Posts Tagged ‘kompakt records’

Marsen Jules Trio at MUTEK

June 9, 2010

4 June 2010

Ambient neo-classicist hero, Marsen Jules, made his North American debut at this year’s MUTEK festival in Montreal. Accompanied by twin brothers Anwar and Jan Phillip Alam on violin and piano, Jules had the large crowd enraptured as his emotive and glacial soundscapes swirled and pulsed in the airy Monument-National Theatre.

Marsen Jules is my favourite of all composers in the ever expanding genre of modern classical/ambient music. The opening track on Herbstlaub, “Fanes D’Automne” is the most played track on my iTunes, and his music has sailed me off to sweet dreams many a night, as well as, welcomed the dawn with me on many a morn. So you can imagine how stoked I was to finally experience his music in a live setting. And what a performance it was. Choice of venue had a lot to do with it, and the Monument-National was perfect, providing a large theatre space with phenomenal acoustics. The visuals by VJ Nicolai Konstatinovic were an excellent addition to the concert — showcasing abstract imagery in uber-vivid colour, as well as calming footage of hovering birds and a beautiful steady shot of a local swimming hole somewhere in what I imagined to be a small village in rural France.

It was great to see him do his thing live. Using his computer, a mixing tablet, two glasses of water, two drum cymbals, chimes, and the twin brothers on strings and keys, Jules was able to create a stirring live rendition of his work. Overall, his performance was the highlight of the festival for me, and further proof as to why I think he’s one of the best musicians in the genre.

Unfortunately, the rain stopped me from going to see him play at the Picnic Electronik under his dub-oriented krill.minima guise, but still a great time was had. Check out the remastered version of his first album Yara right now.

INAUDIBLE INTERVIEWS WOLFANG VOIGT

February 25, 2010

Inaudible teamed up with Headphone Commute and scored an interview with Kompakt Records founder and electronic music legend Wolfgang Voigt to discuss Kompakt’s latest Pop Ambient collection, the infamous Cologne sound, and his work as Gas!

I am new to this whole interview thang, and realized afterwards that my questions kind of suck because they don’t allow room for much elaboration, but hey . . . I’m learning and still pretty damn happy with it.

Please click here to check it out.

Big thanks to ML from Headphone Commute for making it happen!

And thanks to Mr. Voigt for taking the time to answer the questions!

Pop Ambient 2010 (Kompakt)

February 14, 2010

Kompakt Records kicks off the new year with the tenth installment in its annual Pop Ambient series — a decade of densely layered drones, tones, and sounds, showcasing the best artists making music in modern classical and ambient genres. The compilation is curated each year by label head and music legend, Wolfgang Voigt (aka Gas), and has basically been a staple in my morning and late evening playlists for an entire decade.

The musical discoveries I have made because of this yearly comp are unparalleled — over the years the series has acted as a who’s who in forward thinking electronic compositions that aren’t concerned with beats, bass, or the dancefloor. Artists like Marsen Jules, Klimek, Andrew Thomas, Markus Guentner, Donnacha Costello, Triola, and Thomas Fehlmann have all been mainstays throughout the decade long series, and all artists I respect and adore.

The opening track for the 2010 edition starts with quite possibly the best Marsen Jules track I have ever heard. The aptly titled “The Sound of One Lip Kissing” sweeps from right to left channel and builds around a single dark and reverberating chord that is accompanied by the hesitant tinkle of piano to amazing effect. Brock Van Whey is welcomed into the Pop Ambient family this year and lulls listeners with two beautiful tracks under his bvdub moniker. “Lest You Forget” follows the opening track and offers a sense of air and light, after Marsen Jules’ somewhat ominous beginning. Van Whey also closes the album with the sprawling “Will You Know Where to Find Me”. It features haunting vocals and rich delay that peacefully dissipates as the 17-minute track comes to an end, leaving you calmed and happily brooding.

Kompakt’s own Dettinger, returns with “Therefore”, his first new song in nearly a decade — a smooth and droney track that features a slight hi-hat shuffle buried deep in the mix. Label head, Wolfgang Voigt also shows up with the excellent “Zither und Horn”, which sounds like nothing I’ve heard from him before. It’s a pastoral and string-based track that feels more traditionally “song-like” in its composition, and much different than his work as Gas. Offerings from DJ Koze, The Orb, and Jürgen Paape are equally as strong, and overall, this is another sterling edition to an already fantastic oeuvre of ambient music.

Check out ten years of the smooove stuff. Peace.

The Field – Yesterday and Today (Kompakt)

September 1, 2009

the field

When Axel Willner aka The Field appeared out of the ether in 2007 with the excellent “From Here We Go Sublime”, the album spun relentlessly in my apartment for months. There was something really hypnotic about his looped tech-ambience that sounded fresh and new at a time when techno was starting to sound a bit samey and lackluster. Two years blinked by and he returned with “Yesterday and Today” in the spring of this year. I immediately grabbed it, but for some reason was hesitant to listen to it. For some reason felt it wouldn’t be able to hold up to “Sublime”. But in the last few weeks I’ve finally gotten into it, and now think it an amazing follow up. In fact, I think it’s better. A more fully realized vision of his musical aesthetic.

The second track “Everybody’s Got To Learn Sometime” slows the tempo down and adds lush vocals in the mix to fantastic effect, and then “Leave It” comes next — a sprawling and emotive track of 4/4 techno bliss — and when the bass hook drops at the 3 minute mark, I am fucking sold. Wooh. One of my fave songs of the summer for sure. I’ve listened to it so many times in the last few weeks it’s embarrassing. I’m sure my neighbours wanna kill me, but I can’t get enough. The title track is also fantastic and features John Stanier from Battles adding some live drums to the mix, which I think really works. Altogether, this is an excellent album and right now is looking like a top ten of the year.

Love it.