[Sensory Replication No. 5] – ‘The Somnambulist’ (1908-2007)

00_various_-_the-somnambulist_1908-2007_coversmall

I’ve never really understood the practical reality of sleepwalking, but the idea has undeniable mystique.  Mainly what I’ve wondered is how the body’s action and interaction with its environment fails to jar the somnambulist into a conscious state.  I guess the case isn’t that one is actually asleep, but simply that the conscious, memory-forming parts of the brain are not engaged.  I take this to mean that in essence, the physical world has become as a dream, and the somnambulist’s actions in it equally as ethereal, incapable of inducing standard awareness.  This is the basis for this mix, then: to guide a virtual, thrill-seeking adventure in somnambulism; no walking to the bathroom or making a sandwich here, but rather, roaming through a dream-world made physical, full of strange landscapes, ghost-figures, fogs and miasmas, echoes and shouts, fear and beauty.  Like in a dream, nothing can quite be held in focus, and the laws of physics bend to the laws of imagination.  Like in the world of a somnambulist, the unremembered physical world becomes an imagined place of shadows, however solid it was before sleep arrived or will become again in the morning.

‘The Somnambulist’ is the third posted mix in the ‘Sensory Replication‘ series, which seeks to create an immersive aural environment through the dense intermingling of a large number of individual tracks, treated as source material.  For the first two mixes posted and a greater exploration of the impetus for the series, look here.  This mix is particularly dense, with sixty artists represented in just under forty-two mintues.  If you listen casually, you will still recognize music here: a “spine” of central tracks emerges more or less recognisable and intact.  But the point here isn’t any individual component, as there are often four, five, six or more bits of “source material” comingling, lurking around the edges, fading in and out of earshot in the landscape; solos, duets, trios emerge and recede.  The hope is that you will take the time to listen without distraction, letting all your usual sensory inputs other than hearing fall aside, to see how fully your ears alone will compensate.  I pretty regularly find myself standing on a city corner or in a laundry geeking out to the sounds around me, just shy of being brave enough to be that crazy guy who closes his eyes and stands still for a few minutes amongst the activity.  So this is a chance to just-listen freely, set in the most bizare bazaar of movement and interaction one could hope for.

Represented in the ether of sound are people like This Heat’s Charles Hayward; Dick Raajimakers; John Cage; Burning Star Core; Luc Ferrari; John Cale; His Name is Alive’s Warn Defever; Tod Dockstader; Funkstorung; Tortoise; Shuggie Otis; Miles Davis; Huun Huur Tu; avant-garde extra-Beatles George Harrison; Burial; Klause Schulze; Autechre; Pharoah Sanders; Maurice Ravel; Agitation Free; Deadbeat; Iannis Xenakis; Stockhausen; LaMonte Young; Steve Reich; Can’s Holger Czukay; Tony Conrad with Faust; Tibetan Buddhist monks from Bhutan; 23 Skidoo; Kraftwerk; Neu; Daniel Menche; Rhys Chatham; Peruvian folk musicians, and many others.  But I encourage you not to trainspot, at least the first listen.  Full tracklisting and download link after “more…”.

Various Artists – The Somnambulist (1908-2007)

01   [00:00 – 01:20]   Reich, Steve – New York Counterpoint: Fast (1985)
02   [00:05 – 05:00]   Hayward, Charles – Lopside (1990)
03   [00:05 – 06:35]   Oliveros, Pauline – Big Mother is Watching You (1966)
04   [01:20 – 08:30]   Young, LaMonte – Well Tuned Piano (1964)
05   [02:00 – 05:00]   Eno, Brian – Drift (1983)
06   [02:25 – 06:10]   Morricone, Ennio – Astrazione Con Ritmo (1973)
07   [03:30 – 06:00]   Stockhausen, Karlhenz – Kontakte: Structur V (1959)
08   [03:30 – 06:10]   Xenakis, Iannis – Metaux (1979)
09   [03:40 – 06:55]   Deadbeat – Sunday Morning (2001)
10   [04:30 – 06:50]   Hu Vibrational – Her Dream of Peace (2006)
11   [04:35 – 07:05]   Ravel, Maurice – Ma Mere l’Oye: Le Jardin Feerique (1908)
12   [04:40 – 08:10]   Cage, John – Sonata XIII (1947)
13   [04:55 – 11:45]   Burning Star Core – Deaf-Mute Spinning Resonator (2006)
14   [05:25 – 12:20]   Raajimakers, Dick – Ein Reiterstuck (1966)
15   [05:35 – 06:35]   Drake, Nick – Sketch 1 (1967)
16   [05:45 – 06:50]   Robb, JD – Collage (1970)
17   [06:30 – 09:30]   Schulze, Klaus – Satz-Gewitter (1972)
18   [06:40 – 10:00]   Davis, Miles – Rated X (1975)
19   [06:50 – 11:10]   Einsturzende Neubauten – Ragout Kuchen Rezpt Von Einsturze (1998)
20   [07:00 – 12:45]   Deuter – Atlantis (1971)
21   [07:55 – 14:40]   Branca, Glenn – Harmonic Series Chords (1981)
22   [09:00 – 12:00]   Morricone, Ennio – Ninna Nanna Per Adulteri (1969)
23   [09:15 – 15:10]   Ferrari, Luc – Interrupteur (1967)
24   [09:50 – 16:25]   Autechre – VI Scose Poise (2001)
25   [10:00 – 13:20]   Neu! – Super 16 (1973)
26   [10:05 – 15:05]   Cale, John – Wall (1970)
27   [10:30 – 15:20]   Cluster – Hollywood (1975)
28   [11:10 – 18:15]   Cage, John – Rozart Mix (1965)
29   [12:00 – 15:00]   Lucier, Alvin – A Tribute to James Tenney, Part 4 (1986)
30   [12:45 – 25:40]   Pauser, Erik & C.M. von Hauswolff – Phaus Eternal Love (1993)
31   [12:50 – 29:30]   Menche, Daniel – Jugularis, Part 1 (2006)
32   [14:40 – 19:20]   Morricone, Ennio – Fumeria D’Oppio (1981)
33   [14:50 – 19:30]   Burial – Ghost Hardware (2007)
34   [15:15 – 19:45]   Dockstader, Tod – Wire (2005)
35   [15:55 – 20:10]   Stockhausen, Karlheinz – Kontakte: Struktur X (1959)
36   [16:20 – 22:05]   Czukay, Holger – Canaxis (1969)
37   [17:40 – 20:30]   Bhutan Tibetan Monks – Cross-Flute Folk Song (1971)
38   [18:00 – 22:10]   Cage, John – Quietly Flowing Along (1950)
39   [18:50 – 21:45]   Sharrock, Sonny – Blind Willy (1969)
40   [19:45 – 23:30]   Defever, Warn – Jewel (2000)
41   [20:05 – 24:40]   Battiato, Franco – Nel Cantiere Di Un Infanzia (1973)
42   [21:00 – 23:30]   Pablo, Augustus & King Tubby – King Tubby’s Meets Rockers Uptown (1975)
43   [21:30 – 28:00]   Aksak Maboul – Masoul Alakefak (1979)
44   [22:00 – 30:20]   Conrad, Tony & Faust – From the Side of the Machine (1972)
45   [22:15 – 31:40]   Harrison, George – Under the Mersey Wall (1969)
46   [25:05 – 33:00]   Mother Mallard’s Portable Masterpiece Co. – Cloudscape For Peggy (1970)
47   [25:45 – 30:55]   Kraftwerk – Megahertz (1971)
48   [28:05 – 32:30]   23 Skidoo – Mahkala (1982)
49   [28:30 – 31:50]   Dockstader, Tod – Bottom (2005)
50   [29:00 – 34:30]   King Crimson – Trio (1974)
51   [29:10 – 33:45]   Soundslike – Ghost Sketch (2007)
52   [30:10 – 34:05]   Bhutan Tibetan Monks – Dramnyen Choshe (1971)
53   [30:25 – 35:30]   Funkstorung – Mind the Gap (2000)
54   [30:20 – 36:10]   Chatham, Rhys – Two Gongs (1971)
55   [32:00 – 35:00]   Peruvian Folk Musicians – Mauca Zapotoyke (1969)
56   [32:15 – 38:25]   Oliveros, Pauline – Bye Bye Butterfly (1965)
57   [33:30 – 38:20]   Agitation Free – Ala Tul (1972)
58   [33:55 – 38:50]   Sanders, Pharoah – Red, Black & Green (1971)
59   [35:30 – 41:10]   Bryars, Gavin – Sub Rosa (1986)
60   [36:15 – 40:55]   Tortoise – Blue Station (2001)
61   [37:20 – 39:30]   Otis, Shuggie – Freedom Flight (1971)
62   [38:45 – 41:50]   Huun Huur Tu – Harmonics in the Wind (1999)

[Total Time: 41:50]

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17 thoughts on “[Sensory Replication No. 5] – ‘The Somnambulist’ (1908-2007)

  1. Thanks for letting me know! I’ve reuploaded, and a new link will be up momentarily. Who knows why that happens, to one of the least-popular mixes, too. . .

  2. I’m honored you like it, since it’s after your namesake I’d guess you’ve got high standards for sleepwalk journeys! Thank you very much!

  3. Awesome album! I’m listening to it right now. It reminds me of a mix of early Pink Floyd crossed with Moby. This is the kind of music I’ve dubbed meditation/medication music. You get a mental vacation as your psyche literally checks out for 42 minutes, while the medication process begins. As it’s de-scrambling your mind, your brain is allowed to bend time to such a crawl, you can take a step back from all life’s problems long enough to self diagnose yourself. Become your own mental doctor in a way.

    Your doctor is always in, he’s just very hard to find. But music like this will guarantee you an appointment every time. You have depression, and you don’t know why? Can’t decide what to do about your relationship? Can’t figure out who you are? Is life tearing at you from all ends? Get lost in this album, and you’ll not alone find yourself, you’ll also find the answers you’re looking for. 

  4. From about 22:00 on is just insanely awesome. Especially when the horns really kick in. Nicely drawn out semi-slow ending to the near whisper fade out. I would bring down the house with this…!! I love the rock/disco/soul cut at 35:00… Superb..!

  5. Thank you! These are my favorite mixes, they’re the most participatory as a mix-maker, I guess. Glad you like it!

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