We wanted to let everyone know that we’ve added and will be continuing to add lots of product to the USED & SINGLE COPY area of the SOUNDSWIM store, so stop by and check out the latest items and be sure to check back regularly for ongoing additions! We also have some restock items on the way, so look for those to be arriving soon as well.
“Originally released in 2004, Movements was one of the releases that shifted the focus of the label. Analog ambient in one way, brilliant recordings from fairly unheard of artists in another. The decision to stop clamoring from known entities to give us a release and focus on ones that shared the idea of experiments in ambient music, beautiful compositions, and a venture into a new chapter of recordings.” –infractionrecords.com
“M. Derrick’s ten compositions on this record easily qualifies as some of the most relaxing music I’ve ever had the pleasure of hearing. (The) ten tracks have separate names, but Movements comes together as one cohesive picture built from shining strings and warm, enveloping tones. ” –Brainwashed, 2004
Mini-LP gatefold sleeve. Each CD is housed in an envelope style cardstock sleeve with full artwork. Photography by Griffin Lamb. Image modification by Keith Berry & Timothy O’Donnell. Layout by Timothy O’Donnell.
“The title of Keith Berry’s double-CD set for Infraction comes with no small amount of baggage, considering how solidly tied the word “simulacra” now is to the writings of Jean Baudrillard, most obviously his 1981 work Simulacra and Simulation. Berry’s release isn’t an homage, however, though a connection could definitely be made to one of Baudrillard’s central themes, the idea that in postmodern culture artificial renderings of the real world have so thoroughly supplanted that which they’re representing that reality now imitates the model. In that 1981 text, he writes, “The territory no longer precedes the map, nor does it survive it. It is nevertheless the map that precedes the territory—precession of simulacra—that engenders the territory.” –textura.org
At the intersection between ambient, minimalism, 4th world, found sound, drone, and post-classical composition.
“Seven uneasy pieces. The duo draw the drapes of an abandoned stage set. A head(y) cinema—a space waiting for timbres to exhale; a rumble, an ominous string swell, dissonant synth shivers. Suspense—uneasy, queasy, eerie. Tension without resolution, sometimes broken—a single piano string or foot shuffle (“Ashes of America”), sometimes paused for thoughtful resonance—a violin saw (“Delicate Exit”), a distant harp (Witch Season”), a drowning string section (“Simulacromancer”). Sudden variations in volume, minimal movements in apparent stillness, define the dynamic, requiring adjustment to default distracted listening mode. A strategic deployment of silence, or rather a still resonant air left by the decay of a musical gesture, is part of this album’s unusual presence, at once delicate and weighty—part artful arrangement, part production prowess.
A Thousand Fields is a genuinely exploratory work, an ambient less ordinary, a classical more post-, a drone less prone to be blown off course, while taking you down some paths less trodden.” –igloomag.com
“This is such a classic that to review it now, 11 years on, seems completely unnecessary. Not widely acclaimed on its initial release in 1996, and unfortunately out of print for quite some time, Infraction is thankfully bringing this back to market. World Receiver ranks very near the top of best ambient albums lists, up with Eno’s On Land, KLF’s Chill Out, and Global Communication’s 76:14.
Inoue was ahead of his time with this record, incorporating field recordings seamlessly with his own analog synthesizers. Field recordings had been used for years by the time this came out, to be sure. The perfect nature of how the music plays off the recordings and the reverse on this record still possesses the capacity to amaze. The location recordings are never too location-specific, sounding like they could be anywhere on the globe. Which they might very well be, as Inoue travelled Japan, Thailand, Pakistan, Germany, and the United States, gathering his sounds. Point being that the integration sounds so completely organic, composed around each other, on a level unparalleled upon initial release.
World Receiver deserves the accolades heaped upon it since 1996. There weren’t many ambient releases that sounded like it at the time, and 10 years on, there still aren’t that many. Even Inoue himself has moved on from this sound. There is nothing like this being released today. If you don’t have it, what are you waiting for?” –igloomag,com
“This is a previously unreleased and new work from Keith Berry. Partially inspired by Koda’s ‘Movements’ full-length recording from almost 10 years ago, Berry has moved away from the computer-based compositions of ‘The Ear That was sold…’ utilizing Akira Rabelais’s Argeiphöntes Lyre software to something a bit more windswept perhaps or at times aquatic and organic sounding. Not that prior endeavors were ever easily categorized as computer-based, or sterile environments – quite the opposite. What makes Berry’s recordings so engaging, is that one is never quite sure what the source of sound is. It doesn’t matter – each piece in their own right is magnificent from the debut ‘The Golden Boat’ to the twin masterpieces, ‘The Ear That Was Sold to a Fish’ and ‘A Strange Feather’ to ‘The Cartesian Plane’ LP and now ‘Towards the Blue Peninsula.’ Berry’s recordings are the result of letting ideas take their course, revising, re-visiting and letting the works breathe.” –infractionrecords.com
“75 minutes of ethereal, drifting ambient drone, ‘Discourses Of The Withered’ introduced the essential (then) husband-and-wife duo of Celer to a wider audience. Perfect for staring out the window, full of memories and dreams of brighter tomorrows.” –forestpunk.wordpress.com
“Spencer Williams and Ryan Gracey’s 2nd full length LP as Drape on Infraction. Analog orchestras and guitar
notes that expand for minutes on end. The first two tracks on Let There Water Air are awash in a guitar and
cello haze, rising up on ‘new mountains’ like the morning sun cresting over the horizon. When it gets quiet,
as in with the opening of ‘Interiors’, it is a stark-like Cage piano piece with the sounds of the piano
repair shop these tracks were recorded in captured like bits of dust. The buzzing of a not too faraway
guitar still makes it’s presence known, but it is the slooow melody of textural piano that is the centerpiece
here. Where Drape in the past has blended noise AND ambience, here the noise is weighted, perforated and the
light is allowed to filter through.
All filters aside, Let There Water Air is Drape shining brightly. Balance and restraint – the soft noise of
guitar, the melodic anchor of carefully chosen piano notes, the occasional metallic reverb and hum, even a
cacophonous (relatively) piano hammering (courtesy of Doug McDiarmid of Why?), and the entwining of guitar strings with cello strings. ” –infractionrecords.com
“The recording was dead. A lifeless piece of audio ‘lost’ (filed) on a dusty hard drive and purposely dropped under a nameless ‘untitled’ folder. The men and women of the Zimiamvian Night collective were content to move on, record more pieces, capture other lights, and bathe in distant ambiences far, far away.
The Wolf (indeed his real name) caught word of this abandoned audio and offered to inject some life, and perhaps revive what was left behind. After careful listening, tape splicing (uploading) and painstaking attention to the neverending, everlasting drone notes, blowing wind and dappled environmental samples – a new recording emerged and is now presented here. Alive and well.
Zimiamvian Night 3 is the collection over 2 discs of the before, after and in-between. It is meant to document this transition and serves as a reference point to the story that spans years, the accidental audio diary passively collected on tape and the mysterious end result.” –infractionrecords.com
“Keith Berry’s The Ear That Was Sold to a Fish is one of those albums whose inner life and fertility is compelling evidence that Drone is not only alive, but with designs on immortality. The artful construction and architecture of this post-minimal space drone suite shows how spare means can be harnessed to rich ends, making it one of the most engrossing records of the year – whether 2011 or 2005.
Stoughton mini-lp gatefold CD sleeve, cardstock inner sleeve envelopes. Design by Timothy O’Donnell.” –infractionrecords.com
“This is a beautiful yet serious record. It is ambience, but not ‘simply’ ambient. These are cinematic tracks begging for a narrative, often invoking the skeletons of stories with sounds of footsteps, rain, winds, waves, fire and animal life (birds?) alongside metals and the odd machine. The sound is almost always a bit grand and roomy, as if reverbing off of the sky and thickly layered with varied-pitch tones and drones which often become so much a part of the soundscape that they become the foundation of its lushness, sometimes building tension, sometimes delivering an other-worldy, floating quality. As I listen to some of these tracks, I am reminded of times in my childhood during weather warnings when I stared at a dark sky, both menacing and terribly compelling, watching it roil too close to the ground where I stood.” –infractionrecords.com
“Over three years in the making, Anthropology Vols. 2 & 3 continues from Anthropology Vol. 1 CD and the Anthropology Extras. Epic sweeping ambience with layered drones punctuated by piano interludes. Anthropology Vols. 2 & 3 features 25 tracks and over 140 minutes of all new material. Housed in a 6 panel digipak with cardstock slipcase. Design by Loren Dent & Timothy O’Donnell. Limited to 400 copies.” –infractionreords.com
The overall sound of ‘The Ghost Ship’ and ‘The Last Leaf’ is simple to describe—the tones of a piano are stretched to the horizon line; long, lingering sounds, the fluttering threads of them in the wind, drifting like subtle perfumes, a dream language culled from a very familiar instrument. In its way, it is also a kind of Mandelbrot image—the briefest segments of the tracks can be listened to (like Eno’s Neroli or Thursday Afternoon) to get an accurate idea of the whole. However, the magic of Piano Text is that, when taken as a duo of suites, the larger forms of the piece are revealed to be a classical composition of the utmost drama, suspense, nuance. It is, indeed, the music of the inexplicable dreamworlds we all travel to during sleep.
This is an album that must be listened to—no words can adequately describe how spellbinding the music is, how staggeringly elegant and tantalizing the world created within becomes with the simple touch of the ‘play’ button.” – Brian Bieniowski (Asphalt Eden)
“Two deep and hypnotic longform drone pieces by Halation, the working name of Hiroshi.He is influenced by Andrew Chalk, Taiga Remains and David Tagg and this is his first release.”Halation gives off a flat-on-back eyes-to-skies drowsy air with its long drawn out tone-rays. Highly amorphous in strategy, a purist ambient Enovian ethos a la Thursday Afternoon may suggest itself. On occasion, clusters of notes flicker within the freefloating drone, mirroring the eponymous halation effect – transient morning brume, or light refracted through water vapour rendered blurred.” –databloem.com
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.)
“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
The two bearded Swedes join forces on this collaborative album. Black Corner Den is the result of long winter studio sessions separated by the atlantic ocean but made possible by the internet. Lonely moments in the company of the night lamp, overlooking the messy pile of tape loops while the machines hummed and the piano played until the morning.
Exploring the opium dens at the end of the 19th century this album takes you deep into the soothing dreams of dead poets.
“The streets lay silent as the floor creeks under your bare feet. The old loft lit by a wax candle, it’s light dancing over your oak desk. You grab the vial of black ink and the leather bound book as you scurry out the door into the humid night. You pass trails of fire as the lamplighter tends to the myriad lanterns adorning the bridge. A left turn leads you down a set of stone stairs where the satin clad lounge welcomes you in.
Sweet smoke lingers in here where gentlemen gather to dream about the black sea. Your booth at the far end stands prepared. A pipe, tinderbox and purple pillow for a tired head. You have a friend tonight and it calls itself the Black Corner Den.”
Pär Boström’s dreamlike soundscapes combines with the careful melodies and elegant structures of Simon Heath. The perfect soundtrack for decadent nights or introverted reading sessions, preferably combined.
In 2014 Cryo Chamber got some of the most prominent dark ambient artists together to synchronize their studios during a year of collaboration creating the album Cthulhu in tribute to H.P. Lovecraft. With Azathoth Cryo Chamber double the effort with a 2 CD release follow up. No less than 20 artists has been working for the last year to synchronize and co-create Azathoth. Azathoth is a collaboration NOT a compilation.
Azathoth is an Outer God in the Cthulhu Mythos and Dream Cycle stories of H. P. Lovecraft and other authors.
Azathoth’s precise appearance is only hinted at throughout the Mythos, and indeed may be unknowable by mortal beings. It is described as occupying a position outside of the universe, where it is attended by a cohort of alien servants.
A two-hour dark soundscape album recorded by 20 ambient artists to pay tribute to H.P. Lovecraft.
Dark sounds from dreamy dimensions to never ending cursed forests. Join us in the ritual of lust for the Black Goat of the Woods.
Shub-Niggurath is an Outer God (or Outer Goddess) in the pantheon. She is a perverse fertility deity.
An enormous mass which extrudes black tentacles, slime-dripping mouths, and short, writhing goat legs. Small creatures are continually spat forth by the monstrosity, which are either consumed into the miasmatic form or escape to some monstrous life elsewhere.
Of all the mythos deities, Shub-Niggurath is probably the most extensively worshipped. Her worshippers include the Hyperboreans, the Muvians, T’yog of K’naa, and the people of Sarnath, as well as any number of druidic and barbaric cults. She is also worshipped by the non-human species of the mythos, such as the “Fungi from Yuggoth” (the Mi-Go) and the Nug-Soth of Yaddith. With the proper occult paraphernalia, Shub-Niggurath can be summoned to any woodlands at the time of the new moon.
So is this a compilation?
No, this is a collaboration and huge undertaking. 20 artists linked studios and sound for over a year so that they could work with each other. This led to a deep exploration of the Mythos and Shub-Niggurath
2 CD album comes in a Deluxe 16 page Hard cover DigiBook. Artwork is served on Matte Laminated pages that makes the artwork stand out. A journal with entries by the seeker of the Black Goat of the Woods with a Thousand Young, as interpreted by writers Donald Persson & Alistair Rennie.