Hello all, we’ve got some newly-added and freshly-restocked items for you this week from the 12k label. They’re sure to move quickly at just $11.99 each, but supplies are limited, so visit the SOUNDSWIM store soon to get your copies!
“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.” –12k.bandcamp.com (Follow link to read more about this release.)
“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.bandcamp.com
“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
“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.” –12k.bandcamp.com (Follow link to read more about this release.)
“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 recording, 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.” –12k.bandcamp.com (Follow link to read more about this release.)
“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.” –12k.bandcamp.com (Follow link to read more about this release.)
Pjusk – Solstøv
“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
“Faint takes as its conceptual starting point the fraction of time betwixt waking and sleep, those fading instants where the light of consciousness dims and one’s connection to ‘clock time’ slowly collapses. Deupree’s material convincingly simulates in musical form the slowed pulse of the body and overstimulated mind temporarily at rest. His sensitivity to the shaping of sound is on masterful display, his deep level of attunement to the unfolding sound evident at each moment.
A restful calm pervades the material that makes it music tailor-made for meditative immersion. Faint achieves a remarkably sustained balance between stasis and activity: each piece feels like an extended frozen moment of serenity while also being a continually evolving set-piece wherein myriad musical episodes occur. The album’s five tracks fold ambient textures and the real-world noises of field recordings in amongst electric piano, guitar, and synthesizers. Listing the elements in such manner obscures the fact that Deupree is more focused on shaping sound, no matter its originating form, into an overall whole whose impact is far greater than the sum of its parts.” –textura.org
“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
“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