Skee Mask

isolatedmix 85 - r beny

 
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If like me, you often spend time exploring Bandcamp and the genre charts on the homepage, you’ll likely stumble across one of r beny’s albums. That’s not to say he’s a chart topping superstar (he could be our very own ambient equivalent) but more so that he is the type of artist that once stumbled upon, I’d guess people end up buying his entire catalog. There seems to be a steady stream of support behind his albums of late, and 2018 might have been one of his best years yet, with three albums released on top of his previous, one in 2016 and one in 2017. 2018 could be defined as the year Austin Cairns aka r beny found his stride amongst us lovers of deep, textured and extremely engrossing analog wizardry.

r beny made many of last years best of lists, and depending on which list you read it could’ve been any one of his three 2018 standouts popping up: Saudade, eistla and Reasons To Live (alongside Paperbark) all heralded in some shape or form. Austin’s core approach lies amongst the fascinating world of modulars, which he seems to manipulate so much, you’d be hard pressed to know the warmth and color coming through in his music is made from hard electricity. Instead, the ingredients are often bubbled up through the minute details, the outro maybe, as the fuzz of inputs comes to an end. A true master of analog ambient has that capability - bringing out the most unique and unrecognizable feelings from a piece of equipment that on its own, might sound raw and disjointed.

Eistla album opener, 'in the violet and lingering winter dusk’ followed Abul Mogard in our Reflection on 2018 mix - an initial indicator of where his sound can align to in the spectrum of deep, immersive ambient music. That track is a great example of the type of soaring atmospherics he is capable of, all while retaining a subtle sense of attachment and romanticism that keeps it from entering any dark ambient or straight-up drone territory, and keeps the emotional pull firmly within distance.

For his isolatedmix, Austin has continued this meld of melody, texture and granular detail, and as he best describes below, “Rhythmic pulses… Warm, fuzzy and maybe broken textures”, are the heroes behind the story of some his many recent musical inspirations.

This is a mix for contemplation. For staring at the ceiling and wondering if you should get out of bed today. Also, for cooking? This is music that I feel pushes and pulls, in both sound and emotion. Contemplative, looping melodies that reveal rhythmic pulses. Warm, fuzzy, and maybe broken textures. Music to get lost to.

This is a lot of what I've been listening to this winter. A few all-time favorites (Hecker, Caminiti, Microphones), friends and peers that constantly inspire me (Paperbark, Hainbach), and some recent 2018 favorites (Mary Jane Leach, Leon Vynehall, Skee Mask). This is all music that moves me in some way. 

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Tracklist:

01. Mary Jane Leach – Dowland’s Tears
02. múm - Hú Hviss
03. Hainbach – Hands on Ears
04. Ant’lrd – Shoulder Width Apart
05. Mark Templeton – Burning Brush
06. Paperbark – Impulse Toss
07. Leon Vynehall – Ice Cream (Chapter VIII)
08. Microphones – Organs & Pianos from “The Moon”
09. Fieldhead - Northern Canada
10. Huerco S – Skug Commune
11. Vladislav Delay – Ranta
12. Evan Caminiti – Bright Midnight
13. Deru – Midnight in the Garden With Ghosts (Remix)
14. Jasmine Guffond – Degradation Loops #2
15. Thomas Köner – Ruska
16. Skee Mask – Soundboy Ext.
17. Dalhous- Methods of Elan
18. Bell Orchestre – Water / Light / Shifts (Tim Hecker Remix)
19. Sinerider – Walking Home Alone

r beny | Bandcamp | Discogs | Facebook | Twitter

 

ASIP - Reflection on 2018

 
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This year marked some significant milestones in my life personally and with ASIP. It was our ten-year anniversary and with it came our Full Circle vinyl project. I didn’t think I would get around to doing this year-end mix given everything going on, but it’s always funny how and when inspiration strikes to pull something together. Sleepless, stressful nights, this mix provided me with just the right amount of reflection, and distraction for my insomnia.

As with all of my ‘Reflection’ year-end mixes, I start with a long list of tracks and albums I have enjoyed over the year. By the process of putting together a mix that I feel flows well as per any other mix I put together, the songs are whittled down and selected. This means many of my faves are often omitted in the process. But as I say every year, this isn’t a definitive ‘best-of’ list, but an organic selection of some of my favorite music from 2018 in an enjoyable format, as a piece in itself.

I subsequently put together a second 1.5 hours following this mix, but when I got into that territory, I started to wonder where I would actually stop... I found new releases I loved just this week, and wanted to revisit it all again. But, I was hard on myself to keep it to just this one mix - a 2hr journey through some of 2018’s finest. The mix spans many styles I love, touching on modern-classical, experimental, ambient, drone and electronica but the biggest omission (that is often included in previous years mixes) is much of the techno and dub-techno I’ve listened to. The mix didn’t go that way naturally, and then I ran out of time after giving myself a 2-hr limit.

Here’s the quick rundown:

Rhian Sheehan opens the mix as he does Full Circle, returning after several years away with a stunning new compositional album. Johnny Greenwood pricked my ears whilst watching You Were Never Really Here. Steve Good made it into the year-end mix once again with another solid ambient album. Poemme provided the light and tranquil vibes whilst Warmth added the density with another superb full-length. Mount Shrine lulled me to sleep on many occasions and Hotel Neon offered some of their best work to date. Abul Mogard never disappoints and r beny should be held to a similar superlative given his great work this year. Acronym & Korridor brought their rare tape to the digital realm. Laura Luna Castillo was a lovely new find for me with a varied experimental album. Indulging in the Field Works boxset this year, I struggled to only offer one track out of the bunch. Grand River finally put out her album opus after several strong EPs. Richard Devine blew our minds with a crazy piece of IDM - as expected. Diamondstein tag-teamed with Sangam for a future-facing journey and 36’s Patreon subscription continued to provide some of his best work yet. Vril hit us with one of the years bets ambient techno albums on Delsin. One of this years biggest surprises probably goes to Skee Mask dropping his genre-traversing rave inspired album. Wanderwelle created one of the years most unique sounding storied albums. Helios, came back to the ambient fray with his debut on Ghostly and a more nostalgic melancholic album. DJ Healer was likely one of my most-listened to albums of the year for the lo-fi reflective nature of his sound and a definitive soundtrack to my trip to Tokyo. Ocoeur continued to innovate his varied production approach for n5MD and Rival Consoles perfected his upfront electronic sound on Erased Tapes. A dream duo in Synkro and Arovane lived up to the hype of both, and The Black Dog’s two albums reminded us all of their mastery and depth. Inner River lead Atomnation’s 2018 output and Jon Hopkins will be topping many lists no doubt. Lastly, Mysteries of The Deep launched their label with an amazing roster, and presented us with Lori Scacco, who rounds out the mix on an uplifting note.

To see all the music I’ve enjoyed this year and many great pieces I didn’t manage to fit into this mix, just head over to the ASIP Bandcamp collection page and some of the accompanying notes I write on each purchase.

Thanks to everyone here for the music, and a big shout to anyone not included who’s music I have loved and supported this year. I’m still catching up on many and wish I could’ve included so many more.

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Tracklist (View all Bandcamp links in one link here, via "BuyMusic.club")

01. Rhian Sheehan - All Who Remain [Self]
02. Johnny Greenwood - Tree Stings [Lakeshore Records]
03. Steve Good - 360 [Self]
04. Poemme - At the Gates Of Dawn [Stereoscenic Records]
05. Warmth - Receiver [Archives]
06. Mount Shrine - Winter Restlessness [Cryo Chamber]
07. Hotel Neon - Roke [Archives]
08. Abul Mogard - Where Not Even [Ecstatic]
09. r beny - in the violet and lingering winter dusk [Self]
10. Acronym & Korridor - Sscending [Vaagner]
11. Laura Luna Castillo - Moskstraumen [Genot]
12. Field Works (Loscil) - Imprints [Temporary Residence]
13. Grand River - Ecouri [Spazio Disponible]
14. Richard Devine - Astra [Planet Mu]
15. Diamondstein & Sangam - Finding Peace Where There Isn't [Doom Trip]
16. 36 - Midnight Helix [Self]
17. Vril - Riese (Rework) [Delsin]
18. Skee Mask - Session Add [Ilian Tape]
19. Wanderwelle - The Seed of the Areoi [Silent Season]
20. Helios - Eventually [Ghostly]
21. DJ Healer - 2 The Dark [All Possible Worlds]
22. Ocoeur - Passage [n5MD]
23. Rival Consoles - Unfolding [Erased Tapes]
24. Roel Funcken - Sapper Morton [Analogical Force]
25. Synkro & Arovane - Aspen [Apollo]
26. The Black Dog - The Truth Is In The Post [Dust]
27. Inner River - Floe Flow [Atomnation]
28. Jon Hopkins - C O S M [Domino]
29. Lori Scacco - Strange Cities [Mysteries Of The Deep]

Stream select tracks on Spotify or Apple Music (Not all tracks are included)
Artwork photo by
Naphtali Marshall.

 

ASIP - Familiar Spectrums

 
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I've spent this week creating an ambient mix for a fellow mix series/podcast (will be live soon, around mid-June) and whilst I absolutely love crafting considered mixes, I find myself immersed in certain specific styles of music for days on end without coming up for air. As I’m searching for tracks, I’m stumbling across other music that I haven’t listened to for a while - often from the same artists, or labels, but offering a slightly different style to your usual ASIP ambient journeys. Sometimes I need to eject out of a state of mind to truly appreciate what it’s like to be back in it.

Additionally, there’s no doubt that the “rave” side of house and techno is making a hard-earned comeback. Take Skee Mask’s latest album, which will undoubtedly go down as a future classic; Bicep’s self-titled hit, or the Touch Absence remix that’s pretty much every DJ’s secret weapon nowadays- and for a very good reason. I spend a lot of time listening to other styles of electronic music - be it techno, drum’n bass, jungle or other, and I don’t often get to put a mix together that strays from the normal expected ASIP-related stuff. However, I think this has some elements you'll find familiar and stays close in more ways than one...

This was fun to put together, I hope you enjoy it.

Download.

Tracklist:
01. Skee Mask - Flyby VFR
02. Sangam & Thugwidow - Sea Through Glass
03. Brio - Mening
04. Thugwidow - Spoilt British Liberals
05. Skee Mask - Soundboy Ext.
06. Borealis - Skyhall
07. Intex Systems - Resolve: Direct
08. Bandhagens Musikförening - Protokol A
09. Lanark Artefax - Touch Absence (Intimidating Stillness Mix)
10. Aphex Twin - Rhubarb (1159 remix)
11. Rising Sun - Oskar (Le Petite Prince Mix)
12. Bicep - Glue
13. Aphex Twin - On

Image by Daniele Levis Pelusi