Silent Season

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

 

isolatedmix 72 - Wanderwelle

 
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It's hard to break through with a distinct sound where dub-techno is concerned. From its Detroit roots, we've seen many artists adapt the style into deeper into ambient territory; adaptations into more 'dub' than techno; the addition of vocals; or dub-techno based entirely on rain recordings. And now, with Wanderwelle's full-length debut on Silent Season, we have another innovative take...

Those that have listened to 'Lost In A Sea Of Trees', will know that the album, despite being rooted in deep, dubby kicks, adds a new creative dimension to the sound we're used to.  Inspired by the mysterious pagan tribes that once roamed across the European woodlands, you find yourself transported back in time to a place you can only dream of exploring. Balancing wistful, floating atmospheres that depict an often hopeful journey, combined with apprehensive shades of darkness, mysterious whistles of wind, and slowly unfurling melodies, the album is a journey into itself - a new mystical expression of the often functional side of dub-techno. This is the Yin, to Yagya's Yang; as the rain clears and you make your way out into the dense forest. 

As if creating a part II for their Mysteries of the Deep mix a few months back, Wanderwelle's isolatedmix captures this mysterious pagan spirit perfectly, blending dense ambient and subtle churns of melodic dub-techno, all featuring a sense of exploration, mystery and unknowing:

"This mix contains sounds and moods that will transfer the listener to a mystic realm where foggy atmospheres and moonlit melodies will haunt its travellers. A world that consists of deep electronics where at times subtle ivory keys will rise like autumn winds that sweep through ruins of past days. A strangely isolated place where like-minded souls will cross each other's paths".

Wanderwelle's debut album on Silent Season is now available

Download.

Tracklist:

01. Gigi Masin - Talk to the Sea
02. Earthen Sea - Our Bloods
03. Susumu Yokota - Secret Garden
04. Varg - Öhn
05. Mkwaju Ensemble - Hot Air
06. Fjäder - Shades of Light
07. Milena Kriegs - Svadisthana
08. Varg & Abdulla Rashim - Metro Entrance II
09. Wanderwelle - Unreleased
10. Function - Ember (Field)
11. Sky H1 - Huit
12. Huerco S. - A Sea of Love
13. Isorinne - Composite City
14. Periskop - Immerse (Component IX)
15. Isorinne - Los Angeles 2017
16. Yko - Shiro (Max Loderbauer Remix)
17. Leandro Fresco & Rafael Anton Irisarri - Un Horizonte En Llamas
18. Woodkid & Nils Frahm - Winter Morning I
19. Anthony Linell - Royal Island

Wanderwelle | Bandcamp | Soundcloud | Twitter | Facebook

 

ASIP Wantlist #2 Jamie McCue (Silent Season)

 

Our second dive into the Wantlist comes from friend and label-head, Jamie McCue from the well respected Silent Season. I had anticipated these lists to throw out some obscure digs, bringing to life hints of personality from each person featured, and it looks like we're on track to fulfill that ambition. Some lovely hard-to-find selections from one of dub-techno's finest curators. 

 
 
 

1. The Future Sound Of London ‎– Lifeforms. 1994. [Discogs

In 1994 while I rolling around on the floor with my punk band screaming about teenage angst I completely was overlooking a genre of music that would later be hugely influential on life. I probably never heard of FSOL until the late 90’s which was maybe a good thing because this album is a masterpiece that deserved my more mature attention. My mom used to listen to Enya in the late 80’s and while it seemed cheesy at the time I think it’s what subconsciously implanted an interest in new age / ambient, which was literally the opposite style of music I was listening to at the time. Anyway, for better or worse I made it out of those years a little wiser and more open minded to downtempo and experimental electronic music. I hope to find this record in a dusty old record store one day.

 
 

2. Modern Art - Circuit Lights (1982-1986). 2011. [Discogs]

Growing up I was a huge fan of new wave, synth pop and 80’s music. I loved regularly tuning into the local radio stations and I remember hearing bands like Echo & The Bunnymen, Love and Rockets, The Cure, and similar music. It felt so right given I was listening to punk and ska at the time. It was like this gritty danceable punk influenced sound that still to this day gives me goosebumps when I hear the right song. I first heard Hello/Goodbye in a Silent Servant mix from a few years ago and it really hit home when I hear this track specifically. The Modern Art original was released on tape in 1982 but was re-released in 2011 as Circuit Lights (1982-1986). It’s on my wantlist and I hope to blast it one day.

 
 

3. Cymande - The Best Of. 1972. [Discogs]

Hey you can’t go wrong with this classic Cymande record from 1972! It’s a perfect BBQ beats record for those summer afternoon backyard parties. The record is loaded with roots, reggae, funk and soul. Not sure why I never owned a copy. I think maybe I preferred when friends play it while I puffed a spliff and got tipsy on rum. One day I’ll own it, one day. Classic!

 
 

4. Murcof - Martes [Discogs]

I completely missed buying Martes on vinyl when it first came out in 2002. I’ve regretted it all these years later until recently when the Leaf Label re-released it as a 3xLP set with Martes + Utopía. Murcof has a sound of his own that is one of a kind. As noted on his Discogs page, Murcof works with orchestral samples, microscopically detailed textures, sounds and rhythms. I”m happy to be a proud owner of the latest vinyl. Check it out!

 
 

5. The Dub Syndicate - The Pounding System (Ambience In Dub) [Discogs]

After crawling out of the 90’s with a massive hangover it was time to chill out. A trip to Central America was in order to smooth my rocker edges. What I found while down there was beautiful beaches, cheap weed, and beach bars that played some pretty cool reggae and dub music. Since those hazy days I’ve become a bit of a head for dub. A few years later I started following artists like Bill Laswell, Twilight Circus, Sly & Robbie and Pete Namlook. I loved their use of the studio to create some magical dub and ambient vibes. I first heard of Adrian Sherwood and his label On-U Sound from the Kid Hops radio show on KEXP Seattle on Saturday mornings. Instantly I was hooked on the experimental reggae/dub sounds from the label which led me to the The Pounding System album by Dub Syndicate. I still don’t own a copy, and it’s been on my wantlist for years. Once I own it you can put me in a beach chair with a spliff in hand with this playing out of the tiki bar speakers. 

~

Up next on the Wantlist, we ask another great friend, Mike Cadoo (of n5MD) for his crate digging targets. 

 
 

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.

 

A Silent Season showcase in Seattle

I had travelled about an hour out of Vancouver last Friday morning to meet up with Jamie McCue and Dan Anthon. Jamie is the founder and curator of Silent Season, a small ambient and dub techno imprint based in Canada’s Comox Valley and Dan is the mastermind behind the label’s visual aesthetic. Drawing from the seemingly endless beauty of their immediate surroundings they’ve been presenting a discography that has helped recognize emerging artists and garnered genuine interest in the geography that inspires it.

They were both invited to host a showcase at this year’s Decibel Festival alongside two of the label’s most prominent figures: ASC andSegue. The show was a collaborative effort with Secondnature, an ambitious group of young minds helping develop context for some of techno’s more obscure outputs. It was the first time Silent Season had ever been presented on a festival stage and the first time all of them would be in the same room together. It was the kind of situation that drew equal parts support and disapointment from an international community that were largely unable to attend.

 
 

Jamie and Dan were making their way over from the island and we had agreed to meet at an appropriate checkpoint early that morning. The drive down was as cloudy and wet as they come, but it seemed to clear up as we approached Seattle. Traffic didn’t leave us much time so a brief check into the hotel, where a towering Marcel Dettmann had also just arrived, had us quickly off to the EMP for sound check. After a warm bump in with Communikey founder Kate Lesta we were whisked away through a number of back halls to the green room at Sky Church. Realizing we still had about a half hour to kill we reveled in the impressive setup and enjoyed a taste of the set Simian Mobile Disco had planned for that night.

Soon after we hurried to level 3 and the guys got straight to work. Jordan Sauer (Segue) and James Clements (ASC) arrived with minutes to get their gear on stage and plugged in. Jamie had already been teasing the speakers with sub frequencies. They had all originally been slated to perform in a more intimate space, but a last minute program change had them enjoying the benefits of a larger sound system. After everyone got the clear we took 15 minutes to get in our last meal of the night.

 
 

Doors opened and lights dimmed as festival goers made their way into the venue and respectfully took their seats. Jamie set the tone with calming field sounds and airy pads. His set had a satisfying arc, moving through a wide range of the Silent Season catalog, as beatless ambience patiently blossomed into deep pulsating rhythms.

Dan was situated at the back of the room getting aquainted with a setup he had pieced together just days earlier. He had spent the last two and a half months combing Vancouver Island for material to help him bring the Silent Season world to life. The visuals were stunning. Time lapse scenes showcased much of the surroundings Jamie and Dan have been championing and they would blend into beautiful fusions of geometric shapes and soft colors. It was a treat to see it in motion and while I regret not bringing a SLR to get more appropriate video, I’m certain we’ll get to see more of it in the future.