Vinyl LP – 4 tracks – 32:59
+ 6 bonus tracks
1. Threip 11:53
2. The Black Path 5:21
3. Talkin Tarn 8:23
4. Moat 7:22
5. Cloven Stone
6. Dungeon Ghyll
7. Aira Force
9. Carling Knott
[The Present Continuous]
Profile: Modern Trends In Tape Music and Contemporary Artists in The Field
In December 2017, Howlround (Robin the Fog) was invited to perform at “The Winter Solstice Soundscapes” event for the recently opened record store “Vinyl Café” in his home town of Carlisle, Cumbria. Inspired by the reception to his first ever performance in the great border city, he covered his parent’s dining room table with the same equipment, stretched loops of tape around his mum’s seasonal candlesticks when she wasn’t looking… and this LP is the result. The only equipment used on the album is two 1/4” reel-to-reel tape machines and one microphone. The sounds created are entirely at the discretion of the machines (much of them derived from ‘closed-input’ recordings) and all tracks were produced in a single take. There are no edits, no overdubs and no additional effects.
This marks a new, heavier direction for Howlround, a project better known for more ambient work. Described as ‘Tapeloop Techno’, thick knotty tangles of dense, pulsating bass are an echo of Robin’s early days making bad dance music, while the abrasive snarls of feedback swirling around these tracks point to his more recent embrace of indeterminacy and chance composition. Previous vinyl releases on Psyché Tropes, The Wormhole, A Year in the Country and Front & Follow as well as his own label The Fog Signals have shown a deep understanding of the possibilities of tape manipulation. On The Debatable Lands Howlround eschews the usual field recordings in favour of exploring the interior world of the machines themselves.
CD + booklet – 3 tracks – 77:49
1. Interview with Carlos Duarte 5:48
2. Spring Bloom in the Marginal Ice Zone – Headphones mix 37:00
3. Spring Bloom in the Marginal Ice Zone – Speakers mix 35:00
Artwork & photography by Jon Wozencroft
Booklet photography by Philipp Assmy
Mastered by Denis Blackham, Skye
The marginal ice zone is the dynamic border between the open sea and the sea ice, which is ecologically extremely vulnerable. The phytoplankton present in the sea produces half of the oxygen on the planet. During spring, this zone is the most important CO2 sink in our biosphere. In Spring Bloom in the Marginal Ice Zone the sounds of the living creatures become a voice in the current political debate concerning the official definition of the location of the ice edge.
In view of the recent UN Climate Change report, this release is most timely…
The listener experiences the bloom of plankton, the shifting and crackling sea ice in the Barents Sea around Spitsbergen, towards the North Pole, and the underwater sounds made by bearded seals, migrating species such as humpbacks and orcas, and the sound made by hunting saithe, crustaceans and spawning cod, all depending on the spring bloom.
Spring Bloom in the Marginal Ice Zone is a Sonic Acts and Dark Ecology commission first shown as a 7 channel installation at the Sonic Acts festival (Muziekgebouw, Amsterdam, 2017). It was supported by Art & Technology – Arts Council Norway, Fond for lyd og bilde, Tono stipendet, ARCEx research cruise on R/V Helmer Hanssen, UiT The Arctic University of Norway. Thanks to Paul Wassmann, Ingrid Wiedmann, Britt Kramvig, Berit Kristoffersen, Hilde Methi, Annette Wolfsberger, North Sailing, Arctic Encounters, Mamont Foundation & TBA21 Academy.
CARLOS M. DUARTE is Professor of Marine Science, Tarek Ahmed Juffali Research Chair in Red Sea Ecology, Biological and Environmental Science and Engineering Division, and is a world-wide leader in multiple branches of biological oceanography and marine ecology.
PHILIPP ASSMY is a researcher at The Norwegian Polar Institute, Tromsø, Norway. Current activities include species-specific studies of planktonic and sympagic communities and primary productivity in the Arctic Ocean north of Svalbard. He is also studying the impact of changing sea ice conditions and associated effects (e.g. changes in light climate and surface stratification) on phytoplankton and ice algal communities.
Strafe F.R have added 8 videos to Touch’s Youtube channel, a new spin on
‘The Bird Was Stolen’ (Touch TO:110) CD.
All the videos were made and edited by Strafe F.R. with absolutely no use of material available online, and thus there are no credits.
Some remarks about the animals that appear… The spider was caught by a
member of STRAFE F.R. in Romania and was subsequently set free unharmed after filming. The dog ‘eating STRAFE F.R.’ was fed with edible paper. The writing was made with food colouring.
“A surrealist’s playground that reminds us what festivals were like before festivals were Festivals™” (Noisey)
The Sanctuary / FAULTLINE curated by Epicenter Projects and Touch presents Jasmin Blasco, Robert Crouch, Yann Novak, Zachary Paul, Simon Scott, Geneva Skeen & Mark Van Hoen in Moreno Beach, Lake Parris, California
+ special guests and collaborations
Icelandic composer Jóhann Jóhannsson is widely known for his film soundtracks, including the acclaimed ‘The Theory of Everything’, for which he won a Golden Globe and was nominated for Oscar, BAFTA and Grammy awards.
His tried and tested combination of classical compositions with electronic music was to be heard on highly-praised albums; his debut ‘Englabörn’ (Touch, 2002), ‘Virðulegu Forsetar’ (Touch, 2004), ‘IBM 1401, A User’s Manual’ (4AD, 2006), ‘Fordlândia’ (4AD, 2008) and more recently ‘Orphée’ (DM, 2016).
Jóhannsson passed away unexpectedly earlier this year, in his apartment in Berlin, at the age of 48.
TRIBUTE: IN REMEMBRANCE OF JÓHANN JÓHANNSSON
Together with Adam Wiltzie (A Winged Victory for the Sullen, Stars of the Lid), a close friend, and under the approving eye of Jóhannsson’s management, great care has been taken in selecting a programme, line-up, location and date. Touch is honoured to have been invited to provide the soundtrack (live) either side of the main event.
THE PROGRAMME: ‘VIRÐULEGU FORSETAR’
On the programme: a complete performance of ‘Virðulegu Forsetar’, Jóhann Jóhannsson’s second album, which was released in 2004 as the successor to his debut ‘Englabörn’. ‘Virðulegu Forsetar’ means as much as ‘eminent presidents’ and also served at the time as soundtrack for an expo about … euh … presidents. ‘Virðulegu Forsetar’ is a stately, minimalistic composition in four parts with a duration of about 60 minutes. The instrumentation consists of 11 brass players, percussion, organ and piano. Until now, the album has only been performed live twice (The first was at Ultima, Oslo and then in the famous Hallgrímskirkja, Reykjavik, the place where Jóhann’s funeral was held.)
THE LOCATION: THE CHURCH OF SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST AT THE BÉGUINAGE
For the location of the concert, it was a deliberate choice to opt for a church, and then specifically the Church of Saint John The Baptist at the Béguinage. No coincidence, as Adam Wiltzie fell for the acoustics there after a previous successful concert with his band Stars of the Lid.
Adam Wiltzie (electro/organ) – who is also to be heard on diverse soundtracks by Jóhannsson – put together the line-up with the greatest of care. Although it is still a work in progress, aside from Wiltzie, Skúli Sverrisson (bass/electro) and conductor Guðni Franzson will join the band. Both were to be heard on ‘Virðulegu Forsetar’. Belgian Brass was selected for the wind instruments, they had already been invited by Jóhannsson for the live performance of his album ‘The Miners’ Hymns’ (130701, 2011).
There’s no such thing as coincidence, as even the date has been chosen with care. On September 19 Jóhannsson would have turned 49
CD + full album download – 11 tracks – 47:06
Release date: 7th September 2018
Ecce Homo explores the lighter and darker shades of the human psyche, behaviour and existence, and humanity’s ability to create beauty and destruction. What lies in the essence of such complexity has become a core idea for the album, while Gorgun seeks to figure out if there is a true meaning to being human, and human being.
Starting with “Neroli” as a human fascination with nature and finalising with “To Cross Great Rivers”; the album reflects the contemplations of a spectator being exposed to the human civilization, and witnessing human activity, including his/her own.
Trying to acquire a glimpse of the various layers of human flesh and bones, the sound of the album aims to present a diversity of the sonic spectrum, with tracks varying between ambient and noisy landscapes.
1. Neroli – you can listen to this track here
3. Tserin Dopchut
4. Le Sacre l
5. Le Sacre ll
6. Bohemian Grove
8. Knightscope K5
11. To Cross Great Rivers
All tracks recorded and mixed by Ipek Gorgun, Istanbul 2016 – 2018
Mastered by Denis Blackham @ Skye
Photography & design by Jon Wozencroft
Pitchfork: “The Turkish sound artist balances technical precision, emotional potency, and trenchant cultural critique on an album whose individual sounds are as compelling as their widescreen narratives.”
Beach Sloth: “A truly unusual and downright beautiful intersection of the experimental and emotional, Ipek Gorgun’s “Ecce Homo” is a true triumph.”
Ipek Gorgun is an electronic music composer currently enrolled in the doctoral program of Sonic Arts at Istanbul Technical University’s Center for Advanced Studies in Music. After graduating from Bilkent University with a degree in Political Science, she completed her Master’s studies in Philosophy at Galatasaray University.
As one of the participants of the Red Bull Music Academy in 2014, she performed in Tokyo as an opening artist for Ryoji Ikeda’s “Test Pattern No: 6” and joined Otomo Yoshidide for a collective improvisation project.
As a bass player and vocalist for projects and bands such as Bedroomdrunk and Vector Hugo between 2001-2013, she also performed in an opening gig for Jennifer Finch from L7 and Simon Scott from Slowdive, as well as performing live with David Brown from Brazzaville. She has released two EPs with Bedroomdrunk, entitled “This is What Happened (2003)” and “Raw (2007)”.
Besides group projects and solo performances, she also composed the soundtrack for the documentary ‘Yok Anasinin Soyadi (Mrs. His Name) directed by Hande Cayir in 2012, portraying Turkish women’s struggle for keeping their original surnames after marriage.
Her debut album Aphelion was self-released in February, 2016 and is reissued by Touch in December, under the TOUCHLINE catalogue. In 2017 she released a collaborative album from Halocline Trance, with Canadian producer Ceramic TL (aka Egyptrixx) entitled “Perfect Lung”, and a mini-album with the Italian electroacoustic duo, Alberi.
Aside from many performances following these albums, she also performed in Sonar Istanbul (2017), BBC Radio 3’s “Open Ear” at LSO St. Luke’s (2018) and opened for the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in Oggimusica Acousmonium with an electronic rework of Igor Stravinsky’s “The Firebird” (2018).
Ipek Gorgun also practices performance, street and abstract photography. She won the IPA honorable mention award in 2013-14 with her work entitled “Bubblegun Daydreamer” and in 2013, she worked as the advertisement photographer for Contemporary Istanbul Art fair.
Philip Jeck transforms the space
Simon Scott, in the element
Tone 64D – 1 track EP – Download only – 18:39
Release date: 10th August 2018
Grace begins with a 12 string acoustic guitar fed into a modular synthesiser that spits out beautiful grains of sound that rise and fall like the sun. Textures build up and then slip away leaving a pipe organ playing and the church room recordings sonically revealing passing cyclists, rainfall and Cambridge bus station. It shimmers like an oscillating river until the strings fade and the final third section slips in and a deep organ tone leads the tapestry of sound into field recordings, strings and processed instruments. The contact mics on the organ pipes are heard, floorboards and unidentified human sounds appear and the alarm call of a blackbird seeps into the piece.
Simon Scott’s forthcoming new album, “Soundings” will be out later this year on Touch.
Written recorded, mixed and mastered by Simon Scott at SPS
in Cambridge. Strings performed and recorded in Glendale, California
by Charlie Campagna (‘cello) and Zachary Paul (viola and violin).
Pipe organ recorded at The Unitarian Church, Cambridge, UK.
Thanks to Charlie Campagna, Zachary Paul, Andrew Brown and Jeannie Witty.
Published by Touch Music/Fairwood Music UK Ltd
Photography by Jon Wozencroft
1130pm – 230am
In partnership with Fulcrum Arts, this special Sleepless: The Music Center After Hours celebrates the relationship of science and art, reimagining the role of artist as the scientist and transforming The Music Center’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in powerful new ways.
Explore the intersection of science and art, as this distinct Sleepless connects the two disciplines in a dynamic evening featuring exhibitions, performance art, live music performances, DJ sets, installations and more. Stay up and discover the art of science.
1. Field Recording Exhibition
Dial in to hear field recordings from Chris Watson and Jana Winderen at the Sleepless Phone Booths.
Curated by Fulcrum Arts
CD – 7 tracks – 41:44
Release date: 6th July 2018
OZMOTIC is a multidisciplinary artistic project, deeply fascinated by the dynamics of contemporary society, by architecture, cities and vast uncontaminated spaces.
OZMOTIC creates world sounds characterized by an intense tonal variety and a refined rhythmic research. The interaction between electronic music and digital visual art in
real time is an essential trait of OZMOTIC’s aesthetic.
Having previously collaborated with Fennesz, Murcof, Bretschnider and Senking, “Elusive Balance” is their third album, following “AirEffect” in 2015, and “Liquid Times” in 2016 (both for FolkWisdom). OZMOTIC now release their debut album for Touch.
Mastered by Denis Blackham
Artwork & photography: Jon Wozencroft
1. Elusive Balance
“Elusive Balance” explores the relationship between humans and nature, as well as the search for balance between these two great entities.
The theme of equilibrium and its precariousness, and its natural tendency to achieve relative stability connects all living things. Equilibrium is also a junction point and evolutionary engine – unstable and elusive, ready to deteriorate and to start a new reaction mechanism bringing organisms to a new harmony.
“Beauty is a rare and fleeting thing; it oftencorresponds to those phases where we can grasp that unstable equilibrium which exists between us and the world at large.”
Musically the album seeks resolution of sound contrasts, in a continuous search for an emotional component that gives simultaneously a feeling of tension and stillness.
There is a duality between the ‘organic’components (represented by soprano sax and percussion) and their interaction with machinesand computers.
In “Elusive Balance”, OZMOTIC investigate the essence of their sound to expand its emotional and compositional potential. Each track contains a search for a synthesis between sound elements apparently distant from each other, but in reality create a new balance – as poetic as it is musical.
The album’s seven tracks draw a sonic flow in which the melodic aspects are countered by glitchesand angular sounds, and the ambient passages are subjected to heavy rains of rhythm, leaving space for dreamlike moments.
Mark Aitken examines the relationship between photography and sound. This week in
the last edition of the series, Jon Wozencroft from Touch offers a synthesis between his photography and music from the label he founded. We delve into sounds and images from the recently published Touch Movements, including Chris Watson, Philip Jeck and Eleh.
Doors: 21:00 Start: 21:00
Mark Van Hoen
Mark Van Hoen is a British electronic music artist. He has just released his new solo album, “Invisible Threads” on Touch. 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.”
Sohrab was born in Tehran in 1984. He was seven when the Iran-Iraq war ended. His name, from an old poem called ‘Shahname’, means ‘rouge water’, which can also mean ‘blood’. He started a punk band with his brother and a friend, which lasted about two years before splitting… He was totally isolated in Iran, so he left (if only it was that easy) and now resides in Germany.
Jasmin Blasco (b.1981) is a multi-disciplinary artist who approaches time-based media as the site where sound, image, and language conspire to generate fictions. Through a process of research and abstraction, his practice stages the individual in problematic narratives. He lives and works in Los Angeles.
Marta De Pascalis
Marta De Pascalis (Rome, 1987) is an Italian composer living and working in Berlin. Her solo works employ analog synthesis and tape loops, incorporating free playing into steady, repetitive patterns. She has produced two albums of Berlin School minimal synth excursions: the self-released Quitratue (2014) and Anzar (The Tapeworm, 2016). Her new piece ‘Her Core’ will be published on spring 2018 by The Wormhole.
++++Secret special guest
CD – 14 tracks – 63 minutes
Release date: 25th May 2018
1. Jovian Tempest
2. Prepper’s Home
5. Cap de Barbaria
6. Pianosmoke – you can listen to this track here
9. Golden Stomach
13. Violet Sun
Based in Düsseldorf, Germany, Strafe F.R. is a long-term collaboration between the artists Bernd Kastner and S. M. Syniuga, which started in 1979. After a long period of hibernation, The Bird Was Stolen marks their return to Touch following four previous releases in the 80s and early 90s.
From their early connection with the local punk and new wave scene, centered around the Ratinger Hof in Düsseldorf, Strafe went on to develop a unique and influential form of sound sculpture that pioneered the use of field recordings alongside home-made instruments and the use of the studio as a performance space.
A new track, ‘Virgin’, which appeared on the recent Touch Movements CD/book, gave an early indication that they are back at the peak of their powers. The Bird Was Stolen presents 14 new compositions that push the signature sound of Strafe F.R.
It all started with the eagle, Eaton, who was eating the liver of Prometheus. Prometheus was a Titan, not a god. He was teaching humans how to make fire and was punished by the gods for having done that.
Through this, the humans experienced the meaning of Strafe Für Rebellion
(in English, ‘Punishment for rebellion’). Ever since this happened, the members of SFR register peculiarities and specific incidents as an incitement to make music.
Some examples are as follows:
When searching for new sounds inside the bowels of a piano we occasionally found the sleeping Franz Liszt. Underneath the piano pedal, the MC5 were glued. Unfortunately the mites have eaten all of our socially and critically-engaged texts.
Recently, neozea, similar to indian parrots, fly above our streets. They are able to talk, and they scream: ‘No Guitars!’. Several foxes devoured the analog tapes from our old tape recorder; there are Chinese mitten crabs living inside the bass drum. A bullfrog has eaten up the marsh frog population that we once recorded at a nearby airport. Large blowflies are sitting on the guest chair in our studio lounge.
The helicopters belonging to the German army are in a desperate condition. However, the poor maintenance of the machines has unleashed a fantastic new sound. The same way that Prometheus’s liver is renewed and grows again each night, happens also to the Zeitgeist. Because of this, we must continue to work on the music. We cannot stop and will never finish.
There is vanilla fudge in the coconut trees.
CD – 7 tracks – 39:51
Release date: 25th May 2018
2 Dark Night Sky Paradox
3 Opposite Day
4 The Yes_No Game
6 Flight Of Fancy
All titles composed and recorded by Mark Van Hoen in Los Angeles 2016
Photography & design by Jon Wozencroft
Mastered by Denis Blackham
In mid 2016 I did a brief tour of the west coast with Philip Jeck, Simon Scott, Daniel Mensche, Lee Bannon, Kara-Lis Coverdale, Pye Corner Audio and Marcus Fischer. The music of all these great artists and the experience of playing these shows with them all informed what would become ‘Invisible Threads’ which was primarily composed and recorded in the latter half of 2016. I had not played live at dates in such a dense cluster for many years, and the exposure to so much great music and the artists was inspiring. Other Touch artists were also an influence here – Claire M Singer, Jana Winderen and as ever Chris Watson (who has been an enduring influence from the moment I first heard Cabaret Voltaire in 1979)… along with my project ‘drøne’ with Mike Harding… the collaborative aspect of drøne brought up a few new paths in itself.
During the time I was recording the album I was editing audio and sound design for films – this too went some way to defining the structure and sound of ‘Invisible Threads’. At the time of recording several of the titles on the album, I had re-read ‘The Conversation of Eiros and Charmion’, a short story by Edgar Allen Poe… and in some ways this record is a soundtrack to that.
The title ‘Invisible Threads’ refers to the intangible connection between all of the musical and personal influences that brought this record into being.
Modular synthesizer notably using modules manufactured by Make Noise, The Harvestman & Mutable Audio
Software – Ableton Live, Pro Tools and many plugins – heavily used were Max, Soundhack and Native Instruments’ Reaktor & Kontakt
Sound libraries from Spitfire Audio.
Fender Rhodes piano, Fender Jaguar guitar. Farfisa Organ, Vox continental.
Notably no analogue synthesizers were used on this album – probably the first time I’ve made a record without them since ‘Aurobindo: Involution’ in 1994
A few field recordings made on my very modest Zoom H4n recorder (mainly domestic sounds) made it onto the record
Some ‘found’ sources also are present, mainly from vinyl records and YouTube.