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CASTLES IN SPACE

Dohnavùr

The Flow Across Borders

    Ali O’May and Frazer Brown met in early 2018 while performing with their respective bands at an Electronic Music Open Mic (EMOM) gig in Edinburgh. With obvious common interests, further discussions lead a few months later to Ali passing Frazer a USB drive filled with stems recorded directly from Ali’s vast modular system. Across August and September 2019, Frazer used about a dozen of those stems as the foundation for a set of tracks, building them into fully realised pieces across a range of styles from techno, lo-fi, breaks, acid house and ambient. And thus was born the Dohnavúr method - Ali coaxing the raw materials from his modular set up and Frazer working them up instinctively with his encyclopedic knowledge of electronic music into tracks for which the feel, genre and direction is inspired by Ali’s foundational building blocks. It’s a fascinating and unique way of working, but the results are staggeringly good.

    Taking their name from the the Bridge of Weir family home in which Ali grew up, fifteen miles West of Glasgow, the newly christened Dohnavùr released this first batch of collaborative tracks on their debut album, “You Can and You Shall”. A joyously diverse set, filled with innovation and promise of the great things to come.

    Just two weeks after “You Can and You Shall” was released in March 2019, the pandemic brought the world to a screeching halt, placing any opportunities to promote the album with live appearances on hold indefinitely. Ever resourceful, Ali and Fra started looking around for allies and likeminded musicians and labels on Twitter. Enter Castles in Space, who had sent out the call for submissions for “The Isolation Tapes” a release requesting submissions recorded in lockdown and released in support of the Cavell Nurses Trust. Dohnavùr submitted a long, paranoid, snarling mood piece called “Surmonter” (French for ‘Overcome’) which confused and delighted “The Isolation Tapes” compiler Colin Morrison in equal measure. The track was given pride of place as the opening track in the downloads section of the album (which went on to be awarded “Compilation Of The Year” in the Electronic Sounds 2020 awards).

    The link with Castles in Space firmly established, Morrison snapped up the subsequent “Pristine Environments” EP, created with further stems from the by now legendary USB drive, for a vinyl release for the 500 subscribers of the Castles in Space Subscription Library service, where it has been greeted with huge enthusiasm by the loyal and engaged Library members.

    This brings us up to date and we are now hugely excited to announce the release of the new Dohnavùr album “The Flow Across Borders” supported by a leading 12” single of album opener “New Objectivity” expanded and remixed by electronic music legends, The Orb.

    “The Flow Across Borders” continues and expands the “Dohnavùr Method” now based upon a whole new set of creations from Ali and shaped into an extraordinarily diverse and thrilling collection by Frazer in his Armadale studio. The approach of following the direction suggested by Ali’s modular stems makes for a kinetic and high-voltage collection unshackled from genre boundaries, but with all tracks united by the duo’s shared sense of purpose. It’s a provocative and direct album which ranges from halcyon ambience to floor shaking techno. One can hear the clockwork precision of Plone in “The Kindness of Others” and the clean meticulousness of peak period Orbital in “Sunk”. A centrepiece of the record is the chilling spoken word social commentary mood piece, “Phlá Doiléir” (Scottish Gaelic for “The Vage Plague”). This is followed by the Eno-esque majesty of album closer “Pass remarkable”. It’s all here to be enjoyed.


    TRACK LISTING

    1. New Objectivity
    2. Sestriere
    3. The Kindness Of Others
    4. Sunk
    5. Blue Stripe
    6. Phlá Doiléir
    7. Twenty There
    8. Pwll Du
    9. Five To Return
    10. Pass Remarkable

    Hattie Cooke

    Bliss Land

      “It's about the in-between moments.” - Hattie Cooke “Bliss Land” is the new LP from Brighton born artist Hattie Cooke. Her third album and debut release for Castles In Space opens up her sound by managing to find a balance between the introspective and the communal. It is an album that looks forward whilst acknowledging the creators past creating a work full of a nostalgia that also feels vitally current. Initially conceived as a soundtrack album, during its creation, “Bliss Land” morphed into a beautiful set of personal songs born out of anticipation, excitement and anxiety.

      Speaking about the themes of the albums, Hattie says: "It wasn’t until the album was finished that I realised what it was about. I had recently graduated from university and people were beginning to take more notice of my music. I was excited about the possibilities of the future, but at the same time the immediate future had been put on hold due to the pandemic, so I was frustrated and anxious. And then whenever I think about the future, I can’t help but think about the past and where I’ve come from and what I’ve been through to get to that point. So in some ways it’s a reflective record and in other ways it’s a record full of anticipation. “One Foot Out The Door” is a track that really resonates with me - it’s about that liminal space between the past and the future when you’re on the threshold of something. I think that’s what the album is about, it’s about the in-between moments. "I grew up on a small council estate on the outskirts of Brighton in a house that was full of music. Both my parents played guitar and my dad also bought and sold records for a living. I taught myself the guitar when I was twelve and made plenty of music throughout my teens. At 17, I won a scholarship to study at the British Institute Of Modern Music and continued writing and playing local shows. I also started to learn how to record and produce my own music on GarageBand as a necessary alternative to going into an expensive recording studio. GarageBand has some fantastic synth and electronic drum sounds and that’s when I became more interested in electronic music and music production. In 2015, Third Kind Records approached me after hearing my songs on a homemade demo CD that a friend had passed on. We released my debut album in 2016 and I’ve been making and releasing music ever since.”

      Hattie writes, records and produces all her own albums, however she is keen to express how others have helped shaped parts of Bliss Land: “The record isn’t a completely solo effort, I had people along the way to help shape this album into what it became, although I had complete artistic freedom to let the album grow into what it wanted to be. I had invaluable help from Dom Keen who helped me mix the album. We spent a good number of nights in his studio drinking gin and trying to get everything just right. He did things to the music that I would never have even considered doing. I had no idea what compression really was until the making of this record, which probably sounds mad considering I’ve produced three records but when you’re self-taught you can miss out learning about so much! Antony Ryan’s mastering added a whole new dimension to the record as well.”

      “Bliss Land” is an album soaked in the outer edges of pop music making it a cohesive and beautiful album full of dense textures held together by Hattie's unique voice. It’s an album that will undoubtedly chime with a cross section of audiences. So where does Hattie see her music in the landscape of the current UK electronic scene? "There’s a lot of instrumental/soundtrack music coming out of the scene, a lot of synthwave music which seems to be a real throwback to the 70s and early 80s. I think that’s because so much of the music coming out of the scene is made by those who grew up during those decades. So I think I’m a bit of an outlier when it comes to the UK electronic scene for two reasons. Firstly, I’m at the lower end of the age range and secondly, I’m a woman in an extremely male dominated scene. “Bliss Land” is intentionally quite poppy, which seems to be less in fashion at the moment whereas my other instrumental stuff is more inspired by classical music than by IDM or ambient music, so I think I’m coming at writing and producing from a slightly different angle. However, I still definitely feel part of the scene. There’s a particularly strong sense of community within the UK electronic scene on Twitter and I’ve been nothing but welcomed and supported by the artists, fans and labels. It’s like being part of a strange and wonderful family.”

      You’ve made a video for the track “Youth” with Chris Standley from Rogue Robot which is both funny and shot through with real melancholy. “Youth" is about reflecting on the past. I turned thirty this year and sometimes (more than I'd like to admit) I worry that I've gotten more boring as I've gotten older. I was pretty wild and unhinged when I was younger and sometimes I miss those mad nights out where it felt like absolutely anything could happen - although saying that I just don't have the energy to stay up for three days or the stomach to cope with the hangovers anymore. Still, there are days when I miss the way that everything feels new and exciting when you're in your late teens/early twenties - everything is more intense when you're younger and the world around you seems bright and buzzing with life. I've been thinking about it a lot this past year. I've not had much to do for the last twelve months besides walk around on my own and reflect on the past, since the future has basically been put on indefinite hold, so that has almost certainly fed into some of the lyrics and maybe even the feel of the music.”

      The album is already garnering a lot of attention and praise. What’s next for Hattie after the album is released? "Who knows what’s next! I have plans to tour the album when the world opens up again. I’d also love to have the chance to score a film or to work with some other artists doing guest vocals or some remixes. And I’d like to get back to doing some music-related charity work again as my family were supported by a number of charities when I was growing up and think it’s important to give back when you can."

      TRACK LISTING

      Side A
      1. I Get By
      2. Mistaken
      3. Cars
      4. One Foot Out The Door
      5. Youth

      Side B
      6. Don’t Wanna Talk
      7. Invisible Lines
      8. Fantasies
      9. Lovers Game
      10. Summer Time

      Dinked Edition Bonus 7”
      1. One Foot Out The Door (Acoustic Version)
      2. Above My Bed

      Dohnavùr

      New Objectivity (The Orb’s Rest And Be Thankful Mix)

        The album’s opening track has been given an enthralling nine and half minute ambient house remix by the godfathers of the scene, The Orb. This leading 12” is released on 7th May and is backed by a staggering Werra Foxma mix of the track by Dohnavùr themselves. The catalogue number for the 12” is CiS080 and it is available as a white vinyl edition.

        Following the release of “The Flow Across Borders”, the Dohnavùr journey continues with a remix album which is ready to be released later in the year. The album features incredible remixes from Richard Norris, Concretism, Warrington/ Runcorn, Kieran Mahon, Letters From Mouse and Pulselovers. Dohnavùr have already returned the favour to Richard Norris (of The Grid/Beyond the Wizard’s Sleeve fame) for the group’s first official remix commission, remixing the track ‘Water’, currently available on Richard’s Group Mind label. A further Dohnavùr remix 12” will be released as part of the upcoming Hattie Cooke album campaign.

        TRACK LISTING

        1. New Objectivity (The Orbs Rest And Be Thankful Mix)
        2. New Objectivity (Werra Foxma Remix)

        Warrington-Runcorn New Town Development Plan

        Interim Report, March 1979

          “Interim Report, March 1997” by Warrington-Runcorn New Town Development Plan is Gordon Chapman Fox’s hymn and homage to the brutalist beauty of Cheshire’s designated new towns of Warrington and Runcorn.

          Chapman-Fox grew up in Lancashire, and having been a frequent user of the famous Preston Bus Station in his youth, he was struck by the enormous chasm between the sixties architects utopian vision for what new towns should be and the sticky-floored, piss-streaked reality. He explains: “The more I looked into it, the appeal of these visionary architects grew. It felt like perhaps the most visionary building projects of all post war Britain were some of the estates built in Warrington and Runcorn new towns, these twin towns on either side of the Mersey. The estates of Runcorn were space-age futurist with external plumbing, rounded windows and raised walkways. But as housing, they were a failure. Runcorn was the last great UK modernist, futurist building project built with a community in mind. “Interim Report, March 1979” looks at this interim, this gap between vision and reality.”

          At the time of recording the album, he says, “It seemed like there were a lot of ersatz-soundtracks to lost John Carpenter films, or obscure giallo “classics”. I preferred to find inspiration from the surreality of the mundane, hence the creation of Warrington Runcorn New Town Development Plan. 1979 seemed the perfect point to be located in time, sitting on the razor’s edge between the post-war consensus and the dawn of Thatcherism. As the concept took hold, I tried to format the music according to the capabilities of a small, provincial recording studio in 1979. I limited the number of instruments available, the number of tracks available and so on. This really helped to shape the album and anchor the concept. As a teenager, I was into rock and looking for ever more extreme sounds - AC/DC gave way to Metallica gave way to Carcass. But by the 90s I heard Warp artists and that was me hooked. What they were doing could be far more brutal than anything by four sweaty long-haired guys with guitars. But it could also be funky, beautiful, ethereal, melodic and so much more.” It’s that ethereality and true sense of time and place that Chapman-Fox has captured so well here. “1979 marked a change in the political and wider culture of British society. The Warrington- Runcorn development marks the swan song of post-war urban planning in the UK – soon the ethos of building better communities would be replaced by Thatcherite “no such thing as society” and “Greed is good” mentality. And look where that got us…“

          TRACK LISTING

          A1: Gateway To The North
          A2: Aeriel Views By Helicopter
          A3: Castlefields
          A4: The Town Of Tomorrow
          B1: Intercity
          B2: Shopping City
          B3: Windmill Hill
          B4: Gateway To The Future

          Everyday Dust

          Black Water

            Everyday Dust is a producer based in Scotland, who uses analogue synthesizers, effects and tape machines to create his own unique narrative-driven music.

            “Black Water” is a deeply immersive electronic album of sonar explorations which celebrate the ongoing search for the creature at large in Loch Ness.

            For this album, Steve Reich and Terry Riley style minimalism echo deep within the realms of ED’s secret subterranean electronic soundworlds. A beautiful and mysterious work which must take pride of place as the best entrant in the the enduring mythology surrounding the Loch Ness Monster for years, bringing the story thrillingly up to date. ED’s mastery of tension and excitement makes for an electrifying ride through the depths of the Black Loch. A glowing shape moves through subterranean caves registering strange readings. The chase through the underwater cathedral…

            Get ready for the sounds of malfunctioning sonar equipment crammed into a claustrophobic submersible. The hunt is on as ED delivers the most convincing proof of the elusive Plesiosaurus since the surgeon’s photograph.

            STAFF COMMENTS

            says: The inimitable Everyday Dust brings us another of his impeccably constructed audio treasures here with a sojourn underwater in search of Nessie. We get rich, textural washes of modular synth and swelling, brittle chords soundtracking the journey. Unsurprisingly essential.

            TRACK LISTING

            1. The Black Loch
            2. Sonar Sweep
            3. Strange Readings
            4. 800ft Down 28ft Visibility
            5. Subterranean Caves
            6. The Glowing Shape
            7. Something In The Murk
            8. Lost Dive
            9. The Underwater Cathedral
            10. The Chase

            Eccentronic Research Council

            The Dreamcatcher Tapes Volumes 1 & 2

            “This is a weird record, for weird times, made by weird people, for weird people!” Says John Doran in his sleeve notes for the album.

            Back in 2015, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the BBC broadcast of Delia Derbyshire & Barry Bermange’s “Inventions For Radio: The Dreams”, The Eccentronic Research Council released their own super-limited edition cassette soundtracking the recalled dreams (and nightmares) of friends, artists, actors, musicians, scientists, poets and filmmakers. The release was called “The Dreamcatcher Tapes Volume 1”. Five years on, and with a large part of the planet under lockdown and with nowhere to go but within their imagination, the ERC put a call out once again to music collaborators, nurses, teachers, truck drivers, writers, journalists and shop workers to upon waking, record their dreams straight into their phones and to then send them to the ERC to soundtrack. And thus, Volume 2 of The Dreamcatcher Tapes was born!

            How did you make the album during lockdown?
            “We got around 26 dreams sent to us via email over the space of a couple of weeks then Dean Honer my partner in The ERC and I revved up the old analogue equipment and would record music and collage sounds to the dreams (remotely) from our home recording studios and bounce them back and forth to each other till they were done. It was a really good way to work actually, sometimes I didn’t even have to put on any trousers!” says ERC/ Moonlandingz founder Adrian Flanagan. Why a second volume of The Dreamcatcher Tapes? “I was really interested to see how the enforced lockdown and the removal of people’s basic needs such as human contact and hanging out in close proximity to friends was affecting the dreams of my friends, peers and those at the very front line of this horrible pandemic”, Adrian continues. “The Important shared experiences for people’s mental health such as going out to gigs, the pub, the cinema etc. ”It was an interesting experiment. Nurses dreaming of inadequate PPE and having to use blow up Elvis costumes to protect themselves. Teachers dreaming of zombies and lots of people dreaming about sex - where the hair of Greek sorceress’s Circe meets bouncy castle breasts and where other dreamers dream of serial killers or seeing dead family members, or taking baby elephants for a walk, or having discos for one in the middle of the ocean and so much more. I’m really proud of this record. It’s psychedelic in its truest most cerebral form”

            Who’s on “The Dreamcatcher Tapes Volumes 1 & 2”? Who are the dreamers?
            “Although our long time collaborator Maxine Peake wasn’t on the very first tape (her dream ended up on LTD edition split 7” ERC single we did with Pye Corner Audio) - she was the first dream that we soundtracked when I came up with the idea of doing the concept record. However, on the new vinyl and tape box set - she opens volume 1. Across the 2 volumes there’s film maker Carol Morley, Andy Votel from Finders Keepers records, John Doran from The Quietus (who also wrote the albums brilliant sleeve notes), acclaimed writers Benjamin Myers & Adelle Stripe, musicians such as Evangeline Ling from the group Audiobooks, Lias Saoudi from my ‘semi fictional band’, The Moonlandingz and fat white family, Sidonie from The Orielles, journalists /writers Wyndham Wallace (he wrote lee Hazelwood’s brilliant biography) and Daniel Dylan Wray amongst a whole array of musician friends, eccentrics and people with actual proper jobs!”

            Why did you chose Castles in Space for this release?
            “Jim Jupp at Ghost Box records suggested them to me so I looked into them and saw they were doing loads of really great strange little bespoke electronic record releases. I think that because this is a very niche limited run release, it required a label that was willing to treat it like a piece of art and not a throwaway mass produced commodity. So making sure the packaging was special, the artwork was bang on point and the sleeve notes were written by a writer we like all were very important to us. “It was also important that we could turn it around from the finished recording to being in people’s hands really quickly as Dean and I have another ten projects between us on the boil - and so far, Castles in Space have been true to their word. It’s an artists label done with love and there’s not many of them about anymore - believe it or not.“

            “The Dreamcatcher Tapes Volumes 1 & 2” is an immense collaborative achievement which makes for a thoroughly compelling, and gloriously disorientating listening experience.

            STAFF COMMENTS

            says: This really is an outlandishly special thing. Bonkers local(ish) favourites Eccentronic Research Council team up with a slew of collaborators and dream-describers including shop customer and all-round acting and spoken-word legend Maxine Peake, and it's all on my current favourite label, Castles In Space. What more do you need to know? This one WILL go quickly.

            TRACK LISTING

            Side 1
            1. Maxine's Dream
            2. Brian's Dream
            3. Carol's Dream
            4. John's Dream
            5. Zavier's Dream
            6. Karen's Dream
            Side 2
            1. Innes' Dream
            2. Tiana's Dream
            3. Denise's Dream
            4. Paul's Dream
            5. Mick's Dream
            Side 3
            1. Evangeline's Dream
            2. Ben's Dream
            3. Lias' Dream
            4. Sidonie's Dream
            5. Adelle's Dream
            6. Pete's Dream
            7. Dan's Dream
            8. Madge's Dream
            Side 4
            1. Cecilia's Dream
            2. Wyndham's Dream
            3. Olivia's Dream
            4. Micky's Dream
            5. Ami's Dream
            6. Andrew's Dream
            7. Sarah's Dream
            8. Lydia's Dream
            9. Dimitri's Dream

            St Leonard’s premier manipulator of drones, loops and echoes delivers his most buzzed out, kosmische and beat driven work to date in a deluxe white vinyl album release for Castles in Space.

            Here, Kieran explains the genesis and production of his masterwork:

            “Eternal Return was unusual for me in that I actually set out to make an album, rather than find myself with a set of tunes that evolved into a project.

            The “Eternal Return” is a concept I have been inspired by before. However it clicked with me in a more profound way recently. Far from seeing the prospect of living life over, unknowingly, on an endless loop as depressing, I suddenly felt amazing comfort in the theory. The Stoic emperor Marcus Aurelius said, “Waste no more time arguing about what a good man should be. Be one.” Far from being trapped in the loop I am elated to feel that it's simply about living the best life you can. One that you wouldn't fear having to live again.

            To place the album in context against this newly realised perception, I think of the Side One as the battle to get to that realisation and enlightenment and Side Two represents the acceptance and the decision on how to proceed. The turning point is from thinking about the things I love most and what I would want to experience over and over again. I hope it is an uplifting listening experience. As it happens, the album originally had a darker ending. I think I actually learned a bit about my point of view during the process. There are drums, which wouldn’t often feature in my music (there are in fact more drums on this LP than in my combined output over the last 8 years) and the pieces are noticeably shorter, more focussed and concise than my usual longer form work.

            Musically this album is probably the least clearly influenced by anything I regularly listened to. The main outcome was wanting to challenge myself and to add whatever the pieces needed and go with that. I think I was also probably pushed on by the wealth of amazing music being made by my peers across Bandcamp and social media. 2020 was an incredible year in this particular sphere of electronic music. The album was made as I started to transition from a semi-modular to a modular synth set up. I think that this was a key driving force, since a lot of the time I didn’t know exactly what I was doing. It is nice to be surprised by what you’re creating.

            Finally, whilst this is in no way a “lockdown album”, the period of time in which much of it was recorded definitely had a bearing on how it sounds. For one thing I spent a lot more time around my studio space when working from home. In keeping with the album's theme, the lockdown also helped consolidate my feelings on what is important in life and what isn’t. One piece was in fact sketched out as a first draft while I sat on mute during a Zoom meeting.

            Time well spent.

            STAFF COMMENTS

            says: A beguiling and richly textured LP, influenced equally by the insistent, playful stomp of Krautrock and the shadowy drones and hypnotic guitar walls of MBV, 'Eternal Return' sees Mahon in fine form. A welcome addition to any collection.

            TRACK LISTING

            A1. Excursion
            A2. There's No Point Running
            A3. Looking Glass
            A4. This Is This
            B1. Our Zack
            B2. Für Immer
            B3. Eternal Return

            "The Vale" was started as the score to an independent Turkish horror film. The original cues were modelled around acoustic recordings that were then transformed through tape processes and effects. Various old metal whistles were slowed right down and passed through a modular synthesizer to become eerie, arcane horn blasts. Voices that sounded like they had come from another time. Melodica bursts were also slowed down and transformed into wheezing harmonium drones. Percussive hits and dissonant string textures were created from recording inside an old piano and processing the sounds into ghostly atmospheres.

            Following major difficulties, the film production was disbanded and it remains uncompleted. However, some time later, Everyday Dust returned to his embryonic soundtrack with a view to completing it as an album.

            Using these initial cues as the foundation for a new narrative, ED started work recording fresh ideas. He explains “I used a Doepfer A100 modular synth to create the animalistic yelps, conches and horns that were improvised over the original cues as a response to the arcane “folk” world of the acoustic instruments. This half-acoustic half-modular landscape was the sonic bed I needed to move onto the composition and musical journey of the album. I composed and developed most of the musical parts on an Oberheim Matrix 6 synthesizer. However all the percussion, rhythmic sequences and ornamental synth sounds were created from improvised modular sessions which were multitrack recorded. A lot of studio time and editing later, the soundtrack to the movie in my mind was finally there. This is The Vale.” 

            STAFF COMMENTS

            says: The unbeatably brilliant Everyday Dust brings his own brand of super-immersive, richly detailed soundtrack work to Castles In Space for the wildly varied but universally astounding 'The Vale'. A triumph of terse gloom and cinematic depth. Wonderful.

            TRACK LISTING

            A1. The Carrion Call So Strange
            A2. Village Folk
            A3. The Watermill
            A4. Forest Deity
            A5. The Ritual
            B1. Pitch Black
            B2. Holy Water
            B3. The Sluggish River
            B4. The Loathly Procession

            Salvatore Mercatante

            The Foundations Of Eternal Sin

              It is with much excitement that we can announce that New York synth maestro, Salvatore Mercatante has joined the Castles in Space family. First coming to our attention via a pair of beautifully authentic Giallo soundtracks, this new work, "The Foundations Of Eternal Sin" is a fully formed darkwave synthesizer LP.
              Minimal, thoughtful and ice cool, yet full of heart and humanity, "...Foundations..." is forged very much from the ongoing tumultuous fabric of our current lived experiences. The eight tracks are numbered as Foundation One through to Foundation Eight.

              Salvatore explains the background and inspiration for the record:

              "The album is about humanity falling from grace and losing the pillars of what makes us human. The "Foundations" listed in each step bring us through that journey, starting with turning our backs on benevolence. Foundations two, five and seven being physical places along the journey that we stop at, the citadel (Foundation Seven) being the final stronghold of human empathy and understanding. It's not about the end of days or the apocalypse, this is an internal struggle. Society will still move forward but with the loss of the human soul. This is something I fear every day - but there is beauty in the fall and a hope that we one day may recover to find what made us human in the first place."

              It's a deep and philosophical ride once again confirming that when done properly, the warmest and most human music is made with machines. Salvatore is a true wizard at the pinnacle of his powers, wringing raw emotion from his base elements.

              Written and recorded in New York between November 2019 - January 2020 using various electronic artefacts and devices (Salvatore is reluctant to specify exactly what gear was used for the construction of the album), the record itself is pressed on ash grey vinyl. The mystical sleeve and insert artwork is by Nick Taylor.

              KL(AÜS)

              Live 2020

                And speaking as we were of electronic music full of heart and humanity, in a last minute addition to the Castles In Space catalog for 2020, "Live 2020" sees Australia's premier exponents of electronic warmth and light captured live in Sydney in January, while the bush fires raged around them.

                Kl(aüs) are Jonathan Elliott and Stewart Lawler. Originally from Tasmania, now living and working in Sydney, the pair have known each other for several decades and formed Kl(aus) in 2013 over a beer and a shared appreciation of Tangerine Dream's 79-85 period. They both have long experience in the music industry – Lawler, formerly a member of Sydney techno-pop outfit Boxcar has spent much of the last ten years touring with Tom Ellard’s Severed Heads. Elliott is a classically trained pianist who played in multiple local bands in the 1990s, touching on numerous genres and styles.

                The set was recorded at the launch party for the universally praised "2" LP and although it can be viewed as an annex to that record, this is all new work, being a fully improvised set which fully demonstrates the telepathy between Jonathan and Stewart - self evident in the effortless complexity and dexterity on show here.

                Many of you will already know about the brilliant, uplifting and authentic sounds of Kl(aüs), and as the sleevenotes from James Thornhill testify:

                "This is Kl(aus) in full flow, human and machine with all that unpredictability tamed into something coherent and beautiful, fun even. This is a vivid, charm-filled document of the brilliance of electronica played rather than programmed."

                As ever, the artwork is designed and executed by Stewart with a nod to the thematic constructs of the previous two records. 

                Following on from last December’s sold out “Scarred For Life Volume One” CD and the subsequent clamour for a vinyl version, here we bring you a second volume of TV themes for the shows that might have been, or actually never were. An unashamedly hauntological deep dive into an alternative 70s/80’s where our viewing reality was slightly warped. Gauzy memories of our early interactions with the TV, long buried, but remaining in the periphery of our childhood memories...

                The SFL Volume One team has been reassembled, with some significant new additions to the line-up. 

                Taken from the sleevenotes: “You have in your hands an LP of top TV themes, all played with verve and panache by some of the most pre-eminent performers working in television soundtracks today. Whatever your taste in disturbing television viewing, this record is guaranteed to bring enjoyment to you and all the family. The selection of themes on the LP are penned and performed by a stunning array of star talent. Each piece of music, though intended to establish the mood of the series it accompanies, is deservedly popular in its own right, with several of these tunes already having made an impression on the upper reaches of the pop charts.
                “From disorientating science fiction to creeping nuclear paranoia via unsettling children’s themes, Scarred For Life 2 is a record crammed with favourite tunes from your favourite programmes, so unrest assured that these pieces will not only give you many hours of listening pleasure but will also provide a lasting memento of your individual choices in the world of TV.”


                Profits from this record will go to support the work of The Alzheimer’s Society.

                STAFF COMMENTS

                says: Absolutely essential collection here from some of the finest voices in today's synth music, with a wealth of audio imagery making it's way through to your earholes, warped from tv themes and childhood memories of youth. Double disc set on purple / red vinyl. Amazing.

                TRACK LISTING

                Pocket Pavilions – The Halcyon Clock (Opening Titles) (Daniel Högberg)
                The Twelve Hour Foundation – The Brain Children (Jez Butler, Polly Hulse)
                Correlations – Recall (Neil Hale)
                Handspan – What’s In The Box? (Rob Colling)
                Cult Of Wedge – The Day Before Doomsday (Pete Hackett)
                Oliver Cherer – Tension Piece (Oliver Cherer)
                The British Stereo Collective – In The Tall Grass (Phil Heeks)
                The Bentley Emerald Learning Resource – The City Of Golden Lead (Benjamin Green)
                The Soulless Party – A School At War (Kev Thomas Oyston)
                Quimper – Happy Borders ()
                Keith Seatman – One Lost Weekend (Keith Seatman)
                Listening Center – Intermission (David K. Mason)
                Pulselovers – Dobbs And Clogg (Matthew Maxwell Handley)
                The Heartwood Institute – You Cannot Win A Nuclear War (Jonathan Sharp)
                Oliver Cherer – Down White Corridors (Oliver Cherer)
                The Metamorph - Theme From Stardrive (Gavin Brick)
                Vic Mars – The Time Menders Return (Matt Davies)
                The Home Current – Unknown Sameness (End Titles)(Martin Jensen)
                Panamint Manse – Sunstroke Scout (WP Ulmer)
                Salvatore Mercatante – The Garden (Salvatore Mercatante)
                The Home Current – Theme From Lobster Boy (Martin Jensen)
                Apta – Equinox (Barry Smethurst)
                The Central Office Of Information – Through The Arched Window (Alex Cargill)

                The Twelve Hour Foundation

                Six Twenty Negative

                  Bristol's Twelve Hour Foundation return to Castles in Space with their first new LP since 2018's long sold out "tree little mile egg book...and other non sequiturs". Their blend of musique concrète, treated field recordings, library music, early electronic pop and the Radiophonic work of John Baker and Paddy Kingsland has never sounded better.

                  The initial inspiration for the album is a journey - regularly taken by Jez Butler (Yamaha CS-10, flute, vocals, field recordings) until the end of the 70s, from Cleethorpes to Hull, by diesel multiple train and British Rail paddle steamer, hence track titles like "Lincoln Castle Engine Room", "New Holland Pier" and "Chalk Factory" - a reference to a small production plant viewed from the train window that rendered the neighbouring landscape white. The ferries and pier were scrapped following the opening of the Humber bridge.
                  As with the previous album, the idea behind most of the music is to draw on abstract childhood emotions and their associated memories. It's an incredibly warm and evocative listening experience.

                  The majority of tracks are expertly underpinned by a musique concrète backing, drawing on the band's recordings of houshold objects. In most cases, the bass was derived from a length of ribbed plastic tubing, the cymbals from a metal kitchen draining rack, and the pads/chords from the filtered sound of an electric hair clipper. This is overlayed with vintage analogue synthesizers, treated field recordings and - on a couple of tracks - the odd vocal or flute line. The track "Polivoks" takes it's title from the Soviet analogue synthesizer of the same name which was manufactured throughout the 1980's.

                  The album's sleeve was designed in keeping with the scholastic nature of much of the music, incorporating Polly Hulse's (Moog Rogue, Korg Volca Keys, concrète sequences) photos from the University of Bristol's School of Chemistry.

                  The album's title, "Six Twenty Negative" refers to the film used in the Kodak Brownie Box camera. Famous for producing slightly wooly prints from large individual negatives.

                  Concretism

                  Dick And Stewart - Original Soundtrack

                    Dick and Stewart
                    Dick and Stewart is a series of short animations set in either Britain’s dismal past or the Britain that’s soon to come. It's hard to tell nowadays, isn't it? Either way, just imagine what it would be like if childrens’ TV programmes were written by George Orwell or Franz Kafka. Or the government itself.

                    The stories follow the adventures of the eponymous Dick and an eyeball, which is all that’s left of his best friend, Stewart, following an accident. It’s written, animated and directed by Richard Littler (Scarfolk), produced by Andy Starke of Rook Films (A Field in England, Free Fire, In Fabric) and read by Julian Barratt (The Mighty Boosh).
                    While each episode will address a different dystopian but topical subject, such as propaganda, civil defense, ‘fake news’, gaslighting and other forms of governmental corruption currently blighting western politics, the pilot episode, which is called ‘I Spy with my Little Eye’, concerns surveillance, an unsurprising theme given that, last year, the European Court of Human Rights ruled that the UK government's bulk interception of data was against human rights.

                    Concretism
                    Chris Sharp, the talent behind the Concretism project, takes inspiration from worlds exactly like those portrayed in Dick And Stewart. His last album, "For Concrete and Country" was a hugely successful distillation of our not too distant past/future world of nuclear threat and cold war paranoia, resulting in an album of unsettling electronics which perfectly invoked the pervasive cultural disquiet of intrusive surveillance, the red menace and the bomb. Fears which the recent drift of events confirm are still very much with us, remaining part of our societal DNA.

                    Having already established the working relationship with Richard Littler - Richard designed the adapted radome artwork for FCaC, Chris was the natural choice to provide the soundtrack for Dick and Stewart. Chris delivers his first soundtrack with relish, supplying a set of short, sharp electronic cues formed with his usual precision. Not a note is wasted as the woozy, unsettling themes of the films are effortlessly captured herein. It's fair to say that it's a piece of work that could not have been made by anyone else.

                    The record itself is pressed on a single sided 12' inch LP utilising a new process of UV printing on the reverse side which is only available from a select few manufacturers. The artwork as designed by Richard is incomparable and it all makes for an incredibly special and desirable album.

                    Chris has just completed his stunning and long awaited new LP and successor to "For Concrete and Country" which will be forthcoming on Castles in Space in early 2021. Meanwhile, a privileged trawl through his archives has resulted in "Concretism: Archive Volume One" a limited LP which will shortly be available to subscribers to the Castles in Space Subscription Library Service and features 9 tracks unavailable elsewhere and appearing on vinyl for the first time.

                    Situated in the Atlantic, approximately two hundred miles off the west coast of Ireland, the island of Hy Brasil featured on maps from around 1325 until the mid 1800s. Legend has it that it was surrounded in mist, appearing only every seven years. It was long thought to be the home of an advanced mysterious ancient civilisation.

                    Although often spotted by sailors, landing on Hy-Brasil proved elusive, though the Scottish sea captain, John Nisbet reports to have made land there in 1674. His expedition describes an island of large black rabbits and a stone castle, inhabited only by a strange magician.

                    In a strange twist, the phantom island is linked to the infamous Rendlesham Forest UFO event of 1980. After touching the craft that reportedly landed in Suffolk, USAF Sergeant Jim Peniston describes telepathically receiving a 16 page binary code text. Many years later, this code was deciphered to reveal that it was a list of co-ordinates of ancient sites around the world including the pyramids of Giza, the Nazca lines in Peru...and the location mapped over centuries as being that of Hy Brasil.

                    Field Lines Cartographer is the recording project of Mark Burford. Here, Mark explains the inspiration for the album and the recording process:

                    "When I stumbled on the legend of Hy Brasil, I knew straight away that I wanted to make an album inspired by it. It doesn't matter to me whether UFOs, ghosts, monsters or phantom islands are real or not, they're still fascinating to me and hugely inspirational for writing instrumental electronic music. I decided that the first two tracks - Side A of the LP - would be the trip to the island, perhaps spotting it on the horizon at night, seeing strange lights & journeying through mist & fog banks to strange shores. The second side of the record would be an exploration of Hy Brasil itself, which is why it gets a little bit darker & weirder, before finishing with a more serene, transcendental atmosphere in "The Hall Of Eyes" where the island's secrets become manifest...

                    "The whole album was written and recorded over a 6 week period using some new eurorack modules to augment my existing Moogs. I recorded the bulk of these pieces as a single live take - tweaking and improvising on a prepared theme and then adding overdubs afterwards. the concept of Hy Brasil inspired and drove me to be very quick.

                    "As with most of my work, I also buried some field recordings in the mix. The shifting sands and tides of the Lancashire coast and some shortwave radio samples are very deep in the recordings and you have to listen very carefully to pick them out. They are mainly there as a sort of base texture - almost like surface noise or hiss. In a 'deep listening' environment this record really takes me on a strange, hypnotic journey - that's how I felt as I was recording it and I really hope that comes across to other listeners. Hopefully people can go on a weird adventure in their minds with this on in their headphones!"

                    STAFF COMMENTS

                    says: Sometimes with concept albums the idea is tenuous or even absurd. At times it's executed with imagination and sincerity. "The Spectral Isle" instantly had me in its grasp - reading about Hy Brazil as it's otherworldly textures and enchanted atmospheres drifted through my headphones. For people obsessed with fantasy and mythology, this is a spectacular release.

                    Drew Mulholland

                    OST: Ness

                      THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2020 RELEASE AVAILABLE ONLINE ONLY AS PART OF THE AUGUST 29TH DROP DAY AT 6PM.
                      LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.


                      Unreleased: RSD EXCLUSIVE. Text Taken From The Liner Notes by Rob MacFarlane: Drew Mulholland knows how to listen to a place.How to lay ears to a landscape and catch the voices and utterances that surface into the skull.But fidelity is not his aim here ññand nor should it be with such a deceiving, treacherous site as The Ness.The tracks you hear areññin their distortions and manipulationsññtruer to The Ness's unsettlements and resonances than any others I know. They hover somewhere between field-recording and haunting.Acoustic elements have been worked over until they are scarcely recognisable, surviving scantly as hyper-mutated catalysts. Mulholland even used the place itself as the distortive force; he gathered lichen species found on The Ness, ground them nearly into dust, glued the resulting powder onto a length of cassette tape, played and recorded the lichened tape, then stretched the recording to ten times its original length ñ before splicing it and adding reverb and echo.The resulting tracks are fabulously unfaithful to their origins on the untrue island. They bleep, shiver, rattle, quiver, shudder, detonate. There are footsteps, drips, the clatters of doors and minds being closed, as well as the warping cries of the Mellotron.Interference of several kinds crackles throughout. Throughout, this remarkable soundscape echoes in its unsettling patterns the 'environmental testing' of nuclear weapons (stress testing, vibration testing, temperature testing that occurred on The Ness under the veil of the Official Secrets Act: "For Ness is a place to improvise.Ness is its own realm with its own rules. Don't look.Don't tell.Don't understand.Don't ever remember."

                      Keith Seatman

                      Time To Dream But Never Seen

                        Time To Dream But Never Seen” is the 6th album by Keith Seatman and his his first release for Castles in Space. Keith Seatman’s music is an anachronistically repurposed assemblage of sounds, melodies and technologies plundered from different time zones. 'Time To Dream But Never Seen', however, is far from being a haphazard and spontaneous collage. Keith’s busy and dense soundworld is composed through a very deliberate and painstaking process. Unlikely musical and sonic juxtapositions artfully evoke a sense of place and narrative. This latest excursion into bad-trip psychedelia is shot through with wistful and whimsical melodies and occasional haunted voices. On 'Last One In', for example, what could be a chirpy and exciting theme tune to a 1970s kid’s adventure series is modulated into a minor key by a sinister synth bass line and menaced by a stomping bovver-boy rhythm. In the opening track, 'On to the Pier & Down to the Sea', the amusement arcade din is submerged in a watery digital swirl during. Likewise, on 'Tippy Toe Tippy Toe' the tiddly-om-pom-pom of the pier is heard from the point of view some approaching aquatic creature or perhaps by a drowning man.

                        The closing section of the album shifts focus from the seafront to its rustic precursor, the mayday fair. Something weird comes to the village in 'Waiting by the Window', sounding as if late period Radiophonic Workshop (when they got hold of expensive synths) had popped back 15 years to work with their boffinish tape wielding forbears. It summons an atmosphere like a Nigel Kneale drama or one of those folk-horror inspired episodes of Dr.Who. Finally, the album’s closing title track seems to offer a chance of escape to a more rustic idyll with melancholy mellotron flute and mumbled nursery rhymes. But as the album closes it feels like a relentlessly inescapable holiday-special steam train drags us back On to the Pier & Down to the Sea. Jim Jupp (Belbury Poly, Ghostbox Records)


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