Peter Kersten has always made electronic music that moves at its own pace. As the head of Dial and its sister label Laid, the Hamburg resident has overseen a steady stream of uniquely thoughtful constructions for nearly 12 years under his Lawrence and Sten aliases. Patient listeners have been continually rewarded by the German’s easy charm and deft command of texture and space, across eight albums and countless EP’s and singles. His latest full length work arrives on his friend Toshiya Kawasaki’s Mule Musiq, an imprint that has served up an impressive run of masterpieces over the years; from DJ Sprinkles’ peerless ‘Midtown 120 Blues’ to a slew of singles from revered Deep House explorer Kuniyuki Takahashi. Entitled ‘A Day In The Life’, the record is said to be made to commemorate a decade of friendship between Kersten, Kawasaki and Stefan Marx – who’s sleeve artwork adorns this record as well as every release on the venerated Smallville label. A nigh on beatless affair that temptingly invites classification as an ‘ambient’ record, it packs enough variation and imagination to sound worlds away from the flaccid complacency of that genre.
Here on YouTube Sessions duty, Kersten invites us into his sonic headspace, with a selection that encompasses the expected (Boards of Canada, Aphex Twin), to the surprising (eccentric New York city composer Moondog) and the illuminating (Popol Vuh’s brilliant score for Werner Herzog’s documentary, ‘Die Gosse Ekstase des Holzschnitzers Steiner’)…
I could listen to this beautiful piece of music all the time. My friend and label boss Toshiya Kawasaki recently released a full album by Roedelius on Mule Musiq. Toshiya is one of the greatest Ambient lovers- my new album ‘A Day In The Life’ is dedicated to him!
Harold Budd and Brian Eno – ‘Not Yet Remembered’
This used to be Avantgarde, but I would rather call ‘Not Yet Remembered’ a great Pop song! Brian Eno is the godfather of Ambient Music- besides ‘Music For Films’ this collaboration with Harold Budd ‘The Plateaux of Mirror ‘ is my favorite.
Steve Reich – ‘Music for Mallet Instruments, Voices & Organ’
Steve Reich is the main protagonist of the Minimal Music genre. I actually fell asleep a hundred times to his music- which is the greatest way to enter the world of dreaming.
Terry Riley & Don Cherry – ‘Descending Moonshine Dervishes’
This is an extraordinary piece of music – a live session from 1975. The great trumpet player Don Cherry jams over Terry Riley’s organ meditation.
Moondog – ‘Viking1’
The New York street musician Moondog is one of my main influences ever. He created a whole universe of unbelievable wonderful music. Known for his early works, his last album ‘Elpmas’ should be recommended aswell.
Ellen Fullman: Duration
Ellen Fullman began in 1981 to develope the Long String Instrument, which offers a high amount of overtones. In 2004 she released the album ‘Ort’, a collaboration with Jörg Hiller on one of my very favorite record labels Choose.
Aphex Twin – Tha
Released on his ‘Ambient Works’ Compilation, ‘Tha’ is one of my favorite Techno tracks ever.
Natalie Beridze [TBA] – ‘Wind’
I love this song by Natalie Beridze, the whole album is fantastic! An amazing artist from Georgia and a big influence.
Boards Of Canada – Everything You Do is a Balloon
This outstanding video is sampled from a bicycle safety movie from 1963. And the song is one of the true masterpieces by Boards Of Canada.
Koss – Ancient Train
Wonderful Music and a wonderful guy! Koss aka Kuniyuki Takahashi is a truely great musician and also responsible for the mastering of my upcoming album on Mule Musiq.
Popol Vuh – ‘Die Gosse Ekstase des Holzschnitzers Steiner’
My favorite short film documentary by Werner Herzog, I’ve watched this countless times. The Soundtrack by Popol Vuh matches the slowmotion pictures of the ski flyers perfectly.
‘A Day In The Life’ is out now on Mule Musiq. You can buy it here.