Sale: February Random Picks

We’ve decided to put another round of random picks on sale this month, with the low prices being good through February 16th or while supplies last.

Enten Hitti – Fino Alla Fine Della Notte –$7.99
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“A concert that lasts one night. A journey … inside of yourself … in the enviroment … from midnight to dawn … between waking and sleep.. A rite .. hypnotic melodies, ancestral sounds. Dozens of people in their sleeping bags … to navigate the dream … together … The experience of sleeping concert made by Enten Hitti here is the album that sums up in a nutshell the atmosphere of those nights.

 

Danny Kreutzfeldt – Counterperipheral –$6.99

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Brooding industrial atmospheres, and deep dubby beats. Very thoughtful and highly addictive. If one needs a soundtrack to impending fall that works excellent on the headphones as well, there’s plenty of reasons to get acquainted with Danny Kreutzfeldt. If one is to define the music on Counterperipheral, one senses Kreutzfeldt is an admirer of german Pole, whose crackling glitches, slow cinematic pulsations and cropped up silences to some extent is repeated on this album. But rather than copying Pole´s formulas, Kreutzfeldt reinvents them through his own industrial sensibilty. The dubby warmth of the german is almost nonexistant in these tracks, whose soundscapes, resounding metallic pulsations and crackling effects seem to describe large, empty and windy cities with starlight sharp as ice picks. Had Fritz Lang still lived to make movies, Kreutzfeldt could, in other words, have been an excellent provider of the soundtracks. If the above description gives the impression that the music of Counterperhiperal is static and heartless, you’d better think again. On the contrary Kreutzfeldt, on long, panoramic tracks such as “Cloud” and “Channel”, which both last for more than fifteen minutes, is pretty skilled at keeping the interest going through dicreet musical changes and delicately placed details, that seem to cross in and out of focus. On top of that, the sound has a surprisingly organic character. Sure, it’s digitally treated and generated, but Kreutzfeldt´s ability to use errors constructively and create spacious sensations does make one feel the human presence behind the keyboard. A presence, which is more likely to sigh than scream through the massive alienated, industrial moods, that are being conjured. Actually the album appears to be describing a sort of inner autumn – an atmosphere, which is both pleasant and scary to be absorbed by. Counterperipheral is the sort of record, that relates to the coldness and apocalypse through a kind of stoic, elevated tranquility. Because of that it etches itself into your memory despite its discreet mode of expression. -databloem.com

 

Michael Mantra – Amanita Lake (2 CD + DVD) –$9.99
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Two hours and a half of music collected on a double CD set that also contain a DVD video. Two long tracks of sublime and evocative pseudo-abstract and multicoloured ambient textures, built with discreet and repetitive background microstructures layered with continuous and infinite variations worked out from clusters of sounds and sketches of melodic sequences made of light sonorities, delicate and quiet as well, but also hypnotic and warm… Fragile harmonies and mild dissonances in a timeless sonic continuum that enfolds and rocks the listener, among infinite spirals and floating waves in an everlasting movement… Another new, mind-boggling masterpiece, absolutely unmissable for all the lovers of Michael Mantra’s music. -Silentes

 

Forrest Fang’s Sans Serif: Unbound –$7.99
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Unbound is veteran ambient musician Forrest Fang exploring lush and abstract terrain under the Sans Serif moniker. Using very small – at times microscopic – sounds as source material, Fang utilizes a vocabulary of long shimmering tones that gradually warp, mutate and transform over the course of a piece. -projekt.com

 

Darshan Ambient – A Day Within Days –$6.99
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A beautiful and powerful expression of friendship, loss and the artistic spirit. On this new offering, composer and creative force behind Darshan Ambient, Michael Allison, once again expertly navigates the fine line between poignancy and elation with his trademark melodies, chord structures, and instrumentation. Fans of previous Darshan Ambient albums will not be disappointed. The classic ambient spaces are certainly present, and Allison’s signature rhythmic flair and strong melodic sensibilities are in full bloom on this effort. There are also some stronger, more straightforward elements such as electric guitars, heavy drums and orchestral programming that bring a satisfying intensity to key moments of the album.

 

Ezdanitoff – We Bring Light –$6.99
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Extreme and uncompromising electronic stimulations, vibrations and synthetic pulsations floating off, disturbing buzzes and algorithmic waves in expansion, fragmented and deconstructed Synthetic Chaos… But also hints of hypnotic unfinished musical sketches, clips of embryonic melodic sequences, fragments of human voices, oscillating electronic pads, distorsions, improbable synthetic clones of nature sounds and noises… An intransigent work of disturbing and destabilizing electronica by Wouter Jaspers and Frans de Waard, especially recommended to listeners from other worlds… -silentes.it

 

Martin Franklin & Michael Northam – An Opening of the Earth –$6.99
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“…Excavating the sonic crust with heavy synthesised drones, trebly buzzes and popping bursts of sound……eerie as hell.”

-Darren Bergstein, I/E (from review of original release)

“After unearthing the original tapes, Martin Franklin has created all new mixes for this Faria Records release, including previous unheard sections, re-interpreted and enhanced for the 21st Century listener.”

-Faria Records

Set between a passive, rolling, drifting beauty and the eviscerated android guts of a more extreme Industrial music, this is dream music to inspire the worst of nightmares. Raw electrics (too raw to be electronics) buzz, boom and sizzle against a charming backdrop, sharing centre stage with nerve-jarring loops and creative electronics to form ever-transmuting, floating patterns, mutant soundscapes and dehumanised acid baths of softly rolling noise. This truly is a hybrid of two extremes – the harsh, raw electronics of extreme noise and the warm welcome of smoother passive music. It takes you to places which are simultaneously pacifying and threatening, sweet and sordid. Edgy, raw and often quite beautiful. –Bonnicon at discos.com

 

Steve Roach – Empetus (2CD collector’s edition) –$8.99

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Empetus is full blown sequencer-based music illustrating a further evolution in the visceral side of Roach’s music. Nine precise pieces that still sound fresh today. A favorite of sequencer music lovers. Released in 1986, this recording of intricately-woven sequencer lines and buzzing synthesizers established Roach as the American answer to the pioneering European electronic masters of the ’70s (Klaus Schulze, Tangerine Dream). Alternately thrilling and serene (sometimes within the space of the same track), EMPETUS’ waves of energy rest upon labyrinthine patterns of interlocking notes and wildly cascading tonal clusters. Roach varies the moods from piece to piece as well: the bright, piercing electronics of ”Seeking” contrast vividly with the starker, sweeping veils of sequenced notes and arcing waves of ”Empowerment” or the turbo-charged synths that rev through ”Conquest”. It’s all riveting, exciting stuff, and although Roach largely abandoned the style as he moved forward, EMPETUS remains an important, if largely unsung, statement documenting the course of modern American electronic music.

-Darren Bergstein

 

Deison / KK. Null – Into –$6.99
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Penetrating “Hi-tech” music, always on the border between sound, silence and noise… Splinters of sonic fragments, buzzings, electronic hisses, pulsations, hypnotic loops, ambient textures, sudden rays of light… A kaleidoscope of syntethic sounds and digital glitches, in a universe dominated by binary codes, that evolves through the cold-hearted control of sophisticated algorhythmic mutations programmed by human entities that already reached a level beyond the borders of our earthly knowledge… -Silentes

 

Rapoon – Just Say the Faith –$6.99
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‘Just Say The Faith’ was first issued on limited edition vinyl by Soleilmoon in 1998. Now this landmark recording is being made available on Compact disc. While an undeliable impression was left in :zoviet*france:, Robin Storey, a founding member of that seminal group and the man behind Rapoon has continued to leave giant footprints across the landscape of darkambient music. ‘Just Say The Faith’ comes from a very cold and damp place, perhaps inside an ancient abandoned church, where long shadows fall across gnarled tree roots and forgotten voices echo from dusty corners. The colors are black and brown, the elements are Earth and Water, and the season is most certainly Autumn. With each release Rapoon moves farther into a darker, more medieval Europe. The ergot mold grows thicker each year on the rye berries and the ghosts dance their crazed rites, all leading to this strange and mysterious album. ‘Just Say The Faith’ has its roots in noise and music and rhythm and drone, all combining to produce an exquisitely melancholy atmostphere. Along with all the material from the vinyl edition this CD reissue contains two previously unreleased songs, ‘Blue Sanctions’ and ‘Low Touch,’ as well as an extended mix of ‘Missionary Bones.’

 

Saul Stokes – Abstraction –$5.99
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First release by Saul Stokes on the Green House label. Combines never- before-heard live performance elements into a soundscape collage — a very fresh sound that’s different from his Hypnos releases…. more “abstract,” as hinted by the title.

Says Stokes: My latest release “Abstraction,” fuses the best of 3 years of concert recordings with my latest multitrack atmospheric work. From Philadelphia to Seattle, this album is a fireball of ambiance. “Abstraction” isn’t a noise collage, or easy listening ambient fluff. It is an incredibly listenable, wildly fresh and inventive continuous play album.

“Electrical appliances today are taken for granted by our culture, but not by Saul Stokes. Dubbed everything from Sonic Innovator to (in jest) “Popular Science’s Electronic Musician of the Year”, Stokes stands out in his field by having designed and built his own array of museum quality electronic instruments. This achievement enables Stokes with precise control over his original sounds and textures from the AC plug all the way to the PA speakers. But this is about more than just wires and solder. While Stokes demonstrates unprecedented real-time control over the output of his gear, inspiration for his music comes from an outlet on a more human scale. The intimacy of the concert stage is where Stokes transforms his craft into art. The immediacy of the moment, the consistent pattern of change and the spark of inspiration all act upon Stokes as he produces continuous currents of sound for a spellbound audience. At these rare and wonderful events, harmony takes a backseat to timbre as determiner of the emotional content of a piece. Constantly adjusting the tonal qualities of the composition by ear, the direction of a piece can change at will as the schematic of the performance is updated and changed by Stokes moment to moment. Although faded from his consciousness, the audience plays an important role in his music too. According to Stokes, these compositions cannot be realized outside the intimacy of the live environment. The new album Abstraction, compiles highlights from several such occasions. Each track is born out of vision, craft and spontaneity and strung together one after the other to form a virtual concert. The album flows smoothly through a contoured electric landscape of distinctive pads, drifting pitches and atonal synthesizer effects. Abstraction is a cerebral album that seductively draws the listener in, leaving you to find your own way out.” – Chuck van Zyl/STAR’S END

Sale: One & Two Copy 12k Items

We’ve done some temporary markdowns on a selection of items for you this week from the 12k label. Sale prices will be good through February 9th, but supplies are extremely limited with only one or two copies left of each item, so get yours before they’re gone!

Illuha – Akari –Regularly $9.99, right now just $7.99
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Packaged in a slim cardboard case

“Akari is the third album from Tokyo duo Illuha. Following 2011’s debut Shizuku (12k1067) and 2013’s Interstices (12k2028), Akari takes the next artistic step for the band. While Shizuku was recorded in the US and completed separately by the artists, Interstices captured the duo creating their exceptionally detailed music together live during a Japaneses tour. Akari, in turn, is the first studio album where Illuha recorded and mixed together, throughout the entire process. The beautiful st-robo studio in Tokyo put a collection of amazing equipment at their fingertips, from vintage mics and outboard gear to a vast collection of instruments, both acoustic and electronic. Their writing sessions were numerous and long with details meticulously obsessed over for nearly a year. The result is the most bewildering music Illuha have created to date. An album swimming with the most delicately tactile sounds and instrumentation that draws the listener in with hushed, motionless attention.

While Illuha’s Corey Fuller and Tomoyoshi Date are often drawn to the most sparse notes of Rhodes and Wurlitzer electric pianos, acoustic grand piano and guitar, the breadth of instrumentation is partially what makes Akari so abosrbing. They have succeeded in creating their own universe of sound, so beautifully recorded, where each element not only has its own space but connects and interacts so fluidly with the other sounds. It is as if they are placed perfectly by nature, the compositions are fluid and organic, a far cry from anything calculated or structured. It is this open space that the music exists in which in turn defines the music itself. There is ample room to breathe within this forest of gentle tines, bubbling analogue synthesizers, clicking percussion and quiet field recordings. This is subtlety at its most refined; hushed without being saccharine, distant without being morose.

Akari is the Japanese word for light. Conceputally the duo used this word as a guide, as if they were searching through the dark, trying to keep the light alive, as if one is cradling a candle doing everything in their power to keep it alight in a storm. It is this almost visceral sense of sheltering, of protection, that gives Akari a very human and personal sound whose intensely deep focus is as impressive as it is arresting.” –12k.com

 

Marsen Jules – The Endless Change Of Colour –Regularly $9.99, right now just $7.99
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Packaged in a slim cardboard case

“In our, boxed, on-demand world where accessibility and recallability rule we can often forget the importance of the unpredictable or the joy of true discovery. Our lives are increasingly shaped by systems and patterns; downloaded, linked, and stored, that help us live, tell us when to go outside and what we will find when we get there. The mystery of our every day slowly seeps out of our lives like photograph bled of its color by the sun. There are fewer questions and too many answers.

The Endless Change Of Colour exists somewhere between our future and the mistakes and accidents we’ve made along the way. It is a celebration of both the system and the unexpected. Marsen Jules’ latest work is a generative music piece upon a single phrase of an old jazz record split into three audio streams. These streams are transformed into loops which break the original instrumentation down into sound resembling pure waves, harmonics and overtones.These loops play to different time signatures to create phasing patterns that continuously move and dance around each other in a constantly-evolving lattice of sound. Despite it being based on a very strict and limited set of rules the music could, in theory, be endless and ever-changing.

Here, the listener’s discovery is a quiet and engaged one. Ripples and pulses set within a field of color that sometimes feels like water, sometimes like air and sometimes like glass. Electronic tones hum with warmth and the softness of slumber. The patterns are there, familiar to our modern ears, but they’re not always what they seem. The wandering mind steers this one along more than the generative grid on which it was based and The Endless Change Of Colour becomes exactly as its title suggests.” –12k.com

 

Seaworthy + Matt Rösner – Two Lakes –Regularly $9.99, right now just $7.99
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Packaged in a slim cardboard case

“In April 2010 12k recording artist Seaworthy (the recording project of Cameron Webb) and Matt Rösner travelled to the south coast of New South Wales to undertake a detailed field recording study of two coastal lake ecosystems at the Lakes Meroo and Termeil. The aim of the project was to explore the sounds of a fragile coastal Australian environment and to build from those sounds unique musical pieces that provide a place for listener contemplation and reflection.

Field recordings were taken from the lakes and surrounding beaches, forests and streams at different times of the day. Various equipment including a hydrophone, a shotgun and stereo microphones were used to capture the natural sounds of each lake. During breaks in field recoridng, the artists set up recording equipment in a nearby lakeside cabin. Using acoustic and electric guitars, a ukelele and electronics, a series of improvised performances were documented. On the last day of the trip, with the experience of the recording process still fresh in mind, rough arrangements were created from the field recordings and improvised sets. Matt Rösner then took these arrangements back to his studio in Myalup – a small coastal town on the opposite side of the Australian continent – to mix and finalize the production.

Both Rösner and Webb have been active in the Australian experimental music scene for over 10 years with a plethora of releases on local and international labels, sharing a similar vision of molding found sounds and field recordings with traditional instrumentation and electronics. Aside from shared musical interest both artists grew up in close connection with the Australian coastline, albeit on opposite sides of the continent. This connection with their landscape as a remote and diverse place is evident in the pieces created by the artists during their collaboration on the South Coast.

Two Lakes marks the third full-length appearance for Seaworthy on 12k following 2006’s Map In Hand and 2009’s 1897 and blends his signature guitar style with the beautifully arranged field recordings and electronics of Matt Rösner. Two Lakes is a strikingly stark and lonely album undeniably influenced by the remote recording cabin and delicate Australian ecosystem. The blend of instrumentation comes off more like a natural, live duet between artist and nature than a modern-day layered recording. Webb’s finger picked acoustic guitar and ukelele play off of the sounds of wind, reeds and insects in perfect harmony, supported by soft beds of eBowed drones and careful electronic tones. Despite their human presence Rösner and Webb manage to create music that resonates on another level, as if composed by the lakes themselves.” –12k.com

 

Stephen Vitiello + Molly Berg – Between You And The Shapes You Take –Regularly $9.99, right now just $7.99
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Packaged in a slim cardboard case

“Between You And The Shapes You Take is the second collaborative album by Richmond based musician/sound artists Stephen Vitiello and Molly Berg. As with the duo’s previous release, The Gorilla Variations (12k2013, 2009), tracks are created out of improvisations and sculpted through editing. Molly Berg’s clarinet and vocalizations tend to cover the CD’s lyrical content while Vitiello’s guitar and processing covers a good deal of the textures. Two of the tracks on the CD feature violin by the multi-talented Hahn Rowe, once a member of the group Hugo Largo.

There’s an immediate air of melancholy and longing to a number of the tracks. An initial demo recording for the album was remarked on by a listener who said “I’ve fallen face first into a machine that erases the memories of an ended relationship as if it were a sound instead of a real life that fell in love with the girl again in the end.” A strange amount of truth exists in that statement and the entirety of it was momentarily considered as the album title. Instead, Between You And The Shapes You Take is a borrowed quote from Wallace Stevens’ poem The Blue Guitar.

As for the recording process, Vitiello writes: “Things tend to go best when Molly and I don’t speak beforehand or plan anything for the recording beyond a time to meet and to begin. We’ll play for as long as we can and generally find that the beginnings and endings are implied in the performance. Where the last album was recorded in my office at school with all of our equipment balanced precariously on my desk, this one was in a proper studio. It allowed for more isolation and let us take advantage of quieter instruments such as the acoustic guitar and Molly’s slide whistles and found pieces of percussion.” The final track on the CD is the only one that was recorded separately. It’s actually a re- construction of that fated recording that potentially contains the machine that erases memories.” –12k.com

 

Pjusk – Solstøv –Regularly $9.99, right now just $7.99
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Packaged in a slim cardboard case

“With their distant, icy ambient music in shades of pale blues and greys, the Norwegian duo Pjusk evoke lonliness, time and landscape with their sound that stretches slowly, carefully and patiently through the air.

SOLSTØV is an album made almost entirely from the sound of the trumpet (performed by Kåre Nymark, Jr.), both natural and processed. Pjusk explored it not only as the delicate acoustic instrument that it is but as a generator of tone and nuanced source material. 12k’s Taylor Deupree was invited to provide sonic manipulations of the trumpet with the sound design system Kyma transforming it into delicately strange passages and tones.

Solstøv, the sun, the dust… expansive, shifting, weightless and shimmering. This is an album, epic in its sound and approach, that channels the Norwegian landscape in all of its stark beauty; its cold, its warmth, and its place in the universe. To listen to Pjusk is to sit quietly in an endless night.” –12k.com

 

Kenneth Kirschner – Compressions & Rarefactions –Regularly $9.99, right now just $7.99
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Packaged in a slim cardboard case

“Compressions & Rarefactions is the fourth solo release on 12k from New Yorker Kenneth Kirschner, who is widely known for epic-length compositions that challenge the forms of modern composition. The album is released as a single CD with a digital download of over six hours of additional music that couldn’t be realized within the time constraints of the CD format. Also included is a booklet of essays on Kirschner’s music from Marc Weidenbaum (Disquiet), Simon Cummings (5 Against 4), Mike Lazarev (Headphone Commute) and renowned visual artist Kysa Johnson, who was also responsible for the album’s artwork.

Kirschner’s music is often described as “challenging,” and certainly he has a unique voice among his peers and throughout the extended genres of his sound. His work tends to hover precariously between the worlds of electronic music and chamber music, likely due to his influences from the worlds of modern classical music, philosophy and science fiction.” –12k.com

 

Steve Peters + Steve Roden – Not A Leaf Remains As It Was –Regularly $9.99, right now just $7.99
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Packaged in a slim cardboard case

“In 1995 Steve Peters and Steve Roden toured as a trio with singer Anna Homler; sometimes they would vocalize behind her, and they liked the way their voices blended together. They then spent about 15 years saying that “someday” they should record a voice-based project together. Aside from the physical distance between them, the problem was always: What would we sing? Neither wanted to write or sing lyrics.

Inspiration came in the form of a book of Japanese jisei – poems allegedly written by monks on their death bed – printed in both English translation and Romanized Japanese. Phonetically pronouncing the Japanese reminded Peters of the technique Roden has used of systematically chopping up the syllables in English texts to transform them into sound poems. Since neither of them speaks Japanese, it seemed like a good place to begin.

The two of them applied for a residency at Jack Straw, a non-profit recording facility in Seattle that gives grants of studio time. They had no exact plans other than they intended to avoid electronic instruments, or directly referencing the poems’ literal meaning, or imitating any Japanese musical idioms or “Zen” stereotypes. Culling some of the poems that made references to sound and noting them on 3×5 cards, Peters and Roden sorted the cards into four groups according to the seasons of the year that the poems represented, divided the cards between them, and taped them to their music stands. They then sang random fragments from the various cards – a word here, a line there, maybe backwards, maybe the English translation. They made no effort to keep the poems intact or retain any of their meaning, instead treating the material simply as phonemes to put in their mouths.

All of the music was improvised in the studio, built up one track at a time. They worked intuitively, with no structural guidelines beyond using the texts. Three days later they emerged from the studio, not quite sure what they had done. After letting the material rest for several months Peters and Roden determined that Doug Haire, who recorded the sessions at Jack Straw, was the obvious choice to do the mixing. The album was completed in the fall of 2011.

12k is known to be a label of understatement and restraint, however, Not A Leaf Remains As It Was is arguably the most hushed and delicate record in the label’s catalog. Every sound on the album’s four tracks, be it the artists’ voices, a pump organ or melodica hangs by a thread, played ever so slightly, with utmost care. Noises, created from turtle shells, leaves, and bells shuffle and flutter, as if they are quietly alive, in the background providing a textural backdrop to the sublime tones and ghostly voices.” –12k.com

 

Moskitoo – Mitosis –Regularly $9.99, right now just $7.99
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Packaged in a slim cardboard case

“2007 saw the album debut of Moskitoo with 12k’s Drape (12k1041). Since then, Moskitoo (Tokyo’s Sanae Yamasaki) has been busy performing live, recording and releasing new work (including sound/voice for Japanese media/television and iOS apps) and expanding her talents as a visual artist in Japan. After six years of growth as an artist she presents her sophomore album, Mitosis.

Mitosis begins with “Wonder Particle,” a track that very much sums up Moskitoo’s intentions: to embrace the digital with not only a human, but a distinctly feminine touch. Wispy, layered vocals swim around rhythmic fragments and warm insect-like noises. The music is strange and otherwordly, perhaps the soundtrack to an evening stroll on a warm night in a bustling alien city. There are lights, swarms of sound, a myriad of conversations blended by a thousand different stories of passers-by always on the move.

The inspirations behind this second album are not far away from these ideas. Moskitoo herself was thinking of journeys, even ones on the cellular level. Mitosis, or the division of a cell into two identical sets of chromosomes, was a point of departure for Moskitoo as she explored the ideas of division, expansion, the human body, and small particles of matter. One can draw a correlation between these ideas and her music as it nervously wiggles it way through sounds both liquid and electronic.

Mitosis is a dreamy, playful and serious album that shows Moskitoo’s talents as a sound explorer and songwriter. It is at once both catchy and curious, a question that doesn’t always need an answer.” –12k.com

 

Motion – Every Action –Regularly $9.99, right now just $7.99
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Packaged in a slim cardboard case

“12k presents Every Action, the 3rd full-length release from the UK’s Motion (Chris Coode) and the follow-up to 2002’s critically acclaimed Dust (12k1019). In addition to his work with 12k (Dust, as well as a collaboration with Doron Sadja on 12k’s recent Two Point Two compilation, and an MP3 only release on 12k’s term. series) Coode has worked with Fat Cat and also released the debut Motion cd Pictures (now out of print) on his own imprint.

The work on Every ActionPictures was produced, sharing that release’s more obvioius tonal and melodic content. Using a stipped-down setup of studio equipment Coode crafts his sound by sampling, processing, resmapling, reprocessing.. back and forth, like generations of tape transfers or photocpies of photocopies, until the final results are smeared and distorted ghosts of the original: detuned, groaning, fragmented. Despite the digital sources, Coode’s music is highly organic, utilizing randomness, openess and dysfunction to create an oddly ambient and quieting sound made from stressed melodic flickering and skittering, tones, drones, and overprocssed textures.

Motion is important in Coode’s work, too; slow motion formed in grainy timestretches punctuated by dynamics that swell and disappear creating odd suggestions of performance, structure, and deconstruction built from his always live mixdowns.” –12k.bandcamp.com

 

Various Artists – Blueprints –Regularly $9.99, right now just $7.99

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Digipak

“With the release of Blueprints, 12k presents two tracks each from six artists new to its roster and showcases some of the new sounds and influences that will carry the label into its 10th year (2007). The artists on Blueprints span the globe and offer a variety of sound that both compliments and expands on the style that 12k has become known for.” –12k.com

 

Savvas Ysatis + Taylor Deupree – The Sleeping Morning –Regularly $9.99, right now just $7.99
sleeping morning

Packaged in a slim cardboard case

“All of the instrumentation; acoustic guitar, autoharp, various bits of percussion, and analog synthesizers, were performed directly to multi-track with very little editing (they preferred to re-take rather than edit). The duo recorded much of the sound with with microphones to capture roomtone which created a warm, organic and often playful mood. Loose drums, the squeak of a monosynth and lush pads from the Jupiter-8 make The Sleeping Morning appear at first as an experiment in micro-folk but when vocal tracks are added a whole new world of song-structure and post-something is created.” –12k.com

 

Immedia – 2|1 –Right now just $5.99
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A collection of material from two very limited edition CDRs in audio and virtual recordings of imagined spaces. the sound of immedia’s work implies silence/microcosms and the underlying resonance of spaces. in audio: sound works that exploit the limitations of basic digital equipment, utilising a combination of malfunction, error and accidents to produce new data. in audio is a constantly evolving project. these pieces are not intended as a final product but as a documentation of works that are inherently in progress. these works are also open to reinterpretation and continuation by other artists. virtual recordings of imagined spaces: the invisible presence of imagined spaces: domestic and industrial, public and private. the looped recordings and the listening environment merge to create a new sonic space. Immedia are Vicky Paniale and Darren Reynolds, a duo from London, UK.

Numina Restocks + Sale Items

We’ve got a couple of Numina restocks for you this week, along with some temporary price reductions on several of his other items. Sale prices are good through February 2nd or while supplies last!

RESTOCKS:
Numina/Caul – Inside the Hollow Realm –$11.99
hollow realm

A fantastic collaboration between ethereal electronic soundscapes of Numina, as heard on Hearts of Space, and the dark spiritual worlds of Caul, a force in dark ambient for a decade.

Numina – Symbiotic Spaces (2CD) –$12.99
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“Two-disc set of dark-ambient soundscapes, deep drone textures, experimental tonalities, and mysterious tribal rhythms.” –CD Baby

SALE ITEMS:
Numina – Eye of the Nautilus –Right now just $6.99
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We are pleased to announce the second release by Numina on the Hypnos label, the follow-up to his acclaimed breakthrough Sanctuary of Dreams (2004). Eye of the Nautilus is similar to its predecessor tonally, but also explores some different themes and textures. Evocative electronic percussion is present at times, but overall the feel is one of deep-space ambience.

It is with good reason that Numina is one of the few names in ambient music to so quickly gain in reputation and prominence in this new millennium. His work evolves dramatically with each new release, and by now he has surely made the transition from “new name you should watch” to the status of “established artist.” This is an album full of ideas, with a fresh and varied sound design.

Guest artist Rudy Adrian lends his trademark sound to the second track, “Secrets from the Flame,” and as with Sanctuary of Dreams, R. Chris Fraley provides artwork, and Hypnos founder M. Griffin is responsible for mastering and layout. This is the fourth Hypnos CD release of 2005, and is sure to be one of the highlights of the year not only for Numina and Hypnos, but for the entire space & ambient music world.

Numina – Shift to the Ghost –Right now just $6.99
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Numina’s third album on Hypnos Recordings is “Shift to the Ghost,” a long-form continuous piece with indexed track points. Each song is distinctly different in feel, but the songs evolve seamlessly into each other.

Numina himself states that the album “is about the life and death of the physical self,” hence the title. Whatever the concept, this album contains all the
elements Numina fans enjoy, from deep and sombre ambient, to twinkling, swirling space music, constantly evolving. It’s a long, fascinating visual journey, and it never grows tired.

The latest work from ambient “rising star” Numina is possibly his best yet.

Numina – Sanctuary of Dreams –Right now just $6.99
Sanctuary

Sanctuary of Dreams (73’14”) by Numina (a.k.a. Jesse Sola) comes from the same spark as many other soundworld realizations in the field of Spacemusic. Through the subtle manipulation of deep drones, sub-sonic swells, metallic sonorities and the slow spiraling of contrasting chords, Numina provides the listener with a wondrous sonic sanctuary in which to reflect upon their own inner workings. Throughout his music we find an artist trying to identify his relationship with the scale of his work, and the relationship of this work to the environment. The material on Sanctuary of Dreams guides the form in which Numina is working. The 10 tracks are each a storm of color and sound, less representative of the chaos of the unconscious mind than of the enigmatic and ominous world of dreams . . . visions beyond cognition. – STAR’S END/Chuck van Zyl

Numina – The Deception of Reality –Right now just $6.99
numina

The Deception of Reality is the fourth Numina release on Hypnos, the first since 2007’s Shift to the Ghost. Still present is Numina’s trademark sound, combining abstract deep-space textures with subtle melodic and rhythmic elements, but with a new emphasis on more vivid sonics. Listeners seeking smooth, creamy synthesizer background textures will still find them, here overlaid with more “up front” accents. Extra care has been taken in the mixing and mastering to preserve the separation and placement of individual instruments, and we believe the result is the best pure sound experience Numina has ever come up with.

As with the last Numina album, The Deception of Reality is a continuous, long-form ambient music piece of about 72 minutes, broken into five “tracks” for listening convenience. Unlike much long-form ambient, this sound work is ever-changing, continually evolving in mood and sound texture, bringing in new instruments while fading out old ones. Despite its continuous format, the album is so varied across its duration that most listeners would likely never notice they’re listening to a single unbroken piece.

Numina is vague about the meaning of the title, which could be taken in any of several ways. Some hint may be derived from the Albert Einstein quote within the liner notes: “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”

We at Hypnos sincerely believe this to be the best Numina work yet, sure to please his existing fans while perhaps engaging with some new listeners as well.

Newly-Added Items

This week we’ve added another handful of items that were either accidentally deleted or just somehow never made it into the SOUNDSWIM store after our big move a while back, but inventory is limited, so grab them before they’re gone!

The Hafler Trio – A Thirsty Fish –$9.99
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“You don’t necessarily buy Hafler Trio releases because they’re going to be ‘easy listening’…and this is no exception. In fact, this could better be termed ‘uneasy listening’. “A Thirsty Fish” is the aural equivalent of being transformed into a doggie toy and being violently shaken around by a rottweiler. Sound sources shift and jump with maximal contrast from one type to another, with seeming illogic. Snippets of voices and other semi-recognizable sounds flit by, just fast enough to realize what they are, but not to comprehend them. And just as you get used to one set of aural circumstances, you’re flung headlong into something else. Normally, this would be a huge laundry-list of negatives…but in the course of playing with all of these negative aesthetics, Andrew McKenzie crafts a work that is a seeming parallel to the surging bewilderment of the modern landscape. Hard to take, and downright devastating if taken at one sitting, this album is a tour-de-force in what can be accomplished by musique concrete methods, even in this day and age. And in the class of this sort of music, it ranks right up there with works by luminaries of sonic assemblage such as John Cage, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Max Neuhaus, Pierre Henry, et al.” –DAC Crowell

Halfer Trio – 3 Eggs –$7.99
3 Eggs

“A recording planned for release on the doomed 2005 US tour with Colin Potter, The Hafler Trio and Andrew Liles. Andrew Liles playing the Hafler Trio and Colin Potter, Colin Potter playing the Hafler Trio and Andrew Liles and the Hafler Trio playing Andrew Liles and Colin Potter… as well as each individual being themselves.”

Packaged in a deluxe 12 panel foldout cover. Limited edition of 1,000 copies.

Review:
VITAL WEEKLY
“Once three men wanted to go to America to play some music. A big country, alas but not with much money for three men to get everything they needed to get to this big country. So they decide to create a CD of pieces of music that are generated through the mail. A most common practice to make music these days. But then, for whatever reason, the whole tour fell through. And someone sat on this music created for this tour support CD.
It’s good to see it released, even when the content is puzzling. Apparently it’s Liles playing Potter and Hafler Trio, Hafler Trio playing Liles and Potter, and Potter doing something similar. Perhaps there is something solo by each as well. All clear, except the order of the proceedings and why three times three make eight and not nine tracks. My estimation is that the first track is indeed by Liles. Adding a bit of trademark collage music stuff in a somewhat synthetic field of sound, there is some little surprises. The second piece seems to me The Hafler Trio, with also a trademark sound: the wind like sounds we remember from ‘Inoutof’. Colin Potter must be the author of the third track, with it’s cymbals being played and a faint trace of digital distortion. Nicely drone related. After this things get a little bit more difficult. They are less trademark pieces, and it’s more difficult to decipher the codes of the specific drone in this. Of course it’s not worth fighting over who did as it’s the result that counts. And the result is surely just right up what you’d expect from the three man. Drone related, stretched out, atmospheric, spacious or whatever qualifications one can think of, this is a very fine disc of mood enginenering. Perhaps it’s a pity that the tour fell through, but on the other hand, we have another treasure to add.” –FdW

Yui Onodera – Rhizome –$7.99
rhizome

Album Notes:
“Yui Onodera is composer and multi-instrumentalist from Tokyo, Japan. He uses field recordings, electronics, piano, guitar, and voice to produce works of unrivaled ethereal beauty.

Rhizome is his 10th cd and showcases his truly unique talents for sound design and electroacoustic experimentation.”

Nikita Golyshev – Solaris –$7.99
Solaris

“Nikita Golyshev plays electronic music as if there is not any other music around, as if it had never existed. Dense drones live in strange harmony with micronoises, clicks and glitches, some alien substance, delicate acoustic splendor melodies, hidden in the tracks so deeply that they become almost invisible. Something amorphous is glazing the background, confusing thoughts, breaking fragile stylistic borders. But if you look carefully it turns out that this sustained cycle of artistic self-sufficiency is a place to hide for a boy with an ironic, god-like smile watching as his self-made, localized world collapses. There’s no difference if the sounds will continue to live, or disappears suddenly. Nikita’s music exists in the “here and now”, and there’s nothing to add, even for a moment, as long as it plays on your speakers.” –Ilias Mikanaev

The Flatline Compilation 2 (2CD) –$9.99
Flatline2

“Flatline Records does not have a huge catalog, but what the label does release is exceptional. As a who’s who of electronic music, A Flatline Compilation, Vol. 2 is a strong addition to the list. A Flatline Compilation, Vol. 2 hits the perfect and much sought-after mark of a compilation that has something to offer both the hardcore fans who have large music collections and those looking for an overview of the genre. Unreleased tracks are the main attraction, from both artists who are relatively obscure as well as mainstays, but there are some classics here as well. The only criteria are diversity and quality. Unreleased tracks by Cleen and Galan Pixs appear alongside well-known songs by Download, Front Line Assembly, and Numb on disc one; noise giants Converter and Noisex are joined with fresh approaches by the drill’n’bass of Needle Sharing and Ammo on disc two. This comparison also illustrates a good cross-section of flavors on the compilation — upbeat, hard electro is the general theme of disc one, while disc two has more of a beat-driven noise flavor. The result is a compilation that has transcended the ‘best of genre’ mentality, and instead provides a unique perspective on the electronic music scene.” –Theo Kavadias for allmusic.com

Various Artists – Analogy Vol. 2 –$7.99
Analogy2

Album Notes:
“In 2005 under the title ‘Analogy, Volume 1,’ a compilation cd came out with unreleased material from a lot of interesting electronic musicians. The assignment was to create a piece only using analog equipment. This was a success, hence now a second cd is released (well, the title ‘Volume 1′ already indicated this of course…). And again, this album is the host for a diversity of wonderful tracks.
Collaborating artists are, amongst others, Ron Boots, Kees Aerts (who for the first time in years makes a -very nice- solo piece “Branch Hopping”), Stephen Parsick, Remy, Gert Emmens and Ruud Heij, EM2 (=Emmens and Embrase), Craig Padilla, Create, Remotion, and others. The cd begins with the most exiting piece, ‘Mellowtrothoughts’ from Roque Element. It is an improvisation (on a Saturday morning) on two Mellotrons, who give this track an atmosphere like Tangerine Dream’s ‘Mysterious Semblance At The Stand Of Nightmares’ (from ‘Phaedra’). But also ‘Velvet Sky’ of Emmens/Heij (not surprisingly with strong sequences), ‘Reaching Out’ of Create, ‘Expectations’ of Remy (for the biggest part played on the MemoryMoog) and ‘Sneak Preview’ of Ron Boots are fine pieces. Highlights on the cd are -next to Rogue Element- the moody ‘Electromagnetic’ of Stephen Parsick and ‘Sonar Vision’ of Remotion.”

Various Artists – Analogy Vol. 1 –$7.99
Analogy 1

Album Notes:
“Analogy, Volume1 contains music by some of the finest em-musicians of today:
Create, Remotion, Loren Nerell, Steve Roach and Chuck Oken, Paul Ellis and Steve Roach, 4m33s, Gert Emmens, Syn, Russell Storey, Kees Aerts, Altres, modulator esp and Ian Tescee.
The music ranges from traditional sequencer-based berlin school (create, syn, altres, modulator esp), via melodical (remotion, emmens, aerts, tescee), ambient (ellis and roach, 4m33s) to experimental (nerell, roach and oken, storey).
All music was played and recorded with care and love for the music and the instruments that it’s played on. “Analogy, volume1″ is a great and eagerly awaited project.”

Storewide Coupon Code Sale Extended

Hi there all,

We wanted to send out a reminder about our storewide coupon code sale, which we’ve decided to extend through Sunday, January 5th:

Using coupon code YearEnd19 at the checkout gives 25% off any size order (discount applies to products, not shipping charge, and includes all items in the store through January 5th or while supplies last).

Visit SOUNDSWIM soon for some (continued) great bargains!

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