John Beltran

todos: Ten Years of A Strangely Isolated Place

 
todos_tenyears_1000.png

The impossible task. Find a way to summarize the last ten years of music featured on the A Strangely Isolated Place blog and website.

First off, we have created the ‘tagged’ project, listing some of the hundreds of artists featured on the blog for you to explore over here. And pretty soon, we’ll have a special release for you all.

But I also wanted something that was closer to our blog beginnings, and a story told through a mix. What better way than tasking our favorite journey-maker, todos.

todos and his Kilchurn Sessions have been a staple of ASIP over the past ten years. We’ve even collected them all in one place, given how many posts they ended up spanning. I don’t need to add many superlatives about him here, but they are some of the best recorded mixes I have ever heard. And I mean it. You can hold-up (my personal favorite) professional mixed CD’s by Sasha, or James Holden for example, and I would be just as pleased listening to some of todos’ Kilchurn Sessions. He has a knack, a perfection and an obsession with mixing unique journeys that span everything from ambient, electronic, techno and instrumental elements, alongside a unique use of samples and movie quotes. He creates familiar and emotive narratives that need multiple revisits to appreciate the detail, skill and passion he put in.

Once todos agreed to my ask (nearly a year-ago now) I sent him the archive of posts from the old site, and a list of all the tags used across both new and old. My only criteria was that he needed to select tracks from artists or albums that were a part of that list - an attachment to ASIP and the blog. He had hundreds to sift through, some known, some new to him.

I don’t know how he did it.

I do know it was a headache for him, for months, but what he turned in, was something well beyond my expectations. He went through many iterations and different approaches, trying to do one chronologically in the order they were featured on ASIP for example, sending me revisions up until the very last minute, but in the end, he managed to find a selection of tracks that truly reflect the past ten years of discovery here on ASIP. And in a style only he knows how to execute.

A big BIG thank you to todos for soundtracking ASIP all these years. And for this, a superb piece of no-doubt painstaking work to help us celebrate ten-years of existence.

Once you’re done listening here, check out our ‘tagged’ project to explore even more.

Download MP3

Download WAV

~

Ten years of A Strangely Isolated Place - mixed by todos

Tracklist:

1. Minilogue - ‘Yesterday Bells’ edit (2008)/ Grzegorz Bojanek - A Huge Explosion After The War’ edit (2017)

2. Altus - ‘Virgo’ edit (2013) / Little Dragon - ‘Twice’ edit (2008) / Lights Out Asia - ‘Except Europa’ edit (2010)

3. Herbstlaub - ‘Softly hidden she.’ (Stray Theories remix) (2016)

4. Stellardrone - ‘Pale Blue Dot’ (2010)

5. Freescha - ‘Kite High’ (2009)

6. Benjamin Dauer - ‘Harmony Bound’ (2011) / Rhian Sheehan - ‘Standing In Silence Part 1’ edit (2010)

7. Jon Hopkins - ‘Private Universe’ (2008) / Opus III - ‘It’s A Fine Day’ edit (2009)

8. Sasha - ‘Broadcast’ (2016)

9. Umber - ‘Tomorrow We'll Throw Out Some Old Shoes’ (2011)

10. Kiyoko - ‘Sea of Trees’ (2012)

11. Bjorn Rohde - ‘Forest of Forgotten Hearts’ (2013) / Nils Frahm - ‘Peter’ (2013)

12. Jason van Wyk - ‘Eyes Shut’ (2017)

13. Roel Funcken - ‘Android Robson’ (2016)

14. Synkro - ‘Midnight Sun’ (2015)

15. Martin Nonstatic - ‘Open Minded’ (2015) / Aphex Twin - ‘Rhubarb’ (2009)

16. Sonitus Eco - ’Storegga Slide’ (2015)

17. Vermont - ‘Übersprung’ (2014)

18. Ocoeur - ‘Resonance’ (2013) / Sigur Ros - ‘Takk’ (2011) / Carbon Based Lifeforms - ‘Intro’ / ‘Hold’ (2014)

19. Donnacha Costello - ‘That Empty Feeling’ (2011)

20. Rhian Sheehan - ’Sileo’ (2013)

21. Markus Guentner - ‘Baryon’ (Feat. The Sight Below) edit (2015) / Porya Hatami - ‘Fen’ (By Segue) edit (2015)

22. Tegh - ‘Down’ (2014)

23. Arovane - ‘Woven’ (Peter Benisch Remix) edit (2015)

24. John Beltran - ‘Seasons Go’ (2013)

~

Includes audio recordings taken in and around USA, Germany, UK, Italy, Poland, Australia, Netherlands and Japan.

Special thanks to Ryan, Marcel, Eiko, Spencer and James for the support and sending me snippets of your own strangely isolated places. It was a pleasure incorporating them into this mix.

*Years indicate when tracks were featured on ASIP, not necessarily when they were released*

Artwork by ASIP, containing elements from Mario Morales and Nick Brzostowski.

 

John Beltran – Amazing Things

 
 

Where to start with this one… I mean, if someone was to ask you about John Beltran, where would you start? What pigeonhole would he undeservedly be forced into? I’m pretty sure a lot of people wouldn’t even know who he is unless coming from some sort of techno background. Sure, after last years brilliant ‘Ambient Selections’ it would be easy to assume this was his bread and butter since the early 90’s. I mean, John did follow Aphex on R&S Records with a similarly legendary album (Earth & Nightfall) but if you dig a little deeper, his productions span the very definition of an electronic music spectrum, from latin infused downtempo to straight-up Retroactive techno.

OK… so apply that very thinking, that experience, and that mentality of an artist that just does exactly what he feels, and you end up with a pretty amazing album. “There was no real plan [for the album]. Some of these songs (“Clouds Pull”) are over two years old. This album is truly an accumulation of music inspired by my life as a new father but I didn’t write these songs for an album per say. I guess it was just written with a lot of love.”

You know those albums which immediately grab you, those albums that you think about revisiting later in the day because you feel like listening to something little chilled; or something more upbeat; something to wake you up a little? Well this isn’t one of those albums. It’s a collection of music that shape-shifts, evolves and then deconstructs anything you previously had in mind, rebuilding your feelings and thoughts alongside every new listen.

By far my favourite track on the album, “Clouds Pull” is a stark reminder of some epic 90’s piano work that is the epitome of the above statement; with every listen evoking something new, sparking elements of so many other musicians – be it sad, happy, elated or euphoric. Folk-esque, melodic tracks such as “Our Second Summer” and “Flower Power Submarine” seek a gentle introduction to the warmer seasons and wouldn’t look out of place on a Bibio record. This vibe continues with the likes of “Seasons Go”, echo-ing the new innovators of garage such as Fourtet, Burial and the ‘chillwave’ sounds of the likes of Stumbleine. Then there’s tracks such as “Medellin” and “Broken Mechanism” which are quite simply, brilliant ambient electronica, and need to be heard without any comparisons.

Many albums are named to define, but very few succeed. But I think you’ll agree, this one’s definitely amazing.

Buy at Delsin, including a limited Blue Vinyl edition.