"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!

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!

Discouraging Intruders (Mix)

The main theme for this mix (as well as the title “Discouraging Intruders” ) came from the spoken word track by the Dwindlers: “What the Wolves Said”:

“No two of us on the same note, we sound bigger…our harmony discouraging intruders…”

Although generally not sounding like a pack of howling wolves, sometimes the purpose of ‘ambient’ music also is also is to ‘discourage intruders’ (such as unwanted sounds) to invade your environment..

From the opening, this mix slowly dwells into long drone soundscapes – some discouraging, others comforting – only to be interrupted by a climactic eruption from Siddhartha Barnhoorn‘s cinematic ‘Artifacts‘ directly following the enchanting vocals of Fovea Hex, a choir arrangement that seems to be coming directly from heaven by Franz Liszt (from ‘Via Crucis‘, 1879!), followed by a Sibil’La Catalana string theme from the 15th century – and finally to be concluded by the acquiescent vocals from the Terje Isungset track.   

Whether you prefer to be on the inside or the outside is up to your imagination…

Image with kind permission from the Panopticons project.

Amnesia (Mix)


Photo: 'Misty Park' by Michel Banabila

Although it was created in March, this mix shows little signs of “Spring”.

There was no intentional relation, but inevitably the devastating Japan Earthquake, and the frightening nuclear disaster following it, somehow found its way into this mix.
The result: a rather dark overall atmosphere, which seems to leave little room for hope.
But at the same time, in Europe, winter retreats and daylight returns.
Nature shows that it can destroy as well as recuperate.

Pleq – Ambientblog Mix

Ambientblog proudly presents a new “Guest mix”,  contributed by Bartosz Dziadosz a.k.a. Pleq

After reviewing his latest releases, I did not hesitate when Bartosz asked me if he could contribute a mix to the ambientblog podcasts.

This Pleq Ambientblog mix is not a mix of his own music, but a mix of Various Artists that gives great insight in the kind of music that inspires Pleq.

It kicks in fairly heavy with the high pitched noise of Go Koyashiki’s “Silhouette”, which when it suddenly drops feels like it has prepared your mind to ‘open up’ for the sounds to follow.

Bartosz’ mix balances the almost industrial electronic sounds with the more organic romanticism of (for example) Library Tapes, Max Richter and Spyweirdos.  

Before closing the mix, two previously unreleased tracks are included: a collaboration with Hakobune and another with Natalia Noeila Siebula. 

Secret Chords and Apparitions (Mix)

Imagine yourself in deep sleep. Very deep sleep.
Unaware of your surroundings, unable to control images built from memories, unable to distinguish your dreams from impressions originating from the outside world. 

At times, following a gentle sleep cycle, your consciousness slowly raises – almost up to the point of waking up. At these moments, the outside world is more perceptible, you’re vaguely aware of what’s happening around you.

But not for long, because you gradually sink back to the realm of subconscious deep sleep.  

This mix was created in november, 2010. It was ‘premiered’ on Fluid Radio Mixcloud

Invisible Ink (Mix)

Though the title of Arve Henriksen’s opening track (Stille Veg, Quiet Road) was the working title for this mix, I finally decided to call it “Invisible Ink” – referring to the quote from Laurie Anderson’s track from “Homeland”, which may describe the confused global state (and – if you wish –  the political state of Holland in particular):

Was the Constitution written in visible ink?
Has everybody here forgotten how to think? 
Is this great big boat starting to … sink?”

But apart from this, this journey along the ‘Stille Veg’ may present some interesting encounters – some dark and mysterious, others enchanting and optimistic…

VorteX (Mix)

Since 1995, X-Rated (a weekly three hour radio show on dutch alternative music radio channel Kink FM) has been a “platform for ‘difficult’ music”. Experimental, avant-garde, poetry, soundscapes: uncensored and uncompromised.

(The FM in the channel’s name is somewhat misleading, since it’s a cable radio station that can also be received via internet or satellite).

X-Rated‘s existence for more than 15 years is nothing short of remarkable, because Kink FM (daughter of Veronica Broadcasting company) is a commercial station, while the music X-Rated features is about the opposite of “commercial”. Since dutch public radio has ended (almost) all of the experimental radio shows, X-Rated is about the last dutch program hosting experimental electronic music.

Needless to say that I’m very very proud to have X-Rated broadcast a full one-hour mix, especially created for this occasion. This mix was broadcast on the May 23, 2010 show (the first day of Pentecost).

Vortex was especially created for X-Rated. Thanks to Bob Rusche for broadcasting this on his show!

Fluid Radio Mix


fluid radio

If you check out the Fluid Radio Mixcloud playlist,you’ll find a lot of familiar names: it seems that almost all artists working in the contemporary electronic experimental music field have contributed one or more mixes themselves. Most of these have appeared somewhere in one of my earlier mixes.
These mixes (which are also broadcast on the  ) make Fluid Radio one of the most popular channels on Mixcloud. Fluid Radio Webchannel

Apart from that, Fluid Audio represents a label that has released some impressive music in equally impressive packages…!

The mix presented here was created specifically for Fluid Radio. It is no ‘head-tail’ mixtape, but a collage of fragments that are represented in a different context and, doing so, get a different musical meaning.
Like all of my other mixes, there are a lot of details presented in layers, creating new perspectives – ‘enhanced’ landscapes which sometimes may not be too comfortable but hopefully will be as fascinating to you as they are for me…

This particular mix was especially created for Fluid-Radio in march 2010. It was broadcast on Fluid Radio on May 20, 2010.

Cinta Cita – part 2


Cinta Cita 2

“Cinta Cita – Meeting with the Tape” is the second ‘guest mix’ created especially for ambientblog.net.
(The first was Muttley’s “Isolate”).

Cinta Cita is a 2 1/2 hour journey by DJ Rich-Ears, presented in two parts.
This is Part 2  (Part 1 can be found [here]).  

“Ambient as atmosphere. Ambient as the cusp of melody and texture. Here we have an elegantly complex woven soundtrack (by DJ Rich-Ears) from the Lowlands that takes us through time, back and forth, from the familiar, the rare, the digital and the analogue. Let it be the soundtrack to a moment where everything slows down and re-engage with yourself and your surroundings.”
Robin Rimbaud / Scanner / april 3th – 2010

Cinta Cita – Part 1


Cinta Cita, Part 1

“Cinta Cita – Meeting with the Tape” is the second ‘guest mix’ created especially for ambientblog.net.
(The first was Muttley’s “Isolate”).

Cinta Cita is a 2 1/2 hour journey by DJ Rich-Ears, presented in two parts (Part 2 can be found [here]).  

“Ambient as atmosphere. Ambient as the cusp of melody and texture. Here we have an elegantly complex woven soundtrack (by DJ Rich-Ears) from the Lowlands that takes us through time, back and forth, from the familiar, the rare, the digital and the analogue. Let it be the soundtrack to a moment where everything slows down and re-engage with yourself and your surroundings.”
Robin Rimbaud / Scanner / april 3th – 2010

Subversion Guest Mix

Not long ago, Muttley’s “Isolate” mix was published on Ambientblog as a guest mix.
Muttley’s own Subversion weblog hosts a lot of his mixes, as well as the 15 Minutes of Fame series. 

The SubVersion 15 Minutes of Fame format dictates that any mix should contain no more than 10 tracks and last no longer than 40 minutes. That’s an average of 4 minutes per track.
So, when asked to do a guest mix for this weblog, I had to change my usual approach.

In the ‘collage’ mix format I mostly use, 4 minutes is about the maximum time any included sample gets played – usually far more tracks overlay at any single instance.
So I had to restrict myself in that matter, to create a ‘mixtape’ mix format for this particular issue.

Isolate (Mix)


Muttley profile picture

Isolate is the first mix published on ambientblog.net created by a guest.

Muttley (Michael Buckingham) is actively maintaining the Subvert Central weblog (hosting 60+ mixes now!), and also contributed some mixes to the Low Light Mixes weblog that I’m sure you are all familiar with.

Isolate is a continuous mixtape focussing on drone tracks. It’s a great mix to listen to at night (and falling asleep to).

Miserere (Mix)

First, let me give my best wishes for 2010 to all of you!!

What better way to start the new year than with a brand new mix ánd a brand new design (thanks Ingmar from Planet KL!)?

The design change is symbolic, in a way: after publishing a lot of mixes in 2009, all of wich were created for radio broadcast, it is now time to take a further step and start publishing new mixes.
Miserere” is the first of these brand new mixes to be published. 

Miserere” has taken its name from the concluding piece: Gregoria Allegri’s Miserere, as performed by the Tallis Scholars.

Mark Tamea Mix

A special mix to conclude 2009.
This also is the last upload of the mixes that were created for radio. 
2010 will start off with new mixes exclusively created for this weblog.


tessellation cover

Like “Sounds of Spellborn” (published last week) this mix is different from most previous mixes, in that it does not include many different artists, but concentrates on the music of one single artist: Mark Tamea.

Tamea is a composer from England, currently living in Nijmegen (Holland).
His music is a fascinating combination of electronics, environmental sounds, musique concrête, acoustical and modern classical music.

When I hear the music he creates, I can imagine the wondrous feelings Alice must have had when exploring Wonderland: landscapes vaguely familiar yet alienating, a new surprise at every corner…