Secret Selector Selections #15: Hiatus

Secret Selector Selections goes international!

UK producer Hiatus is one of my favourite discoveries of 2011.

I was put on to his "post dubstep/jungle meets neo-classical film music with a somewhat oldschool Moby'ish chill vibe and Indian samples" style by the nice guys over at canyouhearthis. I fell in love with his track Nobody and immediately ordered two copies of his self released CD Ghost Notes.

I don't even use CD, nor did I have anyone in particular in mind to give the second copy! I just really thought it was worth having a spare - just in case.

Nice guy as he is, Mr. Hiatus sent me a mail to make sure the double order wasn't a mistake. We've been in touch since then, sending each other tracks and all that. Recently, I featured a couple of his "Music for A Film" tunes on my cinematic soundscapes mix.

Needless to say, I was quite keen to hear some of Hiatus' own favourites!

 

The Flashbulb: Undiscovered Colours


I was put on to this tune by Max Cooper, who recently remixed a track of mine called Third.

Max is an astonishingly talented techno and electronica producer by trade, but he also has a huge affection for modern classical music, and this track perfectly fuses the two.

The strings-driven midsection is among the most emotive pieces of electronic music I’ve heard, and like all great tunes of the genre – Dayvan Cowboy by Boards Of Canada, for example, or Useless Information by Apparat – it manages to straddle a psychedelic ley line separating euphoria from melancholy, and seems to hint at the existence of another world behind the one we see with our eyes.

Synkro & Indigo: Guidance


I spent my teenage years and early 20s DJing DnB, and while I still enjoy dropping heavyweight bass records with likeminded friends at increasingly infrequent house parties, the 170bpm tracks that really do it for me these days are stripped back numbers like this tune from prodigal future garage producer Synkro and Mindset Records boss Indigo.

Its mix of cinematic pads, sparse drum patterns and haunting vocal samples spins me right back to the first time I heard Goldie’s Sea Of Tears as a school kid – a moment that it’s fair to say changed my life.

As far as 8am comedown tunes go, I’ve not heard much to match this in recent years, and I’ve yet to meet anyone who doesn’t fall immediately under its spell.

 

Burial’s Forgive vs Brian Eno’s An Ending


Bit of a cheat this – partly because it’s two tunes, partly because I’m the one mixing them together – but for me this is one of those jaw-dropping musical marriages that you stumble upon by accident and then spend the rest of your life replicating.

These are two of my favourite tracks of all time: Forgive is about the most moving piece of electronic music I’ve ever heard, and for years I considered having An Ending at my funeral (until I found out how many people already had).

It’s one of those mixes you can loop endlessly, as the tracks merge seamlessly in terms of tone and timing – I later learned that Burial actually sampled An Ending on Forgive, which explains a lot. Incidentally, the picture on YouTube is possibly my favourite shot ever by my close friend and Hiatus sleeve designer Spencer Murphy.

 

The Bad Plus: Flim (Aphex Twin Cover)


The Bad Plus are an American jazz trio famous for their unusual covers, and they don’t get much more unusual than this rework of Aphex Twin’s Flim, originally released on 1997’s Come To Daddy EP.

I first came across Aphex in the early 90s after picking up his Selected Ambient Works 85-92 on CD, and I’ve been obsessing over his stuff ever since – listen to mastery of his art, the diversity of his style and the breadth of his output over the decades, and it’s not hard to see why people flippantly refer to him as the Mozart of electronic music.

The original Flim was always one of my favourites, and this version is a fitting and faithful tribute – one of few occasions where I feel a live act has done justice to an electronic classic.

One other, incidentally, is James Devane’s acoustic guitar version of Rhubarb, another Aphex Twin original that I occasionally listen to on repeat for hours on end.

 

Kuedo: Whisper Fate


This is my favourite track from Severant, the debut album by Kuedo – a former partner in dubstep duo Vex’d who moved to Berlin in 2008 and started making electronic music with heavy 80s synth influences.

The album received rave reviews across both the mainstream and specialist music press, most of which referenced Vangelis and the Blade Runner soundtrack, and carelessly bandied the word ‘nostalgia’ about.

I was lucky enough to speak to the man himself for a Stool Pigeon interview, and he spoke eloquently about how he wasn’t nostalgic for the 80s or even early synth music so much as the sense of hope that characterised the era.

“People were so excited by the idea of computers back then,” he said, “whereas now they’re these mundane objects — with familiarity, they were always going to be. But we can still look at things afresh and get excited all over again.”

Listen to Severant from start to finish, and it’s hard not to find yourself agreeing with him.


Like these selections? Check out Hiatus' own music, listen to my Cinematic Soundscapes mix or get down with some more secret selections!