Thursday, 18 September
Manchester's Marconi Union dial in 'Weightless (Ambient Transmissions Vol.2)' for Just Music, featuring "the world's most relaxing song" according to Time Magazine. We're fairly sure even the artists themselves would rankle at such a daft mantle, but there's little arguing that 'Weightless' is a relaxing album. It's definitely not vexing, anyway. RIYL Eno, old CCO gear etc.
Thursday, 11 September
**Limited Edition CD in a handmade, letter-pressed sleeve** "Live in Dresden features six songs from Chantal's highly acclaimed debut solo album Let Your Hands Be My Guide played by Chantal Acda, Alan Gevaert (dEUS), Eric Thielemans & Gaetan Vandewoude (Isbells)."
Lap steel guitarist Mike Cooper meets The Necks' pianist, Chris Abrahams on record for the 2nd time. 'Trace' was recorded in 2009, not long after the duo had released their 'Oceanic Feeling-Like' (2008) album collaboration on Room40. Again, it documents the two maverick improvisers doing what they do best, creating characteristically subtly-evolving soundscapes where Cooper's distinctive lap steel flits over Abrahams' warm, levitating beds of synth and organ drone. The session breaks down to three 20 minute parts, the first establishing a breezy tone with something "other" lurking in … Read more
Thursday, 04 September
"Fury and Hecla is a meeting of worlds. Named after a near mid-point between the residences of artists Fieldhead and Loscil, it explores both the familiar and the foreign. Although not a collaboration in the strictest sense, sounds were shared by each artist allowing for a sort of aural infusion between the compositions. The results are a series of fragments and quotes that appear and reappear - sometimes in ghostly form - throughout each artist’s tracks. The serene ambient compositions of loscil come courtesy of Vancouver-based musician Scott Morgan. Taking his moniker from the “looping o… Read more
Thursday, 28 August
**Lou Reed's totemic 'Metal Machine Music' is tackled with fiery finesse by Reinhold Friedl's Zeitkratzer Ensemble** About 10 years after their first, critically acclaimed performances of Lou Reed’s adventurous album, zeitkratzer presents an audacious new interpretation of this 20th century avant-garde classic. Here, for the first time ever, all four parts of Metal Machine Music played by zeitkratzer on one recording! Seriously "clangorous"! Metal Machine Music has become even more intense and worked out during the ten years of zeitkratzer playi… Read more
"German minimal composer Ernstalbrecht Stiebler celebrated his 80th birthday this year. M=minimal honours the work of this master of reduction with the third release dedicated exclusivly to his work. Unlike many modern composers that use avantgardistic special effects, Stiebler builds his compositions around small sound spaces. As the composer himself said in an interview, his music is not intended to be easy. He demands a certain concentration of his listeners. Once you accept it you get rewarded with shifted time perception. A piece of 15 minutes duration can be perceived as 45 … Read more
"Following his acclaimed 2CD (Compositions For Geomungo and Gayageum) here is Baudouin De Jaer's new album: Crocus, performed by Fabian Fiorini (piano).. Five crocuses have ben selected for this cd. From 2004 to 2007, i reduced the music i wrote between 1979 and 1994 to monophonic strands, sonic dna, although some of the chords survived. Some of these strands went into sonates curieuses for muted violin, while others turned into 10 crocuses with sustained notes. Crocus is notated in a classical fashion with bars; it is visual music, each musical element a picture. Interpretation is cold, neu… Read more
"As a body of repertoire, these works are remarkable for their freshness of musical thought and energy (John Cage considered Wolff to be the most 'musical' of the experimental composers). The Project Wolff uniquely blends experimental concerns with classical tendencies.In these pieces not only are older composers referenced (Ives, Schumann) but Wolff's love of clarity of line and transparency of texture betrays an empathy with Webern, Haydn and Bach. This aesthetic is, however, combined with a tendency toward discontinuity and fragmentation, isolated sounds and silence, and, perhaps mos… Read more
Thursday, 21 August
"Par Hasard is a unique collection of avant-garde music by Marcel Duchamp, Francis Picabia, Georges Ribemont-Dessaignes and John Cage, all composed during the first half of the 20th century using chance techniques and operations. All selections are performed on piano. Iconic French conceptual artist Marcel Duchamp conceived both of his Musical errata in 1913. One consists of notes drawn at random from a hat; for the second, balls are dropped through a funnel into wagons drawn by a toy train. "Execution," Duchamp confided, "is rather pointless in any event." In fact both… Read more
Thursday, 07 August
**Limited CD in a gorgeous Die-cut sleeve and printed inner, includes free download dropped into your account on the release date - 29th August** Deaf Center dig out two extended, beautifully solemn movements to inaugurate Sonic Pieces' Pattern series. Recorded during sessions from 2008-2012, 'Recount' is a sublime entry documenting their ghostly actions before and after 'Owl Splinters' (2011), their last record for Type. Time is suspended in their eternally crepuscular headspace, affording solitude for nostalgic remembrance in an immersive, orchestral environment defined by slow swelling organs a… Read more
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."