It’s safe to say that Textural Being‘s recent productions have reaffirmed and reignited my love for dub-techno. It’s the kind of genre that needs attention, yet once emerged, I often find it more calming to listen to than the deepest ambient music. Repetition and restatement in music is often cited to be critical and dub-techno is at times the epitome of this approach. Some, get bored-stiff of a distant thud, but Sage Taylor’s approach is anything but.
If I had to pick an example, it would be Sage’s latest EP ‘En Ce Moment’ on the always brilliant Energostatic (Marc Atmost’s label) and in particular, ‘Sept’ taken from this album. Shimmering and soft, with subtle tonal bass changes. This is the type of music that sends you drifting. It’s window-watching, perfect for reflection and observation, conjuring pictures of past, what might be, or just appreciating the beauty of what’s sat directly infront of you.
Sage has similar thoughts when listening to some of his favourite music, and for isolatedmix 29, each track has been meticulously selected based on the image it created. A mixture of ambient, dub-techno and electronica, the inspirations are vivid and yearn for deeper introspection. So, the journey’s there for you to take, or the options there for you to create something completely new…
“I chose the tracks in this mix for their ability to conjure up such strong imagery and colour in my head when I listen to them, that if I recall the images later, I can hear other music playing along to them in my mind’s ear. These sounds sometimes (though not always) go on to become tunes of my own, once I’ve spent enough time transforming them from thought to sound wave. It’s not a perfect description of the process, but it’s the easiest way I can think of to describe how the songs I picked for this mix affect me, on a personal level.
Then there’s the emotional level, which had a big part in how I decided what songs to pick as well… The emotional side of music is very important to me, which I hope is evident by the selections I’ve made! This was -not- by any means an easy list to narrow down. There are so many amazing sounds out there by so many different talented musicians everywhere, that fitting a coherent communication into a single hour can be a daunting task… But, it was a challenge I was more than happy to undertake. So, I’m communicating to everyone music that’s very close to me, and what I do; music that’s helped move me along in my evolution as a sound aritst. Hopefully I’ve managed to provide a good picture of that”.
Image 01: Vangelis – Dawn
The perfect musical depiction of the outskirts of a large city, early, sleepy, and cold… Dark greys and oranges permeate this atmosphere.
Image 02: Scanner – Vie One
Your transition out of the city. A red drone.
Image 03: Federsen – Octavian
Totally mesmerizing atmosphere, flashings of different images and shimmers of purple.
Image 04: Stars of the Lid – A Meaningful Moment Through A Meaning[Less] Process
A track that’s lighter than air… Huge floating cathedrals, white and cream-coloured, built in the sky.
Image 05: Ten And Tracer – Next Sun
This lovely little piece stays in the sky, evoking further images of clouds and blue.
Image 06: Pub – Summer [Arovane AMX 1]
One of my all time favourite pieces of electronic music… Uwe Zahn, a true paragon, especially when remixing. Luscious green pastures and yellow/orange sparkles here.
Image 07: Chris Clark – Oaklands
The image dissolves, awash in a swirl of hazy grey and blue smoke.
Image 08: Yagya – Snowflake 9
And we find ourselves moving through snowy fields, white and grey abound. The warmth in this track is astonishing for such a cold theme… But I think snow is remarkably beautiful, so I suppose it works out.
Image 09: Quantec – Triptychon Ver. I
The dreamy quality of this track is pretty amazing. Sometimes I notice it’s on halfway through and can’t remember it ever starting… Black and pale blue smears with sporadic flashes of light come to mind.
Image 10: Kiln – Stare
A drone of such shine and character you almost can’t help feeling warm inside when it plays. More orange and yellow here.
Image 11: Strategy – Stops Spinning
Strategy has somehow projected a profound feeling of stillness in this song, despite all the movement it contains… A truly wonderful feat, and it’s alive with all sorts of multi-coloured sparks, fluttering and ricocheting around the crystalline forms of environments and people, frozen in their activities. Beautiful.
Image 12: Chris Clark – The Sun Too Slow
This bizarre atmosphere, courtesy Chris Clark, staggers along with its own strange beauty, shooting rays of pale light in all directions.
Image 13: Ametsub – Repeatedly
Soft shiny silvers and blues float through this emotionally intense track… Like so many piano keys dissolving in the wind.
Image 14: Boards of Canada – In the Annexe
Short, repetitive, and somehow able to communicate so much… Like much of the music of Boards of Canada, this tiny emotional flicker seems to hint at fluttering, caustic shades of teal, blue, green and turquoise.
Image 15: Taho – The River Of Grace
Like the opening track I chose, this song is one of the most perfect closing pieces I’ve ever heard. Sublime in its simple beauty, I am honestly given vivid images of a flowing river when I listen to this track, all washed out like an oversaturated photograph from decades ago… And so melodic. Perfect.