CD – 22 tracks
1. Unknown Artist Please Leave A Message (0:13)
2. Polyphony Group Of Lapharda Legenda E Tanës (3:53)
3. Unknown Artist Air Traffic Control (0:37)
4. Cold Warrior Yellow Square (7:02)
5. The Hafler Trio Replacement (1:27)
6. Philip Jeck Nelson Surfs (6:28)
7. Unknown Artist Runaway Train (3:39)
8. Unknown Artist The Education System (0:06)
9. New Order Video 586 (6:57)
10. Igusti Ngurah Togog & His Son Genggong Frog Sound (1:35)
11. Mark Van Hoen Channel Of Light (5:30)
12. Ryoji Ikeda Headphonics 0/0 (3:11)
13. Mother Tongue The Voice And The Ear (2:08)
14. Scala Hold Me Down (3:51)
15. John Duncan Priority (2:52)
16. Disinformation Loran-C VLF (4:17)
17. Unknown Artist Couldn’t This Lengthy Therapy… ? (0:05)
18. Anthony Phillips Danza Cuccaracha (5:44)
19. Chris Watson Guanacaste (2:13)
20. Chris Watson The Musiara Gate (1:55)
21. Folk Orchestra Of Albania Dite E Zeze Ish Kone E Honja (2:54)
22. Daren Seymour & Mark Van Hoen Omnipotent (6:45)
The second volume of the TOUCH sampler comes from back 1997. Here, the collection of songs is often broken up by small speech samples which were used as breaks. ( answering machine messages, air traffic conversations etc., the most interesting one is titled “Runaway Train” which’s a black box recording of a runaway train ) Also a little catalogue of TOUCH & ASH Int. (R.I.P.) is printed on the 2 pages of the CD booklet. The featured artists of this volume are: Polyphony Group Of Lapharda > Cold Warrior: warm rhythmic collages by the ambient electro project of Richard H. Kirk, from the album “Step Write Run” , one of the Alphaphone series’ releases. The Hafler Trio: A short monologue for the answering machine. Philip Jeck: looped sparkles of a minimal synth melody hovering on the disquieting layer of reverberated noisy percussions. The freewing waves of music wash your ears as barren routin sounds, but evokes an audio-fanfare in your mind. New Order: The missing middle section of the 23 minutes song of this well-known band. Recorded in 1982 in Manchester. Igusti Ngurah Togog & His Son: A little piece performed with the eccentric instrument “Genggong”, whose sound is reminding the typical frog sound. Mark Van Hoen: ambiance of highly resonant synths and steady beats. Rjoyi Ikeda: Structurally amalgamated extreme frequencies, sounds and holes on the layer of plus and minus infinites. As TOUCH says “an exploration at the edge of one’s perception” … or beyond minimalism . From the previous album of the Japanese artist. Mother Tongue > Scala : a nice echoed female voice; cold , throbbing percussions, and an experiment on the reverberativity, recoilles and decadence of sound. Brilliant sound, brilliant track… John Duncan > Disinformation: both tracks are manipulations and convertions of S/L wave radio frequencies. Antony Philips: an emotional etude on classic guitar. Chris Watson: contributes 2 tracks of beautiful natural ambiance, recorded in Costa Rica and Kenya. Folk Orchestra Of Albania: Again a traditional tune of Albania. Daren Seymour & Mark Van Hoen: elegant and melodious ambiance mixed with natural sound samples. Later begins to vapour a sorrowful air by the joining of the whispering vocals.. [ O.S.]
“CONCEPT: All-out bid to out-eclecticise the rest of electronica by letting everyone – and we mean everyone – from New Order to the Folk Orchestra of Albania join the 22-track sonic shindig. Oh, and a black box recording from a runaway train for some reason.
HIGHPOINT: The runaway train of course, at least it is if your appetite for the macabre matches ours.
SPOTTER’S CHOICE: Lo-fi New Order oddity “Video 5863″ – half Blue Monday, half mean experimental funking.
GOOD/BAD TRACK RATING: 17/5 – and even the baddies are, at least, a laugh.” [Ben Wilmot]
Melody Maker (UK):
“FROM the detritus of the Touch catalogue, then, all manner of esoterica: “Sampler” collates public domain recordings, unusual electronica and shortwave radio manipulation. And, actually, I prefer hearing much of the compilation’s material in this bite-sized context – much of it is too demanding (of patience, of time) in its original full-length form. Highlights: New Order’s “Video 586”, originally recorded for the opening of the Hacienda and a precurser to “Blue Monday”; Seefeel splinter-projects, Scala and Daren Seymour/Mark Van Hoen; Anthony Phillips’ Vini Reilly-esque “Danza Cuccaracha”; and the inner sleeve, an incredible photograph of the sky over London, on the 23/10/96. Worth Investigation.” [David Hemingway]
“CONCEPT: The top sonic explorationist imprint unearths a whole host of treats for all sinewave trainspotters and ambient envelope-pushers.
KEY PLAYERS: Lost New Order (yes, that New Order!) recording from 1982, “Video 586”. And who could possibly live without The Folk Orchestra of Albania, The Polyphony Group Of Lapharda or the on-board tapes from the control booth of a runaway train?
USEFUL SUBS: Myriad other forms of pure strangeness, including the bizarre sound experiments with interference and feedback, and original recordings from all around the globe.
VIEW FROM THE TOUCHLINE: See it, feel it, Touch it. [CB] 8/10″
TOP Magazine (UK):
“Albanian folk music, fragments of speech, ANTHONY PHILLIPS plucking his trusty acoustic, Balinese “frog music” and a long-lost experiment by NEW ORDER are just some of the highlights of this months star CD, Sampler (Touch, distributed by Semaphore/ Pinnacle)*****. This eclectic disc also takes in the ascetic HAFLER TRIO, sparse electronics from COLD WARRIOR (aka RICHARD H. KIRK), and a 1948 recording of railway controllers in New Brunswick, Canada, trying to prevent a runaway train from causing a catastrophe. Many buyers will of course want the disc for the New Order track ‘Video 586/3’, a previously unreleased “missing segment” of an avant-garde piece written in 1981 on an Apple ll computer. It gives an intriguing hint of the direction the group might have taken.” [Kevin Whitlock]
“Starts with an astounding track by the Polyphony Group of Lapharda (Albania) taken from an as yet unreleased CD titled ‘Where The Avalanche Stops’ (hurry up !). The there is a track by Richard H.Kirk from the recent Touch release Alphaphone Vol.1 Step.Write.Run. This is followed by unconvincing self-indulgent twaddle by Andy MacKenzie. Layers of loops are gradually dropped out by Philip Jeck in ‘Nelson Surfs’ – good track this ! Then there’s just under four minutes of The Runaway Train (in my opinion, one of the best etc, etc on Ash International/Touch). Something with historic value, perhaps, by New Order…all bleeding 7’00 of it (hurry up!). Then, a wonderful recording of two men imitating frogs of the Balinese gonggong, an oral device. Mark Van Hoen rasps up against oddness on his way through a dropchord Channel Of Light and then there’s an item from Ryoji Ikeda’s recent Headphonics CD (the first 15 or 20 minutes of which are more than effective at inducing strange hysteria). Stereo madness from Scala off their vinyl-now-CD (which I’m going to listen to again…under headphones, dammit!). The something off the wonderful R & D CD by Disinformation, aka Joe Banks, champion surfer in the extreme sea of radio waves (of waves of waves of waves etc) crashing down on the sandy beaches of FAR. An excellent insertion regarding lengthy therapy is follwed by Anthony Phillips in a plucky mood, who slowly twirls his way through a ‘Danza Cuccaracha’. Chris Watson, now a ‘legendary’ (!) sound recordist, has documented two very weird places. The first is surely one of the best vocals by a beast ever. And some of the second something is going to live in my sampler for a while. What sounds like Nusrat’s back-up is really more Albanians ululating. From penultimate to ‘Omnipotent’ – the title of the last track on this CD, which is by Mark Van Locust and Daren Seefeel circa Aurobindo (one of the best etc, etc on Ash International/ Touch) An unusually buoyant track and far too cheerful to have been included on the original full length release. Makes for a happy ending here tho’!” [MP]
MIGUEL SANTOS writes:
“Touch Sampler”, como o nome indicia, é uma compilaçao de apresentaçao do catálogo da editora inglesa Touch (responsável por ediçoes de, entre outros, The Hafler Trio e Sandoz). Editora caracterizada pelas suas preferências experimentalistas, nao é propriamente uma surpresa o facto de nao estarmos perante uma vulgar compilaçao. Por um lado, a editora nao se limita a escolher uma meiadúzia de faixas de maior apelo comercial e, por outro lado, metade das faixas sao inéditas. Ainda a contribuir para a mais-valia deste trabalho encontram-se a continuidade sonora (nao há espaços em branco a separar os temas) e a excentricidade estética no seu todo, onde se pode destacar o esboço para “Blue Monday”, dos New Order(em “Video 5863”), o folclore xamanista do Polyphony Group of Lacerda (Albânia), o minuto e meio de conversa para atendedor de chamadas dos HaflerTrio, a pop ambiental de Daren Seymour (dos Seefeel) e Mark Van Hoen(dos Locust) ou a gravaçao de Igusti Ngurah Togog & Son, onde estes interpretam o som de ras com uma folha de palmeira (o genggong balinês). Ao todo, sao 75 minutos de ecletismo sonoro-musical, onde o factor surpresa está sempre presente. Epistemologicamente, antifonia tem dois significados: a) o canto antifonário de uma composiçaomusical por dois coros; b) qualquer efeito musical ou sonoro que responde ou ecoa a outro. O termo inclui o conceito de espaço e a relaçao pergunta-resposta. Neste duplo CD (126 minutos, carteira de plástico com postais ilustrados) editado pela Ash International (uma editora-irma da Touch), “Antiphony” surge como um conjunto de interpretaçoes e remisturas de gravaçoes psicoacústicas realizadas pelo projecto hertziano de Joe Banks, Disinformation. Dado o mote, refiram-se alguns dos nomes aqui envolvidos: Bruce Gilbert (Wire), Chris Carter e Cosey Fanni Tutti (Throbbing Gristle), Mark Van Hoen (Locust), S.E.T.I., Zbigniew Karkowski (The Hafler Trio) e John Duncan, entre outros. Apesar da revista norte-americana Wired ter descrito este projecto como “música ambiental para verdadeiros homens” e da MTV lhe chamar “heavy metal para o século XXII”, parece-me ser mais descritivo algo como frequências alternativas, ora em estado de frenética excitaçao ora em estado de revigorante repouso, ou modulaçoes de pressoes atmosféricas que exploram as fronteiras entre arte e ciência. Esoterismo sonoro, onde a instrumentaçao utilizada é tao importante quanto o próprio músico, na verdade, o que aqui se ouve deve ser preferencial mente encarado como “gravaçoes” do que propriamente como “peças musicais”. O seu propósito é mais informativo que de entretenimento, onde o ruído, nos seus múltiplos significados, nao é encarado como um virus a eliminar mas antes como motivo sonoro exótico a explorar. Se “Antiphony” pode ser ouvido como um disco ambiental, entao o conceito de ambiente nao deve ser lido como um transmissor de informaçao passivo mas, ainda mais que activo, interactivo.
Magic Feet (UK):
Much like David Toop’s ‘Ocean of Sound’, this second Touch sampler stalks many unexpected and unexplored avenues for its pan-global take on what we’re listening to as the twentieth century wheezes to an asthmatic close. Thus alongside trax from New Order (a portion of a 23 minute track written for the opening of the Hacienda in 1982), Richard H. Kirk (as Cold Warrior) and Mark Van Hoen you get the Polyphony Group of Lapharda or Igusti Hgurah and his son from Bali, producing the ‘Gengong Frog Sound’, the Folk Orchestra of Albania or a recording from Canada involving the effrts to stop a runaway train. Such breadth of vision and inclusive tendencies can only be applauded – long may labels such as Touch continue to buck the reductivist nature of the music industry where homogeneity is prized above all, and the dollar sign is the loudest thing you’re likely to hear… [Cal Gibson]
” Yet another superlative compilation from the Touch stable. Biggest suprise this time out is the unreleased New Order track, Video 586, recorded in 1982 as part of a 23 minute piece for the opening of the Hacienda in Manchester. As the inlay points out, it was a dry run blueprint for Blue Monday and this is evident from the first few seconds. Many of my personal favourites are featured on this disc which makes it an absolute joy; witness Scala’s godlike Hold Me Down, Mark Van Hoen’s hybrid hard ambience, Ryoji Ikeda’s always precise minimalism, John Duncan’s short wave transmissions, Chris Watson’s startling field recordings and a previously unreleased Aurobindo track from Van Hoen and Seefeel’s Daren Seymour. Touch have scored big time with this release, one of the strongest compilations I’ve come across in the past year.” [LN]
“This thoroughly excellent compilation contains 22 tracks, covering the bulk of styles associated with touch and its Ash International susidiary. Amongst the better known contributors (including the Hafler Trio, John Duncan, Chris Watson and New Order) the latter’s “Video 5863″ is a fascinating early version of the classic ‘Blue Monday’. Other highlights include ‘Channel of Light’ by Locust’s Mark Van Hoen (a fine example of minimal, yet powerful, dance music), Ryoji Ikeda’s subliminal frequencies on ‘Headphonics 0/0’ and ‘Air Traffic Control’, ‘Runaway Train’ and Disinformation’s ‘Loran – C VLF’, all selected from recent Ash International releases. This album is an essential collection of top-notch experimental music from this constantly evolving label.” [AK]
“Intentionally, this sampler is a collection of tracks of the highest efficiency – where the mother wit and creative power are the key words within. Definitely experimental should be a rather proper, yet too narrow rank to group and determine the whole. While the prominent artists as HAFLER TRIO, NEW ORDER, MARK VAN HOEN, RYOJI IKEDA, SCALA (and others as well) are unleashing their musical versions, the listener is being chained for 75 min approximately with omnipresent universal sounds. isn’t this tested on animals?”