Sharp FM 008: Ian Kim Judd for Greenstone

Ian Kim Judd’s long-running NTS show Fifth World is a far-out flight into the world of ambient music, serving as a monthly beacon of genuine optimism and ultimate freshness. We asked him to make the first in a new meditative sub-series for Sharp FM, with a cover and tracklist designed by the inimitable artist LaurelSchwulst which highlight’s Connor Davenport’s Greenstone.

"This is a collection of early morning, mid day, late night room-filling music with you, the listener, in mind," says Ian. "It was inspired by a sunset and sunrise that I caught within the same day."


The soft golden light of this mix is given synesthetic sight by Laurel's "Energy Spheres," a forthcoming visualizer that encourages the user to reflect on the energy latent within and around you by making radial gradient portraits. "The process of creating the spheres is very meditative," says Laurel. "I've been using them to create avatars/memorable contact images for my friends. I tried making them while listening to Ian's mix, and it felt very good."

Laurel honed in on Greenstone as the main font for this project. Connor's typeface, a digital homage to Ogg's vernacular lettering through the lens of American and British stone carving, is fundamentally about communication. The connection between these sources recalls the intercultural dialogue between the American and British type design studios during the late 19th through early 20th centuries. It’s an unexpected, yet perfect expression of Gemini energy. Greenstone's large, flaring capitals and delicate, expansive serifs suggest the sharp cuts of engraved letterforms, which are beautifully contrasted by Laurel's soft spherical gradients.

Greenstone by Connor Davenport
Ian Kim Judd
Selections by Ian Kim Judd
laurel-schwulst-photo-by-jason-fulford (1).jpeg
Visuals by Laurel Schwulst

Sharp FM 009 closes with "Loch Raven," arriving as both a surprise and a natural conclusion. It's a song that makes us nostalgic for the 2000's -- so much pop culture is doing that these days -- and in this context, it also sounds renewed. It's fun to imagine how this song might hit for our listeners, whether this is the first time you're hearing Animal Collective or whether you're hearing them again for the first time after almost two decades. May is the six-month mark of the year, and this seems like an apt moment for circuitous, curious contemplation (with a new song) or conversation (with a past self).

With its trebly sine wave and vocal interplay, this downtempo gem completes a loop. If all mixes are love letters, what font is this one being typed with? What does the handwriting look like? Ian's choice for "last song" perfectly encapsulates the buzzing, playful qualities of this Gemini season, and whether your response is to make a mix of your own, or to simply let the mix play again and restart the circle, we hope its ambient qualities give meditative space. Many hands and many voices went into producing this hour of music, and the hope is that the closing airborne minutes of "Loch Raven", with its chiming drone and ''ooh ooh' refrain in soft dialogue, inspire other forms of creative murmuration.


This Korean proverb speaks to communion, materiality, and team work. We've adapted this quote from a forthcoming hour-long video made by Laurel, which uses Ian's mix as the soundtrack. There's much to be gained in translation here, and we've paired Carta Nueva and Sharp Grotesk Hangul to visualize this dialogue. Thank you to Chino Kim for the translation.


perila - memory latency

DM_ds - 01 00.34002_1

bela - Was It You?

Doon Kanda - Dragonflies

santebela - silver trickle

Jeffrey Cantu-Ledesma - Shame

K. Freund - Nothing, I’m Just Listening To The Moon

The Remote Viewer - Listening To Ballad Of The Band

Roger Robinson - Summer

Lauren Duffus - Permanence

DETENTE - Closer To You (Ange Halliwell Version)

tumy - New Moon

Dane Law - Cope

rec___ - I need you to be honest

Animal Collective - Loch Raven