isolatedmix 26 - Loscil: Waterborne


I often struggle to put together introductions for isolatedmix contributors. Not only have most of the artists been featured on the site many times before, but you’ll often find that talent easily precedes reputation and words just don’t do them justice in many instances. But, seeing as i’ve wished for Loscil‘s contribution to the isolatedmix series since day one, i’ll give it a go…

An experienced sound director and a regular contributor to the legendary Kranky record label since 2001, Scott Morgan is without a shadow of a doubt, a master of ambient soundscapes. His 2010 album Endless Falls, was top of everyone’s end of year lists and succeeded at not only improving on his previous Kranky work, but doing it in style, with the title track epitomising the modern classical / ambient divide and wrenching the hearts of fans from both sides.

Since then, Loscil’s made a beautiful contribution to Glacial Movements – also home to bvdub’s infamous release, ‘The Art of Dying Alone’. ‘Coast/Range/Arc’ reflected Loscil’s awesome ability to communicate the cold, the epic, the warm and the engrossing with some of his most atmospheric work to date. 2012 will hopefully see Scott’s sixth contribution to Kranky.

For his isolatedmix, Scott has once again chosen to reflect upon deep textures and thought-inducing moments with a mix themed around water. As you can imagine with such a dimensional topic, the sounds included and the inspiration is varied. The tales behind each track are told by masters of their trade and the journey is expertly compiled by yet another: Loscil.

Mix introduction by Scott Morgan (Loscil):

“Whether conscious or not, water has long been an influential factor in my work. There is something intangible, powerful, emotional, alluring and frightening about water. With this mix, I thought I would explore if and how water has influenced other artists who I respect and admire. A quick peruse of my music collection lead to the discovery of quite a few pieces that are somehow connected to water. Be it rivers, streams, oceans or rainfall, it seems water is often an inspirational subject for many composers and this doesn’t surprise me.

I remember a conversation I had in university with a friend who was studying oceanography and fluid dynamics. I had recently learned about the use of Fast Fourier Transforms (FFT’s) in audio analysis. My layman understanding of this was that FFT’s allow for efficient analysis and resynthesis of audio data so that computers can better handle the vast amounts of sample data typically needed to represent and process digital audio. Long story short, my friend (who had a much better understanding of the application of FFT’s than I) revealed to me that they use the same process and similar math for analyzing tidal data. What struck me about this was that if you look closely at things like sound waves or tidal patterns, etc., there are universal similarities – that almost everything can be boiled down to vibrations, oscillations, frequencies, etc. Of course, there is much more to our relationship with water than just that. We depend on it for life as does all life on this planet. We also play in it, float on it and sometimes it destroys our homes or we drown in it. Growing up on the west coast, many of my memories both fond and otherwise, somehow involve water, whether it be in the foreground or simply in the background. It seems I’m not alone”. 



Tracklist & notes by Loscil:

01. Pan*American – Lights On Water (Quiet City)
Impressionistic. We’ve all been there, physically and mentally.

02. Alva Noto and Ryuichi Sakamoto – by this river (summvs)
“Here we are stuck by this river, You and I underneath a sky That’s ever falling down, down down, Ever falling down.”

03. Marcus Fischer – Wind And Wake (Monocoastal)
Cascadian consciousness.

04. Carter Burwell – Water Dream (Fur An Imaginary Portrait Of Diane Arbus)
Water scenes.

05. Tom Recchion – Ship At Sea (Chaotica)
Floating and undulating tape loop virtuosity.

06. Ethernet – Seaside (144 Pulsations of Light)
We’re there but not there.

07. Grouper – Down To The Ocean (Cover The Windows And The Walls)
A pleasantly mirky siren song.

08. Chihei Hatakeyama – Starlight Reflecting On The Surface Of The River (Minima Moralia)
Shimmering and evocative.

09. Wes Willenbring – While My Lungs Fill With Water (Somewhere Someone Else)
There is a frightful but liberating feeling in letting go.

10. Clouwbeck – The Water’s Burden (From Which The River Rises)
You can feel the undulating weight of the water’s mass – a gentle but powerful current.

11. Brian Eno & Harold Budd – A Stream With Bright Fish (The Pearl)
It’s a world we can see into but cannot live inside. We are spectators.

12. Gavin Bryars – Titanic Hymn (Autumn) All Strings (The Sinking Of The Titanic)
A slow descent. One of the most haunting impressions of the sinking Titanic.

Loscil | Web