Milieu

James Bernard / Atwater (Remixes) Now Available

 
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James Bernard’s live recording, ‘Atwater’ demonstrated the beauty to emerge from the simplicity and gentle manipulation of modular synthesizers. Such a raw moment captured that day, packed full of melody and escapism, presented a perfect opportunity to invite some of our favorite musicians to remix the original material recorded in North Atwater Park.

The remix lineup was purposefully selected to highlight electronica and a genre that grew from the manipulation of the synthesizer - a new toy for many bedroom producers that grew in commercial success and helped define a new sound in the late 90’s and early 00’s. With this in mind, we invited six producers who go some way in reflecting this approach over the years, with James Bernard’s original synthesizer recordings providing the basis of each experiment.

Arovane opens the release, with a sweet and sharp electronic punch, followed by Christian Kleine’s guitar-hook driven take, who as many will know, were two crucial producers that helped place electronica on the map through their releases on City Centre Offices. Alongside Uwe and Christian, also representing the early pioneering years of the sound and housed by the seminal label, Warp over the years; B12’s, Mike Golding, who takes James Bernard's sound to the limit across 9 minutes of additional modular manipulation.

Joining them, are three producers taking the electronica sound in new directions in recent years. James Clements, known to many under his own name or as ASC, guides us into the relatively unheard realm of his electronica-inspired Comit alias, combining the energy of his drum’n bass-led releases with the nostalgia and escapism heard amongst his ambient works. Bluetech, producing since the late 90’s and known for many approaches from psychedelic to downtempo, turns in an inspired, glistening take on the original, unearthing even more melodic moments. And lastly, Milieu, a firm favorite of ASIP's for many years now, uses nothing but the source material, to create a chugging and serene take on the original, closing out the Atwater remixes.

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isolatedmix 03 - Milieu: One Last Push On The Swing

If you haven’t managed to stumble across Milieu’s refined releases such as, ‘Bent Appletrees’, or ‘Songs we found in the sand’ then you may want to look them up. But before that, why not get a unique insight from the man behind the music…

Titled ‘One Last Push on the Swing’, Milieu has recalled his musical influences, and revisited some personal moments in time to construct an ambient reflection for isolatedmix 03.

And as expected, Milieu’s influences are a tad pleasing on the ear. Tracks range from early 1993 Rephlex / Aphex Twin releases via his alter ego ‘Bradley Strider’, to 2009 releases under one of my favourite labels, ‘Mule Musiq’. Milieu must have also kept his ear close to the notorious German output City Centre Offices, with tracks from Arovane and Bitstream (CCO being the launch pad for Ulrich Schnauss’ ‘Far Away trains Passing by’ and ‘A Strangely Isolated Place’).

Take a read of Milieu’s accompanying track notes and each moment comes alive, that little bit more…

“Putting mixes together has always been one of my favorite things, going all the way back to high school. I think a mix can say a lot for the person making it, and so with this mix I opted to go down ‘memory lane’ a little and choose tracks that took me back to a specific time and place in my life.”

 
 

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1. Ten And Tracer - Ontogeny Recapitulates Phylogeny [Rope Swing Cities, 2006]
One of Jon’s best melodies ever. Makes me think about walking around in the sunshine working on projects for art class back in 2006.

2. Lunar Testing Lab – Mock-Orange [I, Absentee, 2008]
My favorite track on LTL’s record from last year. Brings to mind memories of riding the public transit around after I dropped out of high school.

3. Bitstream – Crab Nebula [City Centre Offices, 2002]
An absolutely stunning track, all around. This song is just so feel-good, it makes you think that this is what good electronic music is really supposed to sound like.

4. Bradley Strider - Bradley’s Robot A2 [Rephlex, 1993]
Late nights driving home from my crappy job at a lazer tag place when I was 19. Being slightly stoned and behind the wheel when the highway is empty for forty minutes used to be magical in some weird way.

5. DJ Sprinkles – Ball’r/Madonna Free Zone [Mule Musiq, 2009]
Another beautiful example of how bittersweet and amniotic electronic stuff can be sometimes. There’s something very sad and full of longing in this track.

6. Bonobo – The Plug [Tru Thoughts, 2000]
This one takes me back to when I first moved in with Sophia by the beach, back in 2003. Lots of late nights doing overtime in my then-office job listening to this record.

7. Kiln – Kekker [Thalassa, 1998]
Kiln are simply one of the most amazing bands ever, and a real pleasure to know. This track really displays the amount of control they have over their sound, somehow making a very live band sound absolutely alien at the
same time.

8. Manual – Miraparque [Awkward Silence, 2008]
Now for this track and the next three we’re getting into ‘tropical mode’. I’ve always been totally obsessed with tropical sounds, images, climes, the whole deal, and Manual nails that vibe perfectly. Most likely because I grew up around the beach, this stuff always hits a nerve with me.

9. The Gentle People - Journey (Aphex Twin Care Mix) [Rephlex, 1995]
This track is total perfection. It could go on forever. It also brings to mind very specific uh…romantic memories. Yeah. Mindblowing.

10. Quantic – The 5th Exotic [Tru Thoughts, 2000]
Similar to the previous track, this is another one that still sounds very sexy and night-time to me. The kind of track you hear and want to bliss out to with someone you love.

11. Signaldrift – Welcome Ceylon [Wobblyhead, 2003]
This is one of those records that is just too perfect to pick a single song from. I went with this one because it was one of the first Signaldrift songs I ever heard and it’s still one of the best. The way this man has with melodies is just beyond me.

12. Cylob - Foid [Rephlex, 1996]
Going way back to when I was living in the deep country with my dad after high school. This was a time of self-discovery for me, and all I did was work, make music, and find new music to immerse myself in. Cylobian Sunset is one of those records that changed my life, and this song just breaks my heart every time. I can almost smell the old paperbacks and the weed on my clothes.

13. Arovane – Deauville [City Centre Offices, 2000]
I was suggested Tides by a German friend in 2003 when I first met Sophia, and the album still blows me away. No other song conjures the feeling of being stranded on a desert island quite like this one does. Pure distant sadness.

14. Loess – Viscer [Toytronic, 2003]
I also got into Loess when I first met Sophia, and I’d take this EP around with us when we’d be out driving around Surfside Beach at night. Perfect music for a cool contemplative drive around in the dark, and a wonderful song to close the mix with.