[Tribute] – ‘Nocturnes’ (1969-2017)


I recently encountered the music of Serpentwithfeet (thanks to Bjork’s amazing Mixmag mix), and it spoke directly to my soul.  Woven into the rich tapestry of his art is almost every reason I love music.  I felt as if I were hearing the most potent and formative moments of my life with music, from across a quarter century of constant searching, all at once, within the short twenty-one minutes of his astonishing, heart-pounding/heart-stopping ‘Blisters‘ EP.  The intoxication, the mystery, the anger, the joy, the hope, the excitement was all there, concentrated.  ‘Nocturnes’ is my own small answer, the only way I know how: a tribute, a response, a thanks.

Nocturnes‘ draws on the heavy mixing, “texture matching,” cinematic scope and highly narrative qualities of the ‘Sensory Replication Series‘ mixes I’ve revisited on and off the last dozen years, when I really want to fully immerse myself in sound.  As with those mixes, there is a spine of songs at the fore, but intertwined at any given moment with one, two, even three other works, often more ambient or textural, variously reinforcing the emotions and sounds of the central piece, or sometimes tugging away to create tension.  We most often seek in music awesome beauty, sheer joy, or cathartic sorrow in their pure forms; but often the most amazing music brings these together, traveling the in-between, ambiguous worlds, admitting to disquietude as much as stillness, anger as much as love, confusion as much as hope.  ‘Nocturnes‘ draws deeply from all of these wells, creating an intense emotional journey within its brief fifty-two minutes.  So–background music this is not, granted.  But I hope that like with Serpentwithfeet’s music, this intensity and complexity will reward your attention, reaching your mind and especially your heart.  “With headphones, in the dark. . .” as I have often implored.

This draws a close to 2017 for Musicophilia: the 30th mix since January, and probably one of the best we’ve done.  Thank you for listening, for spreading the word, and for supporting the artists we feature (hint: few purchases cost only $5 and change your life, but Serpentwithfeet’s music can).  It’s looking very likely that demands of “real life” will probably slow down the mixes in 2018, though I’ve got a deep backlog of ideas, hundreds of tracks culled and waiting–so it won’t be able to stop me altogether.  But I hope you’ll still come back, and listen to what you’ve missed–we’ve built a pretty intense back catalog that I’m very proud of, and hopefully none of it comes with an expiration date.

Thanks again to my friend Eric, whose beautiful photography once again captures the spirit of the music.  And I especially want to thank my friend and musical mentor Mike Martinez, who has been generously inspiring and educating people with his musical depth and passion for many years at The Rhythm Room.  The man can make you dance, but he can also break your heart and put it back together again while making you wiser.  Thank you, my brother.

Various – ‘Nocturnes
(A Tribute to Serpentwithfeet | 1969-2017)


(Note: track start times are approximate)



Arca – “Piel” (2017)
Neil Young – “Guitar Solo 1” (1996)
Jon Hassell – “Blues Nile” (1977)



FKA Twigs – “Kicks” (2014)
J.S. Bach – “Cello Suite No. 2, BWV 1008, Sarbande” (1723)
Burning Star Core – “The Universe Is Designed To Break Your Mind” (2007)



Big Star – “Holocaust (Demo)” (1976)
Peter Gabriel – “At Night” (1986)
Bhutan Tibetan Monks – “Tibetan Shawms” (1971)
Biota – “Astray” (1987)



Scott Walker – “Rosary” (1995)
Michael Nyman – “1-100” (1975)



Paul Buchanan – “After Dark” (2012)
The Haxan Cloak – “Mara” (2013)



Nina Simone – “Dambalaa” (1974)
David Sylvian – “Approaching Silence” (1999)



Bjork & The Brodsky Quartet – “The Anchor Song” (2000)



Bulgarian State Television Female Vocal Choir – “Poleganala e Todora” (1975)
Rachel’s – “Full On Night” (1995)



Gigi Masin – “Consequences of Goodbyes” (1986)
Floating Points – “Elaenia” (2015)



Buffy Sainte-Marie – “Poppies” (1969)
Michael Brook & Brian Eno – “Pond Life” (1985)



Low – “Lift” (1997)
Jon Hopkins – “Abandon Window” (2013)



Serpentwithfeet – “Blisters” (2016)
Arvo Part – “Tabula Rasa 1 – Ludus” (1977)


[Total Time: 52:40]

Download ‘Nocturnes’ Here (98MB)

Stream here:

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