Rafael Anton Irisarri

isolatedmix 90 - Hotel Neon

 
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After the last brilliant, eclectic and proggy isolatedmix by Steve Moore, we’ve secretly been longing for a deeper more serene story to bring our senses full circle. With releases on introspective labels such as Archives, and Fluid Audio the next mix, comes from Michael Tasselmyer, Andrew Tasselmyer, and Steven Kemner, known to many of us as Hotel Neon.

The Philadelphia based trio’s sound has previously been expertly described as, “at once epic and incredibly intimate”; “as icy as it is graceful"; and “enveloping atmosphere and sonic density”, but I would try and simplify (or complicate) it as sitting at the crossroads of a spectrum of ambient styles we admire. Coincidentally, given the number of band members, a Venn Diagram of Hotel Neon would likely see them exist within the sweet spot of classical/soundtrack, drone and more tactfully styled field recordings. Their combination of the three create deep churning and bellowing auras to get truly lost within.

The desired effect is as much lean-in, as it is to observe or wander amongst, with intricacies that only become apparent in certain situations, or instruments that take several listens to identify. They’ve become an apt soundtrack for deep sleep, and have an observable tangible approach well-deserved of live performances within more epic spaces such cathedrals. But as their name may suggest, and as the theme of the mix is revealed, Hotel Neon’s music comes into its own when you’re caught wandering at night - in what we like to imagine - is your own, strangely isolated place…

Will Long’s (Celer) recent new album really blew us away, and we got to thinking about the imagery that a track title like “Rains lit by neon” can stir up: late-night ruminations in a quiet hotel room, high above streets full of strangers lit by neon. Obviously, we can connect to the “neon” aspect...but in all seriousness, there’s something undeniably compelling about the effect of a lonely nocturnal setting on one’s state of mind, and the depth of introspection it can generate. These are tracks with wistful, mysterious, and provocative character to facilitate one’s nighttime reminiscing. - Andrew (Hotel Neon)

Hotel Neon are currently busy preparing for an EU/UK tour alongside masters of the art, Marcus Fischer and Simon Scott this September (see here) and preparing a charity compilation album in collaboration with Robert Macfarlane called "Place Language." The compilation features 29 artists from around the world including Hammock, Taylor Deupree, Lawrence English and many more. Set to be released through Fluid Audio in September, the compilation will be available in a custom letter-pressed booklet, and all profits will benefit the War Child charity to provide aid to children displaced by war and conflict.

Download

Tracklist:

01. ana roxanne - “Nocturne” (~~~) Buy on Bandcamp 
02. Benoît Pioulard & Sean Curtis Patrick - “Zenava” (Avocationals) Buy on Bandcamp
03. Lusine - “Jetstream” (Language Barrier) Buy on Bandcamp
04. Earthen Sea - “Existing Closer Or Deeper In Space” (Grass And Trees) Buy on Bandcamp
05. Kate Carr - “Contact” (Contact) Buy on Bandcamp
06. Celer - “(06.23.17) from the doorway of the beef noodle shop, shoes on the street in the rain, outside the karate school” (Xièxie) Buy on Bandcamp
07. Celer - “Rains lit by neon” (Xièxie) Buy on Bandcamp
08. anthéne - “Cyprus” (Lost Channel) Buy on Bandcamp
09. Brian McBride - “At A Loss” (Air Texture Volume II) Buy on Bandcamp
10. Sofie Birch - “Begin Sync End” (Planetes) Buy on Bandcamp
11. Jana Winderen - “Drift” (Surface Runoff) Buy on Bandcamp
12. Mount Shrine - “Forbidden Air, Pt. 2” (Homeless Rooms) Buy on Bandcamp
13. Rafael Anton Irisarri - “Falling Curtain” (Midnight Colors) Buy on Bandcamp

Artwork photo by Andrew Tasselmyer, “taken in Shanghai, China in early 2016 while wandering alone at night by the Huangpu River downtown, bleary-eyed and nostalgic”.

~

Hotel Neon | Website | Bandcamp | Discogs | Youtube | Twitter | Facebook 

 

ASIP - MNMT Label Showcase

 
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Believe it or not, over the past six years (since our very first label release in 2013) I haven’t put together a label showcase mix. However, this year I find myself sitting on an amazing amount of upcoming music, so when MNMT Podcast asked me to put together a label mix, I went all in. I tend to hold on to previewing upcoming music, so it makes me a little nervous to put this out there but hopefully you all get a sense of the amazing albums we have coming up.

60% of the music in this mix is upcoming on ASIP, so get ready for some new and exciting moments alongside some familiar sounds…

For more info on the mix and a short Q&A, head over to Monument.

 

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. 

Download.

~ 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

 

Thesis Collected 01 - album stream

 
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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.

Tracklist:

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

 

ASIP - The Last Frequencies (mix for Headphone Commute)

 
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One last time, tuned to nothingness,
A swan song for the remnants. 
Empty buildings, rain and the dark abyss,
Lit by neon rain and the artificial descendants. 
 


Our good friend Headphone Commute has just published a new mix of mine, titled The Last Frequencies. It's a pretty obvious concept once you listen, but sometimes these things come to me at the end rather than the beginning. I started this mix after the terrible news of Jóhann Jóhannsson's death and was left wondering what the score for Blade Runner would've or could've been at the time. Perhaps, this thought process subliminally inspired me to create something of my own. Only on hindsight did I realize.  

It took a few months to compile and I went through five different versions before finally settling here. Given how much time I spent on it, I thought I'd try to do it even more justice by adding some comments on the featured tracks below. As always, I see mixes as an amazing point of discovery here on ASIP, so want to do everything to support the artists featured within. 

Make sure you check out the rest of Headphone Commute's guest mixes - the last one by 36, for example, and a recent epic journey by Roel Funcken - just two that shouldn't be missed. 

And thanks to HC for hosting me on his great platform for music discovery - our partner in the ever-expanding conquest to highlight the best ambient music out in the world. 

Read more on Headphone Commute.  

Listen on Soundcloud

Direct download

Tracklist + track notes:

01. Computer Afterlife - (Various samples) [Self released]

This album is the perfect entry point to Vaporwave (shudder?). If you haven't already been digging around the recent phenomenon that's rife on Bandcamp. 'Infinity Frequencies' is like a compilation of retro advertisements and elevator music, all put through the Vaporwave machine. On its own, the album is an interesting listen as opposed to a relaxed experience, but I chose to edit several of the tracks and combine with TV static to give the effect of someone/something searching through frequencies. It also inspired the name of the mix, as the journey goes on to dictate the dystopian world before the last frequency is heard. Available on Bandcamp.

02. Rashida Prime - {modular frame} [Cyber Dream Records]

Continuing the Vaporwave-wave, there's a side to this style that I really love, and Rashida Prime is a good example. To many, this is just heavily textured and processed drone music. But in a similar vein to the likes of Rafael Anton Irisarri, Rashida manages to score a beautiful melody amongst all the noise and static. I also added a little monologue from Blade Runner here to set the scene. Rashida Prime's album, Damaged Interface, is also available on Bludhoney - perhaps one of the most influential Vaporwave labels out there should you want to dig deep. Available on Bandcamp

03. Innerst Inne - Solen Träffar Topparna Först (Further Records)

Innerst Inne are Andreas Tilliander and Johan T Karlsson and this, I believe, is their first outing together - on Further Records, no less. Hailing from Scandinavia, with the album made in Sweden, it'd be silly to think inspiration hasn't been drawn from the cold depths, or the ever-growing techno scene that seems to influence everything that comes out of this part of the world right now. This album contains it all though - murky, deep ambience alongside some beautiful analog synthesizer moments, rooted in archaic dissonance. Fans of Alessandro Cortini, Isorinne, Rashad Becker, rejoice. Available on Bandcamp

04. Merrin Karras - 47 Drawn [Unreleased]

Some exciting music in the near future from Merrin Karras. For now... 

05. Steve Moore - Aphellion [Spectrum Spools]

I think I've included a Steve Moore track in nearly every mix I've put together in the past few years. He's a master of manipulation and does an amazing job at portraying new, futuristic places. This album, Pangaea Ultima does just that, and depicts a vision of a new world "away from the standards of time that we have insisted upon giving it". Available on Bandcamp. 

06. 輕描淡寫 - 我昨晚梦见你了 [Bludhoney Records]

Back into Vaporwave again, but I bet you didn't know it... This is where the genre crosses over with many other ambient styles, with the introduction of a piano blurring the lines. Still, the ominous sound of dystopian rain-soaked city streets is still present. Available on Bandcamp. 

07. Swoop & Cross - St. No [Time Released Sound]

A beautifully packaged vinyl by the aesthetic-forward label Time Released Sound, Swoop & Cross create a delicate and unmissable album in every way. I enjoyed the harmonious shift from the previous melody into the similar piano melody here - like the rainy, neon-lit streets emerging out of the dark into the daylight. Available on Bandcamp.  

08. Aleksi Perälä - UK74R1406060 [DUB]

Aleksi's music is often electro/techno-forward and normally wouldn't fit into this set (unless I took a turn into much heavier stuff), but this track features a stripped-back underlying analog tone that shifted the mood of the mix from a quaint piano melody into something a little more ominous. Aleksi's Colundi Sequence albums are pioneering in their approach, and you'll no-doubt find something mesmerizing amongst the many editions out there right now - even if you can't decipher the track names. He's a modern-day Aphex Twin in many ways. Available on Bandcamp

09. Isorinne - Whereabouts Unknown [Field Records]

This track features a bunch of abstract sounds and samples at the beginning, which is a little out out of the ordinary for the normally icy-smooth ambient stylings of Isorinne. The album this track is lifted off is from 2016, so if you've enjoyed Isorinne's recent brilliance on Northern Electronics, take a dig back into his earlier works for a little variety. Whereabouts Unknown gave the impression of something changing - a bustle and commotion - that led into the warmer tones of RAI.  Available on Bandcamp.

10. Rafael Anton Irisarri - Two and a Half Minutes (Geographic North)

Rafael continues to surpass expectations with his very purposeful "active-listening" ambient aesthetic. This is just one of many great tracks that have recently seen the light through two tape releases - one on Geographic North titled Midnight Colors and another, Sirimiri on Umor Rex. I felt bad keeping the inclusion of this track pretty short, but in a similar belief to RAI himself; less is more. Hope he agrees here! Available on Bandcamp.

11. 36 - Further Room 4 [A Strangely Isolated Place] + Alva Noto - Xerrox Monophaser 2 [Raster Noton]

For those that purchased 36's album, Infinity Room, you likely received a hidden surprise (that many still to this day might not know about). A full EP titled Further Rooms, accessed via a password-protected page hidden in the vinyl etching. Many say it's as good as the main album, evident here with Further Room 4. Again, not one to purposefully blemish an already good track, I originally had Alva Noto's infamous Xerrox Monophaser 2 at a very low level in the background to add some additional depth to the mix, but brought it up a little more as it seemed to fit well with the overall lost-in-space vibe Dennis' track was painting. Further Rooms still lies hidden for those that want to hunt it down... but Alva Noto's classic album is available in all good stores / Alva Noto website

12. Markus Guentner - New World Order  [A Strangely Isolated Place] + Global Communication - 0.54

For those that are taking the time to read this, then let this be your official notice - our next release on ASIP will see the return of Markus Guentner. More on that to come, but to continue this idea of lost and dying frequencies in the mix, Global Communication's now infamous intermission from their legendary ambient album 76.14, came to mind, and fitted perfectly with Markus's track. Like floating out into the dark void... 

13. The National Pool - Brick Cloud-Area 2 [Infraction]

I've already gushed about this album on ASIP, so head on over here to read more. Available on Bandcamp

14. Christoph De Babalon - Brilliance [DHR]

Hype hype hype. This album did receive. And it's a hard listen overall, but this Gas-esque track is one of the better from the album that will strike a chord with us ambient fans. The rest of the album however, is mainly very hard techno-edged-drum'n bass. You have been warned (or encouraged). Good luck hunting it down again, after a recent repress. 

15. Biosphere - Hyperborea [Biophon Records]

No-one depicts being lost in space, as sounds from far off worlds echo in the distance, better than Biosphere. All mixes should consider a 'classic' moment within the track list, and this one does the job for me. At this point in the mix, I had pictured a person floating through the void with his/her communication struggling to grasp the last few sounds from the world they just departed. Or is it the world they're floating towards? Available on Bandcamp

16. The Black Dog - Part One [Self released]

Dig anywhere amongst The Black Dog's extensive catalog and you'll find some beauty hidden amongst the darkest depths of techno. This self-released EP was the last time they got to work with good friend, Shawn Bloodworth - a fittingly beautiful tribute. Available on Bandcamp. 

17. Dino Sabatini - And It All Ends Here (feat. Antonello Salis) [Outis Music] 

I initially had the mix ending up in waves of static - a more literal homage to the title and concept of the mix. But this track by Dino Sabatini paid homage to a dystopian future in a different way - like an 80's film closing credits. Slightly Vangelis in style. An apt title too, from a stunning album. Available on Bandcamp.

Check back here soon for links to download the mix. 

~

Artwork edited by me; Ryan Griffin, featuring photography by Karen Sayser, Keith Camilleri & Sandeep Swarnkar.