Lav & Purl - The Present Moment

 

Lav & Purl have existed as individual artists for a while now, with both making appearances on the collective Dewtone, and Purl  also contributing his unique, melodic pulsing ambience on Silent Season, with the much loved album, 'Stillpoint'

The Present Moment is the second release by the duo, after the recently released EP 'Earth And Beyond' on their own label, Amone RecordingsThis delicate, nurtured track, combines beautiful sound recordings from Lav (Christopher Landin) alongside piano and drifting melodies from Purl, (Ludvig Cimbrelius). I won't get into much further detail on this track however, as it's the start of something much bigger...

This track was a part of a larger album originally, but earned its own release as it distinguished itself from the other tracks with a softer, calmer atmosphere. The remaining tracks from this production will form ASIP's seventh vinyl release, titled 'A State Of Becoming' and arriving in early 2017 on double vinyl. 

So, here's a taster of what's to come!

Download on Bandcamp.

 

Merrin Karras Live at Klangsphäre, Planetarium Bochum 11-11-2016

 

Both Merrin Karras and Markus Guentner took to a unique stage in Bochum (Germany) this past weekend, alongside the likes of Max Würden, Sine Sleeper, Mario Hammer And The Lonely Robot, and Safrronkeira. The Ambient Festival, played out within a Planetarium, with listeners immersed in darkness as they stared up towards dream-like visuals across the ceiling. It was undoubtedly a very special and unique show, marking Brendan's first live show as his ASIP alter-ego Merrin Karras.

Below we have the recording of his set, featuring live renditions from the album, Apex, and one new track.

Merrin Karras' album Apex, is available to buy using the links below:

Digital @ Bandcamp
Vinyl (US) @ Bandcamp
Vinyl (Europe & Worldwide) direct from Merrin Karras' Bandcamp, or at Juno. 

Equipment used:
Macbook pro running Ableton Live
Nord Lead 2
DSI Tetra
Vermona Mono Lancet
Roland Jp-08
2 x Launchpads
1 x Launchcontrol XL

(Photo by Markus Guentner)

(Photo by Markus Guentner)

 

Phaeleh - Illusion of the Tale

 

Music to escape to. It's what you're escaping from, or where you want to escape to, that often decides how you perceive music. It's what makes it so subjective and personal.

It's why I love the phrase 'A Strangely Isolated Place'. We all live in a busy world, where everyone is just a button away. But you can be stood in the middle of Times Square, or on a 7.34am commuter train to London Kings Cross, and escape to somewhere completely different, with the right type of music.

This train of thought inspired Matt Preston aka Phaeleh's, latest album Illusion Of The Tale. If the title alone didn't give it away, then dig deeper. Seventeen tracks long, Matt created the album as a way of saying ... "take some time to chill the fuck out. I want the album to be an escape from everyday lives. I want it to be a soundtrack for people to let go.” He's describing the daily illusion given off from social media and the facade that everyone is hiding behind, but the common thought is the same - ambient music helps you do this, switch off, go some place else - ignore the bullshit. 

With such a powerful inspiration you're sat hear now wandering how intense the music must have to be to achieve this, but whereas some people need complex rhythms, loud noises and patterns to get lost in, Matt has opted for the simplicity and emotion of ambient and electronica that just edges, pushes, nudges you along to new places - a gentle journey that envelopes and folds, cushions and lifts you off to your destination of choice. 

Seventeen delicate tracks comprising of live synth recordings, Matt has also incorporated piano recordings, field recordings, outtakes from live shows, and in one instance, a track "made from his thumb holding the end of a cable running through a pedal board, then looped and pitched down.". Some have an emotional efficacy of someone like Mark Pritchard, in tracks like Frequency, some a dense and intriguing texture of heavier drone musicians in Absence Of Light, whilst others like Blue Night, shift a little more into gentle beats, echoing the likes of Solar Fields and Carbon Based Lifeforms. We're even treated to some space-esque vintage sci-fi synthesizers in District, my favorite from the album. 

Despite the numerous electronic styles, there's an overarching sense of similar emotion. It's never too dark, never too euphoric, and each track could've easily progressed into either territory. It's a dynamic sound that is easily taken one way or the other, which is why the album does what Matt set out to achieve. If there was a specific arc, or tracks that peaked, then you're often being taken along a predetermined journey, but with Illusion of the Tale, it's a story decided by you, the listener. On a good day, you'll go one way, on a bad day, another. Put it on shuffle and add a fourth dimension. With every listen you'll find something new and travel someplace else.

Available on Bandcamp. 

Read more on Phaeleh and listen to a recent ambient mix on The Ransom Note

 

Steve Hauschildt - Strands

 

You could say there's a resurgence of ambient music focusing on the strength, simplicity and soul of the synthesizer nowadays. There's not necessarily more of it (it's always been around if you dig hard enough), but it certainly seems like it's more prevalent. This might be due to more known artists switching up styles and giving it a go, but more than likely, it's more and more artists challenging themselves within a restricted pallet. 

I've heard several artists talk about this approach recently - our very own 36 and Merrin Karras being two of them, and fine examples of it. Today, with all the tools at our disposal and the likes of Ableton opening up entire new worlds of sounds, there's something challenging and exciting about getting the most out of an old piece of gear, or manipulating a single sound into your own.

Steve Hauschildt's latest album Strands might not be the epitome of simplicity that comes to mind with that introduction, but it's certainly another beautifully manipulated synthesizer focused album that echoes many of the genres earliest inspirations. 

From the opening track Horizon Of Appearances, sweeping synthesizers paint a picture of deep space exploration, and the constant anxiety of the unknown - a similar exploration in the swells of A False Seeming. The glistening, arpeggiating Same River Twice nods to early Global Communication and Steve Roach, and in a more IDM-approach; Ketracel pings classic highly-strung pads and squelches a-la AutechreArovane.  

With such a wealth of electronic inspiration present amongst the album, it's important to remember that Steve has been doing this for quite some time on the esteemed Kranky label. Just last year, Where All Is Fled bought us beautiful warm compositions like Vicinities, and in 2011, the sparkling patterns in Tragedy and Geometry

Hauschildt's latest, Strands, is yet another finely tuned, analog masterpiece that stretches the boundaries and possibilities of vintage, analog ambient music. From deep-space tones, to colorful textures and melodic IDM, this is also a reminder that despite my earlier comparisons, this type of music will soon stop echoing the sounds of yester-year, and instead be seen as a style that many of today's best producers are perfecting and pushing forward.

Available on Bandcamp.

 

36 / The Infinity Room - Now Available

Now available, Dennis Huddleston's new album under his 36 alias, The Infinity Room.

A concept album built around a similar sound and theme, each track builds off the previous, creating "self contained miniature galaxies" (Textura review). 

This blog post may have come a little too late for some, as the response to this album has been amazing so far, with all pre-orders selling out, and the bulk of the copies which were at Juno also selling out, within 24-hours. Thank you to everyone who purchased a copy of the vinyl, and still supports and buys digital music in an ever-increasingly harder industry. 

There will be a few vinyl copies available at the below stores any day now, and the digital is available on the ASIP Bandcamp. Unfortunately, US copies of the vinyl are pretty much sold out everywhere. 

For more information and to listen to the album, head over to the release page, or stream below.

Buy Digital

Vinyl copies (very few) due to be in stock at Boomkat (UK) Phonica (UK) Deejay.de (DE) Redeye (UK) and Ultimae (FR). And a few copies will be made available direct from 36 on Bandcamp