Monthly Archives: August 2012

The Whitstable Symphony | 1st September 2012

Photography & design: Jon Wozencroft

The Whitstable Symphony, with audio by BJNilsen and images by Jon Wozencroft, was commissioned by The Whitstable Biennale and will be screened on September 1st-16th 2012 at Whitstable Museum and Gallery.

TO:86 – Mika Vainio “Fe3O4 – Magnetite”

CD (digipak) – 7 tracks – 55:51
Cover photography: Joséphine Michel
Art Direction: Jon Wozencroft
Mastered by Denis Blackham

Track listing:

1. Magnetia
2. Magnetotactic
3. Magnetosphere
4. Magnetosense
5. Magnetism
6. Magnetosome
7. Elvis’s TV Room

Mika Vainio, currently based in Berlin, was one half of the minimal electronic duo Pan Sonic from Finland, (with Ilpo Väisänen). Before starting Pan Sonic in the beginning of the 90’s, Mika Vainio has played electronics and drums as part of the early Finnish industrial and noise scene. His solo works, under his own name and under aliases like Ø, are known for their analogue warmth and electronic harshness. Be it abstract drone works or minimal avant techno, Vainio is always creating unique, physical sounds. He has released on other labels such as Editions Mego, Wavetrap and Sähkö and he has produced work with, amongst others, Alan Vega of Suicide, Keiji Haino, and Bruce Gilbert. Since 2009 Mika Vainio has contributed to the music for Cindy van Acker’s dance pieces…

This is his 5th album for Touch, after Onko [Touch # TO:34, 1998], Kajo TO:43, 2000], Sokeiden Maassa Yksisilmäinen on Kuningas (In the Land of the Blind One-Eyed Is King) [TO:54, 2004] and Black Telephone of Matter [Touch # TO:72, 2009].

“Fe3O4 – Magnetite” was recorded in Berlin between 2011 and 2012. In contrast to the dark vistas of his most recent releases, “Fe3O4 – Magnetite” oscillates between the two poles of silence and noise. Using his signature sources which range from radio signals to sine wave generators, Mika Vainio creates a unique emotional journey that moves from the serene to the unsettling, always challenging the listener’s comfort zone.

Buy Mika Vainio “FE3O4 Magnetite” [CD] in the TouchShop

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TO:83V – Oren Ambarchi “Audience of One”

DLP – 5 tracks – Limited edition of 1000
Artwork & photography: Jon Wozencroft
Cut by Jason at Transition
Originally mastered by Francois Tetaz at Moose, Melbourne

Track listing:

A: Salt
B: Knots pt. 1
C: Knots pt. 2
D1: Passage
D2: Fractured Mirror

[Knots has been edited by the artist for vinyl into two parts]

On “Audience of One”, Oren Ambarchi presents a four-part suite which moves from throbbing minimalism to expansive song-craft to ecstatic free-rock. His previous solo albums for Touch exhibited a clear progression towards augmenting and embellishing his signature bass-heavy guitar tones with fragile acoustic instrumentation. Audience of One, while also existing in clear continuity with these recordings, opens the next chapter.
Remarkable in its confidence and breadth, but also in the sensuous immediacy of its details, this is the first time a single record has come close to encapsulating Ambarchi’s musical personality in its full range and singularity. The techniques and strategies developed in his refined improvisational work with Keith Rowe and his explorations of the outer limits of rock with Sunn O))) and Keiji Haino are both in evidence, alongside the meticulous attention to detail and composition of his solo works. And on the cover of Ace Frehley’s ‘Fractured Mirror’ which closes the record, Ambarchi even points to his roots as a classic rock fanatic, in an epic yet faithful version which extends the shimmering guitar patters of the original into a rich field of phase patters reminiscent of the classic American minimalism of Reich and Riley.

The album features a multitude of collaborators, who, far from appearing in incidental roles, are integral to the pieces on which they perform: on ‘Salt’, Ambarchi paints a hypnotic, chiming backdrop for Paul Duncan’s (Warm Ghost) vocals, and Joe Talia’s virtuoso drumming and driving cymbals are at the core of the epic ‘Knots’, in which Ambarchi, alongside a chamber arrangement by Eyvind Kang, weaves a net of frequencies and textures with the organic push and pull of a 70s psych jam, the bass response of a doom metal ritual and the psycho-acoustic precision of an Alvin Lucier composition.

On his previous records, Ambarchi’s signature guitar tone was the ever-present bedrock over which other elements sounded. At moments on Audience of One, this disappears entirely, as on the beautiful ‘Passage’, which, recalling the 70’s Italian non-academic minimalism of Roberto Cacciapaglia and Giusto Pio, is composed of overlapping tones from Hammond organ and wine glasses, Jessika Kenney’s voice, various acoustic instruments, and the delicate amplified textures of Canadian sound-artist Crys Cole.

Rather than being provided by any particular sound, the unified feel of Audience to One stems simply from the unique, patient sensibility Ambarchi has developed over the last twenty years; abstracting musical forms into their barest forms, while somehow always managing to leave their emotive power intact. [Francis Plagne]

Buy Oren Ambarchi “Audience of One” [DLP] in the TouchShop

also available:

Buy Oren Ambarchi “Audience of One” [CD] in the TouchShop
Buy Oren Ambarchi “Audience of One” [FLAC] in the TouchShop
Buy Oren Ambarchi “Audience of One” [Apple Lossless] in the TouchShop

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