Thursday, 03 July
Ryuichi Sakamoto's '1996' album (from the same year) remastered and including a bonus track, 'Self Portrait'. "The album 1996 contains 12 pieces arranged for violin (Everton Nelson, David Nadien, or Barry Finclair), cello (Jaques Morelenbaum), and piano (Ryuichi Sakamoto), including both new compositions and music used in the soundtracks to The Last Emperor, Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence, The Sheltering Sky, and High Heels. The music is for the most part restrained and reflective, as Sakamoto makes use of the contrasting timbres of the chamber instrumentation, mixing melodic and rhythmic effects … Read more
Thursday, 26 June
In 'Saman' celebrated cellist Hildur Gudnadóttir returns to Touch with the dramatic follow-up to 'Leyfðu Ljósinu' (2012). The album's title, meaning "Together", symbolises the connection of Hildur's two primary instruments, her voice and cello, and the way they complement, contrast and mirror each other. The results are engrossing, a solemnly beautiful, at times heart-breaking suite of richly resonant cello and poised, pensile vocals including a gorgeous reprise of Icelandic hymn 'Heyr Himnasmiður', plus the plaintive beauty of 'Heima' featuring regular collaborator an renowned bassist Skúli… Read more
Thursday, 19 June
**Jacaszek's debut album composition for Touch, performed by Kwartludium** "For the past decade or so, Polish musician Michal Jacaszek has been exploring a new, resolutely modern chapter in Eastern Europe’s long, storied love affair with classical music. His creations are painstakingly crafted collages of electronic textures and baroque instrumentation, harpsichords being swarmed by woolly static one minute and pulled apart by billowing wind the next. A push-and-pull tension runs deep and constant throughout. Ambient music is rarely so sonically challenging. Jacaszek has reco… Read more
Thursday, 12 June
*Regular Digipak Edition, includes an instant download for the whole album plus 4 bonus remixes from Cotton Goods head honcho The Humble Bee* This collaboration between Bill Seaman and Daniel Howe came about after the pair exchanged ideas and recordings while both where travelling separately - in effect making for an album recorded between North Carolina, Seoul, Bremen, Frankfurt, Berlin, Hong Kong, Thailand, Mainland China and New York - covering a bit more than the "Minor Distances" referred to in the title. The recordings began life with Howe's improvised guitar recordings and Seaman's s… Read more
"Francesco Giomi is one of the most active Italian composers in the field of acousmatic music. Over the years, he has also collaborated as sound director and live performer with Luciano Berio and other important composers and directors, as well as Italian and international orchestras and ensembles. He has conducted the live electronics group Tempo Reale (the musical research center established by Berio) in theaters and festivals all over the world. He teaches Electronic Music at the Music Conservatory of Bologna and he is currently the director of Tempo Reale. This CD is the premiere publication of his acousmatc works, spanning from 1994 to 2011."
Thursday, 05 June
"Since their inception in 2012, Claire Brentnall and Richard Knox's project has evolved from solo endeavor to fully realised duo. Starting with last year’s single The Rule, Shield Patterns have shown a maturity and sophistication beyond their years. Spacious soundcapes are scattered with trembling piano phrases, skittering beats and waves of warm keys, all shaped into dark, menacing pop songs by Brentnall's bewitching vocals. Their two singles thus far have already caught the ear of alt-J and Dutch Uncles, both of whom have provided remixes of those singles. Now comes their debut album.… Read more
Thursday, 29 May
"Following their debut EP from last year Eyes in the Ground (Chapel Yard Records) Exotic Pylon presents Fluttercage, the debut album from Matt Bower and April Larson aka Isobel Ccircle. Matt Bower (The Revenant Sea, Wizards Tell Lies) whose influences run the gamut from the Radiophonic Workshop to Pan Sonic via Tom Waits is Yorkshire-based whilst April Larson keeps Snakes and self-releases oneironautic CDr’s from her native Louisiana. If you need to categorise Isobel Ccircle~ then you might find yourself referring to dark ambient or drone which is useful for a press release but otherwise hop… Read more
Thursday, 15 May
Dissonanzen, born in Naples in 1993, is one of the most reputed and internationally acclaimed Italian New Music ensembles. They always carried out an important work on the modern and contemporary repertoire, performing works by composers such as Berio, Cage, Crumb, Dallapiccola, Feldman, Henze, Ives, Kagel, Maderna, Petrassi, Rzewski, Scelsi and Stockhausen, to name a few. They regularly collaborate with many musicians, composers and artists within the framework of the concert series of the Associazione Dissonanzen. The recordings contained in this 5CD box set, curated by Ciro Longoba… Read more
"Conceived in Iceland, where work began on the album, and in Ushant Island, Brittany. The album was produced by Yann Tiersen and mixed by Gareth Jones with Yann Tiersen and Daniel Miller. For this album Tiersen has worked with native language speakers to include tracks sung and spoken in Breton (‘Ar Maen Bihan’), Faroese (‘Grønjørd’) and Icelandic (‘Steinn’). ‘Ar Maen Bihan’ is a story written by Emilie Quinquis in the Breton language, and was then translated by Amiina to Icelandic to create the track ‘Steinn’. Elsewhere on the album Aidan Moffat (Arab Strap) and Ólavur Jákupsson (a member of Ti… Read more
Thursday, 08 May
"London-based singer-songwriter Douglas Dare releases his debut album Whelm on Erased Tapes. With the piano at the core, Dare vocalises his short prose and poems to a backdrop of drums, electronics and brass. It was in November last year that the duo Douglas Dare and producer/percussionist Fabian Prynn decided to record an album, and by January they were listening to it. Finding themselves out of the home-studio for the first time, the pair recorded much of the album in Flood’s studio Assault & Battery in West London. Other touches were recorded back in Fabian’s home. With the comfort of familiar so… Read more
Thursday, 10 April
Superlative recording of Gavin Bryars performing his elegy for the Titanic accompanied by an ensemble including his four children on low strings and Philip Jeck playing improvised turntable, among others. Nearly 40 years old now, Bryar's signature and best known composition continues to undergo change and refinement in its partly pataphysical reflection of the tragedy, speculating further on the notion of Bandmaster Hartley's group performing 'Autumn' on the vertical deck of a slowly nose-diving ocean liner, and also below sea level, accompanied by the… Read more
Thursday, 03 April
"The third album from Canadian composer Christopher Bissonnette sees him expanding his palette by narrowing his sound sources to a self built analog synthesizer. Eschewing the whiplash and/or everything including the kitchen sink style of assembly so common among current analog aﬁcionados, Bissonnette instead applies his signature compositional style of using long held tones and sweeping drones that alternate between, and fuse, pure tonal transcendence and patient, sparkling melodies that slowly reveal themselves. "Essays in Idleness was born from a desire for a more tactile … Read more
"For "Yearling" ORCAS members Benoît Pioulard and Rafael Anton Irisarri (The Sight Below) teamed up with Martyn Heyne (of Efterklang) on guitar and piano, and Michael Lerner (Telekinesis) on drums to built upon the subdued ambience of their self-titled debut, adding a huge dose of analog warmth to their hazy pop leanings. Whereas many songs on ORCAS' first album were built from guitar improvisations and impromptu vocal sessions, most of "Yearling" was constructed from short pieces Pioulard wrote and developed while staying in Germany during the summer of 2012. Working together at Heyne's Lichte Studio i… Read more
**Historically important pieces documenting John Cage's early electronic and tape practice** "Although John Cage occasionally worked in large, sophisticated studios - for example, when he composed Fontana Mix in 1958 - his approach to electronic and tape music was often uncomplicated, makeshift, and pragmatic, employing simple tabletop devices: tape machines, phonograph cartridges, contact microphones, record players, portable radios, etc. He developed a soundworld that was utterly new, radical and demanding. It heralded the age of the loudspeaker, mas… Read more
Thursday, 27 March
**Sublime small-sound electronics and neo-classical minimalism** "Akari is the third album from Tokyo duo Illuha. Following 2011’s debut Shizuku (12k1067) and 2013’s Interstices (12k2028), Akari takes the next artistic step for the band. While Shizuku was recorded in the US and completed separately by the artists, Interstices captured the duo creating their exceptionally detailed music together live during a Japaneses tour. Akari, in turn, is the first studio album where Illuha recorded and mixed together, throughout the entire process. The beautiful st-robo studio in Tokyo put a collection of amazing equ… Read more
Thursday, 06 March
**Edition of 450** Andrea Belfi, BJ Nilsen, and Simon James Phillips' The Swifter trio follow their 2012 debut for The Tapeworm with this recording of a live performance at Teatro Maria Matos, Lisbon, 2nd February 2013, made by Pedro Alçada. Augmented by the floating organ shimmer of special guest David Maranha, they coax a slow-moving, gaseous atmosphere from piano, percussion and electronics, at once fluidly jazz-wise but also patiently precise. The results are quietly intoxicating, building steadily over 30 minutes duration to a lush and heady whorl of sound with each player neatly mixed to flesh out the frequency spectrum. RIYL Supersilent.
Thursday, 20 February
Thursday, 06 February
*New edition on Darla - including that incredible bonus disc of reworkings by Akira Rabelais* It's hard to over-estimate the contribution Harold Budd has made to modern music, his seemingly effortless take on minimalism and ambience imbuing this often academic genre with all the warmth and humility so often missing from the work of his contemporaries. Best known for his collaborations with Brian Eno and the Cocteau Twins' Robin Guthrie, Budd here delivers 14 immensely moving pieces, strewn with Piano cascades and panoramic soundscapes, drifting off into sublime, almost unbearable reflection. I… Read more
**Shipping for release date of Feb 11th, Edition of 500** "First presented as a durational audio-visual performance presented at Human Resources in Los Angeles (CA), Snowfall explores the hushed stillness and isolation sometimes experienced during a snowstorm. Presented over 6 hours, the audience was allowed to come and go as they please. This affords the viewer a more personal experience with the piece through the dispersion of the audience. Snowfall was constructed using photographs and field recordings collected at the Jentel Artist Residency outside Banner, WY in February 2010."
"Tomorrow We Sail is a group of seven musicians, based in Leeds, UK. Formed in 2009 they have spent the past four years developing their sound into what is now a vast landscape of billowing, reverb-soaked guitars, orchestral strings, piano, organ and multi-layered vocals. Folk, slowcore, neo-classicism, minimalism, ambience, and post-rock are all apparent in the vast and winding soundscapes Tomorrow We Sail create. The music is slow-burning, creeping quietly into consciousness, the sonic terrain covered ensures the listener is held through a constantly moving orchestrated cavern of sound, with earnest melodies and harmonies drifting and falling all around."
Thursday, 19 December
"Comprised of three balanced examples of his Continuous Music technique on solo piano, Three Solo Pieces serves as perhaps the best introduction the Ukrainian-Canadian composer Lubomyr Melnyk yet available. “Marginal Invitation” is a subdued work with a deeply rooted melodic sensibility that is rich in overtones, while “Corrosions on the Surface of Life” exhibits a dissonant fury of patterned note play. The final, side-length meditation “Cloud Passade No. 3” is a chordal work in free-time which functions equally well as furniture music and a meditative exploration of pure light. Three … Read more
Thursday, 05 December
"Anthology box set containing 7 hard-to-find and critically acclaimed albums, released on labels such as Cantil, Opal and All Saints. The box includes: ‘The Serpent (In Quicksilver)’ (1981), 'Abandoned Cities’ (1984), ‘The White Arcades’ (1987), ‘By The Dawn’s Early Light’ (1991), ‘Music For 3 Pianos’ (1992) ‘Through The Hill’ (1994, with Andy Partridge of XTC), ‘Luxa’ (1996). Also includes 76 page book compiling interviews and essays about Harold’s work from writers such as David Toop, Mark Prendergast and Mike Barnes."
Thursday, 21 November
**18-track, gatefold 2CD digipak including collaborations and work with Cocteau Twins and Robin Guthrie, John Foxx, and Brian Eno. Features sleevenotes by Mark Prendergast, author of The Ambient Century** "Emerging from the 60s US avant garde and originally influenced by the likes of John Cage and Morton Feldman, Harold Budd rebelled against the heavily conceptual works of his peers to explore his own artistic path of ‘existential prettiness’. This two disc set is the first ever career-spanning collection of his music, featuring tracks from classic albums such as ‘Plateaux O… Read more
Molly Berg and Stephen Vitiello reacquaint for a 2nd album of lower case electro-acoustic improvisations. Erring to the less sanitised side of the small sound/rustling ambient sectors, 'Between You And The Shapes You Take' manages to be intimate and quiet without being dull, using carefully calculated and subtle edits to juice the best from their extended gatherings - Molly performing with clarinet, slide whistles and extended vocal techniques, and Stephen on guitar and electronics, plus some violin by Hahn Rowe (fka Hugo Largo).
**New York's 12k present an expanded reissue of Gareth Dickson's intimate debut album, 'Collected Recordings' in edition of 500** "In 2009 Drifting/Falling released Gareth Dickson’s debut album, Collected Recordings, a stunningly beautiful and haunting ambient folk album which caught the attention of 12k’s Taylor Deupree. Thus began a not-as-easy-as- expected search for Dickson to try to coax him into writing an album for 12k. After a couple of cross-Atlantic voyages and a brief run-in involving a failing rental car and a herd of sheep on a dusty Scotish road, Deupree and Dickson me… Read more
"Frank Schültge aka F.S. BLUMM has released his melodic experiments around the acoustic guitar for over 15 years. In their contemplative reduction they miraculously always hit right in the heart. "The man makes some damn charming music", Pitchfork said about his last album. With Up Up And Astray F.S. BLUMM proves that he doesn't opt for routine with his eighth full-length solo release: his unfailing arsenal of acoustic instruments and choice circuits frame the most energetic BLUMM sound we have lived to see so far. It all goes on, and always up, and from there into unknown dimensions. He goe… Read more
Thursday, 14 November
**Includes digital download voucher redeemable from the label. Handmade, hand-numbered, and personally initialed** Slip Discs' sixth release introduces 20 year-old Manc MFAAH, with an intriguing suite of computer music - one of their best releases to date. 'Everything Better Under White Light' renders an abstract six track ecology of abrasive textures and isolated frequencies which the label deftly describe as "the computer's natural noises take on the quality of field recording rather than dense tapestries being constructed from found sound." The artist skilfully segues and t… Read more
**Includes digital download voucher redeemable from the label. Handmade, hand-numbered, and personally initialed with booklet of texts and artwork** Slip Discs' RNCM graduates present two works on one disc. The first, 'Virtual Airport' (2010) features the words of Matthew Welton set to the operatic vocals of Seaming To & Sofia Jernberg, with music by Larry Goves (electronics), Oliver Coates (cello), and Sarah Nicolls (piano). The second, 'SHUCK! & Black Valley', a "play for quiet voices" features words by Sam Quill set to stark, nocturnal electronics by Laurence Tompkins and sounds something like something like an experimental piece for Radio 4.
Thursday, 07 November
*New on Gizeh, features production and contributions from Nils Frahm, Peter Broderick and members of Mum* "Currently based in Belgium, Dutch-born Chantal Acda has worked under the Sleepingdog moniker since 2006, making three albums that closed on the "With Our Heads in the Clouds and Our Hearts in the Fields" album for which she collaborated with Adam Wiltzie (Stars of the Lid, A Winged Victory For The Sullen). After all this, it was time for her first real solo record and she sought out kindred spirits with whom she might record an album filled with freedom and intensity, and w… Read more
**Lovely 40-track collection of solo piano and soundtrack works by Roger Eno. RIYL his brother, Michael Nyman, Leyland Kirby, Yann Tiersen** "Roger Eno started his recording carer by collaborating with brother Brian on 1983's Apollo and has contributed music to films such as Dune, 9 1/2 Weeks, and Trainspotting. This collection compiles some of his most striking work from a number of out-of-print albums such as Between Tides and The Flatlands. Satie-esque piano sketches and chamber ensemble pieces that recall the soundtrack work of Michael Nyman, Yann Tiersen and Tindersti… Read more