Monthly Archives: September 2013

TO:91 – Phill Niblock “Touch Five”

2xCD Album – Jewel Case – 5 tracks

Track list:

CD One
1. FeedCorn Ear (featuring Arne Deforce) – [you can hear an extract here]
2. A Cage of Stars (featuring Rhodri Davies)

CD Two
1. Two Lips (featuring Zwerm Guitar Quartet)
2. Two Lips (featuring Dither Guitar Quartet)
3. Two Lips (featuring Coh Da Quitar Quartet)

In October 2013 Phill Niblock will be 80…

Phill Niblock writes:

“These CDs include pieces made in two different ways. Traditionally (since 1968), I recorded tones played by an instrument (by an instrumentalist), arranging these single tones into mutli-layered settings, making thick textured drones, with many microtones. In the early days, I prescribed the microtones, tuning the instrumentalist, when I was using audio tape. Later, I used the software ProTools, and made the microtones as I made the pieces. FeedCorn Ear and A Cage of Stars were made this way. In 1998, Petr Kotik asked me to make a piece for orchestra, so, I began to make scores for the musicians to play from. The form of that piece, and the subsequent six scored works, were patterned after a piece in 1992-94, where the musicians were tuned by hearing tones played from a tape through headphones. These are the instructions for the scored piece on the second CD, Two Lips. The score was prepared by Bob Gilmore, from specific directions by me. TWO LIPS, aka Nameless, is conceived as two scores, A and B, to be played simultaneously, lasting 23 minutes. Each score consists of ten instrumental parts. The twenty separate parts should be distributed randomly amongst the musicians of the ensemble; the ‘A group’ and the ‘B group’ are not separated spatially.”

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TO:92 – Burkhard Stangl “Unfinished. For William Turner, painter.”

CD Album – Jewel Case – 3 tracks
Design & photography by Jon Wozencroft
Premastering by Christian Fennesz
Mastering by Denis Blackham @ Skye

1. part 1 – Unfinished – mellow 33:39
part 2 – Unfinished – waiting
part 3 – Unfinished – longing
2. Unfinished – sailing 16:44
3. Unfinished – ending 2:55

“The sun is God” (The last words of painter, JMW Turner)

“Which side of the picture should be hung uppermost? – 2003, London: the first time I visited Tate Britain, Tate Gallery, and the first time I saw and really experienced the paintings of JMW Turner (1775-1851). Overwhelmed, especially by his late and unfinished works I was stunned by the power of the stillness of his work. 25 years before that something similar; me, as a young man in Madrid; Prado, Goya paintings and etchings – for me an initiation which opened up the door to earlier art and its pioneers. Like Goya one generation before him, Turner is one of those artists whose language was becoming radicalized in the high age. (In the field of music he is the contemporary of Beethoven.) His later paintings transcend light, full of poetic imagination, exquisite liquid calm. Free pure painting – nothing as light, air and water. When I left the exhibition, it was clear to me that this visit was the starting point for my musical approach to his paintings. Over the years, it was a pleasent challenge to get closer and closer to the painter’s complex simplicity, transforming the enigmatic atmospheres of his late and unfinshed works into personal tempting musical soundscapes.” Burkhard Stangl, September 2013

Track notes:

#1 recorded live by Norbert Benesch at Porgy and Bess, Vienna, 4th January 2013
#2 recorded by Fennesz at Amann Studios, Vienna, 5th March 2013. First take, no edits, no cuts.
#3 recorded live by Philip Leitner, at Garnison7, Vienna, 18th June 2010
Burkhard Stangl: electric guitar and tapes (electronics and field recordings). Unfinished 1 (mellow) is based on Stangl’s composition for three zithers Mellow (My Feldman), dedicated to and played by Trio Greifer.

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TO:88V – Mika Vainio & Joachim Nordwall “Monstrance”

Limited edition 2x45rpm vinyl version
Cut by Jason at Transition
Sticker design & photography: Jon Wozencroft

Track list:

1. Alloy Ceremony 11.02
2. Live at the Chrome Cathedral 07.06
3. Midas in Reverse 05.32
4. Irkutsk 03.54
5. Praseodymium 08.32
6. Promethium 05.31
7. In Sheltering Sanctus of Minerals 09.05

Mika Vainio – Electric Guitar, Processing, Metallic Percussion.
Joachim Nordwall – Electronics, Electric Bass Guitar, Metal Objects, Hammond Organ, Vibraphone.

Recorded in Berlin at Studio Schwedenstrasse one day in June 2010. Recording Engineer: Marco Paschke. Mixed and Mastered by Daniel Karlsson in Stockholm at Elektronmusikstudion.

Mika Vainio was a member of the legendary minimal electronic duo Pan Sonic. Emerging from the Finnish industrial and rave music scene in the early 90’s, they became one of the most important electronic music acts. Vainio’s solo works goes from abstract drone to minimal and experimental techno, under his own name or as Ø for labels like Touch, Raster Noton, Sähkö and Editions Mego. He has worked with Alan Vega, Keiji Haino and many others. His music is always extremely physical and present. Mika Vainio lives and works in Berlin.

Joachim Nordwall runs the iDEAL Recordings label since 1998, releasing intense electronic music of various kinds and organizing club nights and festivals around the globe. He started making electronic music as a teenager in the late 80’s in the psychedelic drone duo Alvars Orkester (Ash International), drifted off to sweaty avant garde punk rock with Kid Commando in the late 90s and formed the ritual rock and electronic drone group The Skull Defekts in 2005. He is also recording solo works under his own name and works with Mats Gustafsson, The Gagmen (with Aaron Dilloway and Nate Young), Mark Wastell and The Sons of God. Nordwall is based in Stockholm.

“Monstrance” is their first album together and is released June 2013 and consist of drone works and pulsating electronic minimalism but also guitar, acoustic elements, organs and metal percussion. It was recorded in Einstürzende Neubauten’s Berlin studio during an intense session in early summer of 2010. “Monstrance” is a place where Vainio’s and Nordwall’s backgrounds as musicians and composers meet, and something new and extremely powerful is born. Something deep, raw and direct…

Brainwashed wrote: “Monstrance is an intense, rumbling piece of jagged metal that, even in its lighter moments is unsettling and uncomfortable. But despite its iron trappings and serrated surges of noise, it is indisputably organic, a sensibility that is rarely associated with Vainio’s output. It comes across as natural though, and results in this bleak, moody recording that excels in its darkness.”

Buy Mika Vainio & Joachim Nordwall “Monstrance” [2 x 45rpm Vinyl + MP3 download] in the TouchShop

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Anthology Film Archives | A Tour of Phill Niblock’s Film Works

Phill Niblock’s 80th birthday is to be celebrated at the end of September with screenings of his film works at New York’s Anthology Film Archives. Details of his upcoming Touch release to follow soon…

28th September – 30th September 2013, Anthology Film Archives, NY

It is mindboggling that a man with the tireless energy and ceaseless touring schedule of Phill Niblock is about to turn 80. An internationally recognized artist with a wide body of music, film, photography, video, and computer works, Niblock has specialized in making intermedia performance since the mid-1960s. As a composer, he creates thick clouds of drones that are filled with surprisingly active microtones and timbres that generate many other tones in the performance space. During concerts of his music, Niblock simultaneously presents films/videos focused on the movement of people working, or computer-driven black-and-white abstract images floating through time. While Niblock is best known today as a minimalist composer, he actually started his artistic practice with film (and photography) – in fact, his first compositions were created to accompany his films.

Born in Indiana in 1933, he has been an artist/member of the vital Experimental Intermedia Foundation in New York since 1968, and its Director since 1985. Over the years he has produced more than 1,000 performances at the EI loft in Soho, acted as curator of the innovative XI Records label, and launched a second EI space in Ghent, Belgium. Recordings of his music are available on the XI, Moikai, Mode, and Touch labels, and DVDs containing his films and music have been released on the Extreme and Die Schachtel labels.

This program provides a glimpse into the broad range of Niblock’s cinematic explorations, from rarely-presented early works to a selection of films from his well-known “Movement of People Working” series, which he usually shows at his concerts.
This 80th birthday tribute has been curated by Katherine Liberovskaya.

Screening details can be read at

Simon Turner’s Aunt Pip’s Fudge

1lb butter
1lb white sugar
1lb dark brown sugar
1 tin condensed milk
6oz dark chocolate
2 tablespoons golden syrup

Melt butter, sugar etc. Put syrup in last. Boil till it leaves back of spoon. (238-240 degrees).
Pour into tray rubbed with butter. Cut into blocks as it cools.

Sometimes it doesn’t work. Try not to stir too much when heating, but if you don’t stir it enough you’ll get burnt bits on the bottom of the pan. Trial & error.

The more you stir, the grittier the fudge will be.

Bjorn Ekstrom’s Potato and Leek Soup

5-6 potatoes
1 leek
2 big yellow onions
1 cube of vegetable boullion
2 dl or 7 oz of cream
white pepper
olive oil
7 dl or 24 oz of water

Peel and chop the potato and the onion.
Fry the potato and the onion in a pot with oil.
Split and rinse the leek. Chop it into small pieces.
Fry the leek together with the potato and the onion.
Pour water into the pot, add the boullion and let it boil.
When the soup is boiling, pour the cream into the pot and let the soup cook until the potato gets soft.

Add salt and pepper.

Serve with brown bread and milk.

In St Cuthbert’s Time | BBC Radio 4 “Saturday Live”

BBC Radio 4’s “Saturday Live” this morning featured a package by John McCarthy, who travelled to Durham to see the Lindisfarne Gospels, on loan from the British Library for 3 months and on display as the centre piece of a major exhibition at Durham University’s Palace Green Library.

Chris Watson is featured in the piece, discussing his part in this project, which resulted in his latest CD, “In St Cuthbert’s Time”.

Listen again on the BBC iPlayer – the section featuring Chris commences 32m56s into the broadcast.

Diluvial | Beaconsfield, London 13th September 2013

Celebrating the launch of the album (CD, Touch # TO:87)
Bruce Gilbert and BAW – “Diluvial”

6pm 13 September 2013,
Beaconsfield, 22 Newport Street, London SE11 6AY

As the rain returns to London, join us for the launch of a collaboration between Bruce Gilbert, David Crawforth and Naomi Siderfin.

According to this initial review from the Pinkflag site: “I purchased it from Touch as I like physical product, but also enjoyed being able to immediately download it. Remarkably different from what I was expecting. Not so harsh with considerable environmental field recordings thrown into the mix. While no rhythms are present, it is musical and sounds like what it is supposed to be: an allusion to the seven days of creation… a concept album. On my second listen and am finding it be perhaps Gilbert’s most intelligent release ever. Remarkable, full, long (9-13 minute) soundscapes and nothing like any of his previous works. It is a collaboration and I gather the field recording aspects of it are attributable to BAW (Beaconsfield ArtWorks) while Gilbert scored it. In that regard, it reminds me of his soundtrack work for Downriver, only better. In fact this is so good, it is probably his best work to date. I really like the logic of it… each immense track evolves into the next (although there are distinct track separations). Quoting from the liner notes: “Taking rising sea levels as its them, Diluvial imagines the world before, during and after the next great flood, referring to an ancient, ex nihilo interpretation of global warming.” [specotron]