Neo-classical / Classical / Orchestral

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12 Ensemble
Resurrection

The 12 Ensemble continue their rapid ascent in the international classical music world, with their debut album Resurrection. The collection comprises four works -- including a new composition from Bryce Dessner (The National), a commissioned work from experimental British composer Kate Whitley and pieces by Witold Lutoslawski and John Woolrich. The conductor-less ensemble always attempts to bring a renewed energy, vitality and freshness often lacking in music. Available on either LP or CD, on Sancho Panza records.
  • Genre(s):
  • Neo-classical / Classical / Orchestral

Less Bells
Solifuge

The location of Joshua Tree, California is important to Solifuge, the full-length debut by Less Bells. The dichotomy of summer monsoons and starry nights that the desert landscape bring inform the dramatic and desolate qualities of the music. The woman behind the project, Julia Carpenter, made the music by reshaping a classical string piece through a process of cut-ups before transposing the passages for the synthesizer. LP and CD on Kranky.

Various Erased Tapes Artists
1+1=X

Erased Tapes lie to us once more and release some tapes that actually haven’t been erased. Au contraire - 1+1=X is actually full of music! It’s something of a celebratory release to commemorate the label’s tenth birthday back in 2017. A bunch of ET faves - Ben Lukas Boysen, Daniel Brandt, Nils Frahm and loads more - got together in a Berlin studio to collab, jam and generally vibe. The result is this twenty-track selection that takes in everything from sound art to club bangers to chamber music. It's quite a lavish package - two CDs and a photographic book in a nice white box.

Steve Reich
The ECM Recordings

Say no more: some of the most classic works of a major contemporary composer on a major contemporary label. This box-set of Steve Reich’s ECM Recordings includes several essential pieces of Reichian minimalism, including Tehillim and Music For 18 Musicians, presented in crucial original recordings from 1978-1982. Plus a hefty booklet of liner notes and an essay.
  • Label(s):
  • ECM

Michael Price
Tender Symmetry

Amazingly ambitious release from Sherlock composer Michael Price. Tender Symmetry not only takes the history of England as its inspiration, but is in many way a document of them. Price actually took him ensembles to each location, sparring with their acoustic properties, to capture their sonic characteristics. Part of the ensembles are Grace Davidson who sang on Max Richter's equally ambitious Sleep, and Shards who sang on Nils Frahm's All Melody. 
  • Genre(s):
  • Neo-classical / Classical / Orchestral

Chilly Gonzales
Solo Piano III

“We want Chilly Willy!” “We want Chilly Willy!” While Barney Gumble may have been clamouring for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, unfortunately all we’ve got in at the moment is Chilly Gonzalez. He’ll have to make do. Solo Piano III is - who’d have guessed - the third LP in the Grammy-winner's series of records for solo piano. Act quickly to get one of the copies with a bonus CD of live recordings.
  • Genre(s):
  • Neo-classical / Classical / Orchestral

Chilly Gonzales
Solo Piano

Gentle Threat are putting a few old Chilly Gonzales albums back out into the world. This record from the Canadian polymath is as it suggests with its title: Solo Piano. Given Gonzales’ musical background, it is a pleasant surprise how classical this sounds, recalling a relaxed Chopin or a Satie. White vinyl!
  • Genre(s):
  • Neo-classical / Classical / Orchestral

Craig Armstrong
Sun On You

Craig Armstrong -- you know, the guy who orchestrated the strings on Massive Attack's 'Weather Storm' (Protection, 1994), then made soundtracks to massive films such as Romeo + Juliet, The Great Gatsby and Moulin Rouge, plus his own solo albums -- follows all that up with a new LP and CD. Sun On You sees Armstrong co-mingling his filmic and classical styles of composition, having created an album with a wider sense of space to hush and becalm the maelstrom that is the world outside. Released on classical giant label, Decca.
  • Genre(s):
  • Neo-classical / Classical / Orchestral

Jóhann Jóhannsson
Englabörn & Variations

Ah this is sad. Johann Johannsson was personally involved with the preparation of this re-issue of his debut album in the weeks before his untimely death.  After consultation with his family it's been decided that the re-issue should go ahead and this works as a lovely tribute to the man. It now comes re-mastered and with a bonus set of re-workings some by Johannsson himself.   
  • Genre(s):
  • Neo-classical / Classical / Orchestral

Christine Ott
Tabu

Gizeh good, Gizeh good… isn’t that how that Shamen song goes? Gizeh pretty good in this case anyway, following up French ondes martenot virtuoso, pianist and composer Christine Ott’s Only Silence Remains with her soundtrack to the 2012 film Tabu, a story of the south seas. To the unfolding unease of the film, about forbidden love on the island of Bora-Bora, Ott contributes great tension, as well as an almost supernatural, indistinct antagonism.
  • Genre(s):
  • Neo-classical / Classical / Orchestral

Olafur Arnalds
re:member

Oh it’s so nice. Isn’t it nice. This new Olafur Arnalds LP. Just lovely. The loveliest, in fact. re:member. Beautiful music. The piano. The strings. The delicate pitter-patter drum machines, possibly left over from his forays into techno as part of Kiasmos. Gorgeous. Transcendental. Beautiful. Mesmeric. Peerless. A masterpiece. The epitome of all art ever made. The Ultimate Music. Composed as if by God's own hand. re:member.
  • Genre(s):
  • Neo-classical / Classical / Orchestral

Anna Meredith
Anno

Certainly doing pretty nicely amongst the chattering arts set, thank you very much, Anna Meredith won Scottish Album of the Year award for her debut 'Varmints' and has been artist in residence and sat on panels and all that sort of stuff. Now she releases a new collaboration with the Scottish Ensemble where she intertwines original work with bits from Vivaldi’s Four Seasons. 

Manu Delago
Parasol Peak

Have you ever seen Manu Delago play the handpan? If not then we recommend that you go find a video of him doing so. It’s really impressive stuff - so impressive that Delago can count Bugge Wesseltoft and Nitin Sawhney among the people who’ve called upon his talents (as have Olafur Arnalds and The Cinematic Orchestra, but everyone makes mistakes). He’s also a fixture of Björk’s live band these days. Parasol Peak is a film that Delago and some fellow musicians made where they trekked through the Alps, recording and playing as they went. This is the accompanying soundtrack LP. Lovely jubbly.
  • Genre(s):
  • Neo-classical / Classical / Orchestral

Julian Curwin & Jane Sheldon
Crossing

Romero Records (The Tango Saloon, Umlaut) release a collaborative LP between Jane Sheldon and label boss Julian Curwin. Sheldon is a classical soprano with a haunting, mournful voice. On Crossing it comes backed by Curwin’s stately classical guitar playing to create a record of fragile beauty. Anyone who has enjoyed the recent reissues of early 20th Century Spanish musics by Death Is Not The End will enjoy this.

Max Richter
The Blue Notebooks (15th Anniversary Edition)

Written in 2003 as a response to the invasion of Iraq, Max Richter’s The Blue Notebooks has become a seminal piece of classical protest music, in part due to its use in films such as Shutter Island and Waltz With Bashir. It’s a stirring work that hovers between electroacoustic music, Neo-Classical composition and electronica. The overall effect is beautiful, angry and sad. Deutsche Grammophon have repackaged the album for its fifteenth anniversary. It now comes with a second disc of bonus tracks, re-arrangements, and remixes from Jlin and Konx-Om-Pax.
  • Genre(s):
  • Neo-classical / Classical / Orchestral

The Eye Of Time
MYTH II : A Need To Survive

The second installment of three in the Myth series by french multi-instrumentalist Marc Euvrie’s (Mort Mort Mort, Karysun) solo project The Eye Of Time. Mixing neoclassical and post rock he blends huge electronic swells with organic elements,cello and a looming post-rock epicness. LP and CD on Denovali.

Masayoshi Fujita
Book of Life

Masayoshi Fujita - an artist you may know better from his Jan Jelinek collaborations under the guise of El Fog - completes the trio of vibraphone LPs begun with 2013’s Stories. Book Of Life keeps the focus on the big metal xylophone while also incorporating a wider range of tertiary instruments than the Japanese composer has previously. Orchestral strings, choirs and brass crop up on these exercises in contemporary classicism. Out via Erased Tapes.

Gustavo Santaolalla
The Motorcycle Diaries (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

Che Guevara biopic The Motorcycle Diaries enjoyed huge success when it was released in 2004. This extended to its soundtrack - the score by decorated Argentinian composer Gustavo Santaolalla won a BAFTA, and Jorge Drexler’s closing number ‘Al otro lado del rio’ took home an Academy Award. Santaolalla’s music is an evocative mix of native Latin American styles, modern Hollywood sound art and open-road blues guitar, and Drexler turns in a poignant folk-rock number.
  • Genre(s):
  • Soundtracks
  • Neo-classical / Classical / Orchestral

Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch
Époques

Emilie Levienaise-Farrouch is a composer and a pianist, and this second album of hers is a mixture of modern chamber music, with her own piano performances bolstered by strings and electronics in order to fully map out her compositions. Epoques is a rich and melancholy listen, both grand and intimate. Released by Fat Cat’s 130701 sub-label.
  • Genre(s):
  • Neo-classical / Classical / Orchestral

C. Diab
No Perfect Wave

No Perfect Wave is a stunning tonal mix of bowed guitars and tape manipulation that creates waves of shifting drones that are melancholic yet beautifully uplifting, no tension, just resolve. Arthur Russell, Colin Stetson, and Godspeed You! Black Emperor but if they spent the week with Sigur Ros, you know, to cheer them up a bit.

Resina
Traces

Polish cellist Resina resurfaces on FatCat offshoot 130701 with more of her assured and poised neoclassical narratives, on Traces. The release marks somewhat of a career curve with an increased jaggedness and vitality, and in a bold move she employs her stark vocal to dramatic effect. Drums and percussion add extra dynamism and body to the work. 
  • Genre(s):
  • Neo-classical / Classical / Orchestral

Matt Emery
Empire

Absolutely no relation to 'hilarious' 1970s 'comedian' Dick Emery, Matt Emery instead makes graceful and devastating music that has been compared to that of Bing & Ruth and Ryuichi Sakamoto. Beautiful dark ambience deftly navigated towards months where there's a chill in the air. Mastered by (you guessed it) Taylor Dupree. 
  • Genre(s):
  • Neo-classical / Classical / Orchestral

Steve Gibbs
Adrift

Steve Gibbs presents his debut album, although this may not be the first time you’ve heard his music. Gibbs’ more cinematic compositions have already appeared in film, TV and dance productions, and have been popular on Bandcamp. No surprise really, as his style mixes stately neo-classical piano and strings with subtle electro-acoustic tweakery. Adrift is released by Injazero.

Embrace
Love Is A Basic Need (Orchestral)

It’s the semi-final of the 2018 Fifa World Cup™, and it’s Germany vs. England. After a thrilling contest that involved a bust-up between Gundogan and Henderson, a perfectly good goal by Draxler that was disallowed despite the use of VAR and Marcus Rashford nutmegging Mats Hummels, it’s finished a draw and gone to penalties. Germany have won the toss and are kicking first. They’ve duly plugged all five - Pickford got a hand to Werner’s, but he couldn’t keep it out. Plucky old England have matched them on the first four - Stones (bottom-right), Welbeck (Panenka), Kane (blasted in off the bar) and Loftus-Cheek (another Panenka), Lions the lot of them. But now it’s crunch time. A sharp intake of breath from every member of the playing and coaching staff. They know that if they miss this one, their Jules Rimet will remain gleaming and the Years Of Hurt counter they have hanging in the toilets at the FA will have to wait four more years before it is reset. Up steps Raheem Sterling, the man above all other men that some would love to see fail. He’s got some chutzpah, after all the pre-tournament gripes, to put himself on the line like this. In a sense he's already won, though in a more real sense he very much hasn't. Manuel Neuer, the first goalkeeper to play with a broom, spits on his gloves and paces his line, eyeballing Raheem the whole time. Raheem just stares at the ball, trying to figure out which of the Adidas Telstar 18’s thermally-bonded panels will connect most truly with the laces of his garish boots. Gareth Southgate - a man who knows a thing or two about missing penalties in semi-finals against Germany - stands, face drawn, on the halfway-line, his arm around Stuart Pearce who is there for some reason. Back home you could hear a Pimms drop. A statue of Horatio Nelson gains sentience and raises its sword to the sky. Pints hover in mid-air. Big Ben ceases to chime. England expects… … as the credits begin to roll, bringing the curtain down on the England men's team's biggest game for a generation, an orchestral rendering of something from Embrace’s top 5 album Love Is A Basic Need is piped into a million living rooms.
  • Genre(s):
  • Neo-classical / Classical / Orchestral

Anne Dudley
Plays Art Of Noise

Composer Anne Dudley was actually in the Art of Noise the unique 80s group helmed by Trevor Horn and Paul Morley. Now she plays the Art of Noise but the press release doesn't make clear if these are re-interpretations of Art of Noise track or are new things inspired by the band. I guess we'll find out eventually. 
  • Genre(s):
  • Neo-classical / Classical / Orchestral

Steve Reich
Pulse / Quartet

Steve Reich’s office has a huge portrait of Steve Reich looking down benevolently on Steve Reich. Which is kind of like a Steve Reich piece, feeding off itself in a continuous loop. Where Quartet is full of energy and all over the place harmonically, Pulses is a more quiet work - especially for Reich standards. The end-result entrancingly oscillates between two poles - as we've come to expect from the minimal music mastermind.

Jean-Michel Blais
Dans Ma Main

"Hey ma main!” “Wassup ma main!” “How’re things with you ma main?” “Good thanks ma main and yourself?” “Yeah I’m cool ma main. Say ma main, what are you doing tonight ma main?” “No plans ma main. What did you have in mind ma main?” “Was thinking of going to the discotheque for a little Dans Ma Main, care to join?” “Nice! Who’s playing ma main?” “Jean-Michel Blais ma main.” “Never heard of him ma main, what’s his deal?” “He’s a Canadian composer who has just released his new LP on Arts & Crafts ma main. Kind of Nils Frahm/Max Richter-sounding stuff ma main, you know piano and synthesisers.” “Doesn’t sound like you can really Dans to it ma main?” “Not really ma main, no.” “Then how come he’s playing at the discotheque ma main?” “I dunno ma main, I don’t do the bookings. Anyway what do you say ma main?” “Fair enough ma main, I’ll see you later ma main.” “Ma main!”
  • Genre(s):
  • Neo-classical / Classical / Orchestral

Stefano Guzzetti
Short Stories. Piano Book Volume Two.

Stefano Guzzetti follows on from where he left off with Volume One of his Piano Book series, a set of simply stated solo piano pieces, recorded in the intimate inner space of home. These so-called ‘short stories’ do indeed feel like sparsely sketched-out little narratives, ready to probe late night thought, or just induce a calmer state. CD release from Home Normal.

Sapropelic Pycnic
See Sun Think Shadow

Sapropelic Pycnic is the solo project of Kathleen Baird of Spires That In The Sunset Rise, and this debut release is quite a disc. See Sun Think Shadow is a suite of solo piano improvisations that reveal an impressive mastery of the instrument. Not stately and neoclassical but minimal, jumpy and fresh. Yellow vinyl on Perfect Wave.
  • Vinyl LP
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Coloured vinyl

Adam Stafford
Fire Behind The Curtain

Toad Records front this new record from the impressive Adam Stafford. Stafford claims influence from American minimalist composers as well as the likes of Meredith Monk and Michael Gordon for Fire Behind The Curtain. They come through on expertly crafted numbers such as ‘Zero Disruption’, a piece that fuses the arrangements of Sufjan Stevens, the sensibilities of Richard Dawson and guitar work similar to Steve Reich’s Electric Counterpoint.
  • Vinyl LP
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Limited edition

Pieter Nooten
Stem

Fourth album from Dutch ambient neo-classicist Pieter Nooten. Made in collaboration with Stephen W Tayler (who has worked with the likes of Kate Bush and Underworld) this is Nooten's most intriguing work in three decades. Subtle but still incredibly moving, Stem's 60 minutes are well earned. 
  • Genre(s):
  • Neo-classical / Classical / Orchestral

Jeremy Enigk
The Return Of The Frog Queen

Really really great album. This was Jeremy Enigk's first solo album away from Sunny Day Real Estate and it's a totally different kettle of kippers. This is wonderful baroque orchestral-pop with strings and all sorts putting me in mind of Cardinal and Richard Davies. This re-issue comes with the remastered original album plus bonus digital stuff.

Luke Howard
Open Heart Story

Here is Australian Music Prize nominated composer and pianist Luke Howard with the reflective Open Heart Story - a contemporary classical record that concerns itself with the ageing process and childhood memories. Titles like ‘In Metaphor, Solace’, ‘Elysian Fields’ and ‘I Still Dream About You, Sometimes But Not Always’ suggest a work which wears its open heart on its sleeve. 

Actress x London Contemporary Orchestra
LAGEOS

Following the single release of ‘Audio Track 5’ last September, Ninja Tune now offer up an entire LP of Darren “Actress” Cunningham’s collaboration with London Contemporary Orchestra, which first performed at the Barbican in 2016 (helpfully, ‘Audio Track 5’ is track 8 here). The daunting task of adopting an entire suite of new acoustic instruments into his mucky toolset seems to have led Actress to clean up his sound a fair whack, immediately putting his signature sound at risk. Still, what comes out is a lovely texture.

Mary Lattimore
Hundreds of Days

Will the good times never cease? Philly harp legend Mary Lattimore continues her endless slew of good releases with Hundreds of Days, her second for Ghostly. Exploring the alien feeling that gets pronounced when you leave home, her plucks offer microcosmic and resonant ways to work your way through unknown spaces.

Agnes Obel
Citizen Of Glass

Agnes Obel is quite talent: she’s got classical piano chops, a powerful voice, and a skill for folk-inflected songwriting. Of course, the important thing is that she brings it all together into a satisfying whole. Citizen Of Glass uses lots of strings and harpsichord, and occasionally performs the old Fever Ray trick of splitting and shifting Obel’s vocals so that she sounds both male and female. Out on Play It Again Sam.

glacis
The World Is A Little Lonelier Without You

Originally only available as a CD via Facture Records, this moving LP from Euan Alexander Millar-McMeeken aka glacis has been put to wax off the back of a Kickstarter campaign. Conceived as a tribute to the artist’s father who passed away in 2011, Hamilton works alongside friend Ed Hamilton to create these mournful pieces. Millar-McMeeken’s piano is augmented by grainy ambiences and spectral plumes of reverb to create something reminiscent of Ryuichi Sakamoto, or a more private take on the glacial post-rock of Explosions In The Sky.

Harry Partch
The World Of Harry Partch

Originally released in 1969 as part of Columbia’s Masterworks series, this album contains three pieces by one of the most idiosyncratic composers of the 20th century. Partch’s percussive, microtonal compositions, utilising outlandish custom-built instruments, display the influence of gamelan and Noh theatre. However this is very much American music, and the recitations of Barstow movingly captures the hobo lifestyle Partch sometimes experienced. The impact of this work is apparent in records by The Residents and Tom Waits, but still sounds unique and delightfully strange today.

Luton
Black Box Animals

Lost Tribe Sound had better not rename themselves William Ryan Fritch Records after all - things are getting diverse again. Here Italian duo Luton slip out a little 200-copy run of their brooding new album Black Box Animals. It combines various orchestral arrangements with electric guitar, piano, electronics and other stuff. The effect is a moody series of fragmented classical and ambient phrases in a slow dance.

From the Mouth of the Sun
Sleep Stations

Leftover stuff from the Hymn Binding and Menashe sessions is what we have here, showing a fuller and heavier sound than was appropriate for Menashe especially. Yes, it’s From the Mouth of the Sun, known individually on Earth as indefatigable drone cellist Aaron Martin and fizzy drone laptopist Dag Rosenqvist. If sullen synths and very emotional cello vibrato are your jam, you’re in the right place. But be quick - a hundred copies only.

James Heather
Stories From Far Away On Piano

If you like the ‘post-classical’ ivory-tinkling of your Nils Frahms, your Max Richters and your Olafur Arnaldses, then this one’s for you. James Heather might have spent more than a decade working at Ninja Tune - this comes out via rebooted NT sub-label Ahead Of Our Time - but this LP is more the kind of thing you’d find crop up on Village Green or Erased Tapes. Nine pretty piano ditties to sink into here.
  • Genre(s):
  • Neo-classical / Classical / Orchestral

Theo Alexander
Broken Access

Pianist and tape loop aficionado Theo Alexander offers up a full-length of carefully constructed pieces for Luau Records. Loops of macro-recorded piano build up, hammers flickering away pleasantly and tape hiss’d background noise leaking in, to create mixtures of phrases. Suitable for rainy afternoons, lonesome evenings, city romances and films about such things.
  • Genre(s):
  • Neo-classical / Classical / Orchestral

London Chamber Orchestra and Christopher Warren-Green
Minimalist: Adams / Glass / Reich

This LP on Warner Classics brings together the big names of listener-friendly minimalism: Steve Reich, Philip Glass and John Adams. Plenty of interlocking patterns and bright, clean pulses to be enjoyed here. We have ‘Eight Lines’ by Reich, ‘Facades’ by Glass, and John Adams’ ‘Shaker Loops’.

Jóhann Jóhannsson
IBM 1401, A User's Manual

The late Johann Johannsson did a great many great things over the course of his career. Among them was this album, one of the most emotionally intense records with one of the most emotionally detached titles. IBM 1401, A User’s Manual pays tribute to the composer’s father using recordings of the titular computer and some seriously luscious and emotive string arrangements. A modern classic.
  • Label(s):
  • 4AD

Thomas Andrew Doyle
Incineration Ceremony

Thomas Andrew Doyle is best known as the gigantic frontman from Sub Pop grunge pioneers, Tad. He did, however, study classical and jazz music at university, so what may seem like a surprising turn, is actually him going back to his roots. Incineration Ceremony is modern classical music from the deepest recesses of his mind. RIYL John Carpenter.
  • Vinyl LP (SP1249)
  • £19.99 £15.99 (saving: £4.00)
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Limited edition
  • Genre(s):
  • Neo-classical / Classical / Orchestral

Various
Commune

The Village Green imprint puts together three of its best artists for an exclusive Record Store Day 2018 release. Angèle David-Guillou delivers a sax-based piece ‘The Valley of Detachment’; Dead Light build on their debut album on ‘Spiral Down Dears’; and two label-mates meet as Snow Palms remixes Matt Dunkley’s ‘Cycle 12’. 

Goldmund
Occasus

Goldmund’s oft-copied piano-ambient sound is rarely rendered as purely or as cleanly by his many imitators. Occasus is another LP from the Pennsylvania composer that demonstrates his composition prowess and clarity of vision. Similarly to Hauschka and Ryuichi Sakamoto, this is light and beautiful music.
  • Genre(s):
  • Neo-classical / Classical / Orchestral

Oly Ralfe
Notes From Another Sea

Excitingly, Oly Ralfe has taken some time away from Ralfe Band to launch his debut solo LP -- entitled Notes From Another Sea -- for Ghost Ship records. Expect an instrumental piano album featuring pleasingly, harmoniously undulating piano lines to echo the shapes of the waves and tides of the ocean. Ralfe is also an accomplished visual artist and filmmaker. Talented chap.
  • Vinyl LP (GSR003LP)
  • £15.93 £12.74 (saving: £3.19)
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Limited edition
  • Last copy
  • Genre(s):
  • Neo-classical / Classical / Orchestral

John Matthias & Jay Auborn
Pretoria Remixed

John Matthias (Derailer) joined forces with composer Jay Auborn to release Race To Zero through Village Green records in 2017, mixing modern classical with heavy electronic production. Here they bring Bristolian producer CUTS, Will Young’s (not that one) Moon Gangs project, and former Mogwai guitarist John Cummings in to remix the track Pretoria. Turning this cinematic piece in two very different interpretations.

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.

Jessica Curry
Dear Esther (Original Game Soundtrack)

This is the first ever pressing of Jessica Curry's soundtrack to genre defining video game Dear Esther released to coincide with it's 5th anniversary. Dear Esther is an award winning first person exploration game with a stunning specially commissioned soundtrack by Curry.   The vinyl comes with a free Steam key that enables the you to download the game for free. 
  • Genre(s):
  • Neo-classical / Classical / Orchestral
  • Soundtracks

Carlos Cipa & Sophia Jani
Relive

Featuring two original piano compositions for four hands, Relive is a gentle yet dramatic, spectacular yet subdued, piano composition. That’s a lot of adjectives, but Carlos Cipa and Sophia Jani have created a two pieces of piano music that draw the listener in, know when to stop for silence, and repeat the right phrases at the right time. A modern classic among modern classical music.
  • Genre(s):
  • Neo-classical / Classical / Orchestral

Erasure
World Beyond

The legendary synth pop duo had their seventeenth album released last year on Mute. This surprising and intriguing set of reinterpretations features a Belgian ensemble linked to several modern classical outfits and composers. What you get is Erasure's classic ethereal dance-pop done up in graceful orchestral timbres. Lovely.

Nightports with Matthew Bourne
Nightports with Matthew Bourne

Here we see the celebrated Matthew Bourne taking up the challenge of Adam Martin and Mark Slater’s Nightports project. Starting with sounds generated by Bourne’s piano/prepared piano playing, the base materials are then manipulated into winding corridors of composition reminiscent of Nils Frahm, Max Richter and the recent collaborative record between Brian Eno and Tom Rogerson, Finding Shore.
  • Genre(s):
  • Neo-classical / Classical / Orchestral

Lionlimb
Tape Recorder

Who are Lionlimb? Well, they are Stewart Bronaugh (from the band of Angel Olsen) and Joshua Jaeger. The title of their second album Tape Recorder does not refer to recording techniques so much as a powerful childhood experience involving a friend in a coma, an experience that highlighted the power and purpose of songwriting and musical performance. Tape Recorder is out on the Bayonet label.
  • Genre(s):
  • Neo-classical / Classical / Orchestral

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)
  • £8.99 £7.19 (saving: £1.80)
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Limited edition

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.

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.

Jherek Bischoff
Cistern

Fresh from performing 'Black Star' with pals at the recent Bowie tribute thing in New York, composer Jherek Bischoff has clambered into an empty two million gallon water vat in Washington state in order to improvise the pieces that have become 'Cistern'. While there he reflected on growing up on a sailing boat (none of these people have normal childhoods do they?) Anyway the result is this stellar album of orchestral innovation.   
  • Genre(s):
  • Neo-classical / Classical / Orchestral

Max Richter
Hostiles (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)

You sure can count on Max Richter to deliver works of sweeping cinematic power, and so it's no surprise that he has increasingly been composing music for actual cinema. Hostiles, a film set in the violent Wild West of the late 1800’s, gets a big dramatic blockbuster score that alternates between lush orchestrals and tense percussives.
  • Genre(s):
  • Neo-classical / Classical / Orchestral
  • Soundtracks

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.

Various
Erased Tapes Collection VIII

Robert Raths' London-based institution Erased Tapes marks a decade of bringing us great -- sometimes avant-garde -- music, with their Collection VIII. They've said the transparent vinyl double-LP set is 'highly limited'. Many notable favourites: Winged Victory, Rival Consoles, Daniel Brandt, Penguin Cafe, Ben Lukas... plus a previously unreleased Ryan Davis remix of Arnalds & Frahm, and an exclusive edit of Woodkid & Frahm’s score for Ellis, spoken words by Robert De Niro. Wowzers.

Francis MacDonald
Hamilton Mausoleum Suite

Teenage Fanclub drummer, Francis McDonald has strayed into very different territory here. Wearing his songwriter/composer hat, he has composed, arranged and produced a piece of chamber music inspired by the Hamilton Mausoleum. The Hamilton Mausoleum Suite was also recorded in the historic building that stands proudly on the edge of Strathclyde Park in Lanarkshire and features musicians from The Scottish Festival Orchestra.
  • Label(s):
  • TR7
  • Genre(s):
  • Neo-classical / Classical / Orchestral

Eluvium
False Readings On

Oh go on, get excited about a new Eluvium record. It's been a while since Matthew Cooper framed his ambient-leaning post-rock in such a compelling light -- in fact False Readings On seems to intertwine his pastoral, widescreen sound with a harsher resolution, with the orchestration battling tape hiss, unruly distortion and forlorn vocalisations. This one's a gorgeous opera, broken into tiny pieces.

Lori Goldston
Music for Etudes N°11 Runway Show

Lori Goldston is perhaps the premier cellist in America’s alternative rock scene, having played with Nirvana, David Byrne, and as a core member of Earth for a good stretch. Music for Etudes N°11 Runway Show is, however, a solo record, also eschewing the use of distortion pedals and the like for a pure expression of Goldston’s cello power. 12” released, bizarrely enough, on Ed Banger Records.
  • Genre(s):
  • Neo-classical / Classical / Orchestral

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.

Philip Glass
Heroes Symphony

Based on one of David Bowie’s most avant-garde, experimental albums ‘Heroes’, the album ‘Heroes Symphony’ (aka ‘Symphony #4 “Heroes”’) was produced by American composer Philip Glass in 1996. Comprising a rich orchestra of string and wind instruments, Glass approaches the material from the opposite end of the spectrum to Bowie and Eno’s minimalistic original.
  • Genre(s):
  • Neo-classical / Classical / Orchestral

Mario Diaz De Leon
Sanctuary

Mario Diaz de Leon presents his classical composition side with this recording of the single album-length piece Sanctuary, recorded with TAK Ensemble. As well as Mario’s synthesiser, the piece is built out of marimba bass clarinet, flute, violin and some high-reaching soprano vocals. Remarkable, fully-developed work. On Denovali.

Matt Dunkley
Cycles 7-16

Matt Dunkley's continuation of orchestral works sees the modern composer utilise a variety of styles, at times verging on the grandiose, always retaining a filmic drama. Fans of Max Richter will be pleased to notice a yearning melancholy, the slow fluttering strings of 'Cycle 11' being a good case in point.
  • Genre(s):
  • Neo-classical / Classical / Orchestral

Sweeney
Middle Ages

Australian artist Jason Sweeney comes through with a gorgeous LP for Sound In Silence. Taking piano and voice as his starting point, Sweeney uses both organic and electronic instrumentation across Middle Ages to grow his torch songs into beautiful things that feel at once both widescreen and intimate. There’s plenty of Scott Walker and turn-of-the-century David Byrne to the likes of ‘Oh Goddess’.
  • CD
  • £10.49 £8.39 (saving: £2.10)
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Last copy

Matthew Bourne
Isotach

Jazz pianist Matthew Bourne returns to working on solo piano pieces after his moog focussed Moogmemory and working with Franck Vigroux on reworking Kraftwerk’s Radio-Activity. Gorgeous and isolated piano works with sparse cello parts lull you into his world. For fans of Nils Frahm, Ólafur Arnalds etc.
  • Genre(s):
  • Neo-classical / Classical / Orchestral

Sylvain Chauveau & Chant 1450 Renaissance Ensemble
Echoes of Harmony - Early Music Reworked

Tireless, archive-fevered Belgian juggernauts Sub Rosa are up to their neat old tricks again. This time, seldom-heard Spanish Renaissance works of the manuscripts of Cancionero de Colombina and Cancionero de Palacio are reinterpreted by minimalist electronic heavyweight Sylvain Chauveau and Chant 1450 Renaissance Ensemble. Direction, curation, additional sound design and mixing come courtesy of Swiss tenor Daniel Manhart. The digipak includes a 12-page booklet.
  • Genre(s):
  • Neo-classical / Classical / Orchestral

Ryuichi Sakamoto
async

‘async’ is the latest album by Ryuichi Sakamoto. This release shows us how far he has come and how far he is willing to go to break the boundaries of different sounds and textures. A fifteen-track masterpiece that brings together classical, neo-classical and orchestral music. Available on Vinyl Double LP and CD.
  • Genre(s):
  • Neo-classical / Classical / Orchestral

Luke Howard
Sun, Cloud

Sun, Cloud has previously only been made available in Australia, but no more! Now us UK folks can enjoy Luke Howard’s music for ourselves. Piano is firmly at the centre of these compositions, spinning delicate neo-classical melodies into the air, where strings, electronics and field recordings mingle and add texture. Sun, Cloud is luscious stuff really. Released on vinyl by Mercury KX.

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.

Those Who Walk Away
The Infected Mass

Those Who Walk Away is a contemporary music project helmed by composer Matthew Patton, also incorporating members of the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra. New piece The Infected Mass mixes classical instrumentation with sinister drones and, remarkably, recordings from the black boxes of aircraft in distress, which certainly makes this a powerful listen. Released by Constellation.

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.

Trio Da Kali and Kronos Quartet
Ladilikan

Kronos Quartet are leaders in modern classical and their drive to collaborate and experiment is probably the main reason why. After their works with the likes of Philip Glass, Steve Reich, and Clint Mansell it’s more about finding more artists to collaborate with. Bring in Trio Da Kali some of the finest traditional musicians from Mali and you’ve got a recipe for incredible rich diversity.

Poppy Ackroyd
Resolve

Poppy Aykroyd continues to enhance our lives with her take on modern classical music. With a hypnotic persistence reminiscent of Nils Frahm, Philip Glass, and Hauschka, her compositions on Resolve will engulf you in spiralling patterns of piano, glitchy electronics, and whatever else she could find in the orchestra pit. And just to be absolutely positive: if you're expecting a Blues Brothers spin-off solo project, you will be disappointed.
  • Genre(s):
  • Neo-classical / Classical / Orchestral

Thomas de Hartmann
The Music of Gurdjieff / de Hartmann

Thomas de Hartmann, a Russian composer, collaborated in the 1920’s with G. I. Gurdijieff, a spiritual teacher who travelled for two decades, composing music. de Hartmann transcribed and performed this music, which is now being released in full for the first time in over thirty years: five vinyl LPs worth of remarkable material, packaged in handsome box with a booklet and a download card. On Light In The Attic.
  • Vinyl Deluxe LP box set (LITA158LP)
  • Limited edition
  • Genre(s):
  • Neo-classical / Classical / Orchestral

Michael Begg | Mélenchon Brève
One True Vine

The massive creaks and drones of TITAN: A Crane is a Bridge have barely finished reverberating, but Michael Begg’s back with another full-length for Omnempathy, this time in collaboration with someone or something named Mélenchon Brevé. On One True Vine, The gradual and contemplative style of Bregg’s (sometimes dark-)ambient music meets devotional themes, resulting in a lonesome, rather spiritually-charged melancholy.

Olafur Arnalds & Nils Frahm
Life Story Love And Glory

Ólafur Arnalds and Nils Frahm are pretty much the dream team if you are a fan of the Erased Tapes aesthetic. Life Story Love And Glory is a 7” containing some casually improvised piano duets, inventive and intimate. The vinyl is exclusive to record stores like ourselves, and may hint towards further future work...
  • Genre(s):
  • Neo-classical / Classical / Orchestral

Hior Chronik
Out Of The Dust

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James Green
Donkey Jukebox

Donkey Jukebox started life as an art installation by James Green in a Yorkshire pub. Green created pieces of music by looping phrases he played on a French lap organ and weaving them into nonrepeating linear soundscapes. Artist and musician Green is hardly prolific as a solo artist, this being only his second album in 13 years, but in that time he has also formed The Big Eyes Family Players and collaborated with Alasdair Roberts.
  • Vinyl LP
  • In stock and ready to ship
  • Coloured vinyl
  • Limited edition

Thor & Friends
Thor & Friends

Everyone’s favourite Swan has finally done what people have been long been clamouring for: a grand project of his very own devising. Thor & Friends features the beardy multi-instrumentalist leading pals from A Hawk & A Hacksaw and Deerhoof through some compositions with mallet percussion at their core. Thor & Friends augments the classic pulse of minimalism with plenty of other wonderful instrumentation too: nice one Thor.

Lanterns On The Lake
Live With Royal Northern Sinfonia

Documentation of Newcastle’s Lanterns On The Lake performing a remarkable live show with the forty-piece Royal Northern Sinfonia orchestra. Ten of the band’s tracks have been expanded and spun out to incorporate the full scope of the orchestra’s power, offering we listeners grander versions of the material. Double LP release from Bella Union.
  • Genre(s):
  • Neo-classical / Classical / Orchestral

Peter Broderick
All Together Again

Docile post-folk ambienteer Peter Broderick strings together a decade’s worth of private commissions for this 2LP collection on Erased Tapes. Young Pete has admirers in all corners; there’s even an honest-to-god fashion runway piece. While the tracks comprising All Together Again are unrelated, their instrumental composition and style are consistent enough to be of interest even to cautious fans.
  • Genre(s):
  • Neo-classical / Classical / Orchestral

Martyn Heyne
Electric Intervals

Martyn Heyne presents the first full-length solo album of his career. Electric Intervals shows off Heyne’s assorted musical approaches, from intuitive single-instrument improvisation to classical composition and studio-as-instrument production epics. Electric Intervals is an eclectic listen, but with every track sounding clear and fully-realised. Released by 7K!.
  • Label(s):
  • 7K!
  • Genre(s):
  • Neo-classical / Classical / Orchestral

Poppy Ackroyd
Feathers

Poppy hails from the big smoke, lives by the sea in Brighton (this is quite a common occurrence seemingly) and is apparently classically trained. She specialises in piano and violin but this second outing proper sees her expand her palette to incorporate other exciting musical items with the same such keys and twangy, screechy bits. Poppy is also a member of Hidden Orchestra who will be familiar to you if you are a bit of an acidsouljazzer like I'm not. Bummer. So much promise and excitement has now dissipated from my imagination. Feathers isn't about the person who is vacating the room I am just about to take in a house in Leeds this week. When I asked my new "landlady" how long it would take for the passage to be clear she laughed and commented "Oh Charlotte doesn't have much in the way of possessions.....just bags and bags of feathers". 
  • Genre(s):
  • Neo-classical / Classical / Orchestral

Hammock
Mysterium

Nashville, Tennessee’s Hammock returns. Mysterium is the duo’s eighth and latest album. The record serves as memorial to Clark Kern, son-like figure to Hammock, who died in 2016. An hour-long album of modern classical flavours, contemplative ambient and choral music from the Budapest Art Choir. For fans of Richter and Johannsson. 2LP + CD in gatefold on Hammock Music, insert with art by Pete Schulte.

Philip Glass
Low Symphony

Philip Glass took three recordings from the sessions of 'Low' -- David Bowie's most famous collaboration with Brian Eno, and his first foray into kraut influenced rock (the first in his Berlin trilogy) -- and turned them into this symphony. The tracks in question are all instrumentals: "Warszawa", "Subterraneans" and "Some Are". It was performed by the Brooklyn Philharmonic orchestra.

The Berlin Music Ensemble conducted by Craig Leon
The Film Scores and Original Orchestral Music of George Martin

George Martin is of course best known for his close involvement with those Beatles that everyone likes so much, but the man is too much of a maestro to be limited to just that reputation. This new recording by the Berlin Music Ensemble showcases a range of Martin’s work as a classical composer and arranger, from Live And Let Die to Under Milk Wood, via his own original suites. CD and double LP set on Atlas Realisations.
  • Genre(s):
  • Neo-classical / Classical / Orchestral
  • Soundtracks

Otto Lindholm
Alter

Four track second full length album from Belgium’s Otto Lindholm. Layers of bowed and scraped double bass loops interweave with electronics to create expansive ambient drone that sways softly, yet grippingly, between the light and dark. For fans of Deaf Center, Richard Skelton etc.. Limited LP on Gizeh.

Luke Howard
Sun, Cloud / Night, Cloud

Sun, Cloud has previously only been made available in Australia, but no more! Now UK listeners can also enjoy Luke Howard’s music. Piano is central to these compositions, spinning delicate neo-classical melodies into the air, where strings, electronics and field recordings add texture to the mix. This CD release of Sun, Cloud also comes with Night, Cloud, an extra disc of remixes by various producers.

Max Richter
Disconnect (Music From The Motion Picture)

More excellent compositional score-work from Max Richter, this time to accompany the 2012 what-if-internet-but-too-much drama film Disconnect. As well as Richter’s punchy original compositions, this OST collection also includes Jayme Ivision’s song Ni Su Nave. CD released by the Milan label.
  • Genre(s):
  • Neo-classical / Classical / Orchestral
  • Soundtracks

raven
the night is dark, the night is silent, the night is bright, the night is loud

New album from Peter Hollo’s (Fourplay, Tangents) solo project Raven. At it’s heart, is his cello, creating loops, drones and ambiences. Backed up with electronics, sampling and piano Hollo doesn’t so much force two worlds together but molds them to fit seamlessly. Neo classical meets breakbeats, noise and glitches. Think Squarepusher meets Arthur Russell.

Olafur Arnalds & Nils Frahm
Collaborative Works

Olafur Arnalds and Nils Frahm are each highly regarded as indie-classical melodic experimentalists, and with good cause. They’ve also been working together for years, and this Collaborative Works set gathers up all their past EPs, along with Trance Frendz, a new set of studio improvisations. Double CD on Erased Tapes.
  • Artist(s):

Penguin Cafe
The Red Book

Arthur Jeffe’s continuation of his father Simon’s legacy as Penguin Café is impressive. The contents of The Red Book are glittering, complex instrumentals, oft led by piano and strings but featuring quite a list of instruments. Lying somewhere between modern classical minimalism and pop, these compositions aren’t too far from post-rock. Fortunately, the tedious, po-faced overstatement common in post-rock is largely absent here.
  • Genre(s):
  • Neo-classical / Classical / Orchestral

William Eggleston
Musik

William Eggleston, now 77, is a regarded photographer, but here is another side to the Memphis man. Eggleston rediscovered a piano in his childhood home, igniting a passion. An '80s fascination with a Korg synth developed; a sequencer enabled him to make and improvise symphonies and Bach-ian organ cantatas. He produced 49 floppy discs  -- 60 hours of music -- from which 13 tracks were culled, hence the making of Musik. LP / CD on Secretly Canadian.
  • Genre(s):
  • Neo-classical / Classical / Orchestral