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
change of colour

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
solstov

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
rarifications

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

blueprints

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
immedia

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.

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