ASC

isolatedmix 80 - Roel Funcken

 
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Roel Funcken is well known around these parts; playing an engaging role in our small online ambient community and amassing a respectful following for his output. Whether through his unique IDM releases (read about one we covered a few years back, or a recent favorite of mine here) or even some of his epic ambient and electronica mixes, he's always been one to spend his time pushing the electronic sound forward.

Just this past month, Roel decided to combine a few of these aspects and bring together some of his close community for a worthwhile charitable release. With the help of the esteemed charity collective, Touched Music, "Dear of the Yog" was released to help raise funds for as the name might suggest; a charity that aims to improve the welfare of dogs and cats in Asia. Roel has brought together some of our favorite artists to take on some of his own productions, including Lusine, Martin Nonstatic, Illuvia (Purl), Kettel, and Ochre, whilst also providing a fine bunch of remixes himself. 

If you're familiar with some of Roel's previous ambient-oriented mixes, you'll know he tends to err of the side of 'epic' when it comes to duration. Take a few of his contributions over on Headphone Commute for example. Whilst his isolatedmix isn't quite a six-part series in a similar manner to his Isotope Cobalt project, we still have a trademark journey on our hands reaching nearly 2-hours in length and featuring a wide range of influences, from the deep worlds of ASC, Abul Mogard and Deru, to the light touches of Nest, Purl and Marcus Fischer and the metallic electronics of Ital Tek and Lorn. 

Roel demonstrates a unique ability to effortlessly match tone and texture whilst keeping every twist and turn interesting through many evolving through styles. 

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Artist/Track/Release

01. Marcus Fischer & Simon Scott - Thorns (Shape Memory)
02. Toàn - Unsolved (Histós Lusis)
03. Pepo Galan & Max Würden - All Of A Sudden (All Of A Sudden)
04. Deru - 1979 (On a Snowy February Day) (1979: Remixed)
05. Solo Andata - Loom (Solo Andata)
06. Roel Funcken - Android Robson (Ochre rmx) (Dear of the Yog)
07. Rival Consoles - Be Kind (Persona)
08. ASC - Quaoar (Trans-Neptunian Objects)
09. Huerco S - A Sea Of Love  (For Those Of You Who Have Never...)
10. Julien Neto - III (Le Fumeur de Ciel)
11. Clark - Oaklands  (Clarence Park)
12. Autechre - Altibzz (Quaristice)
13. Nest - Charlotte (Retold)
14. Lorn  - SPINNING IN A DREAM (A/D)
15. Rival Consoles - Memory Arc (Persona)
16. Abul Mogard - The Purpose Of Peace (Abul Mogard)
17. Woulg - Ocean (Thin Veil)
18. Kane Ikin - The Violent Silence (Sublunar)
19. r beny - cities sleep like seeds  (cascade symmetry)
20. Legiac - Bycam Fosfane2  (The Voynich Manuscript)
21. Roel Funcken -Pead Bandorum (Kettel rmx) (Dear of the Yog)
22. Purl - Montauk (Evighet)
23. Ital Tek  - Reflection Through Destruction (Hollowed)
24. Roel Funcken - Spawkings (Martin Nonstatic rmx) (Dear of the Yog)
25. Sofus Forsberg - App lol (Udefra)
26. Boards of Canada - Nothing Is Real  (Tomorrow's Harvest)
27. Lorn - Mercy (Ask The Dust)
28. Arovane - ambelio (Atol Scrap)

Roel Funcken Web | Bandcamp | Soundcloud | Facebook

Imagery by Antonie Rault, Hao Wang & Rene Bohmer - edited by ASIP. 

 

ASIP - Reflection on 2017

 
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2017 was undoubtedly a year for many of us turning to a softer, more comforting style of music to help heal and escape the real world. Many of you reading this probably use the type of music covered here on ASIP as a remedy and form of escapism, and some may just be getting acquainted. Now more than ever, I feel like people are connecting with ambient music, and I see it in the comments, feedback, support and thoughts that accompany each release, friends releases, mixes etc, and and in the growing popularity of the genre in the wider-music spectrum. 

We’ve managed to present three vinyl releases this year, and I'm extremely proud of each one. Starting with the organic calming of Lav & Purl'sA State Of Becoming; we then went denser and deeper with Leandro Fresco & Rafael Anton Irisarri'sLa Equidistancia. In August, Arovane & Hior Chronik returned for their second album, Into my own. And in the middle of all of this, we experienced the worst possible outcome with our vinyl production (as did many others), but that was put into balance with your amazing support and kind donations for La Espera; the companion EP by Leandro and Rafael, which helped raise funds and get us back on track to continue with a new press (more to come on that one soon, along with news on the vinyl for La Equidistancia).

We're already looking forward to 2018's releases, with the announcement of Christian Kleine's upcoming album in January. But before we get ahead of ourselves, it's time to look back at all the music that kept the inspiration high and the mind elsewhere over the last year...

Here's a breathless-quick rundown on what’s included...

~

Young composer, Sophia Jani opens up our mix; Kai Schumacher reimagines a Moderat favorite; and South Africa's Jason Van Wyk finds the magical atmospheric piano balance on his Home Normal release. Leandro Fresco pairs up with Kompakt companion Thore Pfeiffer (who also just dropped a new album with Max Wurden); whilst Warmth is back on the year-end list with another pure blanket of warm ambience. I watched Earthen Sea play live in a church this year, and his Silent Season anniversary release was one of the best of a brilliant bunch from the label. ASC strayed away from his Silent Season ambient home to put out a deep-cut on his own label Auxiliary. The powerful, heart-pulls of Black Swan, 36 and Secret Pyramid were some of my favorite tear-jerkers of the year, whilst Rafael Anton Irisarri's political masterpiece on Umor Rex took our emotions to the next level. Noveller moved to LA recently, which might've  inspired one of my favorites of hers in a long time. Ryuichi Sakamoto returned with a twisted and interesting set of compositions, whilst PAN released an intriguing dig through relatively new and unheard ambient artists on their highly regarded compilation, Mono No Aware. Field Records and Acronym are no strangers to us individually, but their combined output was undoubtedly one of this years best pieces of ambient music. The one sweeping piece of ambient from nthng’s original and innovative techno record makes the cut, triggering some deepness from Luigi Tozzi in a rare ambient remix- a break from his bubbling techno on the high-flying Hypnus label. Wanderwelle landed strong with one of the most innovative dub-techno records we've heard in a very long time, whilst my fandom for Alexsi Perälä went up a notch, via his relentless Colundi Sequence compositions. We get deeper with Primal Code (Hypnus with another great release) and then Artefakt pull out the swirling, progressive techno-stomp and another must-own album. Joachim Spieth finally unveils a full-length album spanning ambient and techno- one of the only people who could strike this balance so well. Loess is another big return for 2017 with their signature deep and unique glitches, and Purl continues his many guises with one of this years most original pieces under his Illuvia moniker. Speaking of originality, no-one comes close to the bvdub style, but again he manages to surprise and delight. Loscil pairs with Mark Bridges as High Plains in their brooding instrumental piece, which is followed by our very own modern-classical prodigy Hior Chronik and his debut album on 7K!. Ghostly's, Christoper Willits scores a film on The Art Of Listening with some beautiful textures and Leyland Kirby scored a lifetime of mental degradation this year with his Caretaker series, but chose to release some of his best stuff for free. Hammock and Billow Observatory were once again on point to soothe with their dreamy lulls and enchanting melodies. The Thesis Project continued to present unique collaborations with Anna Rose Carter and Dag Rosenqvist just one of the many standouts from the series. The Susumu Yokota stylings of Poppy Ackroyd, are followed by the now legendary sounds of Four Tet. And with one of my most anticipated returns in a while, The Gentleman Losers begin to end proceedings with their Air/Bibio/Quiet Village dreaminess. And finally, the curtain closer coming from the biggest return of the year, Slowdive.

~

Despite a hefty 36 tracks, and 2hr 42mins total,  I've still left-out a bunch of my favorite releases of the year from this mix. But, I let the flow of the mix dictate what is included whilst pulling from my whittled-down playlist from the past year. It's restrictive whilst also liberating doing it this way, as putting together lists is a near impossible task for me. This method forces my hand, whilst also presenting something a little different to the normal year-end lists. 

To all those artists I’ve missed out, keep doing what you’re doing, we’re still listening. If you need to see more of the music I've been enjoying, well, this blog is of course a good place to start, as well as everything I've purchased and supported on Bandcamp, shown in my Fan Collection (go Bandcamp!).

Thank you to all the artists and labels featured, and a big thank you to everyone for continuing to support ASIP this year, buy our records and listen to the music featured on the blog and the label.  Next year will be ten years since the very first ASIP blog post, so we’ll be celebrating with some very special projects.

Until then, enjoy a look back at 2017...

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Stream tracklist (Spotify/Apple Music). (Not all tracks included)

Tracklist [label & link to buy] (ASIP links) rough start time.

01. Sophia Jani - Those Who Stay [Unreleased / Soundcloud] 00.00>
02. Kai Schumacher - A New Error [Neue Meister] 04.04>
03. Jason Van Wyk - Clouds [Home Normal] (Review) 07.55>
04. Fresco & Pfeiffer - Splinter [Kompakt] (Review) 10.16>
05. Warmth - Isolation [Archives] (isolatedmix) 14.00>
06. Earthen Sea - The Time Past [Silent Season] 17.50>
07. ASC - Quaoar [Auxiliary] (ASC isolatedmix) (Review) 22.22>
08. Black Swan - The Escapist [Self] 27.06>
09. Secret Pyramid - Two Shadows [Ba Da Bing!] (isolatedmix) 30.48>
10. 36 - Black Soma [Self] (artist page) (isolatedmix) 34.30>
11. Rafael Anton Irisarri - RH Negative [Umor Rex] (artist page) 39.34>
12. Noveller - The Unveiling [Fire Records] 43.40>
13. Ryuichi Sakamoto - honj [Milan Records] 46.30>
14. Malibu - Held [PAN] 48.30>
15. Acronym - The Final Decision [Field Records] (Review) 49.32>
16. nthng - Touches [Lobster Theremin] 55.34>
17. Luigi Tozzi - Yavin (Ambient remix) [Hypnus] 60.42>
18. Wanderwelle - The Starry Night [Silent Season] (isolatedmix) 63.28>
19. Aleksi Perälä - NLL561606935 [Clone Basement Series] 68.36>
20. Primal Code - Junkan [Hypnus] 71.47>
21. Artefakt - Entering The City [Delsin] 77.58>
22. Joachim Spieth - Radiance [Affin] (isolatedmix) 88.17>
23. Loess - Wrikken [n5MD] (Review) (isolatedmix) 94.02>
24. Illuvia - Illuvia (Exaltation) [Eternell] (Review) 99.00>
25. bvdub - Limitless [n5MD] (interview) (isolatedmix) 108.18>
26. High Plains - Ten Sleep [Kranky] (isolatedmix) 113.42>
27. Hior Chronik - That Mistery Again [7K!] (artist page) (isolatedmix) 116.30>
28. Christopher Willits - Beginning [Ghostly] 118.52>
29. Leyland Kirby - Dig Deep March On [History Always Favours The Winners] 122.12>
30. Hammock - Dust Swirling Into Your Shape [Hammock music] 127.04>
31. Billow Observatory - Montclair [Azure Vista] (Review) (isolatedmix) 130.00>
32. Anna Rose Carter & Dag Rosenqvist - Nothing Ever [Thesis] (Feature) 133.26>
33. Poppy Ackroyd - The Calm Before [One Little Indian] 137.50>
34. Four Tet - You Are Loved [Text Records] 143.38>
35. The Gentleman Losers - Holding Back The Night [Grainy Records] 149.30>
36. Slowdive - Falling Ashes [Dead Oceans] 154.24>

 

ASC - Trans​-​Neptunian Objects

 

Despite his relentless, high quality output, I haven't done a good job featuring James Clements' music here on ASIP. Sure, he's contributed a great isolatedmix, given us a sneak peak into his Wantlist, and had tracks included in many of our year-end mixes, but I haven't previously singled-out any of his immense ambient full-lengths.

Thinking about why this may be (apart from the fact there's hundreds of releases I will never get around to writing about), I find James' ambient productions hard to write about. Hard to do justice, really. Ironically, describing why it's hard to write about probably does a pretty good job at, well, writing about it. 

ASC's ambient productions have a tell-tale depth and atmosphere to them. There's no doubt a significant amount of influence and inspiration comes from space themes, perhaps harking back to his original Deep Space ambient mix series. But just like the unknown detail amongst the void, James' music comes to life through the minutia, the subtle maneuvers amongst an often ominous density that I've only known the likes of BiosphereWolfgang Voigt, and Markus Guentner to perfect. 

ASC's latest release, his first ambient output on his own Auxiliary label after a string of amazing albums on Silent Season, once again highlights his amazing ear for detail. Trans-Neptunian Objects takes you to an unknown place, toying with sonic frequencies, depicting the drama you'd expect from shadows of rocky behemoths, and the overall feeling of insignificance. 

James is also excelling in soundtrack work, (take his Bottom Of The World OST) which probably means the vivid ideas of far-reached planets and asteroid belts that he conjures up here, either borrow from, or help inform the mindset needed for deeper visual storytelling. 

But without calling it a soundtrack, Trans-Neptunian Objects is as close as you'll come to the stories, adventure and the unknown far-side of the Galaxy.

Available on Bandcamp.

 

ASIP - Formation

 

Mixes coming like buses from Camp ASIP!

This mix was originally put together for the Mysteries of the Deep podcast, but I decided on another route in the end. I can't let this one deteriorate on my hard drive though, so here we go! More techno focused, with many of my favorite releases of 2017 so far making an appearance that deserved to be heard. 

Tracklist:

01. Gonzalo F Cardoso - A Study Into 21st Century Drone Acoustics [Discrepant]
02. nthng - Touches [Lobster Theremin
03. Arovane - III_I [Éter Editions]
04. 36 - Further Room 4 [A Strangely Isolated Place]
05. Acronym - Final Descent [Auxiliary
06. ASC - Come To Ruin [Silent Season]
07. SVLBRD - Hvit [Faint
08. Claudio PRC - Plantae [TGP
09. Luigi Tozzi - Wadjet (Wa Wu We’s 4th Dimension) [Hypnus Records]
10. Artefakt - Entering The City [Delsin
11. Mind Over Midi - Soft Science [Rohs!
12. Steve Good - Mercury [MFYL]
13. Ishq - Knul […txt] + Tongues Of Light - Healing [Pre-cert]
14. Loess - Wrikken [n5MD]
15. Aukai - Snow Works (Abul Mogard Rework) [Self released]
16. Sebastian Paul - Zen Temple [Dewtone]

 

ASIP Wantlist #5 ASC (James Clements)

 

Not only do we know James Clements as the man behind one of the best ambient albums of last year (No Stars Without Darkness), or one of our favorite electronica EP's in the form a new alias as Comit, or as a pioneer of the 'autonomic sound'... or as label boss of one of the most forward thinking labels out there - Auxiliary. But we also know him as a vinyl obsessive, part-proven by his meticulous and beautiful presses on Auxiliary and other labels lucky enough to get his music on board (take the X3LP Imagine The Future or his black and green colored EP with Ulrich Schnauss - just two examples of his labor of love). 

With both an amazing musical background spanning everything from drum'n bass to techno and ambient, alongside a pure love of the format, we were always going to enjoy knowing what lay deep within the crate digging dreams of ASC...

1. Sandwell District - Feed Forward [Discogs]

I had it in my cart on Juno and for some unknown reason, I didn't complete the order.  I recall that I'd forgotten about it, and a few days later I returned to see it had sold out. I started to search all over the net for a copy and couldn't find any left.  Of course, it's pretty much folk lore what sort of prices it goes for used, although that's also down to Discogs listing price suggestions, which help to inflate the price of a used record.  All it takes is one person to buy it at a high price and then the median increases, Discogs suggests a higher listing price and the trend continues. I suppose from a business point of view, it makes good sense, but from a consumer point of view, it's fucking annoying. Rumor has it that it wasn't pressed in high numbers either, which makes it all the more annoying that I missed out. C'est la vie.

2. Lee & Tango/Lee & Gwange - Legendary Volume Three [Discogs]

I had this record in my collection at one point, but when I moved to the US from England and shipped my vinyl over, I couldn't find this. Both sides are absolutely essential pieces of music to me. Growing up on hardcore, drum & bass, early jungle etc, this record is the epitome of everything I loved about that era. One side is some dark menacing jungle-tekno and the flip is a serene piece of atmospheric drum & bass, much in the vein of the stuff LTJ Bukem was starting to push in the early 90's. I tend to set myself a limit of what I'd pay per record these days, but for stuff I've already owned and lost, it pains me to have to buy it again!

3. Convextion - Venus In Spurs [Discogs]

Another amazing record that I missed out on, although no stories of near misses on this one - just me sleeping on Convextion. I only got into his music after hearing his debut album in 2006, and by that time, this release was already 6 years old. Two gorgeous pieces of music here, especially the b-side, Crawling and Hungry. This is one of those records I dream of getting lucky with while checking out some random record store in some city around the world, although I'm not holding my breath on it happening! 

4. Ostia - Clamp EP [Discogs]

I have a fascination with Iesope Drift's stuff. Some of the rhythmic creativity shown in their work was absolutely light years ahead of its time. This one is an obscure 12" from their Seico Corp sub label and the only release they did under this guise I think. Fortunately, 2 of the 3 tracks here were reissued on a vinyl release earlier this year, that kinda came out of the blue. I still want the original 12" though, as I'm just like that :)

5. No Artist - Two On One [Discogs]

Bit of a strange one here, as there's no music on this piece of vinyl at all. This was a picture disc used as promo for Moving Shadow's Two On One series back in 1994. It features the super cool Moving Shadow World Domination logo on one side and the flip gives information about the upcoming series. I've always wanted a copy anyway, mainly as something to display in a frame on my studio wall. Perhaps I'll buy one at some point :)