Evan Caminiti

isolatedmix 85 - r beny

 
Isolatedmix85.png

If like me, you often spend time exploring Bandcamp and the genre charts on the homepage, you’ll likely stumble across one of r beny’s albums. That’s not to say he’s a chart topping superstar (he could be our very own ambient equivalent) but more so that he is the type of artist that once stumbled upon, I’d guess people end up buying his entire catalog. There seems to be a steady stream of support behind his albums of late, and 2018 might have been one of his best years yet, with three albums released on top of his previous, one in 2016 and one in 2017. 2018 could be defined as the year Austin Cairns aka r beny found his stride amongst us lovers of deep, textured and extremely engrossing analog wizardry.

r beny made many of last years best of lists, and depending on which list you read it could’ve been any one of his three 2018 standouts popping up: Saudade, eistla and Reasons To Live (alongside Paperbark) all heralded in some shape or form. Austin’s core approach lies amongst the fascinating world of modulars, which he seems to manipulate so much, you’d be hard pressed to know the warmth and color coming through in his music is made from hard electricity. Instead, the ingredients are often bubbled up through the minute details, the outro maybe, as the fuzz of inputs comes to an end. A true master of analog ambient has that capability - bringing out the most unique and unrecognizable feelings from a piece of equipment that on its own, might sound raw and disjointed.

Eistla album opener, 'in the violet and lingering winter dusk’ followed Abul Mogard in our Reflection on 2018 mix - an initial indicator of where his sound can align to in the spectrum of deep, immersive ambient music. That track is a great example of the type of soaring atmospherics he is capable of, all while retaining a subtle sense of attachment and romanticism that keeps it from entering any dark ambient or straight-up drone territory, and keeps the emotional pull firmly within distance.

For his isolatedmix, Austin has continued this meld of melody, texture and granular detail, and as he best describes below, “Rhythmic pulses… Warm, fuzzy and maybe broken textures”, are the heroes behind the story of some his many recent musical inspirations.

This is a mix for contemplation. For staring at the ceiling and wondering if you should get out of bed today. Also, for cooking? This is music that I feel pushes and pulls, in both sound and emotion. Contemplative, looping melodies that reveal rhythmic pulses. Warm, fuzzy, and maybe broken textures. Music to get lost to.

This is a lot of what I've been listening to this winter. A few all-time favorites (Hecker, Caminiti, Microphones), friends and peers that constantly inspire me (Paperbark, Hainbach), and some recent 2018 favorites (Mary Jane Leach, Leon Vynehall, Skee Mask). This is all music that moves me in some way. 

Download

Tracklist:

01. Mary Jane Leach – Dowland’s Tears
02. múm - Hú Hviss
03. Hainbach – Hands on Ears
04. Ant’lrd – Shoulder Width Apart
05. Mark Templeton – Burning Brush
06. Paperbark – Impulse Toss
07. Leon Vynehall – Ice Cream (Chapter VIII)
08. Microphones – Organs & Pianos from “The Moon”
09. Fieldhead - Northern Canada
10. Huerco S – Skug Commune
11. Vladislav Delay – Ranta
12. Evan Caminiti – Bright Midnight
13. Deru – Midnight in the Garden With Ghosts (Remix)
14. Jasmine Guffond – Degradation Loops #2
15. Thomas Köner – Ruska
16. Skee Mask – Soundboy Ext.
17. Dalhous- Methods of Elan
18. Bell Orchestre – Water / Light / Shifts (Tim Hecker Remix)
19. Sinerider – Walking Home Alone

r beny | Bandcamp | Discogs | Facebook | Twitter

 

Substrata 1.4 in review

 
 

This was my second year in a row making the trip up to Seattle for Rafael Anton Irisarri’s Substrata Festival, but this year, I approached it a little differently. Whereas last time I put together a festival preview and spent time looking into the artists’ involved, last year had afforded me enough trust in what Rafael would curate, and I put my OCD to one side. Apart from Markus Guentner and Mika Vainio, I wasn’t familiar with the other artists set to perform – and I felt pretty good about leaving it that way.

The festival was once again held at the beautiful Chapel Performance Space in the Wallingford District of Seattle, perfect for the hazy Seattle summer evenings and an intimate space for the attendees to immerse themselves in over the next three days.

 
 

Thursday night began with Gregg Kowalsky taking his performance close to the audience and echoing Raf’s purpose for the night: “The composer as both the outrider and map-maker in their simultaneous manifestation and guidance through geographic, abstract, cosmic, oneiric non-place”. Subtle cracks came to life through numerous tapes played back through the mics – a constant puppetry by Greg as he flicked between minimal analog hardware inputs and three portable tape-decks. Short and sweet, I couldn’t help but want more from Gregg’s creaky, intimate sounds.

New York City-based Julia Kent took to the stage and immediately changed the mood in the room. As the sun began to set, Julia settled down bare-footed with her cello and quickly began looping numerous string parts, conjuring up the presence of multiple instruments and compositions depicting the drama and emotion from an epic film. Gently acknowledging the crowds reaction to each short but sweet performance, Julia played through to a dramatic ending and remains one of my favourite acts from the festival.

There are no headliners at Substrata, but Markus Guentner was my biggest anticipation of the week. The ASIP contributor has long been a hero of mine and this was my first time seeing him live. With his modest set-up, including his notorious PC (Markus loves to sign off emails with “sent from a PC”) adorning an ASIP laptop sticker, Markus wasted no time getting stuck in to his beautifully textured Pop-ambient sound, progressing through layers of signature textures and recognisable elements. It was, as expected a pure joy to consume in this environment.

 
 

Friday played host to “the evolving field of electro-acoustic composition in it’s intersection with fringe pop, folk, improvisation and non-rock form” starting with Australian Sanso-Xtro. Her set began with random synth-stabs, never confirming to melody, rhythm or pattern and to be honest, it lost me entirely. But when she picked up her guitar and gently strummed home a repetitive melody peppered with tiny string flicks, (and what i’m sure most people would recognise as great guitar playing), she made amends and I began to enjoy her unorthodox and experimental approach.

Koen Holtkamp followed, sat stern behind his analog equipment to the right-side of the stage. I quickly fell into Koen’s subtle shifts and expansive ambience as he masterfully grew his sound to a cacophony of synths pounding through the speakers from all four corners. By the end of his set I felt like I was sat in the middle of a square room of TV screens, lit with brightly coloured circuit boards. It was a modest yet powerful performance.

Raf’s personal hero Carl Hultgren (from Windy & Carl) closed the Friday evening with an ever expanding wash of shoegaze. It was non-descript, yet perfect – I felt myself nodding off numerous times as he gently caressed his guitar into the ears of an audience lulled into every millimetre his fingers moved across the strings.

If the Saturday night from last-year was anything to go by, it seems like Rafael saves the more epic and immersive characters for the closing night. This was no different, as upon entry, the stage was adorned with hundreds of cables depicting an analog synth heaven- “the night’s performers are all sculptors of ambient sonic narrative created from the colluvium of sound’s rawest materials” and a night in which Raf decided to take up the position behind the mixing board – “Bring earplugs” he said.

 
 

Evan Caminiti stood at the front of the stage emotionless as he took to melding, mixing and plugging his world of wires. His pulsating electronics slowly evolved into beautiful landscapes – a feat I still struggle to understand when there’s no single laptop involved – my lack of understanding of analog hardware showing, but my appreciation for it growing, especially after performances like this.

Mika Vainio - one half of the minimal electronic duo Pan Sonic, upon closing all the blinds and turning off the lights, sat in the middle of the stage with just a single lamp shining on his analog synth set-up. Stern faced, the familiar stabs hit hard and I could tell Raf had raised the levels . Non-confirming yet rhythmic, Mika slowly but surely built his glitchy structures from nothingness into full-on head-ringing bangs of the purest, most appreciated sounds possible from the equipment at hand. A true master of his art, there were five seconds in-between beats at times, and I felt myself itching for it go on one more time, harder, louder and bigger as he aggressively plunged and stabbed synth cables, creating a raw and unforgettable musical experience.

Seattle based Mamiffer took to the stage to close Substrata 1.4 – the only use of the grand piano helmed by Faith Coloccia, with Aaron Turner taking the lead-presence on stage behind the guitar. Dark and intense, drones were soon shattering around the space with the subtle and quaint voice of Faith and her keys tinkering in the background; unplugged from the main output, i’m pretty sure this was on purpose to help create a sense of depth for the audience and to let the power of the guitar shine through.

A continuous piano and melody and a sweet looping voice were a stark contrast to the sheer strength coming from Aaron’s guitar, and whilst the first 10 minutes seemed a little unsettling, the next 15 or so absolutely blew my mind as Aaron slowly progressed his drones from high-pitched streaks into raw, bone-rattling depths of solid colour. The contrast worked beautifully and the progression was timed to perfection – injecting subtle tonal shifts as the piece grew higher, louder and bigger. Mamiffer’s performance was dark and poignant.

As I walked out of the space that night, I didn’t hear anyone say a thing. Nobody needed to talk about how good that was; how much better one artist was over another; or what they were doing next after the show. When you are immersed in the performances you see at Substrata, you are paying witness to music in its purest form – a vision that Raf pays very careful attention to crafting and a vision that has profound effects on those lucky enough to enjoy it in these settings. It’s not about the individual artists, it’s the overall experience you walk away with.