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
*A beautiful suite of minimal percussive compoisitions from Eric Thielemans, new on Miasmah* "Adventurous Belgian percussionist Eric Thielemans makes a fairly unusual entry into the Miasmah catalogue with the surprisingly positive sounding album Sprang. Thielemans has actually appeared on the label earlier - as guest percussionist on Kreng´s debut album L´Autopsie Phenomenal De Dieu. Although you can recognize the sound on this record, the main focus of Sprang is to revert to the pure joy of sound experimentation and letting go of your foothold. Thielemans's previous exercises in expanding singu… Read more
"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
Wednesday, 19 March
**Immersive ambient improvisations** "Sonnamble is a project set up by software designer and musician Conor Curran to explore the possibilities of improvising in real time using real instruments and extensive digital processing. If all that sounds a bit dry, the results are anything but. This edition of Sonnamble consists of Curran and bassist/lap steel guitarist Peter Marsh. The duo have been playing together for a year, gradually refining their custom signal processing and control software, playing techniques, and drinking a lot of tea. Seven Months in E Minor features seven tracks,… 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, 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, 09 January
**Hand-numbered edition of 40. 3" CDr in a folded paper sleeve, one of 5 designs, printed on both sides with unique artwork by the artist. Also includes hand-numbered art print designed by the artist** Thomas Shrubsole's Sub Loam returns with "three herbal vignettes dedicated to the soil, the sun and the foliate filaments linking them." Using organic, acoustic and electro-mechanical instruments and means, composted direct to 4-track tape, his three "chlorocentric world in miniature" find a unique free space between the kind of strange, spectral studies carried out Belgium's IPEM facilities, the nature scores of Edward Williams, and Sun Ra.
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
Thursday, 24 October
"SMM: Opiate is the second release in Ghostly's SMM series, which is an ongoing exploration of the evocative possibilities of sound, with a focus on classical minimalism, electronic and drone composition, film soundtracks, and fragile imaginary landscapes. Opiate is the follow-up to 2011's SMM:Context, and as with that record, it's a carefully chosen selection of music, compiled over some two years from around the world. The record opens with Simon Scott's "Water Shadow," a luxuriant piece of beatless ambience that's like a wash of warm water or the first touch of the summer sun on your face after a… Read more
**Double disc career retrospective featuring 20 classics and rarities. Includes 24-page booklet** 'Celestial Music' is a long overdue career retrospective documenting the highlights from over 30 years of spiritual music by Edward Larry Gordon aka Laraaji. Like many others, we were first turned onto Laraaji by Universal Sound's recent(ish) reissue of his 'Celestial Vibration' (1978) debut, which originally predated his better known "discovery" by Brian Eno, documented on 'Ambient 3: Day Of Radiance' (1980). Inspired by Eastern Mysticism and played on an electronically modified zither, … Read more
Beautiful slice of 1987 new age ambience by Laraaji and his plugged in zither, reissued by Brian Eno's All Saints Music. "Heavenly tone clusters that stretch out into infinity and recall Popol Vih's soundtracks for Werner Herzog. Floating, dream-like music to lose yourself in."
Double disc suite collecting Edward Larry Gordon aka Laraaji's two albums for All Saints in the early '90s - a beautiful set of concise instrumentals recorded with Michael Brook in England, and a vocal collaboration with Japanese electro-dub reggae group Audio Active. We'll make this quite simple, one of them is brilliant, and the other not so much - you may be able to guess which is which. OK, we'll spell out: 'Flow Goes The Universe' (1992) stars Laraaji at his subtlest, spanning two magnificent long form pieces, 'Being Here' and his stunning 'A Cave In England' along with some delectabl… Read more
"Reissue of 26-year old American composer Peter Broderick's 2008 debut album Float, remastered by Nils Frahm and including two additional bonus tracks with each album download. Brought up in a musical household in Oregon, Peter quickly became a popular session musician for the likes of M. Ward in the Portland area. Later discovered by the Danish band Efterklang he joined their live band and spent the next six years based in Europe where he collaborated with many like-minded contemporaries. Through relentless touring, multiple album recordings and film scores Peter has established hi… Read more
Thursday, 17 October
*Reissue of this amazing album, originally out on Miasmah* Marsen Jules, Arvo Part, Zbigniew Preisner's soundtrack work for Krzysztof Kieslowski, Deaf Center, Max Richter, Erik Satie, Alberto Iglesias - if you are familiar and into any or all of these names then this album on the exceptional Miasmah label will no doubt end up on your essential listening pile for the foreseeable future. With string arrangements provided courtesy of Stefan Wesolowski, the foundations of the album are set with Cello and Violin painting fragile outlines coloured by subtle electronic manipulations, harp, piano and reduced, … Read more
Coming from the always-on-point Room40 stable over in sunny Australia, this is one of those rare beasts, a compilation album that actually has a concept and flow. The idea apparently came from Muzak, the soft half-heard renditions of Copacabana we regularly ignore while shopping for frilly pants in the local mall. Lawrence English and Lloyd Barrett asked artists to experiment with these incidental sounds and see if they could come up with a piece of music to represent it, and this compilation is the result. Sound artist Chris Watson starts off proceedings with a gorgeous slice … Read more
Thursday, 10 October
**Patiently sublime live solo guitar landscapes by Austrian artist, a peer of Fennesz and formerly of Polweschel** "2003, London: the first time I visited Tate Britain, Tate Gallery, and the first time I saw and really experienced the paintings of JMW Turner (1775-1851). Overwhelmed, especially by his late and unfinished works I was stunned by the power of the stillness of his work. 25 years before that something similar; me, as a young man in Madrid; Prado, Goya paintings and etchings - for me an initiation which opened up the door to earlier art and its pioneers.… Read more