Brambles

isolatedmix 69 - Bersarin Quartett

 

One of the joys of being nearly 70 mixes into the isolatedmix series, is reflecting upon the many styles of mixes that artists have contributed. Straight-up playlist style curations, conceptual approaches, perfectly key-matched transitions, DJ mixes, genre or style showcases, or in the following instance, extensive, thoughtful journeys into a wide spectrum of influences.

Thomas Bücker aka Bersarin Quartett is likely a recognizable name to anyone who has dipped their toe into the modern classical world. Releasing primarily on the impeccable Denovali Records, his output has been modest, and yet extremely well respected under the Bersarin Quartett name, with many years of production prior under different names such as Jean Michel (if you choose to dig deeper).

His most infamous piece to date however, is undoubtedly his self-titled album released on German label, Lidar. Drawing comparisons with pretty much every beloved modern, neo, classical and ambient producer of our age in some shape or form with any review written so far, it's hard not to enjoy Thomas' approach. From downtempo, and jazz infused constructions, to experimental drone infused pieces, cinematic scores, and more intelligent electronic programming, Thomas has expressed himself through every potential connotation of ambient music across his modest catalog over the past few years. 

Originally aired earlier this year on Barfly Radio, Thomas' mix was deserved of another platform given its carefully considered track listing, slowly shifting sections and unearthing of many beautiful pieces. I had to bring it to a wider audience. Clocking in at 2-hours long, this is one of those life-affirming mixes - the kind of mix you remember exactly what you was doing when you first heard it, and the kind of journey any potential mix-curator longs to put together. 

We spoke as Thomas prepared for two upcoming festival dates (June 2nd, Bielefeld, Germany, and July 6th, Tolmin, Sajeta Festival, Slovenia) and he had this short and sweet intro to the mix:

"Hi, I´m Thomas from the Bersarin Quartett, and I´m glad to share with you a new mixtape at this beautiful strangely isolated place. This mix takes 2 hours and it contains some of my favorite film scores and other cinematic tracks I like a lot at the moment. So turn off the lights, take a deep breath and enjoy the ride ... "

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Tracklist

00:00:00 : Rupert Gregson-Williams -- Duck Shoot
00:03:56 : Brambles -- Pink and Golden Billows
00:06:15 : Donato Dozzy -- Vaporware 1
00:06:32 : Alexandre Desplat -- Girl With A Pearl Earring
00:08:39 : Deepchord presents Echospace -- Untitled 12
00:09:17 : Hans Zimmer & James Newton Howard -- A Little Push
00:11:24 : Andrea Belfi -- Roteano
00:18:54 : Cliff Martinez -- Death Shall Have No Dominion
00:19:48 : James Ginzburg & Yair Elizar Glotman -- Nimbes (Eric Holm's 1050 mix)
00:20:21 : Jóhann Jóhannsson -- Arrival
00:22:35 : Mica Levi -- Lipstick to Void
00:24:39 : Neel -- Storm in Stickney
00:27:18 : Akkord -- Greyscale
00:30:22 : Ancestral Voices -- Night of Visions [Snippet]
00:31:46 : Asche & Spencer -- Opening Title
00:34:12 : Deepchord presents Echospace -- Untitled 6
00:35:26 : New Rome -- Venus
00:38:02 : Rupert Gregson-Williams -- Dressing Down
00:40:51 : Rachel's -- A French Galleasse
00:46:52 : Lawrence English -- Forgiving Noir
00:49:30 : Mychael Danna -- The First Time
00:49:54 : Tropic of Cancer -- Stop Suffering
00:53:52 : Curter Burwell -- Canada
00:55:33 : Bohren & der Club of Gore -- Mitleid Lady
01:01:12 : Bersarin Quartett -- Die Nächte sind erfüllt von Maskenfesten
01:05:55 : Om Unit -- Le Singe
01:10:06 : Deepchord presents Echospace -- Untitled 5
01:12:05 : Voices from The Lake -- Drop 1
01:14:28 : Rachel Grimes -- The Herald
01:18:40 : Tim Hecker -- Radiance
01:20:43 : Antonio Sanchez -- Claustrophobia
01:21:50 : Brambles -- In the Androgynous Dark
01:26:05 : Duane Pitre -- Bridges CupAetherCrane
01:29:47 : Alexei Aigui -- Fall Of The Empire (prologue)
01:31:37 : Pedro Bronfman -- No Amnesty
01:33:08 : Jóhann Jóhannsson -- Hydraulic Lift
01:35:40 : James Newton Howard -- Hole In Shoe
01:37:31 : Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross -- What Have We Done to Each Other
01:39:37 : Shifted -- Untitled - B1
01:41:42 : Radian -- Codes and Sounds
01:44:09 : Asche & Spencer -- You're Real
01:46:10 : Elizabethan Collar -- 06
01:47:34 : Faures -- Orogenic Uplift
01:50:29 : Sophie Hutchings -- Half Hidden
01:52:55 : Tomáš Dvořák -- By The Wall
01:57:12 : Talk Talk -- New Grass
02:00:00 : End

Bersarin Quartett | Web | Facebook | Bandcamp

 

isolatedmix 67 - Mike Cadoo (n5MD)

 
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This one has been a long time coming. Nights in Seattle. Japanese BBQ. Third person twitter conversations. It took some romanticizing, but he gave in. Finally.

If you're an avid ASIP follower over the years, Mike Cadoo will be no stranger. As head honcho of one of our most admired and respected labels out there, n5MD, Mike has presented us with some of the most forward thinking and unique music of recent years. 

n5MD is today's living equivalent of influential labels such as City Centre Offices - (mark my words in a few years to come). Defying all genre norms and carving their own path, n5MD started on a format that was noble and unique (minidisc) and went on to grow, nurture and define some of the most interesting electronic and ambient music associated with the music we love here at ASIP.

Loess. bvdub. Lights Out Asia. port-royalWinterlight. Preghost. OkadaCrisopa. (Ghost). Even names that have graced ASIP, such as Arovane, Dalot and Ex Confusion. The list of artists that Mike has cultivated is, and will go on to be, a big influence on this particular style of music. He'll likely be a little embarrassed at my compliments and superlatives, but that's what he gets for coming out into the ASIP spotlight with a superb mix of music. In many respects, it's like closing a little circle given how much Mike has impacted, aided, advised and inspired ASIP over the years. He was destined to put an isolatedmix together years ago. 

An artist in his own right, most recently as Bitcrush, recently as Dryft (hopefully again soon) and going further back as a member of Gridlock, Mike's musical taste can be traced back to extremes such as doom-metal, with post-rock influences , glitch and electronica gracing his many production guises. (check out his Wantlist) However, his isolatedmix is straight-up ASIP territory. 

Recent and upcoming tracks from dreissk, Leandro Fresco and RAI (thanks Mike) mixed with n5MD stalwarts Ocoeur and bvdub, and classic productions from Brambles, Dustin O'Halloran and Deaf Center, isolatedmix 67 is a classic in every sense - the friend, the label, the choices, and the mix.

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Tracklist:

01. Sarah Davachi – For Piano [Students Of Decay]
02. Belong – Remove the Inside [Carpark]
03. Ocoeur – Time Over (Ocoeur rework) [n5MD]
04. Jon Porras – Pleiades [Thrill Jockey]
05. dreissk – Near the Shore [n5MD]
06. Grasslung – Lay Down In a Ditch [Root Strata]
07. Leandro Fresco & Rafael Anton Irisarri - Bajo un Ocaso Desteñido [ASIP]
08. Moshimoss – Grottuviti [Dynamophone]
09. Brambles – In The Androgynous Dark [Serein]
10. Deaf Center – Lamp Mien [Type]
11. bvdub - Safety In Numbers [Self]
12. Fieldhead – Introductions [Self]
13. Dustin O'Halloran – Snow + Light [130701]

Mike Cadoo | n5MD | Bandcamp | Twitter | Facebook | Soundcloud

 

Serein Presents: Orbital Planes & Passenger Trains Vol. 1

 

Known for bringing us releases by Brambles, Nest and even Hauschka in previous years, the UK label, Serein features a refined output so far, with many of its releases reaching notoriety in the modern-classical side of the ambient world. It's been a notably quiet 2016 for them, but now we know why. 

A new compilation titled Orbital Planes & Passenger Trains, the first in a new series, is billed as your new musical travel companion, presenting work by some of the "finest musical tour guides in the known universe". A quick look at the track list and you'd be hard-pushed to disagree.

Label veterans Brambles, Otto A Totland and Hidden Rivers make an appearance (the latter two forming the duo, Nest) alongside some new label imports in Benoît Pioulard, (listen to his isolatedmix), Silent Season regular Segue, Japan's finest in Ametsub (listen to his isolatedmix), and Dan Abrams, otherwise known as Shuttle 358

The music is as prestigious as you'd hoped given the expertise at hand. Some of the many highlights include Hidden Rivers superb glistening piece of electronica, What's Up G?;  to textured ambient from Donato Wharton and Pioulard; and the label's bread-and-butter modern classical from piano master-mind Otto A Totland. There's also a progression in the enigmatic sound of Brambles, who provides a modern-sounding cinematic score in Petrichor, as does The Balustrade Ensemble, albeit in a more experimental style. 

With Gas like textures and a lull of guitar plucks, offset by a simple piano, Dan Abrams' (Shuttle 358's) track Floating City, is more akin to a Pop Ambient masterpiece than anything you might have heard from him before. Certainly one of the highlights of the compilation and available to stream in full below.

Orbital Planes & Passenger Trains straddles the worlds and styles many of us love, fulfilling its goal of escapism - something I can definitely relate to with regards to the concept of ASIP.  Serein is best known for it's beautiful modern-classical output, yet this compilation seamlessly blends the attentiveness, delicacy and emotion of instrumental pieces, with a progressive electronic sound sprinkled throughout. Without a single weak track throughout, it turns a conventional modern-classical compilation into an accessible and thoroughly enjoyable piece for anyone looking to tune out. Window watch, pay attention to the soft black and white keys, creaking pedals, electronic undertones, field recordings and thought-provoking melodies and say hello to your new travel companion.

Orbital Planes & Passenger Trains will be available August 19th, on Download, CD, Double Vinyl and Limited Screen Print Edition here. There's also a lovely interactive site to explore the music at hand.

Lastly, Serein has been kind enough to offer ASIP readers an exclusive Bandcamp discount. Use "SERASIP15" on checkout for a 15% discount on this release and anything else in the Serein catalogue.

Tracklist:
01. Otto A Totland - Selon
02. Brambles - Petrichor
03. Ametsub - Blue Loop
04. Hidden Rivers - What's Up G?
05. Dan Abrams - Floating City
06. Imprints - Roy
07. Benoît Pioulard - Alogia
08. Strië - 87 Billion Suns
09. Otto A Totland - Storfjord
10. Colorlist - Gone To Ground
11. The Balustrade Ensemble - Teeming
12. Donato Wharton - A Lightless Volume Of Water
13. Yui Onodera & Chihei Hatakeyama - Solaris
14. Segue - Frozen
15. The Inventors Of Aircraft - No Returns
16. Olan Mill ft Isnaj Dui - Zazen

1. Autechre – Amber [Discogs]

While my want-list is not in any specific order I think of this one often when I think of record I truly am looking out for in decent quality at price that is not too over the top. I'm not 100% sure if stock of the repress was lost in the Sony DADC warehouse fire in 2011 as it is "plentiful" on discogs. But the prices for decent quality copies are running in the mid to upper 200s not including shipping. I have special place for this album as it was the only CD I had with me on a west coast tour back in '98. The track Slip being the highlight of the album for me even to this day.

2. Skinny Puppy – Last Rights [Discogs]

I often have heated discussions with Skinny Puppy fans about this album and its predecessor Too Dark Park. I find that Last Rights still holds up to this day where Too Dark Park doesn't (please save your complaints - it's just one person's opinion :P ). I feel Last Rights' more decoupage of sound layering that is barely held together by Oglevie's production gives it a more timeless feel than their other more “fleshed out” efforts.   I have never actually seen an original pressing for sale. While even the 2XLP prepress is going for a decent price when they become available. There is also a Capitol Records version, from Germany I believe, where side A was erroneously pressed with music from a live Poison (yes that Poison) album. Not that I would want that one mind you...

3. Brambles – Charcoal [Discogs]

The LP of Brambles' Charcoal on the Serein imprint was crowd funded back in mid 2014. I completely missed out on it as I didn't even know that there was a crowd funding campaign for a vinyl version. Charcoal is very personal listening and there is no better format for heartfelt electro-acoustic ambient music than vinyl in my opinion. I find this release to be very similar in tone and mood to Last Days or Helios whom in addition to Brambles, I often immerse myself in. While the prices for these aren't as astronomical as some of the others on this list, it might not be as out of reach as I originally thought...

4. Swans – Cop [Discogs]

Showing my age? Well, so what... :) this is a record that I've wanted for quite a long time. There was a time when releases from Neubauten and Swans were played so much in my youth the neighbors I'm sure were wondering what the hell was wrong with me. Cop and the other Swans EP at the time, Young God, were so damn bleak and heavy. Cop was the clear winner in its dystopian weight. There is that heavy double drum stupor of Your Property that still gets my head nodding today. And Gira is so damn mad on this EP. He sounds genuinely fed up with something. Cop even out-weighed most of the metal of that era. While not on this list, I later found similar nihilism in Godflesh's Streetcleaner which I sorta think was the point.

5. God Machine – One Last Laugh In A Place Of Dying [Discogs]

The God Machine were a trio originally from San Diego Calif. They moved across the pond to the UK and then released two albums and a small string of eps on the Fiction label. They made a sort of atmospheric rock-quasi-metal that utilized a decent amount of melancholia and personal introspection. This album is their second and was released after the band had disbanded due to the untimely death, shortly after the album's recording, of their bass player Jimmy Fernandez. It came out in 94' when vinyl was less convenient and the vinyl was fairly limited in release. I did own the CD at one time and I remember that even being hard to come by back in 94.