Calm Pill 36

On the eve of the 4th anniversary of Calm Pills (this series began back in Nov 15, 2016), let’s take a trip back in time to the very first ambient mix I ever created. This is mix number one! I created it 8 years ago under my previous pseudonym DJ Seroton, and to this day it remains one of the best ones I have ever done. This is what I wrote in the release notes back in Jan 16, 2012:

What puts you to sleep?

I bet the answer to this question will vary from one person to the other. For me, I like total darkness, comfy pillow, and believe it or not, the constant sound of AC, which I’ve grown to appreciate as a way of eliminating little on-off noises from around the building. On top of that, when I’m in the mood, nothing beats a good playlist of pure and peaceful ambient music.

I first came to discover this wonderful style of music back in 2007, when I accidentally stumbled on a great site called Ambient Nights. Not knowing what this style of music was all about, I decided to give it a try and downloaded few of the mixes, created by Alex Hephaestion. I was in the middle of preparing a public speech at the time, my first one ever, and while researching my material, I would put these mixes on.

To my surprise, these mixes magically helped me focus and zone into my work in a weird but awesome way. I said weird because when you’re listening to ambient music, the idea is not to listen intently, but in a passive way. You just let it play in the background, and it’ll do its thing. This is best described by Brian Eno, one of the most influential artists in this genre and the one believed to have coined the term “ambient music“, who was quoted describing it as the kind of music that can be “actively listened to with attention or as easily ignored, depending on the choice of the listener”, and that exists on the “cusp between melody and texture”.

Not all ambient music is created equal. Over the years since my discovery, I’ve been curating my collection of ambient music that’s truly relaxing and in no way disturbing or weighs too much on the dark side. I think all that boils down to what you’re going to listen to in this 1 hour mix.

But mixing this style of music has proved a little challenging for me. When I sat out to create this mix, I wanted a mix that’s perfect to sleep to. This is easier said than done, because when you’re trying to sleep to music, the slightest off beat or melody can wake you up. So the mix must flow seamlessly from start to finish, and not have any surprises in the middle since the person listening to it might, and most likely will, drift off in the middle.

Also while creating this mix, it’s not just enough to make sure tracks flow seamlessly into each other. You’ve got to listen over and over to the entire mix to make sure you’re setting and maintaining the right mood, in this case sleeping mode, throughout the mix.

Overall, I think I’ve done a pretty good job with this one. I’ve even took it for a spin and tried sleeping to it. After a few tweaks, I think I’ve managed to perfect it. Well, at least I hope you do think so.


Tracklist

00:00
Danny Elfman ― Friendship

04:07
Brian Eno ― The Real

06:12
Christopher Short ― Twilight

13:28
Aeolian String Ensemble ― Eclipse

15:42
Sven Väth ― Ballet Dancer

20:45
David Brunn ― Crater Lake (Hephaestion Edit)

23:53
Chris Spheeris & Paul Voudouris ― Passage

30:24
ATB ― Under The Sky

33:52
David ― Ruhe

36:07
Harold Budd, Brian Eno ― Failing Light

39:40
Mind Over Matter ― Brahman

42:08
Byron Metcalf, Mark Seelig, Steve Roach ― Gone…Beyond

52:04
Transambient Communications ― Ocean Waves At Sunset

55:10
Moby ― Overland

Calm Pill 35

I’m back with yet another guest mix. This time I approached Alessio who hosts Corsica One, a series that showcases carefully curated selection of uplifting and evocative soundscapes. His show is all about variety, and that inspired me to do something a bit different to start this Calm Pill mix with, something a bit more mystic. I think you’ll like it.


Tracklist

00:00
Tonepoet ― Impulses (Excerpt)

01:22
Nox Arcana ― Nyarlathotep

01:52
Moonshine Blues ― Dawn (Excerpt)

02:38
Pete Namlook & Tetsu Inoue ― Morning Spirit

03:00
Rebekkah’s Cousin Silas ― the Rachel suite – part 009

04:15
Jonn Serrie & Gary Stroutsos ― Sea of Clouds

09:51
Ornament ― Ambeyond

16:24
Darren Harper ― Vanishing Point (the receding edge pt.2)

23:24
Cousin Silas ― Moving Away

33:46
John Foxx & Harold Budd ― A Delicate Romance

39:30
Tonepoet & Wings Of An Angel ― Dreaming Out Loud

43:58
Matt Borghi & Michael Teager ― Convocation

51:37
Diatonis ― The River Flowing

Chill Pill 34

This is a throwback mix released 5 years ago under my previous pseudonym DJ Seroton in a series called Unwind.

The mix was inspired by the the 5th track (More Than Nothing), and is centered around our desire to sometimes “turn back the hands of the clock” and do something we missed out on doing. Even though the song describes a man’s regret for not pursuing a relationship, I’d like to think of this idea more generically to include everything we procrastinate or never get to do that we later wish we would have done, or at least tried!

Musically, this mix was by far the most time-consuming 1-hour mix I’ve ever created! It almost burnt me out trying to perfect all aspects of the mix, especially the first of the two mashups, track 13, which is made up of two equally amazing songs by DeYarmond Edison and All India Radio.


Tracklist

00:00
Rob Fleming ― First Light

02:05
Rhythm Of Mankind & Nature ― Between Space And Time

05:15
Aleksey Chistilin ― Mood (Edit)

08:20
Erik Wøllo ― A Sublime Place (Excerpt)

08:34
Mansions on the Moon feat. Codi ― More Than Nothing

12:06
Fort Road ― Fluke (Subsets Remix)

15:05
Equal Stones & Endless Melancholy ― Disappear in Light

18:27
Ioflow ― Impermanence

19:41
Barcelona ― Please Don’t Go

23:25
Green Sun ― The First Birth

27:15
Erik Håkansson ― Summer Vibe (Chill version)

32:08
Andrew Lahiff ― Ascending to the Dream Horizon (Excerpt)

32:18
DeYarmond Edison vs. All India Radio ― Lucky My Whole Life Long (DJ Seroton Mashup)

38:39
Constance Demby ― Eternal Return (Unfolding, Enfolding, Return) (Edit)

42:43
Brian Keane & Omar Faruk Tekbilek ― Desert Twilight

46:14
Michael Bublé ― Always on My Mind

50:34
The Eager Seas vs. Helios ― You Gave Me Clementine (DJ Seroton Mashup)

55:54
Ensoul ― Fire

Calm Pill 34

In his seminal album Ambient 1: Music for Airports, Brian Eno proclaimed “Ambient Music must be able to accommodate many levels of listening attention without enforcing one in particular; it must be as ignorable as it is interesting”. Over at AmbientSoundbath.com podcast, Matt has been curating and producing longform ambient albums that are faithful to that aspirational ideal of ambient music. I really admire the work Matt is doing, including his YouTube channel, that I reached out to him with a proposal to create a guest mix, and he graciously accepted.

Check out Matt’s Ambient Soundbath podcast:
https://ambientsoundbath.com/

And his ambient guitar albums:
https://mattborghi.bandcamp.com/


Tracklist

00:00
Warmth ― Essay

07:48
Hakobune ― love knows where

17:20
Andrew Lahiff ― Distant Fragments

23:21
Fading Language ― A Space in the Silence

25:34
Andrew Lahiff ― A Lingering Light

30:21
Tonepoet ― Solar Wind

34:47
kwajbasket ― and then i entered the void to find you

37:52
Max Corbacho ― No Day nor Night

41:00
Oöphoi ― Riding A White Swan Over Silent Lands

48:32
Warmth ― Spherule

54:40
Havenaire ― Brute Camp

59:56
Ishq ― Midnight Grove (Excerpt)

Chill Pill 33

“May your dreams bring you peace in the darkness,
May you always rise over the rain.
May the light from above always lead you to love,
May you stay in the arms of the angels.”

from the opening track Lullaby For A Soldier (Arms Of The Angels) by Maggie Siff & The Forest Rangers, taken from Sons of Anarchy soundtrack.


Tracklist

00:00
Maggie Siff & The Forest Rangers ― Lullaby For A Soldier (Arms Of The Angels)

02:50
Alex Somers ― Water (Not Go Home)

03:25
Escape By Night ― Where Joy Shall Reign (Original Mix)

07:32
We Are All Astronauts ― Doves (Edit)

11:07
Coldplay ― Kaleidoscope (Edit)

12:11
The Echelon Effect ― Watching Over The Headland

17:15
Misha Mishenko ― Andrew’s Dream

18:42
Peter Pearson ― A Time Gone By

21:13
Floyd Cramer ― Losers Weepers

23:15
Eisu x softy ― Snowflakes

24:45
Kool&Klean ― Solace

29:26
Steve Gibbs ― Adrift

33:45
The Echelon Effect ― Tired Wings

38:53
Ludovico Einaudi ― Be Mine Tonight

41:25
City Girl ― Memories of a Dream

44:29
Need A Name ― Everything is Moving, But Not the Sky

47:09
Coldplay ― Us Against The World

51:04
Cousin Silas ― Dagmar Dreams

58:12
Sade ― The Sweetest Gift

Calm Pill 33

I call to you in longing
by the light of the moon,
billowing clouds envelope me
with absence of pain or fear
all time suspended.

In the stillness of this night,
peace washes over me
as I listen to the Universe…
do you hear its whisper,
do you feel its heartbeat?

You smile inside the clouds
as we yearn to become one,
lingering until the color of dawn
spills across the sky.

The Stillness of This Night by James Casey


Tracklist
00:00
Olivia Belli ― Wheeling Stars (REMIX)

02:06
Federico Durand ― La Casa De Los Abuelos

04:00
Kip Mazuy ― Sweet Stillness

11:08
kwajbasket ― Shuttr

16:32
Bedroom ― Pirouttes

19:36
Dawn Chorus and the Infallible Sea ― alpha

24:12
Piotr Michałowski ― Phoenix

26:40
Porya Hatami ― Restless

29:20
Tonepoet ― A Wandering Soul Is Not Always A Lost One

33:12
Slow Dancing Society ― Radiance

36:56
Warmth ― Parallel rework

40:31
adham shaikh ― BLossom Part 7

46:00
Stars Of The Lid ― Summertimes

49:18
Wayne Robert Thomas ― Allemandes I and II

54:12
Otto A Totland ― Aquet

57:06
Otto A Totland ― Closer

Chill Pill 32

We are all painters
Holding a color palette
Conceiving a painting
It’s how we mix the colors
Depending on our imagination
Whether we paint happiness
Or scenes of saddened gray
Situations yield the paintings
Sometimes splashing all colors
Or else black colors gloom
Universe has mostly dark energy
Yet, we have found our colors
To paint our abode, we inhabit
No matter, colors of joy and sorrow
We celebrate all colors
We are all painters, wielding the brush
To create new colors of hope

Colors by Amitav Radiance


Tracklist

00:00
Groove Chiller ― Dawn (Polished Mix) (Edit)

04:02
Martin Liege ― Time To Chill

06:55
Luminous ― Forever

11:28
Martin Liege ― Morning Coffee (Original Mix)

15:15
The American Dollar ― Oracle (Ambient) (Edit)

16:57
Strehlow ― Cold Beach

18:57
sleepy fish x Philanthrope x mommy ― morning rises

21:21
Cristina Camacho ― Wicked Game

25:05
Raff feat. Gushi ― Pride (In The Name Of Love)

28:55
Asian Chill Art ― Shengapur (Chilled Asia Mix)

33:47
The Buddha Lounge Ensemble ― My Immortal (Edit)

36:29
Hazy Year, C4C ― Melted

38:15
Katie Melua ― No Fear Of Heights

40:42
Syntheticsax ― Goodbye Summer

44:01
Misha Mishenko ― Scent of a Holiday

47:15
City Girl ― on the train somewhere between my apartment and you

50:03
Tycho ― A Walk

54:57
Olan Mill ― Postponed Mindfulness

55:22
4lienetic ― Mistakes (Rework)

Chill Pill 31

This is a throwback mix released 6 years ago under my previous pseudonym DJ Seroton in a series called Unwind. It was a 30-min guest mix I did for a Chillout show that I loved called Special Chill Session, created by Dave Harrigan. It’s inspired by the sensation one would get when enjoying the beaches of France’s second largest city: Marseille. I had fun hand picking and mixing the track list of this mix, and I hope you enjoy it on your next beach getaway.


Tracklist

00:00
Rhythm Of Mankind & Nature ― When The Sun Touches The Ocean

05:57
Melibea ― Wake Up

10:21
Velvet Dreamer ― French Kisses

15:19
Florzinho & Euphonic Traveller feat. Barbara Yaa Boahene ― Like the First Moment

20:29
Royspop ― Mid Summer Nights (Luxury Deluxe Mix)

26:25
DJ San Martino ― Velvet Dreams

Calm Pill 32

This mix was released on this day 5 years ago as part of my Drifter ambient series, which I created under my previous pseudonym DJ Seroton. It was the second collaboration I have done with the talented musician Tonepoet, who creates an excellent ambient mix podcast called Spaceman’s Transmissions. We gave this mix the title of “As The World Comes into Focus”. It’s essentially an exploration of our inner senses as we drift in and out of consciousness. You may recognize this feeling from a time when you drifted off to sleep and then brought back somehow to faint awakening, only to drift back afterwards into a peaceful and restful sleep.

This is what Tonepoet had to say about the mix and our collaboration:

“While a simple mix from myself would seem sufficient, having the partnership with the humbling DJ SEROTON is one thing that pushes this mix far over the edge. I was fortunate to be given the opportunity to create 2 mixes with him (the other is DRIFTER VOL. 6). For this particular mix, I stirred up the first half of the set, and he countered my vision with an unparalleled mix of intensity, beauty, and authority. It’s really nice to have someone enhance my intentions and gives a fresh vibe to the set. The unpredictability of the outcome is what provides inspiration smiles. Not only is DJ Seroton such a very cool guy and like-minded music aficionado, but his production standards of both his art and presentation are of the highest standards. I really felt that I should do my best so as to really raise the standard of what we both could offer our peace seeking listeners. I’m very confident that together we have woven the perfect texture of sound and color; using light as glue and sealing it all in a consumable format for your mind and ears.

My hope is that the music brings you a sense of solitude and elation. Feel free to use the music any time you need those sensations. Peace.”


Tracklist

00:00
Woob ― Stranger Air (Error #1) – Repurpose

02:21
Umber ― Öpik-Oort

04:41
Aural Method ― As I Awoke…

06:00
Pseudosphère ― Aperception III

11:03
Monk By The Sea ― Lighthouse

13:58
Good Weather For An Airstrike ― Awaiting Your Arrival

17:44
Ben Lovett ― Surrender

20:28
Tonepoet ― Within My Mind An Ocean Appears

21:27
Tonepoet ― Things Left Unsaid

24:14
Umber feat. Good Weather For An Airstrike ― Sunshine Youth

28:24
Brambles ― To Speak Of Solitude

31:04
Aaron Zigman ― Anna On The Floor

31:32
Bing Satellites ― Soothing Image 46

34:09
Bing Satellites ― Dark Clouds

38:49
Adham Shaikh & Tim Floyd ― Portals (Part II)

43:35
Jonson ― Reason of Senses

49:05
Otto A Totland ― Seveen

50:09
Stars Of The Lid ― I Will Surround You

52:15
Ben Woods ― The Brightest Lights in the Darkest Skies

Calm Pill 31

Brilliant colors wash over the sky
The wonder of it all brings out a sigh

Clouds bathed in the rich tones at dusk
Give way to a crimson, for some it’s a must

The elegance of the sun sinking into the sea
Did God make all this especially for me?

The stars emerge through the deepened sky
And one by one they brighten ones eye

Moonbeams dance; sparkling upon the waves
This awesome sight, always brings out the raves

There is a joy in viewing this scene
To clarify the memory of what life means

As steady as the breeze that blows from the sea
I’ll always cherish sunsets made special for me

As constant as the pounding of the surf
As sure as the green grass weaves on the turf

With the certainty that the sun will rise
Love will go on if seen with these eyes

Fading Light by James Casey


Tracklist

00:00
Quiet Evenings ― Riverbend (Excerpt)

03:26
Andrew Lahiff ― We Lost Sight Of The Island

07:03
Christina Vantzou ― Shadow Sun

11:40
Ψystein Sevεg ― Thundernight

13:11
Ben Johnson Music Factory ― Sunset In Anchorage

15:01
Luke Faulkner ― Silhouette

16:53
Nils Frahm ― The Roughest Trade

19:36
Aurastore ― Worlds Of Possibilities

23:13
Hazy ― Forever

26:11
An Imaginal Space feat. Zefora ― Lamentations Part VI

34:06
Dylan C. Jones ― Drowning Last Light

39:32
Benjamin Dauer ― The Softest of Light

46:42
Brian Eno ― A Clearing

49:12
Macroform ― The Heart Chakra