Watch/Read/Travel: Kyle Bobby Dunn

"Sure I want to see more northern Canada and Quebec and of course see Poland or Europe at some point and always said I might die happy on a beach in the French Riviera with a good bottle of vino and a strong sense of finality,.."

Page #9. AOKI Takamasa – Private Party

AOKI Takamasa became extremely popular more or less a year ago, after his RV8 release on Raster-Noton. But there has been an era when the Japanese experimental artist used to have a less sophisticated soundscape, concentrating more on rhythms and grooves, producing playful, danceable music. Going back 6 years, we got this super relaxed snapshot with Takatoum – not your usual cover girl but so much cooler, making us crave even more for a hot summer day.

Sounds Of A Tired City #9: Olan Mill

Olan Mill is positively one of the most outstanding modern classical ambient drone projects of our decade. Depending on your current mood, Alex Smalley (also half of Pausal, together with Simon Bainton) constantly manages to lift you up to inconceivable heights or push you down to hitherto non-existent depths. For your listening pleasure, this time he has compiled something different than what you might actually expect.

Sounds Of A Tired City #8: Mark Kuykendall

"When I entered high school, I didn’t want anyone to know that I could play polka music so I begged my family for a guitar. I began taking guitar lessons and enjoyed them immensely. Something inside wanted to experiment more and so I got my first drum kit. I taught myself the drums and I was able to start putting rhythm tracks to home records. Later I began collecting analog synthesizers and recording devices. All of this was highly encouraged by my grandmother and my own parents. They helped support me in any new musical direction I began to drift in."

Mark Kuykendall: The recreation of feelings of atmosphere and space is what I am after, to reconstruct a lost memory

Mark Kuykendall is an Oklahoman artist who is involved more or less in everything that has to do with audio-visual arts: recording and producing music, mastering and engineering, sound for films and commercials, cover design, drawing, painting, directing videos and he can even use his own voice as an instrument if needed. We talked about his musical roots, constant inspiration and the virtue of running one's own label. We also reveal that Tulsa might not be such a grim place as you would think.

Sounds Of A Tired City #7: Hibernate Recordings

Founded in 2009 by Jonathan Lees, Hibernate Recordings takes you to the melancholic Northern English countryside. The label celebrates its 5th birthday in August, complemented with the presence and perseverant work of the multi-talented Katie English, Ian M Hazeldine and Harry Towell. 'Inspired by the unpredictable, momentary and quiet solitary beauty of the Pennine moors', their assiduous efforts result in one of the most exciting ambient labels out there as of now. Jonathan, the brain and heart of Hibernation prepared a special mix, featuring some of his favourite tracks released on his own label.

Hibernate Recordings: Jonathan Lees

"A few years before I started the label I bought a CDr release from a Swedish label, it came in a fat plastic case with a small print and a white top CDr with no print. The CDr was actually blank and when I emailed the label about it, they laughed and promised to send another, it never came. This fuelled me to kick start Hibernate and to try and make something that people who buy it will appreciate it."

Page #8. Between – Between

A collaborative live recording from Kyoto involving Taylor Deupree (synth, bells, scrapes), Illuha (Tomoyoshi Date - cassettes, percussion, Corey Fuller - rhodes, guitar), Simon Scott of Slowdive (voice, thumb piano), and Marcus Fischer with his Fuji X-Pro1, lap harp and cassettes.

Watch/Read/Travel: Brambles

"I am currently focusing on the topics of neuroscience, gender theory and peak oil. But, what I really enjoy is the escapism of a simply written novel, involving an average person who finds themselves in some sort of obscure or magical land."

Students Of Decay: Alex Cobb

Students Of Decay is a record label founded and curated by Alex Cobb, based in San Diego, California. Since 2005 it became the home of various drone, ambient, improvisational releases, representing artists such as Natural Snow Buildings, Fabio Orsi, Pausal, Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, Kyle Bobby Dunn and one of the most exciting projects at this time, Secret Pyramid. Alex told us everything that you need to know about Students Of Decay.

Sounds Of A Tired City #6: Benoît Pioulard

"I’ve realized that even early on, the music that appealed most to me contained both a lot of melody and a lot of texture. When one combines clean recordings with processed and altered things (as on tape) I’ve always found the result to be really rich & unique. The attraction is something innate and comforting, as mentioned before. I love that it seems at once permanent when something has been recorded, even though rationally I know that all physical formats will decay."

Benoît Pioulard: The attraction is something innate and comforting

The singer-songwriter Thomas Meluch, better known as Benoît Pioulard masterfully combines dreamy pop and folk music with the most gentle ambient sounds and his own voice. In our interview, Benoît unfolds the story of his love for lo-fi compositions, finding peace in a cosmopolitan city like Seattle and the possibility of a new album coming soon... very soon!

Page #7. Lawrence English – The Peregrine

“I have always longed to be part of the outward life, to be out there at the edge of things, to let the human taint wash away in emptiness and silence as the fox sloughs his smell into the cold unworldliness of water; to return to town a stranger. Wandering flushes a glory that fades with arrival.”

Sounds Of A Tired City #5: Oiseaux-Tempête

"These are some of our favorite songs at the moment, with a minimal, electronic or quiet approach. We selected the songs together with Fred, then he did the mix, crossfades and additional sound archives, this is his thing. It gives a kind of coherence to the whole, creates a kind of pattern. I hope you will all like it!"

Oiseaux-Tempête: First it was a big improvisation session and the magic was there instantly. Really.

Oiseaux-Tempête is an instrumental free rock trio from Paris, consisting of Frédéric D. Oberland, Stéphane Pigneul and Ben McConnell. Their self-titled debut album recently has been released on the Brussels-based Sub Rosa label, accompanied by a highly intriguing glitch-minimal-ambient remix version of the original tracks. Frédéric and Stéphane spoke to us about what brings ambient and rock music together, and how art should wake us up and enable us to create ourselves a better place to live in.

Watch/Read/Travel: Christoph Berg / Field Rotation

"And with its timelessness it comes to my mind every now and again picturing the omnipresent conflict of beneficial and destructive effects of science and knowledge, their control, the seamless transition between force, conscience and madness – especially when all these conflicts converge."

Sounds Of A Tired City #4: René Margraff

"I guess this is quite a good representation of what I usually listen to, although I tried to keep it within a certain zone for the sake of flow. I also did not include too many new artists as I tend to not focus on that too much, although I am quite impressed with a few releases of 2014 already, e.g. Brett Naucke’s ‘Seed’ or Christopher Bissonnette’s ‘Essays in Idleness’."

René Margraff: Bitching about Berlin seems to be such a ‘must-do’. I love to skip it

At first glance, you might think that René Margraff is new to the ambient drone scene, but if I mention Pillowdiver or Two People In A Room, you will most probably have your eureka moment. The German producer released his first album under his own name in March, so this was more than a good excuse to talk a bit about his latest projects, the evanescence of Berlin and some of his favourite records this year.

Page #6. Rameses III – I Could Not Love You More

It all happened quietly. After 10 years of enchanting bucolic ambient folk hymns, the Rameses III trio - consisting of Daniel Freeman, Spencer Grady and Stephen Lewis - are on hold for now. Let's remember them by revisiting their last album, 'I Could Not Love You More'.

Watch/Read/Travel: Grischa Lichtenberger

"Open two fireproof steel doors and find yourself on a street inside the building where all the supplies for the faculties are stored. It’s one of the most peaceful places in the world. Only the sounds of buzzing neons and rumbling heat tubes…"

Sounds Of A Tired City #3: Christina Vantzou

Christina Vantzou prepared an exquisite mix for the readers of Sounds Of A Tired City, consisting solely of film soundtracks (and a bit more). She does not need any kind of introduction if you are reading this already (hopefully). Once you've heard The Dead Texan, you are submissively following the career of this talented graphic artist who quite recently turned to composing neo-classical ambient music.

Christina Vantzou: Every step of the first record was like walking with my eyes closed and my arms stretched out

Christina Vantzou does not need any kind of introduction if you are reading this already (hopefully). Once you've heard The Dead Texan, you are submissively following the career of this talented graphic artist who quite recently turned to composing neo-classical ambient music. Among many other topics we talked about this artistic shift, the beginning of a new era and the afterlife of her new album.

Page #5. Koen Holtkamp – Gravity/Bees

Gravity/Bees is a vinyl-only release featuring two side-long tracks, packaged in an LP jacket with letter-pressed artwork hand-pasted to the front and back. "In The Absence Of Gravity…" is based on a live recording of a solo performance in Brighton, "Loosely Based On Bees" is (obviously loosely) based on recordings of bees made on a rooftop in downtown Philadelphia.

Watch/Read/Travel: Benoît Pioulard

"I had the privilege of an extra day and a half off while I was on tour in Europe last month, and opted to spend it in Siena before my show there. Being one of only a few places in Northern Italy that totally escaped being gutted in World War II, it feels by comparison like stepping back in time in a truly impressive way. Narrow brick streets shared by cars and pedestrians, incredible views of the Tuscan countryside..."

Page #4. Peter Broderick: Docile

"The piano is such an amazing instrument because you don't have to do much to make it sound beautiful. Some of my favourite piano music has been written by people who aren't pianists at all, but who just have a wonderful sense of melody and composition. While I realize that these songs add nothing new to the vast collection of piano music out there, I have a simple desire to add to that collection."

Sounds Of A Tired City #2: Strië

"The artists gathered in my mix are composers whose music made big impact on my feelings, perception, musical taste and assisted me during many journeys. Few of them I had pleasure to meet. With other few I'm exchanging thoughts. To the rest of them I hope I will have chance say 'hi' one day."

Watch/Read/Travel: Christina Vantzou

There's a close family friend who lived in Greece for over 50 years. He was a New Zealander who was on holiday with his wife and children, and when it was time to go back home he said, "I'm staying here."

Page #3. Julien Neto: Le Fumeur De Ciel

If you have heard this album at least once, you will always keep wondering why the mysterious producer of this melancholic-acoustic sparkler never ever composed a follow-up to his one and only release. Poetic soundscapes with an immaculately matching cover.

SAÅAD: Drone and sex are working on the same pattern and simple desire, the need to be entirely swallowed by something, to lose yourself, to feel alive

SAÅAD consists of two brave Frenchmen, Romain Barbot and Greg Buffier, who started releasing music at the beginning of the decade, and are currently taking ambient drone music to a whole new level. Their latest album and very first vinyl release 'Deep/Float' recently came out under the thoughtful wings of Hands In The Dark records. Sounds Of The Tired City was talking to Romain about the concept of drone music and the special circumstances which offered the perfect substratum for creating their new album.

Page #2. William Basinski: The Disintegration Loops

The Disintegration Loops is based on William Basinski's attempts to conserve earlier recordings made on magnetic tape. He intended to transfer them into digital format, but the tape had physically deteriorated to the point that, as it passed by the tape head, the magnet got detached from the plastic backing and fell off.

Sounds Of A Tired City #1: Secret Pyramid

"A selection of tracks that covers a decent range of stuff I’ve been listening to recently. A good chunk are old favorites, some are fairly new-ish tracks that I’m digging (Nosdam, Panabrite), and one fairly new discovery (Has-Lo). The Alireza Mashayekhi track is from the excellent Electronic Panorama 4xLP boxset, which is pretty hard to find, would love to see a reissue of it someday. The last track (Lovisoni/Messina) is from a new reissue on Die Schachtel, they also did a Luciano Cilio reissue which also comes highly recommended."

Secret Pyramid: I find comfort during the night when all is quiet and the rest of the city goes to sleep

Secret Pyramid is the solo project of Vancouver-based musician Amir Abbey, who masterfully navigates the properties of sleep and unconsciousness, charting a course that is equal parts harrowing and funereal, tranquil and sublime. As a debut interview for Sounds Of A Tired City, we have chosen to talk to Amir about music, nature, the sleeping Vancouver and everything beyond.

Watch/Read/Travel: Marcus Fjellström

Is there life outside music? Do you ever take the time to read a delightful book or watch a superb film? Which one of these made the deepest influence on you? How about changing places? Where do you think everyone should go at least once in their lifetime? We are seeking hundreds of different answers to these questions with the help of our guests. First let's see how Marcus Fjellström's world looks like when he is not thinking about new melodies.

Page #1. Pausal: Along the Mantic Spring

A visual history of all types of electronic music released throughout the years, presented by the finest album cover artworks. On these pages, in this (hopefully neverending) series of covers the focus of attention shall be given to the visual forces instead of the verbal ones, since words are often meagre symbols of an attempt to describe something that is beyond expression anyway.

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