After teasing out remixes for the past two weeks, it’s our pleasure to announce that Heterotopia Remixes Vol. 1 is now available for free download (or pay what you want) at The Astral Plane Bandcamp. Remixes from Druid Cloak, Iglooghost, Sharp Veins, Patrick Brian, Fraxinus, She’s Drunk and Chants feature and we couldn’t be happier with the imaginative way each respective artist flipped a track from the original Heterotopia. Check out Druid Cloak and Patrick Brian’s reworks, the only two that have not been revealed to date, after the jump.
Luckily, this is only the first volume of remixes we have for you and Vol. 2, slated for an early March release, will feature a tantalizing array of our favorite producers! A lot of words have been spilt by us on these remixes so far and now that release date has come we can’t wait to let the sounds percolate through to all of you.
Tomorrow, Heterotopia Remixes Vol. 1 will be available via our Bandcamp page, but we’ve allowed another sneak peak of the tape through the folks at Tiny Mix Tapes. Debuted in TMT’s Chocolate Grinder section, the “lesser heard and lesser known”, section of the magazine, Iglooghost’s remix of Air Max ’97’s “Chasm” reconstitutes the original into a short burst of wonky hip hop, the Irish producer lacing a thread of dazzling energy into AM97’s rolling production. Check out Fraxinus, Sharp Veins and Chants’ contribution to the tapes at Mixmag, FACT and our own humble abode.
After some time spent in London towards the end of 2014, American producer Sharp Veins has quickly ingratiated himself into a thriving international community of experimental producers and is set to debut on Glacial Sound in the near future. With a strong base in noise, ambient and computerized sound, he has found himself compared with the likes of the Janus folks out of Berlin, Total Freedom and his compatriots in Los Angeles and Virignia’s E+E. It was an obvious decision for us to reach out to Sharp Veins for our second release, Heterotopia Remixes Vol. 1, and his remix of Iglooghost’s “Wood Farm” has had us jumping out of seats for weeks. Ratcheting down the tempo for the remix (as he’s wont to do), SV’s take on “Wood Farm” begins as a lo-fi techno stomper, enveloped in rings of feedback and ambient noise that would make William Basinski proud. Halfway through, the remix disintegrates into almost nothingness before emerging into a neck snapping half-step composition, the cacophonous noise falling away to reveal a Clams Casino-esque crescendo. At over seven minutes, the remix might come across as presumptuous at first, but it’s strength comes in its ability to confound, surprise and engage. Sharp Veins’ remix of “Wood Farm” will be out next Tuesday (February 3) on Heterotopia Remixes Vol. 1. Watch this space for more information on the release and be sure to grab Fraxinus’ remix of Kid Antoine’s “Nightvsion” over at Mixmag.
Release day is always a bit bittersweet, because, despite all the dithering and busy work that goes into releasing music, it means that the process is almost over. That being said, Heterotopia has been a passion project of ours for quite some time now and it’s with great, treacly pleasure that we finally get to unleash it on all of you. Heterotopia is inspired by Michel Foucault’s essay of the same, but not to the extent that the compilation is imprisoned within the French philosopher’s admittedly problematic framework. The tape is positioned to guide the listener into an alternate reality, not in the science fiction sense, but in the liminal, distinctly body-oriented manner of the club-verse. It was our intention to gather a group of transcendent, progressive musicians and the artists who participated in the project took the conceptual framework to heart and drafted 12 polyglot heat rocks that have continued to defy our expectations on nearly every listen. This sort of language is hyperbolic, but for those of us who take pleasure in the expectation, aftermath and release of the club context, this topic truly is important. Heterotopia is a free release, but if you do happen to have a few spare dollars to spend on otherworldly club constructions in your monthly budget, it would always be appreciated. And while this is release day, Heterotopia will continue as a project of ours in the coming weeks and months. Expect more soon on that front and enjoy.
There are also, probably in every culture, in every civilization, real places–places that do exist and that are formed in the very founding of society–which are something like counter-sites, a kind of effectively enacted utopia in which the real sites, all the other real sites that can be found within the culture, are simultaneously represented, contested, and inverted.
– Michel Foucault
You’ve already heard two songs from Heterotopia and with the tape set to hit the web tomorrow, it’s time to give a little love to the full experience. Watch this space and this space tomorrow and enjoy. Huge shout to Arkitect, Kid Antoine, Jacques Gaspard Biberkopf, Air Max ’97, Victoria Kim, Imaabs, Rushmore, Divoli S’vere, Mike G, Celestial Trax, Riley Lake and Iglooghost for turning in exceptionally creative tracks. And Jesse Treece for fashioning the poignant visual side of Heterotopia. Made this process far easier than it should have been.
In the general sphere of “beat” music, the instrumental hip hop sound both directly and obliquely centered around Los Angeles’ Low End Theory club night, it’s an incredibly difficult task to differentiate oneself from the competition. While the club night has diversified and expanded (by leaps and bounds) since its inception in 2006, there’s a resounding sense that much of its original sonic make-up has become staid and predictable. With the exception of several recent projects, notably Teebs’ E S T A R A, it’s rather difficult to find producers invested in pushing the boundaries of experimental music. Which is exactly where the United Kingdom-based Iglooghost enters the picture. Encompassing both the direct and oblique connections to Low End Theory, the teenage producer is presently working on an LP with Hellfyre Club member-cum-laude Milo, the obvious connection. Iglooghost also represents an ever-growing camp of international producers adapting, expanding upon and sometimes aping the sounds of Los Angeles.
In January, Error Broadcast released Iglooghost’s first official EP, Treetunnels, an effort that saw him adding R&B flavor and vocals to his jazz-inflected productions. With productions under his belt for the aforementioned Milo and Kool A.D., he has also made strides into the hip hop world, resulting in collaborations that belie the oceanic distance between rapper and beatsmith. Outside of his work with rappers, he brings an expansive take on hip hop to the table, showcasing an impressive comprehension of sound design and composition. Iglooghost’s Astral Plane mix features a mature sound that starts with drum and bass and quickly dissolves into immersive ambient space. We first listened to the mix after a weekend at Death Valley and were quickly enveloped in a semi-coherent haze by 32 minutes of richly melodic, deeply rewarding beat work. The track list might not be immediately familiar, but rinse yourself in the mix and it will take you away.
Iglooghost has been making quite a bit of noise in 2013 with a number of Brainfeeder-esque edits and originals. With a preternatural work ethic and a long list of influences (check out his Hyponik guest mix), the Irish teenager offers a refreshing take on the sometimes stale instrumental hip hop format. In January, he will release the Treetunnels EP/album on Error Broadcast (think Shlohmo, Pixelord), a 17-track opus that should elevate him into the public consciousness. “Teatunnels” is our first taste of the release, a Jitwam-assisted vocal cut that sounds something like a more clairvoyant Lapalux. Treetunnels will feature several Astral Plane faves so keep a lookout for new tracks!