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Experimental / Avant-garde / Sound Art / Field

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Wrekmeister Harmonies
The Alone Rush

The Alone Rush, the fifth LP Wrekmeister Harmonies have served up for Thrill Jockey, is the first that sees the band take to the stage as duo. The group’s miserabilist-in-chief J. R. Robinson now comes with Esther Shaw in tow as an official member. Helped wby several guest spots from Swans bloke Thor Harris, the group make music as brooding and intense as anything in the band’s catalogue to date. Nick Cave and Warren Ellis’s cinematic abstractions come to mind, as does Ellis's old fling The Dirty Three.

Russell Haswell
Tongue Dancer '85

Someone let noisy troublemaker Russell Haswell into the famous EMS Elektronmusikstudion in Stockholm, where he had a play around on their marvellous collection of synthesisers. Typically searing business from Haswell here. Tongue Dancer ‘85 is a single-track, single-sided 12”, limited to 300 copies.

Gruppo di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza
Gruppo Di Improvvisazione "Nuova Consonanza"

Gruppo Di Improvvisazione Nuova Consonanza are legendary, at least within the tight circles of electro-acoustic improvisation fans and the deeper fans of Ennio Morricone (who was part of the group. This record is way, way ahead of its 1960s era, sounding alien and fascinating even today! Reissued by Schema.
  • Genre(s):
  • Experimental / Avant-garde / Sound Art / Field

Klara Lewis
Ett

Sinking into the abyss with Klara Lewis. Ett is a the debut full length from the producer. This one is a deep sea odyssey, with Klara delving into expansive sub-60 hertz territory and the grainy upper middle. There are field recorded manipulations, loops, samples and electronics that seamlessly blend the raw matter with the digital to make a whole new thing. Out on vinyl LP from Editions Mego.

Bruce Gilbert
Ex Nihilo

Editions Mego mark their 250th release with a regular contributor to the label - ex-Wire / Dome member Bruce Gilbert. Ex Nihilo encapsulates his signature sonics - harsh, austere, sculptural aural brutalism, hacked into a variety of abstract and alien shapes. The fact that the album is mastered by mischievous extremist synth gremlin Russell Haswell and cut by the exacting Rashad Becker neatly indicates where it lies on the noise continuum.

BJNilsen
Massif Trophies

Massif Trophies is more of a piece of art than a record, really. Amsterdam based musician BJNilen primarily focuses his work on nature and how it impacts the human mind. Listening through this record you get a real sense of being where he is, and you feel as if you're side by side him going on the same adventure he is on. Available on Vinyl LP and released on Editions Mego. 
  • Genre(s):
  • Experimental / Avant-garde / Sound Art / Field

Giacinto Scelsi, Chris Watson & Joe Browning
Scelsi EP

Giacinto Scelsi is a not-well-enough-known Italian composer who was keen on exploring music based around only one pitch. This Scelsi EP contains an impressive recording of one of his pieces, an insect-based field recording inspired by Scelsi from field-maestro Chris Watson, and a solo shakuhachi performance by Joe Browning. What a wonderfully unusual set. On SN Variations.
  • Genre(s):
  • Experimental / Avant-garde / Sound Art / Field

Chra
On a Fateful Morning

Chra's approach to darker, foreboding electronica gathers far reaching influences together in one pot, transmitting a mysterious yet visceral result to the brain of the listener. Restless circuit chatter is enveloped in shadowy drones which break out into abstract rhythms and bass work, a journey through industry and fog.
  • Genre(s):
  • Experimental / Avant-garde / Sound Art / Field
  • Genre(s):
  • Experimental / Avant-garde / Sound Art / Field

Philip Jeck
Cardinal

A new Philip Jeck record is always welcome: the man deals in turntables and old dusty records, but in a way that moves beyond the mere “ooh, sounds crackly!” He loops his source material up into whole new structures. This sense of composition and craft is very much in evidence on Cardinal, his new double LP on (where else?) Touch.
  • Genre(s):
  • Experimental / Avant-garde / Sound Art / Field

UnicaZürn
Transpandorem

UnicaZürn is the imaginative sound collaboration between Stephen Thrower and David Knight, both of whom have participated in some notable experimental musics (with Coil, Lydia Lunch and more). Transpandorem, their new LP for Touch, drifts around some spacey territory with synths, mellotron, guitar, clarinet, leaving behind a music that is hard to pin down.

Entourage
Ceremony of Dreams: Studio Sessions & Outtakes, 1972-77

Experimental ambient trio The Entourage Music & Theatre Ensemble released only two LPs during their active years of 190 and 1983. Tompkins Square have managed to collect 30 unreleased tracks that include alternate takes and early versions, alongside notes from the last surviving member Wall Matthews. Stunningly serene stuff that’ll just wash right over you.

Meadow House
This Should Not Be Happening

For those who didn't bother getting our Meadow House LP on Public House then you'll be even more annoyed to know that there's a further LP on Feeding Tube - an actual professional label that know what they are talking about. Admittedly Dan Wilson's eccentric project is a marmite affair but Feeding Tube liked it so much they scratted through 60 unreleased songs to come up with this example of his wild Syd Barrett indebted creativity.  
  • Genre(s):
  • Experimental / Avant-garde / Sound Art / Field
  • Genre(s):
  • Experimental / Avant-garde / Sound Art / Field

Noon
Disquiet

Wow ok. This one blows your head off. Noon are a London-based trio that bring together free jazz, free rock and free everything else. They’ve taken seven years since the release of their debut EP in 2011, but Disquiet was worth the wait. The guitar playing recalls Adrien Belew and St Vincent at their very zaniest as well as packing an additional crunch that pretty much consumes the sound. The drums and bass are at once titanically massive and groovily nimble even when operating at sluggish tempos. It's a bit like Zammuto ... a bit.

Ekca Liena
Gravity and Grace

Public House Recordings alumni Ecka Liena offer their follow-up to Graduals in Gravity and Grace, another gorgeous soundtrack to shadows and solitude. Utilising non-musical sound as a structuring device, this record houses some of the band's most ambitious ideas to date. Come for the immense, dramatic soundscapes and stay for the never-ending melancholy.   

Laurence Pike
Distant Early Warning

Laurence Pike is the drumming part of PVT (Pivot), Szun Waves and Triosk, but he also has a solo practice, which he is sharing with us for the first time here on Distant Early Warning. These six tracks, which were all recorded live during one day in the studio (very efficient), are played by Pike on drumkit and sampler, and the variety of sounds and textures achieved is impressive. Distant Early Warning is released by The Leaf Label.

Stephen Thrower
Trouser Bar

Stephen Thrower, a member of Coil from Scatology up until 1992 went on to work in groups such as Cyclobe and UnicaZürn. Here we have the soundtracks to short film Trouser Bar (Directed by Kristen Bjorn) and two silent films by Peter De Rome. Having previously written scores for Derek Jarman and Ben Wheatley it comes as no surprise when he switches from thumping disco to noir tinged slow jazz.

William Basinski & Richard Chartier
Divertissment

Serious minimalists heavyweights collaborating right here. William Basinski should need no introduction, and Richard Chartier has been ploughing a rich furrow of electronic microsound for years. Their third collaboration together is Divertissment, which is of course a richly detailed sonic environment, subtle but powerful.

Various
Musique Expérimentale

Finders Keepers bring yet another vital moment of the 20th Century French leftfield to wax with this release of early electroacoustic music and music concrete. After Pierre Schaeffer secured the keys to one of Europe’s first purpose-built electroacoustic studios in 1951, a community began to incubate around the studio which eventually developed into the Groupe de Recherches Musicales de la R. T. F.. This release brings together essential works made by that loose collection of artists, who included Luc Ferrari and Michel Philippot.
  • Genre(s):
  • Experimental / Avant-garde / Sound Art / Field

Tor Lundvall & John B McLemore
Tor Lundvall Presents: Witness Marks - The Works of John B. McLemore

Kind of a long story, this one, but the gist as we can surmise: Tor Lundvall is an ambient submariner as good as Gigi Mason but a fair bit more neglected. On this special entry into his catalogue he compiles works by John B. McLemore, an artist made famous by, what else, a podcast called S-Town. The podcast's detailed look into McLemore's life was considered a landmark -- albeit with plenty of ethical quandaries about how far a documentary can go. At one moment in McLemore's life, he reached out to Lundvall asking if he could produce some remixes of the artist's work -- Lundvall obliged and received these fascinating and often overwhelmingly intense pieces.

Hatis Noit
Illogical Dance

Erased Tapes front four ‘sound sculptures’ from Japanese artist Hatis Noit that had previously only been released in Japan. Using her voice as the core element of the recordings, Noit has created an avant-song-cycle rich in range and emotion. Citing Japanese classical music and Gregorian chants as influences, Illogical Dance also recalls Holly Herndon and Bjork’s choir-centred LPs. Matmos turn in an edit of ‘Illogical Lullaby’.
  • Genre(s):
  • Experimental / Avant-garde / Sound Art / Field

Mario Batkovic
Mario Batkovic

Mario Batkovic does for the accordion something like what Colin Stetson does for the saxophone: he opens everyone’s favourite wheezy-bag instrument up to new sonic possibilities. Solo statement Mario Batkovic uses extended techniques and minimalist structures to create a really captivating of accordion compositions. CD / double LP release on Invada.

David Toop + Paul Burwell
Suttle Sculpture

David Toop has been investigating free improvised music through writing and performance for many years now: this release documents his work with Paul Burwell in the form of a 1977 session in Brussels. Suttle Sculpture has never previously been released in any form, and they offer an insight into the creation and development of music that still sounds cutting edge. Vinyl from Sub Rosa.
  • Genre(s):
  • Experimental / Avant-garde / Sound Art / Field

Einstürzende Neubauten
Lament

Blixa Bargeld was in Leeds doing his thing with Teho Teardo the other day and it was quite extraordinary, and now here he is doing what he does best with his legendary avant-garde noise outfit Einsturzende Neubauten, whose new album commemorates the 100th anniversary of the start of World War I. With such harrowing subject matter I'm expecting something pretty sombre and hard-hitting from these mallet-wielding mood masters.
  • Label(s):
  • BMG
  • Genre(s):
  • Experimental / Avant-garde / Sound Art / Field

Amoral Avatar
Amoral Avatar

Instrumental rock label Trestle Records (Noon, Karras) drop another envelope-pusher. Amoral Avatar are a duo who take post-rock about as far as it can go before it turns into, like, music concrete or something. It’s not ‘post-rock’ in the vast, glacial, Explosions In The Sky sense, though there are moments - ‘AA6’, for instance - of stillness and beauty. But there are also tracks like ‘AA2’ which could be something by Pierre Schaeffer. The fact that this record was tracked in a day (!) makes it even more impressive.

Colin Fisher
V Le Pape

Never overdubbed and always improvised guitar ambience from Toronto's Colin Fisher. A serial collaborator (Not the Wind, Not the Flag, Caribou) now breaking out on his own with the help of The Pape. The Pape has helped guide Fisher truly understand himself as a musician, and helped him produce so very beautiful music along the way. Hurray for The Pape!
  • Vinyl LP (GJ007)
  • £16.99 £10.19 (saving: £6.80)
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Last copy

Alvarius B / Sir Richard Bishop
Strange Fruit

Unrock here issue a very special record indeed, pairing Sun City Girls' Alan and Richard Bishop on a split 10". These figures need no introduction given their work within the celebrated avant-psych outfit in which they made their names. This release holds extra significance though, celebrating 25 years of the label.

Ismo Laakso
Ofelia

Forgotten in a drawer for twenty years, this bizarre LP by Ismo Laakso at last sees the light of day, courtesy of Puu - sublabel of the revered Sähkö Recordings. These are some off-the-wall lo-fi excursions from the feisty Finn, with industrial and abstract sound design and texture-mangling alongside sacred choral, modern classical and many other kinds of samples. It’s aged well.

Creta
Creta

This new project from Massimo Pupillo (Zu, Laniakea), Luciano Lamanna and Roberto Zanisi sees the trio create three heady ambient soundscapes. The division of labour is thus: Lamanna brings the modulars, Zanisi handles guitar as well as an array of Mediterranean string instruments, and Pupilo’s bass moves in and out of the mix. What the trio end up with is equal parts Coil, Californian New Age and seashore ambience. Out via Karlrecords.

Eric Chenaux
Slowly Paradise

Sounding like he's playing jazz and folk influenced guitar pieces whilst sitting in the hull of a tugboat on a particularly windy day, Eric Chenaux has a totally unique seasick sound that is ripe with invention. He blurs the lines between avant garde modern composition and the type of lop-sided fretwork also explored by the likes of John Fahey and Richard Dawson.  

Meadow House
Misadventures On The Scorn Cycle

Originally sent out at random to all manner of unsuitable places, 'Misadventures on the Scorn Cycle' sees a long-awaited vinyl release for Dan Wilson's sonic experiments as Meadow House. For the uninitiated, Wilson has a particularly English style of songwriting - imagine Chris Morris crossed with Syd Barrett and you are somewhere close. Part genius, part idiot, this is a rambling, absurdist outburst crammed with bits of sheer pop brilliance.
  • Vinyl LP (KINGSARMS17)
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Limited edition

EMEI
EMEI

Bristol’s Aphelion Editions come through with a hyper-limited sound-sketch by EMEI. Opener ‘Frosted Glass’ sets the tone nicely for EMEI. Beginning with glacial prettiness, the melodies soon distort and overlap to create thick textures that bear comparison to the likes of both Fennesz and Explosions In The Sky. The record is an impressionistic one, with nursery-rhyme melodies, found sounds, screeching drones and more flitting in and out of the mix.

Star Turbine
The Great Distortion

Danish noise duo Star Turbine have two recordings from their 2017 UK tour put out on a micro-run by Aphelion Editions. Culled from performances in Bristol and Edinburgh, The Great Distortion captures the lo-fi idiosyncrats in full flow. At times skirting towards music concrete and sound-art, at others approaching doomy viscera, The Great Distortion is a record that has you craning your head to the monitor so you can better understand the transmission.
  • Genre(s):
  • Experimental / Avant-garde / Sound Art / Field

Alvarius B
With a Beaker on the Burner and an Otter in the Oven - Vol. 3 Heathen Folklore

Alvarius B is the moniker of former Sun City Girl member Alan Bishop, formerly of Sun City Girls and now going his own way. With a Beaker on the Burner and an Otter in the Oven is a series of three albums released simultaneously, and Volume Three, sub-titled Heathen Folklore, is supposedly the most fucked-up of the three records. Vinyl LP release from Abduction.

Max Eastley / Steve Beresford / Paul Burwell / David Toop
Whirled Music

Oren Ambarchi’s Black Truffle label presents the first ever reissue of this 1980 collaboration of David Toop, Steve Beresford, Paul Burwell and Max Eastley, major improvising musicians all. Whirled Music features exclusively whirled instruments: e.g. objects and instruments that are spun around in the air, producing a whole variety of sonic effects. Rare and intriguing material, from both live performances and outdoor recordings.
  • Genre(s):
  • Experimental / Avant-garde / Sound Art / Field

Alvarius B
With a Beaker on the Burner and an Otter in the Oven - Vol. 2 A Mark Twain August

Alvarius B is of course Alan Bishop, formerly of Sun City Girls and now going his own way. With a Beaker on the Burner and an Otter in the Oven is a series of three albums released simultaneously, and here is Volume Two, sub-titled A Mark Twain August. Apparently it features a banjo formerly owned by Mark Twain himself, though that could be classic Bishop nonsense, who knows… On Abduction.

Alvarius B
With a Beaker on the Burner and an Otter in the Oven - Vol. 1 Natural Wonder

Alvarius B is of course Alan Bishop, formerly of Sun City Girls and now going his own way. With a Beaker on the Burner and an Otter in the Oven is a series of three albums released simultaneously, and Volume One is reportedly the most melodic of the trilogy. Vinyl release from Abduction, with an inner sleeve containing all of Alvarius’s curious lyrics.

Pierre Henry / Michel Colombier
Messe Pour Le Temps Présent

This first stretch of this 1967 release makes up the score of a ballet by Maurice Bejart. It represents Henry at his most friendly, applying his electroacoustic skills in a very swinging sixties context. Most famously, the record contains the track Psyché Rock, later used as the basis of the theme to animated comedy series Futurama, and was also subject to a remix by Fatboy Slim. Some more outré material follows, making this a nicely balanced introduction to Henry’s oeuvre.
  • Genre(s):
  • Experimental / Avant-garde / Sound Art / Field

Matmos / People Like Us / Wobbly
Wide Open Spaces

Let’s revisit a remarkable collaboration from 2002, when plunderphonic supremos People Like Us and Wobbly matched up with Matmos, the kings of high-concept, high-fun electronics. Wide Open Spaces documents a live performance themed around ‘country & western’, which naturally leads to a lot of enjoyable and entertaining sound juxtapositions. Good stuff, remastered and released on Discrepant.
  • Genre(s):
  • Experimental / Avant-garde / Sound Art / Field

MMMD
Andromache

Leading chamber droners MMMD follow up their monolithic, triple 10" from the year gone with a tape in homage to and mourning a good friend. All recorded from within an apartment, it's a rework of the duo's old material, this time coming in a different but just as sparse set up: piano and sine waves mark this sorta-remix release.
  • Tape (afro 2076)
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Limited edition

Pierre Henry
Polyphonies

This is a massive testament to the one of the most innovative and influential bodies of work in 20th century music. Pierre Henry (who died in 2017 at the age of 89) was one of the pioneers of musique concrète. His work and ideas resonate through the spectrum of electronic music, from tape collage to the theme from animated series Futurama (which was based on his track Psyché Rock). This artist-compiled 12-disc box samples his output from the 1950 collaboration with Pierre Schaeffer, Symphonie Pour Un Homme Seul, to some of his final works, with nine pieces seeing their first release. Contains an 112-page booklet with extensive notes with artwork displaying Henry’s “concrete paintings”.
  • Genre(s):
  • Experimental / Avant-garde / Sound Art / Field

Yeah You‎
VHOD

You want father/daughter lo-fi noise pop on cassette? Well Yeah You have just the thing for you, yeah, you. Distorted beats and synths melded with field recordings and stream-of-consciousness lyrics, recorded ostensibly anywhere - roadsides, car parks, and really wherever takes their fancy when out and about. VHOD, the title of this here recording translates from Slovenian as Entrance. Cassette on Alter.
  • Genre(s):
  • Experimental / Avant-garde / Sound Art / Field

Barry Adamson
Oedipus Schmoedipus

Barry Adamson’s records are getting the reissue treatment thanks to Mute. Adamson is currently a member of Nick Cave’s Bad Seeds (the man himself guests on a track here), but in the mid-90s, when Oedipus Schmoedipus was released, Adamson was crafting these grand mini-epics. Also featuring an incredibly breathy guest vocal from Jarvis Cocker.
  • Genre(s):
  • Experimental / Avant-garde / Sound Art / Field

Laurie Anderson & Kronos Quartet
Landfall

Substantial collaboration between musician and spoken word storyteller Laurie Anderson and San Francisco’s Kronos Quartet. Landfall, a multimedia project inspired by Anderson’s experience of Hurricane Sandy, blends skillful instrumentation with her powerful spoken word descriptions of the storm. On Nonesuch.

Sperm
50th Erection I ‐ Collected Works 1967‐1970

This would appear to be (part one of) the comprehensive Sperm experience, comprising multiple albums, EPs and previously-unreleased selections from the earliest years of these Finnish avant-nonsensers. 50th Erection 1 collects all the material from the years 1967 to 1970, including a solo LP from Sperm founder Pekka Airaksinen. Some very intriguing experimental performance sound going on here. Reissued on two CDs or four LPs, from Svart.
  • Genre(s):
  • Experimental / Avant-garde / Sound Art / Field

Sir Richard Bishop / Ava Mendoza
Ivory Tower (Hanuman)

On this limited vinyl split LP, Sun City Girls icon Sir Richard Bishop plays alongside another avant-garde guitarist, Ava Mendoza. Mendoza is a committed improvisor, rooted in wild and noisy punk experimentation and Bishop is the scene statesman who hasn’t forgotten how to freak out. They take a side each and the results, as recorded on Ivory Tower (Hanuman), are rich, abrasive and strange solo guitar playing.  

Sunwatchers
II

A completely bombastic, globe trotting psychedelic journey with a spiritual home in Brooklyn. This outfit smash together wah and skronk, liquid bass and driving rhythms to create hypercolour, throwback rock action. Perfect bleached out hits for fans of Sun City Girls, African psyche and heaven knows what else.
  • Genre(s):
  • Experimental / Avant-garde / Sound Art / Field

Eyvind Kang & Jessika Kenney
Reverse Tree

Jessika Kenney and Eyvind Kang bring in several of their many frequent collaborators to contribute to their new album Reverse Tree. These include heavyweights like Ilan Volkov and Hildur Gu∂nadóttir, plus the omnipresent Oren Ambarchi. Two side-long suites of hard-to-pin-down sounds, layering up delicately ornate atmosphere. LP release on Black Truffle.

The Thing
Shake

At last, another full-blown studio release from the killer free-jazz trio that is The Thing! Masters of the form Mats Gustafsson, Paal Nilssen-Love and Ingebrigt Håker Flaten have stunning chemistry together, and with Shake they blow everything else out of the water. Released by their own The Thing Records, working with Trost.

Peter Brotzmann / Harry Miller / Louis Moholo
The Nearer The Bone, The Sweeter the Meat

Legendary saxophonist Peter Brotzmann meets two South African musicians on a reissue of this classic FMP session on Cien Fuegos. Brotzmann deploys his full range of reeds, from the lows of the bass clarinet to the dizzy highs of the soprano sax. Harry Miller grinds away on his double bass and Louis Moholo keeps up a constant spattering rhythm on the drums, all facilitating free jazz joy.

Tashi Dorji & Tyler Damon
Leave No Trace (Live In St. Louis)

Two people, one with guitar and one with a drum kit. It’s a set-up ripe with potential for instant-composition from magic, and Tashi Dorji and Tyler Damon take their starting place and really run with it. Leave No Trace, recorded live in front of an audience in St. Louis, is a fierce, tight, inventive duet that’ll leave you mind-boggled. LP on Family Vineyard.
  • Genre(s):
  • Experimental / Avant-garde / Sound Art / Field

Eraldo Bernocchi & Chihei Hatakeyama
Solitary Universe

Two masters at subtle guitar work joined forces to lay down these five pieces. Chihei Hatakeyama and Eraldo Bernocchi curve and twirl their ambient guitar lines around one another, creating what we might call a Solitary Universe for the listener. The CD comes with a photobook of images by Yasushi Miura and Petulia Mattioli.

Oren Ambarchi
Live Knots

‘Knots’ was of course the half-hour centerpiece of Oren Ambarchi’s excellent Audience Of One album, a massive piece that spirals out from a guitar / drums core into a number of other instrumental areas. Now PAN are releasing two live versions, each with a different ensemble and focusing on different elements. Typically gorgeous PAN packaging too… Oooh, you’ll need this.
  • Label(s):
  • PAN
  • Genre(s):
  • Experimental / Avant-garde / Sound Art / Field

Esmerine
Mechanics Of Dominion

Esmerine are one of the finest of the several acts that have grown out of the peripheries of godspeed you! black emperor. New album Mechanics Of Dominion is a diverse collection, with marimbas, amplified music boxes and horns all appearing in both brand new recordings and unheard material restored from the archives. Released by Constellations in CD and lovely LP-with-art-prints editions.

Etant Donnés with Michael Gira
Offenbarung und Untergang

Reissue of a 1999 collaboration between the French post-industrial experimentalists and Swans’ frontman. The album sets Gira’s spoken and sung recital of a text by Austrian poet Georg Trakl amid profoundly bleak atmospheres. Mark Cunningham of No Wave greats Mars contributes trumpet. For best results, have a good grasp of the German tongue, though the emotional impact comes across either way.
  • Genre(s):
  • Experimental / Avant-garde / Sound Art / Field

Yair Elazar Glotman
Études

Yair Elazar Glotman learned to play contrabass the way that classical music demands: practice toward an intuitive understanding of performance. As always, though, his work is critical of what we're taught to remember music as being, and Études is an aggressive exploration of his instrument free of its pre-established role. Études is the material sound of an instrument as well as the sounds it makes. 

hackedepicciotto
Menetekel

hackedepicciotto is what happens when you combine an Alexander Hacke and a Danielle de Picciotto, and Menetekel is what happened when the (married!) couple hit the studio together. The two musicians’ pasts, in Space Cowboys and Einstürzende Neubauten, allow them to create some heavy, soulful, intense songs, featuring throat singing, hurdy-gurdy drones and much more besides. Epic CD / 2LP release on Potomak.
  • Genre(s):
  • Experimental / Avant-garde / Sound Art / Field

L. Pierre
1948-

L.Pierre, who we can reveal is in fact Arab Strap’s Aidan Moffat, is releasing a very interesting new project here. 1948- is made entirely from samples of the first ever 33 ⅓ 12” record, a 1948 recording of a Mendelssohn concerto. What’s more, it is presented as ‘naked’ vinyl, e.g. utterly sleeveless, in the hope that you’ll let your copy pick up interesting new scratches. Nice one! Vinyl only release on Melodic.

Thor & Friends
The Subversive Nature of Kindness

Thor Harris: Swans’ former charismatic percussionist, and potential future governor of Texas. Chief friends are marimba player Peggy Ghorbani and multi-instrumentalist Sarah “Goat” Gautier. Their music is rooted in tonal percussion and often recalls minimalists who wrote for such instrumentation, like Reich and Riley, but also hinting at more contemporary influences, from Aphex Twin to The Necks. The many guests on this second LP include throat singer Enrique Soriah, Michael Gira. and Norwegian extended-technique vocalist Stine Janvin Motland.
  • Genre(s):
  • Experimental / Avant-garde / Sound Art / Field

Emptyset
Signal

Emptyset continue to tunnel into the nature of sound and space with Signal, a document of a live performance. The group broadcast their sounds from the venue, via radio transmitters, over thousands of miles and back to the venue again, to see how the transmission through the atmosphere altered the sound. Conceptually rigorous: also sounds amazing. On Subtext.

Holger Czukay
Movie!

Holger Czukay, the bass player in goddamn Can in case you weren’t aware, released solo album Movie in 1979. It isn’t a soundtrack album, but Holger does pull in samples from whatever was on the TV that day, building up colourful and lively sound-worlds around them. Groovy and texturally interesting all the way through. Reissued on Gronland.

Lasry-Baschet
Les Nouvelles Structures Sonores

Names that occupy a similar space to Jean Jacques Perry, Mort Garson and indeed Delia Derbyshire, the Lasry-Bachet group were known for their early experiments in music and sound, linking high forms of artistic expression with a melodiousness that at the time would be called futuristic. A historical artefact for vintage sonic journeys.
  • Genre(s):
  • Experimental / Avant-garde / Sound Art / Field

The Necks
Hanging Gardens

The seventh LP from The Necks gets reissued. This Australian trio have a habit of making records that are a single piece of music, and 1999’s Hanging Gardens is one of these. It’s a busy, quicksilver slab of post-jazz that is kind of comparable to the stuff Radiohead, Fridge and The Bad Plus were doing at around the same time. Like other hour-long, single-track records - we’re looking at you, Dopesmoker - Hanging Gardens has a bit of hypnotic quality to it as well.
  • Genre(s):
  • Experimental / Avant-garde / Sound Art / Field

Harry Bertoia
Clear Sounds / Perfetta

The ‘Sonambient’ sound sculptures of Harry Bertoia are astonishing things: the sleeve art for this new release gives you an insight into the roomfuls of shimmering metals Bertoia designed. Clear Sounds and Perfetta are two particularly remarkable, highly minimal performances, never previously released.

Alvin Lucier
Criss Cross / Hanover

The composer, best known for his 1970  tape piece I Am Sitting in a Room, composed Criss-Cross for the twin electric guitars of Stephen O’Malley and Oren Ambarchi. Each player e-bows a single semitone, alternately rising and falling in pitch, revealing a surprising variety of tonal effects and phenomena. Hanover employs similar techniques played by an ensemble of saxes, electric guitars, piano, bowed vibes and viola. Innovative and beautifully strange music based on elegant concepts from a minimalist master.
  • Genre(s):
  • Experimental / Avant-garde / Sound Art / Field

Peter Wright
Orbit


  • Genre(s):
  • Experimental / Avant-garde / Sound Art / Field

The Thing with Thurston Moore
Live

The thing with Thurston Moore is that he's fairly tall. The Thing with Thurston Moore is a collaboration between the lanky, non-ageing Sonic Youth controller and the madcap Scandinavian free-jazz monsters. Whilst on tour they popped into Thurston's local Cafe Oto and invited the mopheaded guitar mangler on stage to make a right old racket.  
  • Genre(s):
  • Experimental / Avant-garde / Sound Art / Field

NPVR
33 33

Two torchbearers of electronic sound sculpting come together on Mego, treating us to an album of fine grain sonic manipulation. There's a distinct restraint at play, forming space for the audio information to sit exposed, with cautious drum programming juxtaposed against wild glitches and robotic chatter.
  • Vinyl LP (EMEGO251)
  • £17.99 £10.79 (saving: £7.20)
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Noya Rao
Icaros

Icaros is the debut album by Leeds quartet Noya Rao. The group are headed up by Tom Henry, who, as a producer has worked with Cosima and Yellow Days. Taking their influences from jazz, hip-hop and electronic music, they blend all three with dub to make dreamy, soulful, bass-heavy electronica that will allow you to dance if you should so wish.
  • Genre(s):
  • Experimental / Avant-garde / Sound Art / Field

The One Ensemble
Saint Seven

The One Ensemble created Saint Seven to be played ‘in the round’. Folk and chamber music are combined with experimental and improvised passages. The musicians sing, play cello, guitar, bass clarinet, accordion, drums and percussion creating a piece of music that is austere at times but then will explode into a full-on dramatic power.

Timo van Luijk and Mark Harwood
Vang Circular

On Penultimate Press, a collaboration between label head Mark Harwood (aka Astor) and Finnish artist Timo Van Luijk, who has worked with Andrew Chalk and Christoph Heemann among others. It often comes across like excerpts from an ambitious Giallo soundtrack, or recalls the proggy occult compositions of Igor Wakhevitch. Maybe it’s an oversimplification, but seems like a synergic combination of Van Luijk’s multi-instrumental deftness and Harwood’s disruptive instincts. LP limited to 300, with reverse board sleeve.
  • Genre(s):
  • Experimental / Avant-garde / Sound Art / Field

Sparks
Kimono My House

Demented electro-pop duo Sparks celebrate 40 years of sharp wit and falsetto crooning. The deluxe reissue of Kimono My House adds new material and essays to the endlessly weird and catchy chamber pop arrangements, strange productions and glamorous theatrics within. What more do you want; there’s a song called "Thank God It’s Not Christmas".
  • Genre(s):
  • Experimental / Avant-garde / Sound Art / Field

Arve Henriksen
Towards Language

Towards Language is the new album from Arve Henriksen (of Supersilent), working once again with Jan Bang and Erik Honore as on his classic 2004 record Chiaroscuro. Arve’s trumpet and voice, often live-sampled by Bang, sits at the centre of a luscious soundscape of instruments and textures, each track subtle and slow-growing like a natural process. CD and LP release on Rune Grammofon.

Dakota Suite, David Darling & Quentin Sirjacq
Vallisa


  • Genre(s):
  • Experimental / Avant-garde / Sound Art / Field

Robert Crotty & Loren Connors
Robert Crotty With Me: Loren's Collection (1979-1987)

Around the same time Connors laid down his first primal solo guitar albums at his home in Daggett Street, New Haven, he recorded these duos with visiting local bluesman, Robert Crotty. Connors revered the elder guitarist, and with his trademark vocal moan audible beneath Crotty’s more sonorous singing, there’s a sense of a teacher / apprentice relationship between the two. This collection of standards and improvisations is available as a double CD, or an LP with a bonus CD. 

Jozef Van Wissem
Nobody Living Can Ever Make Me Turn Back

Jozef Van Wissem, with his customised lute, can always be relied upon to deliver a gothically romantic atmosphere with his compositions, and Nobody Living Can Ever Make Me Turn Back (with track titles that include ‘The Empty Cup Of Suffering’ and ‘Out Bones Lie Scattered Before The Pit’) fully delivers. More premium dark lute musings from Van Wissem, on Consouling Sounds.

Michael Begg
TITAN: A Crane Is A Bridge

For TITAN: A Crane is a Bridge, sound artist Michael Begg enlists the gigantic, titular Titan crane of Clydebank in Scotland both as a performance space and as an instrument. In the windy, beefy lattice frames and oily joints of the towering device, Begg teases out all sorts of metallic resonances and ironclad drones. Over these, he layers his own gentle instrumental additions - to great effect. At times, it resembles ‘dark ambient’ music. Only actually good. A Sonica Festival 2017 commission, the work is available on CD through Omnempathy in a glossy Japanese digipak.
  • Genre(s):
  • Experimental / Avant-garde / Sound Art / Field

Leafcutter John, Devon Loch and Claire Orme
Piano Music

Piano Music by Leafcutter John, Devon Loch & Claire Orme sees Leafcutter John, a composer and inventor, improvising with sound artist Devon Loch. Using a variety of mic positionings, Leafcutter John inventions and a knackered piano the pair cook up an intriguing piece of electro-acoustic music. Claire Orme, on side two, imagines the piano as boat, and along with a vibraphone, takes us on a journey, the serenity of which is occasionally punctured by mechanical noises and harsh violins. Limited edition of 100 Cassettes on Reckno.
  • Genre(s):
  • Experimental / Avant-garde / Sound Art / Field

Luc Ferrari
Tinguely 1967

Wow! This amazing musique concrete material from maestro Luc Ferrari has never previously been released! Tinguely 1967 and Dernier Matin d’Edgar-Allan Poe were composed for film and TV pieces, and show what Ferrari could do when working to a moving image. These two pieces will feature in a forthcoming 3CD compilation, but this is your chance to hear them on vinyl. From Sub Rosa.
  • Genre(s):
  • Experimental / Avant-garde / Sound Art / Field

David Grubbs
Creep Mission

David Grubbs, one of the two masterminds behind Gastr Del Sol as well as a superb music writer, presents an album of explorative guitar pieces, sketched out with the assistance of boundary-pushers like Eli Keszler on drums and Nate Wooley on trumpet. Partially composed and partially improvised, but all fascinating and exciting. Creep Mission is released by Blue Chopsticks.
  • Genre(s):
  • Experimental / Avant-garde / Sound Art / Field

Eraldo Bernocchi, FM Einheit, Jo Quail
Rosebud

A cool three-way collaboration between cellist Jo Quail, sound designer and guitarist Eraldo Bernocchi and Einstürzende Neubauten founder member FM Einheit. This eclectic group got together to sculpt weighty slabs of droning ambience and industrial clang, nicely treading the line between order and disorder. Rosebud is released by RareNoise.

Jacob Kirkegaard & Niels Lyhne Løkkegaard
Descending

The premier collaboration between Danish experimental sound art composers Jacob Kirkegaard and Niels Lyhne Løkkegaard is Descending, a piece that draws on their shared interest in drawing out strange characteristics of our perceptions of sound. Descending was recorded with the Aarhus Jazz Orchestra, who provided instrumental sounds to be finely whittled by our heroes. LP release on Important Records.
  • Genre(s):
  • Experimental / Avant-garde / Sound Art / Field

George Harrison
Electronic Sound

Some may believe that George Harrison was a somewhat underrated Beatle, but he really was one of the more sophisticated members. His ashes were cremated in a traditional Hindu service in India, which went hand in hand with his beliefs as a human - love and peace, I guess. Upon its release back in 1969 the otherworldly Moog soundscapes of 'Electronic Sound' went down like a bucket of cold sick with your average Beatles fan, and marked the end of their short-lived avant off-shoot label Zapple. But Harrison's work here is visionary and like Morton Subotnick's 'Silver Apples of the Moon' released the year before, should be considered pioneering electronic music.

ORE
Belatedly

Ore is Sam Underwood’s brass doom project, in which tubas and trombones and the like are massed together into pieces that throb with the same elemental power as the most interesting end of doom metal, though of course with a totally different textural palette. No novelty here, just amazing original music. Belatedly, which features Sophie Cooper and Khyam Allami, is released by Box Records.
  • Artist(s):
  • Ore
  • Genre(s):
  • Experimental / Avant-garde / Sound Art / Field

Richard Youngs
Autumn Response

In which our hero Richard Youngs records two different takes of each song on the record, and overlays them on top of each other. The result is captivating, Youngs’ delicate folkish songs sometimes clashing, sometimes harmonising, sometimes echoing each other. Seriously, this record could have been a car crash, but it turns out beautifully. Magical.
  • Genre(s):
  • Experimental / Avant-garde / Sound Art / Field

Adriano Zanni
Disappearing

A grand return to the Boring Machines label sees Adriano Zanni dive into oppressive soundscapes, densely composed, but lightly ornamented with field recordings, whispered words and micro processes. It's a deeply entrancing album, made ever more so when the processing over spills into outright abstraction.

Martina Lussi
Selected Ambient

These works by Martina Lussi are named for various gemstones, lending a slight touch of the mystical to the sound compositions we hear. Selected Ambient isn’t ambient in a basic generic way (there is quite a lot going on in some of these pieces), but it does have a thoughtful power to it. LP release on Hallow Ground.

Olivier Mellano with Brendan Perry
No Land

Olivier Mellano has put together a fairly epic sprawl of a piece here, titled No Land. With Dead Can Dance’s Brendan Perry, a 20-piece choir and the 30-piece bagpipes etc. ensemble Bagad de Cesson-Sevigne all contributing, Mellano has created a vibrant blend of traditional and contemporary musics. Released by World Village.
  • Genre(s):
  • Experimental / Avant-garde / Sound Art / Field

Lutine
White Flowers

'White Flowers' is the debut record from Lutine, the sparsest of folk duos comprising of artists Heather Minor and Emma Morton. Their understated, decidedly meek recordings concentrate on vocal harmonies, guitar strums and enveloping flourishes of piano. Rather than modernising the genre, Lutine take from various folk traditions, including neo-classical and baroque. 

Nurse With Wound and Graham Bowers
Diploid (Parade ~ Epilogue)

Dark sonic sorcery from Nurse With Wound & Graham Bowers. A twenty minute composition released as an epilogue to 2013’s album Parade, Diploid fuses sci-fi synths and clattering percussive sounds in a skittering journey into daily mundanity and unease of the psyche. Out on CD in card sleeve from Red Wharf.
  • Artist(s):
  • Genre(s):
  • Experimental / Avant-garde / Sound Art / Field

Jessica Moss
Pools Of Light

Jessica Moss is a key member of Thee Silver Mt. Zion Memorial Orchestra, contributing remarkable string parts to the whole. With Pools Of Light she steps out as a solo artist. The album, her first full-length solo statement, was recorded by Radwan Ghazi Moumneh of Jerusalem In My Heart, and it positively shimmers with Moss’s rich violin drones and careful composition. Out on Constellation.

Bohren & Der Club Of Gore
Geisterfaust

In 2005, noire-doom-jazz ensemble Bohren & Der Club Of Gore decided to get even slower and sparser than they had been previously (which was already pretty slow and sparse). Geisterfaust is a one hour span of beautiful crawl for long dark nights. Reissued on CD and, for the first time, on vinyl. From Play It Again Sam.

John Lennon / Yoko Ono
Unfinished Music No. 1: Two Virgins

Two Virgins is generally known as one of the least popular albums John Lennon was ever involved with: yay! Yoko Ono’s avant-art practices are clearly the heaviest influence here on this abstract suite of musique concrete, bird-song, conversation and other less-than-traditionally-musical sounds. Excellent to see it reissued by Secretly Canadian!
  • Genre(s):
  • Experimental / Avant-garde / Sound Art / Field

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