"An arbitrary succession of more or less irritating sounds"

Friday, 29 April 2011

Karelian watchman

Not one but two new courses of study on offer at Preslav Literary School shortly. Its launch coinciding with next month's Netaudio London, where PLS headmaster Adam Thomas is both presenting (for Sourcefabric) & playing, Veer (Interdisco) is five dense recapitulations of live cassette collage & found sound conjuring at last year's Radio Village in Basel.

Find an exclusive download of the stunning, ritualistic This Good Lesson Keep below. This is the definitive version, a further iteration of the slightly longer, seemingly louder SoundClouded one - itself a revisiting of an earlier live piece...

July should then bring more ethereal loveliness - still studded with diverting sonic bric-a-brac, though - in the form of La Réflexion Du Tir, a 30-minute cassette on Full of Nothing. Its two tracks are named for the childhood friends in Mathias Énard’s Zone.

NB: photos above by Stephen Burch.


Important: LMYE only makes music available that artists/labels have chosen to share freely. Let us know if something here shouldn't be.

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Disintegrating city

Ezekiel Honig on Type? This LMYE wet dream (a revered artist - & proprietor of the great Anticipate - on our label of 2009) could hardly disappoint. Haven't heard all of Folding In On Itself yet, but tracks & samplers rooted out so far (all streamable below) carry a fuzzily muted - but still entirely distinctive - wistfulness under a sort of anti-veneer of metropolitan found sound.

The woozy, world-weary Subverting The Memory Of Your Surroundings embodies much of this - bleeding, blurring synths freighted by street clatter & tunnel echo...

Blurb: "New York-based Honig's Type debut Folding In On Itself doesn't make his music any easier to describe but does a lot to clarify the mood. This is deeply melancholy music, and while it doesn't revel in sadness, it conveys a sense that the things we grew up with and see disappear can never be recaptured. Memory and the corruption or distortion thereof is at the core the record, and like the cover which is made up of hazy family snaps of a changing Manhattan, Honig has tried to capture a sense of entropy in his quickly disintegrating city. Using a palette of locally-recorded environmental samples, decayed acoustic instruments and the unusual, clattering percussion that has become his signature, Folding In On Itself is probably Honig's most measured and defining record. Elements of his previous work are still present, heard most obviously on the breakthrough Surfaces Of A Broken Marching Band (ANTICIP 006CD), but every tiny part has been trimmed and honed with a selfless attention to detail. From the lilting, processed horns and clipped percussion on "Subverting The Memory Of Your Surroundings" to the noisy, slowly decomposing piano of "Drafting Foresight," there is a sense that Honig has a distinct story to tell, and that every track on the album is a unique part of the same object. Far from a random collection of tracks, "Folding In On Itself" is an introverted collection of musings on change and loss, and is as softly-spoken and moving as anything on Type to date. Handle with care."

Stream two full tracks & an album sampler below, plus a crisp recent-ish reworking of an old track & a sound design from a couple of years back that shares Folding's plaintive mood...

Finally, cough up your email below for an archetypically clicky, blurred new freebie, Hitching a Ride on a Sailboat...


a reworking of elements from the first two parts (from my Scattered Practices album)


Important: LMYE only makes music available that artists/labels have chosen to share freely. Let us know if something here shouldn't be.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Proud of Stroud

Stephan Mathieu & TSU (Robert Curgenven & Joerg Maria Zeger) bring searching, rich sonic explorations to the improbable setting of Stroud on Friday week. Courtesy of SVA, a corner of Gloucestershire more associated with Blurt & Pendragon will be hosting one of the year's must-hears - Mathieu wielding an 1896 zither to deliver his towering Music for Columbia Phonoharp ("a dedication to the gospel preacher Washington Phillips"), TSU constructing daunting new slabs of austere beauty & no doubt deconstructing them on the spot.

Hope to see you there...

Below hear much recent Mathieu & the first TSU recording (from Curgenven's immense Oltre). Also hear Curgenven's extraordinary, every which way Glenn Miller to Tim Hecker mix for Serein, Leaving Solaris (Manufacturing Nostalgia).

Mix note: "...not just the physical journey across the cinematic planet, away from its nostalgic mirages of the past and back into Space - which is at once from where we came and also the new way forward - it is also the psychological passage which marks the release which is both to leave and to create the departure. In this process, much as with the manufacturing of nostalgia, we have the beginnings of not just an escape from ourselves, but a modern era epic which trawls the cinematic histories of the 20th century; where through rose-tinged lenses, the crackle, the wash of decay and the textured fading of its print can present us with a new Present encased in the old and incapable of harming us for fear of dispelling its own apparition."

Discogs: SM / RC / JMZ

Spotify: SM / RC

NB: photo above by Ary Kaplan Nakamura for Panoramica.

Important: LMYE only makes music available that artists/labels have chosen to share freely. Let us know if something here shouldn't be.

Sunday, 24 April 2011

Hamburger hill

Difficult to exaggerate the ultra-dense, everything but the kitchen sink intensity of Black To Comm's new-ish Coldplay, Elvis & John Cage, or its sheer excellence: 20 thrilling minutes of riffing, chugging, squawking, squealing, bleeping, keening fun (though its imaginary supergroup lineage is a bit lost on these ears...).

Although the longest, CEJC is just one of a rich quartet of apparently new & unquestionably great tracks recently SoundClouded by BTC - stream all four below. Other highlights include the woozy, crepuscular Scorpions Rising (avert sensitive eyes from its accompanying artwork, though) & the Hammer House of Phaze Horizon (featured on an Unsound compilation, allegedly).

Yes bloody please dept: "the follow-up to "Alphabet 1968" will be a soundtrack for Singapore director Ho Tzu Nyen's film EARTH coming out on DVD and probably on LP/CD sometime in 2011..."

Previous coverage (also here, in passing).

Important: LMYE only makes music available that artists/labels have chosen to share freely. Let us know if something here shouldn't be.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Candlewax oligarch

Whatever else it is - a mesmerising piece of pulsating, shimmering live 'playthrough', most obviously - the Keith Fullerton Whitman work in progress 2011. is (unsurprisingly) no loping dubsteppery. Boggling at its SoundCloud tag, the literal-minded still await a take on the genre from KFW - who after all has some kind of dance music form in his Hrvatski guise (though not lately, admittedly - they may be waiting some time).

Anyway, recorded 'live to "glass"' - whatever that means - just this Monday (perhaps the second half of the title is the time it was taped?), the piece provides some kind of self-riposte to his striking recent comment that "now that it [generator] has run its course, i've yet to come up with a "next step" that doesn't tread over the same old ground; i'm uncomfortable with the endless recycling of materials that i suppose make up a "career" in music ... at least enough to shy away from performance opportunities that don't offer something new and/or truly sympathetic to the spirit of furthering things."

Context: "generator is over ; it was exactly a year in the doing, during which i learned a ton about approaches to live electronic music that don't essentially involve lying to your audience; an experiment which helped clear the air & lent much to my own mental stability..."

Note also that this year should bring "an lp for the "no" label covering the final two "generator" performances (i.e. my solo sets at high zero 2010 & the "propensity of sound" festivals, taking place exactly one day apart & offering two completely separate variations of the piece that i consider the definitive versions)."

"... here's a little video documenting a series of recordings I've been carrying out in the home studio (aka Much Wenlock) utilizing electric guitar & a few different configurations of guitar pedals (here the chain goes :: Fairfield FourEyes -> Moog Ring Modulator -> Visual Sound Visual Volume -> Strymon El Capistan -> Boomerang III -> Strymon BlueSky, with expression pedals controlling the FourEyes SVF frequency, the Ring Mod's carrier frequency, and the El Capistan's delay time) ...

this comes pretty close to what I've been going for :: a muted, aleatoric musique concrète approach to "live" guitar music, with little in the way of traditional "guitarisms" ... to me it sounds like something that would have been broadcast on the RAI in 1956 ..."

While we're here...

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Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Duncan of Jordanstone

Exclusive: a thrilling extract from the imminent immensity that is The Last Few Seconds Before Sleep - new Erstlaub on Broken20 (LMYE’s New Label of 2010). Deftly controlled & shaped, often deeply affecting, TLFSBS underscores again how Dave Fyans’ Erstlaub stands out as a beacon of a special, cherishable integrity. To these ears few other artists – working in drone or elsewhere – can summon the same intensity or harness the same single-mindedness (yes, heckler, those two probably are facets of a single quality...).

Blurb: “Aware of this clarion call but powerless to act. I know this sound inside out, a minute piece of sonic cartography that contains all the information in the universe, like the whirring of a vast organic hard-drive as the processor performs a memory dump between logic and something much bigger…much weirder. Delay lines feed back to Omega Point; choirs of particles stream towards event horizons. Perceived time holds no sway here; this vast but tiny sound contains all of time and space and possibility.”

Other recent Erst generates similar beauty from its restraint. Stream three exemplars (Disconnect, Deadending & At The Border Of Nothing) below, plus a quite different piece (the wildly skittering ReCollection(s), under his own name).

Important: LMYE only makes music available that artists/labels have chosen to share freely. Let us know if something here shouldn't be.

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Tended like a garden

In a better universe the fragile, splintery beauty of Akira Rabelais's Then The Substanceless Blue (from Caduceus, idiotically placed just outside LMYE's Festive 50 of 2010) would be lauded as the great, wilful pop tune - complete with deliriously romantic & affecting video (below) - it so obviously is...

Blurb: "On his Samadhisound debut, Spellewauerynsherde, Akira Rabelais crafted austere settings to found recordings of Icelandic songs of lament. His follow-up, Caduceus, is a different beast – a study of guitar and extreme distortion that’s both harsh and mesmerising. samadhisound founder David Sylvian describes it as “caustically romantic”: “Akira's recording presents you with an auditory experience quite unlike any other. It's by turns a brutal and discomforting ride. Outside of the full-on audio assault, there's unsettling disquiet in its quietude. Once heard it won't be forgotten and for those seeking out recorded music that is transformative, experiential, this material has that potency.”

Raised in Texas, Rabelais played guitar in a series of Austin-based bands throughout the 80's before moving into electronic music, going on to study at Bennington College and the California Institute of Arts. Rabelais recalls, “I think the first glimmer of Caduceus came in the summer of 1996, in a Milan hotel as I was suffering through food poisoning and jet lag... all the water trying leave my body at once, while I was working on source for a show. I reverted to a former self, sometime in the late 80's, an echo of my Austin days spent playing in dreamy industrial bands with aggressive distortion.”

To create Caduceus, Rabelais processed recordings of guitar through the Argeïphontes Lyre, a software instrument of his own design. It’s a decade-old codebase that’s written like a poem and tended like a garden: as Rabelais explains, his work comes from a process of “music driving software, and software feeding music.” “I was always making little instruments as a child, lots of odd stringed things and percussion bits … metal plates along a barbed-wire fence. I think AL descends from this bloodline. It scratches my four year old self’s itch to ring metal plates with a bb-gun."

Important: LMYE only makes music available that artists/labels have chosen to share freely. Let us know if something here shouldn't be.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Machines can react

Flanging with something approaching fury, deploying a hugely tactile analogue throb, Mountains shrug off blissed-out torpor & unleash a newly vigorous, almost frenzied & more than faintly kosmische version of themselves...

Blurb: "Air Museum blurs the lines between acoustic and electronic music even more without sacrificing melody or the delicacy of their sound. It is an album of firsts. It was the first album that the acoustic instruments were not processed via a computer. Instead, the processing of the instrumentation (acoustic and electric guitar, cello, accordion, piano, bass etc.) was done using a variety of pedals, modular synths, and other analog techniques. While acoustic instruments were used extensively, the album manifests itself sonically as their most “electronic” record yet. Air Museum is also their first record that was made in a studio. Working in the studio expanded their possibilities, giving more room for experimentation. While much of the album was recorded in real time with minor editing, the band took the opportunity to utilize the studio as an instrument of sorts, investing a great amount of time in customizing their approach to post-production. Air Museum was recorded at Telescope Recording, in Brooklyn, New York, between December 2010 and January 2011, with the exception of “Blue Lanterns On East Oxford” which was recorded in Philadelphia in the spring of 2010 and “Live At The Triple Door”, an edit of a live performance that took place in Seattle at the 2009 Decibel Festival."

Mountains - Thousand Square (from Air Museum, Thrill Jockey)

Important: LMYE only makes music available that artists/labels have chosen to share freely. Let us know if something here shouldn't be.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011


You can't say Highpoint Lowlife isn't going out on a high: Thorsten Sideb0ard's monumental curatorial effort winds itself up for the final curtain with TVO/The Village Orchestra's beautiful epic Amid the Blaze of Noon. Has there been a better HPLL release than this juddery, tangential suite, its 14 parts jewel-glinting & city-smeared (the mighty Erstlaub, who's name-checked in one of the early chapters, might have a thing or two to say about that, of course...)?

"It’s almost a redundancy to point out the hidden depths to
cities. Better authors and thinkers than I have expended
time in tracing their esoteric underbellies: Sinclair,
Morrison, Home, Calvino, Ballard and Ackroyd are the
ones that had the most profound effect on me. I have a
recurring urge to record and document the city (the city as
an entity of entirety rather than a specific one, the ur-city
that lurks behind all the other, smaller facets - maybe like
a hologram, each small part also containing the whole,
something said more elegantly by Neil Gaiman than by
me) and also find myself constantly influenced by and
through by the concrete, metal and glass.
Amid The Blaze of Noon began as a performance at
Cafe Oto (as opposed to OTO?) in 2008. Organised by
Thorsten from Highpoint Lowlife, I decided along with my
long time collaborator and ex-Marcia Blaine girl Bryan
Kerr to create a performance based around the area
where the event took place. The plan was to spend the
day wandering through Dalston and Stoke Newington,
accompanied by our friend and collaborator Dave Fyans/
Erstlaub, with no destination in mind, recording all the
The performance itself was almost incidental. A planned
conjoining of audio and video from the day coupled with
heavy processing, it worked to a degree, but technical
problems led to an awkward, uncertain display which had
moments of brilliance coupled with fragments of waste.
The recordings - by now some heavily processed, others
unadorned - persisted though. There was a plan to put
together a DVD of Bryan’s images with a new album based
around the recordings - but in the end this fell through, with
a single video for ALA the only testament to the plan (http://
vimeo.com/11467858). Instead I used the recordings to
anchor other work that I had already put together for a
work based around cities, as well as new music inspired by
or involved directly in the performance.
Albums - or ‘albums’ - are apparently an outmoded concept,
an anachronism in a time of single track mp3 lust. But for
me there will always be a place for a longer-form work, an
album to take from A to A in a fixed point in time, and
that tries to achieve a certain goal along the way."

Stream the entirety of Ruaridh Law's magical psychogeography tour (jumping off point: Dalston) below. Plus a re-up of those ALA visuals...

Meantime, Thorsten also resuscitates Chris Douglas's Dalglish. This splintering lope round an unobvious block, bringing the label full circle from its first non-compilation release, demands the attention that Douglas has so rarely had in 20 pioneering years.

Dalglish - 10 7.3.2009

Liber Aleph//Idle Fear//ALA//Volume B//
Grayscale//STA//Fyans, Lost//Shouting
Gram//The Girl With The Star On Her
Arm//Lost in The Waste//Aklo (Red Hook
to Hackney)//Destroying Angel//Abney
Park Scrying//The Empire Never Ended

Important: LMYE only makes music available that artists/labels have chosen to share freely. Let us know if something here shouldn't be.

Monday, 4 April 2011

Already unspooling

Complex, hard-hewed beauty from three staples of LMYE's core curriculum: Mark Templeton, Kyle Bobby Dunn & Adam Thomas's Preslav Literary School. Each has new gear out or imminent - Templeton's fine Sweat Lodge Guru tape (represented by its misty, affecting title track, Scotch Heart), the meditative intensity of Runge's Last Stand (KBD's contribution to Ghostly's pretty impeccable SMM: Context comp - stream a 30-minute sampler below) & PSL's richly murky This Good Lesson Keep (from Veer, forthcoming on Interdisco): all are eminently worth time, cash, care...

1. Goldmund - "Motion"
2. Leyland Kirby - "Polaroid"
3. Svarte Greiner - "Halves"
4. Christina Vantzou - "11 Generations Of My Fathers"
5. Jacaszek - "Elegia"
6. The Fun Years - "Cornelia Amygdaloid"
7. Manual - "Three Parts"
8. Aidan Baker - "Substantiated"
9. Rafael Anton Irisarri - "Moments Descend On My Windowpane"
10. Kyle Bobby Dunn - "Runge's Last Stand"
11. Peter Broderick - "Pause"

Important: LMYE only makes music available that artists/labels have chosen to share freely. Let us know if something here shouldn't be.
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