Jon Wozencroft Sound Seminar @ Theme | 7th March 2024

Tickets & info

As Yet Untitled, 7 March 2024

JW writes: Usually, I don’t decide on the title of a seminar until as near as possible before the event, having gathered a long list of the recordings I’d like to play. And in this instance, after nearly 5 years of doing the nights at Iklectik Art Lab, the invitation to present one at a new venue, Theme Studios in Camden Town, is of course a special challenge and a leap into the unknown.

Experimental artists and musicians often use the get-out title, “Untitled”, to keep the meaning of a work open to interpretation. Understood, but I have always viewed this tactic as something of a missed opportunity, like a plain white sleeve or a room without a window.

However, the present need for new directions and the desire for some respite from the same-old/same-old needs a breathing space from our urge to name a phenomenon before it has had a chance to find its direction of travel. In other words, it is clear that “The next big thing” cannot and should not follow a formula that may have worked in the past. Discovery is often about difficulty. 

Here the title comes with the prefix “As Yet…”.

Please read this for more:

What Is (Not) to Be Done

Phill Niblock 1933–2024

Phill Niblock RIP
“Master of Minimalism”

Phill was one of those it is hard to imagine the world without. Always working, moving, chatting, asking, (“Hey! – What’s happening!”… a declaration not a question), his extraordinary energy belied his slowly evolving work. He lived a long life doing what he loved, releasing records for over 7 decades (who else can claim that? Not many…), Phill holds a unique place in the history of recorded music, and it was an honour to work with him for a good chunk of that time. He was a superb film-maker and photographer. Ask for a photo for his new album, he would submit a full folio (here are some unused ones below). Ask for 20 minutes of sound and he’d send 3 hours. Deeply rooted in an analogue sensibility and its acoustic, digital formats were a godsend to Phill. Our last collaboration “Working Touch” came on a USB stick with 22GB of material – Phill considered this to be his valediction. Of his generation, perhaps only Morton Subotnik (90), LaMonte Young (88), & Alvin Curran (at a sprightly 85) are around to hold the candle and show that the way things used to be done are increasingly, not less valid. Rest in peace, Phill – and thank you. We’ll be listening for the sounds as they come through the clouds. [Mike & Jon, 9th January 2024]

You can read an obituary by Lawrence English in The Quietus here

Phill Niblock was interviewed by Mike Harding for his very first edition of Long Wave, 8th October 2013. You can listen to the full broadcast here.


T33.22 | Youmna Saba “Wishah وِشاح” Now on vinyl

Ruptured Records, Montreal, have released a vinyl edition of Youmna Saba’s “Wishah وِشاح”, which we released on CD recently.

You can order the record, with artwork by Jon Wozencroft, here

Stellage New Record Store Opens in Athens | 8th December 2023

OPENING PARTY TONIGHT! Free with live performances from Yves de Mey and others

Our address is: Athens, Kipselis 49 and we are stocking Touch, Ash International & The Tapeworm

Opening hours:
Tuesday: 12:00——20:00
Wednesday: 12:00——16:00
Thursday—Saturday: 12:00——20:00
Sunday—Monday: Closed

Touch Benefit for Iklectik | 6th December 2023

Tickets & info hereall proceeds go towards the Iklectik fighting fund

“IKLECTIK will be facing eviction from its current location by the end of this year, and we’re calling upon you to stand with us during this challenging moment.

This decision came quickly after the Save Waterloo Paradise campaign mobilised nearly 50,000 supporters and persuaded Michael Gove to halt the development project, something we have been campaigning for over this last year. Our public stance against the controversial plans has resulted in this punitive action against both IKLECTIK and the other 20 small businesses here at Old Paradise Yard. Currently, despite not yet having permission for the full redevelopment, Guy’s and St Thomas’ Foundation are refusing to extend Eat Work Art’s [site leaseholder] lease.

You can boost our campaign on social media, always using the following tags: #saveiklectik #savewaterlooparadise #shameonGSTTfoundation @iklectikartlab @save_waterloo_paradise @gsttfoundation

Further information about the development can be found here

We remain hopeful that with the right amount of voices from venues, institutions, press, universities, business associates and our collaborators and community, we can safeguard the space.

Over the last 9 years we have cultivated a unique and cherished space for our community here in Waterloo, we are unwavering in our commitment to preserving it. We hope to see you at one of our upcoming events and thank you for being a part of our journey at IKLECTIK.

Your support is invaluable and highly appreciated.

Warm regards,


Released 30th November 2023
You can buy from Bandcamp here

Following a suspended project with Iklectik in 2021, ELEH presents a 22 minute recording “KICKTILE” in support of the venue’s current struggle for survival. Touch releases the track as a digital download on bandcamp to coincide with the benefit concert on 6th December 2023, “To Have and to Hold”, with all proceeds going to Iklectik. “KICKTILE” was previewed at the Jon Wozencroft/Bruce Gilbert sound seminar on 29th November.

IKLECTIK (the venue in London, England) will be facing eviction from its current location by the end of this year, and we’re calling upon you to stand with us during this challenging moment.

This decision came quickly after the Save Waterloo Paradise campaign mobilised nearly 50,000 supporters and persuaded Michael Gove to halt the development project, something we have been campaigning for over this last year. Our public stance against the controversial plans has resulted in this punitive action against both IKLECTIK and the other 20 small businesses here at Old Paradise Yard. Currently, despite not yet having permission for the full redevelopment, Guy’s and St Thomas’ Foundation are refusing to extend Eat Work Art’s [site leaseholder] lease.

Jon Wozencroft Sound Seminar @ Iklectik | 29th November 2023

Live performance: Bruce Gilbert

Tickets & info: Dice | Facebook | Resident Advisor

“If speaking is silver, then listening is gold”.  Turkish proverb

In a financial context, gold is synonymous with reliability and security. Culturally, gold is the standard of fame and success. The latter is not the same as the former. Number 1 records are not iconic as they once were, and PR/TV/streaming and social media promotion is rarely matched by physical sales and attention to the music.  

In the UK, Gold is one of the nation’s biggest exports; a contradictory situation considering Britain has no gold-mining industry and scant gold reserves remain – (the main holdings in South Africa were sacrificed in 1940 at the front of World War 2 in order to pay for much-needed weaponry and the Lend Lease Act with the USA1). Britain prevailed nonetheless. The 2008 banking crash depleted matters further. More recently, Brexit brazenly traded 1940-style rhetoric and was said to be key to maintaining Britain as a financial centre. Current analysis suggests this is not going to plan.

Gold isn’t merely about manufacturing nor having and holding, it’s about shadow trading and occluded communication between those who keep no loose change in their pockets, and the ones who move the argent. Electronic. Oblique. Offshore. Gold prices and currency transactions move faster than the blink of an eye.

Just as well, given that political Net Zero climate ambitions and international ‘commitments’ are achieving next to nothing. To be mined, gold needs cyanide, lead and mercury. For a standard gold bar (400 troy ounces), 5000 tonnes of earth need to be extracted and to create a wedding ring, between 4 and 20 tonnes of rock need to be processed. The ore is left by the roadside, simply collateral pollution2. Gold is essential to the jewellery business, but more significantly to telephony and electronics. No gold, no phones. 

Gold is still glamour. How many cultural and musical moments celebrate the glory of gold, from antiquity to Spandau Ballet? Glamour, ‘gramerye’ in middle English, means an excellence in grammar and a talent for communication. 

This is perhaps a way of understanding gold in its context of alchemy – the process of turning base metals into gold by using the ‘philosopher’s stone’: transforming blackness into shining metal and its lustrous energy. In mediaeval times, artists who would not call themselves artists and adepts who were in defiance of the church, set out a template and an intention which we can now view as more of a metaphor and beacon of hope, yet we know little of the details of their process, their ingredients and their instruments3. We can only imagine. 

1. 1940, Clive Ponting, Hamish Hamilton 1990

2. Material World, Ed Conway, WH Allen 2023

3. The Golden Game, Stanislas Klossowski de Rola, Thames and Hudson 1988  

Bruce Gilbert is best known as a founding member of Wire. Since Wire, he has made solo interventions in spoken word; as co-creator of the Dome project; production and instrumentation for AC Marias; to soundtracks for Michael Clark. His collaborations one couldn’t begin to list. He has released solo material on Mute, Editions Mego, and Touch amongst many others.

TO:121 | Claire M Singer “Saor”

Artist: Claire M Singer
Title: Saor
Formats: CD & Digital Download
Catalogue Number: TO:121
Street date: 3rd November, 2023

You can order this CD album from 6th October 2023, here

Track Listing:

1. Cairn Toul
2. Pressure
3. Càrn
4. Outside
5. Forrig
6. Stops
7. Braeriach
8. Above and Below
9. Saor

Written and performed by Claire M Singer

Mastered by Denis Blackham
Artwork by Jon Wozencroft
Photography by Ash Todd (front and inside) and Seàn Antleys (back)
Published by Touch Music/Fairwood Music (UK) Ltd.

Claire M Singer has announced details of the first release in a triptych of albums. Saor [pronounced Sieur: meaning “free” in Scottish Gaelic] perfectly encapsulates Claire’s experimental approach to the pipe organ, exploring rich harmonic textures and complex overtones which create ever-shifting melodic and rhythmic patterns, conjuring visions of the Scottish dramatic landscapes which inspire her. It’s her 3rd album for Touch, after ‘Fairge’ [2019] and ‘Solas’ [2016].

“Saor follows two narratives: my trekking across the Cairngorm mountains in Aberdeenshire through the granite plateaux, corries, glens and straths, and my exploration of the 1872 organ built by Peter Conacher & Coy, Huddersfield in Forgue Kirk, Aberdeenshire where many of my ancestors lie.”

Tracks that are directly influenced by the Munros of Scotland, such as ‘Cairn Toul’ and ‘Braeriach’, are both majestic and sublime in their scope, sitting alongside interludes that more generally allude to the instrument: ‘Stops’, ‘Pressure’, ‘Above and Below’.

When writing her first organ commission in 2006 Claire approached the instrument as a sound source rather than how it is conventionally played. She has never had a lesson in her life and developed her own way of playing, including using straws or chopsticks to hold down the keys so she can manipulate the wind through the stops. About 90% of her sound, she says, involves her having one hand or two on the stops – having a full physical relationship with the instrument, continuously tweaking and exploring the mechanical stop action as she progresses her melodies.

Much of the album was written or recorded in Claire’s home county, at Forgue Kirk in Aberdeenshire. A church she hadn’t discovered before, in a remote spot, up a slight hill near a small cluster of houses. A friend recommended the organ to her and she later found out from her mother that many of her ancestors were buried there. “I had this weird stars aligning moment – during my residency at Forgue I spotted a gravestone propped up in the pews which was being restored, and it was Peter Forsyth, one of my relatives.”

Across the album, tracks flutter, pulse and build into and imposing mass. Some suggest texture and weather, using electronic processing and distortion. Others rely on the organ itself for heady atmospheres, while Saor’s title track goes even further; recorded at Orgelpark, Amsterdam, an international concert hall for organists, it uses five instruments in layers that span four centuries. Claire also plays cello, mellotron and harmonium on the album, and there are contributions from strings (Patsy Reid), trumpet (Brian Shook), clarinets (Yann Ghiro) and French horn (Andy Saunders).

Saor is an adventure bringing the same sense of elation as the journeys Claire made on foot to the summit. “When I’m alone at the top of a Munro, I feel completely free. It’s the most exhilarating feeling to be up there with nature looking at this vast landscape. I hope Saor conveys how that feels, and carries people with those feelings.”

Saor is generously supported by Arts Council England, PRS Foundation’s Composers’ Fund in partnership with Jerwood Arts, the Friends of Forgue Kirk, the Richard Thomas Foundation and Orgelpark, Amsterdam.

A Tribute to Philip Jeck | Iklectik, London 16th September 2023

Saturday 16 September 2023 | Doors: 7pm

7PM Doors

730PM Speakers: Mary Prestidge & Mike Harding

Chris Watson presents ‘Oxmardyke’, his recent collaboration with Jeck

830PM Liverpool Improvisation Collective
[Andrea Buckley, Paula Hampson, Mary Prestidge and Kate Brown]
‘Echoes of Philip’ an ensemble performance with dancers from Liverpool and London.

John Beaumont [Tenor] – Gregorian chant

Storyteller: Bryan O’Connell

9PM Jonathan Raisin
Piano solo. ‘in the absence…’ an improvisation, a memory… half a duet. Jonathan is a composer and improvising musician, based in Liverpool, who played with Philip several times over the last few years.

John Beaumont [Tenor] – Gregorian chant

Storyteller: Doug Gill 

945PM Claire M Singer

Timings are approximate

T33.22 | Youmna Saba “Wishah وِشاح”

Artist: Youmna Saba
Title: Wishah وِشاح
Formats: CD & Digital Download
Catalogue Number: T33.22
Street date: 6th October, 2023

You can order this CD album here
and the vinyl version here

Track Listing:

1. Akaleel أكاليل – you can listen to this track here
2. Ba’oud بعوض
3. Al khayal الخيال
4. Ahad أحد
5. Tareeq طريق

Written and performed by Youmna Saba
Recorded and mixed by Fadi Tabbal at Tunefork Studios, Beirut
Produced by Youmna Saba and Fadi Tabbal

Mastered by Stephan Mathieu
Photography & design by Jon Wozencroft
Published by Touch Music/Fairwood Music (UK) Ltd.

Wishah (‘Veil’ in Arabic) is a composition in five stages, written by Youmna Saba between 2021 and 2022, for voice, oud and electronics.

Following her previous solo works Njoum (2014) and Arb’een (40) (2017), this album marks a significant turning point in Saba’s journey. Created after leaving Beirut and settling in Paris, Wishah reveals a profound shift in her musical expression, informed by rigorous research in the sonic properties of sung Arabic phonemes and their role in shaping synthesised electronic sounds.

The album employs a digital extension for the oud, a concept developed by Saba in her research project Taïma’. This device enhances the oud’s sonic range, seamlessly integrating synthesised electronics. It also amplifies subtle, often overlooked sounds generated during playing, such as resonances and fingerboard friction.

The composition is organised into five distinct stages, each contributing to a process of gradual revelation. As the tracks unfold, they strip away layers of constructed emotions and perceptions that have been intricately woven over time, to expose a space that no longer exists. Wishah is a farewell to home.

The oud digital extension used on this record was developed by Nicolas Canot, and produced by Césaré – Centre National de Création Musicale, as part of the research project Taïma’, by Youmna Saba

Youmna Saba (Beirut 1984) is a musician, composer and musicologist. Her current research focuses on instrument and space resonances in different sonic and musical contexts. With four albums to this date, she has collaborated with musicians of different musical expressions such as Kamilya Jubran, Floy Krouchi, Mike Cooper and the Neue Vocalsolisten ensemble, and has taken part in numerous artist residencies. She is the laureate of the first sound residency at Quai Branly Museum, Paris (2022-2023) with her research project and installation “La Réserve des Non-Dits”, now on view at the museum; and a laureate of the music residency program at the Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris (2020-2021).

Tone 78 | Jana Winderen “The Blue Beyond”

Vinyl LP with Fine Art Print – 2 tracks.
Release date: 4 August 2023.
Pre-order “The Blue Beyond” on Bandcamp.
Mastered and cut by Jason at Transition.
Artwork and photography by Jon Wozencroft.
Commissioned by Audemars Piguet Contemporary.

Track listing:

A: The Art of Listening: Under Water
B: Du Petit Risoud aux Profondeurs du Lac de Joux

Edition of 1000 copies, the first 100 copies numbered and signed by the artist.

The record offers edits of two sound compositions for installations, “Du Petit Risoud aux Profondeurs du Lac de Joux” (2019) and “The Art of Listening: Under Water” (2019). “Du Petit Risoud aux Profondeurs du Lac de Joux” was first presented at Art Basel in Basel from 13 to 16 June 2019. A live performance of the piece was given at HEK (House of Electronic Arts Basel) on 11 June 2019. “The Art of Listening: Under Water” (2019) was first presented in the Rotunda, Collins Park, Miami Beach, in the context of Art Basel in Miami Beach, from 4 to 8 December 2019. “The Art of Listening: Under Water” installation was made in collaboration with Tony Myatt. It travelled to the Lenfest Center for the Arts, Columbia University School of the Arts, New York, from 3 to 13 February 2022.

Winderen’s practice focuses on sound and knowledge production. The artist seeks to raise awareness of the environmental issues we face as a society.

Audemars Piguet Contemporary collaborated with Winderen on two new sound installations compositions. The first, “Du Petit Risoud aux Profondeurs du Lac de Joux”, was developed during two field trips to Le Brassus in the Vallée de Joux, at the heart of the Swiss Jura, where Audemars Piguet has been based since 1875. On these trips, Winderen captured sounds in the waters of the Lac de Joux and in the Risoud forest.

When Audemars Piguet Contemporary invited the artist to present a second composition for exhibition in Miami Beach, Winderen proposed a site-specific sound environment. For “The Art of Listening: Under Water”, Winderen used sounds recorded in the Atlantic Ocean in the Miami area, as well as sounds from the Barents Sea around the North Pole and the Tropical Oceans to expose the constant underwater presence of human-created sound today.

In both pieces, the artist offers a unique opportunity to listen closely to the underwater inhabitants of a specific region and to reflect on how human activity interacts and interferes with aquatic and also terrestrial life in a seemingly beautiful and visually calm environment.

Jana Winderen often draws the fish, amphibians and plankton she meets. This release also consists of a drawing of two fish that probably would never meet; the pike from the freshwater Lac de Joux in the Jura Mountains and the snapper from the saltwater environment by Miami.

Jon Wozencroft Soundseminar @ Iklectik, London 20th July 2023

IKLECTIK presents,

Jon Wozencroft Sound Seminar: Touchpoints
A Touch special with Mike Harding

Thursday 20 July 2023 | Start: 7:30pm

Tickets: £10 adv / £12 otd

Last June Iklectik hosted two sold-out nights of the first Touch40 London events, featuring 12 performances in a sunshine blessed, lockdown-lifted sensation of being back in the world again. It seems a long time ago, though it’s only a year. The weekend was a wonder.

One of the challenges of non-mainstream live music is whether or not the artists/ musicians talk, and speak to their audience, how much it is necessary to say anything – not “hello London or hello Chicago”, simply a few words to bring the human voice into the mix. A lot of ground-breaking music is instrumental. On this night we were able to be social as well as musical. You could hear a pin drop while the performances took place.

Is it true that music doesn’t know what to say at the moment?

I like listening to the radio. The amount of times DJs play a track without clearly saying what it is they are playing is commonplace, especially on the BBC. I guess you’re expected to look it up online. And few DJs get the chance to play anything that isn’t what you already know. Familiarity is the key.

It wasn’t always this way. Listeners seem less willing to buy what they don’t already know. Music buyers seem a-feared of the new and that’s possibly because there is scant encouragement nor the dynamic for things that are new, given the global circumstances, press conservatism and fear for the future.

The BFI report that 75% of record company releases are dedicated to music at least 10 years old, but more like 50. Reissues, box sets, Record Store Day, pink vinyl releases. Please buy a single LP in Rough Trade for £35.

Record sales are obviously competing with a pizza meal for two. It went bad because of lockdown, but it’s not just the fault of the virus. The virus was already there. Why should you have life-transforming music for free? A pizza isn’t going to change anything except your temporary hunger.

Touch still has lots to say; we rarely get the chance to do so. In the slipstream of the year after Touch40, we may talk about “How to Survive” as it was signalled on our first cassette ‘Feature Mist’ from 1982, years before streaming diminished the value of music. What might be the counterpoint to digital that isn’t analogue nostalgia? We will play one or two Touch gems amongst other highlights that got us to where we are now.

Are there alternatives to highly polluting physical releases? How can we explore green technology in relation to our soundworld. With vinyl, cassettes and CDs the spectre of physical pollution and sustainability is always on your mind, with digital systems the problems centre on mental health. What is the third way?

Jon Wozencroft developed his sound seminars in the late 1980s as a means of highlighting the potential of sound-related research and practice in art and design education. Primarily, the seminars promote the art of listening and seek to rebalance the dominant bias of visual culture which favours the eye over the ear. Listening both enhances one’s perceptual awareness and creates an oasis away from 24/7 non-stop media. The seminars underline the power of sound and music as catalysts for change in a context in which recorded music has been progressively devalued in the digital environment. Drawing upon forty years of working in music publishing and performance, Wozencroft moves the audience between and beyond genre classifications and makes connections where past present and future come alive in the moment.

Sonic Habitats | London 21st June 2023

An evening with Touch, listening to the IKO loudspeaker amongst exotics plants in the Roof Garden’s amphitheatre. Join sound artist Bethan Kellough as we follow motions and contours of winds, waves and other atmospheric and geological processes, responding to their vibrancy, the spaces they reveal, and the moments we can spend immersed in timescales that expand beyond our lived experience.  

Sound artist Bethan Kellough weaves together musical and environmental sound-worlds to create immersive installations, performances and compositions. Her album Aven (Touch, 2016) has been described as “a film you watch with your ears” (Tiny Mix Tapes), “earthy and fantastical” (Norman Records) and “sometimes magical and sometimes terrifying” (Rolling Stone). 

Info and tickets (free):

This performance takes place at the Crossrail Place Roof Garden.
Performance times: 7:00pm
Running time: 90mins

Tone 83 | Philip Jeck & Chris Watson “Oxmardyke”

Artist: Philip Jeck & Chris Watson
Title: Oxmardyke
Formats: CD & Digital Download
Catalogue Number: Tone 83
Street date: 16th June, 2023

You can order this CD album from today, 16th June 2023, here

Oxmardyke is Album of the Week in The Quietus

Track Listing:
1. Oxmardyke
2. Barn – click to listen
3. Beetroot Train
4. Coop
5. Drum
6. AH
7. Bridge
8. Salt End
9. Spurn

Mastered by Denis Blackham at Skye Mastering
Photography by Chris Watson. Cover design: Jon Wozencroft

With thanks to Mary Prestidge, who writes:

At the end of January 2022 Philip was taken to A&E at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital suffering from severe back pain and was admitted for investigations. In the hospital ward, with some strong pain relief, he could more comfortably rest, mostly horizontally. During the day he could be angled slightly toward a sitting position.

Over the following days, aiming to make sense of his current predicament, Philip regained a tiny level of normality. With his laptop in place he tapped into familiar territory and, when finding the most favourable times, listened to and worked with the sound files that Chris Watson had sent him.

During these brief, intense spells Philip gave all to his ear and heart to guide and shape the music forming at his fingertips. Oxmardyke is the album which resulted from this collaboration.

Chris Watson:

Philip’s laugh was infectious. Our conversations would usually begin with exchanges around the enthusiasm we had for each other’s work and the respect we shared for other Touch artists. However, as we were most likely to have met over drinks at the Philharmonic Dining Rooms in Liverpool the evening would gradually dissolve into convivial disarray. What did emerge from these soirées over recent years was a desire to find ways and means for us to collaborate at a place where our ideas converged.

In 2017 I was recording along the north bank of the Humber estuary and one morning driving back from Faxfleet I was stopped at the Oxmardyke rail crossing. The gates were down. After setting up a microphone array by the tracks for a passing freight train the signalman shouted an invitation to climb up into the gate box to make some more recordings.

Over the following weeks I made several return trips to Oxmardyke and gathered a broad palette of recordings. I discussed the sounds, stories and history of the site with Philip after a show and we were both excited by the potential of making a work together.

Philip was drawn to the ancient history of the area from 6th century Anglo-Saxon times to the Knights Templar and how the sounds, rhythms and textures from those periods may still inhabit the contemporary landscape. My thoughts took inspiration from ‘The Signalman’ by Charles Dickens and the painting ‘Rain, Steam and Speed’ by Joseph Mallord William Turner. We agreed to share ideas and exchange tracks.

Oxmardyke gate box has now passed into history.

I hope my contributions may frame Philip’s exceptional work. [August 2022]

Jon Wozencroft Soundseminar @ Iklectik, London 3rd May 2023

The Angle of Light

Sound Seminar by Jon Wozencroft, 3 May 2023, Iklectik Art Lab
Live performance by Mark Van Hoen, projections by Nico Van Hoen

Further info and tickets:

Jon Wozencroft developed his sound seminars in the late 1980s as a means of highlighting the potential of sound-related research and practice in art and design education. Primarily, the seminars promote the art of listening and seek to rebalance the dominant bias of visual culture which favours the eye over the ear. Listening both enhances one’s perceptual awareness and creates an oasis away from 24/7 non-stop media. The seminars underline the power of sound and music as catalysts for change in a context in which recorded music has been progressively devalued in the digital environment. Drawing upon forty years of working in music publishing and performance, Wozencroft moves the audience between and beyond genre classifications and makes connections where past present and future come alive in the moment.

Unsurprisingly, optimism is in short supply these days. Leonard Cohen’s proposition is his 1992 song, ‘Anthem’, that “There’s a crack in everything/That’s how the light gets in” is full of faith but forlorn – and indeed his last recordings from 2016, ‘You Want it Darker’, seem almost an acceptance of this, and at the very least, a test of how close to the limit we can push it.

Are we stranded in doom and gloom? In London, this Spring, the rare sunshine is tempered by the feeling that it’s one thing after another. There has to be a breaking point, and yet the breakers keep on breaking and life seems a rush for some sign of resolution, which is of course blocked and inaccessible without the essential force of mutual co-operation and enlightened intention. Language is a fragile instrument. Politics is divorced from the common good. French philosopher Paul Virilio wrote two decades ago, “There are no pessimists; there are only realists and liars”.

So soon after the impact they made on contemporary thought in the 80s and 90s, writers like Virilio and Baudrillard seem by and large forgotten. Virilio noted that breaking the sound barrier was a key aspiration of the postwar era that signified the lust for acceleration. He spoke of the digital age as being an attempt to break the light barrier – “The speed of light does not merely transform the world. It becomes the world. Globalization is the speed of light”. The light barrier “is not something one can cross: you crash into it”.

Which brings us to Artificial Intelligence, in many respects a ‘height barrier’ for the human race – is it possible to pass through this particular door without losing one’s head in the process? Intelligence, the Latin root ‘inter-legere’, to read between, starts with the critical challenge between light and darkness. This has of course preoccupied human civilization since day one, thus another simple question – why is the force of light so hard to clarify and sustain? Why is intelligence so undervalued and disregarded?

Not so long ago ‘Light Entertainment’ was the guiding policy of broadcast media. In music, ‘light’ meant pop/commercialism/aural soma. That no longer holds sway. Time to re-examine the ‘Happy Valley’ of dark entertainment – the illumination of darkness as a means of feeling and naming the situation… and finding the means of transformation.

Mark Van Hoen

For nearly 40 years, English producer Mark Van Hoen has been making challenging music that eludes easy categorization under his own name, as Locust, and in the groups Autocreation, Scala, and drøne. While his output has skirted around the fringes of IDM, techno, trip-hop, ambient, drone, and electropop, it has mutated these genres’ elements in distinctive ways, revealing a mind always questing for unprecedented sounds.

 Born in 1966, London, England Mark is an English electronic music composer and producer. He has released seminal and influential recordings under his own name as well as Locust, in additional to a multitude of collaborations with other artists including Robert Fripp, and members of Slowdive, Cocteau Twins and Seefeel. Pitchfork said, “Musically, Van Hoen belongs to a distinguished family tree. Originally influenced by the likes of Brian Eno and Tangerine Dream, and later presaging both Autechre’s glitch and Boards of Canada’s pastoral IDM”. 

Mark has released records on several highly respected independent labels such as R&S, Editions Mego and 4AD as well as major labels Sire, Sony and Warner Brothers. Most enduringly, his relationship with Touch, a UK-based label founded in 1982, stretches back over 30 years. His latest Touch release “Invisible Threads” has been universally praised, and shows a new approach in a spectral, submersive, almost neo-Classical composition style, revealing subtle influences from Touch luminaries such as Philip Jeck, Jóhann Jóhannsson and Claire M Singer.
Further info and tickets:

Touch is 41 today

Today, 11th March, is the official 41st anniversary of the founding of Touch in 1982…

First contact with New Order after their concert at the Newcastle Mayfair on 11th March 1982…

You can follow our progress year by year here…

TO:123 | Bana Haffar “Intimaa’”

LP + DL – 7 tracks

Release date: Friday 19th May 2023 – you can order your copy here

Track listing:
1. Clearing
2. Elemental
3. Ahi Al Samaa
4. Lifter
5. Save This Manual For The Future
6. Sit Still
7. All that is sometimes not considered

Survival is change

from a deep place of un-belonging
searching and searching

Recorded and mixed by Bana Haffar in Asheville, North Carolina between June 6th and July 18th, 2022

Artwork & photography by Jon Wozencroft
Mastered by Simon Scott @ SPS Mastering
Published by Touch Music/Fairwood Music (UK) Ltd.

Intimaa’ (belonging in Arabic) is a documentation of pieces composed for Touch’s 40th anniversary celebrations in Los Angeles and Santa Cruz in the Spring of 2022.

Pulling from ongoing research in weaving and textiles, the pieces are informed by the interchangeability of the weaver’s process with the sequencing of sound – from sourcing and preparing materials to be woven (recording, editing, and formatting samples), preparing the loom (programming the sequencer), and finally, weaving the cloth (playing back, manipulating, and recording the sequence).

Thank you to Touch for their ongoing mentorship and friendship.

Tone 80 | OZMOTIC | FENNESZ “Senzatempo”

LP + DL – 4 tracks

Release date: Friday 14th April 2023 – you can pre-order your copy here

Track listing:
1. Senzatempo
2. Floating Time
3. Motionless
4. Movements l – ll

Recorded 19/21 November 2021 in Turin, Italy at Superbudda studio
Audio engineer: Edoardo Fracassi

Cut by Jason @ Transition
Photography + design: Jon Wozencroft

“Senzatempo” became a lockdown record. In 2019, a year after our last concert as a trio with Christian Fennesz, the release of his “Agora” and our first publication for Touch – “Elusive Balance” – we met in Milan. We talked about ongoing projects, the evolution of our musical language and, as is often the case when we are all three together, the more frenetic and superficial aspects of contemporary society, the difficulty of letting ideas and projects mature and how music could still play a constructive role in that context. We left each other with the intention of talking at a distance about a new project, to be developed calmly, without any hurry.

In the months that followed, after e-mails in which we continued to discuss the project, we decided to work on the perception of time and to focus our attention on those periods of life in which time tends to dilate, to lose its boundaries, dedicating ourselves to the project without the fear of resting on indefinite moments of stasis – trying to take the time of creation as an ally, making the most significant ideas ‘sprout’, distilling emotions and crystallising them slowly.

Catapulted into the first wave of the pandemic, we began to work at a distance, We exchanged different types of sound materials, sometimes raw sometimes more structured and with Christian we tried to give musical form to a surreal calm, at the same time as magmatic, uncertain emotional states. In this phase of collective confusion and almost total isolation, the first drafts of ‘Senzatempo’ and ‘Movements I’ were born. In both tracks, we tried to structure chordal waves and melodies inlaid with counterpoints with broad architectures and sinuous movements, in a sort of ‘rubato’, with the idea of creating an orchestral breath to the entire album.

‘Senzatempo’ is characterised by a dream melody with a dense and continuous dialogue between a sharp guitar and percussive sounds floating on an abstract and flexible pulse. ‘Movements I’, later transformed into a two-part suite, is airy and meditative; an initial acoustic shock leads to a melody resting on relaxed chords and enveloping sounds studded with noise, glitches and fragments of field recordings.

After this initial work, we wanted to organise a studio session, but pandemic restrictions forced us to postpone and leave the music to mature further. The following summer, thanks to a residency project for young artists centred on the Senzatempo project and conducted by Christian and ourselves in central Italy, the opportunity arose for the first time to play the material produced thus far, and to experiment and focus on new musical ideas.

In November 2021, after a concert we did in Turin, we finally devoted ourselves to the drafting of the album in a studio session lasting some days. The final versions of the first two tracks were created, with the addition of a second part to ‘Movements I’, and ‘Floating Times’ and ‘Motionless Image of Eternity’ came into being.

In ‘Floating Time’, clouds of micro-sounds envelop an iridescent, sinuous melody in a sonic space delimited by sculpted percussive sounds. Lost memories seem to resurface. The end of the track takes up the beginning in a kind of ‘rondo’. ‘Motionless’ is counterpointed by telluric percussive sounds in a complex and detailed atmosphere. It seems as if nothing is moving in this sea of sound on which the guitar floats, when in fact everything is in motion in a simmer of textures and melodies that embroider counter-songs to the main refrain.

The music of ‘Senzatempo’ moves in balance between composition and improvisation. It is a symphonic work for an imaginary orchestra in which melodies, counterpoints, dynamics and sonorities define a structural breadth reminiscent of classical music.

TO:122 | Travelogue “Bali”

CD – 5 tracks – 48:37

Release date: Friday 24th February 2023

Track listing:

1. Kecak! (Sanghyang)
2. Rahajeng Semeng
3. Sekala Niskala
4. Gong Ageng
5. Ramayana Melukat

Now available to order on Bandcamp

Mastered by Denis Blackham
Photography by Jon Wozencroft + Travelogue
Design: Jon Wozencroft

Recorded 6-16 February 2020 in Uluwatu, Ubud, Badung, Mount Batur and other locations in Bali, Indonesia.
Composed and mixed at the Castle in Stockholm, Sweden and at Dissimulata in Asheville, NC USA, 2022.

Travelogue [Bali] is the second in an ongoing series of collected international audio diaries (Travelogue [Nepal] was released by Touch in 2020). The premise is quite simple: the two meet at a mutually agreed upon destination along with the facilitation of something to record audio of these experiences on. The intent is to capture and augment these sonic documentaries of their travels which then are sculpted into soundtracks. This is done by sourcing the culture, environment, persons or events that make their voices available.

In February 2020, CM von Hausswolff and Chandra Shukla met in Bali, Indonesia, over the course of 9 days. Recordings were made at Pandawa Beach, Green Bowl Beach, Melasti Beach Ungasan, Uluwatu Temple, Pasar Senggol Gianyar, Pengosekan Kaja Ubud, Badung Market, Kintamani and Mt. Batur, Puri Saren Agung Ubud, Mandala Suci Wenara Wana (Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary) Ubud, Pura Tirta Empul Tampaksiring, Pandan Beach and Kelingking Beach Nusa Penida.

Special thanks to Dewa Alit and Salukat Gamelan, Dewa Sakura, Elisa Faires, Ivan Seng, Shannon Batten, Kecak Uluwatu, Made Surya and Dewa Aji Mangku. Also thanks to Ulrich Hillebrand and Gregor Krause.

Spire 10 | Ted Reichman “Orgelwerke”

DL – 4 tracks – 39:38

Release date: Friday 20th January 2023

Available to order now

Track listing:

1. fond du lac
2. rondo
3. american dream
4. geisterorchester

Photography & design by Jon Wozencroft
Mastered by Simon Scott @ SPS

Orgelwerke began when composer Ted Reichman picked up a pile of rare organ vinyl from a library’s discard box. As he listened to this forgotten music late at night, he developed a process of transformation. He digitized them, turning them into loops and gestures, then reshaped them with tape, broken amplifiers and analogue echo boxes. It became something like a ritual, an exhumation of long-unheard music reanimated as glacial drones and ghostly symphonic movements — the sound of the cathedral transmuted into an enveloping shadow of pulsation, echo and glitch.

Ted Reichman composes electro-acoustic music, open-form pieces for improvising musicians, and film music. His long career in music goes back to his first recordings with Anthony Braxton in the early 1990s and his deep involvement in New York’s music community in the 2000’s. He was the original curator at Tonic on the Lower East Side of NYC, which became one of the world’s crucial venues for avant-garde music. He has made recordings for Tzadik, Skirl, and Tripticks Tapes, and produced and mixed albums for Wendy Eisenberg, Steven Long, Lina Tullgren/Alec Toku Whiting and many other experimental musicians. His film scores include Rick (with Bill Pullman and Sandra Oh), The Memory Thief, and the award winning documentaries Dear Mandela and Missing In Brooks County. He has been on the faculty of the Jazz Studies and Contemporary Musical Arts departments at the New England Conservatory of Music for over ten years, where he has developed a new curriculum on recording.


Recorded and mixed at Subtext Sound System
Thanks to Jason Coleman, Steve Long, Alec Toku Whiting, Tyler Gilmore and all at the MIT Radio Society