Hypnus Records

isolatedmix 75 - Hypnus Records


There’s always something stirring in the depths of the techno realm, but the majority of it on my radar lately seems to be heralding from the lovely country of Sweden. 

Hypnus Records label owner Michel is not sure why there’s been an amazing output of deep techno coming from his country in the past few years, notably through labels like Northern Electronics (home to Varg, Isorinne, Acronym et al), and his very own Hypnus Records, but for us listeners, this deeply hypnotic sound is converging the best emotional elements of ambient music, with the trusty techno rub.  When asked if there was something in the water, Michel described Sweden as more of a distraction than an inspiration;

"The realm of Hypnus lies more in the imagination. Sweden, and society in general, feels more distracting than inspiring”.

Michel is perhaps unknowingly describing the very root of the techno movement - an inspiration to release and break free from society, happening here once again, but this time in his home country of Sweden.

If pushed, he would probably describe his label’s sound as “curious and immersive electronic music” after once trying to label it as "psychedelic deep techno”, but only to realize this genre in itself was already established, and his output was different. Either way, to him “it’s highly psychedelic as it is synthetically cinematic”. To the casual listener, it’s techno. But to me and many others, it represents the perfect blend of atmospheric ambient music and heads-down-4-am-stompers.

Much of Hypnus’ output retains the basic elements of techno we’re used to; repetition, synthesizers and a sense of progressive euphoria, albeit with a mysterious, bubbly and intriguing feel that’s more akin to the atmosphere found in dub-techno. The label was founded as a result of Michel wanting to release music by some producers he enjoyed on Soundcloud: "I had just recently lost my job which left me with some extra cash that I decided to spend on curating the first Hypnus record”. That record, was released in 2014 - not so long ago, given the extensive output and impact of the label so far, which as now gone on to introduce the world to the sounds of Luigi Tozzi, Feral, BLNDR, Primal Code, Michel’s own techno alias, Ntogn and many, many more.

Michel's self-discovered techno community has gone on to become a close-knit bunch of friends that share the roster, retaining a distinct aesthetic and a consistent output. 

"I met Luigi and Tom (BLNDR) through Soundcloud many years ago while Alessandro (Feral) and Jakob (Skymn) came into the label through common friends. Over time we’ve all grown closer as we’ve had chances to meet all over the world and this is really a great reward for me. It is a special feeling listening to the music of a friend, hearing the whistles and gales of their mind”.

The likes of Luigi Tozzi’s techno is comparable to the euphoria of mastermind Donato Dozzy and the associated Italian techno-mafia that have long held the crown for this style of music. BLNDR, who recently contributed to Silent Season’s tenth anniversary release, represents an even deeper and more hubby sound; whilst Feral features more tribal tendencies. Skymn, lives up to the more ambient/psychedelic sound you might draw comparisons with the likes of Future Sound Of London, for example. And if that wasn’t enough to stretch your techno spectrum, Michel is also running two sub-labels: Kabalion (a slightly more intense, techno output) and Tome, home to Michel’s personal project as Ntogn.

Michel's isolatedmix takes us on a journey through the various elements of Hypnus, opening with ambient and quickly moving into the distinct sound we’ve come to love from the label. Describing his thought process behind the mix, Michel notes: “spontaneously I felt that I wanted to make an intro of the first four tracks, although initially I had my mind set on a different order. Eventually they fit better this way and after that I just followed the mood and was happy to include some unreleased material”.

It’s a mix from a music-loving DJ-at-heart, as much as it is a collection of label-head tracks, with blended transitions, changes of pace and a growing progressive atmosphere throughout thats synonymous with the labels output. “One of my favorites is maybe at 30-34 mins where a couple of Alessandro’s and Primal Code’s unreleased tracks flow into each other. Both when the shakes come at 30:06 and the drop at 33:41 are sweet spots for my little DJ-heart”. 

Be sure to check out Hypnus’ full catalog on Bandcamp, as well as their very own Memoir Podcast, featuring guest mixes from fellow artists and friends alike.



01. Feral - Heruka 4
02. Luigi Tozzi - Yavin 4 (Ambient Mix)
03. Luigi Tozzi - Epipelagic
04. Skymn - City Lights
05. Primal Code*
06. Primal Code - Jikan
07. Primal Code - Junkan (Luigi Tozzi's Interpretation)
08. Primal Code - Junkan
09. Feral - Krishna
10. Luigi Tozzi - Flusso Perpetuo
11. Primal Code*
12. Luigi Tozzi - Binary Sunset
13. Skymn - Okuyi (Korridor's Interpretation)
14. Luigi Tozzi - Yavin 4
15. Primal Code*
16. Feral*
17. Primal Code*
18. Luigi Tozzi - Subterrel
19. Luigi Tozzi - Jedha
20. Feral - Heruka 3
21. Skymn - Biker Scene
22. Luigi Tozzi - Chemosynthesis (Claudio PRC Remix)
23. Luigi Tozzi - Quetzalli
24. Luigi Tozzi - Mesopelagic Zone

* Forthcoming release.

Hypnus web | Bandcamp | Soundcloud | Facebook


ASIP - Reflection on 2017


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...

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>


Acronym - Malm


There's an uprising of deep techno coming from Scandinavia these past few years. Hypnus Records for example, responsible for bringing Luigi Tozzi, Feral and Fjader to the fore (more on them soon). Northern Electronics, helmed by Abdulla Rashim and churning out relentless, quick selling LP's by the likes of Varg, Dorisburg, Isorinne, and one of our favorites, Acronym

While Northern Electronics, or even Spain's Semantica have had the pleasure of Acronym in the past few years, it's the more established dutch label, Field Records that presents his latest album, Malm.  Known for his heady, deep and often abstract techno, Acronym found a new home for his ambient opus, with Field Records a well-known dutch destination for some of the best ambient and techno compilations of recent years. The output amongst the aforementioned labels contains some of my most treasured music, so to see their best artists switch things up on the label front is nothing but good news for us listeners, as long as the music finds a deserving home. 

Malm is Acronym's most emotive piece yet. The icy, vastness portrayed across the ten tracks takes you to a grainy, freezing landscape as depicted in the cover artwork. But it's not your usual long-paintbrush drones and crackling field recordings. Acronym has transported his heart and soul in the album's structure and melodies, with careful attention paid to the lush pads and flourishes of color, which make each track a piece unto its own. In a similar manner to the electronic wizardry of Biosphere, Acronym brings originality across the album very rarely replicating form or format across the ten tracks, electronic in sound yet deep in emotion. 

The glistening melting synthesizers on The Final Decision, juxtaposed with the heavy orchestral drones of Inner Conflict, and the slow acid-pulse of No Regrets, highlight the many outstanding styles you can find across the album, without a weak track amongst it. Malm manages to capture nearly every single element of electronic ambient music I love; be it the ability to transport to an off-world, the detailed textures that bring it life, the storytelling as the album evolves, or the melodies that make you hit repeat again and again. 

One of 2017's finest - don't miss it.

Available on Bandcamp.