5 Chillout, Drone, Ambient and Modern Classical Podcasts

best-of-2014

In 2015 I had now a rather lengthy commute to work on my hands. For the ride, I found that ambient music served best to play as I rode the bus and the T. Sounds of the train, voices talking, even the squealing of the wheels and the dinging of the stops became a part of the soundscape in my head.

So, rather than blocking out the noise, it sort of accepts it as music. As John Cage famously surmised: “All sound is music.”

Hearing sounds which are just sound immediately sets the theorizing mind to theorizing, and the emotions of human beings are continually aroused by encounters with nature. Does not a mountain unintentionally evoke in us a sense of wonder? Otters along a stream a sense of mirth? Night in the woods a sense of fear? Do not rain falling and mists rising up suggest the love binding heaven and earth?

Here are five quite deep archives of ambient music (and its various strata) I found on Mixcloud.

1: Mixmaster Morris

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Morris Gould is the undisputed king of the chillout room. A long-time veteran of the scene, he drops downtempo hip-hop into an extended edit of Imogen Heap with ease. This is music for positive chill vibes, and not a drone in sight. He is so revered in the UK that at the world-famous Glastonbury festival he plays for 10 hours in an area they simply call “Heaven.”

Here’s the first of the 10 hours:

Mixmaster Morris @ Glastonbury Heaven pt1 by Mixmaster Morris on Mixcloud

(Worth noting that it was only through his re-shares, favorites, and listens that I discovered the remainder of this list.)

2: Optic Echo

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On the other end of the spectrum is Optic Echo. Culled from a three-hour radio show on XRAY FM in Portland, OR. Consisting of no more than ambient, experimental, and modern classical vinyl, their hour-long podcasts can get rather dark.

For example, this mix contains music by a group called Indignant Senility and also a track called “Your Naked Ghost Comes Back At Night,” but also classics from artists like Fourtet and Fennesz.

Optic Echo Presents 11/1/15 by Optic Echo on Mixcloud

3: Headphone Commute

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As I mentioned above, here’s a podcast specifically designed for the commute. The website gets others to curate guest mixes and does some sonic exploration of their own. Like with their “Residuum Series”:

I am excited to present you with the second volume of my Residuum mix series … the transitions in this collection have been meticulously curated for a deep listening experience … do not operate any machinery while listening, as mild disorientation may occur.

HC – Residuum Vol 2 by Headphone Commute on Mixcloud

4: Akrrrs

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Akrrs, from Northern England, goes as far as creating “Dream Sequences” which can be insanely pretty. The Dream Sequence mixes continually work on the eardrums, flowing in and out of the mix. As their title indicates, the idea is to play it when you dream.

Dream Sequence 32 by Akrrrs on Mixcloud

5: The Slow Drift

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The Slow Drift is probably my favorite one of the five, simply because it is so clinical and precise. Our host, Andrew Hoffman, clearly curates these hour long podcasts with care, featuring artists with names like Marielle v. Jakobsons, Kleefstra Bakker Kleefstra, and Carbon Based Lifeforms. It also comes from “community-supported WRFI radio in Ithaca, NY and Watkins Glen.”

At just 157 listens on some of these, Andrew Hoffman is clearly the underdog (and who doesn’t love a good underdog story).

The Slow Drift is an atmospheric mix of ambient, drone, modern classical, and field recordings. Synesthetic textures may evoke feelings of introspection, romance, or a dream-like state. This is completely normal.

The Slow Drift :: Episode 054 :: 2015-08-21 by The Slow Drift on Mixcloud

Bonus Podcast: Melodica

melodica

I just discovered this one lately (guess who shared it? Yep, Morris). Melodica is another carefully curated show but relies even more on disco, house and summery tunes (what some call “Balearic”). So if the above seems a little too dark or strange, I highly recommend Melodica. Its host, Chris Coco, is also himself a bit of a ray of sunshine.

Melodica 30 November 2015 by Chris Coco on Mixcloud

Don’t forget we are also on MixCloud, SoundCloud, YouTube, and LinkedIn. Connect with us and let’s share our 2016 experience together.

New XLR8R Podcast Featuring John Barera and Will Martin

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Some things just go so well together, diagnosis you almost wonder if they were ever really apart. There’s gin and tonic, sales for example, or bacon and eggs, or Cheech and Chong, or…well, the list is long. But you can add one more entry to that catalog: Bostonians John Barera and Will Martin.

Make It New resident DJ John Barera and DJ Will Martin have unloaded some classic house sound for the latest XLR8R podcast. XLR8R, one of the most trusted brands in modern music culture for over 20 years, rarely goes wrong.

Read on and listen over here.

Click to hear a Skype interview with the duo about the process behind the mix:

Now head to XLR8R to listen!

.@JacquesGreene Takes Control of the @LilWhiteEarbuds Podcast

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Mmmmaven favorite and #MakeItNew alumnus Jacques Greene has a new mix out, and it’s a good one.

Head on over there to d/l the newest mix of delicious break, beats and house. Reinvented R&B and coo-ing vocals surround Mssr. Greene’s soundworld. It’s fun to sit in and turn up.

Listening to Jacques Greene’s music, you get the feeling that we won’t have much longer with the artist in his current state. The achingly beautiful melodies, steamy synths, and chrome plated production that has so far attracted the attention of people like Radiohead, Azealia Banks, Katy B, and the XX is destined for major exposure.

Click around the tracklisting below to familiarize yourself with his vastly informed palette.

01. Drake, “OVOXO” (TEAMS ∞ TRUST edit) [*]
02. Frankey & Sandrino, “Save” [Innervisions]
03. Krystal Klear, “Fumer Tue” [Cold Tonic]
04. Jacques Greene, “Night Tracking” [LuckyMe*]
05. Tiga, “Gentle Giant” (Martyn’s Heaven Remix) [Turbo]
06. Partynextdoor, “R A I N ft. Rochelle Jordan” [*]
07. Pablo Mateo, “Roxy” [LACKREC.]
08. Anthony Naples, “Perro” [The Trilogy Tapes*]
09. HNNY, “No” [Puss]
10. A.G. Cook, “Had 1 (slowed)” [*]
11. Aden, “Part of Me” [Ultramajic]
12. Jacques Greene, “No Excuse” (Yung Gud Remix) [*]
13. Seiho, “KOI” [Perfect Touch]
14. Jacques Greene, “1 4 me” (demo) [*]
15. DJ Richard, “Benzos” [White Material]
16. Yung Gud, “Fall In Love” [*]
17. How to Dress Well, “Words I Can’t Remember” [Weird World]
18. iPhone recording of dudes in Delancey Station

Want to dive into your own soundworld? We have classes that will allow you to do just that.

David Day discusses Mmmmaven, electronic music on new podcast

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Together Boston creative director David Day was the guest on last week’s Let’s Put It Off podcast. His discussion with hosts Jenee Halstead and Danielle Miraglia ranged from his own background in music to the founding of Mmmmaven, Daft Punk at the Grammys and the future of electronic music in the mainstream. Check out the full hour-long show here.