The Microphones, "Microphones in 2020"

A new Microphones album consisting of one long song.

Here is a poem about it:

The old smell of air
coming faintly through the spring
crack in the snow above a hibernating bear’s winter den,
the smell of long self-absorption,
burrowing into one’s own chest, re-breathing the exhales of one’s own breath,
the smell of squinting in the dark
ruminating in dreams
beneath layering years, the snow still falling.

In the dark smoldering
slowly burning through all the old clothes, sifting through the ash,
wiping old shedded fur from the eyes
nosing out into the light.

In that brief moment when the airs of the past and present meet,
at the mouth of the open bed,
egoic solidity burns away in the spring wind, self becomes fuel,
there is only now
and the past is a dream burning off.
Fragments arranged along the trail, crumbs consumed, dust blown,
no route back.

More information can be found here.

2579 Hits

Kassel Jaeger, "Swamps / Things"

"As a child, almost every Sunday, I was wandering in the countryside, and usually, I was finding myself in my favorite spot: a swamp. Air was different. Trees were dead, but not really dead. Soil was swaying of clear water, and an everlasting mist was suspended all over the place. No one was there and nothing could happen even if some animal tracks were here to prove me I was wrong.

Much later, one of my masters made always this joke about my music. He said I was composing swamps, I guess because of the lack of demonstrative musical shapes and articulations. At the same time, he was acknowledging that I was building a “climate."
It took me then almost 30 years to understand why I was so fond of swamps. It's because a swamp is an intermediary space of the organic becoming and the blurry space suspending the cycle of the utilities, which is the cycle of history.

Swamps / Things has been conceived as an opera. An opera without characters, without text, but not without story. The story, here, is only an arc. Because what is an opera, if not an arc? And the arc, here, is the simplest. It's walking through the swamp.

Approaching it, leaching into it, becoming it. The Swamp is us. Our own disappearance, populated by all the beasts we have turned into, by the places we have haunted, and by the time we have consumed. We are traces in an always intermediate state. Animals tracks in the sodden earth of the Swamp."

— Francois Bonnet (Kassel Jaeger).

More information can be found here.

2725 Hits

Nurse With Wound & Blind Cave Salamander, "Cabbalism III & IV"

Cabbalism III (Leuven) was originally released as a limited edition. NWW always felt that this recording was the best of the 3 "Cabbalism" shows & over the years many people have complained of its unavailabilty, so here it is, with the addition of an extra track - "Cabbalism IV." This was made by Colin Potter using sources from all three "Cabbalism" recordings, mixed and mastered at IC Studio, London 2020.

Steven Stapleton - Guitar & effects pedals
Colin Potter - Electronics, mix
Paul Beauchamp - Electronics, musical saw
Julia Kent - Cello
Fabrizio Modenese Palumbo - Guitar, electric viola

More information can be found here.

3084 Hits

ESP Summer, "Here" (His Name is Alive/Pale Saints)

"Ian Masters and Warren Defever working together as ESP Summer.  More coming soon."

More information can be found here.

2896 Hits

Midwife & Amulets / M. Trecka & Susan Alcorn, "In / Heaven" split

Midwife has released a split cassette with M. Trecka.

Side A. "In Ellipsis Landscapes" Mark Trecka in collaboration Susan Alcorn  17:20
Side B. "Heaven" - Midwife in collaboration with Amulets  16:46

"I recorded it before I wrote anything for Forever; it acts as a kind of prologue to the record in my mind." -Madeline Johnston

More information can be found here.

3303 Hits

Richard Skelton, "These Charms May Be Sung Over a Wound"

Seminal British experimental musician Richard Skelton joins Phantom Limb for the release of stunning new album These Charms May Be Sung Over A Wound, his first for the label, first on vinyl in over a decade, and a standout record in his own catalogue.

Over the past sixteen years, Richard Skelton has developed a signature sound, often comprised of strings, piano and other acoustic instrumentation. Since 2013 he has increasingly buried these organic sources in layers of detritus and static. The process, as he articulates it, is to use signal-degradation as a means of reflecting the processes of decay and transformation in the natural world. His music has been placed alongside giants of experimental music, such as Brian Eno, Harold Budd, Stars Of The Lid, William Basinski.

With new album These Charms May Be Sung Over A Wound, however, Skelton has abandoned acoustic instrumentation altogether to map out a new territory of buzzing sine tones and square waves, immersed in shimmering clouds of distortion and suspended over landscapes of thrumming bass. The result is a new and transcendental experience: while the key themes of Skelton's music remain - stark and lonely geographies, ancient myths buried deep within the land, slow-moving glacial evolution - we are transported to a darker and more mechanical place. The intensity and sound design here are more akin to quasi-industrial, abandoned-factory sonics than to earthy, organic tones of earlier Richard Skelton albums. Abul Mogard and Alessandro Cortini could be considered peers now, just as much as Eno and Basinski had been before.

Out September 25, 2020.  More information can be found here.

3137 Hits

Mary Lattimore, "Silver Ladders"

Los Angeles-based harpist Mary Lattimore returns with Silver Ladders, the full-length follow-up to acclaimed album Hundreds of Days. Since 2018, Lattimore has toured internationally, released collaborative albums with artists such as Meg Baird and Mac McCaughan, and shared a friends-based remix album featuring artists such as Jónsi and Julianna Barwick. At one of her festival appearances, Lattimore met Slowdive's Neil Halstead: "A friend introduced us because she knew how big of a fan I was and Neil and I had a little chat... The next day, I just thought maybe he'd be into producing my next record.” He was. Lattimore traditionally records her albums holed up by herself, so the addition of Halstead's touches as a producer and collaborator leaves a profound trace. "I flew on a little plane to Newquay in Cornwall where he lives with his lovely partner Ingrid and their baby. I didn't know what his studio was like, he'd never recorded a harp, but somehow it really worked."

Recorded over nine days at Halstead's studio stationed on an old airfield, Silver Ladders finds Lattimore exercising command and restraint. Her signature style is refined, the sprawling layers of harp reigned in and accented by flourishes of low-end synth and Halstead's guitar. The music can feel ominous but not by compromising vivid wonder, like oceanic overtones that shift with the tides. This material is colored by specific memories for Lattimore; "Neil has this poster of a surfer in his studio and I'd look at it each day, looking at the sunlight glinting on the dark wave. In these songs I like the contrast between the dark lows and the glittering highs. The gloom and the glimmer, the opposites, a lively surfing town in the winter turned kinda rainy and empty and quiet."

Lattimore and Halstead reformed three existing demos and improvised the remaining four songs. Among the batch she brought with her, the title track recalls a trip she took to Stari Grad, Croatia on the island of Hvar. "I spent some days there just swimming in the bay, silver ladders right into the sea." The image stuck with her when she found herself performing at a cliffside wedding overlooking the Pacific. "Before anyone showed up, I had time to set up and play and this song came to me, "Silver Ladders (to the sea)," so I made a little recording on my phone to remember it." This sketch expanded; a delicately glittering harp melody comes over the horizon, swelling and rolling towards the shore on ebbs of synth and refractory delay.

Inspired by a story that Halstead shared with Lattimore, "Don't Look" is the score to a beach-side tragedy. "It was a stunning beach with big waves," Lattimore says, “and (Neil) told me that recently, some teenagers had been out there with these surfboards that were way too light and had found themselves in trouble. The four adults that went in to save them died but the teenagers survived." The power of undertow pulls the melody, which begins in a minimalist and elegiac mode, deeper and deeper. Heavy strikes on low harp strings summon up Neptune's wrath, dashing heroism against the roar of the sea, permitting those naive enough to enter that dangerous water to exit, now less naive.

Lattimore's song titles often evoke fragments of things heard or misheard. In an anecdote from Lattimore, "I chose "Chop on the Climbout" as a title because a pilot once said, 'Folks, there's going to be some light chop on the climb out’ and I thought the language had an insider mystery that was compelling. The song reminds me of plane traveling." Listeners can feel the drama of aeronautics; the thrust of liftoff, the rumble of overhead luggage as the craft ascends into the belly of cloud cover. Passengers yearning to traverse wide distances in brief moments. The hum steadies into a mesmerizing drone, a synth on top of which Lattimore and Halstead take turns exchanging chiming leads smeared with static-laden air pressure.

These songs are clearly tales, and yet Silver Ladders is open to interpretation. Her memories — "the Cornish landscape, the hotel from the movie The Witches, the cream tea, winning the pub quiz, the Sunday Roast, the ghosts of all of the surfers who had died in the wild waves, the night walks to the top of the hill to see the moon shining on the water…" — shine through these works without defining them. In a way, much like the sea, or the sky, they belong to everyone. Such is the beauty of her craft, which stands here in unprecedented company and clarity, the confidence of an artist in full.

Out October 9th on Ghostly International.

3444 Hits

Seabuckthorn, "Other Other"

Over the space of this album, a slow and patient unfolding occurs. Strings are able to breathe, finding the space they need to move, although their movements are lurching, clunky, and convulsive. Seabuckthorn illuminates the distance – a family, a time spent together, and a beautiful summer. It has the feel of old European adventures and trips to glorious cities, markets, churchyards, and yawning fields, with a population yet to face the music of climate change or even a World War.

Years erode the features, and a scattering of distortion eats away at the music. The year in question has faded away, and time has gone way beyond evening or dusk, but Seabuckthorn brings it back and makes it relevant once again. The music is late and so is the hour, but even as the light dims, a beautiful, rusty afterglow is left behind, a dull gleam coming from a King's crown.

More information can be found here.

2808 Hits

Black to Comm, "Der Weiße Elefant"

Soundtrack for the Jan van Hasselt film Der Weiße Elefant, recorded 2015/2016.

More information can be found here.

2355 Hits

Mouchoir Ètanche, "Kommuniqué Zéro" (Black to Comm)

An end and a new beginning. Kommuniqué Zéro is the debut outing of new Black To Comm related entity Mouchoir Ètanche. And it is the final release in Dekorder's 10-Year Anniversary Hybrid-Vinyl Series (a mere 7 years too late). Combining real and fake acoustic instrumentation, sampling, field recordings and excessive yet inaudible post production this is a powerful statement of intent. Influences are ranging from (French) Classical & Opera to the anecdotical compositions of Luc Ferrari, Chinese Opera, Sacred Music, Collage and Free Improvisation.

Marc Richter records as Black To Comm for Thrill Jockey, Type and Dekorder and as Jemh Circs for his own Cellule 75 imprint. He also produced soundtracks and acousmatic multichannel installations for institutions such as INA GRM Paris, ZKM Karlsruhe and Kunstverein Hamburg.

The Dekorder 10-Year Anniversary Hybrid-Vinyl Series so far included LPs by Pye Corner Audio, Excepter, Experimental Audio Research, Vindicatrix, Kemiallysät Ystävät, Ensemble Economique, Alien Radio, Black To Comm and Le Révélateur.

More information can be found here.

2409 Hits

Svarte Greiner, "Five Hundred Fink Experience"

 

Drones for keeping sane. Music for adapted Benjolin (Miasmachine), Pitch-shifter and Echoplex.  Made in Schöneberg, Berlin, April 2020 by Erik K Skodvin. Mastered by Martyn Heyne / Lichte Studio.

Rrose Sélavy - RR#02

More information can be found here.

2561 Hits

Sarah Davachi, "Cantus, Descant"

"I am very happy to let you know that my next album, Cantus, Descant, has been announced today! Cantus, Descant is a double LP spanning 17 tracks and over 80 minutes of new works for pipe organ, reed organ, and electric organ. It will be released on September 18 via Late Music.

This is an album about welcoming and reconciling impermanence and endings, about suspending the private within the collective, about states and moments of being. I spent a little over two and a half years making it, working with a special group of organs in Los Angeles, Amsterdam, Chicago, Vancouver, Copenhagen, and in my home studio. For the first time, I am even offering two songs! This is a very personal record that has occupied a deep part of my world for some time and it means a lot to be able to finally share it. As always, thank you so much for listening, it means the world to me."

-Sarah Davachi, 7/2/20

More information can be found here.

 

2575 Hits

Jesu, "Never" EP

Released July 3, 2020

Created and Produced by Justin K Broadrick
at Avalanche, U.K 2009-2020
Published by Mute Song Ltd

AREC048. AVALANCHE RECORDINGS 2020.

More information can be found here.

2313 Hits

Lucrecia Dalt, "No era sólida"

Lucrecia Dalt presents No era sólida, an introspective path to unworldly surroundings where self becomes sound, and a compass for the searchers of musical possession.

For her follow-up full-length to 2018's Anticlines, Dalt relinquishes control of the corporeal to reach imagination's outer realm. Where Anticlines framed the physical processes of matter changing state, No era sólida observes a transition in Dalt herself through the emergence of Lia: an apparition, or second self, of the artist as pure gesture and mimetic transgression.

In spectral suspension, Dalt becomes the medium between herself and Lia. No era sólida is a meeting place between these phenomenal and noumenal worlds: a diverse if not complicated landscape, but without a single solid form in sight. Swelling with cosmic oscillations and rhythmic tremors, the album’s sound materializes through new experiments with harmonic distortion in tape delay and Dalt's continued abstraction of percussion and pulse.

This atmosphere of auditory illusion is lush for vocal experimentation. In a mood stirred by griot singer Fanta Damba, Dalt produces wordless vocalizations guided by Lia's unconscious impulses. These ethereal murmurs channel a Surrealist’s automatism as Dalt dissolves language into an evocative collection of glossolalia. Her voice, possessed and processed, weaves through moments of No era sólida like a duplicitous organism playing hide and seek.

Each song identifies a different state experienced by Lia, opening with "Disuelta" ("dissolved") and transforming through pieces such as "Seca" ("dry"), "Ser boca" ("to be mouth"), and "Espesa" ("thick"). As the record progresses, Lia seems to emerge from primal, sensory states to the sentient and active conditions of "Revuelta" ("revolt") and "Endiendo" ("to understand"). These transitions signal a process of becoming, as Dalt conjures, and nurtures, a dormant being into life.

When No era sólida reaches its final title track, the spell of spoken tongue is broken and Lia can talk. Returning to the musings familiar to listeners of Anticlines, Dalt voices in her native Spanish a question posed to her by Lia: "Can paralysis transform a person into a thing?" The forbidden being fumbles lyrically through the nuances of her existence and newly-discovered senses, and wades through melodies of crystalline breathing and clicks of static like dust on a cylinder.

Lia's poetic reflections on the panspermia echo her origins, having come from some other ether. As a lifeform seeded through sound, the very essence of Lia is embodied in the exploratory instincts of her creator Lucrecia Dalt, an artist whose innate sonar system traces the far reaches of musical experimentation.

Lucrecia Dalt's No era sólida is available September 11, 2020 on vinyl and digital formats. As with Anticlines, a limited artist edition, designed by Will Work For Good, will accompany the vinyl release. Once again, a portion of proceeds from No era sólida will benefit Tierra Digna, an organization dedicated to the defense of Colombian communities affected by economic policies that violate human rights and devastate the environment.

More information can be found here.

2144 Hits

Blod, "Livets Ord"

Low-key synth & keyboard studio album by Swedish all-rounder Gustaf Dicksson. Limited edition of 300 copies with insert.

From the early days of the found-sounds recordings (like the downright scary Unga Röster album and the hilarious Mandys Bil 7"), the homespun kitchen recordings/tape collages of the still-going Idiotmusik series to the more carefully elaborated and precise Leendet Från Helvetet and Knutna Nävar albums, the massive Livets Ord dropped like a bomb when it originally surfaced as a self-released cassette in 2018.

Heavily based on synths and keyboards and clocking in on no less than close 70 minutes over 4 LP-sides, this is arguably THE epic album from the cluster around the Förlag För Fri Musik empire. Gustaf Dickssons' fascination for christianity/religious assemblies shines through once again, the title Livets Ord ("The word of life") derived from the Swedish free church/sect with the same name that was based in Uppsala between 1983-2013 and casting a pastoral shadow over the ambient music of the album. While dabbling with a long tradition of kosmische musik and private-pressed new age wonders, Blod's now patented sound of a Björn Isfält-gone-sour still lingers throughout the entire recording. A cornerstone in contemporary Gothenburg underground music. Featuring guest appearances by Emelie Thulin and Jerker Jarold.

More information can be found here.

2298 Hits

Cucina Povera & ELS, "The Oystercatcher"

The Oystercatcher is the first collaborative LP from Cucina Povera (Maria Rossi) and ELS (Edward Simpson)
Recorded in London over two days, hours of improvisations have been edited down to form these six tracks.
A fragile interplay is at work between Maria's drifting vocals and the ominous churn of Edward's modular synth. Each sonic element takes a turn at leading the way.

The opening track "Mantle" is formed from sparse, monolithic electronics, woven gently with a thread of vocals. In the closing track "Eon," Maria's voice shepherds spontaneous bursts of sounds, almost rave-like if order were imposed, through 15 minutes of turmoil and resplendent until the end.

Maria's vocals make their own trails amongst the noise, bringing to mind the the exploratory language from Ursula K. Le Guin's album Music and Poetry from the Kesh, recalling the same understated mystery.

The overall effect of this collaboration is a completely unique creation albeit within a recognizable lineage of predecessors.
The artwork reflects the vision of these two artists, collaged together. Both images are from a trip to Helsinki. Edward's photograph of tulips caught after dark are revealed by a flash. Maria's seemingly abstract drawing is a graphite rubbing taken from a granite slab of a pavement somewhere in Kallio. Together the two images represent two different methods for capturing a city's haptic landscape.

The album moves with a feeling of transience, which is no surprise given that the idea to collaborate was formed in Helsinki, realized in London and edited together in Rotterdam.

The Oystercatcher tells a fragile tale, one that spins out into the unknown. A cold union of voice and machine, still tentative and probing, learning to co-exist. A kind of fundamental shift whereby shared moments have been turned to sound.

The oystercatcher is a bird that can freely travel between the earth, sea and sky. The motif is taken from a Tove Jansson short story. A dead bird washes ashore, two different versions of events are presented to how the bird came to die. The album feels like two different stories being presented on top of one another but ultimately coming to the same tragic conclusion.

More information can be found here.

2834 Hits

Heather Leigh, "Glory Days"

Cover

Composed, performed & mixed by Heather Leigh "at home with the window open” in Glasgow, the fifth release in our Documenting Sound series is a shocking half hour of music; a 13 track opus that is, by any measure, nothing short of a modernist folk masterpiece. Recorded quickly and instinctively in April this year and described by David Keenan as sounding like "a cross between Meredith Monk, DOME and A Guy Called Gerald," it continues to reveal new dimensions with every listen.

Heather Leigh is a musical polymath in the truest sense of the word; primarily known as an influential practitioner of pedal steel guitar, her work is impossible to pigeonhole - all-over-the-place in the best way, from collaborations with Peter Brötzmann and Shackleton to a properly mind-bending duo of albums for Stephen O’Malley’s Ideologic Organ and Editions Mego - hers is a sound that’s both highly sensual and aesthetically aggressive, beautiful and fearless, always exploratory.

Played on pedal steel guitar, synthesizer and cuatro, and featuring Heather Leigh's voice throughout, the songs here capture a sense of physical longing wrapped up in a boundless creative energy. What started out as hours of diaristic recordings quickly became honed and crafted into powerful and highly memorable songs - vast in scope and depth of feeling. It’s hard to fathom that these 13 songs were made on the hoof, they capture that most elusive of artistic qualities - a compulsion to evolve.

Working on this series has been a real eye-opener for us, a thought experiment turned real - what happens when an established artist is asked to produce material quickly and without much pre-planning or afterthought? The answer, so often, has been an immense pleasure to behold. But this one, this one’s unreal.

More information can be found here.

2692 Hits

Longform Editions 14

Longform Editions 14 presents four new immersive listening experiences, featuring Carmen Villain’s atmospheric fourth-world expansions, two ambient masters in Japan’s Chihei Hatakeyama and Will Long’s Celer project, as well as piano minimalism from New York composer Michael Vincent Waller. These artists’ works investigate sound, listening and environment to engage you in a space for a period that reminds you there is a present beyond the clutter of our everyday.

Carmen Villain
Affection in a Time of Crisis
LE053
Norway's Carmen Villain creates a cosmic atmosphere with a narcotic pull, offering an enveloping space where emotive resonance rules over experimentation.
"Listening to something for a long time reveals new layers and details and tones, for me, it engages and relaxes the mind in the best possible way."

Chihei Hatakeyama
Blue Goat
LE054
Japan's Chihei Hatakeyama has been long known for gorgeous, drifting ambience that uncurls like smoke to reveal slowly changing shapes and textures weaving through each piece. He says Blue Goat is "influenced by the melody of Angelo Badalamenti, who I listened to when writing this piece."

Celer
For The Meantime
LE055
Recently cited in Resident Advisor by influential writer Simon Reynolds as producing some of the modern era's best ambient and new age music, Celer's Will Long is no stranger to massive works playing on temporality through sound.
"The idea of change is ever-present…  for the meantime, let's pretend we can keep this moment forever."

Michael Vincent Waller
A Song
LE056
The understated work of Michael Vincent Waller becomes a thing of minimalist beauty on his solo piano composition, "A Song." This lyrical, impressionistic work explores the subtle gravity of harmonies with an inward gaze.
"Deep listening can be understood as a state of mind, that facilitates a deeper awareness of sound, as with one's experiential involvement with musical listening."

More information can be found here.

 

2974 Hits

Rrose, "Collected Remixes Vol. I (2011-2020)"

About this release:

In 2010, after some lengthy debates about the role of the machine-generated pulse in the development of music, legendary composer and improvisor Bob Ostertag sent me a collection of recordings made with his Buchla 200E modular analog system and asked: "Would people dance to this? Could this be considered techno?" "Not really," I said. "But I could probably turn it into techno with a little work." It was only after completing the remixes and sending them to the Sandwell District label that I realized this was the birth of a new project, and gave it the name Rrose. Since then, I have completed 18 additional remixes spanning over 90 minutes, which I have assembled here as both a compilation and a continuous mix. These include two additional remixes of Bob Ostertag (using his 1977 piece "The Surgeon General" as source material) and two upcoming remixes (available in mixed form only), one for the French artist Electric Rescue, and the other for an upcoming release on Eaux by the Brooklyn-based artist Lori Napoleon aka Antenes.

More information can be found here.

12952 Hits

Ulla, "Inside Means Inside Me"

inside means inside me (Cassette, Mini-Album) album cover

Ulla's recordings of phone conversations and wildlife diffuse into the most vaporous and unsettling ambient dub textures on the third in our Documenting Sound series, recorded over the last few weeks in Philadelphia and recalling Sam Kidel's Disruptive Muzak, DJ Lostboi’s ambient hymnals and Vladislav Delay’s Chain Reaction pearls.

Pieced together from airspun recordings made in Philadelphia during spring 2020, Inside Means Inside Me holds a subtle mirror to the new world's psychic ambiance of existential, slowburn dread. Prizing the sensitively insightful, lower case manner that made Ulla’s recent Tumbling Towards A Wall album so memorable, here the sound is more poignant, the dissociative flux used to perhaps more therapeutic effect for an ephemeral reading of the times.

In the first half, Ulla makes a subtly heartbreaking use of crackling phone calls and dub stabs, but embedded in the music's weft they take on an unsettling resolution that’s hard to place. On the flip, more entwined conversations snag in the breeze with location recordings and scudding hypnagogic washes with a signature low key movement that keep you feeling swaddled but uneasy until the end.

More information can be found here.

2986 Hits