Tone 70 | Simon Scott “Migrations”

Released 26th June 2020

Vinyl – 2 tracks + DL – 2 tracks

Track listing:

Side A
1. Red Square

Side AA
1. Murmurations

Bonus tracks (digital only):

3. The Borderlands
4. Fen(ce)

Vinyl in an edition of 300 copies plus digital – with two digital bonus tracks when purchasing from our Bandcamp. Vinyl mastered at SPS Mastering. Cut by Jason @ Transition. Digital mastered by Rafael Anton Irisarri at Black Knoll Studio (NY). Photography and design by Jon Wozencroft.

You can pre-order now on Bandcamp.

Full track notes:

A. Red Square 14’ 14”

Field recordings captured during a day under Moscow’s Red Square in the underground metro in 2015. It has a narrative of motion as my microphones move with me through a vast sounding environment. The space reveals the aural diversity of the people moving beneath the Russian city of Moscow, the complex acoustics, and complex rhythms mixed together in a subterranean space. These communitive sonic events transformed my perception of space and time as reverberant boundaries led my ear into unknown acoustic destinations.

AA. Murmurations 18’ 53”

Recorded in March 2018 at RSPB Strumpshaw Fen in, Norfolk, UK using DPA 4061 microphones. I was showing Australian sound artist Lawrence English around the Fens of East Anglia, when he requested we head to Buckenham to find a flock of crows roosting. I recorded the spectacular murmurations of thousands of crows, rooks and jackdaws, as the spring sun slowly set at dusk, and deer ran across the marshes. The field recordings are accompanied by a gradually shifting modular synth tone, that musically represents the slow change colours, until the light fell off the horizon.

Download only: The Borderlands 6’ 30” and Fen(ce) 7’ 06”

Both compositions were recorded in Holme Fen nature reserve, Cambridgeshire, with two JrF contact microphones on 22nd to 25thMay 2020. The long lines of wires and wooden posts stretched across the sunken landscape of the Fens follow the man-made drainage canals and rivers for hundreds of miles. Bowed, plucked and struck by natural phenomena (strong winds caused by climate change) and indigenous flora, reveals dynamic sonic intra-events and hidden acoustic ecologies.

Need More Nature? Listen to 12 Essential Field Recordings

New York Times, June 3rd 2020

Albums featuring chattering animals and roaring weather systems have blurred the boundaries of music and chance, new age and noise.

by Christopher R. Weingarten

www.nytimes.com/2020/06/03/arts/music/field-recordings.html

featuring:

Chris Watson – Outside the Circle of Fire
Jana Winderen – Energy Field
Chris Watson – El Tren Fantasma
Jacob Kirkegaard – Eldfjall

Strafe F.R. – Friss

Strafe F.R. present a new recording and video, ‘Friss’, completed after their most recent release “Shadow Position” (Touch Tone 68)

youtu.be/mLSxoRwPbwI

Touch: Isolation

28 new and exclusive tracks recorded by Touch artists, with the final track delivered on 25th May 2020. A photographic counterpoint, the view from Hampstead Heath during the London lockdown. Touch: Isolation is a subscription project that evolved over April and May 2020. Click here to subscribe.

A time to support independent music while it still exists!

For the last two months we have published new pieces twice weekly each Monday and Thursday… We trust you will see this as a whole work; it’s never too late to catch up. We view it as a narrative hoping that ecology and the future of this earth is going to win through against the dreadful political and mediated mendacity that can only worsen the situation.

The subscription will remain open for the foreseeable future, so there is still time to support independent music, its artists and its fragile support systems. Thank you to everyone who has taken the plunge.

“Please keep your distance, the trail leads from here…”

The cancellation of gigs and festivals has already severely impacted our artists creatively and financially. In addition it has denied you, our audience, the opportunity to see them play and support them. The notion of ‘independent music’ might, in effect, be pushed deeper into the self-isolation mode it is already struggling to break free from. We don’t need studios to the same extent, but we do need a stage, a physical reference and if not, a mental space with which to question the drive to online existence.

We set out to respond to these challenging times in a creative and helpful way. The idea is to present Touch: Isolation whereby a new exclusive track from one of our artists, each with a bespoke photograph/cover image, is presented on a regular basis over the coming weeks. All the income received is collected from your subscriptions and put in a kitty, the proceeds of which are then divided up between the contributing artists.

These new and exclusive interventions include works by Heitor Alvelos, Oren Ambarchi, Charlie Campagna, Richard Chartier, ELEH, farmersmanual, Fennesz, fennesz sakamoto, Bana Haffar, Howlround, Philip Jeck, Bethan Kellough, Daniel Menche, Anthony Moore, Yann Novak, OZMOTIC, Rosy Parlane, Zachary Paul, Simon Scott, Claire M Singer, Geneva Skeen, Sohrab, Strafe F.R., UnicaZürn, Mark Van Hoen, CM von Hausswolff, Chris Watson and Jana Winderen – all expertly mastered by Denis Blackham.

We invite you to take this unique opportunity to support the artists, without whom there would be no alternative to corporate art… support the industries which realise the artists’ creation – the uncredited producers, designers, software developers, distributors, vinyl cutters, mastering engineers, friends and family etc., who all symbiotically depend on the other to bring their works to fruition…

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The subscription costs £20 for 20 (or more) tracks – please support the artists by investing in the Touch: Isolation project, and expect surprises – good ones for a change.

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Social distancing. Actual space. If you can get out, you have to get out. Escape velocity – from Brexit, then somehow prevent institutional meltdown? The UK shows the way, in a method that beggars belief.

The photographs were taken on Hampstead Heath during the UK/London lockdown between March and May 2020, primarily in West Heath and the area around Golders Hill whose open space minimises the problems of social distancing. The weather, being superb after weeks of high winds and heavy rain, seemed a metaphor for regeneration and recovery, with the trees coming into bloom – in defiance of the scene we witnessed 33 years earlier after the Great Storm of October 1987 when, in the days that followed, the Heath looked like an arboreal graveyard.

The objective is to find a sense of quiet celebration, to look at the balance between the detail and the scaling force of open spaces. Let’s hope they can remain open.

To make 20 (or more) record covers in a short period for sound and music we had yet to hear, and to then match the photography to each artist’s contribution… If this seems somewhat in the style of the children’s game, ‘Pin the tail on the donkey’, then perhaps that’s more apt than pretending we know how everything fits together at this juncture.

This might also be seen an opportunity to give an early documentation to the mental state of 2020, remembering the year 2000 and the threat of the ‘millennium bug’, this may well become known as the year when x melted into y, to avoid z.

Roughly a dozen years ago, life went broadband. Today we see our reliance on digital systems like never before.

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‘As a dwindling member of the generation that lived through and served in the Second World War I think in some ways this is much worse. It was possible to live in a country area and apart from rationing see little of the war. Bombing was spasmodic and haphazard, and our defences were really good. After a year, there was very little chance of an invasion and much of life – sport, theatres and radio, continued as before. Restaurants and hotels remained largely open, rationed according to turnover.’ David John Harding, b. 1925.

Further reading:

furtherdot blog
igloo magazine
ambient blog
Broadcasting House, BBC Radio 4
Xenographica
The New Lofi
The Times Literary Supplement
Map Magazine
a closer listen
Another Green Kitchen

TO:6D | Strafe Für Rebellion “Santa Maria”

“Santa Maria” by Strafe Für Rebellion was one of the very early artist-only releases
on Touch, dating back to 1986. It has never been available on CD. This bandcamp
release has been sourced from the original quarter-inch master tapes, transferred
by Bernd Kastner and S.M. Syniuga. The original artwork marks the first time we
were able to afford photo-typesetting for the whole project.

DL – 2 tracks – 44:29

Release date: 3rd April 2020

Track listing:

1: Santa Maria A
2: Santa Maria B

Available from Bandcamp

Touch is 38 Today

Today, 11th March, is the official 38th 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…

Jon Wozencroft Sound Seminar | London, 5th March 2020

Touch presents… Live Shows February 2020

and we are pleased to announce that Special Guest will be joining us for the AB Salon and Iklectic shows…

Hildur Guðnadóttir Wins Academy Award [OSCAR] for Best Original Score

Hildur Guðnadóttir has won the Academy Award for Best Original Score for ‘Joker’ [2019]. She also won an EMMY and a GRAMMY (for Chernobyl [HBO, 2019]) and a BAFTA and a Golden Globe for Joker, this claiming a unique clean sweep or ‘BEGGO’.

We are so proud to have been part of this journey with such a talented and generous artist. Many congratulations

Hildur Gudnadottir

Another Word for Dive Is Sound by Mandy-Suzanne Wong

1. The Hydrophonist

Looks barely human. Heavy boots fitted with claws. Limbs and trunk squared off by layers of thermal waterproofing. Something like a spacesuit with miles of cable hanging off it. She’s got no face. She’s all nylon. Orange helmet. Windproof goggles… [Permafrost Magazine]

Continue reading…

www.janawinderen.com

V33.30 | Fennesz/Rosy Parlane “Live 2000”

DL – 2 tracks

Release date: 1st February 2020

Track listing:

1: Live 2000 1
2: Live 2000 2

Available from Bandcamp

Recorded live in Melbourne, Australia 20 years ago on the release date… originally released on mini CD by Australian label, Synaesthesia. With thanks to Mark Harwood.

Mastered by Simon Scott at SPS Mastering
Artwork & photography by Jon Wozencroft

V33.20 | Simon Scott “Emergency Exit”

DL – 2 tracks

Released 26th December 2019

Now available from Bandcamp

‘Emergency Exit’ was composed by Simon Scott from field recordings of flood water and burning embers captured during 2019 in the Fens near Cambridge, where he is based. They are a microcosm of a much bigger global crisis – ‘Climate Change’.

Fennesz – Agora Album in Top Ten Pitchfork 2019 List

The magic of Christian Fennesz’s work comes in the way he turns the minimal into the maximal, expanding tiny moments into huge sonic environments. When making Agora, his first solo album in five years, the experimental ambient producer was forced to work minimally—after losing his studio space, he was relegated to using headphones in a bedroom—and he translated these restrictions into one of his most oversized works yet. The album’s four tracks are all over 10 minutes in length and unabashedly sweeping, as processed guitar tones and dense computer manipulations generate droning, nearly-orchestral waves. But each mountainous track is also filled with small details, be it a high-pitched squall, a grainy click, or a distant rumble. Like all of Fennesz’s best work, Agora evokes memories and the way they linger and change. But the album never feels faded or nostalgic; all of its enveloping sound is immensely present, pulsing with life. [Marc Masters]

Available on our Bandcamp site, of course

pitchfork.com/features/lists-and-guides/best-albums-2019/

Tone 68 | Strafe F.R. “Shadow Position”

Vinyl + DL – 4 tracks

Now available to order from Bandcamp

Release date: 22nd November 2019

Track listing:

A1: Nachtmaschine
A2: Every Day XXL
B1: Shadow Position
B2: Isabella B.

Videos available on our youtube channel

There are 4 tracks, 4 different windows to look out from our studio in Düsseldorf into the street and their different layers of sound.

4 horizons, 4 spy holes in the door, 4 eyes and 4 shopping windows. 4 landscapes.

Witness the electric city and the power house. Strafe F.R. is sitting inside the fuse box. The electric chirp of the night. The socket in which we sleep. The dog comes, in order to devour Strafe F.R. First he eats the rebellion and next he bites the Strafe.

The house and the body, both are earthed and the veins are vibrating. Between the 3rd and the 4th hour of the morning we enter the realm of insomnia. You fly by not using an airplane.

An old woman is cleaning the door bells with her own spittle. The old man is distilling schnaps in his back garden. The swimmers are gliding through the day on top of a greasy film. The reception is a flare into seconds until it fades away into noise again. The kettle drum gives the rhythm of breathing, the bass determines the time. You stumble forward, forward into the next day.

From our window we see a public building where there exists a toilet, its porcelain shows the most beautiful craquele fissures. There is an historic poster of Lenin. It is fixed on a garden fence in the landscape and the stinging nettles grow over it softly swinging in the wind.

There are shadows but there is also brightness, this means there are complementary colours and contrasts, movements and reflection until there is stillness. We see the back-breeding of cattle in the Neanderthal age and at the same time we look into the large heating room of an art museum, where we observe tubes and their upstream pressure regulators.

All sounds and music instruments recorded by Strafe F.R. – Bernd Kastner, Siegfried M. Syniuga. “Shadow Position” was mixed by Rasmus Zschoch. “Nachtmaschine”, “Every Day XXL” and “Isabella B.” were mixed by Strafe F.R. at Strafe studio in 2019 / Düsseldorf. Thanks to Detlef Klepsch for additional technical support. Female vocal by Anna Nettra.

CODEX 2 | Joséphine Michel & Mika Vainio “The Heat Equation”

Book + CD – 100pp linen cover with foil blocking

Book contents:
69 photos and a portrait of Mika Vainio by Joséphine Michel, and an introductory essay by Jeremy Millar

CD Track listing:

1. Mika Vainio – Live at Contra Pop, Ramsgate 56:38

Now available to order from Bandcamp

Release date: 1st November 2019

The Heat Equation

Jana Winderen in Los Angeles | November 3-10th 2019

We are delighted to welcome Jana Winderen to Pomona College (Nov 5 & 6) and Fulcrum Arts, Pasadena (Nov 9)

Pomona College – free to members of the public

Nov 5th 4:15pm – Rose Hills Theatre, Smith Campus Center: Presentation of her work “Spring Bloom in the Marginal Ice Zone”

Nov 6th 7pm – The Bridges Auditorium: multi-channel demonstration of the work, which you can find on her Bandcamp site

Visitors Map

Nov 8th 2pm – Long Wave on Dublab, presented by Mike Harding with Gabi Strong & Ian Wellman. Tune in to Mike Harding’s monthly show on Los Angeles-based experimental radio station, Dublab. Jana Winderen will discuss her latest work and also the challenges confronting artists in the modern era, with professional field recordist Ian Wellman and artist and musician Gabi Strong.

Nov 9th – Fulcrum Arts – Free Radicals: On the Provocations of Awe – free with RSVP

Fulcrum Arts, the Williamson Gallery at ArtCenter, and Pitzer College Art Galleries will present the symposium, Free Radicals: On the Provocations of Awe, a program of Fulcrum Arts’ AxS (art + science) initiative.

Theoretical cosmologist Janna Levin will deliver the keynote presentation, and the symposium will also include presentations by Rana Adhikari, Bill Anthes, I.R. Bach, Nancy Baker Cahill, Beatriz Cortez, Ciara Ennis, Tom Hall, Ian Ingram, Karen Lofgren, Kyle McDonald, Rebeca Mendez, Chris Parks, Archie Prakash, Brittany Ransom, Christopher Richmond, Sasha Simochina, Jana Winderen, The World in a Cell, and Jenny Yurshansky.

V33.10 | Jana Winderen “Pavikdalen”

DL – 1 track

Released 10th October 2019

Now available from Bandcamp

Track listing:

Pasvikdalen 37:58

Pasvikdalen (2014) was commissioned by Dark Ecology/Sonic Acts/Hilde Methi, performed at the Muziekgebouw, Sonic Acts Festival, Amsterdam and at Kurant, Tromsø (for the Dark Ecology and Arctic Encounter Forum), at NIBIO Svanhovd and at SALT, Oslo

Photo by Jana Winderen

Full programme and to the 2014 related field trip to Nikel, Russia

A stereo version was also played at Svanhovd, Norway, curated for Dark Ecology by Hilde Methi

TO:114 | ELEH “Living Space”

CD + DL – 5 tracks – 64 mins
Vinyl for fetishists to follow in the new year…
CD format (mastered by Denis Blackham) is how the artist wants it to sound…

Now available to order from Bandcamp

Release date: 11th October 2019

Track listing:

1. Living Space
2. Lo, Fr Ega
3. Collect Yourself/Well Arranged
4. Overt Too
5. Lighter Touch

Following ‘Slow Fade for Hard Sync’ (2009) and Location Momentum (2010), Living Space is Eleh’s third physical release for Touch. Seven years in the making, this new release consolidates the artist’s parallel narrative between a series of vinyl and CD releases for Important Records – where the emphasis is on a minimalist aesthetic – to a visual counterpoint that hints at the cinematic and painterly qualities of the music.

Sound, as a healing force, is an idea as old as the medium itself.  Inspired by the legacy and above all the spirit of John Coltrane, Living Space features 5 new compositions that seek to express the beauty of slow change, not only through the microtonal shifts in sound that Eleh navigates but moving with the atmospheric and shape–shifting conditions that the music creates as it interacts with the listening space, whether bedroom or concert hall, each one of them unique.

If the ambition of Living Space is to reflect both personal and collective growth cycles, the experience of its audition has the effect of stopping time. Melodic and harmonic progressions are implied and not stated obviously, to enable listeners to apply their own emotions and feelings to the music.

Using modular and analogue synthesisers, piano, organ, bass and symphonic chimes, Living Space stresses the promise of the CD’s final track – ‘Lighter Touch’ – forsaking the forceful hand for an approach that mirrors the slower and softer exposures of plant life and leaf formations, slow moving waters, not flash floods nor forest fires.

In counterpoint to the music, the 60 minute CD is presented with a 6-panel digifile with Jon Wozencroft’s water photography extending the meditational pull of these new compositions. The Touch bandcamp page, which will be up later in the month, presents a fuller documentation of this photo–shoot (from Crete, 2018), with a 20pp PDF free for download.

For those for whom Eleh needs no introduction, see if you agree. Anyone who has yet to experience the artist’s sonic alchemy, Living Space is the perfect starting point.

Touch presents… Live at Café Oto | 28th September 2019

Philip Jeck
Bill Thompson
Mark Van Hoen
Jana Winderen
with special guest Jasmin Blasco

Go here for Tickets

Philip Jeck studied visual arts at Dartington College of Arts in the 1970’s and has been creating sound with record-players since the early 80’s. He has worked with many dance and theatre companies and played with musicians/composers such as Jah Wobble, Steve Lacy, Gavin Bryars, Jaki Liebezeit, David Sylvian, Sidsel Endresen and Bernhard Lang.

Bill Thompson is a video and sound artist living in the UK. He is a self-described throwback to the 60s and enjoys breaking things to hear what they sound like.

Mark Van Hoen (born 1966, London, England) is an 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. 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.” His relationship with Touch stretches back over 25 years and his recent release “Invisible Threads” has been universally praised, and shows a new approach in a spectral, submersive, almost neo-Classical composition style.

Jana Winderen is an artist educated in Fine Art at Goldsmiths, University of London
with a background in mathematics, chemistry and fish ecology from the University of Oslo. Jana focuses her work around audio environments and ecosystems which are hard
for humans to access, both physically and aurally.

Tone 74 | Daniel Menche “Transformer: Live at iklectik 220619”

DL – 1 track – 26:01

Now available to order from Bandcamp

Release date: 26th August 2019

Recorded by Daniel Menche as part of Touch presents… live at iklectik, London on 22nd June 2019, which also featured People Like Us

Track listing:

1. Transformer