low light mixes
flowing, drifting mixes of ambient music.
Set The ControlsApr 28, 2019 01:01:14
And now for something completely different. This latest mix is almost, dare I say, dance music. Yikes! Actually it's not like this is EDM/Dubstep with ridiculous drops and autotune vocals. But all the music in this mix definitely has 4/4 time signature.
One of my favorite discoveries over the last couple of years has been the music of Kiasmos, a minimal techno duo comprised of Ólafur Arnalds and Janus Rasmussen. The music has the 4x4 beat but it's more gentle than full on techno or house music. It's great for keeping pace when out walking the dog.
A few of my other favorites appear in this mix such as Christian Löffler, Recondite and a fantastic cover of Pink Floyd's "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun."
T R A C K L I S T :00:00 Christian Löffler - York 03:00 Emmit Fenn - Halo 22 06:16 Kiasmos - Blurred 10:20 Steve Hauschildt - Alienself 15:35 Ben Bohmer - Flug & Fall 21:37 Stavroz - The Finishing 24:45 Bedouin - Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun 31:50 Dominik Eulberg - Sansula(Max Cooper mix) 36:18 Recondite - Levo 40:43 Isolee - Allowance 46:40 Prins Thomas - Fra Miami til Chicago 51:15 Purl - Vuela 57:25 Loscil - Le Plongeur 61:17 end
Subaquatic UniverseApr 9, 2019 52:40
Nine years ago I did a mix of 70s & 80s library music as a soundtrack for underwater exploration. I've always liked the odd vibe of that mix and always wanted to do a follow up. Now it's finally here with Subaquatic Universe.
It's essentially the same formula and sound as the first one. Vibraphone, fender rhodes, flutes and bubbles play a large role in creating this underwater universe.
While collecting tracks for this mix I came across a bunch of other library music which will make for a great retro 70s sci fi mix which I'll put together later this year.
T R A C K L I S T :00:00 John Hyde - Heron 01:33 Eric Vann - Diving 04:37 Walter Rockman - Chromosomes 06:03 Atmo - Acque Tranquille 08:18 Jim Harbourg - Empathy 10:48 Joel Vandroogenbroeck & F. Voelxen - Cascades 13:27 John Tender - Underwater Fantasy 15:30 Franco Tamponi - Stelle Marine 18:20 Gaston Borreani - Prelude aux Voiliers 20:25 Bruton Library Music - Running Waters 21:50 Walter Rockman - Sea Life 23:20 Teddy Lasry - Moins 8000 27:40 Gerhard Narholz - Electronique 29:20 A.Perry & D.Sarkys - Canadian Colours 4 30:00 Amedeo Tommasi - Correnti Sottomarine 33:03 Walt Rockman - Submarine Scenery 35:03 Eric Vann - Sunken Galleons 38:30 Alan Hawkshaw - Eternity 42:15 Atmo - Acque Profonde 44:30 Piero Umiliani - Musica Delle Sfere 46:12 Gaston Borreani - Cirrus 49:35 Georg Deuter - Deep Sea 52:43 end
Places I've Never Been(Ode to High-Speed Rail)Mar 24, 2019 59:07
Everything about trains is evocative. The sound of the whistle, the rhythm of the tracks, the sounds of the station, etc. Trains make for a perfect theme in electronic music mixes. Which is why you're bound to hear several of them this year from Low Light mixes.
This first one comes to us from my frequent collaborator, Paul Asbury Seaman. Not only has Paul done previous excellent mixes for me, he's also done a couple train mixes. Here's what he has to say about his latest creation...
“In my last mix I celebrated “liminal space,” the long in-betweens of life. Travel by train is both metaphor and literally that. Beyond the excitement of the busy station and going someplace new, for many of us the journey is the destination: the experience as both overview and connectedness, not felt from an airplane. The impetus for this mix was the just-released debut album of d’Voxx, on Ian Boddy’s UK label, DiN. And I dedicate it to the EuroPass, which ever since the 1960s has enabled vacationers and tourists from around the world to travel at highly-discounted rates—including by high-speed rail—anywhere in the 30 countries that are part of the system. Something that in the United States is, for now, only an ambient dream.”
The mix changes gears for the last tune, using sax, acoustics instruments and vocals but Paul thought it would fit well because A) it's called Train and B) it has "the dead-tired but satisfied feeling you have when you get home to your own bed after a long trip."
Cheers and safe travels!
T R A C K L I S T :
00:00 d'Voxx - Akalla Söder(2019 Télégraphe)
08:44 Rival Consoles - Persona(2018 Persona)
15:06 Stimulus Timbre - We Reached for the Sky(2017 A Place We Never Been)
21:40 Steve Roach - Core Meditation 1(2017 CORE - Legacy Edition)
30:05 Evan Marc & Steve Hillage - Alpha Phase(2008 Dreamtime Submersible)
37:45 Aepiel - Aves(2012 Painting The Sky)
46:20 Stimulus Timbre - Look at the Stars & Think of Us(2017 A Place We Never Been)
51:54 His Name Is Alive - Train(2002 Last Night)
LuminoustringsMar 10, 2019 58:09
This mix has been brewing in my head for the last couple of years. Basically I've been planning a follow up to the Luminouspaces mix since I posted it in 2016. I finally got going on the sequel a few weeks ago while listening to "Constellations" by Jane Antonia Cornish. It's an absolutely lovely album. If you like modern classical recordings you'll definitely enjoy it.
The mix begins and ends with a track from Constellations. In between you'll find a collection of modern classical favorites from the last year or two. Like a lot of my mixes, it's a beautiful compilation with a tinge of melancholy.
T R A C K L I S T :00:00 Jane Antonia Cornish - Beyond The Sky(Constellations 2018) 07:20 Glåsbird - Gunnbjørn Fjeld(Grønland 2019) 13:25 Ian Hawgood & Danny Norbury - II(Faintly Recollected 2018) 18:40 Snorri Hallgrimsson - Still Life-Instrumental(Orbit 2018) 21:27 Peter Gregson - Warmth(Quartets Two 2017) 24:45 Laurie Anderson & Kronos Quartet - Another Long Evening(Landfall 2018) 26:30 Ben McElroy - Songs of Iceland(Songs of Iceland 2018) 29:05 William Ryan Fritch - Red Wolves(Birkitshi - Eagle Hunters In A New World 2017) 31:10 Christopher Spelman - The Lost City of Z(The Lost City of Z 2017) 31:50 Max Richter - Shimmering Clouds(My Brilliant Friend OST 2018) 32:50 Ceets - Hover, Over Me(Concrete Fields 2017) 37:45 Valgeir Sigurðsson - Committee(Little Moscow 2018) 39:36 Julia Rovinsky - Metamorphosis II(Dusk 2017) 46:22 Nicholas Britell - The Culmination(Moonlight 2016) 48:00 Jane Antonia Cornish - Wave Cycles(Constellations 2018) 58:12 end
Look what I foundMar 3, 2019 58:30
I digitized my music collection a long time ago. I have a Sonos system throughout my house so I digitized thousands of CDs and packed up the physical copies. I haven't pulled out the actual CDs in a long time but recently I rearranged some furniture and realized that I had sofa table with a cd rack built into it. The thing had been in the same place for so long that I'd forgotten there were CDs in it. I played a bunch of the discs and had a good time re-discovering music that I hadn't heard in quite awhile.
So I made a mix of some my favs. The release years range from 2003 - 2012. There are some regulars that have appeared in many of my mixes - The Green Kingdom, Kyle Bobby Dunn, Maps & Diagrams, From The Mouth Of The Sun. Along with some that I've probably never used - Shirk, Lopside, Relmic Statute, Logreybeam, Herion.
The album, 37, by Lopside was especially cool to reacquaint myself with. It falls into the Boards of Canada, Casino versus Japan category but it's not very well known. It was great to get back into it. Here is the link to Spotify...
The mix starts out a little glitchy and finishes with some classic ambient sounds. I hope you enjoy this little side trip down memory lane.
T R A C K L I S T :00:00 Logreybeam - Beetelguise(It's All Just Another Aspect Of Mannerism 2004) 03:39 Lopside - The Shallow End(37 2003) 06:45 Mokira - untitled 1(album 2003) 10:55 The Green Kingdom - Maplecopter(Twig and Twine 2009) 17:00 Sleepy Town Manufacture & Unit 21 - Swollenguest(No Traces 2009) 19:21 From the Mouth of the Sun - The Crossing(Woven Tide 2012) 20:15 Shirk - Dipsy(The Long Game 2008) 23:05 Map & Diagrams - Everybody's got something to hide(Hidden Landscapes 2011) 25:55 Relmic Statute - template for sand & forest(morning tapes 2010) 30:45 Northern - Coasting(Drawn 2007) 33:15 Tanner Menard - Chemical Secrets And Golden Flowers(The Oceans Of Your Aura 2010) 36:15 A Produce & Loren Nerell - Meadow Dusk(Intangible 2011) 42:00 Chihei Hatakeyama - Cave(Ghostly Garden 2009) 46:05 Adam Pacione - Available Light(from stills to motion 2007) 47:10 Kyle Bobby Dunn - The Tributary -For Voices Lost(A Young Person's Guide To 2010) 54:08 Herion - Moske Orgulie(Out & About 2010) 58:33 end
Low Light NightlightFeb 24, 2019 01:26:44
This mix came about thanks to the sleepy inspiration of two 2019 recordings - "Formless" by Matt Borghi and the "Sleeplaboratory" compilation from Whitelabrecs.
I've been listening to both of these albums at night since they were released. Both are excellent. They serve as bookends on this 86 minute long sleep mix. Check 'em out & then check the mix. Or check out the mix then check out the albums. Or play all three simultaneously to really blow your mind(probably a bad idea actually).
T R A C K L I S T :00:00 Matt Borghi - Water(Formless 2019) 04:23 M. Grig - Nod(Sleeplaboratory 2019) 07:45 Hotel Neon - 12:41AM(Context 2017) 12:56 Glåsbird - Norðurljós(Grønland 2019) 15:47 The Green Kingdom - Cloud Cloak(Ephemera 2018) 19:26 Rim - Ode To Plutonium(We Are Invisible Now 2016) 26:04 Andrew Chalk - Naoko(One Long Year 2019) 27:56 Warmth - Saros(Parallel 2018) 35:40 Robert Rich - Elevations(Tactile Ground 2019) 41:48 Billow Observatory - Soft Logic(III: Chroma/Contour 2019) 45:34 Yoyu - In the Field Where Lovers Meet(Ordinary Moon 2017) 53:47 Mount Shrine - Empty Slopes(Ghosts on Broken Pavement 2019) 61:16 Steve Roach - Atmosphere for Dreaming(Atmosphere for Dreaming 2018) 68:30 Music For Sleep - Waterforms(Waterforms 2019) 72:24 Brian Eno - Irial(Sisters 2017) 81:27 Matt Borghi - Undoing(Formless 2019) 84:22 Daliah - With Z((Sleeplaboratory 2019) 86:48 end
Open SpacesFeb 17, 2019 28:56
One of my favorite discoveries late last year was the album In Currents by Innesti. It's a wonderful combination of field recordings, loops, drones and light touches. I put it on my second Best of 2018 mix.
Innesti has a new album coming out on Feb. 25th and we are lucky to have a preview of it on this guest mix he has created.The mix stays true to the Innesti sound - gentle, calming, floating. I am excited to hear the new album and excited for this sneak peak.
Here are a couple Innesti links...
00:00 Innesti - The Architecture of Clouds (Formless)
04:42 Yoyu - Open Space, Holding You Tenderly (Manitoba Forest Medicine)
08:32 Astrolabe - Afterglow (Lights Beyond the Mist)
12:34 Gallery Six - Harukaze (Bansyun)
16:06 Ishq - Cloud Forest (Flowering Mountain Earth)
18:14 ASC - Hadal Zone (The Waves)
21:47 Jacob Newman - Invisible Autumn (Invisible Autumn)
23:49 Eternell - Haven (Haven)
T R A C K L I S T :
Liminal / Space: Long-form DroningFeb 10, 2019 01:11:28
You know how when you see a certain director is involved with a film, like Christopher Nolan, you just know it'll be interesting. Or how music released on certain labels, such as 12k, will definitely be worth exploring. Well, that's how I feel when the tag "Curated by Paul Asbury Seaman" is attached to a mix.
Paul & I have collaborated on several mixes and all have been excellent. It's only Feb. 10th and already we've been treated to two of Paul's mixes. This one is a bit of a departure for him, using pieces that are, like the title says, long-form drones. For me droning ambient can be very hit & miss. This mix is definitely a hit.
Here's what Paul says about it:
“Most of us have contemplated the seemingly contradictory opposites that are a fundamental aspect of reality: good and evil, joy and pain, love and hate, our inner world and infinite space. But this ying/yang, male/female, fire/water dichotomy obscures the fact that much of life is lived in the in-between, in the places where light and dark overlap. Perhaps one reason so many people find calm and inspiration at the beach is its liminal quality—between the ocean and the land. In this mix I give you 71 minutes in that mysterious clarity between trance and tranquility.”
T R A C K L I S T :00:00 Alio Die - A Place Beyond(Sitar Meditations 2015) 10:46 Louigi Verona - droning198(droning198 2016) 26:55 Louigi Verona - droning276(droning276 2017) 46:28 Ascendent - Sylvan Rotation(Meridian EX 2018) 58:08 Steve Roach - Part Seven(Ultra Immersion Concert 2013) 71:32 end
The Passing StormFeb 3, 2019 57:24
The inspiration for this mix came from Mike Lazarev of Headphone Commute. Last year he discovered an old hard drive with some of his old mixes from around 2006. Called fiftmuziek sessions, he posted some online and you can find them here...
They focus on classic IDM & ambient electronica from that era & they are fantastic.
One of the mixes that Mike uncovered from that same time period featured albums from Native State artists Rena Jones and Shen. I fell in love with this mix. I played it non-stop for a few weeks and I knew that at some point I'd make a mix that used some of those tunes. Here is Mike's mix titles Resplendent...
My mix, The Passing Storm, takes its name from the track by Rena Jones which opens the mix. The sound is classic IDM. Most of the tunes are from 2001 - 2007 with the exception of the Autechre & Plastikman cuts. Even though "Bike" is 10 years older I just couldn't do an IDM mix without Autechre.
I am very happy with how this mix turned out. I'll definitely have to crank out another one later this year.
Also, just a quick reminder that there is now an easy way to support me & the artists in these mixes. It's called Mixcloud Select and you can find out more here...
T R A C K L I S T :00:00 Rena Jones - The Passing Storm(2006) 05:00 Shen - Main Springs(2006) 08:44 Autechre - Bike(1994) 13:27 Brothomstates - Mdrmx(2001) 17:36 Lusine - Jetstream(2007) 22:40 AM/PM - the ends 4(2004) 29:10 Farben - A Famous Myth(2003) 34:05 Plastikman - Pakard(1998) 44:25 Rena Jones - Driftwood(2006) 50:47 Jan Jelinek - Tendency(2001) 57:27 end
Deep FreezeJan 27, 2019 01:00:27
We were having such a nice mild winter here in Wisconsin but then I had to go and jinx it in the last post in which I said we hadn't very much snow. Well, since then we've had two significant snow storms with another 12 inches expected over the next two days.
Snow I can handle but the temps have plummeted - the high temp yesterday was 4° with wind chills around -25°. Ugh. But it gets worse - Wednesday's high temp is supposed to be -14°! That's the high temperature! So much for our nice mild winter. I'm getting too old for this!
I had an IDM mix all ready to post but the frigid landscape was calling for a frozen mix. Most of the tracks are new, 2017 & 2018. And every track has an appropriate cold word in the title. Such as winter, frozen, wind, ice, cold, arctic, snow, etc.
I recommend listening with a cup of hot tea nearby or better yet a large glass of scotch.
T R A C K L I S T :00:00 The Gentleman Losers - Make We Here Our Camp Of Winter(2018) 05:25 Stray Theories - Frozen Skies(2018) 10:08 Zoë Keating - Icefloe(2018) 13:36 Helios - North Wind(2018) 16:53 Luton - Ice Museum(2018) 20:30 Spheruleus - Frozen(2010) 22:37 r beny - Glacial Tongues(2018) 26:02 Rapoon - Ice Whispers(2007) 31:27 Porya Hatami - Snow(2012) 37:54 Hotel Neon - Cold Suns(2018) 47:47 Akira Kosemura - Snowy Sky(2017) 49:20 Halo - Winter Lullaby II(2012) 50:50 Seabuckthorn - Sent In By The Cold(2018) 54:50 Michael Brook - On Ice(2017) 55:46 Maiya Hershey - Arctic Waters(2017)
Sunday Morning Music vol. 17 - Sparkling Early MorningsJan 13, 2019 01:01:21
I haven't posted a Sunday morning mix in a long time. So here is the first Sunday morning collection of 2019.
There's not much to say - it's the typical Sunday morning mix. A little jazz, some ambient, some instrumental, etc. Most of the tunes are fairly new with three exceptions.
The cover pic is my backyard, but not from this year as we haven't had much snow at all. Of course I just jinxed it so next week we'll probably get 3 feet.
T R A C K L I S T :00:00 Johann Johannsson - Mandy Love Theme(2018) 01:30 Ben Rath - A Quiet Morning(2019) 06:25 Luis Miehlich - Spring Haiku 2(2018) 10:19 Andrey Kiritchenko - Sparkling Early Mornings(2008) 13:55 Joseph Shabason - Treat It Like A Wine Bar(2018) 19:43 Alice Coltrane - Radhe-Shyam(1977) 23:32 Peppermoth - Claude(2018) 27:34 Gigi Masin - Kite(2018) 31:45 Dean Mcphee - The Devil's Knell(2018) 36:00 Hampshire & Foat - End Song(2017) 37:46 Eli Keszler - Fifty Four To Madrid(2018) 40:58 The Necks - The World At War(1990) 56:00 Endurance - Measurements of Light(2017) 61:24 end
Future Days - A Kraut Rock MixJan 6, 2019 01:18:03
As is usually the case with these mixes, one song sets me on the path towards a new collection. In this case it was the song T by Dan Lissvik.
It keep popping up on a few of my playlists and I always thought it had kind of kraut rock feel to it. I realized that I've never made a kraut rock mix and that needs to be rectified.
I don't want to get into a debate about what is and isn't kraut rock. There are tracks from kraut rock classics like Neu! and Can. But there are also three cuts from new artists like Dan Lissvik, Sankt Otten and Kilchhofer. Those new tunes are in there because I thought they fit with the kraut rock vibe.
The rest of the mix contains artists like Cluster, Ashra, Popol Vuh, Holger Czukay, Conrad Schnitzler, Bernard Szajner and Gunter Schickert. I'm exactly sure which ones would qualify as kraut rock but I think they're all close enough.
T R A C K L I S T :00:00 Neu! - Isi(1975) 04:55 Dan Lissvik - T(2016) 09:55 Conrad Schnitzler - Ballet Statique(1978) 14:00 Holger Czukay - Persian Love(1982) 18:55 Ashra - Shuttle Cocks(1977) 25:10 Cluster - Sowiesoso(1976) 31:55 Sankt Otten - Zwischen Demut und Disco(2018) 37:24 Bernard Szajner - The Memory(1980) 41:30 Can - Future Days(1973) 46:00 Kilchhofer - Lubbari(2018) 49:20 Ashra - Blackouts(1977) 53:35 Gunter Schickert - Guitarre Wlaurniam(1983) 57:25 Neu! - Weissensee(1972) 63:25 Popol Vuh - Hoere, Den Du Wagst(1978) 69:00 Cluster - Zum Wohl(1976) 75:20 Bernard Szajner - A Kind of Freedom(1980) 78:07 end
Turning HopefulDec 30, 2018 01:08:33
This is the perfect mix to close out 2018 and look forward to 2019. "Turning Hopeful" has a more hopeful, positive vibe than most of my mixes. Which is why it should be no surprise to find out that it was curated by the one and only Paul Asbury Seaman.
I like working together with Paul because he takes mixes in slightly different directions than I usually do. These collaborations bring a nice breath of fresh air to this 12 year old mix blog.
Here's what Paul says about this mix:
"This mix features melodic ambient tracks with a hopeful feeling, including some early New Age classics guaranteed to put a smile on your face. Also, brand new tracks from Byron Metcalf and Remote Vision, a solo project of Don Tyler (Ascendant). The theme was inspired by the title song from John Hiatt’s 1988 album, “Slow Turning.” Redemption means turning from one way of being to embrace another, a recurring process, fueled by hope."
Thanks Paul, in 2019 I hope we can all turn hopeful.
Cheers & Happy New Year!
T R A C K L I S T :00:00 Scott August - New Horizons(Radiant Sky 2010) 06:09 Jan Garbarek - In Praise of Dreams(In Praise of Dreams 2004) 11:24 Ulrich Schnauss - Knuddelmaus(Far Away Trains Passing By 2001) 17:54 Kitaro - Caravansaray(India 1983) 22:08 Richard Burmer - The Turn Again(Bhakti Point 1987) 27:12 Mark Isham - On The Threshold Of Liberty(Vapor Drawings 1983) 34:20 Vic Hennegan - Aqua Donna(Aqua Vista 2008) 40:30 Erik Wøllo - Wind Journey 2(Wind Journey 2001) 45:25 Oystein Sevag - Miles Near(Link 1993) 47:00 Vangelis - Hymn(Themes 1989) 49:37 Detlef Keller - Last Step(Harmonic Steps 2005) 53:30 Remote Vision - Into Light(Into Light 2018) 59:34 Byron Metcalf - A Naturally Occurring Heart(Inner Rhythm Meditations, Vol. II 2018) 68:37 end
Best of the Rest - Ambient 2018Dec 23, 2018 01:17:40
Right after I posted my Best Ambient of 2018 mix I started diving into a bunch of other year end lists. Of course I discovered some excellent releases that I would have included in my mix/list if I had known about them in time. I found enough music that I decided to create a second Best of 2018 mix.
I could probably make a third mix but I've got to stop sometime. What were your favorite recordings of 2018?
2019 is just around the corner and it will start with a mix curated by the very talented Paul Asbury Seaman.
T R A C K L I S T :00:00 Francis Harris - St. Catherine and the Calm(Trivial Occupations) 12:00 Luca Longobardi - Marte(The Garden) 17:38 Off Land - Zircon(Mineral Echoes) 26:40 Kenji Kihara - Sunny Spot(Scenes of Scapes) 31:50 Innesti - In Currents(In Currents) 39:45 Umber - Harvest(slow)(This Earth To Another) 48:55 Cremation Lily - Outlined Expanse(In England Now, Underwater) 53:12 Okomotive / Joel Schoch - Warmth in the Cold(Lone Sails) 56:10 James Murray - Old Friend(Falling Backwards) 61:20 The Gentleman Losers - Bend Low, Sweet Branch, Bend Low(Make We Here Our Camp Of Winter) 65:53 Okomotive / Joel Schoch - Bridge(Lone Sails) 67:13 Spheruleus - Saturday Drones(Saturday Drones) 77:44 end
Ambient XmasDec 16, 2018 01:08:56
Even though Christmas music has gotten more interesting than Dean Martin and Bing Crosby, there is not an awful lot of ambient Christmas music out there. So I've only attempted an xmas mix one other time and it was just okay. Until this year.
Thanks to a wonderful album from Matt Borghi I decided to give a holiday ambient mix another shot. Matt's album is called simply - "Ambient Guitar for Christmas."
And it's exactly what it sounds like - slow, ambient guitar with tons of reverb playing recognizable tunes that drift in and out of recognizability. From there everything else flowed pretty easily with a combination of classic xmas tunes to winter and snow songs.
Cheers and Happy Holidays!
T R A C K L I S T :
00:00 Matt Borghi - The First Noel(Ambient Guitar for Christmas) 03:40 Fuzzy Lights - Snowstorm in a Snow Globe 06:12 Dollboy - Look Darling, It's Starting to Snow 08:22 Clem Leek - Away in America 14:40 Rachel's - NY Snow Globe 17:00 Voces8 - Winter 20:15 The Green Kingdom - Sleep, Snow 28:20 Casino vs Japan - Christmas Morning 28:43 Matt Borghi - Shchedryk 31:35 Wil Bolton - Coventry Carol 33:54 Bill Nelson - The Christmas Gift 35:05 Sara and Adam - Wonderful Christmastime 38:35 Takahiro Kido - Christmas Song 44:04 Helios - Sunes Christmas 47:52 John Zorn - Christmas Time is Here 52:22 Voces8 - For Now I Am Winter 56:40 Matt Borghi - Silent Night 69:00 end
Best Ambient of 2018Dec 9, 2018 01:59:18
As much as I like end-of-the-year lists, I also get a bit anxious about them. As I compile them I keep thinking that I've missed something. Then as I'm re-listening to albums I start thinking "Is this one really that good?" & "Maybe this one deserves a slot...or this one...or this one..." Eventually I realize that these lists aren't anything definitive that I'll be judged on. Unless there's an ambient god in ambient heaven who will let me in or cast me out based on a lifetime of music choices. In that case I will pay for having listened to so much Enya in the 90s. ;-)
So after that meandering introduction, here is my Best of 2018 list and mix. As you'll see, the list is longer than the mix. That's mostly due to not wanting a 4 hour mix and also to some stuff just not fitting sonically.
It was another good year for music. Between my ambient/electronic fandom and my continued obsession with indie music, I barely have time to breathe sometimes. I'll post some links to Spotify playlists that kept me going this year.
In alphabetical order, here's the list of my favorite ambient albums of 2018:
1. A Strangely Isolated Place - Full Circle
2. Albrecht La'Brooy - Tidal River 
3. Christina Vantzou - no. 4 
4. Dean McPhee - Four Stones 
5. Delia Derbyshire Appreciation Society - Wow and Flutter [six degrees 2018]
6. Eli Keszler - Stadium
7. Frank Bretschneider - Lunik
8. From the Mouth of the Sun - Sleep Stations
9. G. B. Beckers - Walkman
10. GiGi Masin - kite
11. Halftribe - For The Summer - Or Forever
12. Helios - Veriditas
13. Hibernis - Middle of the Meds
14. Joseph Shabason - Anne
15. Kasper Bjorke Quartet - The Fifty Eleven Project
16. Khruangbin - Con Todo El Mundo
17. Klangriket & Sjors Mans - The Amsterdam Sessions
18. Leon Vynehall - Nothing Is Still
19. Lost Tribe Sound - We Stayed The Path That Fell To Shadow
20. Luton - Black Box Animals
21. Markus Guentner - Empire
22. Monty Adkins - Empire
23. Ocoeur - Inner
24. Olafur Arnalds - Re;member
25. Rival Consoles - Persona
26. Robert Davies - Elemental Shimmer
27. TAYLOR DEUPREE - Fallen
28. The Advisory Circle - Ways of Seeing
29. Triac - departure
30. William Selman - Musica Enterrada
And here's the mix:
T R A C K L I S T :00:00 Leon Vynehall - From The Sea It Looms(Nothing is Still) 04:12 The Advisory Council - The Soft Dissolve(Ways of Seeing) 07:20 Ocoeur - Mother(Inner) 12:50 Halftribe - Balm(For The Summer-Or Forever) 16:07 Helios - Harmonia(Veriditas) 19:30 Delia Derbyshire Appreciation Society - She Brought The Sun(Wow & Flutter) 26:28 Klangriket & Sjors Mans - Prinsengracht(The Amsterdam Sessions) 31:47 William Selman - The Island Before The Internet(Musica Enterrada) 36:11 Eli Keszler - Which Swarms Around It(Stadium) 38:46 Taylor Deupree - The Lost Sea(Fallen) 43:51 Need A Name - Road to Berlin(A Strangley Isolated Place - Full Circle) 49:00 William Ryan Fritch - Burrow(Lost Tribe Sound - We Stayed The Path That Fell To Shadow) 53:24 Olafur Arnalds - Undir(Re;member) 58:15 Frank Bretschneider - Optik(Lunik) 1:01:28 Kasper Bjorke Quartet - Os(The Fifty Eleven Project) 1:12:48 Rival Consoles - I Think So(Persona) 1:16:58 Markus Guentner - Refraction(Empire) 1:25:20 Christina Vaztzou - No. 4 String Quartet(no. 4) 1:28:02 Robert Davies - Tangled Undergrowth(Elemental Shimmer) 1:35:28 Monty Adkins - Empire(Empire) 1:41:31 Triac - departure three(departure) 1:45:32 Luton - Ice Museum(Black Box Animals) 1:49:22 G.B. Beckers - Klandschwaden(Walkman) 1:54:19 Albrecht La'Brooy - Datbreak(Tidal River) 1:59:24 end
The Dreamer Descends - InSight Lands on MarsNov 26, 2018 01:02:42
After six months of travel from Earth, NASA's InSight spacecraft is on a precise trajectory to land on Mars. If all goes well it should be touching down on the surface of the red planet about 6 hours after this mix is initially posted.
The tracks for this mix have all been selected to tell the story of InSight and its journey to Mars. The track titles take us chronologically from Farewell, O Earth to Between Two Worlds to Arrival to Descent to Landing to Sunrise on Mars.
T R A C K L I S T :00:00 Murcof & Vanessa Wagner - Farewell, O World, O Earth 07:15 Warmth - Insight 14:50 Moon Wiring Club - Between Two Worlds 15:52 Rival Consoles - Untravel 21:10 Johann Johannsson - Arrival 23:27 Nick Cave & Warren Ellis - Mars 27:05 Nick Cave & Warren Ellis - Mars Theme 28:40 Ohrwert - Angle of Incidence 30:05 Pye Corner Audio - Descent 31:15 Steve Roach - The Dreamer Decends 35:30 Seabuckthorn - Blackout 38:08 Tonepoet & Cloudfall - Free Falling Through Life's Cavernous Atmosphere 43:25 Porya Hatami - Landing 45:25 The Future Sound Of London - The Dust Settles 48:25 Dirac - Elysium 51:56 Lights Out in Asia - All Is Quiet In The Valley 55:18 Heavenchord - Sunrise on Mars 60:13 Julien Marchal - Insight XIV 62:45 end
Breathe DeepNov 17, 2018 01:03:13
I work in TV news so as you can imagine with the midterm elections, wildfires, mass shootings, presidential tweets, etc., things can get pretty crazy. Sometimes you need to step back and take a breath. That's where this new mix comes in.
This collection is called "Breathe Deep" because all the tunes have a pace to them that sort of mimics breathing. In and out, back and forth, ebb and flow. It's similar to three other mixes I've done that follow the same path. This works very well as a sleep mix because it follows the slow breathing of a sleepy human(and dog).
T R A C K L I S T :00:00 Helios - Mulier 06:25 Deepspace - Dark Dark Blue 14:25 Max Corbacho - Starlight Grace 20:12 Chequerboard - A Field of Night 26:07 Tonepoet & Cloudfall - A Recollection of Distances 34:08 Time Rival - Thorn Bird 40:04 Billow Observatory - Montclair 44:20 Steve Roach - Magnificent Gallery 52:45 Laraaji - Introspection 63:16 end
Shimmering LandNov 4, 2018 01:12:03
I have collaborated with Paul Asbury Seaman and several mixes and I look forward each and every one. Paul's mixes tend to be more ethereal, spiritual than mine and that's why I enjoy them so much. they take me on journeys I would go on otherwise.
They way Paul and I work on these mixes is he sends me his well thought out tracklist in order. Then I just mix them together so they flow well. Essentially, Paul does all the heavy lifting.
So here is our latest collab - Shimmering Land. Paul had this to say about it:
"Meg Bowles is one of the few (prominent) female artists working in the ambient/electronic genre. She has only released five albums, including Evensong earlier this year, seven years after her last one, so there’s cause for celebration. All her albums are top-notch ethereal/soothing journeys similar to the tracks by other artists featured here. This mix includes a beautiful piece by Deborah Martin from her recent compilation."
I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.
T R A C K L I S T :00:00 Meg Bowles - Into the Gloaming (The Shimmering Land 2013) 08:25 Sherry Finzer & Tom Moore - Infinite Space (Whispers From Silence 2016) 14:30 Alio Die - Radiance Revealed (Time Zone Portal 2017) 22:25 Ishq - Scielienta (Lyght 2018) 27:30 Jeff Greinke - High Flyers of the Night Sky (Before Sunrise 2018) 35:50 Meg Bowles - The Forgotten Valley (From the Dark Earth 1999) 42:55 Zero Ohms - Glimpsing the Eternal (Process of Being 2014) 55:00 Deborah Martin - Blue Lake (Selections 2018) 61:10 bvdub - Rainless [R]ivers (A Different Definition of Love 2018) 72:07 end
Shadowland DiariesOct 27, 2018 01:01:35
I stumbled upon the song "Was The Singing Bellowing" by Eli Keszler while listening to Spotify at work and I immediately knew I wanted to make a Halloween mix. The tune creates this great odd feeling without being too dark.
As I have stated here before, I'm not a fan of dark ambient. Especially the dissonant, droney kind of dark ambient. So when I've made Halloween/dark mixes before they have tended to be more off kilter than straight up dark. This mix leans more towards acoustic arrangements than electronic. It also leans heavily on new music with all but 3 or 4 songs having been released in 2018.
Grab a bowl of candy, a Dead Guy Ale and sit on the front porch with this mix blaring from the speakers as you wait for the trick-or-treaters to show up.
T R A C K L I S T :00:00 Eli Keszler - Was The Singing Bellowing 03:25 Luton - Step Into The Void 06:25 Gamardah Fungus - Actus Fidei 11:52 Christine Vantzou - Doorway 17:18 Seabuckthorn - Blackout 19:55 Grouper - Wind & Snow 23:15 Sarah Davachi - Evensong 26:26 Spheruleus - I Could Live Here 29:33 The Caretaker - Advanced Plaque Entaglements 30:55 High Plains - The Buttes 35:05 Fred Frith - No Birds 37:00 Ólafur Arnalds - Before the Calm 38:00 Tim Hecker - Boreal Kiss 3 39:25 Wil Bolton - A Garden Lost 42:25 Peter Gabriel - In Doubt 43:38 Luton - Black Concrete 48:25 Peppermoth - Underground 52:25 Stars of the Lid - F*cked Up 3:57am 57:25 From the Mouth of the Sun - Risen, Darkened 61:38 end
mental medicationOct 15, 2018 01:35:55
My hometown baseball team, the Milwaukee Brewers, had a fantastic finish to close the regular season. They captured the central division title and are now in the playoffs. I am loving every minute of it but it's also stressful as heck! I am definitely too old for this kind of roller coaster ride.
I went to the first two games of the playoffs and between standing for half the game, clapping on every pitch, screaming my head off and the adrenaline rush of close games, I am exhausted! I don't know if I'll last the whole post-season.
So I figured I needed a little "mental medication" and came up with this mix. It's even more soothing than my normal ambient mix. This is music for meditation. Music for contemplation. Music for concentrating...on destroying the Dodgers. Oops! See that's exactly why I need this mix. Haha! This mix actually is a meditative type of mix that you could almost play in a spa. If that spa was way cooler than a normal spa and it played good music.
Cheers and Go Brewers!
T R A C K L I S T :00:00 Sonmi451 - Angel 05:22 Bengalfuel - Arcs 09:40 Julia Rovinsky - An Arc of Doves 15:40 Ruven Nunez - As Above, So Below 26:05 The Heart is Awake - Ec 30:35 Spheruleus - Saturday Drones 37:35 Hiroshi Yoshimura - Clouds 42:30 Alex Crispin - Rosewater 47:00 Raul Lovisoni & Francesco Messina - Prati Bagnati Del Monte Analogo 58:45 Eternell - Resting On The Surface Of A Stream 74:30 Ruven Nunez - As Below, So Above 96:00 end
Memories are an old filmOct 7, 2018 01:01:01
The idea for this mix came from a track by Andrew Sherwell on his wonderful new album, Orthodox Tales, released by the excellent label Whitelabrecs.
The song, "And the Smoke of the Incense," starts off with the sound of a film projector. That sound is strangely evocative and I love how it sounds in that cut. After hearing that tune I created a folder called "My Life is an Old Film" and I would occasionally toss in similar sounding tracks. Eventually I collected enough cuts for a mix and decided to change the name to "Memories are an Old Film."
Many of these tracks have a bit of noise and scratchiness that one would associate with an old 8mm film. I added a few film projector sound fx here and there to continue the vibe.
T R A C K L I S T :
00:00 Andrew Sherwell - And the Smoke of the Incense(2018) 03:15 L. Pierre - 1948 part 2(2017) 08:45 Ghost And Tape - Eostre(2017) 13:25 Luton - Spectres of Mark(2018) 15:38 Masaya Kato - Desensitization(2018) 18:05 Max Richter - Old Song(2004) 19:55 The Caretaker - Synapse Retrogenesis(2018) 21:30 Parallelism - Tapes(2018) 25:30 Lusine - drip(2004) 27:25 Clem Leek - Rogers Park(2018) 30:50 Aaron Martin - Memories are Drifting Bells(2018) 32:15 Ashlar - Same Fate(2018) 36:15 Tape Loop Orchestra - Inner Voice(2018) 43:30 Time Rival - Carbon Fever pt. 3(2018) 49:55 Max Richter - Shadow Journal(2004) 52:10 The Caretaker - Advanced Plaque Entanglements(2018) 53:55 Kilchhofer - Nihic(2018) 57:41 Dakota Suite - De Ziekte Van Emile(2018) 61:04 end
Rivers & RoadsSep 16, 2018 01:05:37
I'm not sure where this mix started but I've had a playlist on Spotify called "Rivers & Roads" for awhile. It's mostly acoustic, folk tunes dealing with, you guessed it - rivers and roads. I figured it might make for a nice change of pace.
The mix alternates between vocal tunes & instrumentals. All of which have the typical Low Light Mixes feel. It also works nicely as a soundtrack for fall.
Easily my favorite song is the one from Damien Jurado. "Over Rainbows & Rainier" is from his wonderful 2018 album, "The Horizon Just Laughed." If you like this tune check out the rest of the album.
I hope everyone enjoys this vocal diversion. We'll be back to electronics soon.
T R AC K L I S T :00:00 Damien Jurado - Over Rainbows & Rainier 04:05 Explosions in the Sky - To West Texas 07:50 Nick Drake - River Man 11:52 Phil Cook - Old Hwy D 14:58 Neil Halstead - Sleeping on Roads 19:05 Phosphorescent - This Land is Your Land 22:30 Bill Frisell - Small Town 23:25 Lowland Hum - Nightdriving 27:16 John Fahey - Sunflower River Blues 27:47 Adam Torres - Mountain River 30:52 M. Ward - Slow Driving Man 35:10 Clem Leek - Burlson,TX 37:38 Sun Kil Moon - Like the River 40:32 Western Skies Motel - Empty Rooms 44:05 Mountain Man - River 46:15 Gillian Welch - Apache Tears(reprise) 49:01 The Lumineers - Long Way From Home 51:27 Daniel Lanois - Dusty 52:45 Tallest Man on Earth - Rivers 56:30 A.A. Bondy - Highway Fevers 61:08 The Head & The Heart - Rivers & Roads 65:40 end
The Way HomeAug 26, 2018 00:56:57
Earlier this year I was asked by the folks at Lifted Icons to do a guest mix. It was a unique mix because I did two 20 minute sets that were then incorporated into a larger nearly 2-hour mix.
dubstrates & dreamstatesAug 11, 2018 01:14:34
Ambient dub is one of my favorite sub-genres. I’ve done several “dubby & dreamy” mixes over the years. Such as:
Galaxy ExpressJul 27, 2018 01:14:32
Folding Water - Fourth World ExcursionsJul 17, 2018 00:58:49
Harold & Durango BuddJul 1, 2018 01:01:25
A few months ago when I reached out to a few folks to create guest mixes, one of the first people I contacted was Matt Borghi. I’ve been listening to Matt’s music for a long time and with him running the Ambient Soundbath Podcast it would [...]
Guitarissimo #2 - In a Languid MoodJun 23, 2018 01:18:04
Warming TrendMay 27, 2018 01:02:29
Mixcloud Online Radio AwardsMay 11, 2018 00:01:28
Low Light Mixes has been nominated for “Best Online Music Show - Ambient/Chillout” by Mixcloud. Woo Hoo!
I make these mixes for my own amusement so when recognition like this comes along it’s icing on the ambient cake. Judges w [...]
these delicate soundsApr 29, 2018 00:59:56
Sunday Morning Music vol. 16 - DaybreakApr 15, 2018 00:59:48
Slow Motion UniverseApr 8, 2018 00:59:57
Piano Day 2018Mar 29, 2018 01:00:11
Apollo VermouthMar 11, 2018 00:54:40
When researching artists or labels that might be interested in doing a guest mix I came across a label that is based very close to me here in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I’d never really thought that there might be an ambient community here.
I decided to do a search for “ambient” and “Milwaukee.” And what do ya know, I got [...]
Shimmer - an alternative soundtrack to the film AnnihilationMar 5, 2018 00:58:41
SnowblindFeb 26, 2018 01:01:34
The Sun’s Gone Dim - A Tribute to Johann JohannssonFeb 11, 2018 01:02:04
Rusted Tone Recordings Guest MixFeb 5, 2018 01:00:00
Frontiers of SpaceJan 28, 2018 01:00:56
I recently stumbled upon an album by The National Pool called “Relaxation Tape for Solo Space Travel.”
A Mystical AmbienceJan 19, 2018 01:04:50
JAZZ 2017Dec 28, 2017 01:01:52
Best Ambient of 2017Dec 18, 2017 02:07:33
It’s that time of the year again - end of the year Best Of list time! It’s always a difficult task to pick albums for one of these lists. But it’s also fun because I get to sort through a bunch of music and it’s definitely cool to have a look at other lists and discover a ton of things I misse [...]
Alternative Blade Runner 2049 SoundtrackDec 4, 2017 01:01:37
Being a science fiction & electronic music geek, it’s no surprise that I’m a big fan of the soundtrack for the original Blade Runner film. When I heard that they’d tabbed Johann Johannsson to do the score for the 2049 film I was very excited. But then he was pulled from the project & replaced [...]
beneath the dustNov 25, 2017 01:01:45
Sunday Morning Music vol. 15 - October SkyOct 23, 2017 01:01:45
A Distant PulseSep 22, 2017 01:21:37
Requiem for CassiniSep 15, 2017 00:53:44
IcelightAug 28, 2017 01:05:59
In the Shadow of the Moon - Solar Eclipse 2017Aug 21, 2017 00:59:48
Rhythm of the RailsJul 24, 2017 00:58:20
Floating Through MoonlightJul 9, 2017 00:52:10
Juno Spacecraft - Mission to JupiterJun 30, 2017 00:55:44
Ocean EchoesMay 22, 2017 01:16:57
The Memory of TrainsMay 1, 2017 01:12:12
I wonder why the sound of trains is so evocative. Even for folks who have never been on a train there is something about the sound of a train on the tracks that stirs the imagination. This mix will hopefully have the same effect.
I was surprised to find that I’ve only done two previous train themed mixes. It sur [...]
Pale Blue Dot - Earth Day 2017Apr 23, 2017 01:04:56
GuitarissimoApr 17, 2017 01:09:18
Sunday Morning Music vol. 14 - Early BirdApr 9, 2017 01:06:49
Off_WorlderApr 2, 2017 00:55:51
City Centre Offices - Impact & InspirationMar 26, 2017 01:06:19
a slow thaw 2017Mar 10, 2017 01:02:24
Sci Fi SoundtracksJan 27, 2017 01:02:55
Best Ambient of 2016Dec 21, 2016 01:21:29
Cinematic HeadspaceDec 11, 2016 00:54:44
MysteriosoNov 26, 2016 62:45
endless ambientNov 13, 2016 06:15:22
still falls the rain 2016Oct 17, 2016 00:48:41
Stranger SynthsOct 5, 2016 01:04:13
I’m sure by now that most of you have seen or heard about the TV show “Stranger Things” on Netflix. If you haven’t seen it, definitely check it out. It totally rips off Close Encounters, ET, Poltergeist, Stand By Me, Firestarter, etc. but it doesn’t matter because it’s ripping them off in a loving way.
The same is true for the soundtrack. It’s got a great analog synth sound reminiscent of Tangerine Dream and John Carpenter soundtracks. The minute I heard the Stran [...]
LuminouspacesSep 28, 2016 01:00:59
Two of my favorite albums this year are from Icelandic composers, Jóhann Jóhannsson - Orphée and Ólafur Arnalds - Islands. How does the tiny country of Iceland produce so many incredible artists? I don’t know how but I’m happy every time new music comes from that mysterious place.[...]
Ambient Decades: 1980sSep 12, 2016 01:17:05
Perfect Persied PlaylistAug 24, 2016 01:43:32
Ambient Decades: 1970sAug 5, 2016 01:31:05
This is the first in a series of mixes featuring ambient music from each of the past 4 1/2 decades.
Ambient music came to it’s full expression during the 1970s with Eno’s Discreet Music & Music for Airports. This mix explores those albums and other electronic gems. This mix/list is by no means definitive. It’s music from my collection that is a representation of the emergence of ambient in the 1970s.
The Color of Space guest mix by Mike G of Ambient Music GuideJul 16, 2016 01:16:09
Sunday Morning Music vol. 13 - Silver SunriseJun 12, 2016 00:54:20
The latest in the Sunday morning series features a gorgeous remix of a Silver Lake Chorus tune from their forthcoming [...]
dubscapes & seascapesMay 30, 2016 01:13:33
Unfurling ForcesMay 1, 2016 00:55:22
Piano MomentsApr 25, 2016 01:02:14
Guitar-scapesMar 7, 2016 01:54:31
Cinema AtmosphericaFeb 22, 2016 00:55:24
As with so many of these mixes this one grew out of one particular recording. In this case it was The Revenant soundtrack by Ryuichi Sakamoto with Alva Noto. It’s an absolutely gorgeous film score and I knew I needed to build a mix around it.
This mix, as the title suggests, is fairly atmospheric i [...]