top of page

212 items found for ""

  • A chat with Diskonnected

    As a resident of the revered Taiwanese collective Smoke Machine, Diskonnected is both a tastemaker and selector of wide esteem. The driving force behind the collective’s podcast, the Taiwan-based artist’s selections have had a considerable impact on the scene for more than a decade. Below, we caught up with Diskonnected, real name Gregory Huang, to hear some more about his recent mix for Patterns of Perception and the projects that have kept him busy this past year. Hey Gregory! How have things been going for you lately? We had a COVID outbreak just the last couple of days and suddenly everything stopped. So now it's time to stay home and dig for more music on the internet. Overall, what impact has COVID had on the electronic music scene in Taiwan? I understand that smaller events, including your own club nights, have been able to continue at a local level – has the pandemic impacted the scene in other ways? Last year was something truly bizarre: we almost had no COVID and everything was running as usual for a year, including the clubs. The first impact was everyone needs to get involved playing at the club a lot more cause we didn't have enough DJs when international traveling is prohibited. A lot of new local DJs came along, which is a great thing. You are the driving force behind the Smoke Machine Podcast, which is now more than a decade old with 143 podcasts in the series and counting. How have you gone about ensuring the series stays fresh in its sound and approach? I would say stick to something that resonates with your feelings, keep looking for new artists/genres and be willing to take risks. How would you say your own sound as a DJ has changed since you contributed the very first mix to the series? Is there any relationship between the evolution of the podcast and your own taste and style? I started to listen to electronic music or to be more specifically “techno” around 2008. And I started to work with Smoke Machine in 2009, so basically the whole Smoke Machine history is my personal music journey. We kept sharing different ideas and concepts during each period. What is it like to play a club night in Taiwan, compared to say Europe or elsewhere in East Asia? Of course it depends on the party and different venues. The first thing I noticed was actually the length of a party in Europe, which is very, very long compared to the parties in Asia and this really changes the music people play and listen to at a club. In Taiwan, the party is much shorter so sometimes people require more obvious “excitement” during a DJ set. Also music culture wise, we don't have that many media or music enthusiasts discussing music on a daily basis which creates a barrier between DJs and crowd. How have you struck a balance between all the different aspects of the Smoke Machine platform – podcast, club nights, Organik festival and more recently a record label – over the years? Have events, especially Organik, become more of a focus in recent years? Little do people know I stopped getting involved with the “organising” part of Smoke Machine for years due to the conflict between my artist life and being a promoter. But I continued to give music directions since. We usually just went with the flow and kept our passion, without thinking too much. Tell us a bit about your mix for Patterns of Perception: Where has this one come from? It is a live recording of me playing a drum n bass set at (Taipei club) Pawnshop in April this year. It was actually my first time playing a dnb set at a club, experimenting with extremely pitched tracks and combining different music styles. It was loads of fun. Looking ahead, what’s next for you and the Smoke Machine crew? Me and Andy (from Smoke Machine) started a conversation podcast called “了然瑞迪歐/ Liau-Lian radio” this year trying to share and discuss music knowledge and DJ culture. The main reason behind this is Taiwan lacks information about electronic music and often has misunderstandings in music and parties. Even though we've been doing events in Taiwan for more than a decade, it still feels really new for people to understand the concept and the driving force behind all this. So we decided to speak up.

  • 83 - Diskonnected

    As resident of the revered Taiwanese platform Smoke Machine, diskonnected is both a tastemaker and selector of wide esteem. Having been an integral member of the Smoke Machine crew for over a decade, his vision has shaped both the style and presence of the platform, culminating in a range of cutting edge, high-profile events in Taiwan and around the globe, and the irreplaceable Smoke Machine Podcast, which has comfortably been one of the most respected and insightful sources of truth within the wider techno scene since its inception ten years ago. On a personal level, diskonnected’s wide-ranging and intricately selected sounds are a true local fixture in Taiwan, but his natural prowess and flair as a DJ has seen him reach crowds the world over, with appearances at a multitude of key events in Germany, the UK, Holland, South Korea, Japan, the US and more recently in Streamland, to name but a few. Recorded live at a recent event at Pawnshop in Taipei, Patterns of Perception 83 finds diskonnected in an energetic mood, as he takes a vivid, groove-laden dive into the world of contemporary drum & bass. In this set, an impeccable array of textures flow effortlessly alongside powerful, irrepressible rhythms to exhilarating effect. Feeling simultaneously invigorating and nostalgic, these 81 mins perfectly capture the colour, vibrancy and spirit of a proper club night in full swing. diskonnected's Links: SoundCloud Instagram Facebook Resident Advisor Smoke Machine - SoundCloud Smoke Machine - Facebook Organik Festival - Facebook Spectrum Formosus - Facebook

  • A chat with Jane Fitz

    On a video call from her new house in Florence, where she has recently relocated with her partner, Jane Fitz is having a fangirl moment. Even facing fresh lockdown restrictions just a couple of weeks after moving to Italy from the UK, she is almost giddy at the prospect of digging for records in a country that has inspired her so much. Italian music, of all kinds, has always been a passion of Jane’s – and now she’s living in the epicentre of it. “It’s like wow, I can actually meet these people whose music has meant so much to me and just be a total fangirl,” she says. “I never had the opportunity to be that in London.” After what has undoubtedly been one of the most difficult years in the career of any touring DJ – especially one with a gig roster as full as Jane’s – it’s refreshing to see that the UK-born and now Florence-based selector has not even remotely lost the spark for her craft. If anything, her relocation to Italy has reinvigorated her musically, while an enforced break from DJing has given her pause to reflect on where she'd like to focus her energy once the industry bounces back. Here, Jane fills us in on some new projects that have kept her busy the past year and shares how, even faced with the challenges of the pandemic, she’s never lost that deep-set curiosity for music that shines through every set and mix she creates. How have things been going for you this past year? When the first lockdown hit, I kind of took it as an opportunity to say ‘right, I’m going on a really deep dig’. I spent about three months really getting into digging for stuff that I have never really had the time to do, whole days of 12 hours of just searching for music. Then some family stuff happened that put me into a whole other headspace. I was literally hiding behind finding records and finding music, it was the only thing keeping me afloat. Last summer we were lucky enough to come to Italy, took a month off to do a bit of travelling, then the winter was really hard again. So it’s been weird but I’ve been trying to keep up as much as I can. But I did have this brilliant period of just searching and I’m kind of doing it again now. Now that I’m here in Italy, all these different things are available to me that had been really messed up with Brexit. I had parcels go missing and all kinds of stuff. I’m never going to stop buying records, I’m obsessed with it, but now I’m here and things are arriving in two days. So that’s the upside to moving. It must have been difficult for you to go from touring and playing as much as you were, to everything just coming to a standstill. I think when it first hit, I just thought it was a holiday, some time off. By the end of the year, I had no money left at all and I was really struggling. So I have been selling loads more records. I’ve always been selling records – I have been for 15, 16 years – but now I’ve really ramped it up. I’ve done it on the downlow and haven’t put my name to everything, but I’ve been selling loads. So I’m an online shop owner now! It’s just sharing your knowledge in a different way. And it’s another way of using your skills I guess? Yeah exactly. Another thing I have been doing is I’m setting up a publishing company. My background is in journalism and I’m setting up a publishing company with a friend of mine to launch a book/journal/magazine. I’m not going to say too much about it but it’s a nice project because it’s a historical project. It’s more of a research project than anything about new music. If you’ve got those skills, you might as well use them in times of need. So I definitely haven’t been sitting on my ass, I’ve been busy! What music have you been digging for, when you’ve been getting back into it lately? Everything really. I just don’t stop. I’ve always had a big thing about Italian music, whether it’s techno or old ‘90s Italian music or whatever. Now that I’m here, the music that has inspired me for years was all produced in Florence, or at least in Tuscany. Miki is here, I’m good friends with him and all his records are really important to me. It’s so nice to have just by chance ended up in a city which musically is really channeled into my sound. When I’m walking around and I’m looking at the hills or looking at the sunset, I’m getting a little bit of what’s channeled through those original records. Over time, I hope I can add to that myself in some way. How nice if you can rediscover the music you love in its original context. Exactly, and be around the people who made it. It’s like wow, I can actually meet these people whose music has meant so much to me and just be a total fangirl. I never had the opportunity to be that in London. What music are you most looking forward to discovering there? With the Italian stuff there is so much. Obviously there’s italo and deep house, but there’s also all this weird progressive stuff and all the old ‘70s and ‘80s minimalism and strange classical music and some crazy folk stuff. My wife is from Sardinia and there is all this weird folk music which comes out of Sardinia which I really want to go and explore. I’m in the right place I think. Tell me about your mix for Patterns of Perception then. I’m really curious to hear how you put this together and about the direction you took with this one. I must tell you, most mixes I do are not that banging but it just happened to be the records themselves I really liked. I think people expect me to do something a bit more trancey or whatever, because that’s obviously what I’ve been playing more out, but I realised that the records that were getting me more excited were a bit more techno and a bit weirder and a bit more tribal. And I thought: this is exactly how I feel right now. I don’t think I planned for it to be quite so uptempo but they were the records that appealed to me. I’m always pushing forward to try to surprise myself, as well as anybody listening. I haven’t really put a good podcast together for awhile, I think the last one I did was actually the Italian music one for Tropical Animals. So it was a little exploration for me, of having accumulated lots of new records that I haven’t been able to play out for the past year. That’s the thing, I realised I didn’t know any of my records because normally you buy them and you integrate them into your set immediately, so you know them back to front. But I’ve realised I’ve been accumulating probably the same amount of records and not had a chance to learn them because I haven’t really been listening a lot, just accumulating, and I hadn’t been hearing them out or hearing them loud. So when I got to play a couple of these records, I was just really excited. It felt like the first time I’ve played a set in ages, and I guess it was. It sounds like a lot of fun. Yeah, it was. I was thinking also about when I played for you guys, it was such a nice experience. It was such a warm experience which is not the feeling you think of when you think about Berlin clubs generally. The whole concept – seeing you guys, coming for dinner, hanging out, playing with Eric (Cloutier) and being in the booth at OHM which is really comfortable – the whole thing just felt like a much warmer experience than what you usually get, which is a little bit more wild and a bit more, I don’t know, dirty. I remembered that and I wanted to get into that mindset as well. I also really enjoyed this mix, I think because for me it felt a bit like being brought back to the club, or at least recreating a little bit of that magic again. Yeah for me it definitely felt like I was in a club space – or maybe more a festival space. A bit of me was kind of longing for playing on the side of a Japanese mountain again or all those festivals you do in the summer, they’re all just gone. I much prefer playing outdoors now, that’s one thing I’ve learned n from lockdown: that I don’t really want to be indoors much anymore, I really want to be outdoors if I’m going to play music. It just sounds better and you see people in a different way. I wanted to have people stomping on a forest floor. There was that element of something a little bit tribal to it which I’m not sure you would get so much in the club. There was that cathartic element for me. I was listening back to your interview for the AIR Podcast with Emma Robertson recently, where a lot of the discussion was about getting lost in music and the sort of meditative role that it plays for you. Have you been able to experience any of that lately? Yeah, I think so but in much, much shorter modules. I haven’t had that feeling of when you give yourself to something. Having this time not playing, it’s given me a lot of time to reflect on what I was doing as a DJ and I do think I was playing too often and I do think not necessarily in the best places all the time. And I was selling out a little bit, I really feel like that. At the minute I’m kind of desperate so I’d take any gig (laughs) but I do think that given the opportunity to plan ahead a bit more, I want to really commit to those kinds of gigs where you can do that. Meaning you can play these longer sets and fully immerse both yourself and the audience in the music? Yeah, and I do feel actually that the year before lockdown hit, I was getting more opportunities to do these really long sets. I felt that I was moving away from just being a guest in a club and getting a bit more control. On reflection, I need to keep on with that. I don’t want to just come in and just do two hours at a club. I want the promoter to go, ‘right that’s yours, do what you want’. If you’re young and you’re bouncing and you’re on drugs or whatever, go to a club or be that DJ. But I’m kind of an old lady now – I’m 50 next year – and I don’t want to do that. I want to be the person who gets to go there and sit down and chill out and do a long set and say my thing. It makes more sense to who I am to play in that way. I like doing warm-ups. I hate peak time. To be able to tell a story is so important to me. What are you looking for when you’re digging or does it really depend? I don’t have anything specific that I’m looking for. I’m always a big believer in the mysticism of records, that they will find you. There is a real element that I believe in which is: if you look too hard, you’re going to miss stuff. You need to be open to those opportunities for things to just turn up or somebody in a record shop to just hand you something or some weird unnamed thing in a bargain bin to be screaming for you. I’m not going to say the records talk to me because that will put me in the madhouse but I do think that your instinct and your connections and your experience definitely floods through when you’re hunting for stuff, whether that’s online or in person. I try to be as open as possible when it comes to looking. When was the last time you found something you thought was really fresh? Every day! Every day I find something new. Woody92, who also did something for you guys, he put up a Buy Music Club the other day and I thought, brilliant! There’s so much stuff in there I hadn’t heard of before. So every day I’m finding something new to go and explore, or there are people I know who inspire me to search in a new place. I feel grateful to be excited with wonder and curiosity every day. I was listening to your RA podcast from a few years back and it struck me how different it is to what you’re releasing now, and how much your sound has changed. That was kind of presenting the end of something. There were a few things on there which were telling you what I’m playing now, so if you get to the second half of the mix it goes a bit more ravey and acidy, whereas it starts off more deep. For years that had been my vibe and so there's an element of that which will never go away. It was my history. I played a lot of records in that set that I had been playing for 15, 20 years almost. I also knew that was something that was going to stick around for a long time so I knew if I only play one sound on that mix, that’s all I’m going to get booked to play. I also think it’s really important, as a person who loves music, to evolve. I would be so bored if I’d bought the same records for the last 30 odd years, almost 40 years. What do you think has driven this evolution from housier Jane Fitz to acid/ravey Jane Fitz? Is it just your changing taste or something more? Well, the music that I play now is probably much more representative of the music that I was playing when I first started mixing. In the mid-'90s I was really into Goa trance and before that, I was really into jazz and hip hop and soul. And then I was really into house, end of the' 90s I was probably into that whole French filter disco thing and that didn’t last, then I came back to the UK and got really into the tech house scene. So I’ve always evolved. I was thinking about this regarding new records recently and I think one of the things that drives it is that you get a sound that’s really pure and really original and over a period of a couple of years other producers start to recreate and make that sound. So it gets diluted. By the time it’s diluted, I’ve moved on. I’m always looking for something a little more interesting. How much of this has to do with your own commitment to your craft as well? Most people are not into it for life, but I’m a lifer. If you are fully invested in music, then over time you will evolve because music is also evolving all the time. So you can’t fail to evolve if you’re interested in new stuff and also interested in expanding your own knowledge. No one stays the same – and it’s completely anti-human to not evolve. I would be very skeptical of someone whose sound didn’t change. What keeps you going with music, especially nearing 50 as you said earlier? Just that you’re never an expert. I’ve heard it so many times before but the more you know, the more you realise that you don’t know. The past year I’ve realised there are so many more interesting new things coming out. I’ve always dug old stuff but there is plenty of new stuff to keep you interested. There’s a little online community I’m part of, a little secret music group with about 150 people in it, and we’re all kind of into the same thing. Even that, just being able to share music with people all around the world who are all really excited about things which you’re also into. Whether that’s ambient or psytrance, it doesn’t really matter. I always feel like I’m a beginner and there’s not many things in your life that can make you feel like that. For me that’s exciting, to always have a clean page to start with. You’re a librarian really. I’m not a producer, I do make a bit of music but that’s not my heart. My heart is finding as much crazy stuff as I can really and sharing it with people as much as I can. And telling a story with it? Yeah, using that music to do something else. I bought it but I never made it. For me to feel that I’m actually relevant, rather than just a machine that puts one record on after another, then I feel I have to do something with those. They’re tools to create an experience. I think we all need a way of connecting with another thing that’s bigger than ourselves, and my way of doing that is not religion, but music. That’s what I have faith in and curiosity for music is what drives me.

  • 82 - Jane Fitz

    To introduce Jane Fitz as a legend of the scene borders on understatement. The UK selector has earned an almost cult-like following born out of her annual sets at Freerotation festival, co-founding London’s Night Moves parties (with good friend Jade Seatle), a more recent residency at revered club the Pickle Factory, a monthly show on Rinse FM, and a pre-pandemic touring schedule that took in countless clubs and festivals the world over. She herself admits to being committed to the scene for life, driven by a deep appreciation of the music above all else – and a constant desire to surprise both herself and her audience equally. For her Patterns of Perception 82, Jane has recreated some of the warmth she felt during her visit to Berlin for a b2b with Eric Cloutier at our party in November 2019, an event which remains a vivid memory on both sides. The mix features many records collected over the past year of the pandemic and not yet played out, giving it a sense of urgency and an uplifting quality that, for her, recalls an outdoor festival set in better days. “A bit of me was kind of longing for playing on the side of a Japanese mountain again or for all those festivals you do in the summer,” she says. “I wanted to have people stomping on a forest floor.” Jane Fitz's Links: SoundCloud Facebook Resident Advisor Night Moves - Facebook Invisible Menders - Facebook invisiblemenders.bandcamp.com Jane Fitz b2b Eric Cloutier - Patterns of Perception, OHM - October 2019:

  • A chat with Millú

    For those of us watching from afar, Australia seems to be a litmus test for life without COVID. The electronic music scene – which has been able to reopen with live events at limited capacity – is no exception. So when Naarm/Melbourne-based DJ Millú contributed to our mix series recently, we jumped at the chance to hear more about developments in the local scene. Below, she fills us in on what’s been keeping her busy over the last few months, including the launch of her latest community radio show and a new record label, and shares insights into what it feels like to return to the dancefloor in a country where daily cases hover close to zero. We'd love to hear more about your mix for Patterns of Perception first of all. Was there a concept or inspiration behind this one? I really enjoyed putting this mix together. I finally found myself back in my studio after what was surprisingly a pretty frantic summer of gigs and parties here – the pace of everything coming back to a new ‘normal’ was a bit overwhelming – and this mix feels like a winding down in a sense. Dub-tinged ambience into more atmospheric dnb. My mixes generally tend to be quite introspective, music for home listening with a cup of coffee... How would you describe your sound to those who haven’t heard your music before? I find that my sound as a DJ performing out differs so drastically from my sound as a DJ on the radio or for mix series such as this. I get a lot out of recording mixes that invoke a sense of calm: lots of atmospherics, drawing on elements of psych and shoegaze, and combining them with more conventional electronic sounds. I guess certain elements of this still come through in my DJ sets – an affinity for the more psychedelic and tripped-out sides of dance music. People might know you as the host of the show Full Circle on Triple R 102.7FM, in your hometown of Naarm/Melbourne, which started in February 2020 – only a month or so before the pandemic began. How has the show taken shape over the past year? And has the pandemic forced you to make any changes to how you approach it? I’ll admit it was a bit challenging starting a weekly radio show at the beginning of a global pandemic. My creativity and motivation really suffered last year and I felt like I got off on the wrong foot in a way with the show, but at the same time, it was really important for me to have something to focus on musically each week in the absence of gigs. It encouraged me to still connect with the scene and to keep up with new releases. I presented lots of shows from home at the height of our lockdown here when we weren’t able to leave our homes, and I did a bunch of Zoom interviews. This was all fun for a while until the novelty wore off – in the end, it stripped away a bit of the magic of radio. That all said, I think that radio was a really important thing for people during our lockdown – there was a huge increase in listenership and it felt like people were really enjoying the personality of a radio show as opposed to just putting on a mix. It was like a sense of solidarity or something, it felt really special. What role has the show, and community radio in general, played for you during this time? Community radio is huge here in Australia. We have a really strong relationship with these old school FM radio stations, where one hour you’ve got northern soul, the next you’ve got a metal show, and then there’s a dance slot. There’s a really strong community around these stations, the people who present shows and those who listen and subscribe. It was amazing to feel a part of that during the pandemic; everyone was there for each other regardless of your chosen subculture or genre, trying to navigate this shared experience. I think that was really grounding. It’s also led to a greater sense of connection now that events are back up and running. There is a heightened appreciation for what’s going on in other scenes and I hope this perseveres as time goes on. Australia is in a very different state from the rest of the world when it comes to COVID-19 but Naarm/Melbourne has arguably been the hardest hit of any city from the pandemic. How did the prolonged lockdown there – and COVID in general – impact the local music scene? It feels strange now talking about Naarm as being one of the hardest hit when we look around and see others battling their toughest lockdowns yet. Our lockdown last year dragged on for what felt like forever: 112 days of really strictly enforced social isolation. It was really hard but it was really special to see the dance community stick together in more online spaces during this time, and to see how much support people were willing to show each other. I think this sort of mentality of supporting your friends and those in the scene around you has definitely persevered into the IRL realm now that venues are reopening and the parties are starting back. Guest lists feel like a thing of the past – this expectation that you can go to a gig for free because you know someone. Events have been selling out here, admittedly with lower capacity, but it really does feel like people want to show their support financially more than ever now. There’s this sort of sense of 'we almost lost this'. In terms of Melbourne’s more underground scene, I think it’s going to take a while for things to properly find their feet again. Some of the most prolific parties in this city were the DIY ones, the park parties along the Birrarung with a bunch of people chipping in to hire a Funktion-One rig for the night. They’re the ones that feel like they’ll take the longest to recover. We still have strict capacity limits for public outdoor gatherings and I think there’s a sense of responsibility that we all feel to not fuck this up again. 112 days was a really long time. It’s harder to track people’s attendance at these kinds of events and with that comes an ability to contact-trace if there is another outbreak – no one wants to be responsible for that just for the sake of a rave. I’m excited to see how these DIY spaces will return in new, safer ways. Together with your DJ partner Pjenne, you recently launched the new label Companion which you say “brings the language of ethereal '90s electronica, psychedelic IDM and ambient trance and techno to the present day”. Why did you choose to focus on this sound and this era? Penny and I both have an affinity for the downtempo trance and ambient dub and techno sounds of the early ‘90s. We both play a lot of this on our radio shows and just found that this was our main area of musical overlap as DJs. Melbourne’s electronic music scene at the moment is largely dominated by more dance-floor-oriented stuff – breaks, prog, really driving techy stuff. There are definitely some amazing labels doing music geared towards the after-hours or for home listening (Best Effort, .jpeg artefacts, Daisart to name a few) but it felt like there was still room for a label celebrating the kind of music we hope to curate with Companion. I saw you had an IRL event for the launch of Companion, which seems like such a foreign concept for those of us outside Australia at the moment. How did it feel to be on a dance floor again? It was so surreal! We had the launch party at the Fairfield Amphitheatre, a really beautiful outdoor venue on the banks of the Birrarung. It was a day thing so we started with more downtempo and atmospheric sets and there was a lot of sitting around, catching up with people you hadn’t been able to see for a year. Then, when the sun set, it got pretty wild. People had been fiending for a dance like that I think, even if it was socially distanced. We were so stoked with the vibe of it, it left us on such a high. Can you tell us a bit about the first release(s) you have coming up on Companion? The first release is scheduled for early May. It’s from a Balinese-born, Melbourne-based producer called KiTA. It’s five tracks of sort of hazy atmospheric electro and washed-out breaks – it has a real cinematic feel to it overall. We’ll be pressing 300 copies locally at a new pressing plant here, Program Records, which is really exciting, and we’ve collaborated with Jaime Brohier for the artwork. Lastly, since Australian music makes up such a big part of your DJ sets, which local artists should we make sure to keep an eye out for? There’s so much incredible talent coming out of Australia at the moment – the list could go on forever! It’s a really exciting time to be a part of the community here. Cale Sexton, YL Hooi, Gallery B, Acopia and Cousin are all putting out amazing downtempo stuff, LOIF and Different Shades are killing it with the slammers. And miscmeg and the Vortex collective are doing some really cool stuff on the DJing front too. Follow Companion on Facebook and Instagram for details about upcoming releases.

  • 81 - Millú

    Melbourne-based DJ and radio host Millú has firmly established herself as a vital contributor to the city’s buoyant music scene in recent years. As a true drawcard for the local and global online scenes, and the host of two beloved radio shows, her sunny, groove-laden sound has seen her quickly gain recognition as a deeply skilled selector with an ear (and record bag) perfectly suited to any mood or dancefloor. Both of her shows - Full Circle on independent station RRR and Dischord on Skylab - are renowned for their perfectly-curated oddities, and give Millú a platform to share her love for both musical diversity and the local scene, with guests and co-hosts joining her to explore genres as far-flung as kraut, downtempo and balearic, through to breaks, acid and IDM. Taking these same foundational loves into the world with her as a DJ, Millú has graced the stage at numerous key Australian events, including Inner Varnika, Golden Plains, Pitch and Strawberry Fields, delivering stirring, memorable sets either solo, or alongside regular collaborator and partner-in-crime, Pjenné. Recently, the pair have started work on their latest project, a record label called Companion, which will delve into downtempo and atmospheric iterations of the electronic underground, bringing the language of ethereal 90s electronica, psychedelic IDM and ambient trance and techno to the present day. With Patterns of Perception 81, we find Millú's distinctively warm, dreamy, soulful and adventurous sound in full flight. In this vision, natural soundscapes melt into lush, patient melodies, which in turn rise effortlessly into urgent, liquid rhythms. A seeming disregard for categorisation is betrayed by her careful, well-considered selections and programming, and although countless sounds, feelings and moods pass in the course of this mix, Millú’s uplifting, life-affirming spirit is compellingly present throughout. Millú’s Links: SoundCloud Facebook Instagram Resident Advisor Companion - SoundCloud Full Circle on RRR Dischord on Skylab

  • A chat with Grant Aaron

    The first time Grant Aaron went to an event with a chill-out room, everything clicked into place. It was the beginning of a long love affair with ambient and experimental music, with its sparsity and often beat-less nature leaving plenty of room for the imagination to take over. Grant went on to take up DJing in chill-out spaces himself before founding the influential platform Mysteries of the Deep in New York a decade ago. Initially a podcast, Mysteries has evolved over time to incorporate an event series and record label, and has established itself as one of the most revered sources for ambient music, both online and offline. 2021 is shaping up to be as busy a year as any other for Mysteries: there are releases in the works from Christina Chatfield, Mosam Howieson and Grant’s label partner Oliver Chapoy, plus plans to bring back the podcast after a brief hiatus. In the midst of this busy schedule, Grant took the time to showcase his cinematic, storytelling-driven style for our own podcast, with a mix recorded in a dense New York winter and inspired by the dampening of sound that comes with heavy snowfall. Here, he speaks to us about his path to ambient music and the special role that the genre plays in the current climate. Hey Grant! How have you been going lately? I’d love to hear what you’ve been up to the last few months. I’d say it’s been primarily work. I have a full-time job in advertising, as head of network operations for a fairly large group of agencies. Prior to COVID I always had a pretty healthy balance between my work life and my music life. That afforded me the ability to focus on the label and my band and my own music. COVID really changed a lot of that because we had to restructure a lot of what we were doing within the company. So my free time sort of evaporated last year, I was just working all the time. Which is interesting because we had one of our biggest years ever on the label last year, too. We had seven releases and we also switched from releasing vinyl, both because that wasn’t so much available to us and because we had some inner dialogue going on about producing more vinyl. Not that we don’t appreciate the medium – we definitely do – but from an environmental standpoint, we didn’t want to continue to contribute to that process. So we decided not to press more vinyl, at least for the time being, and we did all digital releases last year. We had a huge compilation, three chapters in the series, and those went really well. A number of albums, a couple of EPs. So it was a big year. That’s quite a lot considering you say work is taking up so much of your time! Yeah, trying to balance all of that is challenging but we figure it out. I have a good team. There’s my label partner who is head of A&R, Oliver Chapoy. He takes on some of the administrative stuff which has been a huge help. He also mixed Christina’s album and preps all the new releases. The rest of the team is made up of our chief designer Gabriel Benzer, Candace Price who provides photography and video content, Rafael Irisarri, our mastering engineer, and Taylor Bratches who handles release editorial. It’s a great team of people who kind of do their thing really well. I love these people, they’re some of my favourites, and we really share the same vision. Are you able to find time for yourself for music in all of this? Last year no, not really. It was a combination of just being super busy and then the free time that I would have … it’s been really hard to find inspiration. I would find it other ways. I was always still recording mixes or DJing in my own time. Production was tough. I produced one track last year, for my band Birds of Prey. We had a track on the third chapter of our compilation (on Mysteries of the Deep) and I did that cut, which was an edit of a previous session recording. So I produced that one, which was fun, to get my head back into it. I found some inspiration from that so now I’m just trying to turn the machines on as much as I can. Your bio describes your influences as far-reaching. Are there any musical influences that people might be surprised to hear about? Well, I am a product of the ‘80s and ‘90s and a massive Cocteau Twins fan. That’s always my go-to: things like Joy Division and that kind of stuff. It’s had the most influence on me when it comes to how I make music and the sounds that really appeal to me the most. But I think over the duration of 30 plus years of really being involved with music – or at least at a stage where I’m super engaged with music – I think I’ve kind of formulated this sound in my head that appeals to me and I don’t venture off of it too much. But it’s pretty broad, that’s the thing: it can be anything from weird jazz to weird bleepy techno from the early ‘90s. I think it’s just deeper music for me, that’s probably the best way to describe it. Nothing else really appeals to me. What first drew you to ambient music then? I first got into electronic music in the ‘80s and early ‘90s really, when I first started buying records. I think I went to my first rave in ‘91 or ‘92 maybe. I went to an event and they had a chillout room. It was the first time I was really exposed to that stuff and it instantly just clicked with me because it incorporated a lot of the sounds that I would hear in other music that I loved. You take the beats out of stuff and you take the instrumental out of things, and what you’re left with is space. And I was just instantly hooked. I went on this deep dive and started buying up every record I could find from that period of time in ambient: things like Global Communication, Mixmaster Morris (Irresistible Force), all of that sort of stuff. And then I started playing chillout rooms. There was a moment towards the end of the ‘90s, early 2000s where I made the shift from that into super deep techno and went down that path for a very long time, maybe a decade or more. Ambient became something I was just listening to, I wasn’t actively participating in. But that changed when I was living in Berlin. I don’t want to say I got bored with techno – but I got bored with techno. My engagement with it changed and it felt like I wanted to shift gears a little bit. Is this when Mysteries of the Deep began? Do you know Eric Cloutier? He’s one of my oldest friends from New York. When he was still living in New York, I’d had him over at my house and he was digging through all my ambient records. He had never heard of any of this stuff that I had and was just fascinated by it. So he invited me over one weekend and was like, ‘Dude bring a bag of records, let’s get into some weird things and play music all night’. I wound up playing all night long – records I hadn’t touched in over a decade – and wound up recording the entire session and then broke it into these mixes which became the first couple of releases on the podcast. I remember that night coming up with the name for it; it just popped into my head, I can’t really explain how it happened other than maybe psychedelics played a big role in that. I took that and started a Soundcloud account and it just exploded into this whole other thing. It just became this thing: it started with the podcast and then evolved into an event series in New York with a community of friends. What do you think it was that resonated so well with listeners? It happened at this moment where I think a lot of monotonous stuff was happening in New York on the techno front – not that it was bad, there was just a lot of it – and I think people were up for something else. People were open to something new so we decided to do a Mysteries event, and it wound up becoming a multi-year series. And then the label started, which felt like the next evolution of the thing, and that’s done really well too. It gave us the ability to actually promote artists within our circle of friends who were making music but didn’t have a larger platform. That was really the most important thing: to give a platform to people who didn’t have one. It’s kind of amazing that this started from that one night of playing records. Yeah, it was really funny how that whole thing happened. But Eric and I had a million moments like that over the years where we were just hanging out. What defines good ambient music to you? For me personally, I think it goes back again to the use of certain sounds and frequencies. To me, it’s a little strange that I’ve kind of been labelled as someone who only plays dark ambient. I don’t even know what that means. That tag or genre or whatever, it absolutely makes no sense to me because I don’t consider what I listen to ‘dark’ even though I guess it is to other people. For me, it’s about how artists hold space in music. I like ambient music that has deep bass tones and yet has these beautiful melodies that ride on top of it. That is the whole package. It doesn’t have to have rhythm, it doesn’t necessarily have to have instrumentation. It just has to hold space. Sometimes you listen to tracks and they’re so full, that there isn’t a lot of space in your head for imagination. I like world-building in music, when you can listen to stuff and it’s got tones and different things that are happening but there’s enough space there where your own imagination can take over. To me, that’s super important. To make it sparse enough that people can fill in the blanks themselves? There you go. Because your mind will naturally do that, if you give it the chance. How do you go about selecting music for the label? That’s a tough one because we get a lot of links and a lot of demos, but unfortunately, we don’t have a tonne of time to go through them. We’re really particular about how we choose music. To be honest with you, it usually comes through our community of friends. This year for instance, on our roster is this amazing woman from San Francisco, Christina Chatfield, she’s more in the techno space but she’s been working on this album for quite some time for us. She’s one of my dearest friends so I’ve always been super encouraging of her to participate because I know her music. So how we’ve chosen music before has usually come to us through that group of friends. That’s what we try to do – we try to grow that community and keep it inclusive. I’m also curious to hear your thoughts on the role that ambient music plays at the moment. I have some friends who previously wouldn’t have given ambient the time of day but have been getting into it lately. Have you noticed anything similar? Last year for sure, yeah. After the pandemic hit, our next release was in March, which was William Selman’s second album with us. There was such an outpouring of support for that release because people were in a legitimately frightened headspace at that time. The feedback that we were getting from people was that they were loving the fact that we were consistently putting out stuff that they could just sit with and it made them feel better. I think it’s an energy thing. People need or are desiring a more meditative, calm, peaceful state of mind. And I think this music does that. At least it does it for me. Maybe this goes back to your point about imagination: the idea that when we’re lacking external stimulus, ambient allows us to still fill in the blanks ourselves? Yeah, we’re lacking experience. We’re lacking that everyday aspect of being out of the house or going to work or whatever that social experience is that you have. I think I’ve seen my friends a handful of times in the last year and that’s super impactful in what it does to your wellbeing. I can really only speak for myself and the feedback that I get from friends, but I know for me I don’t really want to listen to anything that has an energy that I can’t replicate, that I can’t really harness. For me personally, I would rather just stay in a headspace that I feel comfortable in. Maybe it also gives you calm amongst the chaos. Absolutely, I think that’s what it is. I love techno but it’s not where I’m at from an energy place at the moment. What have you been listening to lately? What has been getting you through this time? A lot of different stuff. I listen to non-music podcasts and audiobooks a lot. Other than that, a lot of Harold Budd. His passing really blew me away, I’ve been such a massive fan of his since forever and ever. A lot of HTRK. Have you heard of this band Demen? They did one album called Nektyr that came out a few years ago and I just can’t escape it, it’s so good. A lot of Biosphere, he has a new one which is really good. The new Alva Noto record was really good, Sophia Loizou’s recent record Untold was fantastic. Pretty much anything on Astral Industries. A lot of compilations, a lot of my own label stuff. I’m also an active listener of my own podcast. There’s just so much to it, I love going back to the early days and listening to what some of my friends were doing at that time. Tell us a bit about the mix for Patterns of Perception. Was there a concept behind this one? To me, my mixes are always fairly cinematic in nature meaning there is a story going on in my head. In a weird way, and maybe that is just the genre itself, it just feels like storytelling to me. The last eight or nine months have been some of the most difficult that I’ve been through in several years. A lot of it has to do with my work situation, which has been incredibly challenging and pushed me to rethink many things in my life. Then you have the pandemic, which has been this overarching theme for so many, most just trying to get through each day. But then there are these rays of light. I always try to be optimistic and hopeful about stuff, even when that can be really tough, so while this mix is very solemn, there are rays of light coming through. Lastly, what’s on the cards for Mysteries of the Deep in 2021? We have three albums coming up, the first one is by Christina Chatfield which I mentioned before. We have one from Oliver Chapoy, his new moniker is called The Spiral. The theme behind that album is how he hears music on psychedelics and it’s incredible, one of the best things I’ve heard in years. And then we have an album from Mosam Howieson, he released on Silent Season and they directed him to us for his next release. It also looks like we will have a few more but they are still in the works. And then the podcast, we took a brief hiatus from that in September for the first time in a decade and so we’re going to be ramping that back up. We have a streaming event coming up in March, which is part of the Common Festival, hosted by Currents.fm. We’re also starting a monthly show on a fairly new live streaming platform called Channel 66, hosted by VANS which begins on March 9th. We’ll be making formal announcements on all this soon. Follow Mysteries of the Deep on Bandcamp and Soundcloud to stay up to date on the upcoming releases.

  • 80 - Grant Aaron

    The first time Grant Aaron went to an event with a chill-out room, everything clicked into place. It was the beginning of a long love affair with ambient and experimental music, with its sparsity and often beat-less nature leaving plenty of room for the imagination to take over. Grant went on to take up DJing in chill-out spaces himself before founding the influential platform Mysteries of the Deep in New York a decade ago. Initially a podcast, Mysteries has evolved over time into an event series and record label, and has established itself as one of the most revered sources for ambient music, both online and offline. 2021 is shaping up to be as busy a year as any other for Mysteries: there are releases in the works from Christina Chatfield, Mosam Howieson and Grant’s label partner Oliver Chapoy, plus plans to bring back the podcast after a brief hiatus. In the midst of this busy schedule, Grant took the time to showcase his cinematic, storytelling-driven style for our own podcast, with a mix recorded in a dense New York winter and inspired by the dampening of sound that comes with heavy snowfall. Of the concept of his Patterns of Perception 80, Grant says: “The last eight or nine months have been some of the most difficult that I’ve been through in several years. A lot of it has to do with my work situation, which has been incredibly challenging and pushed me to rethink many things in my life. Then you have the pandemic, which has been this overarching theme for so many, most just trying to get through each day. But then there are these rays of light. I always try to be optimistic and hopeful about stuff, even when that can be really tough, so while this mix is very solemn, there are rays of light coming through.” Grant Aaron's Links: SoundCloud Resident Advisor Mysteries of the Deep - SoundCloud Mysteries of the Deep - Bandcamp Mysteries of the Deep - Instagram Birds of Prey - SoundCloud

  • A chat with Sapphire Slows

    Sapphire Slows is an artist we’ve had our eyes on for a while. A producer, DJ and vocalist, she has made her mark with an impressive body of work that began with indie synth-pop and has since veered towards underground electronica, on labels ranging from Not Not Fun and 100% Silk to Kalahari Oyster Cult and AD 93. Her sound is multifaceted with one main undercurrent: everything she does is underpinned by a deep commitment to storytelling. Released earlier this week, her contribution to our mix series has a particularly special story: she created it in honour of her grandmother, who passed away aged 91 last month. It is a deeply personal tribute that is characteristic of the Tokyo-based DJ’s approach to music, one that she describes as consistently built on “emotions, stories and memories”. With this year marking 10 years of her work as Sapphire Slows, she fills us in on the diverse influences and inspirations that have driven her career in music to date. First up: How are you going these days? How has this year started for you? Not too bad actually. I’m not like “better than last year” or “everything will be okay this year”, of course, but I’m getting used to this situation and finding my own way to deal with it. I have a job outside music now, I have lots of time to spend with my family and close friends, also for myself. That is not a bad thing. You’ve said that the 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan drew you to pursue a career in music. Why is that? Well, financially I’ve only been able to work as a full-time musician the last couple of years or so (and of course it’s not possible now under COVID). But still, I made up my mind to pursue a music life and career when I started making music in 2011 when I was still a student who was looking for a full-time job. The earthquake was really shocking and changed my whole point of view. It was almost like a revelation or decision in perceptual depth, I simply noticed what I wanted to live for in this life. So it was not a difficult decision but the difficulty of reality, things to learn and my lifestyle shifting of course followed after. Every couple of years I feel I’m lost with a lack of confidence, and I find it hard to take balance with the other parts of life, but I’m still doing okay right now thanks to my music friends and supporters. This year is your 10 year anniversary as Sapphire Slows: a decade as a producer/live performer and five as an active DJ. How has your sound, especially as a producer, changed over this time? Yes! The last decade felt both long and short. Lots of things shifted naturally since I was like a baby at the beginning - and now I’m probably still like a teenager? Or a bit more mature? I don’t know haha… I think the first couple of years when I was releasing my records from US underground record labels like Not Not Fun and 100% Silk, my sound was more like experimental synth-pop or dreamy house music. I was making music in my 20 square metre bedroom with crappy gear. Actually, I didn’t have a techno background at all at the beginning, I was an indie girl who was especially influenced by the US underground music scene. Then in Japan I started working with underground techno people like Chris SSG, Rural (a music festival) and Future Terror (an event and collective by DJ Nobu and Haruka), and my interests slightly started to be inspired by the world of physical sound, synthesisers and the science of emotional action through dancing and psychedelics. In 10 years I also gradually improved my studio environment and skills too, which also gave me a musical change. My last few releases focused on synthesis, ambience and beats more than vocals and keyboards. Also in the last couple of years, I focused on my DJ career and skills, more than playing a live set. But this year my focus came back to producing music and performing again actually. Life is long, so my interest and aims go in different directions over time, but it seems I always come back to find my originality and new inspiration in music. Was it a difficult shift from the indie scene to techno? I think from the outside it might seem I made a big shift between different music scenes, but for me it was a natural shift in terms of internal philosophy and I actually think those few people I trust in any music scene are not so different in terms of passion for music, even if they have different expressions, venues, fashions, etc. I’m not interested in something superficial and commercial, and in that sense the Japanese underground music scene has quite a variety and depth. It’s hard to make money though – I think it’s the same for all the musicians. Breaking into the techno world was difficult in terms of skill-based recognition and my lack of experience, but it was not difficult in terms of passion and philosophy. It was really exciting and now I can’t live without raves and parties! Would you say your musical influences have changed over the years? I would say so. Though I think what I look for in music has something in common: stories, emotions and memories. My early musical influences were my dad’s imported record collection from the ‘60s, ‘70s and a bit of the ‘80s – mostly progressive or psychedelic rock music, and some synth music like Tangerine Dream. In high school I played guitar and vocals in a band, I was mostly hanging out with music and gear geeks. One of my friends from high school who shared my interest in Aphex Twin still fixes my synthesiser even now, which I think is quite impressive! Then after I moved to Tokyo I started digging more electronic music and indie music. In university, I was buying lots of records every week that were limited to like 100-300 copies by completely independent labels. What inspires you the most these days? After I started being active as a musician and DJ, I started being inspired more by contemporary producers and DJs who I saw on tour and at gigs because they shared my own memories and moments. Also, the listening/dancing experience with a sound system is more important now for me, which always feels like a once in a lifetime opportunity. My favourite DJ set last year was by Toshio “BING” Kajiwara, he is totally a legend! The party also had an amazing sound system with Taguchi speakers, which was fully operated by a solar power supply. I really respected the organiser and sound team there. I mean, not just them but I always respect the whole team when I have an inspiring musical experience. It’s not just about lineup or venues. What made you want to take up DJing five years ago? Do you have a particular style as a DJ? I was sometimes playing records in bars with friends around the time I started making music, but it was not paid, and I was not really a DJ. How do I say, it was more like a hobby or side project. I said five years because 2016 was the first year I played in the main room of a big club (it was a mnml ssgs party at Contact Tokyo) and started getting paid OK. I started getting more serious after that, same as producing. I think my style and expression changes in different platforms and environments, so I can’t simply say I’m a techno DJ (and I’m clearly not a techno DJ). Maybe I’m a non-techno DJ in a techno scene? I have some words to express my DJ style though: atmospheric, left-field, hypnotic, ambient, melodic, acid, and BPM is mostly between 90-125. Does it explain anything? In my DJ career, the experience of being a resident at RinseFM in 2018 helped me I think, and in 2019 I played a lot of DJ gigs including parties I admire, which made me happy but at the same time, I think I can still be a lot better in terms of skills and experience. Tell us a bit about your mix for Patterns of Perception: What is the concept or inspiration behind this mix? First I dedicated this mix to my grandma, who passed away at 91 years old last month. I loved her so much. So I wanted to make something personal with memories and stories. I even tied some of the song titles to the concept. I also tried to put my various musical influences and tied them together in this mix: ambient, experimental, minimalism, techno, post-punk, acid folk. I think it worked well. The mixes and music that inspired me to make this mix are for example Music For Screen Tests by Leif and From Bagshot To Silbury Hill - A Mix by Andrew Weatherall. I listened to them really a lot last year. They were and will be my all-time favourites. This kind of music taught me how important it is to tell a story in music and in a set. As a producer, you’ve told us you’re particularly fascinated by the Buchla synthesiser, which has been a great inspiration for your music. What is it about this instrument that you like the most? What I like the most about the Buchla synthesiser is its sound, it can’t be substituted by any other modulars or Eurolack clones. Also, I love it because everything is relative and nothing is absolute. I make and play music quite instinctively most of the time, so I like its relativity and randomness a lot. I also like the Buchla’s cosmic and psychedelic West Coast background and style, which gives the instrument and music a character! What are some of your favourite tracks made on the Buchla? This is quite a nice album that was made with Buchla in 2018: Jonathan Fitoussi / Clemens Hourrière - Espaces Timbrés. Also Maria Teriaeva is my favourite contemporary musician and friend, I started playing Buchla because of her influence. Her second album was out last year and I helped her mix down one of those tracks and made a remix. Maria Teriaeva - Conservatory Of Flowers This is amazingly beautiful too: Donnacha Costello - Stay Perfectly Still Worth seeing: Kaitlyn Aurelia Smith - Existence In The Unfurling (Live) Suzanne Ciani’s live set I saw 2 years ago in Tokyo was mind-blowing, this video makes me cry to remember that. How are things going for the scene in Japan at the moment? Were you able to play some gigs there in the last months? Have things shifted online as they have in other places? Japan was actually the only country where parties were still going on every weekend, until we got the second state of emergency that was declared in the beginning of this year. Now all the bars, restaurants, clubs have to close by 8pm so most of the parties are cancelled, some bars doing day parties on weekends but it’s not going well. As for myself, I stopped playing any club gigs since March last year, but I played at five outdoor festivals in the countryside of Japan last year during spring to autumn, played for two online international festivals, which I think I’m quite lucky to be involved in. Online things could be okay when they have particular concepts with visuals or focus on a type of music that fits well in a personal environment. But personally, I think it can’t be a substitute for the actual club/concert experience when there’s no heat, no shaking and no sharing of body, emotions and the sound in the air. Lastly, do you have any plans or upcoming projects for 2021 that you’d like to share with us? I have a very good feeling for 2021 when it comes to my musical activities. Through last year I tied my love and motivation to music stronger, and now I’m working on my own music again. I go to my friend’s studio every week and record or learn something new, which is simply fun! And I hope something will be ready to share this year, for the 10 year anniversary of my project. Another thing I’d like to share is that I will start a regular DJ party in Tokyo at the end of March, when spring comes! The concept of the party is simple: it’s not a replacement of a night club – it’s a small, casual, half-outdoor afternoon party with family-friendly hospitality, with good sound and good regular DJs who play only long sets. This is something I've wanted to do for the last few years but now it has started rolling finally with the venue’s help. Hope I can make some good vibes and grooves in people’s lives.

  • 79 - Sapphire Slows

    As a producer, vocalist and DJ, Tokyo-based Sapphire Slows has a sound that is both indelible and difficult to neatly categorise. Taking cues from minimal, electronica, ambient and off-kilter pop, her own music feels greater than the sum of these parts, combining an unerring sense for space, detail and atmosphere with slow-motion melodies and heady, cosmic vocals to create something personal and truly unique. Since starting to produce music in her bedroom in 2011, Sapphire Slows has released an impressive body of work, with LPs, EPs, tracks and remixes coming out on the likes of Not Not Fun, 100% Silk, Kaleidoscope, Nous, Kalahari Oyster Cult, ninih and most recently AD 93. As a live performer and DJ, she has been similarly prolific, with numerous European tours under her belt, along with regular showings in China, Australia, the US and naturally, her home country of Japan. The diversity of artists with which she has shared the stage (from Lena Willikens, Objekt, Svreca and Ben UFO to Laurent Garnier and The xx) is revealing, and further proof of the chameleonic qualities of her music. Recently recorded at OATH in Tokyo, Sapphire Slows’ Patterns of Perception 79 is a warm, carefully crafted and kaleidoscopic narrative that perfectly captures the many shades of her unique sound. Flitting between cinematic ambient soundscapes, emotive vocals and breezy after-hours energy, these 59 minutes sway comfortably across dappled layers of sunlight and shade, finding a solid underpinning in the swelling melodies and textural layers that are so tightly linked with her own visions. Credits: Recorded at OATH Tokyo, Mastered by Hiranya Access Sapphire Slows' Links: SoundCloud Facebook Bandcamp Twitter

  • 78 - Lux

    With roots in Leipzig and her current home, Berlin, Lux’s profile has been steadily growing over recent years. Following a 2019 that saw her tour through Japan, China and Taiwan, play her first gig in Berghain, and perform at the final Nachtdigital, her past year has been – for obvious reasons – a little more introspective than anticipated. Her mix for Patterns of Perception fittingly explores the torn and disconnected states recent events have thrown us into, magnifying and intertwining with the still, introverted atmospheres of deep winter. Tiptoeing on reminiscences of club nights past, this mix sketches subtle lines between different places, spaces, moods, and times, while also bringing together a number of tracks that have been accompanying Lux on her travels for years, never before quite meeting the opportunity to find their place in a mix. Lux's Links: SoundCloud Facebook Instagram Resident Advisor

  • Selections: Music for a new year

    If ever there was a new year that's required us to look forward, rather than back, this is the one. Now that the world has collectively turned a page on 2020, we’re kicking things off with a playlist of music to celebrate this fresh start, selected by Patterns of Perception. Steve Good - Less This piece by Steve Good transports me right back to the final morning of the Labyrinth festival in 2019. While 2020 didn’t bring any magical moments like this, I am quite optimistic that this year we’ll be able to start experiencing music again more like we did before the pandemic. - Kim doc sleep - Emerado Falls This track feels a bit like waking up: it’s hopeful yet contemplative – suggesting a new dawn, but maybe not an entirely uncomplicated one. It was released in early 2019, yet for me resonates so much with this particular moment. - Zilke Harold Budd - The Foundry (for Mika Vainio) I didn’t plan to make both my selections in some way about COVID-19, but here it is: 2020 saw the tragic death at the hands of COVID of one of my most treasured ambient/minimalist composers, Harold Budd, whose works, even well into his 70s and 80s, continued to captivate and calm. I thought it fitting to select here his own tribute to also-departed Mika Vainio, another artist whose works I spent a lot of time with in 2020. - Andreas Malibu - Tilting On Windmills Malibu’s nostalgic, personal and utterly beautiful ambient works have been a true source of inspiration for me this year. Tilting On Windmills comes from her album One Life, and is a simple yet powerful piece with a pure, optimistic atmosphere and a hint of melancholia at its core. Perfect for reflecting on the complicated, difficult year behind us, and embracing hope for what’s to come. - Steve Billus - Positivity Keeps The Disk Afloat What a fitting title if we’re to speak about moving forward. Naming aside, this track has the uplifting buoyancy of downtempo propelled with a hypnotic, minimal bassline. It comes as no surprise that this release finds its place on new Australian label Mindmap, whose essence is derived from the deep and minimal. I’m a bit tired of hearing so much ambient after last year, so this kind of mellow music will hold a special place for me in 2021. I highly recommend checking out the whole compilation of Mindmap’s first release, it’s not only peppered with 14 wonderful tracks, but 100% of the label’s profits are donated to the Black Rainbow organisation too. - Bianca Caim - Absynth Caim brings the heat with this sexy tech house groover. The perfect track to ring in 2021. - Kim Loop LF - IZ 200 This track points me into a reflective mood, before moving forward I need to look back. Waking up from a deep slumber, filled with sparks of imagination and drowsiness wrapped in a flow of broken beats that chugs along. This is how it feels like closing out my year. - Ray Donato Dozzy - Aquatica Donato Dozzy and Eric Cloutier’s Palinoia LTD 001 was the first EP purchase of the year for me, and arrived (in Berlin) while I was in Australia for a long, unplanned holiday that was forced on me by Covid-19 restrictions. I was excited to get back home and find the vinyl had arrived, although also due to restrictions, I’m yet to play it out. Dozzy’s Aquatica delivers a liquid, lush, expansive groove that is full of seductively reverb-drenched sounds, dancing across the sonic scene and melting into one another with characteristic Dozzy masterfulness. - Andreas DJ Plead & Anunaku - Clap Clap A track for missing the dance floor. I want to hear this played during an outdoor set doused in sunshine, when summer is in full swing. Something to hope for in 2021. - Zilke DJ Trance & Darwin Chamber - Indians And Aliens (Roza Terenzi Terrestrial Mix) I love Roza Terenzi’s version of this trance classic. The original has an alluring, dirty baseline but it’s Terenzi’s vivacious percussion that makes this track burst with colour. It reminds me of the dusty red dance floors of Aussie bush doofs; a fond memory, which I’m looking forward to reliving again soon. For now, cut shapes on your rug to this irrefutable dancey number and be careful to not get carpet burn. - Bianca Mathis Ruffing - Emotional Dance Music To date, the catalogue of MSJY’s Unposed imprint consists entirely of music that’s specifically made for closing out a DJ set in a positive, emotional way. This concept applies just as well for seeing off an entire year - particularly one like 2020. Mathis Ruffing’s contribution to the second Docile Outros compilation perfectly balances uplifting, nostalgic melodies, propulsive rhythms and a wicked acid line that electrifies the entire piece. If you haven’t already, check out the Unposed catalogue - it’s full of beautiful, diverse dance floor bombs like this, with all profits going to offering food support to Yemen's humanitarian crisis. - Steve Aloka - Enigma The metamorphosis of my being into an abstract spatial entity. Sliding into the new year, with speed-dealers on with clarity but remaining dogmatic. - Ray Full playlist:

bottom of page