"wide open desert music" S/D

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Currently enjoying Dust to Dust very much. Great interview, too.

I want a recommendation engine for 'wide open desert' music - stuff like Dust to Dust, the Hired Hand soundtrack, any Scott Tuma, Eyvind Kang's Live Low to the Ground...

― The shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums (Chinaski), Saturday, March 18, 2017 12:39 PM

Those last three are the biggies, imo, assuming you probably already know the Paris, Texas soundtrack. Do you know a band called Padang Food Tigers? They definitely hit on this vibe quite a bit, despite being about as far from the desert landscape as you can get (UK, iirc). Also, there are a lot of people working this angle from a dronier / noisier angle, like pedal steel guitarist Chas Smith (not to be confused with drummer Ches Smith), William Fowler Collins, and probably a few others.

There are probably people who can direct you to the "right" Calexico records, too (there are instrumental albums that definitely touch on this style) but I'm not really well-versed enough to say

― Wimmels, Saturday, March 18, 2017 1:03 PM

Yes - love the Food Tigers! And, aye, definitely uk based. Paris, Texas is all-time. I'd forgotten Chas Smith. Santa Fe is a hell of a thing. Will check William Fowler Collins, for sure. Cheers.

― The shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums (Chinaski), Saturday, March 18, 2017 1:10 PM

I want a recommendation engine for 'wide open desert' music

See also:

Susan Alcorn - And i await the Resurrection (maybe not her best, but its what I have)
Barn Owl - any
Ry Cooder - Paris, Texas of course, also look for Trespass, Last Man Standing OSTs
Dead Texan - eponymous debut
Bruce Kaphan - Slider: Ambient Excursions for Pedal Steel Guitar
Long Desert Cowboy - any
Rainer (Ptacek) - Nocturnes

― Sanpaku, Saturday, March 18, 2017 11:14 PM (five minutes ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

if Live Low To The Earth In The Iron Age is part of this genre, I'm starting a thread

― sleeve, Saturday, March 18, 2017 11:19 PM (0 seconds ago) Bookmark

sleeve, Sunday, 19 March 2017 06:21 (one week ago) Permalink

that Eyvind Kang record is one of my favorite things ever.

does Scenic fit in here? it's been a long tiem since I heard those records.

sleeve, Sunday, 19 March 2017 06:22 (one week ago) Permalink

thanks in advance thread

example (crüt), Sunday, 19 March 2017 06:30 (one week ago) Permalink

I forgot to mention the two Slim Westerns albums by A Small, Good, Thing (aka O Yuki Conjugate).

Sanpaku, Sunday, 19 March 2017 06:48 (one week ago) Permalink

I think of Scenic as more western tinged instrumental rock. There's an omnipresent drum kit, which keeps it out of ambient territory.

Sanpaku, Sunday, 19 March 2017 06:50 (one week ago) Permalink

Though they include a few songs, the two albums by Maggie Björklund (Coming Home (2010) and Shaken (2014)) may belong here, too.

Sanpaku, Sunday, 19 March 2017 06:58 (one week ago) Permalink

most calexico, i think?
friends of dean martinez

mookieproof, Sunday, 19 March 2017 06:58 (one week ago) Permalink

thx for the A Small, Good, Thing recommendations, I am a big OYC fan and have always meant to check them out.

sleeve, Sunday, 19 March 2017 07:04 (one week ago) Permalink

I feel like some specific Dirty Three tracks might fit in here as well, or Tren Brothers?

sleeve, Sunday, 19 March 2017 07:05 (one week ago) Permalink

Funny somebody mentioning Scenic which I think was intentionally influenced by the local Arizona scenery.
I always get images of the long range desert group driving landrovers across the sahara when listening to tracks from Jamahiriya by Licher's earlier Savage Republic. Which was my immediate response to the title question.

Stevolende, Sunday, 19 March 2017 07:09 (one week ago) Permalink

The most recent Daniel Lanois album, Goodbye to Language - a whole album of droney pedal steel. My favorite album of 2016.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Sunday, 19 March 2017 07:22 (one week ago) Permalink

surprised no one's mentioned earth this side of hex; or printing in the infernal method. or are they outside the boundaries?

The sandwiches looked quite dank. (contenderizer), Sunday, 19 March 2017 07:56 (one week ago) Permalink

William Tyler?

just sayin, Sunday, 19 March 2017 08:27 (one week ago) Permalink

earth - hex was my second thought

my first thought was the track 'despite the roar' by bardo pond

an uptempo Pop/Hip Hop mentality (imago), Sunday, 19 March 2017 09:55 (one week ago) Permalink

black sun ensemble - the self-titled one on reckless with a goldfish flying thru space on the cover

Benylin Ascent (NickB), Sunday, 19 March 2017 10:09 (one week ago) Permalink

Yeah was going to mention Mr Acedo and folks. 1st lp got a cd reissue a few years ago but not sure fi it's still around.
I came in via Lambent Flame and wasn't sure what track was very deserty but since Acedo came from the desert region I think it is heavily reflected in the music.

Stevolende, Sunday, 19 March 2017 10:14 (one week ago) Permalink

gosh lambent flame, that record was not kind to my ears. 2nd s/t is just lovely the whole way through

Benylin Ascent (NickB), Sunday, 19 March 2017 10:17 (one week ago) Permalink

Neil Young's Dead Man soundtrack.

MikoMcha, Sunday, 19 March 2017 11:07 (one week ago) Permalink

This is magnificent. A day imagining the loneliness, the wind a fibrous wall... I keep thinking of a line from the Monkey Wrench Gang: 'the desert eased his vague anger'.

I know vocals and drums wreck the spirit of this kind of stuff, but Whitewater by Kyuss is pure desert.

The shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums (Chinaski), Sunday, 19 March 2017 11:10 (one week ago) Permalink

I bought a Scenic record once just because of the impressive brown paper packaging. I didn't go back to the music inside very much though.

The Bruce Kaphan slide guitar thing sounds cool

calstars, Sunday, 19 March 2017 11:17 (one week ago) Permalink

Probably goes without saying but the new Hired Hand tribute record on Scissor Tail is beautiful and is wide open space music all the way. It's on Spotify if that's your thing.

The shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums (Chinaski), Sunday, 19 March 2017 11:30 (one week ago) Permalink

african desert music (made by people who grew up in and live in deserts!) like BARGOU 08, TAMIKREST, TINARIWEN, and BOMBINO isn't half bad, either

reggie (qualmsley), Sunday, 19 March 2017 15:52 (one week ago) Permalink

Six Organs of Admittance (especially the albums The Sun Awakens and Shelter From the Ash)

bernard snowy, Sunday, 19 March 2017 16:18 (one week ago) Permalink

Would including Gil Evans's arrangements be too much of a stretch? Sketches of Spain and parts of Out of the Cool and Indvidualism of... always evoke the desert for me.

Western Skies Motel are good at this stuff. Settlers from last year is great.

Cheers for the Slim Westerns recommendation.

The shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums (Chinaski), Sunday, 19 March 2017 16:25 (one week ago) Permalink

A couple other aesthetics that are distinct but related: I see Dead Texan has been mentioned already, but I want to put in a plug for "Sun Drugs" off the underrated Stars of the Lid release The Ballasted Orchestra, as it totally nails the feeling of laying​ in a wide-open field under a cloudless sky listening to the rumble of distant jet aircraft. Also, the recent GYBE album with the title beginning Asunder, Sweet... gives me a very strong out-of-the-blistering-midday-heat, into-the-cool-shade-of-the-suq vibe

bernard snowy, Sunday, 19 March 2017 16:28 (one week ago) Permalink

Labradford - Mi Media Naranja

^ good twangy morricone vibes, but also twinkly electronics that make me think of satellites flying across a vast starry sky

Benylin Ascent (NickB), Sunday, 19 March 2017 18:24 (one week ago) Permalink

Labradford - Mi Media Naranja

^ a midway point between eno and morricone, a desert drifter looking up into the night sky and seeing twinkling satellites sailing across the vastness overhead

Benylin Ascent (NickB), Sunday, 19 March 2017 18:32 (one week ago) Permalink

Lol fucking phone playing tricks on me

Benylin Ascent (NickB), Sunday, 19 March 2017 18:33 (one week ago) Permalink

thanks in advance thread

― example (crüt), Sunday, March 19, 2017 1:30 AM (twelve hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

jason waterfalls (gbx), Sunday, 19 March 2017 18:34 (one week ago) Permalink

Should add for anyone who missed it on the Steve Roach thread that the Dust to Dust mentioned up top which started this is his collaborative album with Roger King:

https://projektrecords.bandcamp.com/album/dust-to-dust

It is and remains one of my all time favorite albums.

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 19 March 2017 18:36 (one week ago) Permalink

If people have mentioned Sketches of Spain the Grateful Dead's lift as Spanish Jam should also fit as should other of their stuff.

I was thinking bits of QMS too especially Calvary.

Stevolende, Sunday, 19 March 2017 18:41 (one week ago) Permalink

oh yeah and on the QMS tip there are some longer Rangda pieces ("Plain Of Jars", "...Hermetic Museum") that fit in here, and Sun City Girls' Funeral Mariachi album (but not much else of theirs imo)

sleeve, Sunday, 19 March 2017 19:09 (one week ago) Permalink

this thread was better when it was a little more specialized and not "this drone band used clean guitars and a slide once"

Wimmels, Sunday, 19 March 2017 19:45 (one week ago) Permalink

ah yes the long 13hr lifespan of this thread

jason waterfalls (gbx), Sunday, 19 March 2017 19:48 (one week ago) Permalink

Brokeback, Brokeback and the Black Rock

Wozniak on Kimye's Baby (jaymc), Sunday, 19 March 2017 19:52 (one week ago) Permalink

William Tyler?

― just sayin, Sunday, March 19, 2017 4:27 AM (eleven hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Absolutely William Tyler!

Evan, Sunday, 19 March 2017 19:57 (one week ago) Permalink

This is my favorite kind of Calexico and as mentioned above it fits the thread theme very well.

Evan, Sunday, 19 March 2017 20:01 (one week ago) Permalink

I could certainly recommend the proper instrumental/experimental Calexico stuff if anyone was actually interested.

Evan, Sunday, 19 March 2017 20:08 (one week ago) Permalink

Train Songs by Two Dollar Guitar.

heaven parker (anagram), Sunday, 19 March 2017 20:13 (one week ago) Permalink

Brian Grainger – Blue Wheatfield: https://wil-ru.bandcamp.com/album/blue-wheatfield
lots of stuff by Expo '70; e.g., Inaudible Bicoastal Trajectory: https://aguirrerecords.bandcamp.com/album/inaudible-bicoastal-trajectory

example (crüt), Sunday, 19 March 2017 20:19 (one week ago) Permalink

man I had forgotten about that Two Dollar Guitar album

thanks to crut for those last two as well

probably everyone here has heard Brightblack Morning Light but they definitely fit

Brightblack Morning Light ... WTF?

sleeve, Sunday, 19 March 2017 20:50 (one week ago) Permalink

"Susan Alcorn - And i await the Resurrection (maybe not her best, but its what I have)"

you need to get her extremely lovely Soledad album, Sanpaku or anyone who digs this aesthetic.

calzino, Sunday, 19 March 2017 20:56 (one week ago) Permalink

I'd take a more desert-focussed Calexcio primer, Evan. Cheers. 'Hot Rail' is fantastic.

The shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums (Chinaski), Sunday, 19 March 2017 21:10 (one week ago) Permalink

Date Palms "Dusted Sessions"

daily growing, Sunday, 19 March 2017 21:39 (one week ago) Permalink

re: Calexico, The Black Light and Spoke are both great for winding/long stretches, southern Utah driving. also, seconding Dirty Three and Tren Brothers. Whatever You Love You Are is a beauty, though it's less propulsive. Bad Timing by Jim O'Rourke is an absolute slam dunk.

braunld (Lowell N. Behold'n), Sunday, 19 March 2017 21:47 (one week ago) Permalink

I recall Lanterna, who incidentally did a split release with Scenic, being described as "atmospheric desert music" or some such

a but (brimstead), Sunday, 19 March 2017 22:22 (one week ago) Permalink

I loved all the Yo La Tengo music in Old Joy--not sure if that fits your definition, but it does recall the Paris, Texas soundtrack, I think, and they do do a lot of driving in the movie.

clemenza, Sunday, 19 March 2017 22:27 (one week ago) Permalink

Yawning Man

Meat Puppets debut and second

Jessie Fer Ark (Mobbed Up Ping Pong Psychos), Sunday, 19 March 2017 22:58 (one week ago) Permalink

The Bruce Kaphan is nice as expected. Wide open chords

calstars, Sunday, 19 March 2017 23:39 (one week ago) Permalink

Some Mazzy Star/Hope Sandoval would probably apply

Carlotta's Portrait (Ross), Sunday, 19 March 2017 23:47 (one week ago) Permalink

Carlotta's Portrait (Ross), Sunday, 19 March 2017 23:47 (one week ago) Permalink

I'd take a more desert-focussed Calexcio primer, Evan. Cheers. 'Hot Rail' is fantastic.

― The shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums (Chinaski), Sunday, March 19, 2017 5:10 PM (four hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

I would start with both Toolbox and Travelall, as they're both instrumental and have the same vibe as the Hot Rail track. Hot Rail the album however is my favorite straightforward Calexico record (the previous two I recommended were originally tour only CDs). Atmosphere was clearly a number one priority at the time. Later it dropped a little with each subsequent album as they moved closer and closer to more straightforward pop/rock.

Some samples:

Evan, Monday, 20 March 2017 03:06 (six days ago) Permalink

That being said after driving up and down Arizona this past October I found William Tyler to be the most powerful accompaniment to the sights. I made a desert mix especially for the trip. I should revisit to see what I'm forgetting.

Evan, Monday, 20 March 2017 03:09 (six days ago) Permalink

Willie Nelson - Red Headed Stranger

that's not my post, Monday, 20 March 2017 03:59 (six days ago) Permalink

Jimmie Dale Gilmore's singing always makes me think of the desert southwest.

that's not my post, Monday, 20 March 2017 04:12 (six days ago) Permalink

I think of Scenic as more western tinged instrumental rock. There's an omnipresent drum kit, which keeps it out of ambient territory.

Harold Budd appears on the last Scenic album, which adds +50 to ambient

Elvis Telecom, Monday, 20 March 2017 07:00 (six days ago) Permalink

Bruce Licher's bandcamp also has this great 45min piece he and his wife put together for an installation of hers:
https://brucelicher.bandcamp.com/track/suspension-of-disbelief

Elvis Telecom, Monday, 20 March 2017 07:03 (six days ago) Permalink

Elvis Telecom, Monday, 20 March 2017 07:04 (six days ago) Permalink

Elvis Telecom, Monday, 20 March 2017 07:05 (six days ago) Permalink

Elvis Telecom, Monday, 20 March 2017 07:07 (six days ago) Permalink

Chris Isaak's old guitarist James Wilsey (that's him on "Wicked Game") has an instrumental album out that's well worth tracking down.

Elvis Telecom, Monday, 20 March 2017 07:09 (six days ago) Permalink

Brian Grainger - Eight Thousander
https://attacknine.bandcamp.com/album/eight-thousander

Elvis Telecom, Monday, 20 March 2017 07:16 (six days ago) Permalink

Lost in the morass of mid-90s surf rock was this great album by Death Valley.
https://www.discogs.com/Death-Valley-Que-Pasta/release/2335153

Elvis Telecom, Monday, 20 March 2017 07:30 (six days ago) Permalink

Nice Cocteau Twins cover too

Elvis Telecom, Monday, 20 March 2017 07:31 (six days ago) Permalink

Jon Porras' Black Mesa is the first thing that came to mind

Dinsdale, Monday, 20 March 2017 07:57 (six days ago) Permalink

And there has to be some Barn Owl as well, I think Lost in the Glare is the one that sounds the most like that

Dinsdale, Monday, 20 March 2017 08:01 (six days ago) Permalink

That Cocteau Twins cover is great.

Earth - Bees Made Honey

Carlotta's Portrait (Ross), Monday, 20 March 2017 08:27 (six days ago) Permalink

giant sand own this thread. an example from "chore of enchantment", his masterpiece.

it's the distortion, stupid! (alex in mainhattan), Monday, 20 March 2017 12:33 (six days ago) Permalink

The whole "The Earth is not a Cold Dead Place" by Explosions in the Sky.

satans favourite son, Monday, 20 March 2017 12:48 (six days ago) Permalink

after moving to Texas, The American Analog Set's 'The Golden Band' suddenly made a lot more sense, striking me as the kind of music you would make after a brutal August day of 100+ degrees.

campreverb, Monday, 20 March 2017 14:35 (six days ago) Permalink

*wearily puts on high-vis jacket and gets to work* I can only side-eye the romanticised inhuman aesthetic at work here & wld question the appeal of it, even tho I like some of the music mentioned itt. also I wld humbly suggest that there is quite a bit of music from/indigenous to the desert (or the edge of it, I suppose) which is much better than this stuff *stretches back, sighs heavily, clocks off*

ogmor, Monday, 20 March 2017 15:30 (six days ago) Permalink

Quit humbly suggesting and actually suggest.

The shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums (Chinaski), Monday, 20 March 2017 16:20 (six days ago) Permalink

I've made a Spotify playlist of sorts, to which I'll add and mess about with the order as and when (Spotify web app is total bumcake).

The desert eased his vague anger

The shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums (Chinaski), Monday, 20 March 2017 16:35 (six days ago) Permalink

Christ, my tortured syntax: I'll change the order and add a few more tracks when I get the chance - ie when I'm not using the Spotify web app, which is shite.

The shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums (Chinaski), Monday, 20 March 2017 16:37 (six days ago) Permalink

all them sahel string instrumental players, hamza el din most especially

ogmor, Monday, 20 March 2017 23:50 (six days ago) Permalink

nomar, Monday, 20 March 2017 23:59 (six days ago) Permalink

O the inhumanity of listening to non-indigenous, see-through romance music whlst driving through the american west, ffs

braunld (Lowell N. Behold'n), Tuesday, 21 March 2017 01:36 (five days ago) Permalink

unless i'm missing something crucial, the "wide open desert music" under discussion here is, by and large, a genre of contemporary americana, sort of "post-country and western". in its essential form, you get clean, bright, reverb-heavy guitar lines drifting slowly through darkened ambient space. a combination of western twang, blues grit, and surf spaciness drained of vigor to point where it's practically undead, vampire music in cowboy drag (or vice-versa). dragging in hamza el din seems perverse.

The sandwiches looked quite dank. (contenderizer), Tuesday, 21 March 2017 02:12 (five days ago) Permalink

I was with you until "drained of vigor", basically I started this thread to get more recommendations as to what else sounds like "Binah" from Live Low To The Earth In The Iron Age. the desert has color!

sleeve, Tuesday, 21 March 2017 02:48 (five days ago) Permalink

edited version, wtf this is supposed to be 27 minutes:

sleeve, Tuesday, 21 March 2017 02:50 (five days ago) Permalink

i agree that the non-american stuff doesn't fit with this cinematic staring across a (most often imaginary) desert soaking up the atmosphere vibe, hence just alluding to it initially. deserts in this context are a blank inhuman wilderness for the listener to passively inhabit & think/feel/do graphic design

ogmor, Tuesday, 21 March 2017 08:50 (five days ago) Permalink

I was with you until "drained of vigor"

yeah, that was my prejudice showing. i'm not a big fan of the cinematic slowcore western thing.

The sandwiches looked quite dank. (contenderizer), Tuesday, 21 March 2017 13:19 (five days ago) Permalink

It doesn't have to be cinematic slowcore western. Sometimes it's a particular style of cinematic instrumental guitar. Or krautrock infused country.

Evan, Tuesday, 21 March 2017 14:59 (five days ago) Permalink

As far as the original post(s), the thing that makes this sound so special is that there really aren't too many things that hit these specific buttons. Hired Hand, Tuma, "Binah," etc are singular, which is why this thread jumped the shark as soon as people started suggesting every 90s post rock band that liked Morricone

I do really like that Bruce Licher piece mentioned upthread, and that Garlo thing sounds amazing. But even these have almost nothing to do with the Steve Roach album that inspired this thread

Wimmels, Tuesday, 21 March 2017 15:03 (five days ago) Permalink

i did this a while back was pretty happy w/it but if anything too on the nose

http://soundcloud.com/matthew-lee-helgeson/desert-jive

blonde redheads have more fun (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 21 March 2017 15:24 (five days ago) Permalink

Nice! Here's a rough little jam I'd done when I was obsessing over Paris, Texas. Improving a little with messy results.

https://soundcloud.com/factual-1/open

Evan, Tuesday, 21 March 2017 16:19 (five days ago) Permalink

i like that!

i like this sound but i do get a little suspicious of it, like it's almost too easy to hit those stylistic cues that conjure up desert stuff

blonde redheads have more fun (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 21 March 2017 16:44 (five days ago) Permalink

Thanks!

Yeah I feel like you can say that about solo instrumental music or electronica or ambient... It's helpful to have a unique take and not rely too much on gimmicky flare.

Evan, Tuesday, 21 March 2017 17:25 (five days ago) Permalink

Max Florian, Tuesday, 21 March 2017 18:24 (five days ago) Permalink

https://youtu.be/72csh1Zm38A
02 Oren Ambarchi - Knots (Touch)

braunld (Lowell N. Behold'n), Tuesday, 21 March 2017 19:15 (five days ago) Permalink

ffs, it's silly to say this thread "jumped the shark" when it's got me listening to that Eyvind Kang record again (I downloaded it last time someone was raving about it on ILM, and liked it well enough, but it's been been a minute since I listened)

bernard snowy, Tuesday, 21 March 2017 21:48 (five days ago) Permalink

it's so good. his book of angels entry is fantastic too

Mordy, Tuesday, 21 March 2017 21:54 (five days ago) Permalink

Maybe the thread title could have been something more like 'music that sounds like the thing it's trying to imitate', or 'landscape music alchemy' or 'Richard Skelton plays quavery strings while ghostly children chant the names of lost Cumbrian villages.'

The shard-borne beetle with his drowsy hums (Chinaski), Tuesday, 21 March 2017 22:02 (five days ago) Permalink

This video I had not seen before, and it is amazing:

erry red flag (f. hazel), Tuesday, 21 March 2017 22:09 (five days ago) Permalink

The Harold Budd / Clive Wright albums (3 in all iirc) are all very worthwhile

Wimmels, Tuesday, 21 March 2017 22:22 (five days ago) Permalink

Does Michael Brooks' HYBRID fit this genre?

beamish13, Tuesday, 21 March 2017 23:39 (five days ago) Permalink


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