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Messages - Dave Michuda

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1
Everything and Nothing / Best of 2014 - non-ambient
« on: Yesterday at 09:57:17 AM »


2014 was another year where I continued to listen to more "normal" music than ambient or electronic music.  I'll just repost here much of what I said on my low light mixes blog.

Part of the shift in my tastes can be directly attributed to Spotify.  I listen to Spotify at work a lot and I have used it more and more to discover new music.  I keep a playlist called "2014 albums worth listening to" that now has 4113 tracks in it.  Not all the albums in there are great or even good, necessarily.  The playlist is just a collection of things in my musical wheelhouse that are worth exploring.  I'm constantly on the prowl for new things to add to it.

On Tuesdays, when new music is released, I go here... http://www.allmusic.com/newreleases  to find out what's new and if it looks interesting I sample it on Spotify & maybe add it to a playlist.  Finding new music has become close to an obsession over the past couple of years and with so much stuff out there coupled with ease of access, it's a great time for music lovers.

Most of the albums on this list you can probably find on lots of other indie lists like NPR, Consequence of Sound, Pitchfork, etc.  A couple records not on the national lists are from Wisconsin bands, Phox & Field Report.  Both record for the fine label, Partisan Records, as does Sylvan Esso which came in at #9 on my list.  Another album with a Wisconsin tie is Paradise Outlaw by Pieta Brown.  A beautiful, ethereal album recorded at Justin Vernon's studio in Wisconsin.

Another odd ball selection is the awesome album by Dylan Howe - Subterranean - New Designs on Bowie's Berlin.  It is a collection of jazz versions of Bowie instrumentals from his Berlin period.  I love this record!  Find it & buy it here... http://dylanhowe.bandcamp.com/album/subterranean-new-designs-on-bowies-berlin

I included Loscil - Sea Island on this list, even though it's electronic not indie, because it's very, very good and deserved to be on both lists.

The only other album that doesn't fit under the indie umbrella is Piers Faccini & Vincent Segal - Songs of Time Lost.  It's a subtle record of soft vocals, guitar and cello.  If you like Nick Drake you will love this record.

The rest of the list is all variations of indie music, some loud, some soft, some electric, some acoustic, some straight forward and some a bit more odd - all of it good stuff worth the effort of seeking out.

What were your most played albums this year?

BEST OF 2014:

  1. The War on Drugs - Lost in the Dream
  2. Damien Jurado - Brothers & Sisters of the Eternal Son
  3. Field Report - Marigolden
  4. The Rural Alberta Advantage - Mended with Gold
  5. Phox - Phox
  6. Strand of Oaks - HEAL
  7. Dylan Howe - Subterranean - New Designs on Bowie's Berlin
  8. Pieta Brown - Paradise Outlaw
  9. Sylvan Esso - Sylvan Esso
 10. Phantogram - Voices
 11. The Antlers - Familiars
 12. Saintseneca - Dark Arc
 13. Damien Rice - My Favourite Faded Fantasy
 14. The Barr Brothers - Sleeping Operator
 15. Real Estate - Atlas
 16. St. Vincent - St. Vincent
 17. Damon Albarn - Everyday Robots
 18. Eno & Hyde - Someday World
 19. Blaudzun - Promises of No Man's Land
 20. Bill Callahan - Have Fun With God
 21. Loscil - Sea Island
 22. Warpaint - Warpaint
 23. Piers Faccini & Vincent Segal - Songs of Time Lost
 24. Gem Club - In Roses
 25. alt-J - This Is All Yours

Hypnos forum folks, we all must listen to some stuff that's not ambient.  What are a few of your favorites from this year?


2
Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: December 19, 2014, 02:13:57 PM »
Illuha - Akari  -   Pretty good typical 12k stuff.
GoGo Penguin - v2.0  -  Contemporary piano jazz.  I think they are up for the Mercury Prize in England.
John Luther Adams - Become Ocean  -  Basically a classical version of drone music.  Nice.
Danish String Quartet - Wood Works  -  Very nice traditional tunes that don't get jiggy(?) or annoying, perfect balance.

3
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Best of 2014
« on: December 17, 2014, 02:35:18 PM »
Here's my list of my favorite ambient/instrumental albums of 2014:

1. Loscil - Sea Island
2. Dylan Howe - Subterranean - New Designs on Bowie's Berlin
3. Janek Schaefer - Lay-by Lullaby
4. tonepoet - Headspace
5. A Winged Victory For The Sullen - Atomos
6. Dirk Serries - The Origin Reversal
7. The Circular Ruins - Full Circle
8. Kyle Bobby Dunn - Kyle Bobby Dunn and the Infinite Sadness
9. Jordan De La Sierra - Gymnosphere: Song of the Rose
10. Benoît Pioulard - Hymnal Remixes
11. 36 - Dream Tempest
12. Locust - After the Rain
13. Thomas Koner - LA BARCA complete edition
14. Steve Roach - The Delicate Forever
15. ASC - Truth Be Told
16. eternell - Kalimba Ambience
17. John Luther Adams - Become Ocean
18. Brian Reitzell - Auto Music
19. Dirty Beaches - Stateless
20. Tangerine Dream - Sorcerer(Cinematographic Score)

Most of the selections are ambient/electronic with a few excepts like Become Ocean by John Luther Adams and the fantastic album, Subterranean - New Designs on Bowie's Berlin by Dylan Howe.  I've linked to the Dylan Howe album on the forum before & I'll link to it again, cuz it's awesome... http://dylanhowe.bandcamp.com/album/subterranean-new-designs-on-bowies-berlin

Any other forumites with year end lists?

4
Clark has posted a 34 minute mix featuring music from all 8 discs.  Nice.




5
Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: November 23, 2014, 09:25:22 AM »
The Circular Ruins - Full Circle  -  Thanks to Chris for this recommendation.  Just downloaded it from Bandcamp today.  Very nice & I agree the opening track is awesome.
Locust - After the Rain  -  This has a 70s electronic vibe to it.  At times sounding like Cluster, Eno or A Bowie instrumental.  Spacey, moody and getting better with each listen.
VA - Kollektion 1 (SKY Records)  -  Speaking of 70s electronic music, this is a great collection of music from Sky records.  Featuring music from Roedelius, Cluster, Michael Rother, Moebius, Asmus Tietchens, etc.  Excellent!


6
Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: November 18, 2014, 05:17:53 PM »
Totally agree on the Lanois album.  Some interesting cuts but generally I'm not enthused with it.  My favorite Lanois release is the triple CD "Omni Series," very nice instrumentals in that collection.

7
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Re: New Pink Floyd in Fall
« on: November 16, 2014, 11:00:03 AM »
I've been listening to the new album for a few days now.  I definitely like parts of it, but my overall impression is that it's boring.  It's not a bad album, just kind of boring.

8
Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: November 16, 2014, 10:55:42 AM »
Loscil - Sea Island  -  Another absolutely perfect album from Loscil.  I don't actually have it yet as it will be released on the 17th.  But it's streaming here... http://blog.iso50.com/33993/iso50-exclusive-loscil-album-stream/   I've been listening to it all weekend and love it so far.

Dirty Beaches - Stateless  -  A departure from his previous albums, these 4 songs are all instrumental featuring viola, tenor sax and synths.  A couple nice drones here, a slow moving chamber music piece and a track called "Displaced" which is worth the price of the album. It's a repetitive & droney, with the sax pulsating over the top.  It has a Steve Reich feel to it. https://dirtybeaches.bandcamp.com/album/stateless

Thomas Koner - La Barca Complete Edition - Thanks to Chris for the recommendation on this one.  Excellent combo of synths, atmospherics & field recordings, many of which sound like they were recorded in train stations or airports.  https://thomaskoner.bandcamp.com/album/la-barca-complete-edition

Heathered Pearls - Loyal  -  very nice recording that perfectly balances ambience & noise.   http://ghostly.com/releases/loyal

9
Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Interstellar
« on: November 10, 2014, 07:48:30 PM »
I saw Interstellar over the weekend & enjoyed it very much.  Not my favorite movie of the year, that would be Boyhood, but it sure was an excellent ride.

It's a bit long, probably could have cut 20-30 minutes from it.  I love the big, grand scale of the film.  The score, while maybe not as bombastic as usual for Zimmer, is still very intense at times.  The volume in the theater I was in was just on the edge of too loud.  Overall I liked the score.

10
Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: November 09, 2014, 08:29:17 AM »
Underworld - Dubnobasswithmyheadman  -  I'd forgotten how much I love this album.
Disasterpeace - FEZ  -  Excellent 8-bit video game soundtrack on Bandcamp here... http://music.disasterpeace.com/album/fez-ost
Cyber Zen Sound Engine - Auslander  -  nice combo of electronic & ethnic/tribal.

11
Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« on: November 09, 2014, 08:03:11 AM »


Just finished Exo, the fourth book in the Jumper series.  I have enjoyed every book in this universe and this one is no different.  The lead character, Cent, is a teenage girl.  She and her parents, can teleport.  Which in past novels has lead to all sorts of action & intrigue.  In this one it leads to space.  Cent figures out how to teleport herself to orbit and begins her own little space program.  There is an awful lot of technical detail is this story about her spacesuit, orbital mechanics, etc.  At times the technical stuff can get to be a bit much, I just skipped through some if it got boring.

Over I had a good time with this book.  Definitely one of my favorite series.

12
Computers, Internet and Technology / Re: Amazon Fire TV Stick
« on: October 30, 2014, 07:29:16 AM »
I pre-ordered one as well.  I don't really need it as I have a roku on one tv and a PS3 on the other, but I couldn't resist at that price.  My college age son will be moving out soon(I hope) so he'll probably take the PS3 and then I get some use out of the fire stick.

13
Forum Member Projects News and Promotion / Re: Forrest Fang news
« on: October 17, 2014, 06:26:22 PM »
Love the new track!

14
Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« on: October 17, 2014, 06:01:26 AM »
Just finished Lock In by John Scalzi.  It was a fast paced, enjoyable read.  I don't think I've ever read a book with so much dialog in it.  Because of that style it's easy to just breeze through the book very quickly.  Like Chris said earlier, it's well done & exciting.  Apparently Scalzi has three different TV series in the works, all based on his books, including Lock In.  The other two series are based on Old Man's War and Redshirts.  I hope at least one of the three will be good.

Next up is Exo by Steven Gould, the next book in the Jumper series.

15
Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: October 11, 2014, 06:06:00 AM »
A Winged Victory For The Sullen - Atomos  -  f-ing awesome!
36 - Dream Tempest
Bill Frisell - Guitar in the Space Age

16
Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: October 08, 2014, 06:54:07 PM »
Chris,  I've been enjoying the Sea Oleena album as well.  Here are some other non-ambient spins...

Field Report - Marigolden  -  excellent release from a local Wisconsin band with ties to Bon Iver(Justin Vernon).  This is an understated album of spacious folk recordings, with just a few synth touches & intricate percussion.

Steve Reich - Radio Rewrite  -  a five-movement piece built on themes from Radiohead songs.  I just got this tonight so haven't listened much yet but sounds good so far.

alt-J - This Is All Yours  -  Very similar sounding to their debut, which can be a good and bad thing.  I really like the "An Awesome Wave" album but I wish they'd taken a few more chances on this new record.  They do win the award for best use of a Miley Cyrus sample on the song "Hunger of the Pine."

Nick Cave - Murder Ballads  -  I've always meant to get into Nick Cave but never really got around to it.  A friend suggested starting with Murder Ballads.  Good idea.

Pieta Brown - Paradise Outlaw  -  Another tie in with Justin Vernon.  This record of folks tunes was recorded at Vernon's studio in Wisconsin.  Sometimes ethereal, sometimes sexy, with banjo and lots of reverb.

The Rural Alberta Advantage - Mended With Gold  -  More excellent acoustic indie-pop-folk from this Canadian trio.  They often get loud and raucous, which is a good thing.

17
Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: October 04, 2014, 01:18:58 PM »
Paul,

I think it's worth picking up but the I've been a little obsessed with Crimson lately.  The tracks with the new band are disappointing because they are very short.   The 4 tracks are :23, :54, :44 & 1:11.

I like CD #1 better, as it's mostly older stuff.  My favorite from that is the instrumental mix of Fallen Angel from Red.  There are several "extracts" that are just short tidbits, :14, 1:14, 1:18, 2:35, 2:39.  They are interesting just a bit short. 

All in all I'm glad I got it, partly as a memento of the Madison show.  For other folks, you've got to be a pretty big Crimson fan to make it worthwhile.

BTW, their show in Madison was f-ing phenomenal!  They played half of Red, which is my favorite Crimson album.  Plus the three drummers were incredible.  I literally almost cried when they played Schizoid Man.  The song has been part of my musical life for 40 years & to see it played live was kind of overwhelming.

18
Now Playing / Re: Currently listening, part 1
« on: October 03, 2014, 06:48:19 PM »
dirk serries - the origin reversal
Arve Henriksen - The Nature of Connections
Tangerine Dream - Phaedra Farewell Tour Concerts
King Crimson - Elements Tour Box

19
Art and Literature, Movies and TV / Re: Now Reading, pt 2
« on: October 02, 2014, 06:16:46 AM »
Great to see your review of Lock In.  I'm about to start it myself.  I'm reading Unlocked right now, Scalzi's novella which is an oral history of Haden's Syndrome, the disease that causes lock in.  It gives a nice background and setup for Lock in.

http://www.tor.com/stories/2014/05/unlocked-an-oral-history-of-hadens-syndrome-john-scalzi

20
Other Ambient (and related) Music / Interactive ambient
« on: September 23, 2014, 09:22:21 AM »
Here's a link to an online interactive installation.  The music comes from Marconi Union and the site allows you to create your own unique version of their song "Weightless" with a few clicks.

http://www.immaterial.org/

This is similar to other endless ambient generators I've tried but I like this one because I love Marconi Union's music.

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