"An arbitrary succession of more or less irritating sounds"

Saturday, 8 October 2016

Hidden burn

Drama - the sense of moment, event or even ritual - figures notably large in Touch’s recent output. It always has, of course (think Kiri No Oto or Without Sinking…). But ravishing new releases like Claire M Singer’s  Solas & Bethan Kellough’s Aven seem drenched in it - most obviously because of their string & organ parts, but more broadly because of their shade & light interplay of acoustic, electronic & field recording elements.

It also seems to reflect the imprint’s growing body of live releases this year. Aven is one; Floodlines by Simon Scott – whose gripping Insomni for Touch affiliate Ash International was part of LMYE’s 2015 Festive 33-1/3 - & Fennesz's Mahler Remix two more. All clearly gain great atmosphere & power from being captured in the moment... 

Touch’s US West Coast ‘conference’ in the summer amped up this emphasis on performance. Besides Aven, gripping shows by Philip Jeck, Daniel Menche and Mark Van Hoen were shared through Touch Radio – a wonderfully rich ‘platform for recordings from artists affiliated to or whose work appears on Touch’. 

To these ears at least, it connects too to drøne’s Reversing Into the Future. This thrilling piece – surely the most kinetic non-dancefloor record in an age ("sounds moan and sing, forming their own phonemes") – feels like an honorary part of Touch’s work even if formally a debut for Anna von Hausswolff’s Pomperipossa: a collaboration between Touch co-founder Mike Harding & Van Hoen (whose digital-only Artefacts I came out on the ‘audio-visual resource for ‘emerging artists’’ TOUCHLINE in October 2015). 

Much more Touch performance in tonight's 17th Spire ("organ works past present & future") at Organ Reframed - for which Singer is artistic director. Hope to see you there...

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

Thursday, 6 October 2016

Wade Paddle Row Float

Yet another party that these ears are late to, granted - but Jeremy Young's The Chants Beneath 'project' ("There is no album, or record, and no distribution, this collection exists only here") is so rich & so replete with members of the LMYE pantheon that recognition is due all the same. 

The idea: "create 125 unique artist edition double-sided loop pieces towards developing sustainable audience engagement with the sonic arts, housing all the loops online in a freely streamable living archive and commissioning over 120 sound artists to create new work using each singular piece."

Fair enough, not least when the artists in question include (alphabetically, not in archival running order...) Astral Social Club, Jimmy Billingham, John Chantler, Chris Herbert, Giuseppi Ielasi, Julia Kent, Machinefabriek, Josh Mason, Daniel Menche, My Cat Is An Alien, Orphax, Stefano Pilia, pinkcourtesyphone, Nils Quak, Janek Schaefer, Mike Shiflet, thisquietarmy & Simon Whetham

The result: a glorious, defiantly non-commercial "living archive of cassette tape loops" based on 125 pairs of 7-second loops from Young's ravishing original chants beneath the bed of the furnace brook ("a descriptive reflection of movement and stillness"). 

Highlights are headed by Orphax's insistent, beautifully balanced 'remix'. Less than five minutes, it seems to embody the idea of a loop as something without beginning or end that could play on, satisfyingly, forever...

MCIAA's celestial/skittering/naif/bass smear brew also jumps out, along with compatriot Stefano Pilia's on-the-brink-of-collapsing workoutJanek Schaefer's equally intense Golden Gatesa hovering, gauzy take by Chris Herbert & Julia Kent's glowing gloop-meets-bow Round, Reversed   

Other compelling contributions include the unfurling, tendril-like Together at Wimshurst by Drew BarnettNils Quak's soothing, contemplative The Crying of Lot 32 & pcp's subtle, shaped Tape Chanting As We Speak

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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