Offthesky

ASIP - Reflection on 2015

This years' ASIP Reflections mix closes out the annual "Advent Calendar" for our friends over at Das Kraftfuttermischwerk

Featuring just a few of my favourite tracks from 2015 the mix process is always organic for me, so ultimately always misses out several styles. This one, has focused more on the ambient and techno side of things, and doesn't include some of the many electronica, IDM, shoegaze or softer ambient music we have featured this year.

As a special treat, I've finished the mix with the first listen of a remix coming out on ASIP in January, as part of ASIPV003R.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to everyone who has been reading, listening and supporting ASIP in 2015. We couldn't have had such an amazing year without you.

Download over on Soundcloud.

 

Tracklist:
01. Hior Chronik - Nest Of Autumn Feat. Sophie Hutchings (Kitchen) READ
02. Offthesky & Pleq - Ashes Of America (Infraction) READ
03. Leandro Fresco - Los Pasos Vacilantes De Los Reyes (Kompakt) READ
04. Heathered Pearls - Cast In Lemon & Sand (Ghostly)
05. Halftribe - Shells (Dewtone)
06. Rafael Anton Irisarri - Persistence (Room40) READ
07. ASC - Deluge of Thought (Silent Season) 
08. Synkro - Your Heart (Apollo) READ
09. Refracted - The Jungle Is Thick (Silent Season)
10. Voices From The Lake - Orange Steps (Editions Mego) READ
11. Martin Nonstatic - Granite (Ultimae) READ
12. Nautil - Mue (Further)
13. Acronym - Letting Go Of It All (Northern Electronics) READ
14. Voices From The Lake - Max (Editions Mego) READ
15. Donnacha Costello - Farewell (Self released) READ
16. Alessandro Cortini - Rimasta (Important)
17. Arovane & Hior Chronik - Day After Tomorrow (AMX) (A Strangely Isolated Place)

Tracknotes

Hior Chronik - Nest Of Autumn Feat. Sophie Hutchings (Kitchen) READ
This album is being heralded as one of the best by many in the past few weeks. My full review summarizes this beautiful piece of work, but this track with Sophie Hutchings is pretty outstanding.

Offthesky & Pleq - Ashes Of America (Infraction) READ
Infraction are one of the most consistent underrated labels out there, and this colab proves it. I'm pretty sure plenty of people skipped this album, but it's one of the most special soundtrack moments of 2015 - a true grower with an emotional climax.

Leandro Fresco - Los Pasos Vacilantes De Los Reyes (Kompakt) READ
Leandro has had a spectacular year, with the release of his dedicated Pop Ambient album and this, a contribution to the annual Pop Ambient compilation. His sound never falters and this is one of his more finer, articulate moments, slightly different to his regular stuff.

Heathered Pearls - Cast In Lemon & Sand (Ghostly)
Jakub's album is another being heralded across the many best-of lists. Body Complex crossed into more of his 'club' sound, whilst keeping his warm textures and this track was the closest to his previous ambient sound we've covered here on ASIP many times.

Halftribe - Shells (Dewtone)
Despite a relatively quiet year for the label, Dewtonw had a few stunners including the Shells EP by Halftribe.

Rafael Anton Irisarri - Persistence (Room40) READ
A Fragile Geography will undoubtedly be known as one of Rafael's best. Power, emotion and delicacy such as this beautiful track, traverse the album to show RAI's ever-growing library of sound.

ASC - Deluge of Thought (Silent Season) 
ASC on Silent Season is a guaranteed combination. His past outputs have been some of the best music of the year and Fervent Dream is no exception. Deep, dark and mysterious, James Clements crafts the finest of details into vivid landscapes.

Synkro - Your Heart (Apollo) READ
I'm a big fan of Synkro, along with his other guises such as Kiyoko. Changes switches between epic synth-laden ambient music and more upbeat electronica, all in a unique new-beat Synkro style that straddles the likes of Burial, the Autonomic sound and Drum'n Bass.

Refracted - The Jungle Is Thick (Silent Season)
Silent Season went deeper than ever this year and Refracted dug deepest. Bubbling, daunting techno that encapsulates and transports.

Voices From The Lake - Orange Steps (Editions Mego) READ
VFTL didn't do anything particularly new this year, but their LIVE album was another reason to fall in love with the duo. Whilst this track wouldn't stand out in its own, it fitted well in the mix and my favorite from the album was actually the below 'Max'.

Martin Nonstatic - Granite (Ultimae) READ
The sounds in this track and across his album are addictive, like an industrial clang of warm dub-techno. Martin's praise for this album is illustrated in the review, so it was no surprise he would have a place in here.

Nautil - Mue (Further)
A relatively overlooked techno release that more-or-less defined a few of the styles I really got stuck into this year, alongside the Refracted track and the likes of wndfrm. Further also had an amazing year as a label and look unstoppable right now.

Acronym - Letting Go Of It All (Northern Electronics) READ
I could have included a host of Northern Electronics tracks in a year-end mix and it was hard enough narrowing it down to this one from Acronym. I've seen the album, June, pop up on a few lists and I'm glad Abdulla Rashim's ever growing techno label is getting some well-deserved attention. 

Voices From The Lake - Max (Editions Mego) READ
This track epitomizes VFTL's album productions and their stray into the ambient world. Melodic, warming and above-all, memorable.

Donnacha Costello - Farewell (Self released) READ
Donnacha's Love From Dust may be my favorite album of the year. An amazing return centered on his spectacular synth work. Donnacha went on to release another album, Stay Perfectly Still, which was just as good.

Alessandro Cortini - Rimasta (Important)
Alessandro continued his yearly Forse analog assault to great effect. Despite being one of the most 'famous' people on this list through his Nine Inch Nails involvement, he was surprisingly my biggest discovery of the year which led to me hunting down all of his previous synth work.

Arovane & Hior Chronik - Day After Tomorrow (AMX) (A Strangely Isolated Place)
A little taster of the next ASIP release - a remix EP of Arovane & Hior Chronik's In-between.

 

Passing by: Crisopa, Offthesky & Pleq, Eyesix, Sraunus

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Crisopa – A Lucid Dream Kit

Spain’s electronica pioneer Crisopa has finally made a return to our beloved n5MD label with his new album. On first listen, we can expect much of the same melodic, soaring and complex beat-work we came to realise on his last endeavour with n5MD, Biodance. And you know what, I’m pretty pleased about it, as no-one else out there matches Santi’s colorful approach to this style of music. Available through then5MD Bandcamp on CD/digital.

 
 

Offthesky & Pleq – A Thousand Fields

You may have heard me bang on about Infraction Records a few times on here, primarily through discovering our very own Parks back in the day. They don’t put out many records, but when they do, they are always top-notch. Their latest, A Thousand Fields, is the first collaboration between Denver, Colorado based artist offthesky (Jason Corder) and Warsaw, Poland based musician Pleq (Bartosz Dziadosz), both of which you may have come across before on labels such as Home Normal, Hibernate, SEM and Dronarivm. Needless to say, a bunch of experience and talent between them.

‘A Thousand Fields’ is tantalising and delicate, expressing many modern-classical elements. The preview track, Ashes of America, is one of the best soundtrack pieces I’ve ever heard.. no joke, it’s beautiful. Available on limited edition vinyl to pre-order now through Bandcamp.

 
 

Eyesix – Conet Communications Workshop

It was 51 weeks ago to the day we last posted about Eyesix, and he even got a shout-out in my journey through ambient article as an artist delving into the warm retro-style helmed by the likes of Boards of Canada. Well, his latest is no different to the comparison made back then, but that’s no means to discount such a lovely bunch of music. This kind of stuff is rare to come by and loved by many so get involved. Available on CD/Digital through Bandcamp.

 
 

Sraunus – Vibrant Dead Rock

2012’s Out Of The City, was one of my favourite ambient/dub-techno releases of late and ensured I kept a close eye on how Lithuania’s Srauns developed. Three years later and the evolution is clear with Vibrant Dead Rock. I was scared at first – a haunting piece of artwork and track-names akin to what you’d expect from that album title – some kind of death metal piece, but you’ll want to invest some time in this one. Some very interesting approaches that span drone, ambient and electronica. Some, veil potentially loud experimental pieces in distortion and delay, such as Galyma, some are atmospheric synth pieces such as Litorina, and some remain in touch with his earlier dub-techno work, such as Motina. A varied and worthwhile investment. Available on tape and Digital through Bandcamp.