As co-founder of spatial audio platform Envelop, pioneering producer and electronic musician Christopher Willits navigates the new universe of three dimensional music composition. The technology positions sound around the listener—full spatial orientation—whether inside an Envelop space or at home with ordinary headphones. A logical step for an artist whose output, spanning over 25 releases, has inched increasingly towards rich, immersive audiovisual experiences. His new project, Horizon, culminates a career-long journey for space, physicality, and serenity in music. Fitting, a decade after Willits marked Ghostly International’s first ever exclusively digital full-length, that he brings the label its first spatial audio album.
Willits began to share his diverse vision of ambient music in the early 2000s, releasing a string of critically acclaimed albums on the 12k label. The minimal sound introduced on those recordings remains at the core of his work: warm guitar tones woven into smooth, harmonic surfaces. Willits would expand the spectrum of his catalog next through collaboration, working with Ryuichi Sakamoto, Zach Hill (Death Grips), Taylor Deupree, and, for 2014 LP Opening, the whole band of Tycho.
In the period since Opening, Willits and friends successfully crowdfunded Envelop, allowing further development of its open source software, which integrates with production tools like Ableton Live as well as virtual reality platforms, and its 3D sound space locations for performance, research, workshops, and other non-profit projects. He also composed the original score for documentary The Art of Listening, and continues to lead music production and meditation classes in San Francisco.
Both Willits’ teachings and his mission with Envelop inform the deep ambient terrain of Horizon. Spanning one hour and thirty minutes, the album surrenders to the sentient fabric of time and space, and by design, aligns with sleep patterns, meditation, and other mindful practices. This is slow music, mapped to surround listeners whether in states heightened or muted. Space, literally and figuratively, to reflect in.
The innovative 3D mix is evident within the first sweeping, spherical pan of “Comet” (access to Envelop’s software or spaces not required). As one orbits, on occasion the panoramic view touches down to the surface by way of ambisonic field recordings, like the Peruvian Amazon at night on “Return” and the Hawaiian ocean waves of “Waipio.”
This weightless motion—shifting between gaseous and textural, macro and micro—offers a unique and transcendent proprioceptive experience. Listeners are ushered through atmospheres with indeterminate length, breadth and depth. It is as if we are at once above, below, within, and alongside the skylines of sound.
Floating Points gets properly psychedelic in the Mojave Desert with his bandmates, trying out a new song on-site.
Floating Points’ forthcoming short film and soundtrack – ‘Reflections – Mojave Desert’ finds Sam Shepherd and the Floating Points band in a thrilling sonic exploration of the environment under an endless desert sky. This video ‘Silurian Blue’ is the first full release from the project. ‘Reflections’ will be released on June 30.
Wonderful new single from Octo Octa, reminds me of an ambient song but I can’t put my finger on it. Either way I thought all of you would enjoy the gliding journey.
“Please enjoy the title track of Octo Octa’s new single on Argot, “New Paths“. “I believe this was the last music I finished before [coming out],” Maya shares, “So it has a special place in my heart.””
Just finished this poster for the upcoming spring Tycho tour, will post again when it’s available on the shop but will also have prints at the shows. Been extremely busy with music over the past year so haven’t had a ton of time for visual work, been nice to get back into it.
Tickets and info http://tychomusic.com/#tour
Also announcing our support as well and look forward to having Beacon, Khruangbin, Nitemoves and Heathered Pearls along the tour. Excited to get back out on the road, see you all soon!
TYCHO SPRING 2017
04 13 – Fresno, CA – Tower Theatre
04 15 – Indio, CA – Coachella – SOLD OUT
04 22 – Indio, CA – Coachella – SOLD OUT
04 25 – Denver, CO – The Fillmore *
04 27 – St Paul, MN – Palace Theatre *
04 28 – Chicago, IL – Riviera Theatre *
04 29 – Toronto, ON – Massey Hall *
04 30 – Montreal, QC – Metropolis *
05 01 – Boston, MA – House of Blues *
05 03 – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Steel – SOLD OUT %
05 04 – Brooklyn, NY – Brooklyn Steel $
05 05 – Philadelphia, PA – Electric Factory $
05 06 – Pittsburgh, PA – Stage AE $
05 07 – Washington DC – Echostage !
05 09 – Nashville TN – Marathon Music Works $
05 11 – Houston, TX – White Oak Music Hall $
05 12 – Austin, TX – Stubbs $
05 14 – Mayer, AZ – Form Arcosanti
Been on a Yves Tumor kick the last few days, been waiting for Scott to send over some hi-res version of some photos he took recently, really want to share them you guys. PUT. THESE. ON. LOOP. Then get comfortable.
The veterans always have the gem tracks, The Beat Broker delivers every time.
Tracklist: Jex Opolis Presents: In The Nite “Guitar Sands” Pete Herbert and Martin Denev “Batu Karang” (Joe Morris Balearic Shades Remix) Chord Memory Band “Donostia” Coyote “Engineered Garments” Daniel T “Fahrenheit” Da Chick “Chick-A-Boom” (Pete Herbert Piano Dub) Dark Punk Hippies “Funky Universe” (Aimes Remix) Holm CPU “Fotspor” (Todd Terje Disco Dub) Dave Allison “Cocktail Blue” (Heion Remix) Psycho Radio vs LC Anderson “Bad Reputation” (Daniele Baldelli & MarcoDionigi Funkadiba) Das Komplex “Tonight, Good Night” Ryan R “Umqondo” Marvin & Guy “Dancity” (Eddie C Remix) Komodo “Magic Hour” (The Backwoods Oriental Dub) Dan Lissvik “D”