09

30 October 2022

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Seeing out October with another ambient based mix, slightly looser in the genre description than the last few mixes, this one was done with a bit of an "otherworldly" or sci-fi feeling in mind, it's up to you to decide if that fits.


As I'm approaching the end of this year and this series of mixes in an attempt to raise funds for Sue Ryder, I've already accepted that there's not much point in me carrying on beyond this. As much as I like to think I can pick a good tune and put together a mix in a way I enjoy listening to mixes, it's clearly not hitting the spot for other people in that way. I do get the odd bit of positive feedback but I'm full of self doubt and empty on confidence so I don't take praise or positivity well and more often than not I doubt whether it's genuine. That's on me, I accept that and I probably don't have the correct mindset through the longstanding and exhausting combination of depression and anxiety to be putting myself through this process, and worse if there should be some scathing criticism which isn't unknown.

 

Although I've still to switch the most recent posts over, I've changed all the players on the blog to Mixcloud and will be allowing my Soundcloud subscription to lapse, something I should have done years ago. I can't justify the cost and eventually I'll be on the free level of service for Mixcloud too which still allows all the mixes to remain online. Whether anymore get posted after this year, I don't know, but at the moment it feels pretty pointless. I just wanted to mention that because there are a small handful of regular listeners on Soundcloud that do still play older mixes quite regularly.


As ever, I try and link a tracklist below the player so you can support artists and labels if you are so inclined and of course my Just Giving page for Sue Ryder remains open and will do until they expire it.



Tracklist

Brian Eno - A Clearing (Editions EG) (We Are On The Fucking Moon Version) (via The Onion)
Ben Woods - Space & Time (Not On Label)
Okada + duenn - Hana To Midori To Hikari (UP-04) (Newhere Music)
Michael Stearns - In The Beginning... (Emotional Rescue)
Alexandra Hamilton-Ayres - Relent (Headphone Commute)
Lord Of The Isles - Zub (Emotional Response)
Cicely Irvine - Organ & Buchla Duet (eilean recs)
Seabuckthorn - The Observatory (eilean recs)
Karamika - Ton 2 (ESP Institute)
Billow Observatory - In A Stream (Felte)
Jo Johnson - Ancestral Footsteps (Further Records)
High Skies - Au Debut Du Voyage (Microscopics)
Anzano - Movements II (Throne Of Blood)
duenn - Hal (Past Inside The Present)
Joel Mull - Alden Plateau (Parabel)
Jonathan Fitoussi - Andromede (Further Records)
Carbon Based Lifeforms - Metrosat 4 (Leffield Records)
Findthings - Curio
A Positive Life - The Calling (Loved 'Ub Mix) (Music From Memory)


 

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10

23 October 2022

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For October I said I would be focussed on mixes that were ambient in nature. For #10 I'm pushing that boundary slightly and giving you a mix of what I think pulls together elements of ambient, neo-classical and electronica. I often struggle to pigeon hole music into a particular genre, so it may not be the best description but it's broadly there, or thereabouts.

 

Before I go further I need to put on record my thanks to my friend Matthew Foord for sharing my recent mixes and tagging others with them over on Twitter. I only occasionally tag and it's only ever artists or labels that feature in the specific mix I'm posting. I do it with the thought that if I put music out either as a producer or running a label I'd be interested to hear how they might be used. It's probably naive of me to think others would think that way but there you are, that's the thinking behind it. Generally I think I shouldn't be tagging people because who'd really want me doing that? So, I was really surprised and pleased that none other than Low Light Mixes followed me after Matthew tagging via Twitter and that led to a very big uptick in plays compared to usual and a few more followers too. I've been following Low Light Mixes for as long as I've used Mixcloud, I can't imagine how hectic notifications (and messages or tags) might get with 121,000+ followers, I'm not sure I could handle it really, but I send my thanks. Donations to the Just Giving page are no further forward but given where things are in the world that's no surprise.


Even with the positivity of the last weeks listener numbers I know that interest in the mixes I post aren't at levels they used to be, not by a long distance, and that due to the current climate there is unlikely to be any more uplift on my Just Giving page, I still need to bang the drum here. These weekly mixes are being put together and shared as a small effort on my part to raise some funds for the work done by the charity Sue Ryder. They do wonderful work for people with serious neurological conditions and helped care for my Mum during her final 3 years. Like many charities the covid pandemic caused massive shortfalls in funding for Sue Ryder and that is still having impacts now, but on top of that charitable organisations are also being hit by the cost of living impacts, particularly energy. For example, many people require equipment like specialist air beds which for people who have no choice but to spend prolonged periods in bed help prevent sores and skin breaking down. For people who can't go out because of their health will need to use more heating, power for lighting or tv's etc, not to mention other powered equipment like wheelchairs and hoists etc.

 

So, if you enjoy anything I post, and are in a position to do so, please consider a small donation to support the good work Sue Ryder does. Any donation is much appreciated and 100% of donations through my Just Giving page go to supporting their work.


 

Tracklist

Andy Rowe - Vienna, Aug 2015
Karen Vogt - I Know It Is Hard (Past Inside The Present)
Creation VI & Endless Melancholy - Winter Without Snow (Hidden Vibes)
Field Recording - Thunderstorm
Ben McElroy - Wolves Dance (Slow Music Movement)
Harry Towell & Guy Gelem - Sefad (Polar Seas Recodings)
Stefano Guzzetti - Aurora (Home Normal)
Olivia Belli - From Your Garden (Headphone Commute)
Rachel Grimes - Patsy (Instrumental) (Headphone Commute)
Ôlafur Arnalds ft Arnôr Dan - Say My Name (Late Night Tales)
Penguin Cafe - Coriolis (Erased Tapes)
Gläsbird - Greenhousing (Whitelabrecs)
Caught In The Wake Of Forever - Carousels (Archives)
Luke Howard Trio - Shame/Shame (Reprise) (Hobbledehoy)
Ryuichi Sakamoto - Aqua (from Playing Piano For The Isolated) (Ahead Of Our Time)
WW Audio - Hammersmith Morning Ambience

 

 

 

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11

16 October 2022

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Still going with the general theme of ambience and inspired music for my mixes through October and seeing as this has been put together and is being typed whilst I am still in September (the wonders of setting up scheduled posts) it's probably best I don't blether on too much.... Putler might well have nuked us by then, or perhaps he'll save himself the hassle and just leave Liz Truss to it, she's doing a good job of destroying what the other disasters have left in their wake.


In the hope that we are still here, I may as well bang the drum for my efforts to raise some much needed funds for Sue Ryder. Each mix I post every week is in the hope that listeners may enjoy what they listen to enough to feel it worth chipping in a small donation to my Just Giving page which is 100% in aid of the wonderful work done by Sue Ryder. More details can be found and donations can be made over on my Just Giving and as always, please do your bit to support the artists too, buy their work, follow their socials etc. Every little helps.


Tracklist

Roger Eno & Brian Eno - Cerulean Blue (Deutsche Grammophon)
Abstract Aprils - Playing Records On Sunday
Good Weather For An Airstrike - Two Miles Of Uncertainty (Rural Colours)
Julianna Barwcik - Safe (Ninja Tune)
Alex Bober - Friendly Raindrops (Hidden Vibes)
Brambles - In The Androgynous Dark (Nest Version) (Serein)
Lauge - Pine Trees Covered In Fog (Echoes In The Valley)
MLO - Shadows Of Life & Thought (Music From Memory)
WW Audio - Deep Woodland Ambience
Mondkopf - The Call (Tigersushi Records)
Aisha Burns & Jake Woodruff - The Reservoir
Daniel Pemberton & FSOL - Behind The Eyes (Ahead Of Our Time)
Sun Electric - Love To Love (Music From Memory)
Pawel Pruski - The Sound Of Oars (Krysalisound)

 

 

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12

9 October 2022

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Continuing with the ambient theme through the month of October, you can decide for yourself which sub-genre it comes under. The interest in these mixes I'm posting and odd occasional nice comment have dried up, not that there was much of that in the first place, but needless to say it doesn't help the aim of growing the Sue Ryder donations which is the whole point of doing this. I'm back to feeling that I should have just made the donation myself and not bothered with this because it just hasn't panned out as I hoped. Anyway, it is what it is, we are where we are...


... the photo was taken from a great hotel I stayed at in Grindelwald, Switzerland during a recent trip. This was a railway car-park that was at the rear of the hotel. The view from the front of the hotel was stunningly beautiful landscape, but there was something about the lighting and symmetry that caught my eye as I passed the window. I'll post a few pictures of Grindelwald below although they don't do it justice, if you ever get a chance to visit, or nearby Lauterbrunnen, then you absolutely should, lots to see and do.


As always, I will mention that I am posting weekly mixes in the hope I can raise a few pounds for the good work done by Sue Ryder. You can find out more and donate (any donation, large or small is much needed and appreciated) over on my Just Giving page.


Tracklist

Cat Tyson Hughes - Almonta (Past Inside The Present)
Rime Trails - Reality's Dark Dream (Not On Label)
Madloch & Subnode - Abyssal (Reprise) (Crossfade Sounds)
Jeff Bridges - Seeing With My Eyes Closed (Squarespace)
Tess Said So - One Eye Open (Preserved Sound)
Carbon Based Lifeforms - Somewhere In Russia (Leftfield Records)
Julia Kent - Spring Snow (Headphone Commute)
Biosphere - Biosphere II (Biophon)
James A. McDermid - Sepastia (Mailbox)
Thomas Newman - Horse (Late Night Tales)
Jonathan Fitoussi & Clemens Hourriere - Vague (Obliques/Traversales Disques)
Abul Mogard - Half Light Of Dawn (Ecstatic)
IKSRE - Seeds (Headphone Commute)
Agnes Obel - Stretch Your Eyes (Ambient Acapella) (Late Night Tales)
David Cordero - Isolation (Archives)
Hoshiko Yamane & Mikael Lind - Beyond The Hidden (Time Released Sound)

 

 

 
 
Bonus photos from around Grindelwald...
 

 





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13

2 October 2022

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As we slide into October and the final quarter it's probably a good time to take stock of where things are, what's going on and share one or two thoughts. Not that I expect many people will read this, but it's quite a cathartic thing for me to do so that's why I bother for the most part - with the odd occasion where I look back and regret what I've posted. Don't we all?

 

So, where to start? Well, probably a good idea to speak about the music because that's the main point of this, isn't it? August was all about house music in one form or another, September saw me dip into the world of edits for the first time in a while and for October I intend on focussing on various shades of ambient.

 

 Ambient takes many forms, it influences other genres and evokes different feelings to each individual. What might seem quite melancholic to one could feel light and uplifting to another. I think the key point is to try and be open minded about it, as with most music really - there is a place for all tastes but most people have closed themselves off to a fairly limited palate which is a real shame. I suppose where you listen to music matters too, for example, if I'm riding my motorbike and have music playing via bluetooth into my helmet, more often than not it will be rock / blues / indie - basically guitar based music, whereas if I'm relaxing with a book or in the bath I can only listen to very mellow music, say ambient or jazz. Anyway, if this isn't your usual kind of thing, perhaps give it a try in a different setting - you might be surprised and find you enjoy it more than you'd think....  let me know if you do!

 

Since August I've been preparing mixes, blog posts and tweets in advance and scheduling them to go live automatically every Sunday at 10am - a process I'm sticking with for now. There were a couple of reasons for this. Firstly, because I haven't felt great for large parts of the year, I wanted to make sure that I had a bit of a buffer. If there was a period where I didn't feel up to putting mixes together, making covers, uploading to Soundcloud and Mixcloud, blog posts, twitter posts and updates to Just Giving, then I would be covered for a period of time where I would hopefully be able to catch up with myself. It's proved worthwhile on occasion. The other reason being that I was away on my bike for a couple of weeks and I'll likely use some of the photos taken during the trip for my mix covers and todays cover is a photo I took whilst on the Ferry from Newcastle to Netherlands. Of course, quite a lot has happened in the time since I last put a batch of mixes / posts together so I suppose, for the sake of needing to vent a little, I'll say a bit about the goings on.

 

I could speak about lots of current affairs, issue by issue, and be here typing for hours upon hours. Whether it's the death of the Queen, the ongoing situation in Ukraine, the issues in the UK around the mess created by Brexit, the financial and energy problems here and overseas the ongoing rollercoaster that is Covid 19 or the shambles that is presiding in No.10 Downing Street, I can't help feel that division is the common theme that runs throughout, and of course it runs through every aspect of society, not just the few mentioned there. Religion, class, race, gender, sexuality to more trivial things like (dare I say it) sport. We are constantly focussed on what makes us different from one another. If we constantly focus on what divides us, how can we address and solve the issues that we all face? For example, following the death of the Queen, there was a constant clashing on social media - some felt grief like they had lost a family member whilst others were elated and celebrated as if something momentous had been achieved. Back and forth people would argue, but what did any of that achieve? The thing is, everything mentioned above, and much more besides, is argued with much venom and hatred all day, every day, on multiple platforms and right around the world. Where does it get us? Does it move anything forward? Is the energy invested in that (I mean in terms of personal effort) worthwhile? I don't think so. 

 

Humanity has lost its humanity, if it ever possessed it in the first place. How does your average person contributing to pay for a royal family serve the well-being of the rest of society? Who is benefiting from the war in Ukraine, or any other war for that matter and who pays the heaviest price? Who or what stand to gain the most from Brexit and the gambling on currencies, stocks and bonds from the hedge funds? Why should big businesses have the ear of your politicians but the communities in which they serve are ignored? Who is being served when genuinely well evidenced and presented science on how to "live with Covid" is being ignored in favour of putting your fingers in your ears and burying your head in the sand? Everyone of course will have their own views and answers to all those questions, but the over-arching theme that it all comes back to is division and by being so divided we are prevented from meaningful progression. The reality is that the human race has become too large to be managed, governed, directed or guided in any meaningful way - there are too many pockets or groups pulling in their own direction and that has a knock on impact to any cohesion that might form. I don't know what the answer is, but I don't think it's having a King, moving a border a few miles one way or another while killing indiscriminately, cutting yourself off from generally well functioning political unions, believing a god will save you, believing your nation, race, gender is superior to any other or whether you vote for the red or the blue. The systems in place are not fit for purpose and until we can find a system that deals with our issues at scale, we're going to be getting nowhere fast. Having said that, what does me bumping my gums on here achieve?_ _ _ _ Exactly! The thing is, it's quite hard to not get sucked into it all, I get that and I'm guilty of falling into it at times too, though I do try to pull myself back from it on Twitter and use this place as my wee ranting ground. The beauty of that is that there is nobody else here to shout back at me.


So, having vented and let off a little steam here, back to the music. If you've been here this year, you'll know that I'm posting a new mix every week in the hope that if people enjoy the mix, they might consider a small donation to the wonderful charity Sue Ryder who helped with my Mum's care in the latter stages of her life. I don't expect there will be any more donations, given how the financial climate is, but of course, any donation is very much welcomed, and given the impact being felt by charities at the moment too, any donations are much appreciated. You can find my Just Giving page [HERE]. I'll be doing my best to get to the end of the year, still posting mixes, whether there are donations or not, just so that I can feel I held up my end.

Of course, as always, you'll find a tracklist, linked up as best as I can, below the player. If you enjoy any of the music on the mix, please support the artists / labels by buying their music, giving their socials a follow etc etc etc.



Tracklist

Christopher Franke - Electric Becomes Eclectic (Virgin)
Danny Scott Lane - One (Shimmering Mood)
Andy J Dobbs - Birds & Waves
Yui Onodera & Vadim Bondarenko - Cloudscape 1 (Serein)
Willits & Sakamoto - Completion (Ghostly International)
Rime Trails - Soothe By Silence What Words Cannot Heal (Not On Label)
Turtle - Heathland Haze (Warm)
Malibu - Held (PAN)
Soundstory - Rainstorm
Ashan - Blue Pulse (Inner Islands)
Toshi Tsuchitori - Ishiura (Abridged) (Light In The Attic)
Nest - Tides (Serein)
part-timer - A Guest (Self Released)
Mikael Lind - Piano Says Goodbye (Whitelabrecs.)
Robert Cole Rizzi - Garden Dawnchorus (via Luftrum)

 

 

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