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Good morning, and welcome to the quietest week of the year. Did you have a good holiday? I’m finalising my Best of the Year selections as we speak – I’ve got a few more minor tweaks to make, but otherwise, they’re ready! A quick reminder that I’ll begin publishing individual lists, one per day, starting January 2024! But before I sign off for the year, I think I’ve got a few more gems to share with you. One of them is this wonderful label showcase and a reflection on this past year from a lovely independent Valencia-based imprint, Archives, curated and operated by Agustín Mena, aka Warmth. I’ve profiled plenty of its releases since its inception in 2015, and I must admit that Warmth’s Parallel (2018) has been on repeat more than others. If anything, it is only rivalled by Glow, which is his collaboration with Fionnlagh, recently released on December 8th, 2023 (you’ll hear a few tracks on this mix). In any case, enjoy the mix, and please support the featured artists as I hand it over to Agustín, who has a pretty lengthy write-up about this retrospective (see below the tracklisting). Enjoy! Oh, and if you want this mix in lossless format, you can head over to the Archives’ Bandcamp and purchase it at “name your price“!
- Fionnlagh & WarmthWhere Shadows Cross
- David Cordero & WarmthUtqiaġvik
- David CorderoSunrise
- Dynastor & InnestiThe Corners of Your Voice
- FionnlaghTo Start Again
- Logic moonMoonchild
- David CorderoPlace of Silent
- Human is Alive & WarmthLoss
- Misleading StructuresLost Expedition Prints
- Dynastor & InnestiBlurred Forms
- Logic MoonStar Storm
- Misleading StructuresPlateau Burial
- Fionnlagh & WarmthShimmer
- Human is Alive & WarmthWetlands
- AnthéneFarthest Spaces
The following are words by Agustín Mena
This year the label hasn’t had as many releases as other years and I have had more time to work on my own music, so I released ‘Collider’ at the beginning of the year, which went in a very different direction than my last works and was great for me to reorganize ideas. There were works by some friends like David Cordero with a very beautiful album full of crystalline sounds. The first collaboration between Innesti and Dynastor, I was very impressed the first time I heard it, it is a very ethereal and dramatic album at the same time.
We also had the third Misleading Structures album on Archives and it was just something on another level, it’s just unique creating expectation and tension in their pieces. Fionnlagh’s first album on the label is an intricate mix of retro sounds, darkness, noise and distortion that surprisingly retains a sense of melody. He is really doing his own thing. I remember listening to what would be anthéne’s second album on the label and immediately thinking that it was the most beautiful thing I had ever heard, just the same thing that happened to me when he sent me the first one. He has an incredible ability to connect with emotions, mine for sure.
I was also lucky to have Logic Moon on the label, he has been present on Archives since the beginning and I have always admired his music. He has this very cinematic and mystical aesthetic. There were also several collaborations of mine with other artists. The first with David Cordero. That was very interesting because we have very different ways of working, he now works more with modulars and I think we both tried to find a slightly different sound than usual. With Human Is Alive everything was very easy, we both move in a similar type of sound. He is a very kind and talented guy and the workflow was very smooth, I think that is something that is reflected in the album and the most recent was with Fionnlagh, it was also a very fluid collaboration around more or less dark and exploratory sounds.
I also released recently another solo album ‘Mourning Ghost’, which is more in line with previous works with a more dramatic and darker sound. Many people tell me that they like it better when I make lighter music but the truth is that I am very happy with the album, it is what I really feel and I want to do, in fact I made two albums in a row with a very similar aesthetic, the next one will see the light in a few months.
— Agustín Mena