Summertime is not complete unless there is a soothing soundtrack to accompany the warm nights and long road trips. For the 32nd FIBER podcast we have asked Al Blayney to provide us with a mix to go with the flush of summer. As he just returned from a three week honeymoon, you can expect a mix radiating with love.
Upon his return, Al directly dove into his east London basement record room and recorded this mix, while enjoying a couple of beers and playing his vinyls through his Adam A7 Monitors & Martion Bullfrogs. “As with all my mixes I try to record something that won’t decay with time or with repeat listening. The flow of the mix is hugely important. I try to set a certain mood and atmosphere from the start. For my online mixes I like to blend records for longer periods of time making use of my lovely monitors & speakers to guide me”.
Al Blayney is known as the main guy behind the Appian Sounds label. “Appian came about while I was involved as part owner with another label, but didn’t quite have enough say in the A&R. My tastes have many influences and I really wanted freedom to explore them further as I saw fit”.
Early influences on Al’s path are The Prodigy, Depeche Mode, INXS, The Orb, Underworld & LFO. In the 90’s he started to go out to clubs in Ireland. “I listened to a lot of Techno – Jeff Mills, DJ Bone, Claude Young, Cajmere, Kevin Saunderson. D1 Records run by Eamonn Doyle was one of the cornerstones of my Techno education. I was always drawn to the deeper sounds too through Fish Go Deep, Kerri Chandler, Masters at Work & Blaze. I had and have a strong connection to minimal through Perlon, Baby Ford, Dan Bell, Plastikman & Ricardo Villalobos. The KLF shaped my interest in Ambient and Experimental & Chill-Out. One other important influence is my annual trip to Freerotation (if i’m lucky enough to get a ticket!) – the artists at FreeRo blow my mind and educate me. These days all the Appian artists inspire me and I feel privileged to be able to help release their music on wax”.
Another important element of the Appian releases is the artwork by Philip Mitton. “For me it really adds another dimension to the art form. The limited print run allows him to experiment with materials and processes which allows us to be more flexible than most other labels. When I buy records I love hand-numbered records.. that’s just me. The hand-numbering process is a massive pain though” : )
For this podcast Al provided us with a fresh image taken during his honeymoon on Polynesia. The depicted tropical fruit is just like the label. “Appian will continue to grow organically with little press, hype & promotion.. the people who will dig it, will find it”.