Harold Budd

isolatedmix 82 - Ocoeur

 
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It was 2013 when Franck Zaragoza’s beautiful electronic debut for n5MD grabbed our attention and secured itself as one of the years finest releases. Since then, Franck and his Ocoeur project, has continued on the label with three more albums - his latest, ‘Inner’ landing just last month on gold vinyl.

Looking back at Ocoeur’s evolution on n5MD over the past five years, there’s been a continual shift in approach, perhaps mimicking fast-paced life itself, or simply a natural progression and refinement in Franck’s sound. Whether purposeful or accidental, it’s evident Franck is continually in search of honing and perfecting his sound.

2013’s ‘Light As A Feather’ was, ironically, the deepest of Franck’s productions - rooted in electronica, and containing tracks that wouldn’t have sounded out of place in a dimly lit warehouse party, alongside more refined listening moments that were just a taster of what was to come over the next few years.

‘Reversed’ saw Franck lean further into the instrumental and modern classical side of his productions, with elegant piano and string moments, affirming his place as a master of atmospheres and a dab-hand should a big soundtrack offer come knocking at his door one day.

2018’s ‘Inner’ perhaps, by design and title, is Franck’s most introspective piece, with slow, burning, soaring synths that wouldn’t be out of place on a Blade Runner score, but without the expected assault of Hans-Zimmer-esque synth-splurges. Instead, Franck’s sound comes from the modern classical world in the truest of simple, delicate and sublime senses.

The comparison in five years alone shows how much Franck has to offer within his production arsenal, with each album somehow, succeeding the last.

For his isolatedmix, Franck has leaned on his own productions alongside complimentary inspirations that help portray a dream-like hour of ambience, dotted with highs and lows - demonstrating some of the many emotions Franck has continually painted over the past five years. Without even listening, seeing the likes of Murcof, Rauelsson and Cliff Martinez, alongside Ocoeur’s own productions within the track list should indicate how delicate and considered this mix is.

Download

Tracklist:

01. Zinovia Arvanitidi - Invisible
02. Ocoeur - In The Starlight - Pixys
03. Cliff Martinez - He Had a Good Time
04. Disasterpeace - Formations
05. Jessica Curry - Dear Esther - Always (Hebridean mix)
06. Ocoeur - Unseen
07. SineRider - Alouette
08. Murcof - Uri
09. Ocoeur - Passage
10. Ocoeur - Time Over (Rework)
11. Ocoeur - Mother
12. Rauelsson - Arrows
13. Ocoeur - Echo
14. Deru - Drink It In
15. Brian Eno & Harold Budd - Late October

Ocoeur | n5MD | Soundcloud | Facebook

 

isolatedmix 79 - Autumn Of Communion

 
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Mick Chillage and Lee Norris come together as Autumn Of Communion. Between them, their music stretches into the deepest roots of modern ambient music.

Lee Norris' monikers range from the cult 90's electronica of Metamatics and Norken, through to the beautiful tones of The Angling Loser - a collective of ambient artists that also includes Porya Hatami and Will Bolton. Lee's also helming the ...txt label, which has played home to many AOC releases and just recently, a monumental boxset that features the entire AOC discography. ...txt has also presented us with some brilliant albums by Sage Taylor (aka Textural Being) (Raintimeand the more psychedelic ambient sound of Ishq (2016's Fhorm being a fave of mine), as well as becoming home to many of Mick Chillage's productions. 

The label and indeed AOC's sound is no doubt influenced by the legendary FAX label, which also presented Autumn Of Communion's most seminal piece to date, their 2012 self-titled masterpiece. The album was perhaps overshadowed by the unfortunate passing of FAX founder Pete Namlook in 2012, but you can think of no better home, or higher praise for the duo. Mick, is no stranger to this high praise either, with one of the most revered albums on the FAX label, FAXology in 2011, followed by releases on FAX-dedicated output, Carpe Sonum

The web of productions between them both runs deep into some of the genre's best rabbit-holes. Just last week, I was in a record shop in Bellingham WA, at a random second-hand record store. I got talking to the owner about the type of records and artists I was on the hunt for and he said, "I just bought something new last week from Databloem". Sure enough he went on to play a CD and out comes Mick Chillage's 2016 album, Paths. It's the type of music that breaks down boundaries and epitomizes the true early 90's ambient sound and arguably, Autumn Of Communion is the purest distillation of their combined works. 

For isolatedmix 79, the duo wade through some of the genre's finest producers, both old and new. Track-by-track, it's a who's-who of ambient music, but the whole is definitely greater than the sum of its parts - this AOC mix channels the very essence of pure ambient music and the many inspirations behind AOC. 

Download.

Tracklist:

01. William Basinski - 92982.1
02. Tangerine Dream - Sequent C
03. Ryuichi Sakamoto - Fullmoon
04. David Sylvian - The Healing Place
05. Billow Observatory - Plum
06. Tetsu Inoue - Elevator Drops
07. Dots - Dense
08. Cluster & Eno - Für Luise
09. Autumn Of Communion - Streams Pt4
10. Jochem Paap - Dx-Snth
11. Harold Budd & Robin Guthrie - Twilight

Autumn Of Communion: Bandcamp | Discogs

Artwork/image by Ricardo Gomez Angel

 

isolatedmix 77 - Aukai: A Winter Of Listening

 
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I first happened across Aukai (Markus Sieber), when learning of Abul Mogard remixing his track, 'Snow' early last year. A seemingly delicate and beautiful original is turned into a haunting, synth-laden affair by Abul, was it not for a quick check of the original, I may have missed out on the greatness of Markus' work. 

A comparison that doesn't do his work justice, but one that hit me immediately upon listening to his ST album, were the similarities between Aukai and some of James Newton Howard's work, specifically 'The Village'. Delicate guitars lining the simple and minimal compositions, evoking moments of beauty, mystery and fear. One of my favorite quotes that go on to describe Markus' work though, comes from John Dilberto from Echoes:

"Think Gustavo Santaolalla cavorting in a landscape of Ludovico Einaudi while sitting on the Champs-Élysées with the Penguin Cafe Orchestra...In its matrix of mood and emotion, intelligence and sensuousness, Aukai could not be more perfectly pitched." 

Markus has recently returned with perhaps, his best work yet; a new album titled 'Branches of Sun'. Hosting a multitude of instruments and collaborators as 'The Aukai Ensemble', the album once again leads with Markus' secret weapon, the Ronroco (Charango) alongside subtle electronics, violins, the glockenspiel and cello (with Nils Frahm collaborator Anne Müller playing the part). The result is a soundtrack set for breezy fields, dusty plains and adventure beyond the snow-capped mountains. Each turn brings a new level of depth, featuring melodies fit for a theater and vivid compositions that will undoubtedly resonate with any listener looking for an escape into a new kind of wilderness.

For his isolatedmix, Markus has brought the same respect for beautiful instrumentation and a similar ability to capture the imagination we've seen across his modest discography. Featuring true masters of their craft, Markus blends the likes of Nils Frahm, Otto A Totland, Ben Lukas Boysen and even Harold Budd into one beautiful enchanting journey. 

"In anticipation of my latest release, ‘Branches Of Sun’ I much enjoyed putting together this mix for A Strangely Isolated Place. This last winter I had a good chance to listen to a bit more music again, as with the two previous winters I was busy with writing and recording my own music. In these moments I can’t listen to anything at all - I am already so full with melody and sound after sitting in the studio for a whole day. 

I picked mostly quieter ambient pieces here, that share a fine sense for an emotive minimalism and a space of reflection and contemplation.  These are all musical gems either from good friends I had the pleasure to work with like Martyn Heyne, Anne Müller, Alex Nickmann, Abul Mogard, Ben Lukas Boysen, Will Ryan Fritch or pieces that had crossed my path in one way or another leaving their traces within me, may it be for the composition, the sonic texture, sound of a particular instrument, or the way they were recorded. Wishing you all a good listening journey with this mix" - Markus Sieber (Aukai)

Download. 

00:00 Nils Petter Molvaer - Sober | Thirsty Ear Records 
03:20 Aukai - Snow (Abul Mogard Rework) | Self Release/Aukai Music 
07:04 Martyn Heyne - Afar | K7! 
10:34 Nils Frahm, Anne Müller - On Our Roof | Erased Tapes
15:35 Hecq (Ben Lukas Boysen) - Nescient | Hymen Records  
17:52 Dmitry Evgrafov - Wandering | 130701  
21:02 Snow Palms - Circling | Village Green 
24:47 Walter Fähndrich - Viola II | ECM
30:04 Sven Helbig - Meernacht | Neue Meister  
35:09 Harold Budd - Wanderer | All Saints Records 
39:14 Mogwai - Dust Bowl | Lakeshore Records 
41:53 Penguin Cafe - Half Certainty | Erased Tapes  
44:17 Aukai - Colorado | Self Release/Aukai Music
47:40 William Ryan Fritch - By the Letter | Lost Tribe Sound
48:34 Michael Price - Budapest | Erased Tapes 
52:18 Gustavo Santaolalla - Requiem | Sony Masterworks
54:08 Otto A Totland - The Lost | Sonic Pieces
57:20 Balmorhea - Dream of Thaw | Western Vinyl
1:02:09 William Ryan Fritch - Glass Slowly Shifts | Lost Tribe Sound
1:03:17 Anne Müller - Silbersee | Nonostar Records 
1:05:38 Alex Nickmann - Day Dreaming | Self Released 

Aukai Bandcamp | Twitter | Soundcloud

 

isolatedmix 76 - Dalot: Un-time

 
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Maria Papadomanolaki has been a part of the ASIP library for a few years now.  One of the first artists that caught my ear on the n5MD label, I remember seeing Maria perform many-years ago in London alongside Winterlight and port-royal. Dalot's shoegaze-inspired ambient drones kicked off a brilliant night of relatively unheard artists from the n5MD roster that left me chasing down many back-catalogs as a newbie to n5MD.

After providing a remix on Uncharted Places, Maria was a part of our second vinyl compilation, Europe, finding harmony as she looked back at her home of Kalathas beach in Greece, and setting a warm and gracious tone as the opening track. Her music is often varied as far as ambient goes, from delicate micro-textures, to guitar-laden soundscapes, or as heard on her most recent outing for n5MD in Mutogibito; a moment of rebirth and celebration embracing her post-rock-side, whilst also toying with the more organic elements of experimental electronica.

Just as you think you've got her down, Maria goes and partners with Vietnam's, Sound Awakener, on a new project called 'Little Things', further venturing into microscopic details and varied textures; something the two of them have clearly enjoyed partnering on. Guitars, analog synthesizers and of course a multitude of field recordings create a truly rich and varied palette of ambient and experimental recordings on this release for Fluid Audio. It's music that's evidently filled with heart, obsessed over, and then completed with the tiniest of finishes in mind - a sentiment echoed in Fluid Audio's beautiful packaging for the release.

When I asked for a Dalot isolatedmix, I didn't know which way Maria would take it, but the end result works in harmony with how I began to describe her work alongside Sound Awakener in Little Things

Titled 'Un-time', it's a mix of music that bleeds emotion, texture and escapism - all similar traits found in her latest production. A connoisseur of instrumental and organic based ambient music, Maria includes masters of the practice such as Marsen Jules, Taylor Deupree and Harold Budd, to create a blanket of warmth, as microscopic sounds of an abstract nature surround you. 

In Maria's own words, “Un-time offers an open space, a space for undoing and reflection and un-timing, of stepping out of time and the awareness of its passage;  like a mayfly or a dewdrop with shades, and light and colours of many shapes and makings, mostly untimed.”

Little Things is available now.

Download.

Tracklist:

01. Eliane Radigue – L’ile Re-sonante (un-time edit)
02. Philip Jeck -  The All of Water
03. Marsen Jules – Beatyfear VIII
04. Josh Mason – Infinite Crown of Shells
05. Taylor Deupree – Shoals
06. Christina Kubisch  - Night Shift
07. Dalot & Sound Awakener – Sailing
08. Sawako – Wind Shower Particle
09. Deaf Center – Fiction Dawn
10. Harold Budd – Children on the Hill

Artwork/image credit:: sonalidalal

Dalot on Bandcamp | Webn5MD

 

isolatedmix 71 - Anton Kubikov : Ambient Landcast

 

The Biosphere-esque EP "Music For Currydoors" alongside Maxim Milutenko was my first introduction to Anton Kubikov. During my obsessive Traum Schallplatten era (see Traumbient), this track was one of many introductions to a wealth of artists who crossed the divide between ambient and techno. It was a small appearance on Traum, but gave a taster of what he can do alongside partner Maxim, where they were both busy producing as SCSI-9 and releasing on labels like Trapez, Force Tracks and Kompakt

Not necessarily known for ambient music at the time, Anton’s career has been largely rooted in techno as the founder of esteemed label Pro-tez. But as we’re about to find out, ambient music has always been a big part of his life, with subtleties creeping through and influencing some of his many releases over the years. Through more dub-techno EP's like 'Bushes/Moving’ and ‘Inner’, or deep techno EP’s such as ‘Before/After’ and ‘Aniko/Evora’, Anton consistently creates beautiful deep journeys within his extensive productions. 

That perception may now stray further into the ambient realm after releasing his first album on Kompakt’s prestigious Pop Ambient album series, titled 'Whatness'. After a push from label head Michael Mayer, Anton embarked on the full-length and threw his entire production armory at what is, an extremely varied and creative record. Using random noise generators, resampling, modular synthesizers and step-sequencers, Calimba, guitar, piano and even poetry, Whatness continues to break the ever-changing Pop Ambient umbrella. 

Anton’s mix, is a creative concept which we haven’t seen here on ASIP before, bucking the potentially expected dive into deep techno territory. Inspired by reading biographies of some of experimental and avant-garde's most prestigious pioneers, Anton discovered a unique approach to the mix:

"As if listening to different songs in youtube, I did not turn them off but began to layer on each other. I reached five tracks simultaneously playing, and fell into hypnosis. The idea of he mix was born. The main thing was to show the works of different years throughout the 20th century from the 30s to the 80s, when such music, it seemed to me, did not go out into the broad masses but remained amongst intellectuals”. 

An educational class featuring some this century's most defining experimental innovators.

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Tracklist:

01. Sofia Gubaidulina & Choir of the Moscow Experimental Electronic Music Studio - Vivente-Non Vivente [1989]
02. Eliane Radigue - Geelreandre [1979]
03. Delia Derbyshire & Barry Bermange - Falling [2014]
04. Morton Feldman - Two Pianos [1953-1969]
05. Bernard Parmegiani - De Natura Sonorum, Première série [1975]
06. Morton Feldman- Three Voices For Joan La Barbara-Legato [1989]
07. Else Marie Pade - Faust Suite: Faust & Margrethes Kærlighed [1958-1995]
08. Alvin Lucier -  Music for Piano with Magnetic Strings [2009]
09. Edison Denisov - Bird’s Singing [1990]
10. Oliver Messiaen - Oraison [1937]
11. Else Marie Pade - Syv Cirkler [1958]
12. Morton Feldman- Three Voices For Joan La Barbara - Whisper [1989]
13. Robert Ashley - Automatic Writing [1979]
14. Harold Budd - Bell Tower [2003]

Anton Kubikov | Facebook | Soundcloud | Kompakt