Mac Faux Dervish

My brain has been stuck in the 70s for a while as I collect tunes for the Electronic Music of the 70s series(1971 is coming soon). So I was excited about the coincidence of Paul coming up with a 70s(mostly) mix. Some tracks I was familiar and others I was hearing for the first time, which is the wonderful thing about these guest mixes – they go in directions that I would not have taken them. This one turns into a great journey of nostalgia and discovery.

In the early sets you’ll hear plenty of krautrock or kosmische music. Bands like Popol Vuh, Amon Duul II, Can, and Ash Ra Temple fit that category and make appearances in the first two mixes. Again, some folks may balk at the inclusion of the artists but without them, the ’70 & ’71 mixes would not have happened. Even Tangerine Dream in these years is barely ”electronic.”
”I’ve been inspired by my recent trip to Croatia and have made a water themed mix. I’ve called it ”Aquadream”. I wanted the mix to be able to act as a soundtrack to all kinda things. From casual swimming, deep sea diving, floating, boating or even just watching from the shoreline. It’s pretty much all ambient material. It’s got that hazy and submerged feel about it and is a wee bit disorientating at times but is ultimately a calm and hopefully refreshing mix!”Two guest mixes in a row – I am a lucky guy! This one comes to us from LLM regular contributor, Paul Asbury Seaman. It’s a great collection of instrumental tracks that, as the title says, leans heavily on music from the 70s.Incidentally, there is a comet, C/2022 E3, that hopefully will be visible now through the first week of February. It should viewable first with a telescope then binoculars and maybe even with the naked eye around Feb. 1. This mix might make a good soundtrack for viewing.

One of the problems is that I didn’t check the tracklist from the last mix and so quite a few tracks from that set made it into this one. When I figured out what had happened, it was too late to change. Well, actually, I was just too lazy to change it. I think about 9 of the 23 tracks in this mix appeared in the last one.
So here is a new collection of vocoder tunes. I’m not sure how many of these tracks actually use a vocoder and how many are other vocal effects but I don’t care. I’m just going for a sound and vibe. Many of these tracks are new to me as I discovered them in my search for vocoder songs. I am particularly taken with ”Last Man Standing” by Cities of Foam. And of course the Eno track from his album of last year is fantastic.

I love making shortwave mixes, so it’s hard to believe it’s been almost 11 years since my last new shortwave creation. Yikes! I know these mixes are labor intensive and I am a terrible procrastinator but I am shocked that it’s been that long.
This mix is pretty straightforward – it’s a collection of tracks from some of my favorite ambient albums of 2023. The first three tracks are probably my top three albums of the year so far and I expect them to be on my year-end list in December.“Something old, something new. Something cheerful, something blue. Some great instrumental tracks that might have slipped between the cracks. So, no “Colour My World.” Yes to Black Sabbath. Plus a couple of mellow vocal numbers, chosen for their melodies that were just too pretty to leave out. The selections here span more than fifty years, though most are from the 1970s.

This is a repost of an old mix from 2009. The is a retro synth mix with a sort of old space program vibe. I realized that I’d never posted it to Mixcloud so I thought I would haul it out of space dock and update it with a few more cuts added to the end. It’s great to hear tracks from Freescha, Lunar Testing Lab, Bochum Welt and others for the first time in a long time.
A couple of tunes were the inspiration for cranking out another Sunday Morning mix. First is the lead-off track – A Sunday Kind of Love from Etta James. It’s simply a great tune that I’m surprised I haven’t used before. Next is an track from 1971 that I’d never heard of until a few weeks ago. I stumbled on an Instagram reel that talked about the gentle beauty of ”Curry Rice” by Kenji Endo. I immediately fell in love with it and the rest of the album.The Plan – make a mix for every year of the 70s, featuring electronic music from each year. Easy peasy! Well, not exactly. The early years are a bit tough. Electronic music wasn’t really a genre yet. There are definitely electronic albums. But enough to fill an hour-long mix? Maybe…sort of.

I discovered an artist named Doug McKechnie who experimented with one of the few Moog synths around at that time. I don’t believe he ever released any music back then but there are recordings from many of his live shows. The albums were released in 2020 & 2023, so technically this shouldn’t count in a mix of music released in 1970, but as I said, it was hard to fill out the mix. The tracks were recorded from 1968 – 72 so I grabbed one that didn’t have a specific date on it and decided that it would count as being from 1970.
I love the retro vibe of these mixes. Take some old vinyl albums with echoing fender rhodes piano, add some scuba sound fx and a few synths and you’ve got yourself a 70s soundtrack to the Undersea World of Low Light Mixes.I was happy to use a longer version of the Crows Labyrinth track in this mix. I used it in my Blade Runner mix earlier in the year but it was the short version. I have been listening to the long version a lot this year and using it as a sleep soundtrack quite a bit as well. So I knew I had to use more of the 39 minute track in this mix. That album will make my best of the year list for sure.Another musical great has left this world. Ryuichi Sakamoto was a founding member of Yellow Magic Orchestra. He became well known for his neo-classical work, his collaborations, and of course his film scores, from Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence to The Revenant to the Oscar-winning score for The Last Emperor. The solo piano version of Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence is one of my favorite piano pieces ever written.Fire up the Epstein Drive, get settled in your crash couch and set forth on a tour of the solar system. We’ll travel from the sun past the inner planets and through asteroid belt out to the gas giants, into the kuiper belt and oort cloud, and finally reaching interstellar space.

One thing that sets this mix apart from the others is that many of the tunes are very purposely trying to replicate the sound of the original soundtrack. Some cuts even use rain, voices and effects to mimic the feel. I added a bit of BR sound fx on a couple of tracks to reinforce the vibe. Most of the time though it’s that lead synth sound that transports me right back to 1982.
Last year in my Halloween mix I included a track that used an instrument called the Ondes Martenot. I new a little bit about it – that it was an old instrument played with a ring on a wire. But that was all I really knew. Then a listener pointed me in the direction of a piece for the Ondes Martenot written in 1937. Yikes, 1937?! I had no idea that ”Oraison” by Olivier Messiaen was one of the first electronic pieces of music ever written. Of course this lead me down a Ondes Martenot rabbit hole and this mix is the result.A few months ago I stumbled across two tunes called ”Lonely Satellite” & ”The Lonely Orbit.” Those titles intrigued me and I thought they would make a great theme for a mix. I started collecting tracks, not knowing when the mix would come to fruition. For me, the best electronic album of 1971 is ”Zero Time” by Tonto’s Expanding Head Band. It’s very synthetic sounding without being too cheezy. I enjoyed discovering new music for this mix like ”The Andromeda Strain” soundtrack and a Tang
erine Dream soundtrack for an unreleased movie. I hope you too discover something new in this journey back to 1971. 
Blade Runner is obviously one of the great sci-fi films of all time, with one of the best soundtracks of all time. As a testament to the staying power of Vangelis’ work, we still have a artists today that mimic the sound of the Blade Runner score.

There are a lot of new tracks in the mix, half of them from 2022 & 2023. But there are a few older tunes as well. I really like how this one turned out. I hope you enjoy the latest Piano Day excursion.The Electronic Music of the 1970s series continues with a trip back to 1971. This year was a bit easier to curate than ’70 because we have a few more good uses of electronic instruments featured prominently.

Hmmm, what kind of mix do you think this one might be. I believe the gaudy cover art gives it away. This is essentially a continuation of my ”Simply Ambient” series. A nice, straightforward mix of new ambient tunes.Then this past week I heard the new album from Alva Noto called ”Kinder der Sonne (From ”Komplizen”)” and I knew immediately that I had to make this mix. I could have included 4 or 5 tracks from the Alva Noto album but Mixcloud only allows a maximum of 3 songs from one album. I ended up using two cuts.

I love getting guest mixes from creative artists. I love hearing excellent segues as the music flows seamlessly across the set. And I love discovering new music. So I’m excited about this latest offering from Fragile X.

Funny side note – there has been a lot construction in my neighborhood lately and as I was putting the mix together I would hear the beeping of a backhoe reversing or some other truck backing up. It got to be annoying because sometimes I couldn’t tell if the beeping sounds were from the music or the construction outside. Haha!

Some folks may have a problem with current artists so blatantly aping a style and sound(some more than others here). But I don’t care, I just love the overall sound and feel of these tracks.This mix is much more straightforward than the Antarctica set. This mix follows my ”dubby & dreamy” formula of ethereal ambient dub tracks with a few gentle beats and lots of synth washes. I got tired of coming up with variations of ”simply ambient” such as absolutely ambient, purely ambient, totally ambient, etc. So I decided to ripoff the over-the-top ”Now That’s What I Call Music” series. I’m not sure if, like that series, I’ll keep adding numbers to each mix so that I end up with ”Now That’s What I Call Ambient Vol. 84”. I’ve done a couple mixes featuring library music from the 70s & 80s that have the vibe of a cheesy deep sea exploration documentary. I’ve always wanted to do a follow up and here it is.International Piano Day is March 29th and, as has been the case for the last five years, I’ve put together a new mix in celebration of ambient piano tunes. I don’t do quite as many piano mixes as I once did but when I create these Piano Day sets I find I really enjoy the vibe.

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