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60 minutes | Sep 1, 2021
Ocoeur - Headphone Commute Mix
And there you have it, folks – the 300th episode of Headphone Commute Podcast! The very first mix was published exactly twelve years ago (about a year after the site was officially launched), and I simply used the platform to share some of my favourite recent finds, before the all-digital era of playlists (in fact, many of the features mixes were made from vinyl). The format quickly picked up, with many of my favourite artists showcasing their very own selections. The top mixes, to this day, still remain :papercutz’ Dream Scores, Orangewarrior‘s Chilled Dubstep, and my very own selection of the Best of Modern Classical (of 2010). Somewhere throughout the last decade, I toyed with the idea of creating a record label and releasing compilations (like the monumental … and darkness came), but in the end, I always turned to mixes – they capture all there is to say. So without any further reminiscence, I present to you a mix by Franck Zaragoza, who releases on n5MD as Ocoeur – in fact, he’s got a brand new album on the way! His latest, titled Connections, is scheduled to come out next Friday, September 10th, pressed on a beautiful, limited edition, transparent red double LP. A few of the tracks from this upcoming release are featured on this mix, curated exclusively for Headphone Commute. There’s always more to say about the selection, but maybe I’ll just let the music speak itself.
79 minutes | Aug 10, 2021
130701 - A 20th Anniversary Mix by Dave Howell
On July 13th, 2021, one of my all-time favourite labels, named after its inception date, 130701 celebrated its 20th birthday. What can I say about its output, its delicate curation, and its monumental impact on our lives? Just look at the roster of its artists, many of which are showcased in this exclusive mix put together by Dave Howell, and you will immediately be swept away in the beautiful torrent of music that has been so extraordinary comforting in the last two decades. I would even proclaim that because of this imprint, on which many of today’s biggest names made their debut, the world is a different place, a richer place, and definitely better. Just look at HC’s coverage of its releases – I think I wrote about every single one! There is so much more praise which I would like to publish, but Dave has also written a little bit about this special mix, and so I’d like to give him the stage for a moment. Meanwhile, enjoy the mix and please support the label! See the entire tracklisting and read more from Dave Howell on the mix here: http://hcdi.gs/130701
37 minutes | Jun 2, 2021
Sirat - Noir 2
About, oh, eight years ago now (jeez!) I featured a Noir mix by Sirat, a DJ from Spain who hand-picked his favourite downtempo and trip-hop tracks to create a tribute to film-noir, “with its characteristic anti-heroes, femmes fatales, gangsters and dirty dealings”. It was a fantastic stroll down the rain-refreshed alley, which received a lot of praise among the followers of the genre (including yours truly). It seems that the mix has also left a wonderful impression on its creator – enough to create a long-awaited follow-up, “returning to those smoky sounds, and black and white environments…” Once again, the intention here is for you to create your very own movie of your mind, and transport yourself “to the universe of film noir.” Enjoy the many familiar bits on here (like that lovely Portishead track!) and discover new artists along the way! Oh, and while you’re in the mood for further listening, check out Sirat’s Soundcloud, where you will find more mixes, as well as his productions as part Clima project.
116 minutes | May 12, 2021
James Heather - Moving Sounds
James Heather is a pianist, composer, and publicist for Ninja Tune that has appeared on these pages on numerous occasions – most recently with a track premiere for his upcoming release Modulations: EP2. James and I have a mutual passion for sharing the music that we discover. A few years ago, he made an ambient focused Headphone Commute Mix for this very same podcast. Today I’m syndicating his selection originally appearing on his very own Moving Sounds program that he runs on London’s Soho Radio. This monthly show “was born out of the long-running playlist of the same name created by James that explores spaces between classical, electronic, ambient, soul, jazz, drone, film soundtrack, folk, field recordings & other transporting sounds from the past but mostly from now.” This particular mix is featuring many of my favourite composers whom I am honoured to call friends, and I was even happy to contribute a track of my own. In the case of mixes, I always follow the “less words – more music” formula, so here you go, folks! Enjoy!
83 minutes | Apr 27, 2021
Joachim Spieth - Affinities
I always welcome new music, new connections, new friendships that then come along. In this example, a track premiere by Joachim Spieth at the end of last year made me relisten to his works on Wolfgang Voigt’s Pop Ambient series, taking me to releases on his very own Affin imprint and finally asking him for a mix. In this process, this seemingly random stranger quickly became a musical friend, as we exchanged grand ideas and connected with music. I really appreciated the spectrum of electronic music genres covered on Spieth’s German label and requested that he showcased the output through a traversal of styles. The result is a beautiful 90-minute journey that will take you from soothing to upbeat, through highs and through lows. I’m very happy with how it turned out and honoured to host this showcase on Headphone Commute.
99 minutes | Apr 6, 2021
Ambientologist - Sustain Series, Vol. 1
In November of 2020, Amsterdam-based label Ambientologist released a compilation titled Sustain Series, Vol. 1. It’s an impressive gathering of ambient artists and their music, showcasing some of the most delicate sides of the genre. The proceeds from the release have been donated to Conservation International, promoting sustainability across the world. I reached out to the label in hopes to broadcast this selection to a wider audience on my platform, and I am happy that they obliged to share this 90-minute continuous mix by Lauge with followers of my podcast. Take a look at the tracklisting and you will know why I’m excited to spend today in the company of my favourite ambient artists, as well as a few newly introduced names to my ears. As of this writing, the label is preparing a follow-up volume, with artists such as Halftribe, The Green Kingdom, Pepo Galán, awakened souls, Dylan Henner and Sven Laux, confirmed for the roster. I’m keeping my eye on the Ambientologist’s Bandcamp for the available pre-order, and so should you!
69 minutes | Mar 24, 2021
Matt Emery - Cello Mix
In anticipation of Matt Emery‘s upcoming six-track EP on Injazero Records, titled Spotlight Series : Cello, I have asked him to put together a thematic mix prominently featuring the instrument. As many of you may already know – I’m a big fan of this low-end stringed beast [side note: In high school, I’ve played the double bass in the orchestra, but I wasn’t very good and was jealous of the cello]. I have especially enjoyed the darker, moodier, and sullen pieces by the likes of Julia Kent, Resina, Anne Müller, Peter Gregson, Sebastian Plano, Clarice Jensen, and of course, Hildur Guðnadóttir, all of whom I have reviewed and interviewed on Headphone Commute before [I have linked up each name for HC content for you above], and who, once again, appear on this gorgeous mix selected by Matt Emery. His very own two pieces, one from the upcoming EP, and the other from his previously released album Empire, also appear on this podcast, which I hope you will thoroughly enjoy!
64 minutes | Mar 9, 2021
A Strangely Isolated Place - 2020 | Label Compilation
In December of 2020, one of my favourite imprints released a gorgeous label compilation! Ryan Griffin has been lovingly curating every single release on A Strangely Isolated Place since 2012. He’s also compiled sublime Reflection mixes, which I have happily syndicated on Headphone Commute. Following the first label showcase launched in 2019, Ryan puts together ten tracks, including a few previously unavailable as individual pieces, that make up this 2020 Label Compilation. As a bonus, this release includes an hour-long continuous mix (available as part of a digital-only purchase), which I have arranged with Ryan to share with you today. “I hope the (continuous) year-end mix will become a regular occurrence going forward,” says Griffin about the release. “Many of you will know a big part of my inspiration and passion lies in DJ’ing and classic mix CDs. If the label momentum continues and releases keep coming as planned, then each year I’d like to invite a DJ to select and mix tracks from the label – make an annual tradition out of it.” This compilation is still available for purchase on a CD for only $10, while the digital-only album is up for grabs for only $1! Please see this label Bandcamp page.
70 minutes | Feb 16, 2021
Mathias Van Eecloo - eisOtones 13
What’s this? Somehow, last year, both Mathias Van Eecloo and I completely forgot our annual tradition to publish another eisOtones instalment, in which this prolific French musician and label(s) owner collects 50 tracks from 50 releases of the prior year. How did that happen? I suppose, Mathias was extremely busy wrapping up his monumental Eilean Rec. project, in which he released 100 records based on an imaginary map of 100 points. The final catalogue entry in this imprint [as you can imagine] was number 100 and collected unreleased pieces in an 82-track compilation. Van Eecloo wasted no time there and immediately set off on another venture, titled LAAPS, releasing vinyl records in a permanent continuity of sounds and visual bridges between each one. Another puzzle for you to complete! So I suppose it was a very busy time of endings and new beginnings… but this year we’re back! So, without more words and reflected distractions, here’s a 72-minute journey, which I’m sure you’ll enjoy!
88 minutes | Jan 26, 2021
Optic Echo Presents - Best Vinyl of 2020
More than a couple of weeks late, but here we are, with the long-awaited vinyl mix, still marking down, bookmarking, and closing off a year we won't surely miss... but at least there was a lot of awesome music, and as such, thanks to Mike Jedlicka once again, we are celebrating the best it had to give. A fascinating playlist here, with more than a few new artists even to my ears. So yes, I am enjoying it as well! And if you like this beautiful selection, be sure to check out our past archive of Optic Echo Presents mixes, as well as the ongoing Best of 2020 lists, which I intend to finish up this week. Also, I want to quickly point out that this is Mike's 10th vinyl mix for Headphone Commute which we publish at the end of each year - so yeah, we've been at it for a decade now, kids!
49 minutes | Dec 23, 2020
noition - kôrʹəl pēs
Well, it’s almost the end of this dreadful year, and I’ve got one more mix for you before I sign off… This one is episode number 290. Can you believe it? By the way, I was recently forced (by my host) to take all of my past mixes offline. As a result, I’ve migrated the last year of mixes to Podbean. So if you are experiencing any technical difficulties with downloading, streaming, or anything else, please reach out, and we’ll sort it! Meanwhile, this beautiful selection from noition, who last contributed his child of nature mix back in 2017, should get you smooth sailing into the new year. Just look at that amazing tracklist! It’s been on rotation in Headphone Commute studios for a week now (vinyl crackle and all), so as you play it, you can imagine that we’re sharing this experience together, a better thought than listening alone. Anyway, I wish you all serenity, poised mental strength, and healthy choice in lifestyle! I’ll see you [virtually] next year when I return with my Best of 2020 selections!
56 minutes | Dec 8, 2020
Sergio Díaz De Rojas - Contemplative Classical Mix
In case you haven’t heard already, I’ve taken over the Contemplative Classical community, which curated an outstanding Spotify Playlist, hosted a podcast with Matt Emery, and offered the platform for artists to feature a mix. I intend on keeping all of the above going [more on this one a bit later!], with a bit of cross-pollination with Headphone Commute. Most of you already know that I enjoy solo piano and contemporary classical music, and I’m sure many followers of Contemplative Classical will appreciate my musings on here about ambient and cinematic music. I kind of hate to use the word “synergy” but if there was ever one of an appropriate union, it would be HC + CC. Today I wanted to introduce you to the outstanding selection of mixes previously appearing on Contemplative Classical, with the syndication of this gorgeous selection of tracks by a Peruvian pianist and a composer, Sergio Díaz De Rojas. He is also responsible for a site and a label called Piano and Coffee, so you’re in good company here! If you enjoy this, you may want to also follow my SoundCloud account, where I’m currently republishing Contemplative Classical Mixes every Saturday morning.
97 minutes | Nov 25, 2020
Shimmering Moods - Headphone Commute Mix
Shimmering Moods is an independent boutique ambient label based in Amsterdam. In the last couple of years, it has released albums by Halftribe, Andrew Tasselmyer, Anthéne, øjeRum, Purl, and Olan Mill, among the many recognized names in its quickly growing roster of artists. It’s easy to get lost in its catalog among the hazy, shuffling, dubbed-out sounds, glinting and shimmering, reflecting the light off the still misty waters. This is a very tranquil and radiant place, slightly subdued in its faint hazy colors. “The music offers the listener a soundtrack for daydreaming, walks around the city or in nature, a creative activity, meditation, or invites them to a fully concentrated listen.” Today I am happy to share these sounds with you in this special label showcase compiled exclusively for Headphone Commute. And if you like what you hear, be sure to visit the label’s Bandcamp shop, where every limited release is lovingly packaged, hand-made, and bespoke, awaiting to meet at your doorsteps and share its wonders. For a more detailed description, full tracklisting, and more information about this mix, please visit headphonecommute.com
60 minutes | Nov 10, 2020
James Murray - Slowcraft Radio
On today’s Headphone Commute podcast, we’re syndicating an episode of James Murray‘s Slowcraft Radio (episode 4, to be exact), on which this London-based composer and Slowcraft Records label boss showcases some of his favorite pieces. These, of course, include selections released on his own imprint, as well as remixes and collaborations [including one with yours truly] on the extended family of labels, such as Subcontinental, Ultimae, and Home Normal. Among the choices, you’d be happy to hear an Alva Noto cover of The Cure‘s “A Forest”, an excerpt from a beautiful long-form track by An Moku & Stijn Hüwels titled Where We Meet (I’ve got some proper coverage on this release coming up!), and a top pick from our very own album, coming out in just a week, titled Suññatā, on November 17th. This particular episode appeared on October 17th at CAMP, a broadcasting platform for artists offering a “diverse array of audible pleasures,” but for my own taste, I’m not gonna lie, there’s only room for Slowcraft… For a more detailed description, full tracklisting, and more information about this mix, please visit headphonecommute.com
63 minutes | Oct 28, 2020
Kit Grill - Headphone Commute Mix
Kit Grill is a London-based producer and a host at NTS Radio, dabbling in various genres, ranging from Krautrock to New Wave to Post-Punk and Ambient. On November 6th, Grill is releasing his new album, titled Ride, on his own Primary Colours imprint, exploring new timbres, textures, and field recordings using the Fairlight CMI digital synthesizer from the early 80s. To celebrate the release, Kit has put together a Headphone Commute Mix featuring an eclectic selection of his favorite tunes, including a few from the album. It’s a unique excursion into the sound from around the world, with appearances of some early electronic music from the likes of Steve Reich, Cocteau Twins & Harold Budd among the contemporaries, such as Mica Levi, GAS, and Windy & Carl. Grill’s new album will be streaming on November 12th from Ten Studios in East London, meanwhile, sit back, and enjoy the show… For a more detailed description, full track listing and more information about this mix, please visit headphonecommute.com
52 minutes | Oct 13, 2020
James Norman - Micro Record Label Mix
For this 285th Headphone Commute Mix, James Norman puts together a selection of tracks as a companion listening session to his recently published book, titled “Micro Record Label: A love letter for music fans; a how-to for the hopeless; a light-hearted, humorous, self-deprecating detour for the uninterested.” The paperback is both a fun read and an important and earnest bit of advice for anyone who even conceives of venturing into a running a small, or rather, a micro record label. Covering everything from design to packaging to promoting and finally selling your goods, this 144-page diary captures the current state of affairs in the music scene outside of the music business. Along the way, Norman mentions many of his favorite releases across various imprints that just seem to do it right. This mix features many of such pieces quoted in the book and serves as a perfect musical journey and as a soundtrack to his recorded words. There are only 200 of these printed, so I recommend that you grab your copy (I see some still available on Rough Trade). Meanwhile, if you want to read an excerpt, you can read this chapter on “Identity” on Headphone Commute. For a more detailed description, full track listing and more information about this mix, please visit headphonecommute.com
74 minutes | Sep 17, 2020
Leah Kardos - Bigo & Twigetti Mix
Bigo & Twigetti is a London based label which, in recent years, has brought us an eclectic selection of artists ranging from ambient to electronic to contemporary classical genres and everything in between. Most recently, I’ve been inspired by Ben Crosland and his album The Turn as well as captivated by the always excellent Leah Kardos [who still owes me an introduction to her best friend, Dudley]. Leah has previously made us a Headphone Commute Mix, but for this installment, I’ve asked her to compile a sampler of the label’s offerings to showcase the catalog and hopefully discover some new acts. It’s an eclectic selection of tunes, perfect for your WFH commute. For a more detailed description, full tracklisting, and more information about this mix, please visit headphonecommute.com
60 minutes | Jul 28, 2020
Fragmented Dialogue (Low Light Mixes / Ambientblog Mix)
Peter van Cooten of Ambientblog is no stranger to Headphone Commute. We have been musing on our discoveries for almost a decade now, exchanging mixes and words in a tightly knit musical network. His first mix for Headphone Commute podcast appeared back in 2011, titled Dawn Secrets and it features many of my favorite artists to this day. I think it's only fair to say that Dave Michuda of Low Light Mixes is also part of the said "network", with his first mix for Headphone Commute appearing in August of 2010 (also a decade ago), titled The Landscape Listens. For this special syndicated podcast, Dave and Peter create a cooperative voyage, each taking their turns to conduct and maneuver this ship in complex sonic waters to deliver you safely ashore, while in the process forever tattooing their message on your map of existence. Enjoy! For a more detailed description, full tracklisting, and more information about this mix, please visit headphonecommute.com
81 minutes | Jul 7, 2020
Morgen Wurde - Dominions Of Our Time
On today’s episode of Headphone Commute, we’re featuring an eclectic selection of tunes curated by a German composer, J. Wolfgang Röttger, who records under his moniker Morgen Wurde. About three years ago, I was completely mesmerized by his "Assassinous Act" for Time Released Sound which is still appearing on my occasional rotations. He has also contributed to the long-running Pop Ambient compilation series, curated by the one and only Wolfgang Voigt. There are a lot of familiar tracks and some new discoveries on this mix, which give you a glimpse into this artist’s influences that inevitably shape his sound. For a more detailed description, full tracklisting, and more information about this mix, please visit headphonecommute.com
180 minutes | Jun 23, 2020
Orangewarrior - Retro 97 Mix
In order to understand the present, sometimes one must look into the past. It is, after all, the memories that make up the “you” of who you are. If you are to erase them, and your past, would you be an entirely new person? Perhaps you’ll make the same mistakes again. And buy all that expensive vinyl. In the case of Orangewarrior, the past includes a collection of electronic and ambient music of the mid-90s. And that precisely coincides with my very own “becoming” of the time, which is why I’m very much excited about this special mix. This is a fun journey down memory lane which I hope you will enjoy with us. For a more detailed description, full tracklisting and more information about this mix, please visit headphonecommute.com
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