isolatedmix 92 - Midori Hirano

 
Isolatedmix92.png

Born in Kyoto, Japan and now residing in Berlin, Midori Hirano’s discography has spanned a wide spectrum of experimental electronic music. From her 2016 album on the esteemed Sonic Pieces, to her latest praised work on Australian label Daisart and her beautiful extended piece for the Longform Editions series, Midori’s work is often recognizable when in play due to her manipulation of the piano.

A talented player from a young age, Midori’s work revolves around these classical elements, often told through soft pieces, with added electronic processing and field recordings. The result draws you in through attachment, as differentiating layers and effects change productions from a simple modern classical score, to an engaging experimental piece. Think Steve Reich, or other minimalist innovators, and you’ll enjoy Midori’s experimentations.

For any electronica fans, take Midori’s work as MimiCof however, and these minimalist productions take on new rhythmic layers, often finding themselves in an even more electronic guise, sitting alongside the finest moments of labels like City Centre Offices and Morr Music, the melodies of a Lusine and the classical manipulation and experimentation of a Ryuichi Sakamoto. A high bar by all accounts, but evident in the pieces captured below, where the extremes of this sound have seen Midori’s most energetic piece to date, Moon Synch, expand with rich experimentations originating from the Buchla synthesizer.

Not only is Midori pushing the boundaries of electronic music as her own name and as MimiCof, Midori has recently signed with Erased Tapes Music, and has contributed remixes for the likes of Sonae, Kid 606 and Liars. And of course, the talent doesn’t stop there - Midori has also helped provide some photography for Christian Kleine’s ASIP release, taking pictures of her newly adopted home in Berlin.

But, back to what you’re here for, the music, and here’s what Midori had to say about her isolatedmix which combines the art evident across both her monikers with recent experimental pioneers that stay true to her sound:

“This mix consists of recent favourite tracks of mine including two of my own songs. A few tracks have voices or field recordings which I often like to use also for my music, as I often want to have a kind of feeling of watching films every time I make a mix. It puts me into a place isolated from a world while I’m listening to it for myself” - MH

Download

Tracklist:

01. Tujiko Noriko - Ride
02. Senking - Ep 4
03. Félicia Atkinson - Valis
04. alva noto + ryuichi sakamoto with ensemble modern - Broken Line
05. MimiCof - Opal
06. Eli Keszler - The Immense Endless Belt Of Faces
07. Caterina Barbieri - Fantas
08. Driftmachine - Shift II
09. Ornate Coldtrain - Powerful Myth
10. Uguisubari - Nanzen-Ji
11. Mark Pritchard - The Blinds Cage (feat. Beans)
12. Amnesia Scanner & Bill Kouligas - II
13. Midori Hirano - Haiyuki
14. Jim O’Rourke - And a 1, 2, 3, 4
15. Yair Elazar Glotman & Mats Erlandsson - Format And Formalize Desire
16. Robert Lippok - Samtal

Midori Hirano / MimiCof | Website | Bandcamp | Soundcloud |

 

Now Available: 36 / Fade To Grey (Reinterpreted)

 
Stacked2.jpg

36’s cyberpunk-inspired album Fade To Grey is given a deeper, more ambient-leaning reinterpretation. Designed to be listened to as a continuous mix, 36 draws out the rich layers and distant samples into long-form versions of the original dystopian Fade To Grey story.

This was previously only available as a bonus CD with the main Fade To Grey LP, but we have now made limited CD copies available along with the full digital release.

Available on Bandcamp.

 

Portals: The Newer Age

NewerAge.png

You thought you knew New Age until you knew a Newer Age.

It’s evidently hard to qualify New Age Music. A search online brings up some recent journalism obsessing over its hip resurgence but it’s rare to find anything other than some top records and rough history. As with all Portal’s features, I try to find a slightly new angle.

Depending on whether you’re speaking to someone who likes New Age or not, will normally get you very different answers on what it is. Ambient musicians normally hate to be coined as New Age (just ask Eno or Budd), Record shops will often categorize New Age alongside ambient (some may have their own ’Shadowfax'-heavy section) and at the very least you’ll find them all in the bargain bins (other than Portland stores it seems - a revered genre going by my last visit).

I sold and stocked ASIP catalog in a shop once (not to be named) on the basis the guy who owned it thought they were all New Age. He even went on to tell prospective customers it was New Age. I couldn’t really argue with him to say why it was or was not, or that it was ambient, or similar, because in his head it all lived under the same umbrella.

Fact Mag captured this conundrum earlier this year;-

"New age music remains misunderstood because new age isn’t a style or a sound but a sensibility; an exceptionally soupy, psychedelic one, at that. Contemporary listeners tend to conflate new age with ambient but their overlap is inconsistent: though much new age music exudes ambient qualities, the reverse is less often the case. In fact, over the years many prominent artists of the movement have rejected association with new age and its trappings, as it’s widely considered to be the domain of quacks and charlatans.” - Britt Brown / Fact Mag.

What I ended up within this Portals feature, is an interpretation of New Age as told through some recent releases, which might not be placed in the New Age bucket when on their own, alongside more immediate/classic-sounding New Age elements.

I am not a big New Age fan if I reflect on records previously identified under the genre, but I asked myself what would happen if I took the stereotypical elements of this style (hopeful, optimistic, uplifting music, religious connotations, enlightenment, spoken word, early synthesizers, the sound of the sea, forest etc etc) and applied it to music I listen to often today?

I gave myself the challenge and followed the flow of the mix not knowing where it would end up. As a genre, New Age seems loose and subjective, but as a theme that traces back to the origins of the name, I think the mix holds-up through the many styles and characteristics that are included across the ~90 mins. Perhaps proving (to me and my own silly challenge at least) that New Age isn’t always a style or genre that can be described or pinned down to a type of music, but more a feeling that’s still evident in music today.

"The phrase itself, of course, is old, invoked over centuries by various mystics and spiritual leaders to refer to an impending, ill-defined future era of enlightenment as a means of instilling hope in their congregation” - Britt Brown / Fact Mag.

Who am I to tell the owner of the record shop that ASIP releases aren’t New Age if he sees hope and new worlds in them…?! I’ll settle for that.

With this approach of not confining New Age to specific tracks, I’m holding off on the track list for now, until some time has passed for you to dive in and take it as a whole. I’ll add the full track list here soon.

Until then, see you in the next life.

 
 

Download MP3

Tracklist:

  1. Nozomu Matsumoto - Climatotherapy (The Death of Rave)

  2. Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith - I Am A Thought (Western Vinyl)

  3. Khotin - Dwellberry (Ghostly International)

  4. Imaginary Softwoods - Albion (Field Records)

  5. Akis - New Age Uprising (Part I) (Into The Light)

  6. Martin Glass - Floating To Work (Kit Records)

  7. Ex-Terrestrial - Dreams of Jupiter (1080p)

  8. Graintable - Amarps (Ransom Note)

  9. Varg - Archive 1 “Spit Sugar Free Red Bull Into My Mouth” (Posh Isolation)

  10. Suzanne Ciani - Quadrophonic Part 1 (Atmospheric)

  11. Felicia Atkinson - Vermillions (Shelter Press)

  12. Heavenly Music Corporation - Reentry (Astral Industries)

  13. Eternell - Dancing With Wind (Eternell)

  14. Martin Glass - Welcome to the Four Seasons (Kit Records)

  15. Wanderwelle - Her Name Is Vairumati (Silent Season)

  16. Mark Peters - Twenty Bridges (Andi Otto Remix) (Sonic Cathedral)

  17. Seahawks - Emergence (Cascine)

  18. Dagerlöff - From The Womb To The Tomb (Tigersushi)

  19. Ana Caprix - Terminal (Self Released)

  20. CFCF - Closed Space (Single edit) (BGM Solutions)

  21. DJ Healer - Protectionspell (All Possible Worlds)

  22. Datasette - 65536 KiloEnyas (Self Released)

  23. Jesse Somfay - Levamentum [Aqua Regia] (Tipping Hand)

  24. Parks - Forest (Self Released)

  25. Procedamus In Pace (Paschale Mysterium)

  26. Kettel & Secede - Admittance (Sending Orbs)

  27. Tongues Of Light - Awakening Side (Pre-Cert Home Entertainment)

 
 

Now available: Comit / Remote Viewing

 

We’re extremely pleased for this one to see the light of day. After hearing James’ music as Comit back in 2016, it was refreshing to hear such a new take on what was previously called “IDM”. Done in a style that only someone like James could achieve he brings a clean, break-beat, heavily melodic approach to the “intelligent” side of electronic music, without using the typical tropes of yester-year.

Given the early inspirations for this sound, we enlisted the man behind many of City Centre Offices releases to master the record, Andreas ‘Loop-O’ Lubich and of course some stunning artwork by our regular contributor Noah M / Keep Adding. One detail, I myself got to provide the original photograph for this record which Noah manipulated to what you see today. It was a shot taken in Tokyo of the neon lights, and I’m sure you can guess where.

Lastly, a big thank you to Heath Looney who helped birth this project for James and had our support in bringing it to life on ASIP.

Remote Viewing is now available with all information, links to buy and listen on the release page.

 

Introducing 9128.live - 24-7 streaming

 
9128_LIVE_AQUA_1000.jpg

I’ve been going back and forth for a while now on how to better present the catalog of ASIP releases. A few things encouraged me to start 9128.

Soundcloud has really slowed down over the years and as everyone knows it’s a struggling platform overall. I considered using Mixcloud’s new premium levels (with paywalls) to help provide new and exclusive music but now they’re starting to implement even more restrictions on listeners. I’ve used Mixlr to live stream exclusive sets which was actually really great, but it was such an effort to bring everyone into one place all the time to listen.

This often all came together OK when presenting ASIP music and mixes, but I recently found myself as a listener, wanting to have a resource where I didn’t have to choose. Just with those platforms above I’m going to three different places all the time, not even considering Bandcamp or streaming platforms. My world is becoming a little bit overwhelming when balancing how and what I listen to. I’m not complaining - there can never be too much music - but there’s a dedicated time when I sit down and play a record, and then there’s convenience time when I would just like to tune in to something I know I will like - a soundtrack for my daily life.

Many may suggest streaming platforms and playlists at this point. But I don’t want adverts, paywalls (if you don’t want adverts), playlists curated by anonymous ‘editors’, fake artists, and the desire to keep things updated all the time. And again, there’s still the choice of what playlist to choose and when.

So create a new channel? At first it didn’t necessarily make sense given the many options I just described, but it turns out it’s the characteristics of radio that I’ve been longing for as a listener. Putting aside want I wanted or what I felt was working as a label; as a music listener, I wanted something new.

~

Easy to access. No logins, no paywalls. Available here on a normal website, on a dedicated URL or within other services or apps that might make things that bit more convenient.

Always on. I’ve been wanting music in the background, without having to worry about what’s playing or when it ends. It was awesome listening to the Warp/NTS broadcast last month and dipping in and out as time allowed. Hearing new music and NOT knowing what was playing-imagine that! I enjoyed that experience and always have. On top of all that, I’ve been waking up in the middle of the night and not wanting to scroll through my phone deciding on what to play, I just wanted to hit play, and go back to sleep.

Self-serving. We’ve all gone through a period of ‘loaning’ out how we communicate with listeners and now it’s swinging back around. The days of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Soundcloud etc are becoming frustrating to say the least, unless you’re paying. Mixcloud even as of this week. Time to create something we own again.

Selfishly, yes, I hope that the radio station brings more people back to our website, sign-ups for our emails and supports more artists directly on Bandcamp, spending less time in the cluttered world of social media and streaming playlists.

New ways of presenting music. 9128 will play music from our catalog and friends of ASIP - labels and artists. We’re excited to bring new listening experiences such as dedicated shows, album premieres, themed slots, artist and label showcases and more…

~

So we’re here.

9128 has been created as a newly curated destination to showcase friends, artists and labels within the ambient and electronic music community - a collective of likeminded music.

Our goal is to have a 100% label and artist curated schedule and our regular programming will revolve around music from everyone involved, alongside scheduled shows from our Partners.

Programming will be fluid, often random, and curated to ensure a new listening experience with every visit.

Partner shows: We are partnering with friends and likeminded labels to create purposeful listening moments. Partners will have a time where you can tune in for the latest curation by said Partner, but that curation may be different from one show to the next and the slot may change from week to week. At launch, we have some great Partners involved, including Archives / Faint, Astral Industries, Auxiliary, Field Records, Hypnus, Past Inside The Present, Silent Season and The Thesis Project alongside many individual artists contributing their select releases and unreleased music. You can read more about the Partners here, and we will soon be adding details on all the individual artists involved.

Regular 9128 programing: Surrounding the Partner shows will be regular 9128 programing curated by ASIP. 9128 Programing will be less defined and will be a mix of all music from the ASIP Label and Partners involved. It will also include album premieres, label-specific mixes and unreleased/exclusive music. But, we' won’t be overly-promoting all this on social media - it will happen randomly, should you wish to tune in and find it.

Details:

  • We don’t have specific limitations on what music we play. We curate from a label / artist level. Generally the music featured on 9128 aligns to the ASIP aesthetic, and will include a spectrum of ambient, drone, field-recordings, experimental, soundtrack, modern classical, electronica/IDM and deep techno.

  • The music featured is played under permission or owned by said artists, Partners or ASIP.

  • The stream is currently offered at 192kbps. We will continue to review this based on listeners and bandwidth.

  • We encourage you to connect to the stream using WiFi, especially on mobile, to avoid high data usage.

  • The stream has built in security measures to stop and discourage “stream rippers”. Please respect the artists and music played for your enjoyment.

  • If you like what you hear, we encourage you to support the artists and Partners on Bandcamp, with links available on the Partners page.

  • The stream is available on the dedicated website, as an iOS app, as an Android app, and an Alexa skill.

If by Eno’s definition, ambient music was mean’t to be heard in the background, then we hope this is the best background music you could ask for.

Thanks for tuning in!

~

Oh, and you know how much we love some merch, so grab a tee if you want to help us spread the word as we launch, and look great at the same time. Available on Everpress for the next 21 days only.

IMG_0288.PNG
IMG_0287.PNG