If you're at all interested in contemporary ambient, then you'll probably be familiar with Air Texture. Since 2011, the New York label have been responsible for five sprawling 2xCD compilations, where each disc is compiled by a different artist (the likes of Loscil, Steve Hauschildt and Juju & Jordash have already taken part). The music selected is of a uniformly high quality, and encompasses a broad span of ambient, drone and experimental electronica. Put simply, they're as near as it gets to essential listening.
Titled 'FOR BEAUTY/ ON LOSS', today's very special mix has been put together for us by label founder James Healy. Taking in artists as varied as David Toop, Fred P and Ikonika, it's a fascinating listen. Dive in below and read our Q&A with Healy:
Please introduce yourself… Who are you, where are you and what are you?
My name is James Healy from Air Texture, I’m at the beach at my family’s home in Del Mar, California for a moment.
What does your music sound like?
I make and DJ music themed around layered techno, juke, and ambient - stories from the future - on the fringes of chill and abstract dance.
Tell us about the Monday mixtape you’ve put together for us.
AIR TEXTURE: FOR BEAUTY/ ON LOSS – RANSOM NOTE MIX
I recently went through a very difficult time in my life, closing doors, saying goodbye to a loved one, a permanent injury, questioning motive, and leaving New York City where I spent the last 15 years of my life.
Once again music came to guide me, help me, and bring that perfect state of melancholy and hope / nostalgia and future / the helping hands of invisible friends… that push pull distill creating nowness - a pointillist gut check on life’s challenges.
When I make a mixtape I like to learn about the selected artists, look at photos, listen to their mixes, write them, and read articles... imagine what it would be like to be up all night at an afterparty with them in Lisbon, Kiev, or Tallinn - form an imaginary narrative or kinship which adds another layer. Travelling without moving.
If it were to be drawn what would it look like?
What would be the ideal setting to listen to the mix?
Headphones on a train with Bronski Beat in the Smalltown Boy video leaving home forever, or a sunrise set for about 20 people on a gothic quarter roof in anywhere, worldwide.
Where was it recorded?
I started sorting out the pieces at the Ghost Producer’s studio in Bed-Stuy last month. Ghost Producer is the founder of the Underground Producers Alliance in Brooklyn. I then played and recorded the set twice, first at the record release party for my label Air Texture at Rs94109 then at the anniversary party for Vinyl Dreams - Mike Bee’s legendary record shop both in San Francisco. I went with the Vinyl Dreams session.
Who got you hooked on electronic music?
LTJ Bukem and Computer Integrated Audio, working at Tommy Boy Music on 808 State releases and with Kim Cascone at Silent Records. Broken Beat with Noah and Felix (RIP) with Earthproject London and Westbury Music. New York confidants DJ Olive, Lloop, and Once11 from We™, Cassien and Del Mar from Shaolin First and Liquid Sky, John and Swingsett from Esho, Bryan from The Bunker, and Alex from Queens, the dark prince of Capriccio.
What were the first and last records you bought?
First: Missing Persons “Spring Session M” (Capitol Records) 1982
Last: N1L “Ikea Zen EP” (UIQ) 2017
What are you obsessed with at the moment?
Brutalism and Generative Art. And starting my new label and art editions project: Machine Learning Editions.