Julia Kent

Markus Guentner / Empire - now available

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From fiery remnants, a universal rhythm emerged.
An ebb and flow of force and fate,
creating worlds within worlds,
forever connected by an infinite empire.

Markus Guentner’s story continues where his last album, 'Theia’  left off with another set of epic atmospheres and brave new worlds. This time Markus enlists the skills of harpist; Tom Moth, cellist; Julia Kent and fellow ambient storyteller; bvdub to complete the journey.

Head to the release page for more information and links to listen/buy or straight to Bandcamp.


Silent Season - Campfire Stories 42 (ASIP - Titan Kawaakari)

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You are likely well aware of the brilliant Silent Season label by now, but you may not be aware of their brilliant mix series that's focused on inviting guests to tell a story - Campfire Stories - through deep ambient and techno music. Some of my favorite selectors have graced the series so far, and there's plenty to get stuck into. Listen to the series on Soundcloud

I'm honored to be a part of the series and because of the special place Silent Season has in my heart, I spent a long time making this mix as special as possible. It went through around five iterations, and I finally settled on a deep and meditative space-infused ambient mix that aims to be a nice compliment to the release of Markus Guentner's new album on June 11th. 

The mix includes some of my recent favorites by Rafael Anton Irisarri on Umor RexDedekind Cut on Kranky, Terreke's meditative tape loops on Music From Memory, a track from Graintable's debut synth-odyssey album, and a deep cut from Powlos on Faint. Mixed in-between these comes several unreleased tracks and some self-released bits dug out from the ever-dependable rabbit-hole that is Bandcamp. All links to buy and support provided below.

Hope you enjoy the story, and thanks to Jamie at Silent Season for the deep forest hospitality. 


~ About The Story ~

Titan is the largest moon of Saturn. It is the only moon known to have a dense atmosphere, and the only object in space, other than Earth, where clear evidence of stable bodies of surface liquid has been found, including lakes, seas, rivers and rain.

Kawaakari is the glow of a river or stream in darkness or dusk, the gleaming surface of a shadowed river (Japanese 川明かり).

~ Chapters ~

1. Sophia Loizou - Divine Interference (Kathexis
2. qebrµs - ฌฎ๒๓๔ญ°°°°° (Self released)
3. Erica Etami - Contemplation (Self released)
4. Merrin Karras - Phaedra (unreleased)
5. Steve Good - Falling Upwards [Self released]
6. James Bernard - (unreleased)
7. Terreke - Ambien [Music From Memory]
8. Grand River - Flies [Spazio Disponibile
9. Graintable - 610 [Ransom Note Records]
10. Markus Guentner (with Julia Kent) - Refraction [A Strangely Isolated Place]
11. Dedekind Cut - Hollow Earth [Kranky]
12. Markus Guentner - Redshift [A Strangely Isolated Place]
13. Powlos - Of Theory [Faint Music]
14. Max Wuerden - (unreleased)
15. r beny - Vestigial [Self released]
16. 36 - DNI [unreleased]
17. Acronym - Pointless Endeavour [Field Records]
18. Rafael Anton Irisarri - Mountain Stream [Umor Rex]
19. Isorinne - Views From A Balcony [Northern Electronics]

Image/photo by Aperture Vintage


Markus Guentner / Empire - Preorder available

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From fiery remnants, a universal rhythm emerged.
An ebb and flow of force and fate,
creating worlds within worlds,
forever connected by an infinite empire.

We're back with Markus Guentner's second album here on ASIP, where he continues the journey he started on his first vinyl release, Theia.

This time, he's enlisted the skills of cellist Julia Kent, harpist Tom Moth (from Florence and the Machine) and ASIP favorite, bvdub to complete another deep and mesmorizing excursion into the unknown. Then we have the talented Black Knoll on mastering, and Noah M / Keep Adding on the beautiful artwork. 

Head over to the album's release page for full details, links to purchase and audio previews. 

We'll leave you with this video teaser featuring music from one of the tracks starring the beautiful work of Julia Kent. 


Thesis Collected 01 - album stream


May of last year we featured Gregory Euclide's Thesis Project here on ASIP, detailing the extensive craftsmanship and consideration that goes into each hand-made release. Since our words with Gregory, the series has gone on to host even more beautiful collaborations and some of my favorites of the project so far, including Rafael Anton Irisarri & Julia Barwick, and Anna Rose Carter & Dag Rosenqvist. Gregory's hands have not stopped cutting, shaping, producing, curating, packing and presenting ever since... 

Once you've amassed such an amazing collection of music, and poured hours over each release, I can imagine it being nearly impossible to not feel the urge to present it as a full compilation and unlock some of the beauty for more people to hear; as both an ode to the many artists featured so far, and a release that would no doubt stand on its own.  So here we are, with an exclusive stream of the full compilation below.  

Given these releases are only ever made available as physical items, this compilation is a first for the project and a blessing for anyone that's maybe not lucky enough to own a turntable, but wanted to get their ears on some of the beautiful music and artists featured within. 

It's only really when you read through the powerhouse of names that feature across the series such as; Julia Kent, Loscil, Dustin O'Halloran, Taylor Deupree, RAI, Benoît Pioulard and Kyle Bobby Dunn, that you are hit with how special this project is both its effort and curation. 

THESIS COLLECTED 01 is available as both a limited CD version and digital, and contains one track from each of the first 12 THESIS releases as well as two tracks from THESIS PRINT/TRACK 02 & 04. Along with a bonus track from THESIS PRINT/TRACK 01 (available only on the digital version). 

Read more about the full series in our interview from last year here, or dive into the full project at https://thesisproject.us.

Thesis Collected 01 is available on CD + Digital at Bandcamp.


01 | Refém | Will Samson | PRINT/TRACK 02
02 | The Iron Town | S. Carey & Taylor Deupree | THESIS 01
03 | Snowfall/Hibernate | Tony Dekker & Kinbrae | THESIS 09
04 | Earth Bound | Sophie Hutchings & Julia Kent | THESIS 06
05 | Viscous | Loscil & Seabuckthorn | THESIS 02
06 | Prism | Anna Rose Carter & Dag Rosenqvist | THESIS 05
07 | Limehouse | Angus MacRae & InsaDonjaKai | THESIS 07
08 | A Pretty A Day | Benoît Pioulard & Dustin O’Halloran | THESIS 04
09 | B2 | Julianna Barwick & Rafael Anton Irisarri | THESIS 10
10 | Carried to a Place Unwinding | Aaron Martin & Tilman Robinson | THESIS 11
11 | Salve Regina | Kyle Bobby Dunn | PRINT/TRACK 04
12 | Early James | Andrew Hargreaves & Andrew Johnson | THESIS 13
13 | Rigor | Takeshi Nishimoto & Roger Döring | THESIS 03


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.