Thursday, 13 June
"The cold had a certain warmth to it. Worlds, life, among the layers of ice. Complex sounds, alive, found in the darkest rocks, wet with winter’s water. These hollows, rough with age, nature’s hideouts, were the source of inspiration and sounds for the first full-length collaborative effort from Seaworthy (Cameron Webb) and Taylor Deupree. Webb was plucked from a bushfire and flood-ridden east coast of an Australian summer and deposited via a 20h flight into a New York covered in snow. From wetlands abuzz with wildlife in the Australia to winter’s wooded trails through Pound… Read more
"Start with a room, a cleanish one, not too rustic, not too slick, and then fill it with tools, fill it with anything that can be used to make other things. Put the room in the forest, but not too deeply in, let’s have the city on the distant horizon. Then, let’s have two craftsman, artists, explorers. Tell them a bit about where the room is, but not exactly. Make them find it, together. When they finally do they will embark on their creations, but it won’t be the immerse-and-shut-yourself-off-from-the-world type of creation. To them, creation involves talking, travelling, experiencing, not just wor… Read more
Sanguine, pastoral electronics and loop experiments woven with tape and FX, originally issued in 2007. 'Enspiel' is blessed with an unhurried and milky ambient charm, wending thru etheric interzones of sparse, dubbed out electronics, chiming drones and shimmering, gaseous headspaces.
Thursday, 30 May
*The original series of four 7"s now compiled on one CD, with three bonus tracks* Andy Moor ov The Ex presents a collaboration with sound poet Anne James Chaton through his Unsounds imprint ''Dernière Minute' is "constructed from factual information", namely cut-up and layered French vocals over an abstracted swirl of guitar, while 'Une Histoire De L'Aviation' features Anne-James recounting dates of fatal plane crashes interspersed with black box recordings and fragments of conversation between pilots and air traffic controllers set against a backdrop of melancholic twangs and humming subbass. Guest musicians include Yannis Kyriakides and Christine Abdelnour.
Thursday, 23 May
*Deluxe book-style package, includes notes, musical scores and photographs* In which the titular German composer/musician reinterprets highlights from Kompakt's 20 year catalogue for the classical idiom. As you'd expect, it's a bag of mixed nuts: sometimes the approach works, sometimes it doesn't; but you have to salute Schwellenbach's ambition and derring-do. Most of Kompakt's artists, whether producing for the club or driven by a more gaseous notion of "pop ambient", make music that feels naturally sympathetic to classical minimalism, and as such Schw… Read more
Sweeping ambient electronics from Glacial Movements Records boss, Alessandro Tedeschi. Six tracks of slow moving and richly sonorous field recordings made in caves of Lazio, Italy, and weft with subtle electronics in sparse arrangements. Mastering was expertly handled by Denis Blackham (Coil, William Basinski, Biosphere) out at Skye Mastering for optimal fidelity. RIYL Thomas Köner, Geir Jenssen, Deathprod.
Thursday, 16 May
'Tombstones' is the spellbinding first studio album by Cal Arts co-chair and acclaimed composer, Michael Pisaro. As mentor and collaborator to Julia Holter and John Maus and with a career at CalArts Composition and Experimental Sound Practices department intersecting those of Ariel Pink and Human Ear Music boss, Jason Grier, Pisaro's influence on the current avant-pop vanguard is duly noted. For 'Tombstones' he's assembled an eight-piece ensemble counting Tashi Wada, Julia Holter, and Jason Grier, among others, in a spectral dismantling of pop music, from The Beatles to DJ S… Read more
Thursday, 09 May
**Includes download code for 24bit version** Human Ear Music present a necessary reissue of Ekkehard Ehlers's debut album, the glitch classic, 'Betrieb' (2000), originally released on Mille Plateaux. "Before lo-fi tape hiss and filter murk became the preferred ways of fucking up your music, all we had to rely on was the glitch. The early 2000's were the swingin' glitch years, when clicking, skipping, beat-repeat and buffer-delay seeped into every ontological stratum of music-making. But it wasn't just flashy winks teased into indie pop-dance, facile quasiclassical crossover, and bookish sound a… Read more
**Mario Bertoncini performs John Cage renowned masterworks: Sonatas and Interludes (1946-48) for prepared piano** "In this composition, Cage expresses his interpretation of the permanent emotions of Indian tradition: the Heroic, the Erotic, the Wondrous, the Comic (the four light moods), Sorrow, Fear, Anger, the Odious (the four dark moods), and their common tendency toward (central) Tranquility. This was Cage's first composition using Hindu philosophy as a basis, and he composed the Sonatas and Interludes in a period of time during which he was reading extensively the wo… Read more
**Glossy gatefold jacket includes Edition RZ label catalogue and extensive liner notes in German and English** Important collection of Giancinto Scelsi compositions penned between 1959-1972, performed by various ensembles between 1972-1990. A visionary musical thinker and composer, Giacinto Scelsi (1905 - 1988) was a pioneer of microtonal composition with a rarely paralleled ear for timbre and dynamic. He coined many avant-garde ideas which were later explored by many others in the avant-garde, but, in the classic sense, he was hardly acknowledged until after his twilight years, and onl… Read more
"The Book of Abbeyozzud ("ah-BYE-ah-ZOOD", a word invented by Riley, without meaning) is a planned series of 26 pieces for guitar, multiple guitars and guitar in ensemble. So far, thirteen pieces are completed. Riley writes "All of the pieces have Spanish titles and take a different letter of the alphabet to begin their names. They are also indebted to great Spanish music traditions and to those traditions upon which Spanish music owes its heritage." David Tanenbaum had been asking Terry Riley for a guitar piece for some time, and found success finally after Terry's young son, Gyan, … Read more
**Terry Riley's 1987 composition for the Rova Saxophone Quartet. Full of complex, unusual tunings and time signatures** "The Tain Bo Cuailnge (The Cattle Raid of Cooley) is a central part of the eighth-century Ulster cycle of heroic tales and is Ireland's nearest approach to a great epic. It tells the story of a giant cattle-raid, the invasion of Ulster by the armies of Medb and Ailill, queen and king of Connacht, and their allies, seeking to carry off the great Brown Bull of Cuailnge. Following an abandoned collaboration with the playwright Lee Brewer that was centered on t… Read more
The highly influential composer and improviser recorded live in Lisbon at the Festival Dos Capuchos, 16th July 1995. "This gorgeous set of piano improvisations reflects minimalist composer Terry Riley's lifelong study of Indian music. It is an outstanding recording which captures Terry Riley at an inspired peak. Performances of such spontaneous and beautiful music are scarce and even less-frequently performed by the composer himself at such a late stage in an extraordinary career. To sound so inspired and inventive some 40 years after defining minimalist music is quite a feat. Coming from such a consistently brilliant composer, who would expect less?' (Skip Jansen)."
Epic visions of cosmic North Americana from cellist Rebecca Foon, founder of Esmerine and former member of A Silver Mt Zion and Set Fire To Flames. Constellation bill her debut as Saltland as existing at the intersection of drone, no-wave, improv, dream-pop and minimalism, and point out that it was cut at her home-studio in Montreal, but don't be fooled into thinking that this is a washed-out, lo-fidelity set; it's quite the opposite, a bold, widescreen work, engineered by Mark Lawson (Arcade Fire), that feels like the work of a composer and musician at the height of h… Read more
Thursday, 25 April
Mark Nelson's cherished Pan American quietly slip back into our consciousness as a band proper, now adding the estimable talents of Steven Hess (Cleared/Haptic) and Nelson's former Labradford bandmate, Robert Donne to the project. While Nelson assuredly handles all production, the live feel is definitely more prominent, folding in the patter of Hess's percussion and Bobby Donne's languid bass at the centre of seven beautifully diffuse soundscapes bordering on the frontier lands of post-rock, dub techno and ambient electronica, yet never clearly falling within any one sector. Every el… Read more
*'Four Piano Studies' is the first release on Ryan Teague's own 'King Tree' label* "Following the success of last years full length album Field Drawings, composer and multi-instrumentalist Ryan Teague offers up this contrasting EP of beautiful and poetic solo piano pieces. Combining Minimalist, Impressionist and Romantic influences, Four Piano Studies conveys a modern take on an age-old format whilst still conveying a sense of real originality. Short and concise, these compositions performed by Semra Kurutaç (Piano Circus) strike an immediately haunting tone in the listener and provide another insight into the range and breadth of Ryan's output."
Thursday, 18 April
'Vier Stücke' or 'Four Pieces' by the renowned sound art pioneer, composed between 1988 and 1999, collected and released in 2000. 'Vocrolls II' (1988) is the longer version of a recording of toy marble coming to rest in a Tibetan metal bowl, and later processed through an early phase vocoder algorithm in "physics-defying fashion" on a computer at Berlin's Technical University. It marks Kubisch's first work with computer processing and is eerily redolent of the interference we'd hear now on skype calls or youtube compressions. 'Mouseware' (1998) is the soundtrack to an installa… Read more
**Glossy digicase with label catalogue and fold-out liner-notes** Editions RZ collect ten early works by the late Morton Feldman (1926 - 87). They're largely his shorter pieces, spanning compositions made between 1952 and 1959 alongside esteemed peers including David Tudor, Cornelius Cardew, John Tilbury, and János Négyesy. ""In his compositions for piano, which make up a central part of his oeuvre and in which all of his experience is accumulated, it is the play of Feldman's hand whose touch is intended precisely for the 'untouchableness' of sound. The clear character of the 'attack' th… Read more
**Double disc with label catalogue and 12-page liner notes housed in glossy trifold slipcase** Expertly compiled selection of Tudor's essential performances of works by John Cage, Morton Feldman, Christian Wolff, Sylvano Bussoti spanning 1955-1963. "Includes "Music For Piano 21-36", "Variations 1", "Variations II", "Winter Music", "Piece For Four Pianos" (including performance by Feldman), etc. Essential document. "David Tudor, pianist -- a profession, a vocation, a life. From 1950 until around 1965, David Tudor was the epitome of the pianist who could simply play anything. In fact, David T… Read more
Thursday, 11 April
**Housed in die-cut slipcase** Erased Tapes illuminate the sorely overlooked work of Continuous Piano Music pioneer, Lubomyr Melnyk, on five pieces in collaboration with the label's stars, Peter Broderick and Nils Frahm. As reputedly the fastest piano player in the world, Melnyk conceived and developed a signature style of rapid notes and note-series, sustaining speeds of over 19.5 notes per second in each hand, and also holds the record for most number of notes played in one hour with 93,650 individual notes. Of course, that's impressive, but not as impressive as his music, here … Read more
Thursday, 04 April
**Glossy gatefold slipcase with label catalogue and 12-page booklet. To achieve the original sound quality of this live recording it is suggested to listen to this CD at the lowest possible volume** Quiet music conceptualist and practitioner, Jakob Ullmann's 2nd release and first with Editions RZ was first issued in 2005. It yields a single 73 minute piece written for an ensemble of thirteen solo strings and up to three additional solo parts arranged to explore the filigree infidelities of their range between almost "pure", natural harmonics to diffuse noise at the lowest threshold … Read more
**Gatefold slipcase with 8-page booklet and label catalogue. "We would like to point out that this piece is extremely quiet. Please choose the volume setting of your sound system so as to just barely mask the ambient sounds of the room"** Jakob Ullmann: "voice, books and FIRE is the result of my reflections about the relationship between music and language: language as sound and language as text, the numerous relationships between texts of different cultural and religious traditions, between the work of the human spirit in the present and in the past and the questions arising from … Read more
**Four CDs housed in individual gatefold cardstock jackets with label catalogue and glossy black & white booklet in German and English housed within a box case** 'Fremde Zeit - Addendum' collects four discs, five pieces of engrossingly etheric, liminal composition by Jakob Ullmann (1958), the widely acknowledged master of quiet music and recent cover star of The Wire magazine. For us, as we'd imagine many others, this is a striking first introduction to the devoted German minimalist's very particular body of work. Comprising 4 hours of barely-there strings, percussions, wind instrume… Read more