Ólafur Arnalds' installment of the LateNightTales mix series is typically eclectic and unpredictable, functioning as a dreamlike collage geared for after-hours listening rather than the average mix CD intended to replicate a club DJ's set. As with most artists who are approached to create a volume of the series, neo-classical composer Arnalds is from far outside the world of DJ culture, so his mix has a much different sense of pacing than one by a typical DJ. It starts out with a very grainy recording of an Icelandic folk tune before shifting into the weightless, ethereal vocals of Julianna Barwick.
It doesn't take too long before the mix turns to beat-driven material, and the tracks are generally midtempo and combine electronic and acoustic elements along with delicate melodies. Jamie xx's remix of Four Tet's "Lion" stands out with its combination of sparse pianos, heavy U.K. garage beats, and miles of open space. Halfway through, the mix takes a turn for the sad and weepy, with a track from James Blake's second album followed by lo-fi alt-R&B Internet sensation Spooky Black. Arnalds and collaborator Arnór Dan contribute a melodramatic string and piano cover of Destiny's Child's inescapable hit "Say My Name," which seems intent on completely sucking out all the joy and playfulness of the original and turning it into a morose dirge. The next few selections step away from vocals, and they include previously unreleased pieces from Kiasmos (Arnalds' techno duo with Bloodgroup's Janus Rasmussen) and Arnalds himself.
Then the mix gets even more dejected with an over-emotive, endless piano ballad by Icelandic group Hjaltalín. As with most of the LateNightTales compilations, this one ends with a spoken word story, ending with the proclamation "You've been listening to LateNightTales, music and stories worth staying up for." Considering the emotional arc of this mix, it seems likely that the listener will have fallen asleep crying by that point. There's some fine music on it, but it's not recommended if you're expecting pleasant dreams.
|Jómsvíkingarímur: Ýta feldi eigi rór||Ólafur Arnalds feat: Jónbjörn Gíslason / Hjálmar Lárusson||1:08|
|Forever / Julianna Barwick||Ólafur Arnalds feat: Julianna Barwick||4:24|
|Last Remnants / Lewis Roberts||Ólafur Arnalds feat: Koreless||4:04|
|How Did I Get Here? [Instrumental] [Late Night Tales Exclusive] / Harrison Mills||Ólafur Arnalds feat: ODESZA||1:40|
|A Noise / Anne Baier / Lars Kranholdt||Ólafur Arnalds feat: Anois||3:56|
|Góða Tungl / Jófríður Ákadóttir / Póröur Kári Steinpórsson||Ólafur Arnalds feat: Samaris||4:05|
|RGB [Late Night Tales Exclusive] / Ólafur Arnalds||Ólafur Arnalds||3:41|
|Pre / Ryan Lee West||Ólafur Arnalds feat: Rival Consoles / Ryan Lee West||3:52|
|Lion [Jamie xx Remix] / Kieran Hebden||Ólafur Arnalds feat: Four Tet||5:36|
|Jasmine [Demo] / Jai Paul / Anup Paul||Ólafur Arnalds feat: Jai Paul||4:05|
|Our Love Comes Back / James Blake||Ólafur Arnalds feat: James Blake||3:36|
|Pull / Kid Hnrk / Corbin Smidzik||Ólafur Arnalds feat: Spooky Black||4:00|
|Say My Name [Exclusive Destiny's Child Cover Version] / LaShawn Daniels / Fred "Uncle Freddie" Jerkins III / Rodney Jerkins / Beyoncé Knowles / LeToya Luckett / LaTavia Roberson / Kelly Rowland||Ólafur Arnalds||4:57|
|And Still They Move / Sarah Neufeld / Colin Stetson||Ólafur Arnalds feat: Sarah Neufeld / Colin Stetson||2:52|
|Orgoned [Late Night Tales Exclusive] / Ólafur Arnalds / Janus Rasmussen||Ólafur Arnalds feat: Kiasmos||5:20|
|Kinesthesia I [Late Night Tales Exclusive] / Ólafur Arnalds||Ólafur Arnalds||1:22|
|Ethereal / Högni Egilsson||Ólafur Arnalds feat: Hjaltalin||6:50|
|Undone [Exclusive Spoken Word] / Anam Sufi||Ólafur Arnalds feat: David Tennant||3:46|