Inchmix031: Dylan B

Can you tell us a little bit about your new label, Paper-Cuts in relation to its artists, aesthetic and direction?

The idea came to fruition when a close friend brought a bunch of records back from Tokyo including these ‘for promotional use only’ flexi disks that Disk Union had been offering at selected stores, they had these weird Mos Def & Erykah Badu remixes on them but myself and friend, Grant Camov, were really into the idea.
After figuring out where they can still be pressed and the specifics of it all we realised it’s currently best suited for the more abstract/experimental side of an artist – so we looked out for music with the aesthetic to match and shortly settled on our first forthcoming release with friends Rory McPike & Griffin James.

For those that haven’t been to one, explain SRS NRG and what you’ve been working on recently?

SRS NRG V: Ministry of NRG – The 2017 Annual would be the most recent edition with special guest Jezadin (aka Raw Dog) – It has slowly become more of an annual affair since the first in 2012 however there’s already plans in the works for another by the end of the year *hint included*.

What’s the concept behind this mix?

It’s all kinda various bits and pieces that suited without the desire to sync them up as well as a small handful of stuff to follow that were probably better suited going together… A real mix-match for By The Inch.

Artwork by: Yoshihisa Sadamatsu

Inchmix030: Roman Ćinkse

Roman Ćinske rounds out 2016 and our 30th podcast with a collection of Drone, electronica and dark ambient tracks.

Inchmix029: Daze ‘Menassana Mind Medicine’

How are you planning to wrap up 2016 and begin 2017?
2016 will be wrapped up in the comfort of my own home in Australia, silently watching the world destroy itself. Beginning 2017 with another European tour, (hey promoters of europe) and working on some more records and tapes to be released soon after.

What was your initial exploration into ambient music?
Probably like many people i wasn’t as familiar with the idea of ambient music until being struck by Selected Ambient Works – from there it was a slippery slope into understanding the world and the unconscious through the minds of Eno, Vulthys, and Voight

What was the concept behind this mix?
I’ve never been asked to do a mix like this so i took it as an opportunity to present some of the music that i regularly fall back-on to soundtrack the monotony of daily life. Included in this mix are some of my most treasured pieces of music from my favourite artists, many recorded in from cassettes.

What five records haven’t left your bag recently?
Huerco S – For those of you who have never
Don’t DJ – Musique AcephaleM//R – Let that shit breathe
Faster Action – Faster ActionRobert Bergman – B02

Inchmix027: DJ Sergio

Easing it in towards number 30 in the series, we have DJ Sergio, one-third of Sanctuary, laying down an intimate reflection of what records are residing in his bag at the moment.

Inchmix027 explores the deeper, hypnotic side of house from the late 90’s and early 2000’s – sounds of warmth with feeling, soaked in a sublime selection of vocal samples.

Inchmix028: Steve Duncan

The separation from just a solid line-up of artists to an amazing event relies on a few variables which at its core lies the concept. Without a concept the lines between reason, thought, ingenuity and passion blur into nothing more than a minor afterthought. The foundations of a concept allow an event to evolve without question of dissent from guests – as the concept, like its owners are constantly learning, critiquing and progressing themselves. This discourse remains prominent with our next guest Steve Duncan who is involved with Berlin-based curator’s Patterns of Perception. Basing themselves at OHM Gallery, their events have hosted the likes of Peter Van Hoesen, Natural/electronic.system and Marco Shuttle, along with their own collective of accomplished DJ’s. His contribution is a textural exploration into stripped back ambient production that gently evolves into orchestral atmospherics’s and the surrounding areas of drone, experimental and electronica.

Tell us about your involvement with Patterns of Perception, along with the core concept of the night.
Our group – Kim Bergstrand, Hysteria, Andreas Maan, Bianca Shu and myself – started Patterns of Perception as a way to explore and surface sounds which we felt were underrepresented within the Berlin techno scene. Although we love and respect the scene as it stands, it can be hard to escape the prevalent Berlin sound. Our concept is a response to that, and embodies experimental textures and deep atmospheric sounds, while drawing inspiration from the dissonance between the natural and the industrial.
As a team, we are a group of close friends who have known each other for a long time and really enjoy working together. Outside of music (which we all have a hand in), our skills complement each other in a very nice way. Hysteria and I take care of the design and identity, Bianca and Kim work with our featured artists, and Andreas with our community. There is a high level of collaboration though, so the lines between these roles often blurs.

What has changed for you since first experimenting with ambient music?
Experimenting with ambient music has really boosted my understanding and perception of music composition and performance. Melody, emotion, spontaneity and atmosphere all have space to build and develop when a track doesn’t rely on percussive elements to dictate the mood and flow.
I played my first ambient set at an event we put on a couple of years ago, and I can clearly remember the feeling of profound connectedness with the music. Performance-wise, it was a totally new sensation – texture, timing and detail had always been important elements to me as a DJ, but this was on a different scale. The feeling was reminiscent of painting, or how I imagine it feels to conduct an orchestra. It was meditative, heady and totally satisfying.

Can you remember your first ambient LP or EP?
I had always enjoyed ambient and drone moments on key albums throughout the years (for instance on releases by Vangelis, Brian Eno, Sunn O))) and Porter Ricks), but it wasn’t until I discovered Terre Thaemlitz’s early ambient works – “Soil” and “Tranquilizer” – that I really embraced the genre. I always find it inspiring about how she is able to build so much from so little. Emotions and narratives are transmitted so strongly and clearly through her work.

What was the concept behind this mix?
The main goal of this mix was to delve deeper into the idea of dissonance between natural and industrial sounds. Using these elements as a central axis meant working with a broad sonic palette, enabling me to explore the polarities of light and dark, loud and quiet, melody and noise, human and machine.
Additionally, It has been refreshing for me to see ambient music receiving recognition amongst a wider audience in recent times. When conceptualising this mix, I tried to acknowledge artists and labels that I feel have made an impact within the genre, from Brian Eno and Warp Records, to Mika Vainio and Silent Season.

What five records haven’t left your bag recently?
Warmth – Essay
Purl – Stillpoint
Refracted – Through The Spirit Realm
Amandra – Drachme Tolosate
Iori – Cold Radiance

Inchmix026: Svreca

The ability to control emotion, energy, momentum and experience of a festival, not only from set to set but as an overall experience lies in the core formula written by having a single stage. Furthermore, the opportunities presented when organising a camping festival enhances the complexities, challenges and sheer magnitude of curating a concept outside the realms of a concrete institute. Whilst these observations may all appear obvious and simplistic, they are often over-looked as major factors in the execution of an event.

For an artist, it gives them a chance to properly contextualise music that might never have had the chance to be played otherwise. From sunrise sets on the final day of a festival to the dark atmospheric textures added when the weather decides to intervene for better or worse. The opportunities for an artist to toy, manipulate and coerce their music with the environment and the listener is extremely powerful.
As many artists can attest, there is a noticeably different feel during a set whilst playing in an intimate club compared to warehouses or high-capacity clubs, the same can be said for festivals. Whilst the precise number of what reflects the size of a boutique festival is not accurately defined, for the purpose of this piece, a nice reference is between Free Rotation or Inner Varnika right through to Nachtdigital.

As Paral-lel Festival draws to a near for its inaugural showcase, these factors have been taken into consideration. Situated in the remote province of Guardiola de Berguedà, this three-day camping festival is limited to 1000 tickets, a single stage and a forward-thinking line up that goes against the grain in terms of Spanish electronic music festivals. Artists include Abdulla Rashim, Peter van Hoesen and Svreca – who not only took the time to chat with us before his upcoming set at Paral-lel, but he recorded almost 90 minutes worth of dark ambient soundscapes for Inchmix026

What are the differences in the preparation and execution of your sets between club and festivals?
I take into consideration the same factors in both kinds of performances: the venue or space, sound system, timetable, set length, etc.
When I play for a big audience the feedback is less clear for me, so you need to be confident with yourself and to be patient with the idea or direction of the set.

From personal experience, what is the effect on a festival by having a smaller capacity and a single stage for artists?
From my experience, I think this improves the side related to the musical experience and a global perception of the festival. People stay focused to the evolution of the stage, and the order of the performances, timings, etc. Every detail gain a significant importance
Smaller capacity is a very relative description; could be 200 or 2.500 pers. but I know what you mean. It’s key to size properly the space, access, services and facilities.

What is the concept behind this mix?
Dissonance, tension, disorientation and their opposites.

What do you have planned for the label and yourself in the coming months?
We are celebrating our ten year anniversary [for the label] and we will continue releasing Semantica 10.I to 10.X until complete the ten 12”s.
In between will be more releases; in September a double EP by Acronym and a new Exhibition Design by J.C. called Mugako.

What five records haven’t left your bag recently?
Abdulla Rashim – Donostia
Rrose – Purge
Neel – Vandal
AFX – p-String
Blawan – Marga

Inchmix025: Harold

Bringing us to Inchmix025, is Melbourne’s Harold from the Steeplejack collective. Constantly redefining and reinterpreting ambient music’s place in the club environment, as showcased by his growing number of recorded sets from various parties around the city. Steeplejack’s impressive first release towards the end of 2015 is succeeded by the Cutting Room EP, released later this month.

Can you remember what drew you to ambient music – whether it be an album, podcast, festival etc?

It was always around and I enjoyed listening to it but I always found myself just listening or searching for dance music. It was a project called ‘Dreamweaver’ that I started that really peaked my interest. I wanted to add another element to my DJ sets, I just wasn’t exactly sure what it was. I was traveling with friends in Berlin at the time, there was a record store called Power Park that I was going too a lot, it was close to our apartment and had a wild selection of ambient and experimental records. I realized you could play these records on top of the dance records I already had, so I started buying things that I thought would work in this regard, one in particularly special was – Bernard Xolotl with Daniel Kobialka ‎– Procession – Nada Pulse – 1983.

How has your perception of ambient music changed since then?

I listen to a lot more ambient and experimental music for the pure enjoyment and excitement of it, I’m probably listening to more ambient and experimental music than I am dance music at the moment, and have been for a little while. My perception may not have changed I think I’m just finally giving it the time it deserves, I was in a bit of kick drum black hole for a while!

Tell us a little bit about how the collective and label came into fruition.

I like to refer to it as a cooperative haha! It came about as bid for me to get more DJ sets for myself and friends. Melbourne hero and local DJ, Post Percy asked if I’d like to run a Friday night monthly party at New Guernica and I jumped at the chance! We ran the party there for two years before taking some time off and finally moving the party to The Mercat Basement where we have been ever since. Over this time Steeplejack co-operators had begun to make music so from the money we made at the monthly we put out the first record, first CD and are now about to release our second record. Assumedly a lot more happened over those years.. But you probably had to be there!

What was the concept behind this mix?

Percussion! I don’t play a lot of it in my DJ sets and I needed to unload haha. There are a couple of records that I bought at Power Park in it, the shop that helped inspire my Dreamweaver project as well as some music I got from my mum and a few I picked up in between. The mix pays homage to my percussive tastes and influences past, present and future.

What do you have planned for the label in the coming months?

We have the Cutting Room EP coming out in September/October with a six city tour to celebrate starting in August. The first show is in the hometown of Melbourne at The Mercat on August 5th 10pm so if you are around come and say G’day! Best thing would be to send me or the label a message about any of the interstate shows as the majority of them aren’t at conventional venues and won’t be advertised using the usual avenues.
The next 3 records are also lined up so that means a bunch more parties and maybe some more tours, depending on how the next couple of months go! The next CD is also lined up and ready to go too, it’s been nice working with both mediums, offsetting the cons of one with the pros of the other.

What five records haven’t left your bag recently?

In keeping with the ambient theme here are five records that I have been using as layering pieces recently:

Various ‎– Traces Three – Recollection GRM – 2013
Anthony Child ‎– Electronic Recordings From Maui Jungle Vol 1 – Editions Mego
Imaginary Softwoods ‎– The Path Of Spectrolite – Amethyst Sunset
Robert Ashley ‎– In Sara, Mencken, Christ And Beethoven There Were Men And Women – Cramps Records
Charlemagne Palestine ‎– Voice Studies – Alga Marghen

Artwork: Moebius // Jean Giraud