Mixtape #42 : Late Night

by 5:4
6 minutes read

As part of 5:4‘s tenth anniversary celebrations, i’m going to be putting out a new mixtape each month throughout 2018. While they’re quite time-consuming to curate and create, they’re also a lot of fun, and it’s been clear for a long time that the mixtapes are a popular feature on the blog. The very first of my mixtapes dates from the earliest weeks of the blog’s existence, back in February 2008, and for this new mixtape i’m paying homage to myself with a return to that original theme, music for late night listening. In fact, the whole idea of putting out mixtapes began due to the fact that i already created various playlists in iTunes with specific themes or to suit specific listening contexts, and the one i listened to most regularly at that time was a late night one.

The structure of this two-hour mix is four 30-minute sections, each of which is started by a piece by Dick Mills, one of the composers who worked at the BBC Radiophonic Workshop; each of the pieces featured here are inspired by astronomical phenomena. Section one is mostly about establishing the tone of the overall mix, focusing on a number of tracks that act via wave-like swells or soft pulses (Bass CommunionBreaking, Venetian Snares, Hecq, Alva Noto) – there’s something intrinsically restful about this kind of behaviour – alongside more mellifluous or amorphous music (Bernat Vivancos, Jonathan Coleclough, Brian Eno). Section two tilts the mix into darker territory, passing through hauntology (The Caretaker), ominous noir (Angelo Badalamenti & David Lynch), convoluted field recordings (Christopher McFall) and edgy dark ambience (Ektoise, Aphex Twin).

Section three is the most variegated and, in the best sense of the word, inscrutable, encompassing blank fields of reverberant electronics (Error Genético), slowly shifting, somewhat impenetrable clouds of pitch formations (Kenneth Kirschner, Benjamin Dauer), intense meditations, one long, one short (Mirjam Tally, Nicolas Obouhow) and acousmatic sound-theatre (Kreng). Section four initially takes the mix through its most broken-up textures yet, from both experimental electronic and doomjazz perspectives (Andrew Liles, The Thing With Five Eyes) before bringing it back to stability and calm, through a series of more peaceful ambient-esque pieces (Simon Cummings, Fovea Hex, Ochre). i’ve concluded with a second track by The Caretaker, one that i’ve listened to countless times just before settling down for sleep, bringing the mix to a decidedly poignant end.

The accompanying artwork uses a photograph of the night sky that i took in July 2015. Here’s the tracklisting in full, including links to obtain each of the albums:

Dick Mills – Through The Black Hole (from Essential Hi Tech Sound Effects)
Bass Communion – Litany 1 (2009) (from Untitled Box Set)
Breaking – Chemical Gray (from Babyteeth O.S.T.)
Bernat Vivancos – Messe aux sons des cloches – IV Agnus Dei (from Blanc. Choral works)
Venetian Snares – Colorless (from My Downfall (Original Soundtrack))
Hecq – Nightfalls (from Night Falls)
Jonathan Coleclough – Periodic [excerpt] (from Period)
Brian Eno – Shaded Water (from Textures)
Alva Noto – Xerrox Teion (from Xerrox Vol. 2)
Dick Mills – Purple Space And White Coronas (from Essential Hi Tech Sound Effects)
The Caretaker – Glimpses of hope in trying times (from Everywhere at the end of time – Stage 2)
Angelo Badalamenti & David Lynch – Wash Your Hands (from Twin Peaks Archive)
Christopher McFall – Endurance (from All For The Terror That Sings Sweetly To You In The Night)
Ektoise – Down River (from Down River – free download)
Aphex Twin – On (28 Mix) (from On Remixes)
David Lynch – Slow 30’s Room (from The Air Is On Fire (Reissue))
Dick Mills – Force Of The Universe (from Essential Hi Tech Sound Effects)
Error Genético – Incense (from Minimal Hypnotic Soundscape – free download)
Kenneth Kirschner – April 21, 2003 (from kennethkirschner.com – free download)
Mirjam Tally – Your Shadow [Sinu vari] for mixed choir and phonogram (from New Estonian Choral Music)
Benjamin Dauer – Sense of Place (from Burning of Wine – free download)
Nicolas Obouhow – Six Prières – 3e Prière (from Piano Works)
Kreng – Slaapliedje (from L’Autopsie Phénoménale De Dieu)
Dick Mills – Ascending Asteroids (from Essential Hi Tech Sound Effects)
The Thing With Five Eyes – Nehex* (from KOSMOS)
Simon Cummings – Night Liminal [excerpt] (from Night Liminal)
Fovea Hex – A Song For Magda (from Huge)
Ochre – Brancaster Coast (from A Midsummer Nice Dream)
The Caretaker – The way ahead feels lonely (from Everywhere at the end of time – Stage 2)

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Michael D. Scott

A new mix tape each month? How exciting… I’m looking forward to it.

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