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R.J. Stefanski - Live pictures from “You’re Going to Hell with Chad and Udon” at North End Studios in Detroit, MI. Thanks so much to Mark Cook for taking these shots, everyone should check out his tumblr with more of his photography: Mark Cook
If you are interested in booking an experimental/ambient DJ for an upcoming Halloween or otherwise psychedelic party, please do not hesitate to message me.
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Only the most eerie and psychedelic sounds and artists made the cut for “The Haunting of Prospect Street”. Perhaps my most diverse presentation of artists, ranging from Pink Floyd to Tool to Sigur Ros, are layered with sound effects to create a uniquely haunting 20 minute collage. This is only the first of several pieces planned to culminate in my full 2 hour DJ set for this years trick or treaters.
Tracklisting as follows:
Found Sounds intro by R.J. Stefanski (featuring “Relaxing Rain and Loud Thunder pt. II”) / Stars of the Lid “The Better Angels of Our Nation” / Matmos “Last Delicious Cigarette” / Aphex Twin “White Stripe” / Boards of Canada “Collapse” / The Knife “A Cherry on Top” / Gang Gang Dance “Eye Contact interlude #1" / Tool "Ions" / Sigur Ros "Oogun" / Aphex Twin "Grey Stripe" / The Mars Volta "Cygnus Vismund Cygnus" / PInk Floyd "Sysyphus, Pt. 4" / Deafheaven "Window" / The KLF "The Lights of Baton Rouge" / Tool "Message to Harry Manback" / Black Dice "Skeleton" / Sigur Ros "Verold Ny Og Oo" / Boards of Canada "Transmissiones Ferox" / Outro feat. Stars of the Lid "The Better Angels.." & Matmos "Last Delicious.." & R.J. Stefanski "untiled piano piece" //
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Commissioned for an upcoming series of experimental mixes, “Drive Away…” represents the newest chapter in my ongoing merging of ambient and non ambient sounds, challenging the notions of what qualifies as “sleep music”. Mixed in with the classic tones of Aphex Twin, Biosphere, and Boards of Canada are a newer crop of artists like Balam Acab, Arms and Sleepers, and a few of my own tracks. This mix also marks the first time I recorded another musician, adding in original viola parts by August Hodge. Also added throughout the mix are bits of dialogue from 2001 A Space Odyssey. The link above takes you to soundcloud where you can stream the opening 23 mins of the project until the series posts the full length version.
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The last week or so has featured a lot of powerful storms in the Detroit, MI area. Luckily I was able to capture some high quality audio from one of those thunderstorms, and edited it down into the best 9 minutes. If you click on the link below it will take you to my soundcloud where you can stream and download the clip in 320 kbps MP3.
enjoy and pass along to your friends.
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After debuting on soundcloud for a few days, here is the download link for my new two-part single “The Retired Cosmonaut”. Each track runs for about 9 minutes and incorporates several Spring themed found sounds (birds chirping in my parents backyard), with original instrumentation and samples taken from AM radio broadcasts. The Mediafire link includes both tracks in high quality lossless WAV format, with the album art attached, just click through the title right below!
Pass along and enjoy. All sounds and found sounds by RJ Stefanski, 2013.
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An extremely soothing 42 minutes of some of the most important artists in the ambient genre, mixed together with field recordings and designed to help my (then) newborn nephew Cameron fall asleep. This is available for streaming on soundcloud (link in my last blog entry below), however I also wanted to make this something you can download and take wherever you go. So below you have two different download options, one is in 320 rate MP3, the other is in the lossless WAV format, and is gigantic. Even the Mp3 version is still in much better quality than the original file from 2 years ago, so either is an upgrade.
Enjoy, happy sleeping!
Featuring: Biosphere, Sigur Ros, Brian Eno, Aphex Twin, Radiohead, Markus Guentner, The Sight Below, Gas, Stars of the Lid, Marconi Union, Keith Fullerton Whitman, Four Tet, Boards of Canada.
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(click on title above to be directed to soundcloud)
My second mix, which originally was released over 2 years ago, is now streaming in a remastered and revised form. Fans of the original will hear a more smoothed out, slightly louder project. I also added two artists who were not on the first: Stars of the Lid, and Marconi Union. All of the details including the full tracklisting, is available by clicking through the link above. Enjoy.
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Click on the cover image above to be directed to soundcloud to stream my debut full-length album. Any fans of my mixtapes or my field recordings should find something to enjoy within the 12 tracks and 64 minutes of everything from IDM/ambient techno, to pure new age soundscapes, to indie folk pop. Each track has been designed to flow seamlessly into the next, creating a uniquely immersive listening experience. I would think my album would appeal to fans of my biggest influences, experimental acts like Animal Collective, Stars of the Lid, Gas, Boards of Canada, Pink Floyd or Tool.
Hope you enjoy, please pass along.
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A briefer mix while I finish my debut album, “Buried Reefs” is the latest chapter in my ongoing obsession with ambient and drone music. Taking cues from the Boards of Canada school of warped VHS psychedelia, “Buried Reefs” offers a meditative retreat from the chaos of the holidays, layering twinkling synths and drones over brief field recordings and actual narration from vintage nature doc shorts. I would highly recommend this as part of a playlist with some of my previous ambient/downbeat mixes, perhaps as a buffer between “Mini Anthology of Ambient” and “Set the Controls for the…”
Artwork above created by me, high quality link in title below:
Intro: Blondes “Amber” (Variation in Cm by Rene Hell) + Bibio “Moistened and Dried” / Deon “#05” / Emeralds “Summerdata” / Lone “Koran Angel” + Boards of Canada “a is to b..” + Bibio “The Clothesline and the Silver Birch” / Jurgen Muller “Sea Bed Meditation” / Atlas Sound “Christmas Synths” / Lone “Buried Coral Banks” / Keith Fullerton Whitman “ACGTR SVP” / Gas “Pop 1” / Stars of the Lid “The Atomium: Part Two” / Oneohtrix Point Never “Stress Waves” / Casino Versus Japan “Blue Vacation Part 5” / Outro: Brian Eno “Lux 2” + Blondes “Amber” (Variation in Cm by Rene Hell) + Bibio “Everglad Everglade” /
If you enjoy the mix please support the artists and buy their work, and spread this mix to your friends. Thanks!
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After a brief period of being streamed on my soundcloud page, my 12th mix is now here for download. What began as a just-for-fun DJ set around this years Detroit Electronic Music Festival slowly evolved into a full fledged project, and again the newest chapter in my ongoing integration of original field recordings into traditional mixtapes. As the title track slowly fades into focus you will hear over 20 separate found sounds being triggered to heighten the tension: frogs, crickets, birds, stormy weather, creepy AM preachers pitched down to satanic growls are all just the tip of the iceberg. As the mix title suggests, sampled AM voices are not the only significant addition to my 12th project, as the sounds of Detroit’s mini mass transit rail, The People Mover, help keep the flow throughout the near hour running time. Part of why I decided to take on the concept of a traditional DJ set was that it would illuminate just how much I can stretch that idea with my field recordings, and add my own spin on the atmosphere of each track. One of my most realized transitions to date arrives early in the duration, as I chop and pitch down the Goldfrapp vocals on “A&E”, freezing them over Andy Stott’s “Submission” with added water effects, all before Gas’ solemn “Zauberberg III” rises from the ocean floor. Hopefully equally suited for both headphone listening or the dancefloor if you’re open minded to what counts as “danceable”, download by clicking the title below and enjoy! (artwork above based on my own photo/art, high quality Mp3 link in title below)
(FoundSounds intro) / Kaito - Reach for Your Mind / Luomo - Medley Through / Goldfrapp - A&E (Gui Boratto Remix) / Andy Stott - Submission / Gas - Zauberbeg III / Battles - Toddler (Kanding Ray Remix) / Blondes - Water (Bicep Remix) / Efdemin - There Will Be Singing / Pantha du Prince - Butterfly Girl / James Blake - Klavierwerke / Fluxion - Prefuse / Simian Mobile Disco - Put Your Hands Together / Tolga Fidan - Seve / Scuba - Lights Out / Walls - Into Our Midst (Esperanza Remix) / (FoundSounds outro) /also feat. Pariah, Mouse on Mars, Black Dice.
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RJ’s Anthology of Found Sounds (May 2011- July 2012) [<—click to stream on Soundcloud]
Anyone who has been following my mixtapes knows how integral my field recordings have become in the process, and have really turned into a whole passion of mine on their own. So for the first time you can hear my recordings all on their own, over 20 hours of audio cut down into the best 13 minutes. The resulting sound collage is a soothing, sometimes funny trip through everything from a mall parking garage announcing where your car is parked, a Muslim call to prayer, chirping crickets and cicadas, and so much more. If you are a musician, in a band, a DJ, a film producer, or ANYONE who uses and needs sound in their work, please contact me to arrange for a collaboration! Please reblog and pass along to anyone you think would be interested. All of my sounds are recorded with a Tascam DR-03 linear PCM/MP3 recorder in a high quality formats. Thanks and enjoy!
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In the not so distant future: You are aboard a state-of-the-art space vessel hurtling off into the unknown realms of the universe. The only member of your crew still alive, you are haunted by voices which seem to echo from every dark corner of the craft. More troubling than those, the ship is under constant bombardment from fragments of sonic and audio data being beamed out into space from other ships and planets, remnants of old radio broadcasts perhaps, constantly unfolding into one another so that each small part melds into an ever changing orb of found sound. Suddenly you seem to have found a glimmer of hope in the far reaches of your telescope, the Sun. Its a race against time to try and reach the nearest civilization before the voices, real or imagined, drive you to insanity. So, light your last candles as you preserve vital power resources, dawn your best headphones, and let the speed-of-light voyage wash over you in a thick, psychedelic haze. (Hopefully the Sun’s image is not yet another one of the universe’s many mirages, looping you into a black hole which will bring you right back to where you began). [Download link in title below, enjoy!]
(intro)Blondes “Moondance” (OPN Sundial Mix) / Boards of Canada “Smokes Quanity” / Pink Floyd “Set the Controls…” / The Present “Space Meadow” / Emeralds “Science Center” / Stars of the Lid “Music for Twin Peaks…” / Animal Collective “What Would I Want? Sky” / Boards of Canada “In a Beautiful Place…” / Mouse on Mars “Chromantic” / Biosphere “Hyperborea” / Gas “Pop #3” / White Rainbow “Major Spillage” / Studio “Life’s a Beach!” / Burial “Ghost Hardware” / Panda Bear “I’m Not” / Aphex Twin “Lichen” / The Orb “Earth (Gaia)” / Boredoms “Newsun #5” / Gang Gang Dance “Dust” / Casino Versus Japan “We Are You” / The Sight Below “Spelentique” / Biosphere “The Things I Tell You” / Telefon Tel Aviv “I Made a Tree on the Wold” / Gas “Zauberberg #7” / City Center “Cloud Center” / (fade return to intro)/
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After a three month period that saw me move to a new city, pick up even more hours at work, and battle a series of health problems, my newest and most labor intensive project yet is here for you to download. Part of my struggle came from approaching the entire mixing process differently: instead of using brief field recordings to accent transitions between songs, the bulk of the sound here is the field recordings. Most were taped over the course of two visits to my parent’s house in Romeo, MI, yet other recordings came from my old house in Ferndale, and my new apartment in Hamtramck. As time progressed and the tapes piled up, the project grew from a modest idea about representing a small town like Romeo and into a broader representation of my life over the past 1/4 year. Heavily influenced by other immersive ambient experiences like Animal Collective’s “Campfire Songs” and Jurgen Muller’s “Science of the Sea”, the layers here lend themselves to loud volume on good headphones. Also, for the first time in nine mixes I have broken with my affection for electronic music and selected mostly acoustic folk with little more than strummed guitar and voices, allowing the other sounds to fill in the mix and create a unique and transporting 43 minutes (artwork above by me, download link in title below. Enjoy!)
Intro / Sufjan Stevens - Futile Devices / Benoit Pioulard - Flouresce / Grizzly Bear - A Good Place / Bon Iver - Beach Baby / Bibio - Wet Flakey Bark / Nick Drake - Place to Be / Pink Floyd - Grandchester Meadows / B. Pioulard - Patter / Girls - Just a Song / Real Estate - Suburban Dogs / B. Pioulard - Weird Door / Bibio - Bewley in White / Ray Lamontagne - Truly Madly Deeply / Bon Iver - Minnesota, WI / Sufjan Stevens - Impossible Soul / Nick Drake - Free Ride / Fleet Foxes - The Cascades / Van Morrison - Astral Weeks / Outro
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If there is one theme I am likely to return to more than others, it will probably be in the sleep/ambient genre. I listen to music every night as I fall asleep and am constantly tweaking playlists on my ipod in search of the perfect way to doze off. Compared with “Mini Anthology of Ambient”, here you will have to strain a bit more to catch the field recordings: the crickets, waves, ambient mall chatter, cars passing in the rain and more are all there, but hidden in the background as textures so as to never compete with the music for your overall attention. The music here is still largely electronic, but has a much more orchestral feel, heard right from the beginning with Loscil’s “Endless Falls” and continued to the end with multiple selections from Stars of the Lid. Where the first sleep mix was designed specifically for an infant and by necessity had to be beatless, one slowly fades into this mix towards the end of Andrew Thomas’ “I Am Here…” and continues through The Sight Below’s “At First Touch.” Although the “beat” here is more like that of a heartbeat than anything you would hear in a club, elements like this and a few weird drone-y moments may mean this mix will serve some as a chill-out soundtrack better than for sleep. That being said I honestly have had a very difficult time making it through the full 53 minutes without being lulled asleep. A number of pieces were also taken from various Pop Ambient compilations released by Kompakt (artwork above by myself, download link in title below).
Loscil - Endless Falls & Enthalpy / H.I.A. & Biosphere - Cannon Hill / Tal - Tal’90 / Biosphere - Spindrift / Andrew Thomas - I Am Here Where Are You & A Thousand Pinholes in a Black Paper Sky / Gas - Untitled 3 (Konigsforst) / The Sight Below - At First Touch & Shimmer & Further Away / Ulf Lohmann - Java / Stars of the Lid - Requiem for Dying Mothers, pt.1 & Anchor States, pt.1 & Even (Out)+ / All - Alles Fliesst Nichts Bliebt / also w. Sufjan Stevens, Animal Collective, Manual, and various field recordings /
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Essentially the opposite of project one, this is a beatless sound collage designed to help an infant (my one year old nephew) fall asleep. It features, in near-chronological order, some of the most important ambient artists of the last few decades, beginning with Briano Eno’s work from the 70s, skipping ahead to Aphex Twin in the early 90s and so forth. To help achieve a consistently soothing atmosphere I included plenty of natural sounds: rushing water, rain, waves lapping on a beach, etc. Hope it puts you right out! (link in title below, artwork above by me).
Mini Anthology of Ambient @160kbps (40:12)
Brian Eno - “1/1” / Aphex Twin - “Rhubarb” / Biosphere - “Kobresia” / Gas - “untitled 3” (from the album “Gas”) / Markus Guentner - “In Moll IV” / Keith Fullerton Whitman - “Modena” // also with. The Sight Below, Boards of Canada, and Radiohead.
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