DIMENSION A1 | London | James Murray | Self-taught composer, producer and multi-instrumentalist Murray has over the last decade worked with pioneering labels in the UK, Europe, the US and Japan. He founded Slowcraft Records to release the critically acclaimed Floods (2012) and The Land Bridge (2013).
Always Summer Somewhere
Earlier in the year I stayed at a log cabin in the Black Mountains. Songbirds swarmed the surrounding trees from dusk until dawn, chattering in the first full flush of spring. A small stream flowed past the little wooden porch, green tangles erupted all around and the broad landscape of mountain and sky changed its mood moment by moment, caught up in the wild, uncertainty of the start of the warm season. It was thrilling, refreshing and calming all at once. I took a series of sound recordings.
When I was invited to compile for the Dimension series I knew I wanted to put together a fresh and compelling mix, something that showcases some of the very best ambient and experimental music of the moment. I was also keen to avoid championing only the new at the expense of older music, and soon realised also that my selections deserved a good deal of room to breathe and exist in their own right, as well as the opportunity to display their sympathies to one another. There’s always a balance to be struck.
Though the tracks included in this mix come from different parts of the world, from composers with different backgrounds and agenda, they all remind me in some way of the raw peacefulness of my time in the Black Mountains. They all have in them something of that natural balance of order and disorder, that sense of cusping, of one thing becoming another, of ending and renewal. It felt right to bed them in the field recordings from that place and time, as a quiet acknowledgement that our lives’ peaks and troughs are all echoed in the natural world whether we chose to see it or not. So here it is: my celebration of the leaving and returning of the birds, the turning of the seasons, the exquisite singularity of being – in one place at one time – and the comfort that comes from realising we all share in this uniqueness together. It’s always summer somewhere.
Flown – Julianna Barwick
Coil Tapes (Pre-Type Mix) – Aki Sallas, Sif Sandersen, Ian Hawgood
The End of Everything [ii] – Antonymes
Winter – Porya Hatami
Sacred Micology – The Ashes of Piedmonte
Stokkseyri – Jonsi & Alex
Fujisan – Clem Leek
Such Owls As You – Brambles
Frozen Fountain – Ryuichi Sakamoto + Taylor Deupree
Less – Nils Frahm
Swift Returns – James Murray