Mixcloud, by the way) suggested working on a mix together, I knew we were in for a sonic treat. 
Klankschap mixes are never “just” ambient – or “just” any other genre for that matter. Their tracklistings are a display of a deep knowledge of all kinds of experimental music, both new ánd old.
Due to their nature, they dó require some ‘active’ listening, though: they’re never meant to be ‘easy listening’ background music.

And the same is true for this mix, “Both Were Moving”: this is clearly no ‘ambient’ mix – it’s a sonic rollercoaster ride!

Gathering Clouds (mix)

This must be one of the darkest mixes I have created until now.
I recommend headphone listening for this mix, but also recommend to avoid late night listening – unless, of course, you know what to expect.

The atmosphere is immediately set with the first notes, with a threatening (Boduf Songs) howl , and may even get downright frightening in the end climax.
Yet, not all is dark and gloomy.
In the middle section, there are also more optimistic sounds to enjoy, some more comfortable moments. 

So: just let the Machinefabriek track (‘Stroomtoon Eén’- about 4 minutes from the start) guide you downward to a lower consciousness level – “Inception” style – and from there let your imagination do the rest….

Solaris Mindset (Mix)

Mentioning Andrej Tarkovsky’s 1972 movie Solarisas a source of inspiration has become a bit of cliche somehow. This classic movie (we’re talking the original Russian 1972 version now) has inspired numerous people, in various fields of art, in its 40 years of existence.

The sparse music soundtrack, created by Edward Artemyev, and the overall meditative ambient atmosphere has also inspired a great deal of ambient music artists.
It also inspired this mix-collage.
Referring to Solaris from a mix like this may not really be in the ‘true spirit’ of what Tarkovsky meant to achieve: he originally wanted to make the movie entirely without using music at all, and asked composer Artemyev to orchestrate the ambient sounds as a musical score. The latter proposed subtly introducing orchestral music. (source).

The sparse use of musical background, together with the length and slow pace of the movie (a ‘meditative psychological drama’) has always had a strange effect on me: it puts me in some kind of half-sleep, a kind of state in which where it is difficult to distinguish details, to separate reality from images less ‘real’.
A half-conscious state of mind that perfectly matches the movie’s theme.


Solaris

This mix includes many different sources. Some parts of the originals Artemyev soundtrack are linked to fragments of the beautiful game soundtrack from Skyrim, by Jeremy Soule. The cinematic parts are alternated with various electronic soundscape fragments – familiar and less familiar.
Together with many tiny fragments from your own memory, a new – and strictly personal- alternate reality may be created, which (like in Solaris) may be hard to distinguish from real life…

Solaris was originally released in march 1972.
This tribute mix is celebrating this inspiring movie’s 40th anniversary!

Stillness [Mix]


Stillness

“Stillness”
image by imago2007

This mix obviously found its name from the lovely intro (and outtro) track by Nest.
Inbetween, there are many moments of ‘stillness’, too… Moments you may slowly drift off into the drones, letting your mind wander … to be pulled back again by some of the post-classical ‘anchors’ in this mix by Winged Victory For the Sullen, Human Greed, Vladimír Gódar, and Maya Beiser (member of Bang on a Can, with a stunning cello performance of the Djivan Gasparyan composition ‘Memories’).

Most of the tracks featured in this were released in 2011. But this mix is nót intended as a “Best of..” overview. That would result in a mix with an entirely different atmosphere (- and much longer, because one hour would not be enough to cover all the great releases I have enjoyed in 2011).

Maybe it’s a good way to start a new year with a small opportunity to retreat from current society’s turmoil, and to find some time to ‘cocoon’ to the sounds (and the sometimes fascinating depths) of ‘Stillness’.

Some word of warning, however: if this suggests this mix only contains warm, comfortable and pleasurable sounds, be prepared for some suprises.
I never said that “Stillness” always means “Comforting”…

Best wishes for 2012 to all of you!