LP version. Eartheater (aka Queens based artist Alexandra Drewchin) distills foley-filled digital production, a three-octave vocal range, and classical composition into works suspended between obsessively detailed sonic tapestries and almost recklessly romantic and gestural electronica. IRISIRI, Eartheater’s third full-length record, lays out a shifting network of abstract song craft, laced with sudden structural upheavals, and collisions of mutated tropes from numerous sonic vocabularies. Modular synth staccato plucks hammer out in arrhythmic spirals over a carefully muzzled grid of pumping kicks — unleashed in unpredictable disruptions. Technoid stabs mingle with crushed black metal. An icy OS reads poetry against a bed of granular synth swells. Drewchin’s sirening whistle-tone vocals drape over relentless harp arpeggios. Eartheater confounds expectations of structure and resolution before deciding to thread in a sugary melody that snaps us back into some conception, however hazy, of pop songwriting. Guest spots on IRISIRI charge Drewchin’s ideas with concordant energies, from the stark imagist poetry of Odwalla1221 on “Inhale Baby”, to the sheer lacerating force of Moor Mother’s unflinching verse on “MMXXX”. Drewchin’s lyrics, strewn with flourishes of wordplay and symbolism, explore themes of her autodidactic experience — playing with the tutelage of the “pupil” within the “iris” mirrored in the palindrome IRISIRI. One motif appears as a song name, “C.L.I.T.”, which Drewchin breaks down into “Curiosity Liberates Infinite Truth”. The acronym stands as a microcosm of the Eartheater project in its holistic combination of idiosyncratic spirituality and cheekiness, presented with an earnest confidence that some could consider confrontational. In spite of this lexicon’s maximal effect, it comes from a very personal place as she states, “curiosity has had to be the currency of my education”. On “OS In Vitro”, she reminds us that “these tits are just a side-effect,” and “You can’t compute her,” as if to acknowledge the clouding effect of sexuality and technology in the face of a higher self-significance. In the record’s accompanying video piece, “Claustra”, she slides between “the owning of my loneliness” and “the end of the loaning of my onliness”, encapsulating images of self-purifying isolation and the rejection of artistic exploitation with the flip of two syllables. The transmuting landscape of IRISIRI is riddled with evocative poetry and evidence of Drewchin’s development as an artist since her debut in 2015. Features photography by Elise Gallant. Mastered by Rashad Becker at Dubplates & Mastering.
OFFICIAL RSD 2018 release. Reissue; 34th anniversary edition, originally release in 1984 by Durium Records. Mannequin Records present a reissue of Personal Computer from the avant-garde Italian-born producer Doris Norton, release in a trilogy with Norton Computer For Peace (1983) and Artificial Intelligence (1985). Apple’s first music “endorsement” and Roland affiliate, Doris Norton is one of the most important women pioneer in the use of synths and in the early electro/computer music. Norton is the wife of Antonio Bartoccetti, progressive rock guitarist, and mother of the musician and techno producer Rexanthony. As a teenager, she was drawn to medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque music, not to mention quantum physics, differential equations, organic chemistry, the experimentalism of John Cage, and animated movie soundtracks. Her love for modules and circuits found expression through the waves of an old harmonium, the frequencies of a MiniMoog, a Roland System 100M, a Roland System 700, and the ARP 2500/2600. In 1980, Norton began her solo career by recording at Fontana Studio 7, the Milan studio of the composer and musician Tito Fontana, resulting in the electronic opera Under Ground. Norton became more prolific, continuing her adventures in experimental electronics and computer music with Parapsycho (1981), Raptus (1981), Nortoncomputerforpeace (1983), Personal Computer (1984) — whose album cover prominently features Apple’s colored logo — and Artificial Intelligence (1985). While the beat-oriented style of Norton’s music aligns her with such fellow global-travelers as Yellow Magic Orchestra and Kraftwerk, her championing of the personal computer as a tool for self-sufficient musical creativity also connects her to more artsy musicians such as Pietro Grossi, Laurie Spiegel, and The League of Automatic Music Composers. Norton’s predilection for the bright, glossy timbres of early digital instruments also recalls Hubert Bognermayr and Harald Zuschrader’s bizarre 1982 one-off Erdenklang. Later, her talent and expertise attracted the attention of IBM, who in 1986 named her as an official consultant. Already the reigning queen of the Italian electronic scene, she recorded two CDs for IBM: Automatic Feeling (1986) and The Double Side Of The Science (1990). Influenced by her son, the musician and producer Rexanthony, Norton brought her fascination with the early days of techno into the 1990s, when she released three volumes of Techno Shock on Italian trance/hardcore label Sound Of The Bomb. While her music remains largely out-of-print and inaccessible, Norton’s early records have recently begun to receive the inevitable rediscovery treatment.
RSD 2018 release. Reissue; 35th anniversary edition. Mannequin Records present a reissue of Doris Norton’s Norton Computer For Peace, or Nortoncomputerforpeace, originally released on Durium Records in 1983. This is a part of a trilogy of reissues from the avant-garde Italian-born producer, released alongside Personal Computer (MNQ 120LP, 1984) and Artificial Intelligence (1985). Apple’s first music “endorsement” and Roland affiliate, Doris Norton is one of the most important women pioneer in the use of synths and in the early electro/computer music. Norton is the wife of Antonio Bartoccetti, progressive rock guitarist, and mother of the musician and techno producer Rexanthony. As a teenager, she was drawn to medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque music, not to mention quantum physics, differential equations, organic chemistry, the experimentalism of John Cage, and animated movie soundtracks. Her love for modules and circuits found expression through the waves of an old harmonium, the frequencies of a MiniMoog, a Roland System 100M, a Roland System 700, and the ARP 2500/2600. In 1980, Norton began her solo career by recording at Fontana Studio 7, the Milan studio of the composer and musician Tito Fontana, resulting in the electronic opera Under Ground. Norton became more prolific, continuing her adventures in experimental electronics and computer music with Parapsycho (1981), Raptus (1981), Nortoncomputerforpeace (1983), Personal Computer (1984) — whose album cover prominently features Apple’s colored logo — and Artificial Intelligence (1985). Third studio album, Nortoncomputerforpeace involved Doris Norton, Antonius Rex, and Rudy Luksch (hardware engineer). “Don’t Shoot At Animals” was used as original soundtrack for the RAI TV program Rumore Di Fondo directed by Umberto Marino.
Synthesist is the debut album by Harald Grosskopf, the enigmatic percussionist behind Ash Ra Tempel, Klaus Schulze, and Cosmic Jokers. Originally released by Sky Records in 1980, RVNG Intl. celebrates the 30th year anniversary with this newly mastered and packaged reissue.
Berlin, Germany, summer of 1979, Harald Grosskopf, then 30 years old, was at a personal and creative crossroads. His girlfriend just left him, and Ashra (Manuel Göttsching’s “solo” project) was on temporary hiatus. Harald always considered himself a rhythmic accomplice to his numerous collaborators’ lead, until prompted by some fellow musician friends to pursue a singular creative vision.
Armed with a MiniMoog and Revox reel-to-reel, Grosskopf set off for the West German countryside that fall and isolated himself in a home studio for almost two months to record Synthesist. The temperamental analog synthesizer and sequencing technology created a long learning curve eventually resulting in a harmonious union of man and machine.
The human response undeniably colors the eight songs of Synthesist and aligns the album with some of the more melodic output of the Berlin School of Electronic Music. The title track and “Transcendental Overdrive” almost take on pop qualities. Harald’s live percussion opens up tracks like “So Weit, So Gut” and “Emphasis” for jammed out exploration. Where the album veers into the ambient space clusters of “B. Aldrian” or “Trauma”, it’s hard not to consider Synthesist the nexus of Krautrock, Kosmische, and New Age.
Re-Synthesist, the companion compilation to Synthesist, is an assemblage of reinterpretations of Grosskopf’s work by a new vanguard of electronic and experimental artists including Oneohtrix Point Never, Blondes, Arp, Stellar Om Source, CFCF, James Ferraro, and many others.
Although Synthesist has been unavailable on vinyl for almost three decades, it doesn’t fetch unfathomable collector fees. Selecting Synthesist as our first reissue is more about the connectivity to a new audience than the scarcity fetish for a select few. It’s about sharing Harald’s story and celebrating an album musically accomplished and compelling from start to end.
As the pearls of Finders Keepers exclusive adventures in the deep vaults of Belgium’s Alpha Records we are proud to present this collection of outstanding experimental magnetic music by Lucien Goethals. Simply one of the best examples of organic and electronic music interfacing taken from rescued mastertapes spanning 1964 and 1975, here we find Goethals recomposing transposing and reducing taped recordings of organic instruments such as Cello and Clarinet to make early magnetaphone compositions that defy convention from the heart of the revolutionary IPEM (Institute for psycho-acoustics and electronic music). These melodic explorations into advanced mechanical music provide further likeminded context for the likes of Dariush Dolat Shahi, Delia Derbyshire and Gruppo di Improvvisazione di Nuova Consonanza and beg comparison to Zdenek Liska’s score for Ikarie Xb1.
Lucien Goethals was born in 1931 in Ghent, Belgium. He completed his musical education at the Royal Academy of Music in 1956 where he was awarded the highest accolades for advanced organ, history of music and theoretic notions, after which he eventually pursued his studies of seriated music technique and electronic composition with G.M. Koenig. He was awarded further awards for composition in both his own country as well as abroad, and was a member of the renowned Spectra work group. In 1963 he was appointed to the post of producer of the BRT (Flemish division of the Belgian Broadcasting and Television System) and later a key producer in the division known as IPEM (Institute for psycho-acoustics and electronic music).
From 1971 he taught musical analysis at the Music Academy of Ghent. Goethals was an exponent of the stricter direction in the aesthetics of contemporary music. His work is still recognised as a valuable contribution, on a global scale, to the fields of seriated and trans-aleatoric music of the past half century. His recorded achievements within experimental music include a dozen rare compositions for solo “magnetophonic” music and a set of works for combined orthodox instruments with magnétaphone. Outside of the electronic field Goethals was also recognised for his chamber music, symphonic orchestration, cantata and lied compositions. This compendium focuses on Lucien’s magnetophonic work recorded during, and prior.
Conceived as the follow-up to Kirchin’s Worlds Within Worlds parts 1 & 2, which were discernibly scored for a jazz sextet (including Evan Parker) and various bird, animal, and amplified insect sounds, and released on LP by Columbia in 1971, Kirchin’s 1974 follow-up of the same name contains parts 3 & 4 and finds him combining similar instrumentation with the sounds of a Gorilla, Hornbills, and Flamingoes in a heavily abstract, tape-processed style that’s just completely messing us up right now.
If any LP deserves the mantle “lost classic”, it’s this one. From the first seconds of distended, hellish moans and flanging analog artefacts in Emergence (Part 3) you know this is going to be a serious trip and it never once sells the listener short. For the next 20 minutes he unspools a fantasy tableaux of warped, grainy harmonics and warbling sonic oddity, smudging samples of autistic children in a Swiss community with the sounds of the docks in Hull, where he lived, to forge a practically unprecedented alternate dimension of atonal, arrhythmic immersion that genuinely feel like a transmission from the other side, much in the best way of music from Aphex Twin thru to Broadcast or NWW.
On the B-side Evolution (Part 4) follows suit into the void without the handrails of convention, effectively landing somewhere between the combustible, metallurgic experiments of Gottfried Michael König, Annea Lockwood’s Tiger Balm, and the vast, cosmic spectral music of Iancu Dumitrescu in terms of space and texture, with 18 minutes of dense, layered concrète chicanery that pulls the ear’s eye almost out of its socket in a seamless, keening traversal of metastable, decelerated sonics from Gorilla growls to submerged clangour and astral flange that uncannily parallels COUM Transmissions from the same era and city, although we’re pretty sure there was no crossover between the two.
The remains of the vessel weren’t removed for several days. I walked down with my father to peer inside the boat cabin. Maps, coffee cups and clothing were strewn around inside. “I remember looking only briefly, wilted by the feeling that I was violating some remnant of this man’s presence by witnessing the evidence of its failure. Later I read a story about him in the paper. It was impossible to know what had happened. The boat had never crashed or capsized. He had simply slipped off somehow, and the boat, like a riderless horse, eventually came back home.” The narrative somehow enhances the songs – an achingly beautiful combination of forlorn, reverb-drenched lullabies draped in a veil of isolation reminding us of a more damaged Mark Kozelek, and indeed the classic 4AD sound with which Grouper has been compared so many times in the past.
By the time you reach the closing track ‘Living Room’, however, you come to the realisation that despite her best efforts to obscure her songs, Harris might just be one of the most gifted songwriters of her generation. An incredible album – possibly her finest yet.
Northern California electronic producer Fred Welton Warmsley III’s solo work as Dedekind Cut (pronounced “dead-da-ken cut”) has evolved from fractured industrial design into increasingly subdued and sublime ambient meditations across two years of dedicated activity. His second full-length collection, Tahoe—so named after the mountain lake town he now calls home—swells with widescreen grandeur, evoking vistas both inner and outer. There are echoes of his earlier, more tempestuous mode in tracks like “MMXIX” and “Spiral” but overall the album skews panoramic and pensive, muted synthetic mists contoured with choral melody, field recordings, and radiant drone. His compositional instincts feel alternately classical, contemporary, and conflicted, befitting an artist whose discography spans labels as divergent as Hospital Productions, Ninja Tune, and NON.
Warmsley characterizes Tahoe as a “time peace,” sifting through “the past, the present, future, and fantasy.” Recorded primarily in New York, with additional sessions sourced from Berlin, Cambridge, and Placer County, California.
Started in 2014 as a collaboration between visual artist HEATHER GABEL and percussionist SETH SHER, the Chicago based industrial duo known simply as HIDE was formed. The following three years have seen HIDE crash through with a number of aggressively rendered singles and EP’s while quietly collecting the shattered pieces that would form their debut full length album on Dais, Castration Anxiety. Those familiar with HIDE’s provocative live performances will already be accustomed to the hypnotic low-end and sinister vocal delivery that has become the band’s signature. The opening track, “Fall Down,” sets an eerie tone that permeates Castration Anxiety until the end. Throbbing pulses swirling around Gabel’s death laden mantras succumb to themes harvesting power from desperation and hopelessness. Castration Anxiety was recorded by engineer JOE CARDAMONE at Valley Recording Co, who contributed additional instrumentation and arrangements, with additional recording and mixing by ADAM STILSON at Decade Music Studios. Edition of 400 copies on black vinyl.
LP version. Features four selections from the double-CD version, Indonesian Electronic Music 1979-92. Fascinating and unreleased before music by Otto Sidharta, pioneer of Indonesian electronic music. Electronic compositions that integrated natural sounds and urban sounds to this extent were extremely rare at the time they were recorded, which in turn gives them a unique form of intensity. This collection is released as an entry in Sub Rosa’s Early Electronic series.
Otto Sidharta was born in Bandung, Indonesia November 6, 1955. In 1978 he studied music composition in Jakarta Institute of Arts under guidance of Slamet Abdul Sjukur. In 1984 he continued his post graduate study in composition and electronic music with Professor Ton de Leeuw in Sweelinck Conservatorium Amsterdam. In 2015 he started his doctoral study at Institute Seni Indonesia Surakarta, finishing in 2016. Sidharta’s interest in using environmental sounds and synthetics sounds to express his musical ideas developed when he was a student at the Jakarta Institute of Arts. He performed his first electronic music piece, “Kemelut”, based on water sounds in the First Indonesian Young Composer Festival (Pekan Komponis Muda) in 1979. In 1979 he begin to collect some nature and animal sounds on Nias Island, Borneo (Kalimantan) jungle, Riau islands, and other remote places. These sounds were used as material for some of his works such as “Ngendau”, “Hutan Plastik”, and “East Wind”. Otto Sidharta is still alive and performing around the world.
October Language is the debut album by New Orleans based duo Belong, comprised of Turk Dietrich and Mike Jones. Since its release in early 2006, Belongs debut masterpiece has accumulated a dedicated cult following, with comparisons to the work of Christian Fennesz and Gas, with some claims that it plays like My Bloody Valentine’s Loveless (1991) sans the songs. While these comparisons are useful for filing this album into a particular bin in the record shop, time has proven that October Language is a unique album which remains unmatched by its contemporaries. Despite the warm and welcome accolades of the albums arrival, there was no vinyl pressing until 2009, of which a limited one-time pressing vanished immediately. Spectrum Spools present a pristine vinyl cut to go with reimagined album art for the definitive edition of this legendary classic. Includes download card with three extra tracks from the impossibly rare Tour EP from the same era (2006). These tracks are exclusive to the vinyl purchase and are not available through digital outlets.
François Bayle on Tremblement de terre très doux (1978); first performance on March 19, 1979 at the Grand Auditorium of Radio-France, Ina-GRM’s Cycle Acousmatique: “The familiar generates the strange. These rolls, these hums, these sudden rushes; this song, these peaceful circlings; these sudden outbursts, these returns to quiescence — what do they remind us of? This piece’s trajectory could also be a representation of the dramatic unfolding of a day — of a life — from sunrise (‘Climate 1’) to night-time (‘Landscape 4’) via restless encounters, transitions (‘Transit 1’, ‘2’, and ‘3’) that announce the drama climaxing in ‘Landscape 3’, before reaching its denouement in “Climate 4″… A whole concrete ‘story’. The subterranean properties inherent to listening gently shift our ideas…”
François Bayle on Toupie dans le ciel (1979); first performance on January 21, 1980 at the Grand Auditorium of Radio-France, Ina-GRM’s Cycle Acousmatique: “A wave is swaying on two minors thirds. This constantly uniform yet constantly varied swaying revolves in a swarm of sharp designs that blink on and off in a layer of growing density and mobility. Distance, speed, pressure, density, temperature, color, intensity, are the ‘themes’ of the 27 short interconnected cells flowing together though this seemingly unified movement. Occasionally, a breach in the texture reveals skies dotted with little comets. In the center, a slow gliding picks up the distant harmonics of a basic chord. Toward the end, this gliding returns with a fiery burst. Fine lines and whirs are generated from the song of a spinning antique top. To end on a lighter note the title Toupie dans le ciel — ‘Spinning Top in the Sky’ reminds us of ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’ by The Beatles as well as Lucy, the oldest Australopithecine (three million years), our African grandmother in the Erosphere… The overall title Erosphere alludes to the desire inherent to the listening experience, and to the very primitive cues that sustain the auditory attention and are the basis of all musical pleasure.”
Cut by CGB at Dubplates & Mastering, Berlin, June 2017; Digital transfer by Jonathan Fitoussi; Translations by Valérie Vivancos; Layout by Stephen O’Malley; Coordination GRM – Daniel Teruggi and François Bonnet; Executive Production – Peter Rehberg.
Further departing from both the cinematic abstraction of Piteous Gate (PAN 066CD/LP, 2015) and the hectic drums of Damaged Merc (2016), Berlin producer M.E.S.H.’s new full-length, Hesaitix, is marked by its hyper-ornamented rhythms and a sense of pensive, moonlit spaces. The atmosphere has shifted; the radical deconstruction of previous releases has given way to subtler interventions, building new structures in strange territories. Shifting from the meditative to states of manic unease, Hesaitix is an unnerving injection into both the social space of club music and the interior space of digital audio fantasy. “How did I become so stupid? A sound can be both formless and over-rendered, like a boneless but fleshy hand from a life drawing class. What agent could set these broken sounds in motion? A laugh behind an evil curtain. A drummer that’s cool and grotesque, a detuned siren. A brushfire under a full moon.” Recorded in Berlin and Umbria, Hesaitix sees Janus resident and PAN staple M.E.S.H. firmly engaged in a kind of sonic world building, a place where the unconscious and the alien intersect. Artwork by Michael Guidetti and James Whipple. Mastered by Rashad Becker.
Fantome Phonographique present a reissue of Ustad Abdul Wahid Khan’s self-titled release, originally released on Columbia in 1966. Even though the original recordings are crackly and in low fidelity (but also deeply charming) it seemed necessary to repress this record for its immense historiographic value. These recordings are made available here with new mastering, in as clear fidelity as possible. Fans of Indian classical music will no doubt know the name Ustad Abdul Wahid Khan. He founded the Kirana gharana musical family with his cousin Abdul Karim Khan in late 19th century, which was one of the most prolific and revered gharanas in Hindustani classical music. In addition, serious American minimalist scholars and fans have also been heard echoing his name, linked to that of Pandit Prân Nath, his student for over twenty years. It was Abdul Wahid Khan who pushed his pupil Prân Nath into exporting the techniques of their music school, which brought Prân Nath to the US where he drastically influenced most of the then-emerging avant-garde New York scene. Terry Riley, La Monte Young, Rhys Chatham, Jon Hassell, Yoshi Wada, Marian Zazeela, Henry Flynt, Charlemagne Palestine, and more were Prân Nath’s students and in some cases close collaborators. It is therefore clear how important it is to gain deeper understanding of the music of Ustad Abdul Waheed Khan. A celebrated singer and sarangi player, Khan forbade recording of any of his performances to avoid imitation by other singers. Only these three pieces survived, recorded in secret for a radio broadcast in 1947, just two years before the singer’s death. A truly stunning document that is essential to understanding the modern era of Hindustani classical music, whose influential reach is immeasurable. Edition of 500.
Music From Memory’s final compilation of 2017 sees the release of the double album 1 By 1, which brings together the works of American experimental musician Geoffrey Landers. During a period spanning from 1979 to 1987, this Denver, Colorado based multi-instrumentalist, composer, record producer, and engineer conceived several solo albums. Only two of these, The Ever Decimal Pulse (1982) and Habitual Features (1983) along with the single Breedlove (1984) were ever released on vinyl. Being heavily involved in the local industrial/punk/new wave scene and wanting to create a recording studio “available to record artists regardless of their financial circumstances” Landers set up The Packing House Studio in 1981. This analog 8-track recording facility was located in a former slaughterhouse in the stockyards of Denver and was a place of significant activity for the next three years with the studio releasing recordings from numerous artists, most notably Allen Ginsberg. It was here that Geoffrey Landers also started his own aptly named Cauhaus label. Indicative of the underground/DIY culture, “Cauhaus” was a subsidiary of a label called Local Anaesthetics which was started as an in-store label by independent Denver record store Wax Trax. Typically Cauhaus releases were only pressed up in small quantities and independently distributed, making Lander’s music essentially elusive to a wide audience. After relocating in 1984 to an art district of Denver Landers opened the “Cauhaus Institute of Recording” studio where he continued to produce music for soundtracks, art, and multi-media projects for the next three years, after which Landers stepped out of the music industry entirely. He currently creates and exhibits mixed-media glass art. Throughout the twenty tracks of 1 By 1, of which six previously appeared on CD only, Music From Memory are submerged into a wide diversity of musical approaches from Geoffrey Landers. From the proto-house track “Logarithms” and the heart breaking new-wave boogie/funk of “Say You’ll Say So”, to the more contemplative pieces such as the oriental-inspired “Nisei” and the drenched in sunshine dub/reggae track “Mack”, Landers shies away from musical expectations again and again; searching continually for innovative and new forms of expression.