Saturday, May 10, 2008

light cycles

After a very long absence I am finally posting a new mix. I started a new job in January, so the past several months have been insanely busy. But the last few months have really brought a sea change in my life as well. My last two mixes really reflected my mood at the time. But, just when I thought the desolation and rain would last forever, things suddenly changed for the better. I feel like I have a whole new life. So, take it from me…don’t give up hoping. Change CAN occur. It just usually happens when you least expect it!

Given my improved mood, I wanted to put something together that echoed it. light cycles is the result. The original idea was to do another “Sunrise” mix. But I quickly discarded that because I felt it was too limiting. I love repetition in music–-music that uses the constant repetition of notes or themes or sounds as a basic structure to the composition. Modern composers like Philip GlassSteve Reich have based most of their compositions on musical repetition. Berlin-school groups like Tangerine Dream have used sequencers since the early 70’s to great effect as an integral part of their music. Ambient music also has a strong component of repetition in it. Many of the ambient works by Brian Eno (Music for Airports, Neroli), for example, use repetition. I wanted to put together a mix where all of the pieces used repetition as a major part of the cut. I also wanted to use pieces that had an “ambient” feel to them but that also were bright or upbeat. The title of the mix was inspired by the movie Tron. light cyclesCan. The Can piece Future Days and starts out fairly slow and quiet but becomes more vibrant as it goes along. Near the end it almost rocks out with an amazing piece I stumbled across by uses repetition to great effect. This piece is also cool because it was done back in 1973 but still sounds amazingly contemporary.

I hope you enjoy light cycles. Like the last several mixes it is somewhat of a departure from the typical ambient drift and drone but I think it still evokes “ambient-ness” throughout the piece.

Let me know what you think. Bright times are ahead for the Hydrogen Cafe–and for me as well.

D O W N L O A D S (right click, save link as):

light cycles MP3 (68:30) (192k) (94 mb)

Cover Art & Score (284k zip)



1. Kamen Nedev - Waves, Atlantic Coast, Porto, Portugal

2. Cliff Martinez - Is That What Everybody Wants (excerpts)

3. Budd-Garcia-Lentz - Pulse, Pause, Repeat

4. Sonmi451 - Second to None

5. Bobby Devito – Untitled Ambient Track

6. The Elf Machine - Buddha Zone 6

7. Fenton - Neon Giraffe

8. Shuttle358 - Calty

9. The Green Kingdom - Lucky Bamboo

10. Cliff Martinez - Is That What Everybody Wants

11. Thomas Fanger - Twinkling Sun

12. Saul Stokes - The Bright Tones (Even Brighter)

13. Dollboy - Juicyfruit

14. Isan - Cinnabar

15. Can - Future Days

16. Tangerine Dream - White Eagle

17. Underworld - To Heal

“To the dull mind all nature is leaden. To the illumined mind the whole world sparkles with light.”

- Ralph Waldo Emerson