A few years back, I was juggling my job and dealing with 116-degree heat. I needed a soundtrack to it and started to put together a drone and dark ambient playlist. I began to associate extreme heat with pain. I associated it more with darkness than the sunlight that drowns the Arizona desert.
I long had fantasies of living deep in the desert. When I was 25, I drove alone across the country on Interstate 80. That gave me nearly a whole day of desert driving, from the west side of Salt Lake City to the east side of Donner Pass.
Some years later, that experience inspired me to create a desert oriented playlist that I cobbled together from MP3 files and assembled in Winamp. Some years later, I added and removed stuff, then recreated it on 8tracks.
When I started to reassemble it on Spotify, after I moved to the Arizona desert, I had a newfound perspective on the heat. I still love the desert, but come June or July, it gets hot. It gets really hot, so much so, it makes you wonder how anything survives. The desert is beautiful and amazing, but also cruel and unforgiving.
My playlist changed with my respect. It still starts with the amazing track from Barn Owl, but from there it gets darker and grittier.
Dark ambient typically evokes images of the frigid north, but its oppressive nature makes it work well in oppressive heat. The calmness of it often reflects my mood in the heat: it is best to just accept the discomfort and move forward.
In a lot of ways this playlist is reflective and may only be of interest to me. But, it is here for those of you who also want to go on this jouney.
116 degrees fahrenheit
A drone and dark ambient playlist appropriate to the deep desert heat.