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.
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