Longitudinal listening

Started by Undershadow, February 11, 2008, 02:42:33 PM

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The 'currently listening' node on the Forum allows a snapshot of a listener's intake. It occurred to me to stretch that time frame out and represent listening experience over a longer period – a sort of longitudinal take on 'currently listening'. What I discovered in looking back was that I'd found myself concentrating very much on music that was drone-based, but, more specifically than this, music that had a very much identifiable dynamic that I'd characterise verbally as: ebb-flow, swell-relent, surge-subside. When in full-on mode the most apposite metaphor of the sound was: billowing. When in more subdued: swelling.
I decided to put some of these favoured sounds/dynamics together into a mix (n.b. many are extracts of longer pieces), both for my own amusement and for that of those who share my somewhat recondite tastes, some of whom have been known to hang out hereabouts ;).
In the end there was too much for one single mix – it tumesced into two.
Details follow for your downloading delight, if you fancy it, that is. (with apols for formatting insufficiencies in the tracklisting - I don't know how to make everything nicely aligned when importing it from Word)

all swells and billows i - Download link: http://www.sendspace.com/file/km7c35

all swells and billows i (continuous mix)

  • TRACK   TIME   ARTIST      TITLE                  RELEASE (LABEL)
    begin    0:00   keith berry   the other shore (rework of fessenden sounds)   keith berry vs. fessenden - bleu: résultat            
    02.    2:34   lähtö      forgiveness               amends (academy)                  
    03.    6:21   gregg kowalsky   into the marshes they drove me         through the cardial window (kranky)            
    04.    10:17   vessel      brocken glory               south (cactus island)                  
    05.    12:30   eluder      warm warning               warm warning (twindefect)                  
    06.    15:55   chris herbert   let's get boring!                mezzotint (kranky)                  
    07.    19:42   andrew chalk   shadows from the album skies ii          shadows from the album skies (faraway press)      
    08.    24:03   hakobune   elusive pasts               sense of place (u-cover cd-r)               
    09.    27:43   brian lavelle   the manse encircled by beech trees         fallen are the domes of green amber (diophantine)         
    10.    32:55   paul bradley   horizon                  horizon (twenty hertz digital)               
    11.    38:13   celer      the once emptiness of our hearts         sadha (celer)                     
    12.    43:10   northern      december               jessa (infraction)                     
    13.    48:13   pausal      place                  pausal ep (highpoint lowlife)               
    14.    52:28   kiln      pureloveplate               thermals (infraction)                  
    15.      55:28   manual      dizzy sun               lost days, open skies and streaming tides (darla)         
    16.    59:23   eluvium      we say goodbye to ourselves         talk amongst the trees (temporary residence)         
    17.      61:16   mwvm      never constant               rotations (silber)      
    end   64:26

all swells and billows ii - Download link: http://www.sendspace.com/file/fzyrq5

all swells and billows ii (continuous mix)

  • TRACK   TIME   ARTIST            TITLE            RELEASE (LABEL)
    begin    0:00   rod modell & michael mantra    m            sonic continuum (hypnos)
    02.    4:27   sostrah tinnitus         novena di falene         nebra (umbra)               
    03.    8.22   the beautiful schizophonic      cantiques à la gloire du soleil   musicamorosa (cronica)            
    04.    11.56   tau ceti            in lapidem convertere      todahnlich (umbra)
    05.    16.20   aidan baker & matt borghi      sunken cathedrals      undercurrents (zenapolae)               
    06.    21:12   orphax            as the winter falls over       in a long night (self-released)
    07.    25:53   adam pacione         grey gardens          sisyphus (elevator bath)   
    08.    27:35   sleepresearchfacility      86s_115w         deep frieze (cold spring)            
    09.    32:07   apalusa            small environs 2         small environs (low point)               
    10.    36:24   gas            untitled 6         pop (mille plateaux)            
    11.    40:30   ulf lohmann         kristall            pop ambient 2008 (kompakt)            
    12.    43:34   tim hecker         azure azure         radio amor (mille plateaux)               
    13.    45:48   colin potter & paul bradley      decline            behind your very eyes (icr)            
    14.    50:07   machinefabriek         still            slaapzucht (root strata)               
    15.      53:06   the caretaker         we cannot escape the past      stairway to the stars (v/vm test records)         
    16.    55:01   stars of the lid         adamord            music for nitrous oxide (sedimental)         
    17.      60:05   william basinski         d|p 6            the disintegration loops iv (2062)   
    end   63:07

Dave Michuda


Excellent job on the mixes.  Thanks for posting them.  These will definitely get airplay around here, may use them as sleep music as well.

I did a similar mix last year called "Breathing", same sort of rise & fall feel to it.  Although your mix is a bit darker & more droney.  That is a good thing because you've got tunes in there that I wouldn't have thought of, have forgotten about, never heard of, etc.  So it makes for an interesting listen.

Thanks again.


Thanks, Dave :)

Dark, eh? Well, yeah, I guess I'd say the second of the two mixes is sort of the Evil Twin, though I would stress that neither of these mixes really gets into that full-on long-dark-staring-into-the-black-abyss mode beloved of card-carrying members of the Dark Ambient Chapter. I like 'eerie' and 'moody' and 'crepuscular', even 'tenebrous', but nothing too doom-laden or scary.
I'll definitely look into your "Breathing" assemblage when I have time. Thanks for comparing notes :)


I'm now working my way through Swells 1.

And enjoying most of it so far. Some ups and downs.
Loved the opening Berry !
Found the Chalk surprisingly unlistenable/resonant.
The Bradley is a breath of fresh air ... a stand-out.
I know most of the others after that, but haven't got to them yet.

You do like yer music served up with a lot of noise rather than pure tones :)
Me too.

The Circular Ruins / Lammergeyer / Nunc Stans

Dave Michuda


I agree, your mix is definitely not 'dark' per se, just that it's darker, maybe noisier, more dissonant, than mine.

If it was "full-on long-dark-staring-into-the-black-abyss mode" I would have listened for about 10 seconds.

Think I'll go cue up the 'evil twin' right now.


Just finished the second set ... which I believe I enjoyed
more than the first. Some great tracks, especially the opener
by Modell & Mantra -- have to pick that up from the Hypnos

Nice finale by Basinski ... you know what they say, "all swell
that end swell !"  :)

Many thanks, Alan.
The Circular Ruins / Lammergeyer / Nunc Stans


Thanks for the feedback, Anthony (screeech!!!... whiiiine!!! ;))
Yes, I would've expected the second set of swells to appeal more to your tastes, now you come to mention it  :)

Re: specific comments. I know from previous exchanges that you like the cut of Berry's drone cloth, and can understand where you're coming from re: Chalk, who likes to pursue his timbral enquiry up the higher end, and somewhat more attenuated than the average dronologist. I guess I included his track to provide some high-end/light to offset the prevailing low-end/shade of most of the extracts. Interestingly, I think Chalk has been a significant influence on a later Brit-droner, Paul Bradley, an artist who I feel (and I know you rate him too) has become a more accomplished and tonally wide-ranging practitioner. Some tracks on Chalk's latest, Time of Hayfield, are very much in the same zone as Bradley's Chroma,  and, though I feel this latest Chalk is one of his best and fullest in sound, I kind of feel Bradley has surpassed his mentor.
And that Modell/Mantra, BTW, is just 4 minutes of what is, on the Hypnosrecording, a 34-minute sluicing in subaquatics, with that beautiful twilit-keys chord progression for accompaniment :)
That ending Basinski loop is a lovely one – perhaps my fave of the whole of his 4 DisLoop vols. Unfortunately, I've never been able to get through the full 40 minutes – it's that same chord progression over and over, with only a gradual disintegrative aspect to the texture to serve by way of developmental dynamic. I guess that (development/dynamics) is not what you listen to Billy B. for, though.

Thanks again to Dave and Anthony for their appreciative responses.


Mr. Undershadow, is that your first time utilizing the sliding-across-the-screen red banner?  Maybe I should change the Hypnos logo to a red and blue sliding banner like that?

[ Mike Griffin, Hypnos Recordings ] email mg (at) hypnos.com | http://hypnos.com | http://twitter.com/mgsoundvisions


Just getting back to the Chalk vs Bradley thing ... yes I find Bradley to be much more accomplished. And I mean MUCH more.

The Circular Ruins / Lammergeyer / Nunc Stans



Quote from: mgriffin on February 13, 2008, 04:18:14 PM
Mr. Undershadow, is that your first time utilizing the sliding-across-the-screen red banner?  Maybe I should change the Hypnos logo to a red and blue sliding banner like that?

Yep. I'd like to see you get it onto your CD releases, Mike. Be a new challenge for your graphic design skills!

Jeff Sampson

I'm a bit (!) late to this thread, but I listened to all swells and billows i today and felt the need to comment. I live in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains, and the mix was excellent company whilst walking the trails near my home. Thanks a lot, Alan - and if round 2 is "darker", I'm especially looking forward to it.

"ethereal atmospherica"


This thread was started before I was on the forum.  Alan, anyway to have these mixes reposted somewhere??

I'll buy you a basket of fish, chips and a pint of something stout-y in exchange :)  deal?



Quote from: Infraction on December 07, 2008, 06:23:00 PM
This thread was started before I was on the forum.  Alan, anyway to have these mixes reposted somewhere??

I'll buy you a basket of fish, chips and a pint of something stout-y in exchange :)  deal?


Well, Jason, that all sounds very congenial, but looks like you don't need to ply me with tasty tidbits and booze for access to these mixes, since Dave squealed before I could take you up on your largesse. :)
Anyway, in general, I've put quite a few things up at http://albient.livejournal.com over the last few months, though I can't vouch for the functionality of any of the supposedly streamable bits since some shysters operating a site called boomp3.com have turned out to be unreliable stream-wise. I'm slowly going through the process of replacing those with streamable versions through another site. The download links are largely still active, as far as I'm aware - at least those that link to the sendspace file storage facility.