isolated mix

isolatedmix 08 - Lunar Testing Lab

Secret Station Records have received plenty of love lately, by you guys and of course me. The label continues to release quality electronica, with several available for free download, and prompting an SS tribute mix by Mach V. So, what better way to celebrate the next isolatedmix than the musical genius behind the lot – label founder Eric Watson aka Lunar Testing Lab.

If you’ve taken advantage of Secret Station’s free downloads, you would have set ear upon the otherworldly music that is Lunar Testing Lab. Featured as the labels first free download, SS01 ‘Seashore Blvd’, laid down the standard for label artists which has now become for me, one of the most impressive netlabel rosters out there. SSO1 was a mixture of classic chill and dowtempo, at times similar to Lemon Jelly (Summer Seas) and closely resembling Boards of Canada quality (Shoreline at Dawn). Ss01 was recently succeeded by SS20 –Unauthorized Frequencies, and if Seashore Blvd reflected a blissed out American summer, Unauthorized Frequencies was crafted for the winter; expanding upon scratchy vocals, space-themed samples and deep thought provoking melodies.

For isolatedmix 08, Eric has dug deep into his beloved record collection, carefully selecting tracks from vinyl only – a unique insight into the influences, sounds and styles which have crafted Lunar Testing Lab’s productions. Space samples, Jazz, IDM, ambient, ‘late 60’s mind expanding experimental’ and tracks that I’m not even sure where to start classifying.

Eric’s words: “I hope people can find something in there that they like”.
My words: When a compiler stays true to their influences and seeks to exceed expectations, the result is always more than a ‘like’…

 
 

Download.

Tracklisting with commentary by Lunar Testing Lab:
1- Copper Plated Integrated Circuit – Integrated Circuit

“I heard some samples from this record online, and after not being able to find it for years, I finally resorted to ebay. Lots of great tracks and sounds.”

2- Mort Garson – Hair
“Mort Garson is one of my favorite artists. Not only do I love his music, I also love how he never really did an album as “Mort Garson”- they are all concept albums with different names (like Ataraxia, Plantasia, Black Mass/Lucifer, and the Wozard of Id). I first came across his name when I found an LP called ‘Music For Sensuous Lovers by Z”, and I then figured out that Z was Mort Garson. I’ve been buying his records ever since.”

3- Kraftwerk – It’s More Fun To Compute
“My favorite track from my favorite Kraftwerk LP.”

4- Neal Norman – One Step Beyond
“Besides the cool science fiction theme, I also got this one because it had 2 original tracks by legendary exotica master Les Baxter. They are the best songs on this record.”

5- Mort Garson – Where Do We Go
“Another from Mort Garson, off his LP of cover songs from the musical Hair, done moog style. Much better if you don’t know the originals.”

6- Hugo Montenegro – Too High
“Hugo Montenegro playing Stevie Wonder cover tunes on the moog? Yes please! I got this one at a Salvation Army in Ohio while I was on my way to some record stores. It is way better than anything I found in any those stores. A great, great record.”

7- Emmett Frisbee- Watches The Captioned News
“This is from a local (Pittsburgh PA) artist, and I think this is his only release. I got it for a dollar at a local flea market, and it turned out to be a fantastic record, and one of my favorites. I would love to be able to re-issue it someday.”

8- Tonto’s Expanding Head Band – Timewhys
“I first heard TONTO on the radio back in the late 80’s. I was fortunate enough to have a tape running at the time, but I never knew who it was. It was only when I got this record a few years ago that I figured it out.”

9- Mort Garson – Good Morning Starshine
“One more from Hair. This one has been covered a million times, but never better.”

10- 10 Speed – Tour de France
“A nice cover of the classic Kraftwerk track, I think made for the movie Breakin’. Not sure where it was ever properly released, this is from a K-Tel breakdancing record.”

11- Keith Mansfield – Build Up
“A bit of funky prog KPM library music from one of my favorite producers/arrangers, Keith Mansfield.”

12- Mort Garson – Swingin’ Spathiphyllums 
“The final one from Mort Garson, this time from his Plantasia album. The back cover says “full, warm, beautiful mood music especially composed to aid in the growing of your plants”. I wonder what sort of plants they were growing when they came up with this record?”

13- David Fanshawe – Oceans of Sound
“Another one from the KPM library, this time atmospheric bells.”

14- Electronic Moog Orchestra – Space Symphony
“The Electronic Moog Orchestra’s records look like they will be great, but they’re not. This track is pretty interersting, and one of their few originals.”

15- Black Moth Super Rainbow – Caterpillar House
“I had to throw something more modern in here, and nothing fit better than BMSR. This was the first track of there’s that I heard, and I got the vinyl immediately after hearing it (and just in time, as it went out of print right after that). Still one of my favorite’s of theirs.”

16- Synergy – Terra Incognita
“A pretty mediocre LP overall, with this 1 exception. And it’s on clear vinyl too, which is kinda cool….”

17- Chris and Cosey – Gates Of Ancient Cities
“I had this on cassette way back, and I listened to it ALOT. So when I saw an unopened vinyl copy on ebay for like 5 bucks, I snatched it up. Playing it again reminded me of driving around in my car after high school.”

18- Brian Eno – Through Hollow Lands
“I found a bunch of Eno’s early records at the local library. Obviously his later, more ambient releases would have been better, but there were some tracks on them that I thought were good- this one, and one that became one of my favorite songs, Here Come The Warm Jets”.

19- Terrence – The Emperor
“I found this record at Goodwill one day, and after a few more minutes of searching, I found a few more that were all owned by the same person (their name is written on them all), and they were all really good, including this one by Terence. This track is a nice example of late 60’s mind expanding experimental music.”

You can follow Lunar Testing Lab on his latest exploration – the LNT Facebook Page. And keep an en eye on the Secret Secret station sitefor more releases by Eric and a host of other talented electronica artists.

isolatedmix 04 - Jesse Somfay

Both unique and genre defining, Jesse Somfay’s productions stretch across melodic techno, delicate ambient and epic heavy drone laden masterpieces. His latest album; A Catch In the Voice captures it all and has remained one of my most played since release. And his early releases on Traum, some of my most treasured vinyl. So let’s just say I was a tad happy when Jesse agreed to put together the 4th installment of the isolatedmix series.

My past experience of Somfay mixes have seen him stick to his production style. A live PA at Cadenza Lucida, ‘Our Lonely Pink Hearts Are Full Of Joy’ mix and a set on ‘Ultramagnetic’ Radio show. However, in a similar vain to his latest Hexahedral mixes, isolatedmix 04 sees Jesse orchestrate a journey into music he loves. Old, new, ambient, acoustic, indie, shoegaze, metal, electronica… and with nearly ten hours to get through, I shouldn’t even really be trying to categorise it.

That’s right, nine hours of music. Titled ‘Aesopica’ its a mammoth 101 tracks, in three parts. The first part available below on Soundcloud, and the other two downloadable should you want to experience the epic trilogy.

Part 1.

 
 

Download

Part 1 Tracklisting:
0001 Verse En Coma – Untitled
0002 Death Cab For Cutie – Passenger Seat
0003 Blueneck – Lilitu
0004 Nine Inch Nails – Lights In The Sky
0005 Blueneck – Epiphany
0006 Bosse – VI
0007 Grouper – When We Fall
0008 Nine Inch Nails – Ghosts IV – III
0009 Grouper – We’ve All Time To Sleep
0010 Burial – Forgive
0011 Grouper – Heavy Water / I’d Rather Be Sleeping
0012 Tiny Vipers – Campfire Resemblance
0013 Kevin Devine – It’s Only Your Life
0014 Tiny Vipers – On This Side
0015 Radiohead – Thinking About You
0016 Division Day – Enjoy the Silence
0017 Nine Inch Nails – Ghosts I – IV
0018 Division Day – Reservoir
0019 Nine Inch Nails – Ghosts II – VIII
0020 Sneaker Pimps – Walking Zero
0021 Nine Inch Nails – The Fragile
0022 Nine Inch Nails – Ghosts IV – I
0023 Pyramids – Sleds
0024 Nine Inch Nails – A Warm Place
0025 Boris & Sunn O))) – Fried Eagle Mind
0026 Jodis – Ascent
0027 Pyramids With Nadja – Into The Silent Waves
0028 Nadja – I Make From Your Eyes The Sun
0029 The Angelic Process – Million Year Summer
0030 Pyramids With Nadja – An Angel Was Heard To Cry Over The City Of Rome
0031 The Angelic Process – Mouvement – The Rest Of The World Is Noise
0032 Boris – Luna
0033 Envy – A Road Of Winds The Water Builds
0034 Fall Of Efrafa – Republic Of Heaven

Part 2. Download

Tracklisting:
0035 Boris – Akirame Flower
0036 Jesu – Opiate Sun
0037 Jesu – Losing Streak
0038 The Black Heart Rebellion – Leaving The Capitals
0039 Envy – Life Caught In The Rain
0040 Latitudes – Antechamber
0041 Wolves In The Throne Room – A Looming Resonance
0042 Boris – 8
0043 Envy – Isolation Of A Light Source
0044 Boris – Farewell
0045 Her Name Is Calla – Nylon
0046 Laudanum – Invoke
0047 Kylesa – Unknown Awareness
0048 Floor – Scimitar
0049 Torche – Healer
0050 Magoo – Acid Goldbar
0051 Jucifer – Hennin Hardine
0052 Torche – Across The Shields
0053 Jucifer – Surface Tension
0054 True Widow – AKA
0055 Jucifer – Little Fever
0056 Converge – Grim Heart / Black Rose
0057 Deftones – Pink Maggit
0058 Tragedy – Night Falls
0059 Deftones – Be Quiet And Drive (Far Away)
0060 Dead Swans – When You Sleep
0061 Deftones – Digital Bath
0062 Converge – Jane Doe
0063 Thursday – Unintended Long Term Effects
0064 Fear Before – Get Your Life Together
0065 Thursday – An Absurd And Unrealistic Dream Of Peace
0066 Verse En Coma – Tiny Speakers
0067 Sights & Sounds – Pedal Against The Wind
0068 Fear Before – Fear Before Doesn’t Listen To People Who Don’t Like Them
0069 Sights & Sounds – Neighbours
0070 Fear Before – My (Fucking) Deer Hunter
0071 The Dillinger Escape Plan – Unretrofied
0072 Nine Inch Nails – The Great Destroyer
0073 Primal Scream – Deep Hit Of Morning Sun
0074 Converge – Disintegration

Part 3. Download.

0075 Sights & Sounds – Night Train
0076 Ruiner – Convenient Gods
0077 Killing The Dream – Fractures
0078 Have Heart – No Roses, No Skies
0079 Tragedy – Recurring Nightmare
0080 Tragedy – Deaf and Disbelieving
0081 Harum Scarum – Systematic Death
0082 Invasion – Evil Forest
0083 A Place To Bury Strangers – It Is Nothing
0084 Health – Eat Flesh
0085 Legion Of Two – Palace (Dub)
0086 Health – In Violet
0087 The Horrors – Sea Within A Sea
0088 The XX – Islands
0089 Silversun Pickups – Growing Old Is Getting Old
0090 A Place To Bury Strangers – Keep Slipping Away
0091 Catherine Wheel – Crank
0092 Division Day – Hurricane
0093 Logh – The Smoke Will Lead You Home
0094 True Widow – Duelist
0095 Silversun Pickups – There’s No Secrets This Year
0096 Dominic – End of Man
0097 Silversun Pickups – Sort Of
0098 Samara Lubelski – Field the Mine
0099 Ulrich Schnauss – Stars
0100 Nine Inch Nails – Hurt
0101 Nine Inch Nails – The Great Below

isolatedmix 03 - Milieu: One Last Push On The Swing

If you haven’t managed to stumble across Milieu’s refined releases such as, ‘Bent Appletrees’, or ‘Songs we found in the sand’ then you may want to look them up. But before that, why not get a unique insight from the man behind the music…

Titled ‘One Last Push on the Swing’, Milieu has recalled his musical influences, and revisited some personal moments in time to construct an ambient reflection for isolatedmix 03.

And as expected, Milieu’s influences are a tad pleasing on the ear. Tracks range from early 1993 Rephlex / Aphex Twin releases via his alter ego ‘Bradley Strider’, to 2009 releases under one of my favourite labels, ‘Mule Musiq’. Milieu must have also kept his ear close to the notorious German output City Centre Offices, with tracks from Arovane and Bitstream (CCO being the launch pad for Ulrich Schnauss’ ‘Far Away trains Passing by’ and ‘A Strangely Isolated Place’).

Take a read of Milieu’s accompanying track notes and each moment comes alive, that little bit more…

“Putting mixes together has always been one of my favorite things, going all the way back to high school. I think a mix can say a lot for the person making it, and so with this mix I opted to go down ‘memory lane’ a little and choose tracks that took me back to a specific time and place in my life.”

 
 

Download

1. Ten And Tracer - Ontogeny Recapitulates Phylogeny [Rope Swing Cities, 2006]
One of Jon’s best melodies ever. Makes me think about walking around in the sunshine working on projects for art class back in 2006.

2. Lunar Testing Lab – Mock-Orange [I, Absentee, 2008]
My favorite track on LTL’s record from last year. Brings to mind memories of riding the public transit around after I dropped out of high school.

3. Bitstream – Crab Nebula [City Centre Offices, 2002]
An absolutely stunning track, all around. This song is just so feel-good, it makes you think that this is what good electronic music is really supposed to sound like.

4. Bradley Strider - Bradley’s Robot A2 [Rephlex, 1993]
Late nights driving home from my crappy job at a lazer tag place when I was 19. Being slightly stoned and behind the wheel when the highway is empty for forty minutes used to be magical in some weird way.

5. DJ Sprinkles – Ball’r/Madonna Free Zone [Mule Musiq, 2009]
Another beautiful example of how bittersweet and amniotic electronic stuff can be sometimes. There’s something very sad and full of longing in this track.

6. Bonobo – The Plug [Tru Thoughts, 2000]
This one takes me back to when I first moved in with Sophia by the beach, back in 2003. Lots of late nights doing overtime in my then-office job listening to this record.

7. Kiln – Kekker [Thalassa, 1998]
Kiln are simply one of the most amazing bands ever, and a real pleasure to know. This track really displays the amount of control they have over their sound, somehow making a very live band sound absolutely alien at the
same time.

8. Manual – Miraparque [Awkward Silence, 2008]
Now for this track and the next three we’re getting into ‘tropical mode’. I’ve always been totally obsessed with tropical sounds, images, climes, the whole deal, and Manual nails that vibe perfectly. Most likely because I grew up around the beach, this stuff always hits a nerve with me.

9. The Gentle People - Journey (Aphex Twin Care Mix) [Rephlex, 1995]
This track is total perfection. It could go on forever. It also brings to mind very specific uh…romantic memories. Yeah. Mindblowing.

10. Quantic – The 5th Exotic [Tru Thoughts, 2000]
Similar to the previous track, this is another one that still sounds very sexy and night-time to me. The kind of track you hear and want to bliss out to with someone you love.

11. Signaldrift – Welcome Ceylon [Wobblyhead, 2003]
This is one of those records that is just too perfect to pick a single song from. I went with this one because it was one of the first Signaldrift songs I ever heard and it’s still one of the best. The way this man has with melodies is just beyond me.

12. Cylob - Foid [Rephlex, 1996]
Going way back to when I was living in the deep country with my dad after high school. This was a time of self-discovery for me, and all I did was work, make music, and find new music to immerse myself in. Cylobian Sunset is one of those records that changed my life, and this song just breaks my heart every time. I can almost smell the old paperbacks and the weed on my clothes.

13. Arovane – Deauville [City Centre Offices, 2000]
I was suggested Tides by a German friend in 2003 when I first met Sophia, and the album still blows me away. No other song conjures the feeling of being stranded on a desert island quite like this one does. Pure distant sadness.

14. Loess – Viscer [Toytronic, 2003]
I also got into Loess when I first met Sophia, and I’d take this EP around with us when we’d be out driving around Surfside Beach at night. Perfect music for a cool contemplative drive around in the dark, and a wonderful song to close the mix with.

isolatedmix 02 - ASIP

An hour of favourites and classics.

Download

1. Susumu Yokota – Sea Blue
I love the strings on this track and thought it would make a perfect start.

2. Sigur Ros - Takk
Reminds me of Benicassim 08. The sun was setting and a dark cloud was circling the mountains in the background as Sigur Ros charmed the crowd.

3. The KLF – Madruga Eterna
Taken from the ‘Chillout’ album which is by far one of the best ambient records known to man. This track features an awesome guitar lick straight out of mid-west USA which would be out of place on any other record.

4. Lightsway – A Sky Full Of Clouds
AKA Winterlight AKA Tim Ingham, this track is a slow burning atmospheric monster. Go get the album ‘Summer Interlude’.

5. Bibio – It Was Willow
A short masterpiece which encapsulates Bibio at his finest.

6. William Orbit – You Know Too Much About Flying Saucers
William Orbit makes outstanding music. Taken from ‘Hello Waveforms’, this is another track with delicate guitar melodies where the sounds seem to fit the title perfectly.

7. The Album Leaf – Over The Pond
Weird child noises and a lovely piano combine to form a masterpiece.

8. Winterlight – Hush Now
As if the Lightsway track wasn’t enough, how about some more.

9. Little Dragon – Twice
Nine tracks in and it’s time to feature the first full on vocal track. And a beautiful vocal at that. The best off the album and a fine video to match.

10. Leandro Fresco – Buenos Amigos
The epitome of ambient. Comatising (is that a word?!). If you like this then check out Kompakt’s annual Pop Ambient series.

11. Jon Hopkins – Cold Out There
A composer, pianist and a self-taught studio wizard. If you needed proof, this is it.

12. Delerium – Sensorium
Sampled on one of my favourite Drum & Bass tracks ‘Origin Unknown – Valley Of The Shadows‘, this is the intro to what is a 9 minute monster from Delerium.

13. Burial – UK
This is what makes Burial great. A track which easily crosses over into ambient when put in the right context.

14. Boards of Canada – Blockbusters
I remember hearing this sample for the first time and thinking ‘what the hell’? For some reason its a bit freaky.

15. Ulrich Schnauss – Molfsee
Ulrich goes Happy Cycling with Boards of Canada.

16. Ulf Lohmann – Burning Bright
Loops. Loops. Never knew it could work this well.

17. Aphex Twin – Blue Calx
Finish on a high. Or in this case, the best low there is.

Image from Leonid Tishkov