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Lieven Martens Moana / Idylls / Vinyl LP, Art Book / Pacific City Sound Visions / PCSV39
Limited to 500 copies. Recorded over a few years in Antwerp and Tokashikijima. “After two sold out concerts in Tokyo and Osaka, we treat ourselves on a trip to Okinawa and the Ryukyu Islands. After spending a little time in the main city of Naha we took a ferry to Tokashikijima, a small island surrounded by coral reefs, mother-of- pearl farms and infested by an aggressive and poisonous snake. Aharen, a classic small beach town stuck in a fabricated memory of 80’s surf movies, was to be our home for just a few days. While walking through its snake infested bush and through its lagoon, while photographing, the Tombeau De Robert Louis Stevenson, a composition I was hinting at in live environments, became reality inside a patchwork of history, of coral reefs. While walking on the beach, more or less solitary since tourist season was just a few months away, while listening to the gorgeous sound of a small motoric fishing boat working on the reef – an ever-pleasing sound -, and to beautiful synthesized steel drum music coming from the local junior school. In the end the piece became so simple, an almost clinical exhibition of sound, that it became a difficult world entangled in meaning. Like a coral reef that is so pretty, yet dangerous, vibrant, endangered, complex, slow, fast, all at the same time. (…) Since I already figured out how to present my idylls – in a possible dark sense of the word – in the various forms, presented as a storytelling collection in four parts. Being a portrait (which could be a secretive self-portrait), a comment on ethnography, an exotic illustration and a ritual. The latter used in the most mundane sense ever, since I’d like to stay far away from a sensational bubblegum approach to (religious) pseudo-ethnography, to the copying of ethnic behaviour, or to approaching it as something odd or weird. These behaviourisms unavoidably invoke the end of all rituals, thus making the world a duller place.”
Graham Lambkin / Millows / Art Book, CD / Penultimate Press / PP3
Graham Lambkin’s oeuvre has long explored the cracks which burnish the underside of contemporary music, poetry and visual art. His work teases the fragile threads connecting the psychotic, the absurd and the mundane; often bringing them to the point of near ruination.. Throughout his 20 year canon of published work, Lambkin has continuously played with the themes of horror in the everyday, whilst mocking the comical violence inherent in us all. Millows brings together two previously unpublished works, both dating from 2004. A series of 450 photographic combinations documenting a solitary drunken non-event and an audio work which plays out as an open-ended late night spy thriller, with all the key dialog removed.
Dennis Tyfus / Summer Whine / Art Book / Ultra Eczema / ultra eczema 215
A visual report of sorts, collecting 64 full-colour drawings from the past six months or so. These drawings were intended as working sketches for paintings, though the latter never materialised. Instead, you can ponder what might’ve been in the privacy of your own home. This compendium of unrealised potential is offset printed and clad in a beautiful letterpress linen cover. Not much to whine about, after all.
My Cat Is An Alien / The Dance Of Oneirism / 2 x Vinyl LP / Backwards / BW19
Backwards is very happy to announce the NEW My Cat Is An Alien studio double album! From the extended foreword insert by David Keenan: "What are we to make of My Cat Is An Alien, the duo of the brothers Roberto and Maurizio Opalio, titling this new extended sound work The Dance Of Oneirism? [...] None of the tracks have titles; instead we feel our way by number, by movement. Our co-ordinates are fixed, or more properly suggested, by the listing of instruments. Self-made double-bodied string instrument, handmade pocket harp, pedal effects, wordless vocalizations, modified analog drum machine, mini-keyboard, alientronics. But even here nothing is straightforward; everything is invented, shrunken, self-built, inchoate: alien-ated. The session was recorded – instantly composed – in MCIAA’s “Alien Zone”, situated in the Western Alps, and it sounds it. The central fact of MCIAA’s music has always been space but they have never sounded quite so far away, so removed. [...] The music is extremely sensual. The rhythms have a contrary cold/organic quality to them, the feel of the pulse as the breath is held, but soon even that dies down and we are left with an extended, timeless moment, the space between one breath and the next. Occasionally there is the sound of strings, strange steel resonances that populate the music like ghosts, the ghosts of Roscoe Holcomb’s high, lonesome sound, of Dock Boggs and the sanctified steel of Washington Phillips. Ash Ra Tempel met Timothy Leary in the Alps [...] The transmissions are fuzzy up here and at points it makes for a music of almost terrifying quiet. It is minimal, sure, but MCIAA are not so much interested in repetition as in eternal expansion. [...] The Dance Of Oneirism is a music of unknowing, a dance with a phantom, the letting go of a dream. It is MCIAA’s greatest long form work. It has tributaries that run deep into the past, ghost channels that facilitate two-way travel, even as its destination, in the words of the late Conrad Schnitzler, is determinedly future, future, future." - David Keenan. Includes a photographic Art Book by Roberto Opalio. Silkscreened image by the artist on Side D. In first 80 copies LP1 and LP2 come each in different colours."
Charcoal Owls / The Red Albums / Cassette, Art Book / Larching Books / No catalogue #
The Red Albums consists of an A6 10 page booklet printed on 160gsm recycled paper, and a chrome C40 cassette with full colour printed o-card sleeve + download code. The set is a collaboration between Tom James Scott and Russell Walker. a set of music cassette and text pamphlet in a run of 50 copies.
Dennis Tyfus / Up- And Downgrades Pt.1 / Art Book / Ultra Eczema / UE239
For his first solo exhibition at Pinkie Bowtie, which ran between 15 April and 7 May this year, Dennis Tyfus has gone back to basics. Using the age-old tradition of the self – portrait, he draws a pathetic yet whimsical tale of daily life and the mundane annoyances that befall him. These inconsequential frustrations are offset by bright and poppy colours, resulting in a deceptively cheerful set of drawings, luring you in. This catalog ue collects all the drawings that were shown during the exhibition, in addition to several which were produced concurrently but not displayed. A4; full-colour offset print. Layout by Jef Cuypers ; introduction by Allon Kaye
Andrew Chalk / Violin by Night / CD / Faraway Press / FP 019
Whenever a new vinyl release by Andrew Chalk surfaces, several things are fairly certain: it will be a beautiful object, it will be expensive, and it will be worth it. Packaging-wise, Violin by Night hits impressive new heights in both lavishness and mystery. The corresponding songs, on the other hand, are atypically brief and melodic, often more closely resembling a damaged Romantic classical recording than anything drone-like. The album opens with "A New Heaven," unfolding a gentle, submerged-sounding piano or harmonic motif over a very minimal, murky, and vaporous bed. It is extremely simple melodically, but Chalk creates some impressive things dynamics, making all the notes ripple, shimmer, and decay like droplets on a moonlit pool. This sets the tone for the album quite beautifully, as almost everything that follows seems evocative of some sort of remote nocturnal grove. It isn't entirely an idyllic one though, as the album is populated with a number of pieces ("Violin by Night," for example) that feel elusive and spectral, drifting in and out of the sonic foreground like a strange, shifting mist. It is difficult to tell exactly what Chalk is playing on individual pieces due to the heavy processing (and because the liner notes are entirely in Japanese), but much of the album sounds like someone playing a lonely, melancholy organ solo somewhere in the distance, only snatches of which are audible due to the vagaries of the wind and the acoustics of the surrounding landscape. Of course, there are a number of exceptions. "Red Horse," for example, is very much a drone piece, augmenting its darkly queasy underbelly with some sort of bizarre overtone experiment that doesn't quite sustain my interest. The other departures work much better though, as the shadowy, flange-heavy "Then and Now" sounds like a chamber ensemble heard though a thick fog of hallucinogens while "The Falling City" sounds like an understated, less emotionally ravaging cousin to one of Arvo Pärt's more sorrowful string pieces ("Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten," for example). "The Falling City" is an uncharacteristically melodic and unprocessed work for Chalk, achieving an impressive orchestral grandeur that is not at all what I have come to expect from him. It is difficult to say where this release falls within Chalk's ouevre quality-wise, as he's responsible for a number of stellar albums. The important thing is that it is almost uniformly excellent, although the increased focus on melody coincides with a necessary decrease in song length–I miss the immersiveness of Chalk's more long-form work, as some of these songs are over before they fully take hold of me. Also, I always appreciated that his work asked a lot of patience and focus from me as a listener. The occasional overt melodies on Violin by Night may be a bit simpler and more accessible, but the shifted balance between space, texture, and melody works quite nicely and I would certainly be happy with wider recognition and increased demand for Andrew Chalk albums. I can't complain. Andrew might though, as the physical packaging for this album was handmade and seems like it was pretty damn labor-intensive (cloth, wood, great anthropomorphic animal art, everything in kanji, etc.). Brainwashed."