ASIP – Before & After (Das Kraftfuttermischwerk Adventskalender)

I’ve put together this very special ambient/dub-techno mix for the brilliant Das Kraftfuttermischwerk as part of their Advent Calendar series. So far, the series has featured some superb mixes by some of the site’s musical inspirations, so i’m honoured to take part and contribute.

This is an extra special moment for ASIP too, as the hard work going on behind the scenes is starting to come to light. I’ve featured two previously unheard tracks in this mix which are lined up to be a part of the upcoming ASIP release series. The first one, by Kit Fegradoe, set’s the idealic scene ‘In Nam’ and the second, a whirring jungle-sampled stormer from Robert Heel. More info on both of these in due course, but for now grab yourself a sneak preview of what’s to come!

These tracks sit alongside some other greats which go someway to summarising what I have been listening to for most of this year. The treasured finds of Parks and LJ Kruzer, another superb release from Energostatic, a great year for Specta Ciera and the twinkling classic of Warp’s Brothomstates help portray my idea of the calm before, the madness during and the beauty after a storm.

If you’d like to find out a bit more information about the planned ASIP release series, see here. But stay tuned to ASIP in the next few months as we’ve got some amazing artists lined up already.

Thanks to Ronny at Das Kraftfuttermischwerk for the invite and the continued support. And thanks to you guys for tuning in. Exciting 2012 ahead!

 
 

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01. Kit Fegradoe – Girl Walking On The Beach Wearing A Skirt (Forthcoming on ASIP)
02. Parks – Eternal Wind (Infraction)
03. LJ Kruzer – Ter4 (Uncharted Audio)
04. Sven Weisemann – Xine (Wandering)
05. Robert Heel – Jungledub
06. Marc Atmost – Deity (Energostatic)
07. Specta Ciera – Glowing Colours (Energostatic)
08. Biosphere – Ikata (The Sight Below Remix) (Touch)
09. Martin Nonstatic – Parallel Thinking (Silent Season)
10. Markus Guentner – Senses (Air Texture)
11. Specta Ciera – Underpass (Feedback Loop)
12. Gel-Sol – As Far As Eye Can See (Psychonavigation)
13. Brothomstates – Mdrmx (Warp)
14. Soosh -Take My Hand (Self Released) Free download

isolatedmix 23 - Carbon Based Lifeforms

Anybody see the link yet? That’s right, it’s both an honour and a privilege to introduce the 23rd isolatedmix, by none other than the legendaryCarbon Based Lifeforms.

Us CBL fans have been pretty lucky recently; two albums in successive years, with Interloper in 2010 and Twentythree in 2011. But, it hasn’t always been so. With albums sometimes three years apart, this extended anticipation has left many-a CBL fan suffering for years on end. For many, that’s what makes their productions so special and for me, this mix even more so.

Not only are Daniel and Johannes cult heroes heralded by many ambient fans from across the world, but stumbling across any of their releases, or indeed insight into their workings is as rare as the sunshine on a Swedish winters day. Everything that floats out of their studio is quality and has been since their very first release on the ground-breaking Ultimae Records back in 2003.

How do you keep such a fan base in tune over such an extended period? (Damn it, I didn’t even ask that question below). Well, from my point of view… you set the standard for stunning ambient music, you keep raising it with each release and you make sure that every album you produce has the ability to envelope you in warm synthesizers and transport you to that welcoming but strangely isolated place. Daniel and Johannes have it nailed.

isolatedmix 23 is a truly stunning and eclectic journey into the minds of two maestros, with retro sounds and pioneering productions alongside tracks from some of today’s best producers – it’s a who’s who of ambient and electronica and if any of you need an intro into this world, this is it. And if you need an intro into CBL’s world, then scroll down to read a few questions I put their way…

 
 

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Tracklist:
01. Raymond Scott – In The Hall Of The Mountain Queen
02. Space Lab – Blue Planet
03. Brian Eno – An Ending (Ascent)
04. Aphex Twin – Rhubarb
05. M83 – I Guess I’m Floating
06. Vangelis – Ireland
07. Autechre – VLetrmx
08. Murcof – Isaias II
09. Barn Owl – Lotus Cloud
10. Fennesz – River Of Sand
11. Boards Of Canada – Open The Light
12. Hammock – Cruel Sparks
13. Trentemøller – Miss You
14. Terry Devine-King – Life Cycle
15. Solar Quest – Singtree
16. 23rd World – Enchanted Isles
17. Foundland – Everybodys Neighbour
18. Sally Shapiro – Sleep In My Arms
19. Solar Quest – Liquid Sky
20. Lusine – Operation Costs – Disassembled Mix
21. Bo Hansson – The Old Forest (Tom Bombadil)
22. Mathew Dear – Slowdance
23. Tycho – Coastal Brake
24. TV On The Radio – Staring At The Sun

 

Hello Daniel, Johannes! I always like to picture the scene for someone answering an interview – can you tell us where you are and what i’ve interrupted you from doing?!
Drinking beer and making the mix in Johannes studio 

For anyone not familiar with Carbon Based Lifeforms, can you give us a quick intro to your sound and your main influences?
Textures, pads, 303’s, arpeggios and melodies. Most of our influences can be heard in the mix.

It’s nearly ten years since you signed with Ultimae – that’s quite a long time on one label. Can you tell us a bit about your relationship with them?
They´re really great people and quite easy to work with. They’re more of a family than a label to us.
The reason it’s been working for that long is that they leave us a lot of creative freedom and they are extremely professional… They’ve got their shit together.

Can you describe your working relationship and the roles you both take in producing music? Are there lots of arguments or are you a duo made for each other!?
We tend to start out ideas for songs in our separate studios, and when we find something the other one likes we start hammering it out to a complete song. Not a lot of arguments however we have different roles when it comes to the production. Johannes likes to get lost in a lot of details on sounds and Daniel is usually the one to get things rolling again. Except when it comes to drums and percussions, then the roles are pretty much reversed.

I’ve read before that you love using the Roland TB-303 synth in your music and that you try sneaking it in every track at some point – is this true with twentythree? If not, what was most used instrument in this album?
Well the 303 made it’s way into that album as well but not as predominantly as our previous albums. We used a lot of Clavia G2 Modular on 23 though.

Can you tell us how twentythree differs from your previous albums? What was the idea behind the album?
We had been talking about making a beat-less album since we released World Of Sleepers, and we actually finished a version of it in 2009. But after a lot of self doubt and critical listening, and a good long talk with Ultimae we decided that many of the tracks would sound a lot better with beats than without so we added the beats that were needed and released Interloper instead, hence the name.

I find it really easy to imagine places, landscapes and feelings with your music. Most ambient music possesses this ability, but yours seems to be that much stronger. Is this intentional and do you try to paint vivid pictures with your music?
We have quite a visual way of thinking of music, so maybe thats why. Another reason might be that we usually don’t finish a track in just one sitting, it’s more of an ongoing process which can last for a couple of years. When we´re producing an album we tend to write work on the songs a bunch at a time.

My favourite track from twentythree is ‘Somewhere in Russia’. Where is this somewhere, and what was the inspiration behind the track?
That’s quite a story really… We hade been booked to do a gig in Moscow, Johannes did not want to go but Daniel decided to go alone. However the festival was cancelled and the organizers decided that it would be a terrific idea to not tell Daniel about it so he ended up alone and just a little bit worried at the Moscow Airport. There were no hotel rooms at the airport and no flights back to Gothenburg until two days later. But after countless phone calls to Ultimae and back to Sweden he finally got a hold of Andrei, one of Ultimae’s distributors in Moscow who was on his way to a party a couple of hours outside of Moscow so he picked Daniel up and brought him along. It was during this trip the idea was born. The poem that can be heard at the beginning of that track was written by one the guys from the party.

Where is your ‘Strangely Isolated Place’?
Usually when driving, walking or working.

Sweden seems to be a hub for atmospheric electronic music. How much does Sweden and the places you visit influence your music?
Good question… We tend to think that everything kind of influences the music we make. But maybe it’s the cold and dark climate, or maybe it’s just a cultural thing, it’s usually pretty easy to spot if music is made in the states, the UK, in Scandinavia etc.

You recently played in London at the (very intimate) Inspiral Lounge – do you enjoy gigs like this? What would be your ideal setting for playing a live gig and who would be playing with you?
Yeah Inspiral is a really great place to play, very intimate as you said however it’s really uncomfortable for old geezers like us  The stage is basically a small staircase..  But the vibe there is excellent.
As far as ideal setting we came pretty close when we played at Cosmonova in Stockholm, it is the only state of the art imax theatre in sweden with a huge dome and stuff it was really cool, however there is no connection with the audience what so ever… so maybe the ultimate place would be a combination of the two..

Did you get up to anything else whilst in London? Any sightseeing? Did you get to see Kensington Gardens?!
A bit of sightseeing, lot’s of beer and food  Yes we went to Kensington Gardens again. We recorded the strange piano thingie on the track Kensington Gardens last time went there. This time we tried to figure out what was making the sound but it turned out you had to have a kid with you to get into that area so i guess we’ll never know.

Can we expect another brilliant 15 years or so of CBL? What have you got planned for the future?
Keep your fingers crossed! Our next project will probably not be another CBL-album. We’ve met a really talented singer, so the next thing we do will probably be something with her. We have not figured out the direction of that project exactly yet but we think it will be something that will please the CBL-fans.

And last but not least, can you talk about your approach and inspirations behind the mix you’ve put together?
At first we just wanted to include tracks that have inspired or influenced us when we started out, but realised we would miss out on a lot of really sweet newer tracks, so it’s a combo of old “important” things and stuff we really love.

Big thank you to Daniel and Johannes for the time and effort with the words and the mix. You can grab Carbon Based Lifeforms latest release ‘Twentythree’ from Ultimae here.

Hayhook – Global Communication Mixes

If this site wasn’t named ‘A Strangely Isolated Place’, it would probably be called, “76.14”. Without a doubt, the legends behind one of my favourite ambient/electronic albums of all time, Global Communication are an elusive pair nowadays. I had to pass up on a a rare gig not too long ago at the British Library because it was my girlfriends birthday (priorities eh?!) and these sets from Hayhook make it just that little bit worse – once again reminding me just how talented Tom Middleton and Mark Pritchard are.

From the sublime ambient take on Slowdive, to the balearic Beloved remix and the Jedi Knights jams, these mixes have every corner of Tom and Mark’s epic journey covered.

Thanks to m:cast for originally finding and posting the mixes. You can also get all of Hayhook’s mixes over on Percussion Lab.

Global Communication Remotion Chilled Mix – Download / more info
Tracklist:
01: Alpha Phase – Chapterhouse
02: On [Reload Remix] – Aphex Twin
03: Ride [Global Communication Dub Mix] – Soft Ballet
04: In Mind [The Reload 147 Take] – Slowdive
05: Visual Cortex [The Reload Redifinition] – Schaft
06: Gamma Phase – Chapterhouse
07: Amor Real [Global Communication Remix] – Jon Anderson
08: Rollercoaster [Global Communication Yellow Submarine Re-Take] – The Grid
09: Wild Horse [Global Mix Communication] – Nav Katze
10: Beta Phase – Chapterhouse
11: Aspirin [Global Communication Mix] – Sensorama

Global Communication Universal Language Chilled Mix 1 – Download / more info
Tracklist:
01: 9:39 – Global Communication
02: Sublime Creation – Global Communication
03: Ob-Selon Mi-Nos [Global Communication Mix] – Mystic Institute
04: Amenity [33rpm] – Reload/Link
05: Le Soleil Et La Mer – Reload & E621
06: Arcadian [Global Communication Mix] – Link
07: Maiden Voyage I – Global Communication
08: The Augur – Link
09: Soaring – Reload
10: Peschi [Short Stories Version] – Reload & E621
11: The Biosphere [Global Communication Mix] – Reload & E621
12: Human Blancmange – The Jedi Knights
13: Isolation Part 2 – Pulusha
14: Aural Sedative – Amba

Global Communication Universal Language Chilled Mix 2 – Download / more info
Tracklist:
01: Aznyte Falls – Amba
02: 4:14 – Global Communication
03: Incidental Harmony – Global Communication
04: 9:25 – Global Communication
05: Delta Phase – Chapterhouse/Global Communication
06: Ehn – Reload & E621
07: The Truth – Jedi Knights
08: Ahn – Reload
09: Bless This [Global Communication Remix] – Jon Anderson
10: Funk In the Fridge – Global Communication
11: Natural High [Global Communication Remix] – Warp 69
12: 6-8 Rhodes – Reload
13: Epsilon Phase – Chapterhouse/Global Communication
14: Isolation (Part 1) – Pulusha
15: Enchanting – Amba

Global Communication – Remotion Beats Mix – Download (via Percussion Lab)
Tracklist:
01: Evolution of the Beast [Global Communication Mix] – Palmskin Productions
02: Evolution of the Beast [The Chameleon Mix] – Palmskin Productions
03: Amazon Amenity [The Chameleon Mix] – Link
04: Gorecki [Global Communication Mix] – Lamb
05: The Sun Rising [Tom’s Drum-n-Bass Mix] – The Beloved
06: The Sun Rising [Mark’s Deep House Mix] – The Beloved
07: The Way [Secret Ingredients Mix] – Global Communication
08: 7’39″ [Link & E621 Appliance of Science Mix] – Global Communication
09: Space Jazz Carnival [Global Communication Mix] – Azymuth
10: Jumbo [Jedis Sugar Hit Mix] – Underworld
11: Disco Magic [Secret Ingredients Mix] – Jedis
12: Crazy Dream [The Reload Retro 313 Future Memory Mix] – Nav Katze
13: Absorber [Jedi Knights Mix 1] – Bomb the Bass
14: Antacid [Jedi Knights Mix] – Link & E621
15: The Flow [Jedi Knights Mix] – Model 500

isolatedmix 22 - Parks

The isolatedmix series is a chance for me to recruit my past musical inspirations, where they take the reigns and provide us lucky listeners with an hour or so worth of favourites and their very own inspirations. However, Parks is the first to break the mould.

For one, Parks is pretty new to my ears. Discovered just a few months ago after trawling through the Infraction Records back-catalogue, Igor Bystrov had two unassuming albums nestling in the amazing Infraction treasure-trove that hit me like a bulldozer. I am simply amazed at how such brilliant music can be this buried. Not that Infraction don’t do an amazing job at getting music heard, but more that this type of music deserves to be heard by so many more like-minded people. I guess that’s what partly motivates me with ASIP – finding these hidden gems and giving them the attention they deserve by the people that appreciate it.

So, with such a modest and relatively unknown artist and a host (i.e me) who is still only now managing to pick himself up from the initial body-slam of stunning music, it felt right to break the mould and release a mix made entirely from an artists own productions. After-all, Igor has been producing since the late 80’s so he had no shortage of tracks to choose from.

I also managed a short interview in a hope to paint a complete picture of the artist which will undoubtedly now remain on your stereo for a long time to come…

Oh and the second buck of the isolatedmix trend? Igor has plucked up over 2 hours worth of material, for your extended pleasure!

If you like what you hear, be sure to support the artist and the brilliant label that opened up our ears and made it happen, Infraction Records by purchasing Igor’s two (so far released) albums, ‘Umber’ or Hidden’ here and keep on the look-out for further releases.

 
 

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Tracklist (all songs by Parks)
01. The Renaissance 00:00
02. Shining Stars 07:09
03. Franja 16:02
04. Lament 24:23
05. The HAL 9000 Computer 31.25
06. Wings Of Desire 37:22
07. Trains 43:46
08. Unreleased 50:30
09. 4AM (unreleased)57:30
10. Eternal Wind 1:06
11. Long Way 1:14
12. The Breath Of Autumn 1:21
13. Days 1:30
14. Topaz 1:38
15. The Twilight 1:44
16. Underwater Spaces 1:52

ASIP & Parks Interview (Igor Bystrov)

Can you tell us a bit about where you live? Do your surroundings influence your work at all?

Since childhood, I lived in a resort town called Sochi. It means a lot of hot sun, hot temperatures and a crowd of people. I’ve always dreamed of one town and my dream has come true – in 1984 I moved to St. Petersburg, the best city on Earth. This conveys the nature of my feelings and sensations. I love the fog and the low gray sky. All my music is sustained in these colours.

You started producing in the late 1980’s, has your approach to production changed at all? What do you differently now to then?

Nothing really except for the fact that in the late 90’s I had a computer. The only thing that has changed is machinery and equipment. I like the cassette tape and I still use them. A small fact – I wrote the first two albums in 1990-91 and they were on a portable cassette with several friends for 10 years. In early 2000 the label “Fono” proposed to publish the albums … I agreed

Who were your biggest influences back then?

Back then I was very fond of of Arvo Part, Henryk Gorecki Symp. №3 (2), Harold Budd / Brian Eno “The Pearl” and other works of Eno. Even Robert Fripp, Robert Wyatt and Le Mystere Des Voix Bulgares.

And who are your biggest influences now?

Now I’m under the impression from Zelienople, Akira Rabelais – “Spellewauerynsherde”, Gas, Gavin Bryars – “The Sinking of the Titanic”, David Sylvian -”Blemish”, Flunk, NASA Voyager Recordings etc…

How did your relationship with Infraction come about and what can we expect in the future?

Brian Grainger (Milieu) is a good friend of mine and he took my records and gave them to Jason Bryant, owner of Infraction Records and it started from there. The future? I can not say anything – it is the future!

Where is your ‘Strangely Isolated Place’?

Interesting question. In fact, ‘Strangely Isolated Place’ is my home, it is as the submarine, I look through the windows to the outside world, I communicate via phone and chat. But most of all I love to listen to music on my iPod Classic and a walk in the park, but this doesn’t happen very often.

Your music is quite varied, with aspects of ambient, electronica, downtempo and ‘chill’. Do you prefer one over the other?

I find it difficult to pin a style to my music, but i can tell you what it isn’t – Chill-out or New Age. My music does not contain any rest or peace (with rare exceptions), and is not intended for easy listening with a cup of coffee at the bar.

There’s a few vocal samples in your tracks too,  are they samples or were they produced specifically for the tracks?

No they’re not samples and they weren’t designed specifically for Parks either. My friend is a vocalist for a rock band and his American girlfriend used to sing to him on a dictaphone to teach him the correct pronunciation. I took possession of these records and used them within tracks. They were however, heavily edited and changed.

Can you describe the process behind the tracks you selected for this mix?

Before I start a mix, there is always a special feeling and I start looking for a sound that will match. I’ll take any sound that comes across strongly and change its ways to fit. What may start out as rubbish at the beginning can often turn into diamonds. I use Cubase 5, Logic, Kontakt, Kurzweil K2000, Korg ESX-1, and some additional things that make a poor quality sound. The results are recorded on an old tape, then digitized and a cleared out.

Seeing as your isolatedmix is made-up of your own tracks, can you name two or three tracks you would have chosen if you were putting together a mix of other artists?

I think it will be Jacaszek – V, Lahto – The Night Was Green and NASA Voyager Recordings 2 – Sphere Of IO