Suzanne Ciani

isolatedmix 87 - Seahawks: Celestial Voyage

 
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I feel a little disappointed in myself that I hadn’t stumbled across Seahawks when I was back in England. It turns out the duo, consisting of Jon Tye (Lo Recordings) and Pete Fowler (known for his work with Super Furry Animals and his monsterism toys) have been frequenting some of my old haunts back home for quite some time. The Big Chill festival for example, or even the Big Chill Bar in London - both regular destinations for me a few years back. Funny, that I should come to own my first Seahawks record after picking it up at, of all places, Technique record store in Tokyo last year. But that’s the great thing about this type of music and in particular the approach of Jon and Pete as Seahawks- it’s music that transcends time and place.

As they prepare to release their latest album on Cascine, titled Eyes Of The Moon (released 15th March) Jon and Pete have prepped a journey into their very hard-to-pin-down-cosmic world. Taking advantage of their many years DJ-ing, collecting and throwing boat-parties, this isolatedmix does exactly what the title suggests. A celestial voyage, into the minds of Seahawks, traversing the many imaginable worlds they conjure up through their colorful, vivid and complimentary music and art.

Download.

Read more about the Seahawks project and the mix in the Q&A with Jon and Pete, below.

Tracklist:

1. Iasos – Helios and Vesta
2. Seahawks – Eyes Of The Moon (Ocean Moon ambient mix)
3. Clifford White – Lost At Shore
4. Suzanne Ciani – Eighth Wave
5. Meditation Y.S. – Neocrystal (On The Beach Mix)
6. Swami Kriya Ramananda – Hymn To A New Age
7. Larry Heard – Summertime Breeze
8. Waak Waak Djungi – Rainbow Serpent
9. Jon Anderson – Deseo (Future Sound Of London remix)
10. Emerald Web – Nightsong
11. Seahawks – Run Through My Mind
12. Wally Badarou – Awa
13. Yoshio Ojima – Glass Chattering
14. Body San – Marimba Class
15. Iasos – Helios and Vesta

ASIP: You both have some serious history between you. Would you mind giving us the quick rundown of how you got to where you are today?
Seahawks: It’s the 10th anniversary of our first release next year so yes indeed some serious history. To some extent we just pointed the ship in the right direction, stocked up with supplies and set sail into the unknown. It’s been a great trip but as to how…I guess we let the cosmic wind carry us along.

How did Seahawks come about and what inspired the project?
The Seahawks boat party at the Big Chill bar was our R&D (research & development) centre. We would try jamming different styles and adding FX and tracks we were working on and also invite friends to join in. At the time Pete lived just up the road so we could continue our research, sometimes deep into the night…

When it comes to the specifics of the project, Jon, you look after music and Pete, art. How important is it to you that these two are presented as one in today's throwaway streaming world?
It makes a big difference for us to present a conceptual whole, the Eyes Of The Moon album is actually the first where one of us has not created the artwork but it was fun to work with other people and direct the art rather than make it for a change.

I've seen a few terms describe your music. Everything from "Cosmic deckshoegaze", "Balaeric" "New Age", "Kosmische" and "Celestial" - often interchanged between each other - to "whale drone amplified through an enormous pearlescent conch". How would you describe the Seahawks sound? (or rather, what does it look like!?)
It’s a many headed good natured beast that likes to venture out for a cavort in the cosmos and loves all kind of esoteric delights from deep space vibrations to deep ocean drones, but we’ll settle for "whale drone amplified through an enormous pearlescent conch”.

You don't hear much music like this anymore. Am I just not digging hard enough, or are you just fighting the good fight and bringing it all back?
Well it’s all out there but I think our music is just a little more expansive than most current music I hear. We’d certainly like to bring back a strong cosmic vibe in these troubled times.

Who or what are the main inspirations for this specific sound?
Right now the Mu-tron Bi Phase is a big feature in our lives, it just instantly makes everything sound more lush and immersive. Cassette tapes are also a really big influence, the sound is so ear friendly.

It sounds like you like to lay low, play great parties and put out timeless records that abide to no-one or nothing (how it should be!) How do you find the ambient and experimental scene in particular? Would you even place Seahawks within it?
There’s a lot of incredible music out there and the reissue scene helps keep things interesting. I think we’re part of a historical scene that includes all sorts of music and vibrations.

Thank you for such a great, eclectic and as you describe "celestial" mix. How did you approach the mix and where was it recorded?
This mix contains mainly tracks from CD. I think CD has got a bad rap and that if you have a good CD player they can sound great and it’s also a way to find tracks that are either not available or too expensive on vinyl.
It was done over a two week period.

Where should people be listening to this mix? Poolside? The other side?
Wherever feels conducive. One suggestion: Transfer to cassette and listen on a walkman on a train to Amsterdam before heading for a smoke by the Amstel.

And in what state?!
A suitably modified one and hopefully our mix will help take you to a ‘very fine state of mind’.

The influences in the mix range from classic ambient and chill-out, to dub, ethnic, tropical, disco, even classic Larry Heard - the list goes on. What makes a DJ set great in your opinions?
We like surprises but not ones that are jarring and there has to be a flow but there’s no reason the journey can’t visit some unexpected ports on the way.

It feels like a very grown up and mature set - like a hell of a lot of experience has gone into your ears and record collections. I can smell the years digging. Are you both serious collectors?
We both have plenty of music on multiple formats but I don’t think either of us consider ourselves serious collectors. We know people who are and we’re nowhere near that league!

You've treated us to an exclusive remix in here too, how often do you make edits of your own music to suit a set or a mix? Is it important for you to always present new music in this way?
There are always potential alternative versions of tracks, ideas we’d like to extend and transform. We definitely like to present a multi-faceted vision when we can.

Jon, you played at a bunch of places in the UK (where I used to live) - from The Big Chill to Spiritland. Where would be the ideal place to spin this type of set nowadays?
I think it might well be The Hutong Café in Plymouth. It’s right by the sea and only an hour or so from the studio in Cornwall and we can arrive by ferry and play whatever we like.

What track/s didn't make it in the mix that you might still want to share with us?
Too many to mention and we’d share it all if we could : )

Finally if this was your closing set - last set ever - lights coming on - what would you be ending with?
The Floaters - It’s Magic (We Thank You) – Extended mix

~

Seahawks | Discogs | Bandcamp

 

isolatedmix 83 - Olaf Stuut/Inner River

 
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In 2012 we asked Pascal Terstappen aka Applescal to contribute an isolatedmix, creating a sublime and original addition the series that remains one of the most popular isolatedmixes to this day. Pascal continued to hone his sound and curation efforts over the years, and began Atomnation. The Amsterdam-based label is at the forefront of a unique and melodic style of electronica that sways into both ambient and techno, depending on the quickly growing roster of artists. Along with the likes of Gidge, David Douglas, Tunnel Visions, Portable Sunsets; Olaf Stuut’s ‘Inner River’ project has emerged (although until now, you may not have known the guise behind the Inner River alias)…

Olaf Stuut has been producing under his own names for a few years, but only recently began the Inner River project. With several releases on Atomnation and a release on our beloved Traum Schallplatten, Olaf’s Inner River project takes his sound into a deeper, more textured world, that, in a similar manner to the Atomnation label’s clear aesthetics, can sway from one style to the other while staying true to the colorful and energetic sound the label is effortlessly busy crafting.

To shed some light on Olaf and his new Inner River project we sent over a few questions to talk about his approach and inspirations. Listen to his new album as Inner River, and dive into the sound further with Olaf’s isolatedmix and interview below.

Download

Tracklist:

01. Robag Whrume - Ausgang
02. I:Cube - Sequence III
03. Djrum - Creature Pt. 1
04. Luke Abbott - Dumb
05. Joe - MPH
06. 1991 - No More Dreams I
07. Inner River - Tributary
08. Hans-Joachim Roedelius - Veilchenwurzein
09. Floating Points - For Marmish Pt. II
10. Fah - Uninterpreted
11. Raz Ohara and the Odd Orchestra - Fragment I
12. TV Victor - You
13. Suzanne Ciani - Concert at WBAI Free Music Store
14. Joan Bibiloni - Sobrevivir
15. Dorisburg - 148
16. Longineu Parson - The Gathering
17. Inner River - Redissolution
18. DJ Healer - Geminiden Regen

Interview with Olaf Stuut / Inner River:

Hi Olaf. How did you get into producing music?

Olaf: Producing music came shortly after I started playing the piano and the guitar. I came into contact with my first DAW around the age of 15, which was Proppelerhead’s Reason. It was a real playground for me. I didn’t think about genres or styles, I was just so impressed I could recreate sounds I knew from all the music I heard around me. From there on creating more and more, slowly shaping my own style. After I took it a bit more serious I switched to Logic and Ableton.

So what does your setup look like now?

My setup is pretty basic I must say, but I tend to get as much out of the few things I have. For instance I’ve got a DSI Tempest (Drum Computer/Synthesizer) for quite some years already, but I’m still discovering new features and ways to use in a new and original way. There is a lot to find out in the machine which makes the learning curve a bit high, but once you get the hang of it this machine is a beast.

For the Inner River album I’ve used the Vermona Permourmer a lot, for this rich and warm sound for many of the melodies. Other than that I used the Analog Heat, to shape the sound and many plugins in the box. One of my favourite plugins are the Soundtoys plugins, they’re very intuitive and can get many different results. Also I’m in love with my Fender Rhodes MKII which is also on quite some tracks. There are many other devices on the album and in my studio but only got a small stage on the album. Other than that I’ve used the sampler in Ableton a lot. The first track on the album (Floe Flow) is actually a sampled vocal I found somewhere I don’t remember. It sounds so electronic but it comes from vocal chords, I love the way it’s possible to get something completely different and get surprised like that. I think that’s what being creative is all about, seeing things that are not “supposed” to be there and make a whole new thing out of it.

How did you become involved with the Atomnation label?

I actually commented on a track of Applescal’s on Soundcloud somewhere in the early 10’s, we started talking music and hooked up a few times. He helped me getting started releasing music through the german label Traum with my debut remix for Minilogue. So after some time and when Pascal set up his label, Atomnation, we talked about doing an EP which was “Siren” that came out in 2013. We stayed close to each other ever since.

Ah Traum, one of my favorites. Were they a big influence on your style or how you approached music?

Yes definitely, but I have to say everything I heard was back then. I was just getting started and got influenced by so many things. Everything I liked, I found something that could be applicable in my own music and sound. But yeah the earlier days of Traum influenced me for sure with names like Minilogue, Max Cooper and Extrawelt.

Can you talk about the music scene in Amsterdam? How is ambient music received there?

I wouldn’t say ambient music is huge in Amsterdam, but there’s definitely a scene to be found. Big names always get a chance to play anywhere I guess, but there are some organisations like “The Rest Is Noise” who invite some really cool ambient and experimental artists. Electronic music (especially club music) is very big of course in Amsterdam and you don’t have to look far to find some really good electronic music, but to hear some proper ambient you have to look a bit harder. But I have to say, I enjoy ambient the most in my own living room or on the road.

What’s on your stereo right now (or your road trip playlist?)

While I’m writing this I’m listening to something entirely different; Ken Thomson - Helpless which I think is very beautiful and pure. On my road trips I listen to many different kinds of music, and changes a lot every now and then. What's on my phone as we speak:

Glenn Asto & Hodini - Turquoise Turtoise
Khotin - New Tab
Lndcroy - Much Less Normal
Kilchhofer - The Book Room
Laurel Halo - Dust
Leon Vynehall - Nothing Is Still
NxWorries - Yes Lawd!
Markus Guentner - Empire
Hans-Joachim Roedelius - Wenn Der Südwind Weht (in the mix)
Elifantree - Anemone

Some people might not be aware that you are behind the Inner River project, so what can people expect from you as Olaf Stuut versus your new project?

Well “Olaf Stuut” will be getting a bit more danceable in contrast what I did before, not necessarily a lot more, but the slower and more experimental stuff will be saved for “Inner River”. I believe it makes more sense to divide it into two separate projects, not only for myself to have a clearer vision but also for the listener. If you want to relax, put on “Inner River” if you want to dance, put on “Olaf Stuut”.

Do you have different goals for each name / project? Or is it simply a way to separate styles?

I have some plans and different goals for each. But it still has to be shaped much more before I want to let anything go on that, as it will get less abstract when I’m moving forward on those ideas and probably be a whole other thing after I get closer to the final idea. I want to be as open as possible before I say or make anything definite.

Both the ‘Inner River’ name and some of the track titles are water inspired - what’s the connection?

The name “Inner River” actually comes from my stepfather who I knew since I was little. He started a project called “Inner-River” which was a breathing/meditation CD for people to get more focus and clarity. I really loved the name and it resonated with me a lot. He passed away a few years ago, before he did I asked if I could re-use the name for my own new project and he said yes. So essentially it didn't really have anything to do with water, but I have always been fascinated by nature in general, and we all know life couldn't exist without water. Water is always very calming because of its constant movement. If you want to relax and feel more connected, sit next to some moving water and just sit and look. You will become relaxed very fast, especially when you also put on this mix haha. The names for the tracks on the album is actually a journey water makes from ice (Floe) to the eventual re-dissolution.

Will this water theme continue with the Inner River project?

It might, I’m not entirely sure what will be next. But it will definitely be nature inspired. I do already have some ideas and ambitions for future releases, but it will have to unfold a bit more before I can say anything about it. Time will tell.

You also DJ as Olaf Stuut, what are some of your favorite tracks to play?

That changes really fast, sometimes I have a track I play a lot for a month or two and might never again after that. But to name a few tracks I’m really into lately for my Olaf Stuut sets are:

Savino - African Dust
Frankey & Sandrino - Merging Black
Future Sound of Antwerp - Volium
Alex Coulton - Bounce
Acid Mondays - Universal Rhythm (The Maghreban Soul Remix)

What kind of DJ mixes inspire you? Do they come naturally to you or would you rather be playing live?

In my opinion there are two kinds of mixes, at least how I look at it when I’m making a mix myself; a mix that really flows and smoothly transitions from track to track to tell a covering story in its entirety or a mix that has the sole purpose to show and tell, playing tracks you want people to hear and get inspired by. I think with this mix it’s a combination of the two. Lately I have to say I’m enjoying DJ-ing a bit more than playing live as I get inspired by all the great music other people have made. But this changes from time to time.

Can you tell us a bit about the inspiration for your isolatedmix?

I really wanted people to get to know the new project “Inner River” with this mix. So it’s a combination between really nice and smooth ambient mixed with a bit more experimental and electronica tracks. There are many tracks to be found in this mix, some are even sort of mashups that originated during mixing. 19 tracks in one hour is something I don't do that often, especially not with “Olaf Stuut”, but it was a nice challenge. I’m very happy with the result, I hope many people will feel the same way. Let your inner river flow.

Olaf Stuut | Soundcloud | Facebook | Bandcamp

 

ASIP - Subtempo Guest Mix 012

 
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Last year we featured one of the first releases from the Subtempo crew; this lovely Alejandro Bento album and its accompanying remixes. Fast-forward a year and Subtempo have some ambitious plans with both the label and their new website/blog, and they’ve invited me to help kick-off the newly refreshed design by contributing to their ongoing guest mix series. There’s also a little Q&A with yours truly should you be interested!

For full background on the mix and to read the interview, head over to Subtempo here.

Big thanks to Rocco and Subtempo for the support, invite and the great feature.

Tracklist

01. Tongues of Light - Healing Side [Pre-Cert]
02. DJ Healer - At Last (Becoming The Storm) [All Possible Worlds]
03. DJ Richard - Dissolving World [Dial]
04. Lori Scacco - Other Flowers [Mysteries Of The Deep]
05. Sonae - Soul Eater [Monika Enterprise]
06. Sophia Loizou - Order Of Elements [Kathexis]
07. Strië - Capsule [Serein]
08. Christoph De Babalon - High Life (Theme) [DHR]
09. Abul Mogard - Quiet Dreams [Ecstatic]
10. Hands - Beelitz Heilstatten Pt6 [Ecstatic]
11. Suzanne Ciani - Quadrophonic Part One [Atmospheric]
12. M Geddes Gangras - Kalapana [Umor Rex]
13. DJ Healer - Hopes And Fears [All Possible Worlds]
14. 747 - Cretaceous (edit) [Aquaregia]
15. Hotel Neon - Roke [Archives]
16. 36 - Soul Boundary [A Strangely Isolated Place - forthcoming]