Mark Pritchard

ASIP - Reflection on 2016

 

2016 was a busy year! The label started with the Arovane & Hior Chronik Remix EP, then Merrin Karras' glorious synthesizer piece, Apex. And more recently, the much-desired 36 album, The Infinity Room.  It was also a very sad year in many ways, with ASIP artist, Igor Bystrov aka Parks, passing away. The In Memory EP, featuring a collection of his works was also released, with all proceeds going to Igor's family. Thank you to everyone who supported the label and the artists throughout 2016 - I can't express how grateful I am to have such an amazing bunch of listeners and supporters.

It was an amazing year for music. I was overwhelmed for the most part, and didn't get round to writing about half as many albums as I would have liked to. But my yearly Reflections mix goes some way in helping soothe my guilt and pain. Featuring many of my favorite tracks from some of my favorite albums and releases from the year, it's my version of the infamous journo 'best-of' list but presented in the best way possible I start with a playlist including one track from every album I've enjoyed over the year, and then whittle it down, based on what sounds right in the mix and ultimately, what I've been listening to the most. It goes without saying, this only scrapes the surface of the many great albums and releases we've been treated to in 2016.

A quick run down of the inclusions in this years mix...

Sad Elron, the one track I spent the year looping, was the standout in one of this years best albums from Mark Pritchard. Bvdub surprised us with a selection of shorter-than-normal cuts, and potentially his best album yet. The Green Kingdom is this years under-the-radar gem, cutting up dubby-ambient and post-rock. Steve Hauschildt topped the year of the synthesizer, as did Phaeleh, with outstanding albums on both fronts. ASC made a sneaky retro-electronica appearance as Comit. Synkro enlisted the best for his remix EP - with Helios providing a glorious take, alongside a superb album of his own. Jesse Somfay returned after over 5-years with a unique and exciting new album. Segue turned in da-dub as usual on the ever-brilliant Silent Season. Isan made a return with their quirky melodic electronica. The Orb made an attempt to out-chill-out the Chill Out. Ametsub dropped a sneaky jazz-infused ambient piece. Tangent proved the newcomer of the year on n5MD. Jóhann Jóhannsson should be on the front-cover of Time magazine as man of the year with his outstanding score for Arrival and another complete masterpiece in Orphée. Heck got the remastering and reworking of choice by Field Rotation's Christopher Berg. Ocoeur got our year off to a stunner with his modern-classical masterpiece. Eluvium won the hearts of everyone with his operatic tearjerker. Drape kept Infraction's continually brilliant ambient output up-to-scratch. Warmth treated us to one of the years best ambient surprises. Deepchord turned in one of the years best remixes - out-ambienting Wolgang Voigt's flip. Benoit Pioulard broke his wrist and showed us how to remix Aphex Twin. Porya Hatami and Arovane joined forces once again book-ending their ASIP remix EP.  And lastly, as a special tribute, we end the mix on one of my favourite tracks by Park from 2009 - RIP.

And breathe. Enjoy the look back.

Download.

Tracklist:

01. Mark Pritchard - Sad Alron [Under The Sun] (Warp)
02. Bvdub - 07 [Yours Are Stories Of Sadness] (Self)Read the review
03. The Green Kingdom - Haze Layers [Harbor] (Dronarivm) 
04. Steve Hauschildt - Time We Have [Strands] (Kranky) Read the review
05. Phaeleh - Frequency [Illusion of The Tale] (Undertow) Read the review
06. Comit - Under Your Spell [Trip 01] (Warm Communications) Read the review
07. Synkro - Midnight Sun (Helios Remix) [Changes Remix EP] (Apollo)
08. Jesse Somfay - Chorona (A Voice Like Sunshine) [Levamentum] (Tipping HandRead the review
09. Segue - Deep Valley [Over The Mountains] (Silent Season
10. Isan - Lace Murex [Glass Bird Movement] (MorrRead the review
11. The Orb - 4am Exhale [COW] (Kompakt)
12. Ametsub - Skydroppin' [Skydroppin' EP] (Blueberry Records)
13. Tangent - Perceived Horizon [Collapsing Horizons] (n5MD)
14. Jóhann Jóhannsson - Heptapod B [Arrival OST] (Deutschegrammophon)
15. Hecq - Night Falls (reworked by Christopher Berg) [Night Falls] (Hymen Records)
16. Ocoeur - Fixo 2 [Reversed] (n5MD) Read the review
17. Eluvium - Fugue State [False Readings On] (Temporary ResidenceRead the review / mix
18. Drape - Detrial Rest [Let There Water Air] (Infraction)
19. Helios - Land Father [Remembrance] (Unseen Music) Read the review
20. Warmth - Odessa [Essay] (Archives) Read the review / mix 
21. Peter Michael Hamel - Colours of Time [Reinterpreted] (Deepchord’s Carolina Forest Mix) Read the review
22. Benoit Pioulard - Stone In Focus [Radial] Read the review / mix
23. Porya Hatami & Arovane - iaan [Kaziwa] (Time Released Sound
24. Jóhann Jóhannsson - Flight From The City [Orphée] (Deutschegrammophon) Read the review
25. Parks - Eternal Wind [Hidden] (Infraction - 2009)

[Artwork / photo taken on a trip to Japan in August 2016]

 

Mark Pritchard, Sasha, Herbstlaub, Echaskech

 
 

Mark Pritchard - Under The Sun

Last year, we were treated to a surprise return of Global Communication, and despite the remix of Dusky's, Skin Deep, being just one half of GC behind the controls (Tom Middleton), it was as brilliant as ever. Mark Pritchard can therefore be excused for not making an appearance, as it seems he has been busy prepping a return to his ambient form with an upcoming release on Warp. The teaser track Sad Alron, sounds beautiful, almost Autechre/Aphex in style, but it remains to be seen whether the remainder of the album will expand on this style or veer into his more recent hip-hop style... let's hope the former. 

Available May 12th on Warp. 

 
 

Sasha - Scene Delete

Sasha is undoubtedly a massive influence on me and my love for dance music, and given his legendary mixes such as Northern Exposure and Involver often dabbled with the more downtempo of intros and atmospherics, it's of little surprise to see him try a full ambient/downtempo album. The press for Scene Delete is quoting influences from the likes of Nils Frahm and Max Richter yet the preview tracks sound nothing like the minimal modern classical sounds of the infamous Germans... I can't help but think this is just an attempt to sound relevant to the re-emergence of two awesome producers. The teasers sound like the many tracks that have opened or ended an infamous Sasha set, and whether the influences are audible or not, it doesn't really when you're as experienced and reliable as Sasha. Scene Delete sounds like an ambient album he was destined to produce, even if he was locked in a room by himself for the past ten years. 

Available April 1st on a multitude of lavish, expensive formats. 

 
 

Herbstlaub - Softly Hidden (Stray Theories remix)

A switch in gears to some ASIP alumni, with Herbstlaub prepping a new album titled Seems Like Time To Remember, Seems Like The Moment To Forget. His bubbly organic sounds and haunting, melodic backgrounds return, alongside a very special remix by Stray Theories.  Both Herbstlaub and Stray Theories have free releases on ASIP as part of The Places Series.

Pre-order on Bandcamp.

 
 
 
 

Echaskech - Certainty of Tides EP

 

Echaskech have been a part of ASIP since the very beginning over eight years ago, so it's immensely pleasing to see them still churning out the good stuff, and sticking to what they do best. Their new EP Certainty of Tides is available for pre-order, and in true Echa' style, it's another slice of sublime electronics; hard to pin down, and hard to put down, whether you're at home or dancing the night away. 

Pre-order on Bandcamp.