I feel a little disappointed in myself that I hadn’t stumbled across Seahawks when I was back in England. It turns out the duo, consisting of Jon Tye (Lo Recordings) and Pete Fowler (known for his work with Super Furry Animals and his monsterism toys) have been frequenting some of my old haunts back home for quite some time. The Big Chill festival for example, or even the Big Chill Bar in London - both regular destinations for me a few years back. Funny, that I should come to own my first Seahawks record after picking it up at, of all places, Technique record store in Tokyo last year. But that’s the great thing about this type of music and in particular the approach of Jon and Pete as Seahawks- it’s music that transcends time and place.
As they prepare to release their latest album on Cascine, titled Eyes Of The Moon (released 15th March) Jon and Pete have prepped a journey into their very hard-to-pin-down-cosmic world. Taking advantage of their many years DJ-ing, collecting and throwing boat-parties, this isolatedmix does exactly what the title suggests. A celestial voyage, into the minds of Seahawks, traversing the many imaginable worlds they conjure up through their colorful, vivid and complimentary music and art.
Read more about the Seahawks project and the mix in the Q&A with Jon and Pete, below.
1. Iasos – Helios and Vesta
2. Seahawks – Eyes Of The Moon (Ocean Moon ambient mix)
3. Clifford White – Lost At Shore
4. Suzanne Ciani – Eighth Wave
5. Meditation Y.S. – Neocrystal (On The Beach Mix)
6. Swami Kriya Ramananda – Hymn To A New Age
7. Larry Heard – Summertime Breeze
8. Waak Waak Djungi – Rainbow Serpent
9. Jon Anderson – Deseo (Future Sound Of London remix)
10. Emerald Web – Nightsong
11. Seahawks – Run Through My Mind
12. Wally Badarou – Awa
13. Yoshio Ojima – Glass Chattering
14. Body San – Marimba Class
15. Iasos – Helios and Vesta
ASIP: You both have some serious history between you. Would you mind giving us the quick rundown of how you got to where you are today?
Seahawks: It’s the 10th anniversary of our first release next year so yes indeed some serious history. To some extent we just pointed the ship in the right direction, stocked up with supplies and set sail into the unknown. It’s been a great trip but as to how…I guess we let the cosmic wind carry us along.
How did Seahawks come about and what inspired the project?
The Seahawks boat party at the Big Chill bar was our R&D (research & development) centre. We would try jamming different styles and adding FX and tracks we were working on and also invite friends to join in. At the time Pete lived just up the road so we could continue our research, sometimes deep into the night…
When it comes to the specifics of the project, Jon, you look after music and Pete, art. How important is it to you that these two are presented as one in today's throwaway streaming world?
It makes a big difference for us to present a conceptual whole, the Eyes Of The Moon album is actually the first where one of us has not created the artwork but it was fun to work with other people and direct the art rather than make it for a change.
I've seen a few terms describe your music. Everything from "Cosmic deckshoegaze", "Balaeric" "New Age", "Kosmische" and "Celestial" - often interchanged between each other - to "whale drone amplified through an enormous pearlescent conch". How would you describe the Seahawks sound? (or rather, what does it look like!?)
It’s a many headed good natured beast that likes to venture out for a cavort in the cosmos and loves all kind of esoteric delights from deep space vibrations to deep ocean drones, but we’ll settle for "whale drone amplified through an enormous pearlescent conch”.
You don't hear much music like this anymore. Am I just not digging hard enough, or are you just fighting the good fight and bringing it all back?
Well it’s all out there but I think our music is just a little more expansive than most current music I hear. We’d certainly like to bring back a strong cosmic vibe in these troubled times.
Who or what are the main inspirations for this specific sound?
Right now the Mu-tron Bi Phase is a big feature in our lives, it just instantly makes everything sound more lush and immersive. Cassette tapes are also a really big influence, the sound is so ear friendly.
It sounds like you like to lay low, play great parties and put out timeless records that abide to no-one or nothing (how it should be!) How do you find the ambient and experimental scene in particular? Would you even place Seahawks within it?
There’s a lot of incredible music out there and the reissue scene helps keep things interesting. I think we’re part of a historical scene that includes all sorts of music and vibrations.
Thank you for such a great, eclectic and as you describe "celestial" mix. How did you approach the mix and where was it recorded?
This mix contains mainly tracks from CD. I think CD has got a bad rap and that if you have a good CD player they can sound great and it’s also a way to find tracks that are either not available or too expensive on vinyl.
It was done over a two week period.
Where should people be listening to this mix? Poolside? The other side?
Wherever feels conducive. One suggestion: Transfer to cassette and listen on a walkman on a train to Amsterdam before heading for a smoke by the Amstel.
And in what state?!
A suitably modified one and hopefully our mix will help take you to a ‘very fine state of mind’.
The influences in the mix range from classic ambient and chill-out, to dub, ethnic, tropical, disco, even classic Larry Heard - the list goes on. What makes a DJ set great in your opinions?
We like surprises but not ones that are jarring and there has to be a flow but there’s no reason the journey can’t visit some unexpected ports on the way.
It feels like a very grown up and mature set - like a hell of a lot of experience has gone into your ears and record collections. I can smell the years digging. Are you both serious collectors?
We both have plenty of music on multiple formats but I don’t think either of us consider ourselves serious collectors. We know people who are and we’re nowhere near that league!
You've treated us to an exclusive remix in here too, how often do you make edits of your own music to suit a set or a mix? Is it important for you to always present new music in this way?
There are always potential alternative versions of tracks, ideas we’d like to extend and transform. We definitely like to present a multi-faceted vision when we can.
Jon, you played at a bunch of places in the UK (where I used to live) - from The Big Chill to Spiritland. Where would be the ideal place to spin this type of set nowadays?
I think it might well be The Hutong Café in Plymouth. It’s right by the sea and only an hour or so from the studio in Cornwall and we can arrive by ferry and play whatever we like.
What track/s didn't make it in the mix that you might still want to share with us?
Too many to mention and we’d share it all if we could : )
Finally if this was your closing set - last set ever - lights coming on - what would you be ending with?
The Floaters - It’s Magic (We Thank You) – Extended mix