I enjoy listening to music while I’m going to sleep, letting it play throughout the night. Some long-time favorites include Brian Eno’s “Thursday Afternoon,” as well as “Neroli;” many of Lou Harrison’s orchestral works, and several recordings by Z’ev. Lately, I’ve enjoyed “If I Was,” by The Staves. It’s a difficult thing, to guess up-front whether an album will work for an overnight listen, and occasionally I find myself dreadfully wrong– though I enjoy his work tremendously while awake, I found a Phill Niblock album to be a nearly suffocating experience when trying to sleep. I’m pretty sure he wasn’t picturing a sleeper at rest, so your experience may vary. It seems to me that the best works for sleep-listening act as a tether of sorts, allowing for the sleeper to travel outward, while occasionally providing a reassuring tug from the waking world.
At any rate, I’ve been enjoying Jack Hertz & Mystified’s “Inuksuk” album for the Aural Films netlabel– I’m not always the biggest fan of Mystified’s collaborations, but this one seems to work well, with a good blend between both artists. I’ve largely given up on figuring out who did what, despite some early theories. At it’s best, “Inuksuk” delivers on what I’ve come to expect from a Mystified outing– thoughtful ambient works bathed in somewhat uneasy semi-rhythmic looping patterns. That sounds clinical, but Mystified does this very, very well time and again, with a knack for catching your attention just enough here and there to keep even the simplest figures remarkably fresh throughout. As far as I’m concerned, these moments are the titual “inuksuk,” dotting the sonic landscape to give the listener a sense of place, perhaps even in one’s dreams.