The Idea for this Forecast came about after one of my periodic listens to Robert Henke's album, 'Signal to Noise'. This album is one of those I find myself always coming back to, where listening to it has become almost a ritual - in the same way that some people have a particular novel they read once a year. This got me thinking about what other albums I had this similar relationship with; music that I periodically set aside time and space to listen to. After a few days of delving through my collection I found myself drawn to several albums from the late 1990s and early 2000s; music that, like the Henke album, I didn't necessarily listen to frequently, but which had left a lasting impression on me from the day I first heard them.
Most of the tracks are from Germany (some from Cologne, a couple from Berlin), were recorded between 1999 and 2003 (some a little later) and would probably fit into a category that later become known as 'micro sound'. What strikes me about the mix I've assembled is how engaging and forward thinking the music still sounds, despite many of the tracks being around ten years old. In fact, it seems like a precursor to much of the more interesting music being recorded now. I lived in Cologne during this period and nearly all of this music I discovered whilst there. Once my German friends found out what I liked listening to they took me to the A-Musik shop where I was introduced first hand to labels such as A-Musik, Kompakt and Sonig.
Before Cologne i lived in Sheffield, the home of Warp Records and a city with a great musical heritage - electronic music in particular. Warp releases dominated my listening throughout the nineties, and looking back now I can see how the golden age of the label (Aphex Twin, Autechre, Black Dog, Boards of Canada) had come to and end, and just as it did, I moved to a city where, for me, the next phase of forward thinking music was being made.
This mix is a personal reflection on my time spent in Germany and the music I discovered there. As for my contribution to the mix, which is part of the Forecast criteria, I have included a new, exclusive piece of my own, something I wrote in response to the music itself along with reflections on my time in Cologne.
— Words by Phil Tomsett (The Inventors Of Aircraft)