todos: Ten Years of A Strangely Isolated Place

 
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The impossible task. Find a way to summarize the last ten years of music featured on the A Strangely Isolated Place blog and website.

First off, we have created the ‘tagged’ project, listing some of the hundreds of artists featured on the blog for you to explore over here. And pretty soon, we’ll have a special release for you all.

But I also wanted something that was closer to our blog beginnings, and a story told through a mix. What better way than tasking our favorite journey-maker, todos.

todos and his Kilchurn Sessions have been a staple of ASIP over the past ten years. We’ve even collected them all in one place, given how many posts they ended up spanning. I don’t need to add many superlatives about him here, but they are some of the best recorded mixes I have ever heard. And I mean it. You can hold-up (my personal favorite) professional mixed CD’s by Sasha, or James Holden for example, and I would be just as pleased listening to some of todos’ Kilchurn Sessions. He has a knack, a perfection and an obsession with mixing unique journeys that span everything from ambient, electronic, techno and instrumental elements, alongside a unique use of samples and movie quotes. He creates familiar and emotive narratives that need multiple revisits to appreciate the detail, skill and passion he put in.

Once todos agreed to my ask (nearly a year-ago now) I sent him the archive of posts from the old site, and a list of all the tags used across both new and old. My only criteria was that he needed to select tracks from artists or albums that were a part of that list - an attachment to ASIP and the blog. He had hundreds to sift through, some known, some new to him.

I don’t know how he did it.

I do know it was a headache for him, for months, but what he turned in, was something well beyond my expectations. He went through many iterations and different approaches, trying to do one chronologically in the order they were featured on ASIP for example, sending me revisions up until the very last minute, but in the end, he managed to find a selection of tracks that truly reflect the past ten years of discovery here on ASIP. And in a style only he knows how to execute.

A big BIG thank you to todos for soundtracking ASIP all these years. And for this, a superb piece of no-doubt painstaking work to help us celebrate ten-years of existence.

Once you’re done listening here, check out our ‘tagged’ project to explore even more.

Download MP3

Download WAV

~

Ten years of A Strangely Isolated Place - mixed by todos

Tracklist:

1. Minilogue - ‘Yesterday Bells’ edit (2008)/ Grzegorz Bojanek - A Huge Explosion After The War’ edit (2017)

2. Altus - ‘Virgo’ edit (2013) / Little Dragon - ‘Twice’ edit (2008) / Lights Out Asia - ‘Except Europa’ edit (2010)

3. Herbstlaub - ‘Softly hidden she.’ (Stray Theories remix) (2016)

4. Stellardrone - ‘Pale Blue Dot’ (2010)

5. Freescha - ‘Kite High’ (2009)

6. Benjamin Dauer - ‘Harmony Bound’ (2011) / Rhian Sheehan - ‘Standing In Silence Part 1’ edit (2010)

7. Jon Hopkins - ‘Private Universe’ (2008) / Opus III - ‘It’s A Fine Day’ edit (2009)

8. Sasha - ‘Broadcast’ (2016)

9. Umber - ‘Tomorrow We'll Throw Out Some Old Shoes’ (2011)

10. Kiyoko - ‘Sea of Trees’ (2012)

11. Bjorn Rohde - ‘Forest of Forgotten Hearts’ (2013) / Nils Frahm - ‘Peter’ (2013)

12. Jason van Wyk - ‘Eyes Shut’ (2017)

13. Roel Funcken - ‘Android Robson’ (2016)

14. Synkro - ‘Midnight Sun’ (2015)

15. Martin Nonstatic - ‘Open Minded’ (2015) / Aphex Twin - ‘Rhubarb’ (2009)

16. Sonitus Eco - ’Storegga Slide’ (2015)

17. Vermont - ‘Übersprung’ (2014)

18. Ocoeur - ‘Resonance’ (2013) / Sigur Ros - ‘Takk’ (2011) / Carbon Based Lifeforms - ‘Intro’ / ‘Hold’ (2014)

19. Donnacha Costello - ‘That Empty Feeling’ (2011)

20. Rhian Sheehan - ’Sileo’ (2013)

21. Markus Guentner - ‘Baryon’ (Feat. The Sight Below) edit (2015) / Porya Hatami - ‘Fen’ (By Segue) edit (2015)

22. Tegh - ‘Down’ (2014)

23. Arovane - ‘Woven’ (Peter Benisch Remix) edit (2015)

24. John Beltran - ‘Seasons Go’ (2013)

~

Includes audio recordings taken in and around USA, Germany, UK, Italy, Poland, Australia, Netherlands and Japan.

Special thanks to Ryan, Marcel, Eiko, Spencer and James for the support and sending me snippets of your own strangely isolated places. It was a pleasure incorporating them into this mix.

*Years indicate when tracks were featured on ASIP, not necessarily when they were released*

Artwork by ASIP, containing elements from Mario Morales and Nick Brzostowski.

 

36 - A Closer Listen 100 mix

 
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I haven’t posted a guest mix on here for quite some time (outside of the isolatedmix series of course). But this one has inspired me to get back to sharing great mixes we found out in the big wide world again, for a few reasons.

Namely, it’s a great mix by our very own Dennis Huddleston / 36. He’s chosen a few tracks and artists that have been recent discoveries for me too (and featured on a few of my past mixes), including Rashida Prime and Sangam. Both these artists are well-known in the Vaporwave arenas but essentially, offering what we classic ambient fans know as some deep and futuristic/space styles of ambient music. These fall alongside the great GAS, a classic space-ambient track from Michael Sterns and a track from another album I’ve enjoyed recently on Music From Memory by Terreke.

Additionally, this marks a major moment for A Closer Listen. ACL have been releasing mixes for years now, and this marks their 100th and final installment - in its current form at least. Going by the text on ACL, it looks like they will have several other new exploratory / mix inspired avenues coming soon, which sound extremely promising.

For now, escape to the latest from 36 and read his mini-interview with ACL with a nod to an upcoming release….

Tracklist:

01. Rashida Prime – Damaged Interface
02. Marvin Horsch – Sun After Rain
03. Useless – 128E
04. GAS – Narkopop 11
05. Hammock – Oh the Bliss (Reinterpretation)
06. Terekke – Atba
07. Michael Stearns – In The Beginning
08. Sangam – Egotistical
09. Flame 1 – Shrine
10. Woob – Subterranean District
11. Pulusha – Isolation Part 1
12. 36 – Ego Death

 

Filter Tapes 030 "Out Of Context" by Christian Kleine

 
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The below is a Google Translate (rough) English translation of the article that originally featured on Das Filter in German, hosted by Christian Kleine's long-lost partner in crime, Thaddi Herrmann (Herrmann & Kleine), including an interview by Das Filter's Ji-Hun Kim. 

Christian Kleine's release with ASIP, is available now on double gatefold green vinyl + digital. 

Read Christian's bio + get to know playlist, here. 

Tracklist

01. François Bayle - Erosphere
02. Electroshock Presents Electroacoustic Music, Vol. IV - Tears [by Alexander Nemtin]
03. Acreil - Miscellaneous Synth Demos - 21 Casio HT-6000-Digitech RDS 3.6 (Everything Happens Slowly)
04. UR - Electronic Warfare
05. Electroids - Midnight Drive
06. MEC - Musique Expérimentale Castelroussine - 02 Méta
07. Thomas Leer - Private Plane
08. The Beatles - Mellotron Music No. 1
09. Lizzy Mercier Descloux - Torso Corso
10. Cecil Leuter - Crazy Sounds No. 4
11. Dosh - My Favorite Colors Red
12. Bochum Welt - Fortune Green
13. Labradford - And Jonathan Morken
14. Seefeel - Time to Find Me (AFX Fast Mix)
15. Tone Language - Winter's Thrill
16. Kenny Larkin - Maritime
17. Silence and Wisdom - Oakwood Green
18. Haighinsha - Lusefeea

Interview with Christian Kleine, by Ji-Hun Kim (Das Filter)

The musician and producer Christian Kleine was an important part of a youth movement that called itself the early 2000s Indietronica. Christian released as a solo artist on labels such as Morr Music and City Center Offices and operated together with Thaddeus Herrmann and the project Herrmann & Kleine. With the EP "Kickboard Girl" they succeeded in 1999, a veritable international independent hit. But that's almost 20 years ago. Some time ago Christian's "Electronic Music From The Lost World: (1998-2001)" appeared on the American label A Strangely Isolated Place. And he continues to be a diligent producer, who publishes wonderful albums on a regular basis. For the thirtieth run number of our filter tape series, Christian has developed a wondrously independent language. The Beatles next to Labradford and Kenny Larkin: Always a bit out of context, where music is just starting to get exciting. Ji-Hun Kim talked to him about cigarettes in the Spex, many years at Ableton, the Krux to the Internet, and laptops to bandmates.

Thank you for your beautiful filter tape. First tell a little bit about it. 
It covers a wide range. From 60s easy listening to techno, pretty much everything is there. I was never a purist.

Is there a story you wanted to tell? 
It's mainly stuff I just feel like doing. It was about music that does not cling too much to a time context. I always find it interesting to listen to music where you can not tell if it's 30 years old or yesterday. For example, the record "Silence of Wisdom" by Deux Filles, which dates from the early 80s. But that could be just like last week.

I find the context you open up exciting as well. I would never have thought to hear techno such as Bochum Welt or UR in your mix.
I do not even realize that as techno. Even if that of course fits into the club context. However, I often notice that music, even if freed from the genre costume, can still work. I'm from a small town, Lindau am Bodensee. That's where I started in the early 1990s. There could be no puristic evenings, there were not enough people. So I mixed hip hop, house and techno, but also early jungle and guitar music. We just wanted to hear good music.

I grew up in the Ruhr area and even there it was much more eclectic. I think it is retrospective but not that bad either. In Berlin, there were already small-scale techno camps in the 90s. 
Total. But I also thought it was a pity that Berlin was not a little more fluffy. That one did not just say: the main thing is good music. That can be anything.

Although I was amazed at how consistently you have published the past years records. I know your stuff well from the beginning of the 2000s and heard it a lot. 
Since I started with music - that started in 1995 - it was important to me. I never wanted to start a great career. I always wanted to do something, so I can look back to see what I've done in times past. I once won a competition, that was in 1998, and then went to the Winter Music Conference.

Competition? Where, when? 
Marlboro.

I almost got involved in a Marlboro USA road trip at the age of 19. At that time they were allowed to.
There was an ad in the Spex. I participated and actually won. At the time I had started with the production, first pieces and was totally looking forward to the journey. That must be supercool, I thought to myself. Daft Punk was there, all the drum and bass people from London who thought at the time that they would take over the world. A fun time. But at the same time, I was standing in the Hilton hotel, where the conference was taking place, watching the action, I almost as an outsider - because that's not what I really belonged to - and saw how the music industry works. So I asked myself if I really want to play along. Is it something that drives you? Somehow I found that pretty awful.

Do you still trust the industry today? 
At the time I asked myself: is this a life plan? Is music producing a complete life plan? Do I want to be a musician? But then I decided against it. Simply for the reason that the music industry is just strange and I also consider music as a kind of balance to the real life out there.

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It should be mentioned that you have been working at Ableton since the very beginning. 
Yes for about 17 years.

What exactly are you responsible for? 
I started as technical support and then I took care of the Max for Live division and programmed a lot for it. Today, I also do a lot of prototyping for native instruments and effects implemented in Ableton Live. Say everything that has to do with DSP processing. I'm currently working on the basic ideas. Today this is also called UX, User Experience.

That is already nerdy. 
As a matter of fact. I'm quite a nerd, too. I touched almost every synthesizer in the world at least once. But actually I do not like the word nerd.

If you've seen a success story like Ableton backstage for so long, how does that work? 
For me, that feels like I've lived through four or five companies. There have been deep changes over time. Within the industry, within the company, within the society. The perception of how people use computers has changed a lot in the last 15 years. But also the kind of people who use such things.

At the end of the 90s you were in Berlin. It started with people making music on laptops. Labels like Morr Music became known. Indietronica was suddenly a thing. I always notice that today many people have never perceived Berlin as an indie city. Berlin bands like Contriva were totally inspiring for me. Today, most people shrug their shoulders. 
It no longer exists in the perception. It seems to me that this was totally ousted from the canon. The indie and electronica scene was a big pillar of this city. Culturally urban historical, if you can say that, but that does not matter anymore. What a pity, but techno just rolls everything flat. That's fact. For me, the Indietronica thing was a plant that needed to be cared for more carefully.

Even more mainstream acts like Paula have emerged. 
It was perceived throughout the world. Indietronica from Berlin attracted attention in Japan, USA and also Canada. That was relevant and I found that so exciting. It was not just a Berlin-related thing. Often Berlin issues have that to them, that they never come out of Berlin and are only occupied with themselves.

If you travel internationally, is it for music? 
First of all, it was all friends and mates, so the big industry was far away. City Center Offices was not Sony Music or anything right now.

Are you missing the road? 
I miss it already. But it was also very exhausting, because I have always put the tours on my free holidays. If you join this for a few years, there are hardly any free weekends left. That sounds like whining at a high level and probably is. But with a full-time job and the music at the same time - you can get close to burnout. From time to time I still give concerts, but that is not comparable to that time. But I am glad that I had it. That was a lot of fun.

Nevertheless, you have managed to constantly produce your own albums in recent years and publish yourself. 
Everything on Bandcamp. I had the claim of myself to continue to produce music, also because it is simply important to me. I've applied here and there for a few labels. But because I was completely outside the context, nothing came of it. That was maybe three e-mails. Among other things, I asked Mute Records, completely megalomaniac (laughs). "First of all start with the little ones." Of course, nothing happened, but thanks to Bandcamp you can do that pretty well today.

You still have to discipline yourself. 
I agree. That's pretty strange, too. Because there is no feedback, far and wide. You're the maker of everything, from music to cover, and most of all, there's no one who reflects that. There is also no one who reviews this because it does not appear on any well-known label. That's me and the internet. The Internet itself gives you no feedback.

It is said that the Internet brings all countries together. 
Yes and no. Of course, I am happy when someone from Argentina writes to me and is happy about my music. But that's a different process than meeting someone and talking about your music, either because that person has a label. The internet does not give me anything. Since I have no personal reference to. After I was no longer with Morr Music - until then everything fell into my lap - I first had to learn to make everything self-sufficient. That was an important process.

You just recently released your record "Electronic Music from the Lost World" with pieces from the years 1998 to 2001?
I have a bag full of old DAT tapes. 40 to 50 tapes are in there. Four years ago, I started listening and digitizing the old tapes. Then I spoke with Thomas Morr, who also wanted to publish that first. This then drew because things have intervened time and again. Then I started talking to the label A Strangely Isolated Place from Los Angeles. Through Arovane, Uwe, I came to the contact and so it came to the release. After 20 years, I thought, it was time. I am glad it appeared in the form on double vinyl. It represents a completely different time. It was all innocent much. (Link to buy!)

For me, you are musically but still an indie musician and guitarist, who simply got into the wrong circles in Berlin. 
That's right (laughs). I always hated computers. Until I realized that you can make music with it, but until then I did not want to have anything to do with it. Ironically, if you look at my job of today. But yes, actually I come from the guitar corner. The fact that I started using computers to make music was mainly due to the lack of musicians with whom one could have formed a band.

To bring four people in Berlin regularly in a rehearsal room is also an impossibility. 
I totally understand that. But yes, maybe electronic music is just an urban thing. It was like that in New York and London. Electronics was already the basic tenor in Berlin in the 90s. But I never had any connection to Berlin guitar scenes. When I produced Drum and Bass in the late '90s, I only knew Thaddi's radio show. Then I got drunk with my tapes and I tried to turn it to him, so he plays it. It all started.

~

Mix artwork by Julian Priess

 

todos - Kilchurn Session XV

 

It's 2017. It's almost February. Over the past six-or-so months, someone's been digging away at every corner of the web to find that perfect track for his infamous mix series. It's not an easy task as you'll know by his Cold Shoulders mix; plenty of music falls by the wayside in the process. It's what makes each edition of todos' Kilchurn Sessions that much more curated, synchronized and free-flowing than most of the mixes out there. 

This time, todos returns with some familiar faces to fall out the 2016 music hall of fame, including the melodic synths of Steve Hauschildt and Jonathan Fitoussi, two of ASIP's own, in Lav & Purl and 36, a new one from series stalwart Negative Neutron, and plenty of todos' trademark edits, overlapping textures and bursting mixing creativity. 

Download

Tracklist:

01. Inon Zur - ‘Liberty Lives’
02. Norwell - ‘TWB’ (Morning Edit)
03. Steve Hauschildt - ‘Same River Twice’ / Cut Copy - ‘January Tape Part 1’ Edit
04. Jonathan Fitoussi - ‘Oiseau de Paradis’ / Genesis - ‘The Fountain of Salmacis’ Edit
05. Scott Monteith - ‘Ghazal 7’
06. ADR - ‘King David’ Edit / VC-118A - ‘Specter’ / Barker & Baumecker - ‘Technogate’
07. 36 - ‘Expanse’ Edit / Norwell - ‘Brighter Days’
08. Barker & Baumecker - ‘Turnhalle’ Edit / Contrastate - ‘The True Believer’ Edit / Max Cooper & Tom Hodge - ’Symmetry’
09. FINK - ’Shakespeare’ (Nachbarn39) / Yann Tiersen - ‘Hurricane’ (Reprise)
10. Rain Dog - ‘Eyes On the Aether’ / Mike Luck - ‘Felt’
11. Barker & Baumecker - ‘Nocturnal’
12. Triames - ‘Closed Shell’ / Ian Boddy - ‘Quantum Of Memory’
13. Karnivool - ‘Om’
14. Lav & Purl - ‘Beyond Suffering’ (buy)
15. Lungwah - ‘Fond Embers’
16. Space Scavengers - ‘Sound Asleep’ / Grand Volume - ‘Fucker’ Edit
17. Shrine - ‘The Burden of Knowledge’
18. Negative Neutron - ‘Marked'

View previous Kilchurn Sessions below or check out todos  Soundcloud for more.

 

 

 

Merrin Karras Live at Klangsphäre, Planetarium Bochum 11-11-2016

 

Both Merrin Karras and Markus Guentner took to a unique stage in Bochum (Germany) this past weekend, alongside the likes of Max Würden, Sine Sleeper, Mario Hammer And The Lonely Robot, and Safrronkeira. The Ambient Festival, played out within a Planetarium, with listeners immersed in darkness as they stared up towards dream-like visuals across the ceiling. It was undoubtedly a very special and unique show, marking Brendan's first live show as his ASIP alter-ego Merrin Karras.

Below we have the recording of his set, featuring live renditions from the album, Apex, and one new track.

Merrin Karras' album Apex, is available to buy using the links below:

Digital @ Bandcamp
Vinyl (US) @ Bandcamp
Vinyl (Europe & Worldwide) direct from Merrin Karras' Bandcamp, or at Juno. 

Equipment used:
Macbook pro running Ableton Live
Nord Lead 2
DSI Tetra
Vermona Mono Lancet
Roland Jp-08
2 x Launchpads
1 x Launchcontrol XL

 (Photo by Markus Guentner)

(Photo by Markus Guentner)