The isolatedmix series is a chance for me to recruit my past musical inspirations, where they take the reigns and provide us lucky listeners with an hour or so worth of favourites and their very own inspirations. However, Parks is the first to break the mould.
For one, Parks is pretty new to my ears. Discovered just a few months ago after trawling through the Infraction Records back-catalogue, Igor Bystrov had two unassuming albums nestling in the amazing Infraction treasure-trove that hit me like a bulldozer. I am simply amazed at how such brilliant music can be this buried. Not that Infraction don’t do an amazing job at getting music heard, but more that this type of music deserves to be heard by so many more like-minded people. I guess that’s what partly motivates me with ASIP – finding these hidden gems and giving them the attention they deserve by the people that appreciate it.
So, with such a modest and relatively unknown artist and a host (i.e me) who is still only now managing to pick himself up from the initial body-slam of stunning music, it felt right to break the mould and release a mix made entirely from an artists own productions. After-all, Igor has been producing since the late 80’s so he had no shortage of tracks to choose from.
I also managed a short interview in a hope to paint a complete picture of the artist which will undoubtedly now remain on your stereo for a long time to come…
Oh and the second buck of the isolatedmix trend? Igor has plucked up over 2 hours worth of material, for your extended pleasure!
If you like what you hear, be sure to support the artist and the brilliant label that opened up our ears and made it happen, Infraction Records by purchasing Igor’s two (so far released) albums, ‘Umber’ or Hidden’ here and keep on the look-out for further releases.
Tracklist (all songs by Parks)
01. The Renaissance 00:00
02. Shining Stars 07:09
03. Franja 16:02
04. Lament 24:23
05. The HAL 9000 Computer 31.25
06. Wings Of Desire 37:22
07. Trains 43:46
08. Unreleased 50:30
09. 4AM (unreleased)57:30
10. Eternal Wind 1:06
11. Long Way 1:14
12. The Breath Of Autumn 1:21
13. Days 1:30
14. Topaz 1:38
15. The Twilight 1:44
16. Underwater Spaces 1:52
ASIP & Parks Interview (Igor Bystrov)
Can you tell us a bit about where you live? Do your surroundings influence your work at all?
Since childhood, I lived in a resort town called Sochi. It means a lot of hot sun, hot temperatures and a crowd of people. I’ve always dreamed of one town and my dream has come true – in 1984 I moved to St. Petersburg, the best city on Earth. This conveys the nature of my feelings and sensations. I love the fog and the low gray sky. All my music is sustained in these colours.
You started producing in the late 1980’s, has your approach to production changed at all? What do you differently now to then?
Nothing really except for the fact that in the late 90’s I had a computer. The only thing that has changed is machinery and equipment. I like the cassette tape and I still use them. A small fact – I wrote the first two albums in 1990-91 and they were on a portable cassette with several friends for 10 years. In early 2000 the label “Fono” proposed to publish the albums … I agreed
Who were your biggest influences back then?
Back then I was very fond of of Arvo Part, Henryk Gorecki Symp. №3 (2), Harold Budd / Brian Eno “The Pearl” and other works of Eno. Even Robert Fripp, Robert Wyatt and Le Mystere Des Voix Bulgares.
And who are your biggest influences now?
Now I’m under the impression from Zelienople, Akira Rabelais – “Spellewauerynsherde”, Gas, Gavin Bryars – “The Sinking of the Titanic”, David Sylvian -”Blemish”, Flunk, NASA Voyager Recordings etc…
How did your relationship with Infraction come about and what can we expect in the future?
Brian Grainger (Milieu) is a good friend of mine and he took my records and gave them to Jason Bryant, owner of Infraction Records and it started from there. The future? I can not say anything – it is the future!
Where is your ‘Strangely Isolated Place’?
Interesting question. In fact, ‘Strangely Isolated Place’ is my home, it is as the submarine, I look through the windows to the outside world, I communicate via phone and chat. But most of all I love to listen to music on my iPod Classic and a walk in the park, but this doesn’t happen very often.
Your music is quite varied, with aspects of ambient, electronica, downtempo and ‘chill’. Do you prefer one over the other?
I find it difficult to pin a style to my music, but i can tell you what it isn’t – Chill-out or New Age. My music does not contain any rest or peace (with rare exceptions), and is not intended for easy listening with a cup of coffee at the bar.
There’s a few vocal samples in your tracks too, are they samples or were they produced specifically for the tracks?
No they’re not samples and they weren’t designed specifically for Parks either. My friend is a vocalist for a rock band and his American girlfriend used to sing to him on a dictaphone to teach him the correct pronunciation. I took possession of these records and used them within tracks. They were however, heavily edited and changed.
Can you describe the process behind the tracks you selected for this mix?
Before I start a mix, there is always a special feeling and I start looking for a sound that will match. I’ll take any sound that comes across strongly and change its ways to fit. What may start out as rubbish at the beginning can often turn into diamonds. I use Cubase 5, Logic, Kontakt, Kurzweil K2000, Korg ESX-1, and some additional things that make a poor quality sound. The results are recorded on an old tape, then digitized and a cleared out.
Seeing as your isolatedmix is made-up of your own tracks, can you name two or three tracks you would have chosen if you were putting together a mix of other artists?
I think it will be Jacaszek – V, Lahto – The Night Was Green and NASA Voyager Recordings 2 – Sphere Of IO