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 with Bibio‘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 Tapes. Nils 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]