A Strangely Isolated Place / Full Circle (ASIPV00X)
The music presented in this compilation is probably the closest distillation of what has inspired A Strangely Isolated Place over the past ten years. The ASIP website and its many versions; blog posts; guest mixes; even some of the older archived (now hidden) posts, were revisited to find the perfect tracks to put forward.
There were, however, a few limitations in mind: (1) It had to be a track previously written about or featured in some capacity on ASIP from 2008-2018. (2) The track has previously not been released on vinyl. (3) The artist isn’t currently a part of the ASIP label family.
The end result isn’t a compilation of rarities, b-sides or label exclusives that you may have expected at a typical ten-year milestone. Instead, it’s a compilation of music that has helped define ASIP as many people know it today. From drone and space ambient; to shoegaze-inspired guitars; nostalgic electronica and melodic synthesizer music, Full Circle presents many of the elements that have been captured over the past ten years on A Strangely Isolated Place.
To help celebrate the occasion, all profits from this compilation will go to a charity called The Harmony Project. We felt that investing in and helping the next generation of potential musicians would be a fitting tribute to the overall concept of the release.
Pressed into the grooves of this record is some of the finest music to grace my ears that I felt passionate enough to feature on ASIP in the past, and now once more on vinyl - Ryan Griffin.
In more ways than one, we’ve come full circle.
Full Circle track list:
A1. Rhian Sheehan / Quietly Returning
A2. Ous Mal / Marraskuu
A3. ASPIDISTRAFLY / Sea Of Glass
A4. Winterlight / Awake And Sleeping
B1. Altus / Sodium Glow
B2. Ourson / 237
C1. Stellardrone / Billions And Billions
C2. LJ Kruzer / Ter4
C3. Horizon Fire / Piney Hills Blaze
C4. Need A Name / Road To Berlin
D1. Freescha / Moving
D2. Alla Farmer / Elektrik Sunrize
D3. Anders Ilar / Rain In All Familiar Places
E1. :papercutz / Where Beasts Die (Kiyoko remix)
E2. Solar Fields / Going In
F1. Ulrich Schnauss / Shine (Mint remix)
F2. bvdub / Don’t Say You Know
Artwork by Mario Morales
Additional layout and gatefold design by Nick Brzostowski
All tracks re-mastered by Rafael Anton Irisarri
Released: November 5th 2018.
Format: x3LP, digital download and limited CDr Wooden Case.
(Silver and Transparent vinyl editions).
Markus Guentner / Empire (ASIPV012)
Markus Guentner’s story continues where his last album, 'Theia’ left off with another set of epic atmospheres and brave new worlds. This time Markus enlists the skills of harpist; Tom Moth, cellist; Julia Kent and fellow ambient storyteller; bvdub to complete the journey.
From fiery remnants, a universal rhythm emerged.
An ebb and flow of force and fate,
creating worlds within worlds,
forever connected by an infinite empire.
Markus Guentner’s 2015 album, ‘Theia’ took us back to the mythological impact that birthed the Earth’s moon. The creation of the galaxy as we know it today was being born and more specifically, the eventual rise of the human species followed. This is where Empire takes its cue, continuing the story and portraying the connection and many interactions between the Earth, the Universe and the mystifying forces amongst them.
Be it physical, scientific or mythological, Empire draws on the ebb and flow relationship the Earth has with the deeper, unknown space around us. Markus dives into sometimes sinister, but always majestic territories with his unique manipulation of looping drones, textures and gradual atmospheres. The album and its planned progression, combine back-and-forth chapters between Markus’ own productions and collaborations, representing the different perspectives between the unknown worlds.
Beginning ‘Offworld', in a dark and distant, swirling ambient chasm, Empire then moves into manipulating shards of light, with Canadian cellist Julia Kent adding a stirring yet poignant element to the growing void.
Icelandic for "hiding", 'Fura' finds us back in the emptiness, but this time with a sense of hope as fluorescent molecules - future stars - gather and birth new worlds. A return to terra firma, and slow-motion grass moves all around you - a future mirage depicting a new vision of beauty that’s yet to be formed, brought to you alongside fellow master of emotive ambient, bvdub.
The dream is cut short and you then find yourself in the void of ‘Nun’ - the God of Egyptian Mythology - as echoes of man and cities once alive, are drowned out by an ever-present mysterious force and a subtle, alien static. All is not dark however, as harpist Tom Moth (Florence and The Machine) brings a shimmering, angelic shine, as you witness the growing energy and birth of the sun - the leader, life, and power amongst the Empire.
Its birth; the ‘New World Order’, closing with a slow churning, atmospheric piece that is both complex and elemental, gracious and sinister, dark, yet in many ways hopeful for all that remains.This is the Empire as we know it today.
Empire will be available on marbled transparent orange and black vinyl (including digital download).
'Empire' track list:
A1 - Offworld
A2 - Refraction (with Julia Kent)
B1 - Fura
B2 - Kuria (with bvdub)
C1 - Nun
C2 - Halo (with Tom Moth)
D1 - New World Order
Tracks 1,3,5,7 by Markus Guentner.
Track 2 by Markus Guentner and Julia Kent.
Track 4 by Markus Guentner and Brock Van Wey / bvdub.
Track 6 by Markus Guentner and Tom Moth.
Published by Sony/ATV Music Publishing
Mastered by Rafael Anton Irisarri @ Black Knoll Studio, New York.
Artwork by Noah M / Keep Adding.
Empire words by Reef Younis.
Earth House Hold / Never Forget Us (ASIPV011)
Brock Van Wey (bvdub) revives his cult Earth House Hold alias for A Strangely Isolated Place, with his slow-burning, House-music-inspired, long play, ‘Never Forget Us’.
A Strangely Isolated Place, and label founder, Ryan Griffin has long sought a partnership with Brock, with many believing it may one day materialize in his suitably infamous ambient output known on labels such as n5MD, Glacial Movements and Quietus. But after their relationship grew, Brock and Ryan realized a mutual respect and passion for the classic sounds of house music - the roots and inspiration of Brock's Earth House Hold project.
Whilst followers of bvdub and ASIP may be surprised to hear the two teaming up on this specific alias of Brock's, Never Forget Us opens us to a new expression of ambient-inspired music, pushing the many boundaries, forms and genres it can evolve into or indeed, evolve from.
A noticeably deeper and more evocative evolution from the first Earth House Hold release, Brock has built an album focused on progression, starting with deep, slow-churning ambient cuts, gradually introducing House elements as the album evolves. Using only instruments and sounds from the early House-era, as is the ethos of Earth House Hold, Brock builds an effortlessly sequenced collage of deep, mystifying, and emotional pieces, combining his signature ghostly vocals with rumbling off-kilter bass-lines and slowly rising atmospheres.
As with many of Brock’s productions, ’Never Forget Us’ is an ode to some of the many memories and experiences that helped influence the producer he is today. From his trademark ambient epics, to his unique brand of ambient house, each reflecting his history, forever lingering in his years DJ-ing ambient chill rooms and deep house basement affairs beginning nearly thirty years ago . With the return of Earth House Hold, the story is told not only through the reflective nature of the music, or the collage of original pin-hole photographs taken by his good friend Mamii, but the mutual appreciation for a sound from years gone-by, brought to life again, yet living its own life, in a way only someone like Brock could.
Never Forget Us will be available on April 9th, in both transparent-blue (300 copies) and black (200 copies) X2LP vinyl editions, housed in a gatefold sleeve, including digital download card.
1/ A1. Cry Your Eyes
2/ A2. Who You Were
3/ B1. Only Suns Rise
4/ B2. Time Can Wait
5/ C1. Some Never Fall
6/ C2. Never Forget Us
7/ D1. Spaces And Times
8/ D2. Walk On By
Transparent Blue (300 copies) and Black (200 copies) double vinyl, matte-laminated sleeve & digital download
Written and produced by Earth House Hold / Brock Van Wey
Mastered @ 37n,122w
Photography by Mamii
Layout/design by Mike Marquez
Christian Kleine / Electronic Music From The Lost World: (1998-2001) (ASIPV010)
Christian Kleine unearths a selection of previously unreleased tracks that capture his unique production approach and helped define an influential era of electronica. Recovered from DAT and pressed on transparent green vinyl, with Berlin-brutalist inspired artwork, A Strangely Isolated Place present Christian’s most accomplished piece of work since his 2001 City Centre Offices album, 'Beyond Repair’.
1998, Berlin was a pivotal time for Germany’s Christian Kleine and electronic music as a whole. Growing-up amongst a divided city’s bleak aftermath, alongside hedonistic tendencies that birthed the likes of Loveparade, it was easy to be both inspired and rebellious at the same time. The influences of Detroit techno and rave culture started to travel, and artists were turning to new techniques and machinery, at a time when the bedroom, started to become a studio.
Christian would end up developing a new and unique sound, alongside a small but impactful community that eventually formed a cult artist roster on the City Centre Offices label. His background began in New Wave and Punk, eventually transitioning into DJ’ing in the early 90’s and then, into more electronic productions, with Jungle and drum’n bass his first muse. Christian was on the hunt for something different to what Berlin had to offer at the time, and with his first synth, (Nordlead 1995) and an Atari computer, Christian was creating his first drum’n bass tracks, sending them off to the local radio station, (Kiss FM) where he met future production partner and CCO label head, Thaddeus Herrmann.
Sunday morning studio time alongside Thaddi (as Herrmann & Kleine), jam sessions with Arovane, and coffee with Ulrich Schnauss, continued to inspire and push Christian’s style. This small but influential group of producers would go on to define a melodic, and introspective style of music that now has a cult status amongst IDM, ambient and electronic music fans.
Becoming tired of functional productions, Christian was always interested in finding his own place and language, and continued to experiment further. Taking his inspiration from drum’n bass, and the company of City Centre Offices artists, Christian defined his unique style we know today. Intelligent drum programming met an ethereal and melodic synthesizer style. A delicate and introspective listen, or a hazy layer of bubbling activity and color, Christian’s music defies function and invites you into a world of personal reflection.
This collection of music is Christian's own moment to reflect. Going back to a time he misses; an intense period when producing music was the only thing that mattered. This is music that never saw the light of day; recovered from DAT and pressed on vinyl; A Strangely Isolated Place and Christian Kleine present 'Electronic Music From The Lost World: 1998-2001'.
Wish you were there...
Available on transparent green double vinyl and digital download. Mastered by Rafael Anton Irisarri at Black Knoll Studio. Featuring original Berlin-brutalist inspired artwork by Noah M / Keep Adding with photography by Midori Hirano.
Released: January 15th 2018
All songs written & produced by Christian Kleine between 1998 – 2001 in Berlin, Germany. Recovered from dusty DAT years later.
Mastered by Rafael Anton Irisarri @ Black Knoll Studio, New York.
Artwork by Noah M / Keep Adding.
Original photography by Midori Hirano.
Additional layout by Molly Smith.
Arovane & Hior Chronik return to A Strangely Isolated Place with their second album as a duo, following 2015's 'In-between'.
'Into my own' finds Arovane and Hior experimenting with distinctive feelings, styles and moments throughout the twelve tracks, creating an album full of twists and turns. Featuring a similar ethereal ambience to 'In-between', delicate instruments, field recordings and more melodic electronic influences are now apparent, forming a tangible storyline, as the duo leave you standing on the edge of a journey unknown, lost and lonesome, a soundtrack to anticipated escapism.
Conjuring many moments of discovery as you step foot into this unknown world, the appreciation of finer details and textures slowly become apparent. You wander apprehensively across fresh autumn leaves, crisp from the morning's fog amidst a glowing soft light as day turns to night.
Field recordings add a new depth to the duo's productions, alongside the frequent manipulation of the piano, harpsichord and vibraphone. The infamous guises of the Una Corda however, forms the backbone of the album; a guiding star as you navigate through a dense forest, unexplored crystal caves and shimmering rivers.
Balancing organic, analog tones and more metallic, experimental approaches, the duo have once again found a harmonious balance of ambient, instrumental and electronic sounds that transport you into a new world; a familiar yet unexplored territory that holds your hand, as you come into your own.
"One of my wishes is that those dark trees,
So old and firm they scarcely show the breeze,
Were not, as ’twere, the merest mask of gloom,
But stretched away unto the edge of doom."
- Robert Frost (“Into My Own” - 1915)
'Into my own' will be available on double transparent LP housed in a matte gatefold sleeve & digital download, with artwork by Nick Brzostowski. Mastered by Rafael Anton Irisarri at Black Knoll Studio.
Released: August 28th 2017
Transparent 12" vinyl, matte-laminated sleeve & digital download
All tracks written and produced by Arovane and Hior Chronik
Mastered by Rafael Anton Irisarri @ Black Knoll Studio
Artwork by Nick Brzostowski
Leandro Fresco & Rafael Anton Irisarri / La Espera (ASIPV008X)
Continuing the theme of La Equidistancia, Leandro & Rafael explore more of their deep, swirling and mysterious textures over this three-track EP titled, La Espera.
The Wait is the sound of being barricaded in isolation, as the world moves around you.
After significant delays to their debut EP, La Equidistancia, Leandro Fresco & Rafael Anton Irisarri went back into the studio to record a companion EP, titled La Espera (The Wait).
The funds raised from this digital EP would go on to help the repress of La Equidistancia, which had to be started over again from scratch. Thanks to everyone's generosity, enough was raised to complete a short-run of 10's for La Espera, alongside the digital release. Read the blog post here.
Released July 10th 2017.
10" black vinyl & digital download.
Written & produced by Leandro Fresco & Rafael Anton Irisarri between San Martín de los Andes, Argentina and New York, USA. Mixed at Black Knoll Studio (New York).
Artwork / layout by Molly Smith.
Artwork photo by Todd Diemer www.todd-diemer.com
Leandro Fresco & Rafael Anton Irisarri /La Equidistancia (ASIPV008)
Two of ambient music's most revered producers come together for the first time in a harmonious meeting of technique and style. Leandro Fresco (Kompakt) and Rafael Anton Irisarri (Room 40, Ghostly) present their ambient opus, La Equidistancia on A Strangely Isolated Place.
Introduced to each other by the label, the two artists found common ground with thousands of miles between them, in more ways than one. A desire for each other's work sparked a productive partnership that quickly found Leandro creating specific sounds based on concrete directives from Rafael.
Leandro Fresco’s signature melodies and warm, colorful textures have adorned the Argentinian’s work ever since his first appearance on Kompakt’s Pop Ambient Series in 2003, right up to his latest artist album El Reino Invisible (2015). This “melodic sensibility” as Rafael likes to say, proved to be the defining undercurrent to Rafael’s signature sound design, a combination that takes each of their distinct sounds into new heartbreaking territory. The emotions heard on Rafael’s previous album, A Fragile Geography (2015), are a welcome prequel to the crushing depths found amongst La Equidistancia - proven by Rafael at some of his recent shows:
“I played a few songs from this collaboration on my last tour and I got some incredible feedback. Some people felt it was emotionally cleansing, some had tears in their eyes, it was definitely moving”.
Well versed in production partnerships (both as Orcas and Gailes, alongside Benoît Pioulard) RAI found an inspiring and quick flow to finish the record, as Leandro left the space to express himself and the authority to finish: “There's that new excitement that comes with a new music project and once I get going, I obsess over it and need to see it done. As in ‘man, I want to really hear this record while I walk around the woods, so I better finish it so I can enjoy it!”
This efficient partnership resulted in a record that will be a unique yet identifiable stylistic combination between them both. But upon deeper listening, La Equidistancia unearths a complex and introspective reflection of the many fragmented memories and expressions held amongst two newly-formed friends, thousands of miles apart.
Without the ability to meet in person, it could be said the record became the musical equivalent to a shared cup of tea or drink at the bar - common ground between two good friends. Emotions are clearly channeled throughout the building tension, soaring atmospheres and crumbling distant worlds heard throughout La Equidistancia. Leandro’s melodies add a warm depth to Rafael’s harmonic distortions, effect pedals, and tape loops (made with a crusty 1/2” tape machine in Rafael’s Black Knoll Studio) - “I really love that grainy aspect you can hear in the music, degraded in a way, like it's been trough some rough patches (as both Lean and I have been through over the years)”.
These rough patches, as Leandro details, are “printed and encapsulated in the grooves of the vinyl. And although they can not be seen, they will remain there. I am sure that something Raf and I felt, will reach the listener”.
“There's a lot of sadness and memories in the music. I feel that one most embrace this sadness and share it; make others know we are not so different; not alone in this world”. - RAI
La Equidistancia is an album of two newly formed friends, two minds, and two lives equidistant to each other.
Released April 10th 2017
Cloudy-clear & black-smoke 12" vinyl, matte-laminated sleeve, + poster insert, & digital download.
Written & produced by Leandro Fresco & Rafael Anton Irisarri between San Martín de los Andes, Argentina and New York, USA
during Winter/Summer 2016. Mixed at Black Knoll Studio
Mastered by Taylor Deupree at 12k Mastering
Published by Outer Worlds Publishing.
All Rights Reserved 2017.
Artwork / layout by Nick Brzostowski
Additional layout by Artwork / layout by Molly Smith.
Photo by Nicolas Amoroso & Chommpi Poggi NOUUEI.
Lav & Purl /A State Of Becoming (ASIPV007)
A State Of Becoming began life in the summer of 2014, when Lav (Christopher Landin) was traveling Greece and began recording the sounds surrounding him in remote, desolate places of nature.
With a quiet mind, Christopher's awareness of the surrounding sounds would increase together with a feeling of the interconnectedness of all things. This concept is central to the album, being expressed by the presence of the field recordings, as the foundation from which each track grows and extends. The tiniest detail, chirp, river-swell and sway of a branch, are captured in macro - Mother Nature’s bed, a landscape ready to bloom.
"When we bring our full attention to the act of listening, new worlds emerge that we wouldn't even notice if we were just passing by, distracted by thoughts"
Christopher and Ludvig Cimbrelius (Purl) had only met a couple of times before the process of this album started, but when Christopher sent over the recordings, Ludvig fell in love with their simplicity and presence, and instantly knew he wanted to take them on.
"I was traveling in France at the time with no place to call home, and the next time I passed through Sweden I recorded piano for the album. I had but one day to record and improvised freely, making 1 or 2 recordings for each track and then moving on to the next. After this session, I was carrying the project files from Christopher and piano recordings around with me for quite some time until I found the right state of mind to start the process of molding them together. Since I did not have a stable home during these years, I worked on the album in many different locations"
The minutiae of sounds from Christopher’s field recordings are transformed into a variety of expansive lifeforms, as Purl’s majestic addition of piano, carefully measured beats and subtle instruments turn an organic landscape into an ethereal scene of movement and life. With each track given the length and focus it deserves, just like nature itself, the album slowly unfolds in several phases, unrestricted, free flowing and patiently awakening.
"During the journey, my desire has been to bring life to all layers of the tracks while still retaining the beauty of their original simplicity”
The album concept was given further life through the artwork, created by Noah MacDonald (previous designs include Yagya, Marsen Jules and bvdub) through an organic, flowing scene that expands within the inside gatefold - a time-lapse capturing the many stages, developments, sounds and feelings that emerge during A State Of Becoming.
After previous releases on Silent Season, Archives and Dewtone between them both, Lav & Purl released two EP's in 2016: Earth And Beyond on Amone Recordings, and The Present Moment released on Ludvig's own label Eternell.
Lav & Purl wishes to thank Dustin Morris for his ongoing support and guidance.
Released: 6th February 2017
Double heavyweight pink vinyl in matte-laminated gatefold sleeve
(300 copies) & digital download.
Mastered by Rafael Anton Irisarri @ Black Knoll Studio
Artwork/layout by Noah MacDonald / Keep Adding
36 /The Infinity Room (ASIPV006)
After years admiring the work of 36 here on ASIP, we are pleased to announce his new concept album, titled The Infinity Room.
Inspired by his home and studio, Dennis Huddleston aka 36 set out to create an album born from endless possibility. Restricting himself to a limited sound palette, he focused on exploring his own private infinity, allowing even the smallest tangents to develop in a musical multi-verse of limitless potential.
“What is just one room (my studio) becomes many rooms when working on music,” Dennis explains. “From this single point, countless possibilities exist and this is where the concept for 'The Infinity Room' takes root. It's the thrill of taking a small idea from an ocean of possibilities, and watching it grow into something far grander."
“From the very first track, I made a conscious decision to restrict myself to a limited sound palette,” he adds. “Each track used the same core sounds, but evolves and mutates them in subtle ways, as well as being the direct inspiration for the track that came after.”
That intent is clear, with each track a different shade of what came before. Thoughtful tones with a warm, vintage brightness, develop into extended love stories and romantic journeys, speaking to the cinematic influence of pioneers like Tangerine Dream, Vangelis, Brad Fiedel, Charles Bernstein and John Carpenter.
“They were masters of creating vivid dream worlds, all of whom created the soundtracks to many of my favourite films,” he admits. “In more recent times, I’ve grown to deeply admire producers like OPN, Disasterpeace, Boards of Canada and Sinoia Caves, and they’ve reinvigorated my love for 70's and 80's era electronic film music.”
It all gives ‘The Infinity Room’ the subtle, shifting repetition that has long been a 36 hallmark; each track an ever-evolving reflection, a catalyst, another step into the inestimable.
“I just love those driving melodies that dig deep into your head and let the repetition take control, mutating and shifting on a macro level, so you only discover how much it's changed by the very end,” Huddleston smiles. “I think that's what the core of my sound was always about really and it's why each track on this album uses melody as the primary focus, with the keys taking control, and the track evolving with them. Repetition... The sound of infinity.”
36 has been a prolific figure in the modern ambient scene for close to a decade. Beginning with his debut and highly praised album 'Hypersona', Dennis Huddleston has been sharing his own emotive blend of electronic music through his own platforms, as well as labels such as Ultimae Records, Mystic & Quantum, and ICASEA. He also runs his own label 3six Recordings, which he describes as a love affair with the vinyl format.
Released: October 24th 2016
Double transparent red vinyl in matte-laminated gatefold sleeve
(300 copies) & Digital Download.
Mastered by Rafael Anton Irisarri @ Black Knoll Studio
Artwork by Dennis Huddleston
Merrin Karras / Apex (ASIPV005)
We're pleased to announce our fifth artist vinyl release will come from Ireland's Brendan Gregoriy under his new ambient alias, Merrin Karras.
Producing and playing under Chymera for more than 15 years, Brendan Gregoriy’s distinctive take on house and techno has seen him play at iconic venues like Panorama Bar, Womb, Output, and Rex Club, and release music on respected labels including Ovum, NRK, Delsin and Cocoon.
2016 sees Brendan take on a new alias...
“I'd just finished a particularly grueling album and I just didn't enjoy the process.,” Gregoriy describes. "Around that time, I started listening to people like Steve Moore & Oneohtrix Point Never and it blew my mind. I tried making a few sketches and realised that I enjoyed it a lot more and this became a gateway into discovering ambient properly.”
Inspired by the sounds of artists like Klaus Schulze, Biosphere and Abul Mogard, and finding renewed focus in creating without external pressures or deadlines, Gregoriy’s ambient experimentation emerged, fully-formed, as Merrin Karras. His debut album under this moniker, 'Apex', has been announced for a July 29th release.
Written and recorded in two Berlin winters, it’s a record driven by a widescreen contrast between celestial beauty and engulfing black hole intent. Flawlessly produced, Vangelis panorama and vintage sci-fi exist in a space where drums and rhythmic elements have been willfully stripped out — and where the synths can truly breathe.
The process of album creation benefited from new freedoms that Gregoriy bestowed upon himself. “I decided to set myself a few ground rules for the music: no drums or percussive elements and no samples. They helped me to focus but, in a sense, it's not such a drastic shift. I've always made melodies the focus point of all my tracks and it was quite liberating to make music where I didn't have to worry about the best way to arrange it for the dancefloor.”
The results are remarkable. Combining his gilded production with an armory of hardware (including the Moog Minitaur, Vermona Mono Lancet, Juno 106, Nord Rack 2, and the Korg Monotron) Apex serves as both a modern ode to the synthesizer and a reverential nod to the early pioneers. Freed from the focus of the club, it allowed Gregoriy to craft a narrative; each track following a similar arc as the tension builds before dissolving. From the spectral ebb and flow of title track to the Blade-running intent of “Elevate"; the unsettling darkness of “Severance" to the star-lit swirl of “Liberant", these beat-less constructs bloom and exhale with an uninhibited cinematic purpose.
“I wanted to make something that I could listen to when I travel, something I could enjoy just for what it was,” he concludes. "I only realized when I was about 80% done that I had the makings of an album, and one I actually liked through and through. I didn't want to take any tracks out, or make other ones to add to it. I’m really proud of the album because it's something that I still listen to and enjoy. Hopefully other people will feel the same.”
'Apex' is available on limited edition double vinyl + digital download. Buy here.
Reviews/support: Pop Matters | Igloo Mag | Self Titled Mag
Resident Advisor | FACT Mag | Beatport |All Music (4/5)
The Monitors | Impose | Cyclic Defrost | Merchants of Air
Music Wont Save You | Faze Magazine (DE)
Interviews: Echoes Radio | Sounds Of A Tired City | Euphoric Mag | Ravelin Mag
ASIPV003R / Arovane & Hior Chronik - In-between (Remixes EP)
Admired by many since its release, Arovane & Hior Chronik's ethereal ambient album In-between, received wide applause from many and has been held-up as one of the best of 2015. 2016 sees a dream lineup of remixers turn in a spectrum of takes on the original shimmering ambient sound, ranging from immersive drones, to dubtechno and electronica.
Arovane opens up the 12" with a return to his early City Centre Offices sound. After Tomorrow is reworked into a melodic and warm synth-heavy track, that finds an even more ethereal touch than the original.
bvdub's relentless album output has seen him become one of the most respected artists of the genre, yet his remixes are still few and far between. Here, Brock steps up to the plate with a confident, big sound that takes the core of Past Creates The Future, into a completely new yet familiar bvdub territory. Expanding layers embellish on the raw rumbles and strings of the original, with new chords, beats and vocals progressing into an epic nine minutes. It would've been longer if Brock had his way...
The man behind the mixing desk for ASIP, Rafael Anton Irisarri, provides two remixes for the EP. His first, under Herr Irisarri with an unexpected, decaying, granular dub-take on Wunderland. Rafael's dedication to analog production heard throughout, as tiny details and organic changes manipulate and drive the dub-heavy sound.
Arovane and Iran's, Porya Hatami collaborated on Resonance in 2015, so it's of no surprise to see Porya take on Arovane's sound here. Porya provides additional field recordings to lift the already immersive Past Creates The Future, landing on the beautiful cello piece by Aaron Martin to create a final twist in the tale, elaborating on the beautiful instrument found in the original.
Following Markus Guentner's successful ASIP release, the Pop Ambient pioneer dives into his unique, looping ambient sound in style on Scale, embracing more menace and mystery than the original. Markus' new album Theia, has undoubtedly won the hearts of many new ambient fans, who won't be disappointed with this, the latest addition to his expanding contributions to ASIP.
Lastly, as a Bandcamp digital bonus, Rafael Anton Irisarri turns to The Sight Below guise for a spectacular 19-minute take on, A Day, November 2013. A pulsating rhythm drives an immersive backdrop, inviting the subtle details of the original to step forward. They're teased and manipulated, ending in a drifting Eno-esque guitar melody; a signature RAI sound to sign-off the EP.
The simple, all-black artwork represents the juxtaposition between the glistening sounds of the original, and the alternative takes found on the remix EP, featuring heavyweight vinyl and a spot-gloss sleeve, designed by Nick Brzostowski.
Released: 8th February 2016
01. After Tomorrow (AMX)
02. Past Creates The Future (bvdub's Houses Hold The Past To Peace)
03. Wunderland (Herr Irisarri Remix)
04. Past Creates The Future (Porya Hatami Remix)
05. Scale (Markus Guentner Remix)
06. A Day, November 2013 (The Sight Below Remix) [Digital only]
ASIPV004 / Markus Guentner - Theia
There was chaos and violence, a collision of dark matter and heat.
In the maelstrom, a legacy was created and a new moon born.
She left something here forever.
But amongst infinite black depths,
Theia rages on.
The evolution of a historic astrological moment is brought to life through a dramatic, evolving soundscape that only Markus could capture. Drones build upon swathes of light, cut by an ever-present sense of fear. The distant shine of stars puncture a pitch-black canvas, as a force gathers momentum and intensifies. Theia's tortuous movement slowly builds in-front of you, and the inevitable moment of impact creeps closer and louder. The destruction is desolate, dramatic and beautiful all at once.
Markus has become synonymous with this unique style of ambient music over the years, stretching between intensely layered, looping rhythms, and subtle rolling dub-techno. His early releases on Kompakt set the tone for the respected Pop Ambient sound,
through genre defining tracks such as Express Yourself. Markus went on to release albums with Sending Orbs, Ware, Affin and most recently Moodgadget, as well as a Places Series EP for A Strangely Isolated Place (Talking Clouds) and remixes for the label's debut LP, Uncharted Places.
This is Markus' first dedicated vinyl release since 2006, and with it comes the care and attention to detail deserved of such a return. Mastered by Rafael Anton Irisarri at Black Knoll Studio, RAI also lends his hand to one track, manipulating an entire soundscape with nothing but his signature guitar.
Pressed on opaque vinyl allowing the artwork to mimic the shine of the moon, ASIP creative talent Nick Brzostowski has turned the artist's vision into a piece of art, with his meticulous custom design.
Theia is available as double opaque vinyl (with free high-quality download) housed in a matte gatefold sleeve, and as a digital download through Bandcamp.
Released: 9th November 2015
Mastered by Rafael Anton Irisarri
Artwork by Nick Brzostowski
(Vinyl features continuos mixed sides)
Reviews/support: ISO50 | Heathered Pearls | Igloo Mag | Textura | Headphone Commute | Sounds Of A Tired City (Best of 2015) | Juno (Best of 2015) | Headphone Commute (Best of 2015) |
Ambient Landscape | Ambientblog
ASIPV003 / Arovane & Hior Chronik - In-between
In 2004, Arovane said “Goodbye Forever” with a heartfelt departure on Lilies - his final album on the renowned City Centre Offices label and his most defining piece to date. In 2013, Arovane made a surprising return with his notorious IDM style for the n5MD label, but we were left asking when, or if, Uwe would ever return to his ethereal and orchestral productions.
In-between sees Arovane team-up with Greece’s Hior Chronik, known for various productions with Singapore’s Kitchen Label (home to Haruka Nakamura and Aspidistrafly). Hior's debut album, Taking The Veil, released earlier this year on Kitchen, played host to some of the best instrumental partnerships we could've wished for, including Field Rotation and Halo.
Alongside Uwe, Hior brings a modern-classical, delicate prowess to Arovane’s detailed, electronic, analog power - a beautiful and ethereal combination.
Pianos, field-recordings and strings amongst modular synthesizers create a shimmering canvas of ambient music, touching the heart, and transporting you to the musical equilibrium that exists between these two good friends. Crafted in Berlin, through multiple improvised studio sessions, In-between started as an experiment and finished as a harmonious journey between places and producers alike.
In-between marks A Strangely Isolated Place's first dedicated artist album following the release of two sold-out compilations,
Uncharted Places and Europe.
Pressed on Pure White double-vinyl, and packaged in a matte-laminated gatefold sleeve. Includes download code direct from the label.
For more insight behind the album and pictures of the studio session, read our interview with Arovane and Hior.
ASIPV002 / Europe
Spanning ambient, modern classical, drone and electronica, Europe is a journey experienced through the eyes and ears of the artists, capturing their memories, travels, tributes, and exquisite musical depictions.
Beginning with a peaceful ode to her Greek home, Dalot finds harmony on Kalathas beach, Halo is enraptured by a wet city scene in Zurich, and 36 tries to make sense of London’s countless contrasts.
In more remote parts, Horizontal Excursions (aka Roger Martinez) discovers the symphony of life on the subtropical island of La Gomera,Bjorn Rohde paints a vivid picture of the Pyrénées, and Marsen Jules finds paradise in the Andalusian mountains.
From cosmopolitan utopias to breath-taking cornucopias, every track on Europe is immersed in discovery. Effortlessly traversing geography and emotions, it’s a collection that revels in borderless ambition but also celebrates the intricacies that makes every passage unique.
Closer to sea-level, Dextro finds inspiration in the Isle of Barra’s oceanic panorama, Parks channels the coastal howl of Helsingborg, andCarbon Based Lifeforms uncovers delicate harmonies in the Spring-time forests of East Gothenburg.
Finally, Yagya brings Europe to its beautiful conclusion. Alone on Reykjavik’s north shore, the iconic producer forgets himself, and the city behind him, as the infinite ocean horizon commands his lost gaze.
Personal and poignant, the album artwork also reflects the craft of the music with a specially commissioned, mixed-print and hand-painted piece by Nick Brzostowski created exclusively for the release.
Released January 26th 2015
Mastered by Rafael Anton Irisarri
Artwork by Nick Brzostowski
ASIPV001 / Uncharted Places
What started as a series of releases based on inspirational places, progressed into a collective of talented artists and inspirational location-based music.
Always looking to progress and with a wealth of talent amongst them, this amazing collective of emerging artists then contributed towards a very special remix project called Uncharted Places. The brief was simple; take an existing Places Series track and re-imagine it, find your very own strangely isolated place.
Over a year later and we had eighteen tracks ready to go, mastered by the genius that is Rafael Anton Irisarri (The Sight Below / Orcas / Ghostly).
Given the quality of the music at hand, this release had to be a extra special, so we decided to make this ASIP’s very first physical release. Using Indiegogo, the project was successfully funded and a double-transparent vinyl, with artwork poster, alongside t-shirts and a custom CDr case were produced for the generous people who supported the campaign.
This compilation is the perfect representation of the music that’s been featured on ASIP over the years and a collage of beautiful work from the many artists involved – be they young rising-stars or veterans of the genre.
Released: August 26th 2013
Mastered by Rafael Anton Irisarri
Artwork by Nick Brzostowski
The Places Series (Free downloads)
The Places Series is a selection of releases inspired by an artist’s very own strangely isolated place. No one place is the same, no musical inspiration is identical. Everyones place of escapism is different. The Places Series aims to unearth the personal moments, the detailed sounds and the inspirational story behind the music, transporting the listener to that very moment of conception. Use the links to releases below for individual downloads, or download the entire collection.