Just F*cking Relax – Season 1

“Just F*cking Relax” – Somebody said this to me recently and it kind of hit me like a Buddhist Koan, which is a paradoxical anecdote or riddle, used in Zen Buddhism to demonstrate the inadequacy of logical reasoning and to provoke enlightenment.

The Just F*cking Relax series is a companion to the Ambient Soundbath Podcast where for years, I tried to do a kinder, gentler type of new age-oriented musical thing. Imagery of sitting in yoga or meditation positions, lotus flowers, candles and all the holistic health tropes and those things are great, still bringing me a sense of serenity when I see that kind of imagery, but the reality is that life is much more abrupt, in your face and we have to take respite when and where we can; it also doesn’t hurt to add a bit of a sense of humor to the churn of daily living. You might not be able to afford a trip to Esalen or the Omega Institute to center yourself, but you can put music on, take a few breaths in your car, on the subway or in a booth at Applebee’s and get in touch with yourself. In all instances, there needs to be time for YOU. Self-actualization shouldn’t require a plane trip to an exotic retreat and these are some of the many reasons that I created the Just F*cking Relax series.

Anyway, it’s a bit irreverent, but it’s also just that simple, isn’t it: Just F*cking Relax!

Here’s a listing of all the tracks for the first season of Just F*cking Relax:

Just F*cking Relax 1 – Calm Sounds for Tired Minds
Just F*cking Relax 2 – Music for Anxiety and Exhaustion
Just F*cking Relax 3 – Music for Anxiety and Self-Soothing
Just F*cking Relax 4 – Music for Dealing with Energy Vampires
Just F*cking Relax 5 – Music for Insomnia
Just F*cking Relax 6 – Music for Social Anxiety
Just F*cking Relax 7 – Music for Reproductive Rights and Bodily Autonomy
Just F*cking Relax 8 – Don’t Wish Your Life Away
Just F*cking Relax 9 – Embrace the Suck
Just F*cking Relax 10 – Music for Deep Sleep on Hot Nights

July 2022 – Notes and Bandcamp Codes

I hope you’re doing well. These are trying times to be sure and I don’t know where I’d be without music as an escape. 

I’ve got a couple notes that may be of interest here.

So, first things first, I’m going to be doing my best to get off Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and instead relying on Bandcamp and my mailing list here – http://eepurl.com/b3DXL1, so please share with anybody and everybody you think might be interested in my music. 

DO YOU WANT FREE MUSIC? Follow me on Bandcamp or join my mailing list, as I’m frequently giving Bandcamp codes to fans and email subscribers: Bandcamp and/or Mailing list signup: http://eepurl.com/b3DXL1

New project Alert – Clay Wires – LIVE MUSIC
For those in or around Traverse City, Michigan, Saturday, July 9th I’ll be performing at the Workshop Brewery in downtown TC from 8-10pm with an amazing four piece group, Clay Wires, where we’ll be doing a couple hours of improvised ambient krautrock… A little Neu, a little Ashra, a little Tangerine Dream and a lot of space. Anything can happen and probably will. It’s the last day of the National Cherry Festival… Minds will be blown and tourists will be confounded by the sounds entering their ear holes. More info here: traversecityworkshop.com/events/ – If you see this and come out to the show, say hello; I’d love to chat.

Just F*cking Relax – Longform Ambient Series Exclusively Bandcamp and only 2 Bucks
“Just F*cking Relax” – Somebody said this to me recently and it kind of hit me like a Buddhist Koan, which is a paradoxical anecdote or riddle, used in Zen Buddhism to demonstrate the inadequacy of logical reasoning and to provoke enlightenment. Anyway, a bit irreverent, but I was like, ‘it’s kind of that simple isn’t it?’ So, yeah, just f*cking relax! There are nearly eight, so far. Listen here: https://mattborghi.bandcamp.com/

Sunset Crest Out Now on Valley View Records

Matt Borghi Ambient Guitar
Hey Friends,

I’ve got a new full length recording out: Sunset Crest. Links to Bandcamp and most major services here: https://valley-view-records.fanlink.to/Sunset_Crest/

As some of you may have noticed, I’ve been releasing a lot of longform works on Bandcamp and mostly “singles” on the streaming services, all of this due to the nature of how folks listen to music on these services. This varied approach to releasing music sometimes makes my head spin, but I want to try and put the music in the best possible situation to be heard, otherwise, what’s the point.

This is what makes Sunset Crest different and interesting – Sunset Crest is probably the first full-length recording of individual, shorter tracks, I’ve released in over a year and there aren’t any other full-lengths like this in the works. In fact, I would say, that Sunset Crest is, in many ways, the follow-up to Music for Meditation and Sleep – Short Forms, Vol. 1. I’ve had to stop using terms like “meditation” and “sleep” in my titles due to keywording guidelines (read: censorship), which is pretty lame, but that’s a discussion for another time.

Additionally, Valley View Records out of Australia is doing an amazing job with the sonics (mastering), artwork, promotion and the release of my work, so check out the latest, Sunset Crest: mattborghi.bandcamp.com/album/sunset-crest


Navi Motion Out Now on Valley View Records

It’s been a while since I’ve sent an email, but I wanted to let you know about my new release, Navi Motion – mattborghi.bandcamp.com/album/navi-motion

This is the first in, what I hope, is a long and fruitful relationship with Valley View Records and Matthew Tondut. Matthew did an amazing job shepherding this release, sequencing and generally presenting a vision for the work. Benjamin Lincoln at Middle Mastering really equalized the sounds and made the collection sound great. And Clayton Popa’s excellent artwork brought the whole thing together, adding a visual that really emphasized The Expanse, Star Trek and 2001: A Space Odyssey state of mind I was in when I created Navi Motion.

You can listen to the music here:

Apple Music

Huronic Minor 2021 – 20th Anniversary Remaster

Huronic Minor was originally released in 2001. The original release was completely mono, while the source recordings were all stereo, mostly because I didn’t know what I was doing. Over the last 20 years, however, I’ve spent a lot of time perfecting my sound and my audio skills and I feel like the 20th Anniversary Remaster brings out the drones and tones of Huronic Minor in all their subtle nuance and sonic brilliance. If you’re familiar with the original Huronic Minor, you will hear things in this new version that you never could have heard before, I know that was the case even for me.

This will be released exclusively on Bandcamp here: https://mattborghi.bandcamp.com

If you’re interested in a hardcopy CD, let me know here, maybe I’ll do a run of those.

Huronic Minor after 20 years…

Recently, I found myself listening to Huronic Minor. This is by far my most “popular” recording. It’s had millions of streams and before I went exclusively digital, I had sold several thousand CDs. Huronic was released completely mono, mostly because I had no idea what I was doing, whereas the source material was all stereo. I was after the sound of the drones and their creation, something that was totally new to me. I did four complete iterations of Huronic Minor, trying to get those drones just right, for what I had in mind, sonically. After several months, I achieved it, but totally overlooked the idea that the final master recording was completely mono. Nobody corrected me, initially, and people seemed to really like it. I say initially, because I remember a conversation a year or two later, with Dino Pacifici, where he kind of mused “Why did you record it in mono?”. Good question. I’d never really thought about that.

Recently, though, as I listened back, I was somewhat embarrassed. This is not uncommon for artists when they review to their earlier work, but the really disappointing thing as I listened with fresh ears, having not listened to it in probably, well, 20ish years, was that there was so much brilliance and sonic nuance lost in the mono recording. As somebody who has spent years cultivating their approach, vision and process, I listened to this and thought, I can bring those things out with my current audio workflow.

As I became a better music producer, refining my ear to match my audio engineering and production abilities, my expectations for sonic experience have changed. When I did Huronic Minor, originally, I was interested in the content not the fidelity or perhaps I enjoyed the noise-oriented grit of the soundscapes, as they seemed quintessentially, sonically, Detroit – A goal of mine for a very long time. Now, though, I want the balance of content and fidelity, so with that in mind I have decided to revisit this collection and see what I can do with the mixes and the mastering of these recordings to bring out the sonic nuance of this recording.

This is a work-in-progress, but initial run-throughs have been very good and I anticipate a release of this new collection of remastered tracks in the months to come.

An Entering – For Harold Budd and Tony Rice

I created this track as part of the mourning process for two artists who passed away recently, Harold Budd and Tony Rice. Both of these artists, in different ways, have inspired my work significantly. Both of them spent their lives committed to their craft and bringing about their musical vision. Both of these artists were mostly unrecognized outside of their respective genres. Their commitment, however, made great and long-lasting contributions to the world of music, the likes of which more will come to understand in the years to come.

For years, I’ve  wished that I could bring a Harold Budd-like sensibility to my work with the acoustic steel string flat top guitar, using it the way he used the piano. And of course, Tony’s playing, touch, feel and general virtuosity, but never just for virtuosity’s sake, was a guidepost on the path of being an acoustic guitar player and flatpicker. I’ve tried to capture this hybrid sound many times and many times I’ve fallen short. This time, however, I feel that I’ve gotten quite close. Perhaps the spirit’s of Harold Budd and Tony Rice were riding shotgun with me as I composed this track, as their work has been with me so many times when I’ve been trying to grow as an artist, musician and composer. 

This track, “The Entering”, isn’t part of a larger recording. It’s a snapshot of a feeling and a moment in time. I was going to call the work ‘Departure’, but I wanted to look on the bright-side: We’re entering into a new phase, where many of the souls who’ve defined our world have been lost due to a mis-managed health pandemic. Those elders who helped us navigate based on their experience and wisdom have moved on from this plane. They’ve prepared us, mostly, and how we have to stand our two and be the guideposts for the years to come.

I hope to do more work like and I hope that you enjoy this track, but also take the time to listen to Harold Budd and Tony Rice. At first blush, they might seem like they’re worlds apart, but true and timeless artistry knows no boundaries, least of all by some mind-made genre categorization.

Matt Borghi on Insight Timer

For folks that use Insight Timer, I’m now posting music there. You can access my profile and the music here. The entire Insight Timer system works on donations and it’s a great tool for meditation, relaxation and stress reduction.

I’m considering doing some guided meditations there, along the lines of the group meditations that I lead. Please comment on this post if that’s something that appeals to you.

Ambient Soundbath Podcast #92 – Eye of God in Infrared

Ambient Soundbath Podcast #92 is dedicated to the memory of Harold Budd. Harold Budd has been featured many times on this podcast and has played a prominent role in my musical life. I believed that Harold Budd was America’s greatest living composer; and now he has passed on to the next plane. Thank you, Maestro Budd, for sharing your work with us. Rest in Peace – Harold Budd (May 24, 1936 – December 8, 2020)

Program note – The title of this work – ‘Eye of God in Infrared‘ refers to a feature of the Helix Nebula known as the ‘Eye of God’. Additionally, the title of the work has a cadence that reminds me very much of Harold Budd’s titles and poetry.