Touched. Macmillan Cancer Support Compilation

123 tracks curated for a very good cause. Not just your ordinary curation though. This features an absolutely outstanding lineup of electronic artists from past and present. 808 State, Future Sound of London, Anders Ilar, Arovane, Bengalfuel, Brothomstates, Christian Kleine, Christ, Datasette, Digitonal, Goldmund, Ishq, Kettel, Maps & Diagrams, Marsen Jules, Milieu, Ochre, Olan Mill, Pub, Segue & Pleq, Sun Glitters, Ten & Tracer and Vector Lovers to name but a few familiars.

To name a any favourites at this stage would be unfair as i’ve barely made it all the way through, but needless to say there’s something in here for everyone. And at a minimum price of £6, even if you can’t stump up a little bit more to show your gratitude, it’s worth every penny. I’m looking forward to exploring many new artists and revisiting a few lost classics over the next few days.

Congratulations to curator Martin Boulton for an outsanding effort all for a very good cause – a great way to end the year.

Available on Bandcamp.


Pop Ambient 2014


It was just last night that I hit play on Pop Ambient 2007, and began to nod off before a swirl of melody forced me to check which track was providing a rather beautiful sleep song. It was no surprise to learn that it was the legendary Thomas Fehlmann and his track, ‘Next To The Field‘. That shift in pads at 3.53 is simply beautiful.

This is after all, one of the most successful and consistent ambient series of all time; a series that is nearly always packed full of many of the best ambient productions for the year that is to follow. 2014’s edition looks set to raise that bar just a little bit higher.

Starting at the most immediate point of interest – the return of GAS. For those unaware of the finer details us music geeks obsess over, Wolfgang Voigt; one-third owner of Kompakt; Pop Ambient curator; producer in his own right and of course, the man behind GAS, has kept his infamous ambient moniker dormant since 2008. His return comes in the form of a remix of none other than The Field – one of 2013 stand-out records and certainly one of Kompakt’s best. “Cupid’s Head” is deconstructed from it’s driving nature and forced into a swirling, hypnotising oblivion. The chord changes come in the form of the infamous GAS pads and the loops distorted into a pulsating wash of textures.

Wolfgang’s named production on the compilation is a reminder of the intensity he sometimes likes to reach with the likes of Mohn (his production duo with Jörg Burger / aka Triola ). Intense pads create a rush of wind, a tunnel of pressure and ultimately, the darker side of the release.

A Pop Ambient original also makes his return in this 2014 edition: Ulf Lohmann. The elusive German producer always delivers some of the more emotive beginnings to the series and Ulf’s first track ‘Sicht’ is a classic; straight from the Pop Ambient manual. Taught, looping strings dictate a morning’s beginnings and the classic sunshine feel.

Book-ending the compilation; Ulf’s second cut ‘PCC’ is yet another stand-out. Emotion takes over as a story unfolds and soundtrack-esque backings grow into a tear-jerker of a ending – this is one of those tracks that’ll be played time and time again.

A relatively minimal effort from Thomas Fehlmann this time around, the Orb maestro emphasis his organic approach to clicks and beats, with a bubbling flow of texture and distant piano. It’s a far distance from any Orb constellation we know, but the perfect incision to the Pop Ambient series.

Marking a welcome return for quite a few artists, Pop Ambient 2014 also sees The Bionaut’s debut on the series. Jörg Burger’s original moniker, with releases dating back to 1992, remixes the old with the new under the Triola name, in anticipation of a new album due out on Kompakt in the Spring. One of the very few Pop Ambient tracks to feature a vocal, Triola’s intense remix is one of those tracks that epitomises the Pop Ambient approach- simple, looping and focused, it draws you in only to leave you gasping for more.

The consistently expected, more ‘electronic’ side of the compilation comes from Mikkel Metal. No stranger to Pop Ambient, Mikkel’s deep and dubby approach to techno bursts through in this lush, spaced-out production that focuses on a spell-binding guitar and sporadic, computerized samples. I’m hoping someone takes on remix duties for this one, as I can feel a pretty awesome dub-techno track bubbling away somewhere.

Clashing bells, chimes and the synonymous Marsen Jules organics come out to play again in ‘The Philosophers Trap’. Shimmering like a flicker of light amongst a dark, intense chasm, Marsen is once again caught constructing an elaborate novel of instrumentation.

A new one for me – ‘Cologne Tape’ makes it’s debut on the compilation. A “Kraut electronics allstar live project that has been dreamed up for the modern era”, consisting of numerous Kompakt related artists including Axel Wilner (aka The Field), Jens-Uwe Beyer (aka Popnonanme) Jörg Burger, John Harten (aka Cato), Daniel Ansorge (involved in a few productions on Pop Ambient over the years), Michaela Dippel and Volker Pannes. ‘Moorpark’ gives a retro, analog feel to the release, with shuffling drums, a multitude of layered guitar loops and what feels like a bunch of geniuses jamming in a Cologne garage on a warm summers day.

Simon Scott’s beautiful gem, ‘Für Betty’ also makes a gracious appearance. Stripped of his drums, Simon opts for a rumbling bass amongst soaring guitar textures and paralleled, distant vocals. Yes, I’m going to say it – if you’re a fan of Slowdive you’ll relate with this track- there’s just something in there…

With a series that’s over then ten-year mark, it’s easy to lose what you started, or to fade into the distance, especially when trying to run one of the worlds biggest techno labels. But with the revival of classic sounds (GAS, Fehlmann, Marsen Jules, Ulf Lohmann for example) and the pioneering of new (Cologne Tape, Triola, The Field, Mikkel Metal), Wolfgang’s Pop Ambient will always remain one of my most anticipated releases of the year, and 2014’s edition is easily one of their best yet.

Available in all formats on January 27th through Kompakt. Stream the compilation on Kompakt.

Read an interview with Kompakt’s Thomas Fehlmann here.
Listen to Marsen Jules’ isolatedmix here.




ASIP - Reflection on 2013


It’s been a pretty monumental year for me, both personally and for ASIP. I’ve moved to Portland, Oregon and started a new life in the Pacific North West and at the same time fulfilled a life-long ambition of producing a vinyl record (Uncharted Places). Being up here in Oregon has helped me experience a new world of music previously out of reach. I had the chance to attend Substrata and Decibel Festival in Seattle this summer and i’m slowly but surely getting to grips with the many great musicians and artists involved in the Portland music scene.

This mix doesn’t even begin to capture the music that’s passed through my ears this year, and that’s why I don’t normally do any “top tens” of “best of X ” – just have a read of the site’s monthly archives; it’s as close as you’ll get to the music i’ve liked this past year. This mix does however capture some of the stand-out tracks, many of which hold personal memories where i’ve been lucky enough to see them live, or tracks that capture the year’s best albums or labels.

It’s been an amazing 2013 for fans of electronica. We’ve been treated to Boards of Canada‘s first album in twelve years, Jon Hopkins has remained true to form and produced one of his best yet, and n5MD well… this mix could consist of nothing but n5MD music: Ocoeur, Preghost, (Ghost), bvdub, and Arovane have all presented us with some magical albums – the latter three I couldn’t even include in the mix.

Warp have had a good year too – not just with Tomorrow’s Harvest, but the BoC re-issues have pleased many die-hard fans, along withBibio‘s early 2013 release and Oneohtrix Point Never‘s most celebrated album to date.

Ghostly have well-and-truly established themselves as one of the most forward-thinking labels in electronic music; Shigeto‘s coming of age and Lusine‘s welcome return. The biggest Ghostly release for me though, the more recent Recondite, may fly under the ‘best of’ radar for many given it’s late release in the year. The Ghostly International showcase at Decibel was one of my favourite performances of the year and summarised the depth of talent on the roster.

And then there’s Erased TapesNils Frahm‘s ‘Spaces’ is certainly my #1 album of the year – coupled with an amazing performance at Decibel it’s hard to overlook the innovative beauty of this young mastermind. Even though Ólafur Arnalds signed with a new label for his 2013 release, his performance at the Erased Tapes showcase is also on par with Nils, and ‘For Now I Am Winter’ is another absolutely gorgeous gem that shouldn’t be forgotten. Rival Consoles has also turned many ears this year – Ryan’s ‘Odyssey EP’ representing the more electronic side of Erased Tapes, which also looks set for a big 2014 with the news of a new Kiasmos album.

Don’t forget Max Cooper either. With consistently innovative remixes for the likes of Nils Frahm, several stand-out releases of his own and some of my favourite DJ mixes of the year, it’s been a landmark year for the Londoner.

The world of ambient in 2013 is hard to summarise in a mix, or even a ‘best-of’ list, it’s been such a good year. My bandcamp profile is probably a good place to start for the more independent/ambient releases i’ve enjoyed this year and in all honestly, this mix doesn’t represent that side of ASIP to its fullest. I’ve missed out so many including: 36, Grouper, Eluvium, How To Disappear Completely, Rafael Anton Irisarri, Segue, several Ultimae releases to name just a few… But, it’s been a great year for labels such as Dewtone with Alveol starting their 2013 perfectly, and Silent Season who unleashed an absolute beast in the form of the ASC double CD ‘Time Heals All’.

I’ve done my best to not be biased by including ASIP music or artists. Between them, there’s been so many good releases on other labels this year, namely Markus Guentner’s Moodgadget release, enh’s debut album, Park’s ‘Snowblind’ on Entropy, Audioglider’s debut on Section Records, Herbstlaub’s ‘Our Love Was Only Half Forgotten’, Kit’s stunning EP, and Stray Theories beautiful ‘Those Who Remain’.

Please support these artists and buy the music featured in this music, or where possible take advantage of the free download. I hope you enjoy the mix.



Tracklist [including links to buy/download].

01. Boards of Canada – Everything You Do Is A Balloon (Warmth remix) Free Download
02. Boards of Canada – Reach For The Dead [Warp]
03. Jon Hopkins – Open Eye Signal [Domino]
04. Ocoeur – Astral Projection [n5MD]
05. Recondite – Riant [Ghostly International]
06. Bonobo – Cirrus [Ninja Tune]
07. Oneohtrix Point Never – Zebra [Warp]
08. Lawrence – In Patagonia [Dial]
09. Daniel Avery – Naive Response [Phantasy Sound]
10. Rival Consoles – Odyssey [Erased Tapes]
11. Nils Frahm – For (Max Cooper remix) [Erased Tapes] Free Download
12. Need A Name – Road To Berlin [Self released] Free Download
13. Ólafur Arnalds – Only The Winds [Mercury Classics]
14. Nils Frahm – Said and Done [Erased Tapes]
15. Max Cooper – Fragments of Self (Petrels remix) [Fields]
16. Rhian Sheehan – Thoughts on Nature [Loop recordings]
17. Hammock – Then The Quiet Explosion [Self released] Free Download
18. Stareaway – The Loss Of Breath [Couldn’t Care More]
19. Ulrich Schnauss & Mark Peters – Das Volk Hat Kleine Seele [Bureau B]
20. Luke Howard – August [Self released]
21. dalot – Night Owl [n5MD]
22. Lights Dim with Gallery Six – Echoes of The Ongoing Riot [Kaico]
23. Bjorn Rohde – I Began To Float [Dewtone]
24. Alveol – Empty Heart [Dewtone]
25. Preghost – Cliff Edge Ghost [n5MD]
26. ASC – I Share My Secrets With You [Silent Season]
27. Nils Frahm – Over There It’s Raining [Erased Tapes]

isolatedmix 42 - todos

In its fifth anniversary year, it’s only right to end the year’s isolatedmix series with something that connects back to the very first few posts on ASIP. For those that have been with me for the full ride, you’ll recognise the name, todos.

His mixes were some of the very first I posted on the site back in 2008 and some of the best mixes I had heard in a very long time. Revisiting the feedback on the first mix he ever posted just now, lots of people are with me and still exploring his early mixes to this day.

Spanning multiple genres, creative, unique, meticulously crafted and above all epic, todos spends months at a time putting these journeys together. Upon listening you’ll hear the blood, sweat and tears that have gone into each one.

He is a pioneer of todays shift to digital mixing, but he doesn’t use it for lack of laziness. Amongst the 47+ channels of audio and midi lie a multitude of custom samples, tempo blends and effects – something of a trademark since todos’ very first Kilchurn Session.

The Kilchurn Sessions have reached a special anniversary tenth edition and i’m beyond pleased that todos has crafted this milestone as part of the isolatedmix series. It’s been a great five years for ASIP and i’m proud that the likes of todos have been a part of it since the beginning.

“Five years have passed since I completed the first Kilchurn Session mix. A mix inspired by my partner, and our Winter’s walk at Loch Awe in Scotland; a place of outstanding landscape and beauty. The challenge for me was to create a mix using tracks with extreme differences in tempo, something I would not have been able to do using a set of 1210’s and mixer.

It would comprise of a collection of personal favourite tracks, old and new, laced with soundscapes, samples and spoken word, yet not following a set genre throughout. What was supposed to be a one off, gained surprising feedback and support from Nick Warren and ASIP which catapulted it into places I never thought it would reach. The demand for another soon followed and now, 5 years on, it is with great pleasure I can bring you the tenth instalment as an isolatedmix, and a first that incorporates original compositions by Devoted Enemies, in which I am involved” – todos .




01. todos – ‘Intro’
02. Abstract World – ‘Mirage’
03. Sigur Ros – ‘Varðeldur’ / Sigur Ros – ‘Ég anda’ edit
04. Jon Hopkins – ‘The Wider Sun’ / King Creosote & Jon Hopkins ‘First Watch’ edit
05. Kiyoko – ‘Something To Think About’ / Jon Hopkins ‘The River’
06. Devoted Enemies – ‘Anx’
07. Nils Petter Molvær – ‘A Small Realm’
08. Apparat – ‘Tod’
09. Mogwai – ‘Letters to the Metro’ edit / S O H N – ‘Bloodflows’ / The XX – ‘Chained’ (Sasha Beatless Mix) edit
10. Oxia – ‘Exaila’
11. Abstract World – ‘Path’
12. Agnes Obel – ‘The Curse’
13. Sin Fang – ‘Young Boys’ (Jonsi Remix)
14. Nathan Fake – Paean (Coda)
15. Pye Corner Audio – ‘Toward Light’
16. Moderat – ‘The Mark (Interlude) / Boards Of Canada – ‘Nothing Is Real’ edit
17. Lowb – ‘Whealer Dealer Healer’
18. Boards Of Canada – ‘Telepath’
19. Daniel Avery – ‘Platform Zero’
20. Clark – ‘Black Stone’ / todos – ‘Subway’
21. Cotton Wolf – ‘Cassette 98′
22. Alt Fenster – ‘Sur Cette Feuille’
23. Borealis – ‘Nightfall’ (Ben Lukas Boysen remix)

Plus samples & effects.


Markus Guentner – Shadows Of The City


Progression and fate are two words that immediately come to mind after a few hours spent with Markus Guentner’s new record.

Firstly, I know how proud Moodgadget owner Jakub Alexander must be to have one of his heroes release a record on his own label. Ever since Jakub enlisted Markus on remix duties for his own Heathered Pearls ‘Loyal’ reworks, I had a hopeful feeling it was going to lead to something bigger. With Jakub’s warm, swirling ambient style it’s easy to see how these two have come together – two paths destined to cross.

And secondly, after seeing through a couple of Markus’ own productions recently, namely his Places Series EP ‘Talking Clouds’, and his two stunning remixes on Uncharted Places, it’s clearly evident that his sound is gently progressing into a defining symbol of lush ambient music peppered with hints of techno.

‘Chromatic Fields’, the subtle opener for the powerful six-track EP, with deep tonal-bass changes is a light-hearted lust for more and more…

‘Ashes’ re-ignites the clashing world we saw when Markus took on Heathered Pearl’s music last year, with pale textures, soaring synths and a taught air hanging over a misty landscape.

The title piece, ‘Shadows Of The City’ rekindles Markus’s heritage in techno and his recent travels into beat-driven ambient. A shuffling dark number with simple, dramatic strings.

My favourite of the bunch, ‘The Run’ is one of Markus’ most emotional pieces to date – layer upon layer, the constantly mixing colour palette paints vividness, hope and despair.

‘The Coral Crowd’ is a signature Guentner piece, shrouded in recognisable samples, flat-ended twinkles and a gentle curve upwards into the sky, akin to ‘Saint’.

And lastly, ‘Eternal’. Stepping down from the soaring sky, the focus turns to what seems like a dense jungle floor. Buzzing density and a slow murmuring beat occupy a hazy, very still, shadow-cast lake.

‘Shadows Of The City’ is available to stream on the ISO50 blog and below, and available for just $3.99 on iTunes for the first two weeks. You can also download the title track for free on Soundcloud.

Download Markus Guentner’s Places Series EP for free here. His isolated mix here. Or his two remixes for Uncharted Places here.