Ambient/electronica podcasting pioneer Mark Rushton independently released a 12-track CD entitled "Hum and Drift" in 2005. It has currently rolling out to numerous digital download services across the internet. The first major company to offer tracks as digital downloads is Real Network's Rhapsody service at Rhapsody.com
Rhapsody is currently offering Hum & Drift, along with Rushton's 2004 release "The Driver's Companion" for $9.99 as an entire album download. Individual tracks are available for 99 cents each.
Hum & Drift will be rolling out to other digital download services across the internet, including iTunes, in the coming weeks.
A free megamix of all the tracks from Hum & Drift is available as an 8 1/2 minute podcast at podcast.markrushton.com
The following is from a Q&A with Mark Rushton concerning each individual track:
The CD starts off with "The Hum of Antique Machines" which is a title I nicked from an old Channel Light Vessel song. Is it ambient? It's more of a 'quiet industrial' piece with lots of fuzz and flutter throughout. Very meditative.
"Anoka-Hennepin" is the second track. This was composed back in 2002, although I did some editing of the piece in the last several months. The title reminds me of something the Cocteau Twins would use, but it's really a school district near Minneapolis. Here's another floating piece, although it has some good bass and synths and simple percussion throughout.
"The Sound Is Nothing" is next. It's essentially an exercise in using delays with guitar sounds coupled with a middle section that swirls between your ears. The voice saying "The sound, the sound, the sound, the sound, the sound..." is me.
"A Gift Of Life (2005 Remix)" was originally created in 2001, but it was remixed and had serious editing done on it in early 2005. It's a symphonic electronica piece, which means you get both an orchestra and synths going at it. Lovely, especially the high bass in the final half.
"National Championship" was created in early 2005 and I originally meant it to be a lot longer, but the piece seemed to work better at just over two minutes. It's darker and more sinister.
"Kitchen Ayurveda 2" is another exercise in delay, but this time it's tablas and synths. More meditation and hyponotism in this piece, especially since it's over five minutes. I did four remixes of the original Kitchen Ayurveda tune and this fit best on the album.
"Movement" is largely full of home-made loops that I recorded from found sound. There are a few ready-made loops on there, but the running water, airplane, the shuffling feet, and industrial groans were all recorded by me in the spring of 2004 where I work. I use a Sony Minidisc recorder and microphone to capture the sound, and then I edit it in my home studio.
"Minus Eleven" is from January or February of 2005. The basic tracks I arranged one night for this were done when it was minus eleven outside, so you get this sort of cold and desolate feeling from the synths and the rhythmic backing.
"Sunday's Drift" is from 2004. I've always wanted to use more acoustic guitar loops and this one uses a piece in a rhythmic manner. Nice sub bass and lingering synths. Lots of air and space between the music in this one.
"Blizzard Symphony" was another winter song from early 2004. This one has actual drums on it. When you add in the orchestra you get an almost-Zeppelin-esque feel in the piece.
"Whiteout" is the trip-hop-ish track that I did in late 2003 and edited several times since then. It has an obvious drum/rhythm throughout, but it's the synths that come and go all over the place that really make this one work, especially when the different basses and the tabla kick in.
"Cherry Building" is from early 2004, and done right after I first met some people from that part of Cedar Rapids. It's a long piece, over 12 minutes, and was meant to be somewhat generative. The loops contained within the piece repeat, but they don't repeat over themselves in the arrangement. It's just a long and drifty thing.