Mix · My music · On other sites · update

May 12th, 2 PM Pacific on CAMP radio: a companion mix to my upcoming ‘Seahorses’ album

While this ‘archive album’ is suffering the worst case of delay since my 8-bit album last year, I’m still set on getting it out there this month, hopefully before it enters the ‘late’ period. To coincide, I decided to guest on Vulpiano’s monthly mix series for the listen.camp online radio station with a dip into the sounds and styles that inspired the album. I always felt that electronic music and easy listening shared this understated knack for aquatic or underwater themes, so this was a novel concept to revisit.

That means lots of ‘underwater’/surreal production effects, synths that go drip-drop, library obscurities themed around marine life, steel drums and a handful of surprises. For instance: the latest Bebel Gilberto album, which sounds eerily close to mall-themed vaporwave, and one of the most underrated Siouxsie singles in “Swimming Horses” (just because). Plus, of course, two tracks from Seahorses itself. Those are latest single “Fish In Oceania” and “Blue Whale” (which I lift from the download-only version of Ocean Flower; it actually originates from the Seahorses project).

The mix will go up on CAMP’s Mixcloud in the following days. You’ll find ‘similar wavelengths’ on my old Curios From The Background series and the Neptune mix.

Seahorses working track list:

  1. Fish In Oceania – 2:00
  2. Floating By – 2:19
  3. Dorsal Fin – 2:21
  4. Manatee – 2:11
  5. In Our Submarine – 2:16
  6. A Wandering School – 2:03
  7. Mouthbrooder – 2:12
  8. Jellyfish – 2:03
  9. Sand Dollar – 2:37
  10. Blue Whale – 2:54

Download-only tracks:

Deep Trenches demo (0:45), Seahorses (2:15), Lullaby For Sad Porpoise (2:26)

Other updates:

  1. As for the ‘piece’ I mentioned working on with the Mouthbrooder post, that found it’s way to a rough and complex state. I’m not so sure what to do with it right now and sadly, posting it in some form here feels more doubtful than before.
  2. In this next month or so, I’d love to get back to more regular posts, since my extreme focus on That Piece led to delay for many ideas. Still, I think I have enough to juggle for May considering my plans for a special occasion in it’s last week. It’s nothing too big or fancy, but it’s a day I posted about on most previous years here!
  3. I’m in plans of the next ‘traditional MAM mix’, but it’s not happening until sometime in summer. It can say it has some things in common with the previous one..
  4. New RYM lists: [bitter]sweet / loving / emotional synthpop, Beautiful Robots Dancing Alone: existential trance, Lyrics I find interesting / relatable
  5. No plans for front page reviews at RYM right now. I have more important stuff on my plate; I did a lot already and the Dax Pierson review got a frustrating enough response to remind me why I ‘retired’ from it.
  6. The new album from the very 80s, very YMO-ish J-pop group Crystal is ridiculously fun and also beautiful, please listen to it.
My music · On other sites · update

New single: ‘Mouthbrooder’ for upcoming ‘Seahorses’ album

Bandcamp

This two-song single is a taster for Seahorses, an upcoming 10-track downtempo/’aqua-lounge’ album I ‘fished out’ from my archive; it goes way back to July of 2016! I decided it had too much potential to leave behind and it gives more context behind my obsession with aquatic sounds and imagery. I’m ~hoping~ to release it sometime during March 2021.

‘Mouthbrooder’ will appear on the album, with b-side ‘Seahorses’ as a bonus track hence ‘hidden title theme’.

~

Also, long time no see. I’m aware that this is the longest pause between posts in awhile so I guess this is the time I let the 3-5 total people who read this blog know what’s up. On the one hand it’s the typical ‘life happens’; I wasn’t in a good place through most of 2020 for both obvious and personal reasons, and now I’m struggling a bit to get it together. On the other, that led to my many bubbling project ideas, over-ambitious as ever, to delay A LOT. One project in particular? It’s taking me SIX on-and-off months and counting. Ughhh.

In the meantime:

  • I did get around to uploading sample songs for 80% of my music projects to my otherwise desolate YouTube account! I’m hoping that some people digging around for music will find me there, but I’d appreciate if you subscribed! Especially when WordPress has this annoyingly closed-off ‘only members can follow’ system. You can find the full Spires EP there too, since that wound up the second MOST popular Vulpiano release on Rateyourmusic. It’s too bad I keep getting this feeling that I can’t get back on that level, in both ease of making the music and quality..
  • I stepped away from my ‘RYM front-page-review retirement’ to praise my mutual ~simoon’s new synthpop project, Bride. It’s a definite ‘lost entry’ in my 2020 list and she could use more attention, so give her a listen if you enjoy things like Pink Industry, Geneva Jacuzzi and space-age synth music.
  • Another RYM thing: I made a top 5 ‘best songs’ for my own music in hopes of giving viewers a more accessible intro to my discography. Yknow, now that it’s this weird cross between ‘archive’ and ‘all-new’ songs.
  • Other recent RYM lists: Mermaid Music, honey-like vocals and the best of 2000s chill-out!
On other sites · Playlist · Ultimate Box Set

RYM Ultimate Box Set – New Age Revival

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Cover Image: Soda Lite – In Eco, 2017

Main list here

Youtube playlist

The 10s saw a slow but steady resurgence from new age in a few different forms. The blossoming period was around 2015-2017. FACT called this story ‘how music’s most maligned genre finally became cool’. Eventually, Simon Raymonde wrote about it. While smaller than many other online-based genres in 2020, I can predict it’s growing. After all, the much-discussed resurgence in calming, nature-centric music is going strong.

To make my best summary, I’d call the revival a few loosely connected scenes in one. Like the original new age, it has a looseness and tendency for overlap. Common roots for these artists are 80s-90s retro culture, lo-fi tape scenes, ambient and psychedelia. Many older artists are long-time fans or collectors; others have experience with all-out meditation.

Finally I can share this, made on-and-off over a six-month period. For my second-ever entry in this popular RYM-birthed series, I put great effort into illustrating this loose, wipe-open ‘scene’. (Check out my first one on 80’s library music too.)

Main features:

  1. Intro explaining some origins and influences
  2. Two-part mix, made from popular or influential releases within the niche, plus a few personal faves
  3. A ‘further listening’ section: ‘close but not quite’ entries in the niche, compilations,  labels
  4. Many quotes and links for full immersion

It began a simple idea for fun; after all, this is super niche and deserves more interest. Given the surprising lack in canons and communities (I thought all small genres had a subreddit!) though? It got tricky to get ‘definitive’ enough. I had at least three moments bordering on giving up. I struggled to find a good collaborator on RYM, since not many users care about this music. The few who did weren’t so active, so I ‘finished’ it alone.

I figure smaller edits will come, then, but I’m surprised I cut this down and mixed it up as much as I did. So please, check this out and discover some new artists!

 

Mix · On other sites

Cottage Lullabies – Guest mix #2 for I Heart Noise!

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🌻 I Heart Noise 🌻

🌲 YouTube 🌲

Excited for the debut of my new spring-time mix and 2nd guest post for I Heart Noise! (Here’s the first one)

The legacy of vintage stock music usually centers on edgy funk samples, but it’s soft side is notable for it’s own reasons. For one, the ever-present ‘pastoral’ category brought the gentlest, most touching sounds in the field. These were nostalgic chamber pieces filled with harp, strings and timid flutes; the soundtrack to barns, cabins or a grandmother’s cottage.

The pure tenderness of this music was quick to strike a nerve with me. Like an unspoiled garden or antique, this is a very straightforward and fragile kind of tenderness. It seems many generations could find something nostalgic in here. Fitting as it sounds that it wound up stashed away like a dusty farm diary, they’re too beautiful not to un-dust.

Dedicated to my grandmother’s backyard ❤

Track listing

  1. John Cameron & Paul Martin – Moment Of Warmth (Little Creatures, Bruton)
  2. Fiachra Trench – Reminiscence (Pastorale, KPM)
  3. Paul Williams – Wistful Dreams (Memories, Parry Music)
  4. Eugene Cines – Natures Colours (Seeds In The Wind, KPM)
  5. Brian Bennett – Drifting Shapes (Tone Poems, Bruton)
  6. Richard Harvey – The Water Garden (life cycles 2, KPM)
  7. James Clarke – Running Waters (Nature Study Vol. 1, Bruton)
  8. Dick Walter & Eugene Cines – Quiet Reflection (Seeds In The Wind, KPM) [YouTube Only]
  9. James Clarke – Midsummer Haze (Country Calendar, Music House) [YouTube Only]
  10. Joel Vandroogenbroeck – Romantic Garden (Open Air Impressions, Coloursound)
  11. David Snell – Recollections (Reflections, Bruton)
  12. Adone Grossi – Fiumi e Salici (Agreste/Bucolico, Commenti Musicali) [YouTube Only]
  13. Andre Tschaskowski – Personal Mood 2 (Emotionally, Coloursound)
  14. Volker Kriegel & The Groove-Combination – The Gentle Old Man (Leaf, Biton)
  15. Johnny Pearson – Autumn Reverie 60-Second Edit (Piano and Orchestra 1, KPM)
  16. John Fiddy & Norman Candler – Tender Feeling 2 (Softly, Sonoton) [Mixcloud Only]
  17. Andre Tschaskowski – Sentimental View 1 (Emotionally, Coloursound)
  18. Keith Mansfield – Wonderlust (Soft Horizons, KPM)
  19. Brian Bennett – Summer Reverie (Love’s Themes, KPM)
  20. Robert Viger – Limpidite (Climats, Musique Pour L’Image)
  21. Paul Williams – Pretty Flowers (Electric Piano Solos, Bruton)
  22. Jim Lawless – Rest (Reflections, Bruton)
  23. Nino Nardini – Morning Dew (Nature – Nocturne, L’Illustration Musicale)
  24. John Tender & Mladen Franko – Sweet Dreams 2 (Children Pets And Clowns, Coloursound)