Silent Records' "From Here To Tranquility"

 

You would struggle to name an ambient record label that has stood the test of time since, let's say, the early 1990's. Many labels that come to mind are either now defunct, or stayed the course by diversifying their catalog into more electronic sounds, pioneering the IDM wave in the early 00's, or diving into other genres in the latter 2000's. It's of no surprise given the volatility of the industry over the years and the time and effort that goes into running a label. Perhaps, it's an over-generalization to make such a statement, given the importance of many smaller labels that make up a thriving genre of music, but a purely ambient label over 20-years old is undoubtedly a rarity.

Looking back at those that fell by the way-side, I don't think anyone would disagree when I say Silent Records was one of the pioneering ambient music labels that we wished had continued its course since its dominance in the early 1990's.

The San Francisco based label founded by Kim Cascone in 1986, helped establish the ambient sound we came to love in the 1990's. It's a hard style to describe and is instead often described by its connotations with the 'chill-out' room, eventually leading to the very name 'chill-out'. But as Kim admits, "I'd be hard pressed to describe the aesthetic to anyone... just that you'll know it when you hear it". In fact, Silent Records sat in the very centre of the chill-out culture we now come to associate with the likes of The KLF, Biosphere, or The Orb. Kim Cascone was at the helm of a label that little did he know, would have an impact for years to come:

"It was a very different world then. Silent started life as an experimental industrial label in 1986 but as the company grew we found ourselves in the middle of 90's San Francisco chill room culture. Some of the industrial artists were branching out and making ambient, drone or dark ambient/illbient music, so we went with the flow, but insisted on keeping it diverse. That being said, the chill room culture was very strong in the early 90's and it was easy to get pulled along with it. Needless to say, it was a very interesting time to run an ambient label in San Francisco".

Silent Records went on to release an enticing catalog that I won't even begin to pretend to know extensively (instead, check out this ambientmusicguide.com feature). Like the magic of Pete Namlook and his FAX label, Kim grew a notable collective of artists, introducing people to a style of music that was still finding its place at the time. But, with Kim undertaking new ventures in 1996, Silent came to a close soon after. 

The one good thing us ambient fans have come to realize, is that this style of music is timeless. It isn't restrained by styles or trend, and with the 'chill-out' rooms now effectively an online analogy, ambient music doesn't need a reason to exist - just the fact its beloved music is enough, and today's tools make it easier to reach audiences of old and new.

After a hiatus of nearly 20-years and with little fanfare, Kim unknowingly began to put Silent back on the map. 

"Last year I suffered from a sudden bout of knee inflammation which prevented me from touring, so being someone who hates not being busy I pitched the idea of a streaming radio station comprised of Silent's back catalog to Rusty at SomaFM. When we met at SomaFM to discuss details he asked me if I had ever considered rebooting Silent Records. The idea had never really occurred to me".

Kim goes on to describe that it was never an intention to reboot the label, but with his injury; "It felt like the universe was giving me distinct marching orders". That, combined with a push by James Healy (Air Texture), resulted in the resurrection of Silent this year and with it, two very special releases.

Like all good decisions, it was grounded in his love for the music and the label he cultivated all those years back: "What really inspired me to reboot Silent was reconstructing the Silent roster and releasing new work by them". The result, is two new compilations, titled "From Here To Tranquility Volume 6 - The Renaissance" and "From Here To Tranquility Volume 7 - The Renaissance continues".

Kim affectionately describes the new label collective as "The Silent All Stars (minus the few that have passed away or were unable to contribute)". The compilations also presented Kim with an opportunity to continue the strong ethos of the label - "an incubator of sorts where the artists can develop new work and grow artistically" with the new compilations also accommodating newer faces we respect here at ASIP such as Ethernet.

Not stopping here, next year will see releases by, 23 Degrees, Deeper Than Space, Meterpool as well as some new additions to the family. 

The resurrection of the label is undoubtedly some of the best news to hit the music world recently given the respect and admiration the label garnered over the years. And to celebrate, the man who perhaps gave Kim the final push to start it all again has compiled an exclusive mix for us here on ASIP. Featuring tracks ranging as far back as 1993, alongside tracks from the recent releases, we're treated to a timeless excursion through the Silent catalog by James Healy, titled '30 Years of Silent Records and the From Here to Tranquility Series – The Mix'.

Visit Silent Records on Bandcamp for the latest compilations, and the ever appearing, legendary back-catalog. 

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Tracklist:
01. Hyperdelicious – Tales of Suspense (FHTT Volume I) 1993
02. Ambient Temple of Imagination - Thee All Importance of Imagination (FHTT Volume V) 1996
03. Entrancing Iris – Sub-Ocean (FHTT Volume III) 1994
04. Tylervision – The Last Human (FHTT Volume II) 1993
05. Lightwave – Infinite vs Unfinished (FHTT Volume IV) 1995
06. Dialux Rouge – Zircon (FHTT Volume III) 1994
07. Psychic Surfers of Zuvuya – Infiltrate (FHTT Volume III) 1994
08. Omegatribe – Panacea (FHTT Volume III) 1994
09. Heavenly Music Corporation – Octal (FHTT Volume V) 1996
10. Dirk Serries – The Mirrored Dominion (FHTT Volume VII) 2016
11. Spice Barons – Spice of God (FHTT Volume I) 1993
12. Atmosphere Factory – Spring Rain (FHTT Volume VI) 2016
13. Robin Parmar – Shadow (FHTT Volume VII) 2016
14. 23 Degrees – The End of New Beginnings (FHTT Volume IV) 1995

All tracks taken selected from the From Here to Tranquility Series.

https://silentrecords.bandcamp.com/

 

todos - Kilchurn Session XIV

 

It's been just over a month since todos treated us to a dub-techno themed mix in Komunizm, but now he returns with his staple Kilchurn Session series, and its 14th edition. 

Back comes the euphoric, constructed build-ups, flawless mixing and programming; the well-placed samples, and considered track choices. Rare edits, and double-mixes featured alongside a variety of artists; from the mighty Sasha, to our very own Arovane and his colab with Porya Hatami and Darren McClure.

Always perfected, and always brilliant, keep 'em coming, todos.

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Tracklist
1. KRTS - ‘Sealed’ (Intro)
2. Danny Scrilla - ‘Cryosphere’
3. Darshan Atmosphere - ‘Vishuddha’
4. Frostbite - ‘The Spirit Stirs’
5. Dessin Bizarre - ‘Eidfjord’ / Memotone - She’s a Killer’ Edit / Dessin Bizarre - ‘Pressure’
6. Sasha - ‘Modcon’
7. DSR Lines - ‘Uitval’ / Dessin Bizarre - ‘Daylightmast’
8. Sasha - ‘Scarpa Falls’ / Boards Of Canada - ‘Trails’ (Recordssectionclip Slight Edit)
9. Cliff Martinez - ‘The Moon’s Light’
10. Dalhous -‘Response To Stimuli’
11. Rezo Glonti - ‘Line In’
12. Dessin Bizarre - ‘Air Frais’
13. Matt Dunkley - ‘Cycle 5 (Clint Mansell Remix)
14. Anders Brørby - ‘The Knives in Her Eyes’
15. Sophia Loizou - ‘Order of Elements’ / Carbon Based Lifeforms - ‘Endospore’ (Remastered)
16. Zahn | Hatami | McClure - ‘Vhaundt’
17. Leafar Legov - ‘Years’
18. Solar Bears - ‘Longer Life’ / Nils Quak - Future Mistakes’ / Dessin Bizarre - ‘Flow’
19. Melokind - ‘The Forester’ Extended Edit

This mix also features various field recordings collected by @soundexmachinaSpecial thanks to @KLoukovikas. Please visit http://soundexmachina.com

 

todos - Komunizm

 

You know the drill. todos is back with another superbly mixed feature. Are superlatives necessary this time around? He's one of our favorite DJ's around and for good reason.

This time however, todos tweaks his usually eclectic, sampled approach with a more dubby, beat driven set. It's likely why this mix doesn't fall within his notorious Kilchurn Session series, but this set is every bit as considered and curated. 

The transition from Tin Man & Dozzy into Kalos is worth it alone..

Download over at bmbx

Tracklist:

01. Aes Dana & Miktek – ‘The Unexpected Hours’
02. Shaded Explorer – ‘Inner Treasures’
03. Rezo Glonti – ‘Pulse Added Two’
04. EskoStatic – ‘Sjonevad lake’
05. Tin Man & Donato Dozzy – ‘Test 3’
06. Kalos – ‘Appearance Of Freedom’
07. Max Acid – ‘A Purple Flower On The Moon (Iori’s On The Moon Dub)’
08. Lars Leonhard – ‘Hang In The Balance’
09. Kalos – ‘Daily March’
10. Stereociti – ‘Revision III’
11. Sophia Loizou – ‘The Voices Of Time’
12. ASC – ‘Ceres’

 

OKADA - Floating Away From The World

 

Released earlier this month, Gregory Pappas dropped his second album for the n5MD label titled, Love Telepathic and follows it up with this exclusive mix for ASIP. 

Following in the footsteps of his previous release, Impermanence, Love Telepathic is a dream-like trip through punching beats, ethereal vocals and layers of warmth, sitting somewhere between ASC, Kiyoko and bvdub. Taking the extended track approach (10+ minutes each), OKADA builds each piece with meticulous patience - the kind that makes time disappear and the world melt around you.

Angelic vocals set against conspicuous organic beats, tick over like the lull of a metronome, 
inviting you closer to its misty depths. A soundtrack for sinking to the bottom of a glistening ocean, or floating to the blue skies above. 

Gregory's influences are clear amongst his mix, presenting us with a range of styles from the beautiful vocals of Julianna Barwick, to the awe-struck complexities of Ametsub, and the euphoric ambience of Bersarin Quartett.

Download.

"Music of artists that intoxicate and evoke a pure emotional response from me and influence my OKADA compositions. Most of these artists I've been listening to a long time. In fact, one of the artists on this mix, World's End Girlfriend, is the reason why my music is in long-form, which I first started to do on the album Anathema under the name ZXYZXY" - OKADA.

1. Julianna Barwick - One Half
An artist with strong vocal composition skills. Someone I'd like to borrow for my own compositions, to be honest.

2. 2 8 1 4 - 真実の恋
Two-artist effort that have pierced the veil of vaporwave; hurling it far into the daydream atmosphere.

3. Ametsub - Faint Dazzlings
Japanese electronic music at its finest. Yes, there is a sound unique all to Japan and its electronic music scene. I'd say this is a great example.

4. Bersarin Quartett - Bedingungslos
No one does it like BM. The guy is eons away from everyone when it comes to pure beauty in music. Any of his songs could fit here.

5. Ex Confusion - Speak Softly in My Dreams
One of my favorite n5MD artists. Any of his songs could fit here as well.

6. Ólafur Arnalds, Nils Frahm - a1
Need no introduction here. Just a fantastic collaboration.

7. OKADA - Reconciliation
While I probably should have picked something off my new record, it just wasn't the type of mix I wanted to make. One of my personal favorites, and I plan to bring this style of composition back in the future.

8. MONO & World's End Girlfriend - Part 5
Two of my top 5 artists in collaboration right here, and they create a piece that is equal parts from both groups. The whole album is fantastic.

9. A Winged Victory for the Sullen - Requiem for the Static King Part 1
A short, yet elegant piece from these two fantastic composers.

10. Alva Noto + Ryuichi Sakamoto - Moon
I adore all of RS's work, but his work with AN is always incredible. Perfect music to make me want to curl up in my bed on a rainy day.

11. envy - Fading Vision
A band I so badly wanted to sneak in this mix. Not easy since they are a screamo/post-hardcore band, but they're definitely in my top 5 as well and I had to have them here. This song is a great example of their breadth as musicians. Top tier group that exemplifies how to evoke an emotional response. I highly recommend them out.

Additional recommendation:

Eric Whitacre - Lux Nova
I couldn't fit this track on this mix, because of time and how it stuck out of place, but he definitely needs to be mentioned. His choral works prove that choral music is not dead. He is amazing.

~

OKADA n5MD | Facebook | Twitter

 

Aboutface - Are Birds Singing In Their Sleep?

 

Often comprising of field recordings and live experimentation, we've featured aboutface's sets before on ASIP, but unlike the previous weird and wonderful journeys through electronica and ambient, his latest improvised set is geared towards a recent sleep experiment in London. 

A perfect follow-up to our recent Music For Sleeping feature, Ben and his aboutface moniker recently took part in the below Soporose event which was much more than your regular ambient gig:

Although many people will encounter a listening phenomenon at some point in their life, little is known about the environment or conditions that create these experiences.

Soporose is a research into the altered listening experiences that can sometimes be had during deep relaxation and dreaming states. It will revive the essence of early sleeping temples, like Asclepion from ancient Greece, and explore a form of secular spirituality through ritual and immersion. Each guest will have an assigned bed where they can rest and sleep while being carefully navigated through a night of film screenings, guided meditation, and live performances from sound artists.

This sleeping research concert is reserved for only 20 participants that will be selected after completion of a research questionnaire.
— Soporose

Ben's set was designed around the birdsong, "using the rhythm to trigger synths and drums, then improvising with hardware and acoustic instruments against the back drop of field recordings". His set began at 5am and ended at 8am and a result, you'll hear the subtle beginnings and the slightly more detailed ending as people started to wake up. 

The field recordings were made from recent visits in London, Slovakia and India, and some of the instruments used were closely tied to the locations, with the Hapi Drum, Indian Bansuri Flute and a poem all playing parts alongside your more familiar KorgMS2000, a Prophet 8 and an Electro Harmonix 45000 multi-track looper. 

The result is an intrinsic and detailed journey through several different stages; some with nothing but field recordings, and others with slowly churning synths and effects, all set to a very simple yet evolving melody. It's a shamanic experience, requiring an attentive yet relaxing listen. I'm sure this would've been pretty special event to experience first hand. 

More info and future events available through http://www.eightfoldway.org/