In the past, I stayed away from rock instrumental music. Partly because I associated it with the pretentious, bloated, drum-solo-filled schlock that bands like Led Zeppelin and Emerson Lake and Palmer used to pad out their albums and shows, and partly because songs never seemed complete without words. (Although, to be fair, my opinion of most rock lyrics is pretty low.)
Recently, however, there seems to have been a huge jump in the amount of great instrumental music forcing its way into my consciousness. It started with Explosions In the Sky, the Texas band who did the soundtrack for the film "Friday Night Lights," but has expanded as my explorations into dance and its associated genres has expanded - a lot of the instrumental music I have been discovering comes from dance music composers, who seem to be increasingly influenced by the music of composers like Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Terry Reilly, Charlemagne Palestine, and Glenn Branca.
25 years ago, I would listen to Steve Reich's "Music for 18 Musicians" as a way of relaxing. Maybe I - and the world - just need more "relaxing" music more often these days.
This mix started as a list of songs I put together for one of the editors with whom I worked, who needed something "big" to cut to. I liked it so much I turned it into a mix.
Instrumental Mix 1
Clear Light - Lanterna
Looking Down a Hill - Epic45
Wishwash - Saraswa
Future Warriors - Windsurf
A Paw in My Face - The Field
Misty's Reflection - All Systems Ghost
Broken Monitors - B. Fleischman
Waltz for a Little Bird - Rainstick Orchestra
Welcome, Ghosts - Explosions in the Sky
Frozen Twilight - God is an Astronaut
The Boat - Saraswa