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ERASED TAPES

Douglas Dare

Caroline / If Only

    "If I knew I were alive, I could do so much better. If I knew what I had, then I could use it more wisely. If only I’d known before then I’d be in a better place already. If only."

    London-based singer-songwriter Douglas Dare releases new EP, following on from his debut album Whelm. Named after album track Caroline and new track If I Knew I Were Alive, it also features remixes by fellow label mate Ryan Lee West aka Rival Consoles and Houndstooth’s own electronic producer Ross Tones aka Throwing Snow.

    Caroline has always been a precious track for Douglas, one of the first tracks he recorded and a story in which he imagines his grandfather is writing to a loved one during the war. As the only song on his debut album that is stripped down to just his voice and piano playing, and it being a favourite amongst fans at his concerts, it was a natural choice as a first single.

    The new track If I Knew I Were Alive Douglas wrote by creating beats, looping them and recording parts live. Dancing around to the beats in his room, he started singing melodies and coming up with ideas that he wouldn’t usually have, sitting at the piano. The idea that we can do a lot more if only we appreciated our own ability and opportunity encouraged Douglas to not take the track to anyone else to re-record it, but to work with what he had created himself.

    “The recording has this demo quality, which I really enjoy. I love how revealing a demo can be. It seems to expose the fundamental ideas the songwriter had and the basic quality of the recording is very revealing. One of my favourite records is PJ Harvey’s ‘4 Track Demos’, where the songs are so stripped back that you can appreciate the finest details.” – Douglas Dare

    Ryan Lee West, who crafted the Rival Consoles remix of album track Swim explains, “the track existed in a minimal state for a while, and I kept thinking something was missing. There's always something missing! And then out of casual chance, I was sorting through my portable recorder files, and I came across a recording of an installation that I did, which included four motors hitting glockenspiel or xylophone notes at random. I chopped it up in a few seconds and it worked perfectly. It adds texture and movement to the remix. But what's important about these sounds is that they are not in time. I think this remix creates sense of space, subtlety and physicality.”

    "The original is so well put together, and the vocal so unique that it was a hard one to approach. I set out to reflect the beauty of the vocal in the intro, so that I could build it into something darker later on. This also mirrors the meaning of the vocal. The last sections are meant to evoke feelings of being washed away by a torrent” – Ross Tones about his Throwing Snow remix of Nile.

    Douglas Dare

    Milkteeth

      English songsmith Douglas Dare returns with his third and most stripped back studio album to date, Milkteeth, released on 21 February 2020 with Erased Tapes. Produced by Mike Lindsay — founding member of Tunng and one half of LUMP with Laura Marling — in his studio in Margate in just twelve days, Milkteeth sees Douglas become confident and comfortable enough with his own identity to reflect on both the joys and pains of youth. In doing so, he has established himself as a serious 21st century singer-songwriter with an enduring lyrical poise and elegant minimalist sound.

      Douglas Dare grew up on a farm as the youngest member of a large extended family, where he was often found in his own private world, dancing in his mother’s pink ballet dress. “Only now do I feel free to express my inner child again, and am giving myself permission to play dress up,” says Dare of Milkteeth’s cover shot, in which he wears soft makeup and is draped with layers of white linen, acting the part of a Greek muse. “I never felt like I fit in. I was different, odd. I wanted to dance and sing and dress up and on a small farm in rural Dorset that really stuck out.”

      Where previously he has been known as a piano player, for Milkteeth Dare picked up a new instrument, the autoharp, and as soon as he sat down with it, songs poured out – he wrote the album’s first single Silly Games, in under an hour. “Instinctual feelings about childhood and innocence were the catalyst,” he explains. “Then with the autoharp, it all just clicked – I could see the album laid out ahead of me.”

      Milkteeth opens with I Am Free, which loops piano and lyrics in an intimate dance, comparing the seemingly inexorable freedom of childhood to flying. The Playground is a song Dare says he’s wanted to write for years, about a yearning for childhood innocence and simplicity. While Red Arrows tells a story of vulnerability, of craving parental comfort, The Joy In Sarah’s Eyes is a Jeff Buckley-esque ballad for a new generation. In Heavenly Bodies there is an unhurried darkness that nods to Leonard Cohen’s songwriting, and is also the first time Dare has played the guitar on record. The melodies on Milkteeth are deliberately simple; Dare wanted it to feel familiar right from the first listen. In between these songs sit instrumental pieces – The Piano Room, The Stairwell, The Window – named for the spots they were recorded in, moments for stillness and reflection.

      Marking his arrival in 2014 with the release of his acclaimed debut Whelm and establishing his musical dexterity on the much darker follow up Aforger in 2016, Dare’s star keeps growing. In 2017 he was asked to contribute a re-interpretation of Dance Me to the End of Love to the Leonard Cohen exhibition A Crack in Everything at the Contemporary Art Museum of Montréal, currently showing at The Jewish Museum in New York before opening at the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco in September 2020. He was invited by Robert Smith to perform at his Meltdown Festival at the Southbank Centre in 2018, followed by the David Lynch-curated Manchester International Festival alongside Anna Calvi in 2019.

      Dare’s music speaks of his own experiences of universal themes like love, loss, and childhood. Perhaps most importantly, his music gives a voice and a sanctuary to anyone who’s ever felt unusual or out of place. Whether he’s singing of the pain of those in the Magdalene Laundries as on Whelm, describing coming out to his parents on Aforger, or processing his own childhood isolation on Milkteeth, Dare has a graceful honesty and an abiding clarity of vision in his simple and distinctive sound.


      FORMAT INFORMATION

      Dinked Edition LP Info: Limited to 300 copies.
      Alternative cover art.
      Numbered.
      Coloured Vinyl.

      Indies Exclusive LP Info: Ltd 500 indies only clear vinyl.

      Anne Müller

      Heliopause

        Classically trained at Frankfurt University of Music and Performing Arts under the renowned cellist and conductor Michael Sanderling, Anne Müller performed as a cellist in many of Berlin’s symphonies for some time before choosing a different path with her music and focussing on novel approaches to classical instrumentation. A profound believer in the power of artistic collaboration, Anne’s skilled cello playing and instinctive composition became extremely sought after. Following her work with Nils Frahm, an enduring partnership with singer-songwriter-composer Agnes Obel ensued, touring for five years together and featuring on two albums (Philharmonics and Aventine) and most recently, working with multiinstrumentalist Markus Sieber (aka Aukai) on his 2019 album Reminiscence. In between all this, Müller also co-founded the progressive live project Solo Collective along with violinist/singer Alex Stolze and pianist/conceptual artist Sebastian Reynolds, releasing Solo Collective Part One in 2017.

        A solo record in every sense of the word, Müller wrote, recorded, arranged and produced Heliopause. The album is named after the boundary where the sun’s wind ceases to have influence. It is ultimately, the border of our solar system. The name struck a chord with Müller since the two voyagers sent on an exploratory mission 42 years ago, recently crossed the Heliopause, entering into interstellar space and losing power from our own sun. Müller recognised herself in this moment, not only approaching the same age, but also breaking new ground; having relied on collaborating with so many other stars and now venturing into the unknown with her first solo statement; “Heliopause marks the end of a long journey but also the start of voyages to explore strange new worlds” Boldly opening the album with Being Anne, it sees Müller embrace her new found freedom with the most experimental piece on the record, placing the cello in a completely new context. Playing the strings of a broken down piano with a plectrum and scratching parts of the key mechanism to produce a rhythm, the once lost instrument is given a new lease of life among looped cello drones and drums. “I used the sounds of a tiny piano I got from my mother that she bought when she was a student and didn’t have any money. Later it stood for years in our little summer garden house, where I practiced on it constantly for my piano lessons. Even though it’s old and not in the best shape, I love the way it sounds and call it my little circus piano”.

        The atmospheric swells of noise on Being Anne are juxtaposed beautifully with the most stripped back and exposed song, Solo? Repeat!. The J.S. Bach and Gaspar Cassadó influenced piece sees Müller go solo in its purest form: unaccompanied cello. Lead single Nummer 2 is so titled as it’s the second piece Anne ever wrote. A mixture of old sounds and newer structures, its repeated arpeggio conjures drama and displays Müller’s dexterous production abilities. Drifting Circles meanwhile provides the album’s climax, amid an orchestra of looped cellos and vocals. Referencing the minimalism of contemporary composers such as Steve Reich and Philip Glass, it builds to a crescendo of harmonics, allowing the cello to sore as it crosses the border from minor to major. Both as the closing title track and album as a whole, Heliopause crosses these physical and invisible borders throughout, sending the cello as a typically classical instrument to exciting new and uncharted territory

        STAFF COMMENTS

        Barry says: Müller's 2010 outing with Nils Frahm, '7 Fingers' was one of my early highlights on Erased Tapes, and this long awaited follow-up is just as good. Obviously, being a solo record rather than a collaboration, the focus is entirely on Müller here, and she manages to pull off a stunning set of atmospheric ambient chamber classical and swimming minimalist brilliance. Gorgeous.

        Nils Frahm

        All Encores

          The three EPs will be available as one full length release titled All Encores featuring 80 minutes of music to follow his masterful 2018 album All Melody.

          Whilst Encores 1 focused on an acoustic pallet of sounds with solo piano and harmonium at the core, and Encores 2 explored more ambient landscapes, now Encores 3 sees Nils expand on the percussive and electronic elements in his work.

          “The idea behind All Encores is one we had from before All Melody; to separate releases each with their own distinct musical style and theme, perhaps even as a triple album. But All Melody became larger than itself and took over any initial concepts. I think the idea of All Encores is like musical islands that compliment All Melody.”

          Moulded during All Melody but refined by his live performances, All Encores is testament to Nils’ exceptional ability to craft his art on stage. Artificially Intelligent which showcases his ‘mad professor’ organ, and All Armed which has been a live favourite for some time, appearing on set lists since 2015, are now available to hear on record for the very first time. The final track of Encores 3, as well as the whole series, Amirador, perhaps aptly nods to the Spanish word for ‘lookout’ and hints at what’s to come.

          Lubomyr Melnyk

          Continuous Music : Selected Works

            Erased Tapes presents Continuous Music: Selected Works, the first printed collection of scores from prolific pianist and Continuous Music pioneer Lubomyr Melnyk, making his unique technique available to piano lovers all around the world. This first volume contains selections from each of Melnyk’s releases on Erased Tapes, including Corollaries (2013), Evertina (2014), Rivers and Streams (2015) and a very special handwritten score of Pockets of Light, serving as an entry point to his technique. Continuous Music Selected Works also contains a previously unreleased score, The Moving Window, plus detailed notes from the composer himself. Every copy comes with audio recordings of all six pieces including a new version of Butterfly, specially recorded for the reader. Melnyk’s mission with this sheet music book is for musicians and piano enthusiasts to gain a greater love and understanding of the instrument, while being inspired to delve further into the world of Continuous Music.

            “This music offers you a new dimension of your own self that you did not know existed … a delightful place where you feel the total freedom of the music opening up before you, a vast open plain where you can sail and frolic freely anywhere you wish to go … Your ship is awaiting you, and the sea is endless and at peace … there are no dangers, and no reefs to shatter your journey … only the open, endless water for your discovery.” Only Parasol and Pockets Of Light are what Melnyk calls “pure” Continuous Music. The other four works are in a standard notation format and include Evertina, Awaiting, a hybrid of Butterfly — a mixture of both regular and Continuous Piano — and The Moving Window, containing elements of both worlds. Since Continuous Music is very different to standard piano music, it has been challenging to present it in a readable and playable notation as there are simply too many notes. Instead, Melnyk developed a new method of notation that can give a clear and immediate impression of the piece; “a notation that lets the music live in your fingers, a notation that offers you Freedom instead of Conformity!

            “ Although his scores might look daunting at first — some pages are reminiscent of the avant-garde notation of composers like John Cage, Cornelius Cardew or George Crumb — these pieces offer the pianist a great degree of freedom to formulate their own personal vision of the moment they are playing. A particular kind of improvisation is a key part of performing this music and a technique that Lubomyr uses himself. Melnyk’s scores therefore are a unique combination of traditional notation, text and the occasional use of slightly more avant-garde symbology. Importantly, the written scores of Lubomyr are a fascinating insight into his mind, character and personality. “Do not be dismayed by any difficulties you might face in learning these pieces! It is more important that you use these notations to help you generate a living piece of music, rather than playing every note on the page…As the (in)famous pirate Jack Sparrow once said: “They are more a ‘guideline’ … than a ‘Book of Rules” — Lubomyr Melnyk.

            Erased Tapes present "Handfuls of Night" - the highly anticipated follow-up to Penguin Cafe’s much applauded 2017 album "The Imperfect Sea" - inspired by the Antarctic, Arthur Jeffes’ journey following in Scott’s footsteps and our penguin friends that reside there.

            Using gut-stringed violins, viola, cello, bass, percussion, upright and grand pianos, synthesiser, harmonium and more, Arthur Jeffes and his cohorts have crafted a vivid series of panoramic sonic landscapes, that are as rich in cerebral poignancy as they are in emotional depth.

            Bookended by the atmospheric ambient piano pieces ‘Winter Sun’ and ‘Midnight Sun’, the album traverses glacial minimalism with ease, combining their signature contemporary classical panoramas, such as the melancholic yet upbeat lead track ‘At the Top of the Hill, They Stood...’ and the colossal cinematic piece ‘Chapter’, with the crystalline folktronica on ‘Pythagorus on the Line Again’ — a re-visiting and continuation of the Penguin Cafe Orchestra’s 1993 Union Cafe song on the principles of harmonics.

            Handfuls of Night began life after Greenpeace commissioned Jeffes to write four pieces of music corresponding to four breeds of penguins, to help raise awareness for the endangered Antarctic seas . A fundraising evening at EartH in Hackney followed, where Penguin Cafe premiered the four songs named after their feathered counterparts to a sold out audience; the rousing contemporary folk inflected ‘Chinstrap’, the mournful and minimalistic ‘Adelie’, stoic and rhythmic ‘The Life of an Emperor’ and the wistful, string-laden ‘Gentoo Origin’.

            “This record started with a core of pieces I wrote specifically about penguins in the Antarctic for a project with Greenpeace in autumn 2018. There are four native Antarctic penguin species – each with their own individual characteristics and natures. I carried on from there to envisage a whole anthropomorphised world, where these penguins had narratives and adventures that we soundtracked”, says Jeffes. But both the album and Penguin Cafe as a project have origins that reach further back:

            “In 2005 I was asked to join an expedition re-creating Scott’s last Antarctic trip in 1911 for the BBC, using the same Edwardian equipment. I’m no explorer but I was keen, especially as there’s a family link – Scott was married to my great grandmother before she married my great grandfather. Antarctica by this stage being a protected environment, we swapped to the Arctic circle where we spent 3 months on the Greenland ice sheet, first dog-sledding and then man-hauling just short of 1000 km at 10,000 feet, across ice fields and glaciers. I had lots of time to ponder my life back home. It was then that I decided to get my Master of Music degree and focus on composing music, and also then that I realised that even in the most remote silent places, music can still be a huge part of one’s internal world and imagination. Whilst on the expedition. I spent days playing things back in my head and also writing new things, which I would then try and write down at the end of the day.”

            Handfuls of Night’s tones, textures and melodies evoke otherworldly expanses, which at different junctures are either foreboding, awe inspiring or peaceful. There’s subtly morphing rhythmic repetition throughout, somewhere between minimalism, krautrock and the piano-cascades of label peer Lubomyr Melnyk. Jeffes creates a kinetic, circling motion, which drives the album forward in the form of a musical trip that mirrors the physical journey it was inspired by.

            STAFF COMMENTS

            Barry says: A beautiful and climactic collection of exuberant orchestration, soaring strings and twinkling piano. Smoothly segueing between brittle, icy ambience and warm, sun-drenched audio euphoria. Stunning.

            Nils Frahm announces the third and final instalment of his Encores series. 

            Whilst Encores 1 focused on an acoustic pallet of sounds with solo piano and harmonium at the core, and Encores 2 explored more ambient landscapes, now Encores 3 sees Nils expand on the percussive and electronic elements in his work.

            “The idea behind All Encores is one we had from before All Melody; to separate releases each with their own distinct musical style and theme, perhaps even as a triple album. But All Melody became larger than itself and took over any initial concepts. I think the idea of All Encores is like musical islands that compliment All Melody.”

            Moulded during All Melody but refined by his live performances, All Encores is testament to Nils’ exceptional ability to craft his art on stage. Artificially Intelligent which showcases his ‘mad professor’ organ, and All Armed which has been a live favourite for some time, appearing on set lists since 2015, are now available to hear on record for the very first time. The final track of Encores 3, as well as the whole series, Amirador, perhaps aptly nods to the Spanish word for ‘lookout’ and hints at what’s to come.

            STAFF COMMENTS

            Barry says: if you enjoyed Nils Frahm's collab with Olafur Arnalds a few years ago (was it really THAT long ago?!) then this is the Encores for you! Percussive, more 'dancefloor' focused (as much as can be), and absolutely hypnotic, this is probably my favourite of the lot, and I have excellent taste. Lovely stuff.

            Shards

            Find Sound

              Find Sound is the debut record from Shards, a London based vocal group led by singer, composer and producer Kieran Brunt. Combining voices, synths and percussion, Find Sound is an astonishing exploration of the human voice; using the concepts of sound and light as simple metaphors for gaining understanding. The album’s pieces are intended to be miniature sonic paintings, with each adding to an overall picture of the emotional confusion of early adulthood: the uncertainty, the excitement, the terror and relief.

              After collaborating with Terry Riley in 2016, Brunt was asked by the Barbican to form a choral group for Nils Frahm’s Possibly Colliding festival that summer. Following the success of the shows, Frahm invited Brunt to join him in Berlin to collaborate on choral arrangements for his recent album All Melody. Shards have since gone on to collaborate with other notable artists, including Michael Price on his recent LP Tender Symmetry.

              Brunt details how he put Shards together: “I decided to go for 12 singers, capable of creating a good amount of noise but also small enough to get to know each other intimately. I also knew that I wanted to work with not just great voices, but singers with lots of personality and open minds when it comes to experimenting and trying things out.

              The group ended up consisting almost entirely of friends and friends-of-friends. I also tried my best to ask people who weren’t just singers, but who do have other projects and musical interests. As such, we have people in the group who are also composers, instrumentalists, folk musicians and teachers. It’s a vibrant mix, and I’m constantly discovering new things about them the more we make music together.”

              Each of the singers in Shards brings a very distinctive musical personality to the group, something which Brunt was eager to emphasise on their debut record. Rather than aiming for a seamless blend or absolute precision when recording, the differences between voices has been intentionally highlighted — celebrating their unique textures and inviting the listener to hear their minutest details up-close.

              The album was recorded in Italy at Palazzo Stabile, a tranquil house and studio in the hills of the Piedmontese countryside. During a two-week residency, the group lived and recorded together under one roof, giving them the opportunity to play with recording techniques and experiment with different spaces. Most of the final record was recorded in a converted barn used primarily as a painting studio, and underneath the house in a 200 year-old wine cellar. The album was written and produced by Kieran Brunt with additional production from Paul Corley (Sigur Ros, Oneohtrix Point Never, Yves Tumor).


              Art Ensemble Of Chicago

              We Are On The Edge: A 50th Anniversary Celebration

                Iconic, innovative and internationally renowned force in avant-garde music The Art Ensemble of Chicago released their 50th anniversary celebratory album We Are On The Edge in April, and Erased Tapes are honoured to announce the vinyl edition of this exceptional body of work. Led by surviving founding members Roscoe Mitchell and drummer Famoudou Don Moye, these brand new recordings involve a staggering array of contemporary artists ranging from across the jazz, experimental and improvised music spheres; from the visionary poet and musician Moor Mother, trumpeters Fred Berry and Hugh Ragin, who have performed with Mitchell for over five and four decades, to bassist Jaribu Shahid, supreme cellist Tomeka Reid, celebrated flute virtuoso Nicole Mitchell and the extraordinary voice of Rodolfo Cordova-Lebron.

                The vinyl edition will be available as a double album featuring a meticulous studio session of the newly assembled group of musicians, combining re-recordings of works spanning the last 50 years, some never before recorded, as well as new compositions. The 4-LP special edition also includes their live set recorded at Edgefest, the annual experimental jazz and creative new music festival in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

                Having witnessed this exciting new formation around Roscoe and Don live at Big Ears Festival in Knoxville, Robert Raths was compelled to start a conversation with their US label Pi Recordings, based out of New York, and support this project in any way possible.
                The Art Ensemble of Chicago is a band that has been at the forefront of creative improvised music since forming in 1969. It has also long served as the flagship ensemble of the Association for the Advancement of Creative Musicians (AACM), the august Chicago-based organisation that also fostered the careers of members such as Muhal Richard Abrams, Anthony Braxton, Henry Threadgill, and Wadada Leo Smith, among many others. Now led by the surviving members Roscoe Mitchell and drummer Famoudou Don Moye, their new album We Are On The Edge: A 50th Anniversary Celebration is not only a commemoration of a half-century of magical music making, but also a loving tribute to the band’s three original members who have passed: Lester Bowie, Malachi Favors, and most recently, Joseph Jarman.

                The greatness of the Art Ensemble has always been the shared commitment of its original members to the total realm of African diasporic music: what they have long-termed “Great Black Music — Ancient to the Future”. Also important are the group’s disparate musical and artistic personalities, comprised of jazz, advanced compositional techniques, theatrical performance, poetry, Pan-African percussion, all tied together with improvisational flair, a taste for the absurd, and the exploration of pure sound and space. It is this open-mindedness – absorbed from the basic tenets of the AACM – that has made the band one of the most important in the history of music.

                Mitchell and Moye are now 78 and 72, respectively, but one would never guess by their outlook. Mitchell, who was recently named to a prestigious United States Artist Fellowship, is about to retire from his teaching position at Mills College, is most excited when you ask him about his upcoming projects, gushing about a dizzying array of performances, commissions, collaborations, composition ideas, and musical studies and inventions. There is, of course some wistfulness when looking back, particularly with the passing of Joseph Jarman earlier this year, but the overwhelming feeling is anticipation of what is coming next or, as Moye always says, "focus and forward motion". It’s a clarion statement that Mitchell and Moye are intent on ushering The Art Ensemble of Chicago forcefully into its sixth decade. As Moor Mother declares: "We are on the edge!" 

                FORMAT INFORMATION

                4xDeluxe LP Info: The 4-LP special edition also includes their live set recorded at Edgefest, the annual experimental jazz and creative new music festival in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

                2xLtd LP Info: Double album featuring a meticulous studio session of the newly assembled group of musicians, combining re-recordings of works spanning the last 50 years, some never before recorded, as well as new compositions.

                David Allred

                The Cell

                  Meant as a companion piece to The Transition, The Cell picks up where The Transition left off, with David continuing the search to find his place in the world. “The Cell is about warmly acknowledging the darkness in our individual lives as a strategic method of gaining a deeper understanding of how to move forward in a vastly dissonant world with optimism, harmony and light.”

                  Opening with the title track, The Cell immediately draws us into David’s unique world of storytelling, displaying his peculiar skill of weaving feelings and characters with wandering melodies. The five-minute opener peaks with David’s emotional falsetto repeating “In the mind”, acting as an alarm call for himself and his surroundings. Lead track Nature’s Course finds David delving deeper into existential questions about the human condition and its relation to nature, set to a gentle, melancholy piano ballad.

                  “Nature’s Course is a feeling pertaining to the way our subjective human experience is subconsciously directly related to the slow steady pace of nature and our ability to cope with our inner struggles accordingly” explains David.

                  The Cell further cements David’s place among the American songwriting tradition, from the slow methodical spacey instrumental Mandatory Soul to the poetic solo piano number Family and the dense and continuous Lexington Hills. With each piece we are transported to David’s unusual but rich and textured little world.

                  Hailing from Loomis, a small town outside of Sacramento, via Portland, Oregon – David worked as a sound engineer and session musician, featuring on multiple recordings by the likes of Birger Olsen, Brigid Mae Power, Brumes, The Beacon Sound Choir, Chantal Acda, Heather Woods Broderick, Jung Body, Masayoshi Fujita, and many more. He quickly found himself touring Europe with Peter, culminating in a Royal Festival Hall performance, and contributing the arresting voice and double bass piece Ahoy to the Erased Tapes 10th anniversary box set 1+1=X.

                  STAFF COMMENTS

                  Barry says: They're becoming quite the collective this lot. With Allred recently collaborating with the splendid Peter Broderick, and he in turn collaborating with Chatal Acda and the superb Bridgid Mae Powers, the musical ouroboros continues to produce the goods. Allred is a hugely talented individual and clearly knows exactly how to accentuate his beautiful pieces with the help of some good pals. Lovely stuff.

                  Codes In The Clouds

                  Paper Canyon

                    In 2009 instrumental rock music experienced a new peak. Codes In The Clouds, the English quintet of Ciaran Morahan, Stephen Peeling, Jack Major, Joe Power and Robert Smith had found a firm place in this vast growing scene, spearheaded by the likes of Mogwai and 65daysofstatic — whom CITC supported live. With their harmonious and blissful sound they weaved guitar melodies, liable to explode any minute. Now Codes In The Clouds celebrate their tenth anniversary with the first vinyl edition of their seminal debut album Paper Canyon.Completed under the experienced eye of Justin Lockey (Minor Victories, The Editors, Yourcodenameis: Milo, The British Expeditionary Force) and with the vinyl master cut by legendary engineer Barry Grint (Radiohead, Oasis, Kate Bush) at Alchemy, London, Paper Canyon has lost none of its original urgency; at once energetic and charming, always surprising and unpredictable.

                    Bassist Joe Power recalls; “Paper Canyon was recorded in the late summer of 2008 over 5 days in Doncaster. The days in the studio were long, but working with two perfectionists in Justin and James Lockey you knew that the long days were going to be worth it.

                    Looking back on the process now, the memories that stand out are the endless shouts of “tune up!” after every take, the nearby café that offered “bottomless toast” with every breakfast (challenge accepted). Above all else, I think what stands out the most when reflecting on this record and listening to the tracks now is how young we were. This album could only have been written by people just entering their 20’s.

                    It has been great going through all the songs, the demos and the videos from that time and we’re really excited to finally have the album released in the format for which it was designed.”

                    Qasim Naqvi

                    Teenages

                      Pakistani-American composer Qasim Naqvi will release his debut album for Erased Tapes on May 3rd. 'Teenages’ captures the sound of electronics living, breathing and mutating of their own accord – almost autonomously – with only subtle, sparing but perfectly-judged and masterful guidance.

                      This album is one singular synergy between Qasim and his machine within a broader milieu of sound, also explored by contemporaries Sarah Davachi, Alessandro Cortini, Caterina Barbieri and also the forefather, Morton Subotnick. At points tonal, textural and rhythmic, over six evolving and growing audio organisms, the album flourishes upwards in stages, from initial micro-sonics to something bigger, brighter and anthemic.

                      This is Naqvi’s first non-soundtrack release, having previously established himself as a renowned composer for dance, theatre, film and installation-based art, not to mention his role as drummer in lauded trio Dawn of Midi. According to Naqvi, “my past releases like ‘Chronology’, ‘Preamble’, ‘Fjoloy’ and ‘Film’ were made to accompany visual mediums. The music was always written to enhance another form. ‘Teenages’ is the first album with its own motivating force. It’s a live multi movement work that I recorded for myself.”

                      With ‘Teenages’, Naqvi summoned all the material on an analog modular synthesizer – a voltage-controlled sound generating system comprised of multiple modules. Naqvi built this synth over the course of two years and amassed a collection of works for this album.

                      “I’ve always been drawn to the power of un-amplified acoustic music. And for me modular synthesizers are a natural progression forward from the acoustic realm into the electric. It feels like an orchestra comprised of very unusual instruments, and their orchestration and vibrational properties lie in the patching and flow of voltages through a system.

                      They’re also unstable and they rarely play the same thing twice in any exact way. It’s almost organic and human. It was really important for this album to capture that kind of uninterrupted behavior.”

                      Capturing a live feeling without the aid of heavy studio production was an important component to this release: “Even though this is ‘electronic music,’ I didn’t want to rely heavily on a computer with an array of plugins, loops and samples, or exhaustive editing as part of the writing process. I wanted to treat this work like a live piece of music and have the natural behavior of the machine shine through and sound huge, like an orchestra of electrical signals.”

                      Gently stuttering like a time lapse-video of a seed sprouting up from the earth, ‘Intermission’ sets the scene, before musical motifs begin to emerge on the dancing, bubbling bassline of ‘Mrs 2E’, which possesses a playful, infantile quality, like a newborn animal learning to walk after birth.

                      More bouncy, skewed bottom-line squelch appears on the jittery, buzzing ‘Palace Workers’, which seems to evoke life in the form of amplified insect or bat noises, with a melody that eventually unfolds into something akin to a fractal rendition of ‘Oxygene’. By ‘No Tongue’ more traditionally identifiable musical signifiers begin to emerge, with a bright and melodic synth line evoking the new blooms of spring, whereas ‘Artilect’ takes a more ominous drone tone, insinuating the dark, potential threat of artificially augmented biological intelligence.

                      Like a coming-of-age, the album culminates on title track ‘Teenages’ – a dynamic, technicolour symphony that was recorded in one take, with no overdubs or edits. In the year leading up to ‘Teenages’, Naqvi created a series of shorter works. These stepping-stones eventually became the first 5 tracks of the album and were part of a larger process, leading to the realization of the title track. “I wanted to show the stages of development that lead to the main act. All of these tracks share the same D.N.A., even though they seem distantly related.” Explains Naqvi.

                      The pieces heard prior to ‘Teenages’ chronicle both Naqvi’s understanding of writing for this type of instrument and the growth of the instrument itself: “I started with just a few modules. And naturally things had to be layered and pieced together but as the synthesizer and its components grew over time, I was able to create broader and more complex strokes in the moment. And by the time I got to ‘Teenages’, it was possible to create a robust, large-scale piece spontaneously. This is very much an experiential album for me because it was borne out of my direct experience of learning the instrument. And as the synthesizer grew over time with more components, it matured. At times I felt like it was even rebelling against my instructions or surprising me with what felt like its own choices.

                      When everything was finished and I was thinking about track titles, this idea of artificial intelligence came into my head; a machine that reacts to your impulses and is capable of giving you something different from what you ask, and even defying you. It felt like different stages of growth and adolescence, and that lead to the album title, ‘Teenages’.”

                      Deeply rewarding on close listening, Naqvi has created an inspiring and synapsestimulating new masterwork, within the analogue/modular cannon.

                      Daniel Thorne

                      Lines Of Sight

                        On March 15th Erased Tapes presents the invigorating and powerful debut solo album Lines of Sight by Australian-born, Liverpool-based composer, saxophonist and founder of Immix Ensemble, Daniel Thorne.

                        Deeply moving, full of otherworldly beauty and rapture, the album is alive, throbbing like a circulatory system, colourful and glowing. It literally dazzles – effectively capturing what the birth (or death) of a planet might sound like.

                        In Daniel’s own words, “Thematically, this music was inspired by birds-eye aerial images and the idea of perspective - how something incredibly complex like a river or the surface of the ocean is reduced to a simple line or shape when viewed from the heavens. The line between natural and man-made becomes increasingly blurred.”

                        Every strand is fresh, vital and purposeful. The description ‘seamless’ might suggest a smooth, bland fusion, but here elements overlap in intermittent, undulating layers of mesh. Avant-garde, noise, electronics, ecclesiastical, classical, a touch of jazz and traces of Wyatt-style contemporary folk come together, each occupying their own space while acquiescing with the whole.

                        “Several compositions are derived from ratios and processes, and are highly calculated, while others evolved in a much more organic way. I wanted to create music that blurred lines between acoustic and electronic, organic and synthetic, composition and improvisation.

                        I’ve long been a fan of studio-based composition, but have always found the infinite possibilities on offer daunting and, often, a stumbling block. To get around this I set myself a challenge of limiting myself to the physical instruments in my possession – a few different saxophones and a bass synth, with no more than four tracks to record them,” he adds.

                        Lines of Sight follows Thorne’s work as artistic director of the acclaimed, collaboration-focussed group Immix Ensemble. Together with experimental electronic artist Vessel, he co-wrote Transition released on Erased Tapes in 2016, described by BBC Radio 6’s Mary Anne Hobbs as “a remarkable new piece of music”. More recently, he worked with acclaimed modular synth wizard Luke Abbott, to create a four-part suite, which was premiered live in June 2017. Immix Ensemble have also performed special live commissions with Kelly Lee Owens, Dialect, Jane Weaver and Bill Ryder-Jones, among others.

                        Prior to leaving Australia, Daniel was fortunate to work with some of the country’s leading new music ensembles as both a composer and performer, receiving commissions from the TURA New Music Festival and the Australia Council, as well as being appointed as Composer in Residence at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts. In the UK he was the recipient of the prestigious Dankworth Prize for Jazz Composition, and also undertook a residency at Metal Liverpool, which provided him with the time and space to create Immix.

                        As the first track under Thorne’s own name, ‘Iroise’ was recorded for the Erased Tapes 10th anniversary release 1+1=X, alongside works by Nils

                        Frahm, Penguin Cafe, A Winged Victory For The Sullen and Rival Consoles. He also recently remixed Manu Delago, known as the live percussionist for Björk and Ólafur Arnalds.

                        After a first solo performance at Sea Change Festival 2018, the new year will see Daniel tour across Europe, promoting the forthcoming release of Lines of Sight.

                        STAFF COMMENTS

                        Barry says: Dense synthetic soundscapes mix beautifully with shimmering post-apocalyptic drone into a richly textured and highly hypnotic suite of electronic soundscapes. With the tender touch of modern-classical (no surprise being an Erased Tapes release) slowly moving into soaring euphoric musique concrete.

                        Nils Frahm

                        Encores 2

                          Following the release of Encores 1 on June 1st, Nils Frahm releases of Encores 2, the second in a series of EPs following the release of the universally acclaimed album, All Melody, released in January of this year.

                          While Encores 1 focused on an acoustic pallet of sounds with just a solo piano and harmonium, Encores 2 explores a more ambient landscape from the All Melody sessions, the pinnacle of which is the astral 12 minute showpiece Spells. Recorded through an amplified stone well Frahm found on Mallorca, Encores 2 is at once unique but familiar; orbiting the universe of All Melody while inhabiting its own world.

                          “The idea behind Encores is one we had from before All Melody; to separate releases each with their own distinct musical style and theme, perhaps even as a triple album. But All Melody became larger than itself and took over any initial concepts. I think the idea of Encores is like musical islands that compliment All Melody”

                          STAFF COMMENTS

                          Barry says: A beautiful counterfoil to last years' 'Encores 1', we get a wealth of beautifully textured field recordings, icy and crepuscular loops bolstered with beautifully weighted and perfectly paced piano, as is Frahm's style. Encompassing elements of dark ambient and minimalism, this is further evidence of Frahm's domination of the modern classical field, and it shows no sign of slowing down. Lovely stuff.

                          Lubomyr Melnyk

                          Fallen Trees

                            Erased Tapes present ‘Fallen Trees’ – the new album by singular talent and literal force of nature Lubomyr Melnyk – known as ‘the prophet of the piano’ due to his lifelong devotion to his instrument.

                            The album release coincides with Melnyk’s 70th birthday, but despite the autumnal hint in its title, there’s little suggestion of him slowing down. Having received critical acclaim and coheadlining the prestigious Royal Festival Hall as part of the Erased Tapes 10th anniversary celebrations, after many years his audience is now both global and growing. The composer is finally gaining a momentum in his career that matches the vibrant, highly active energy of his playing.

                            Cascades of notes, canyons and rivers of sound: there’s something about his music that channels the natural world at its most awe-inspiring. In ‘Fallen Trees’ the connection with the environment continues, taking its cue from a long rail journey Melnyk made through Europe. Glancing out of the window as the train passed through a dark forest, he was struck by the sight of trees that had recently been felled. “They were glorious,” he says. “Even though they’d been killed, they weren’t dead. There was something sorrowful there, but also hopeful.” That sense of sadness touched by optimism infuses the album, too: rarely has Melnyk made music so shot through with melancholy and regret, but which sounds so rapt, even radiant.

                            Drawing comparisons with Steve Reich and the post-rock group Godspeed You, Black Emperor!, Pitchfork praised his 2015 album ‘Rivers And Streams’ for it’s “sustained concentration and ecstatic energy”. That energy is present in ‘Fallen Trees’ too, but at points the tone is quieter, the mood darker and more wistful. At points elsewhere on the album, despite being rooted in the wonders of the natural world, there’s a kaleidoscopic quality in the fractal flurry of notes and the broad spectrum of colour they summon.

                            Critics have detected the influence of Ravi Shankar and other Indian styles in Melnyk’s music, along with the insistent, repetitive textures of minimalist pioneers such as Steve Reich and Philip Glass. Melnyk himself cites his debt to the American composer Terry Riley, particularly the legendary 1964 work ‘In C’, which he says “opened the world for me”. But he adds that if you listen carefully, you’ll also be able to hear the lilting contours of traditional Ukrainian folk music.

                            STAFF COMMENTS

                            Barry says: For those of you that thought modern classical music was all plaintive, slowed-down montage soundtracking (Dave?), Melnyk is here to provide a frenetic but strangely relaxing onslaught of shimmering keys and endlessly expressive pianissising about.

                            Hailing from Loomis, a small town outside of Sacramento, via Portland, Oregon – David worked as a sound engineer and session musician, featuring on multiple recordings by the likes of Birger Olsen, Brigid Mae Power, Brumes, The Beacon Sound Choir, Chantal Acda, Heather Woods Broderick, Jung Body, Masayoshi Fujita, and many more. He quickly found himself touring Europe with Peter, culminating in a Royal Festival Hall performance, and contributing the arresting voice and double bass piece Ahoy to the Erased Tapes 10th anniversary box set 1+1=X; only to return to where he started, Loomis, and finally write and record The Transition as his first full-length statement in just one month.

                            “At 26 years old, I found myself back in the town where I grew up, feeling a bit like a failure for not “making it” out there in the years I spent living and working on my own. I picked up a job working in a retirement home, surrounded by those who are at the very end of their lives, and they’ve kept saying the same thing: that they had no idea life would happen that fast. So I decided to make an album inspired by my recent experiences and stories I heard through working with them,” he explains.

                            With the release of The Transition, David Allred takes his place among the classic American songwriting tradition whilst revealing a peculiarity to his storytelling. Isolated and cut off from the outside world, David began unravelling his life and putting it on record. With a double bass in his bedroom and a piano in a church across the street, the stories started to unfold until a set of ten songs came to life. Vignettes and feelings from his own experiences, as well as characters he met along the way, inspired a rich tapestry of stories and melodies. Songs like the lead single The Garden show a maturity, depth and thoughtfulness beyond his years. Randy and Susan, a song about love, betrayal, greed and getting old, was made up from various stories David collected at his day job as a caretaker. It was written as a companion piece to Hey Stranger, “a poignant tale of a disappeared friend” (Mojo) from his collaborative release with Peter, and an attempt to make peace with this unresolved situation. 


                            Daniel Brandt, co-founder of acclaimed German ensemble Brandt Brauer Frick, is set to release his second solo album for London imprint Erased Tapes on October 12th. Titled Channels, the new record follows the release of the London and Berlin based producer’s solo debut Eternal Something from 2017. The seven-track LP is Brandt’s biggest statement yet, with the album’s thrilling avant-garde framework interweaving chord-driven techno, orchestral flourishes, rich electronic textures and hints of dark cinematic pop. Following on from Eternal Something, which captured a contemplative kind of isolationism, with Channels Brandt set out to create an album that captures the essence of minimalism whilst lending it to a more playful context. After performing and recording Steve Reich’s Six Pianos in a group of six, Brandt began regularly composing long meditations on the piano, something that permeates the sound of the new record. Its frenetic energy and shape-shifting identity was also born out of touring with his new band Eternal Something — comprised of Brandt on piano, drums and synthesisers, Pascal Bideau on guitar and bass, plus Florian Juncker on trombone — and a desire to translate both the sound and spiritual unity of their live shows in which musicians locked together to create an intriguing meld of expansive works. Intricate floor-filler and lead track ‘Flamingo’ synthesises the measured pacing of Detroit techno with an orchestral background. As with all of the tracks on Channels, ‘Flamingo’ began life as a sketch with very basic instrumentation, before taking it into the studio to rehearse with his band members, giving the album a live and visceral sound that sets it apart from his debut; “It was a great experience to do it this way as I have always wanted to have the chance to try out something in a live setting before recording it in the studio and not the other way round,” explains Daniel. “The actual typical rock band recording style that I never had the chance to do before.”

                            The album’s most immersive, club-ready track ‘Sailboats III’ is built with a vivid and pulsating bass line that takes inspiration from a Lichtenstein painting, as well as the UK bass scene and producers like Tessela and Lord Tusk. The blossoming cosmos of ‘Cherry Dream’ is informed by Tangerine Dream’s iconic soundtrack to the film Risky Business, a compelling reinterpretation of Love On A Real Train replete with darker, electronic elements and live orchestration. ‘Daze’, co-written with guitarist Pascal Bideau, chimes with an acoustic melody and is carried by a rhythmic percussive pulse, whilst the understated ‘Ltd’ was stylistically inspired by Steve Reich’s Electric Counterpoint as well as Daniel and his band’s live improvisations with orchestral collective Stargaze, whose founder and conductor André de Ridder contributed violin on the album. Title track ‘Channels’ melds instrumental ambient with melodramatic embellishments, whilst the record’s closer ‘Twentynine Palms’ takes its name from the vast Californian desert, and was written while Daniel was travelling there, evoking the widescreen and rapturous sound of open space and nature. With Brandt also being skilled as a filmmaker, directing and producing visuals for BBF and Eternal Something, much of the new album’s creative ideas reference a rich visual palette. He directed the video for ‘Flamingo’, a sideways glance at the art world that takes the concept behind John Cage’s 4’33” and turns it on its head. “The video for Flamingo is deliberately non performance — people sitting in a room and watching basically nothing, never really sure if anything is ever going to happen. It’s also a play on John Cage’s 4’33”, except in this instance there isn’t even a performer present.” — Daniel Brandt

                            Daniel’s passion for film even prompted him to kick start his own online television channel Strrr.tv in 2017 that since attracted a lot of attention with guest moderators including BBC Radio DJ Gilles Peterson, modular synth legend Suzanne Ciani and Berghain bouncer Sven Marquardt counting amongst the most popular episodes.

                            Recorded between Berlin and London, Channels is a deeply enthralling listening experience, which sees Daniel Brandt build upon his distinctive percussive sound whilst exploring new and expansive horizons.

                            Various Artists

                            Erased Tapes Artists - 1+1=X

                              “I suppose finding words and meaning to describe this release would be next to impossible. This recording was a real joy, to go back to our humble beginnings. To have the freedom to create art only for ourselves was truly sublime” — Adam Bryanbaum Wiltzie of A Winged Victory For The Sullen

                              Erased Tapes rounds off a jubilant year of tenth anniversary celebrations with a very special release, 1+1=X, a set of exclusive music from every artist on the label. Featuring never before heard tracks from Nils Frahm, Kiasmos and A Winged Victory For The Sullen, 1+1=X sees Erased Tapes artists come together to make an album as a collective. Sharing the same space, instruments and each others’ capabilities during a residency at Vox-Ton studio in Berlin, they recorded 20 songs to mark the label's 10-year history.

                              Between August 2016 and 2017, each artist arrived with a new composition or an improvisation to record at Vox-Ton. Run with much love and care by Italian engineer Francesco Donadello – who has worked on many Erased Tapes recordings before including A Winged Victory For The Sullen, Michael Price and Lubomyr Melnyk – it is one of the few studios left where it’s still possible to record fully analogue, isolated from the city noise and in a room that can fit a large ensemble. Reflective of the communal spirit, 1+1=X is the result of an ambitious undertaking; to create a singular record as a collective, not just a compilation of songs, that celebrates the benefits of community over individuality and improvisation over rigorous planning.

                              “As much as Erased Tapes probably wouldn’t exist if it wasn’t for the digital age, we should also remind ourselves of what we are capable of without it,” adds Raths. “1+1=X is a testament of what can be achieved when we work together as a collective, which is more than the sum of what we can achieve as individuals.”

                              The majority of songs on this album feature contributions from multiple performers, whether it’s Nils Frahm duetting on the keys with Arthur Jeffes of Penguin Cafe, Kiasmos being joined by Högni and a string ensemble, Douglas Dare’s one-take ‘Darling’ featuring Rival Consoles on synths, Masayoshi Fujita on vibes and Raths himself controlling the tremolo on his voice. Peter Broderick’s ‘The Perpetual Glow’ meanwhile, brings in a full big band and choir where everyone present, including the studio staff, was invited to grab any instrument and join in. Every song has a unique story and approach – in-themoment decisions and little accidents that could only come out of these kinds of circumstances where people work together in the same space, sparking off each other and their environment. Even Rival Consoles’ remix of Daniel Brandt’s ‘Blackpool Sands Forever’ was conceived of in the studio kitchen during recording breaks.

                              Japanese vocal performer Hatis Noit decided to bring a field recording of the ocean with her, which she had taken near the Fukushima power plant after participating in a memorial ceremony for the opening of the evacuation area. It is also no coincidence that the album opens with ‘Brutal Moderna’ by Qasim Naqvi (Dawn of Midi) and A Winged Victory For The Sullen’s ‘Long May It Sustain’, which were both recorded on the day the U.S. election results came in. “Qasim asked me to read the news headlines with a stutter over the top of his piece. It was an oddly beautiful experience which brought all of us together on a day when spirits were otherwise a bit low,” says Peter Broderick. “I thought this residency was a wonderful idea. In fact I would have loved to be there for more of it. I made some amazing new friends, some stronger bonds with old friends and some wonderful pieces of music that I’m honoured to be a part of. Robert has often described Erased Tapes as a family, and perhaps above all else this was just his earnest effort to bring the family together. I hope we’ll have some reunions in years to come!” 

                              Nils Frahm

                              Encores 1

                                Encores 1 is five track 12" vinyl EP previously only available as an exclusive, limited release via Rough Trade. It was recorded in Nils Frahm's studio at the Funkhaus in Berlin, as part of the same sessions for the recently released and universally acclaimed new album, All Melody (Official Album Charts #21), released earlier this year on Erased Tapes. 

                                STAFF COMMENTS

                                Darryl says: Suddenly arriving as a top secret release on Friday morning, Frahm delivers five accompanying session tracks to his rather wonderful 'All Melody' album. Top drawer stuff!!

                                Ryan Lee West aka Rival Consoles presents his expressive new album ‘Persona’ via Erased Tapes. The title ‘Persona’ was inspired by Ingmar Bergman’s film of the same name, specifically a shot in the opening credits of a child reaching out to touch a woman’s face on a screen, which is shifting between one face and another. This powerful image struck Ryan and it inspired the album’s main theme — an exploration of the persona, the difference between how we see ourselves and how others see us, the spaces in between; between states, people, light and dark, the inner persona and the outer persona. “My music is generally inward looking. I like finding something about the self within music, that doesn't have to be specific but maybe asks something or reveals something. This record is a continuation on the self through electronic sounds. Like Legowelt once said ‘a synthesiser is like a translator for unknown emotions’, which I think sums up what I am trying to do. I think all these emotions we have make up our persona. So in a way by finding new ones you alter or expand your persona. And that is what I want my music to try to do. I deliberately aimed to be more sonically diverse with this record. I wanted to experiment more. I wanted to create new sounds and new emotions.” — Rival Consoles.

                                Recorded at his studio in south-east London, ‘Persona’ benefits from Ryan’s exploration of a dynamic production process that combines analogue-heavy synthesisers, acoustic and electric instruments with a shoegaze-level obsession with effect pedals. A greater depth of emotion and confidence can be heard across the album. From the deconstructed movements on ‘Unfolding’ that starts the album with a snap of delayed snares, the apocalyptic drones of the title track and thundering drums in ‘Phantom Grip’ to more restrained ambient feels of ‘Dreamer’s Wake’, ‘Rest’ and ‘Untravel’. The latter transverses six beatless minutes of undulating melodies representing “a limbo space, a feeling of ennui, of not really ever being known to others and others not ever really being known to you”.

                                ‘Be Kind’ reveals a musical connection with fellow Erased Tapes artist Nils Frahm, with its minimal approach and improvisational nature. On the more complex sounding ‘I Think So’ Ryan aims to replicate a colour collage with sound. Like a musical kaleidoscope, a flashing and convoluted mass. Written after he saw Slowdive perform live last year, ‘Hidden’ builds from whispers to landscapes of controlled noise. In an interview with XLR8R magazine, Ryan explains: “once you start trying to make a sound loud, then you turn your back on thousands and thousands of sonic possibilities. One of the best things to do is to start a track with a really quiet, weak sound.” Taking this idea to its ultimate conclusion, ‘Fragment’ closes the album as an innocent sounding ambient piece, almost nursery rhyme like, yielding time for reflection on how the persona has changed.

                                ‘Persona’ follows the success of a series of releases — the ‘Odyssey’ and ‘Sonne’ EPs, long player ‘Howl’, and 2016’s mini album ‘Night Melody’ — that saw Ryan mature into what Pitchfork has called a “forward-thinking electronic musician with his own ideas about sound”. Atypical of instrumental-electronic music, Ryan has achieved a signature sound that’s unmistakably identifiable as Rival Consoles. Going beyond typical electronic music production, Ryan defines it as “songwriting with an electronic palette of sounds”. The increasingly dynamic live audio-visual show, born from bespoke performances at the Tate and for Boiler Room at the V&A Museum featuring self-programmed visuals in Max/MSP, has propelled him to play around the world. Ryan launches ‘Persona’ at London’s XOYO on 12th April with further dates to be announced.

                                Frahm returns to Erased Tapes for his most beguiling outing yet. Kicking things off with the choral solemnity of the brief 'The Whole Universe Wants To Be Touched',  before 'Sunson' excellently displays the sort of percussive demi-trance that he and Olafur Arnalds excelled at in their collaborative output. 'My Friend The Forest' has perhaps the most semblance to Frahm's earlier work, with the gently hammered piano strings being subtly blunted with some sort of preparation. It doesn't sound quite as muted as his seminal work (perhaps the felt has worn out a little), and is unmistakeable in it's  rapid trills, separated by moments of acoustic ambience. 

                                'Forever Changeless' is again littered with moments of progressive beauty, but eases off a little on the sustain to give way to a slightly terse atmosphere, beautifully accentuated by Frahm's deft hands before moving into 'All Melody' which couldn't be more reminiscent of the spine-tingling electronic crescendo of 'Says' from 2013's 'Spaces'. 

                                With the percussive workout of '#2' and 'Momentum' taking a metaphorical breath from the more upbeat moments, it gives us time to relax and reflect before the mournful military requiem of 'Fundamental Values' gives way to it's own latter resolution and smooth segue into the tropical arps of 'Kaleidoscope' and the soul-soothing slow-mo beauty of 'Harm Hymn'. 

                                Another beautiful outing for Frahm, and further evidence of his credentials as one of today's most talented composers. 


                                Erased Tapes has the privilege of reissuing Penguin Cafe Orchestra’s last studio album Union Cafe — out December 1st 2017 to coincide with the 20th Anniversary of Simon Jeffes’ passing in 1997.

                                "I was 17 when Simon Jeffes passed away and sadly I never got the chance to meet him whilst he was still walking this earth with his infamous Penguin Cafe Orchestra. There are some parallels between our lives that could simply be rationalised by the fact that anyone that loves music travels a lot. But from what I know about Simon we both seem to believe in something beyond that, something more magical that cannot be explained by numbers alone. For example, the fact that Kyoto had both a special impact on his and my life as the city where he found the harmonium on which he’d write his possibly most famous piece of music and the one where I found the love of my life. Or the fact that we both got severely poisoned by eating bad seafood in the south of France. Although admittedly I can’t say that my bed-bound days of hallucinations come anywhere close to the grandeur of his recurring vision; one of a George Orwell type of desolate future with people living in concrete buildings, hearing without listening, making love and music without touching. It was only the other day that I heard Simon’s son Arthur tell this story for a BBC documentary on the Erased Tapes tenth anniversary festivities inside one of London’s largest brutalist buildings, the Southbank Centre, and in a time when making music and love over the internet is seen as something perfectly normal. I wasn’t aware until then that our shared near-death experience in France propelled Simon to dream up a place called the Penguin Cafe, where penguins serve the Japanese soul food that is Okonomiyaki and wine that makes you feel lighter, float even — a colourful, magical place far away from those big grey buildings where everyone is neutral, numb and anonymous. And so he’d form the Penguin Cafe Orchestra and dedicate his life to writing the joyful music the band would play in that cafe.

                                The first song from Union Cafe that I’d unknowingly heard was Nothing Really Blue, performed live by Arthur and his successor band Penguin Cafe at the Barbican in summer 2016 — another icon in brutalist architecture. He simply announced it as “another one of my dad’s”, and left me wondering all night about which record it was from. Considering myself a decent collector of their music, I thought I’d heard it all. Well, I clearly hadn’t. Another mystery? I forgot to ask when I first met Arthur that night, but it marked the start of our relationship as kindred spirits. For everyone who hasn’t had the pleasure of witnessing it yet, hearing Arthur play his father’s songs with so much joy and gusto truly feels like meeting old friends. And it’s the most beautiful reminder of how everything in this world is connected. It’s one thing to accept growth and decay as a constant passing on of energy and knowledge, from one generation to the next. But I really can’t imagine the kind of love that Simon must feel if only he had the chance to see his son right now, performing his songs in front of thousands of people on both sides of the planet each night.

                                It wasn’t until summer 2017, a whole year later, that Arthur shared his father’s last studio recordings with me. Union Cafe is a record that somehow missed me, simply because it wasn’t available on vinyl like the other records were that I had gathered over the years. I couldn't help but feel privileged for the chance to discover another original PCO album. And so I put my headphones on and lay down at the foot of the small lake in Victoria Park to listen to this box of treasures. And as with all of Simon’s works, a whole world appeared in front of my closed eyelids — a world full of love and wonder, that manages to put tears in my eyes, shivers down my spine and a smile on my face. Scherzo And Trio would become the song that manages to brighten up my days, no matter how grey London sometimes gets. Organum would become the piece that Arthur played at my wedding. Cage Dead with its déjà vu-like character would become the theme song to a series of live sessions with artists from all around the world performing in the Sound Gallery, our new home on 174 Victoria Park Road. Songs like Silver Star Of Bologna and Kora Kora, just like all the classic PCO songs, would feel familiar, though I’d never heard them before. Lie Back And Think Of England sounded like the work of a seasoned composer and yet unfamiliar at the same time — it made me wonder if Simon was planning a new adventure for his orchestra. Lastly, Passing Through would remind me that having a hidden track on your album was very popular with bands in the 90s, but finishing your album with the sound of water dripping out of a sink, slowly forming a musical pattern within all the chaos before the record suddenly ends, surely must be the most perfect way to say goodbye.

                                Dear Simon. Even though we never met, strangely I too feel like I lost a friend on December 11, 1997. And I like to think it’s simply down to the music that you left us, the songs that have become some of the best companions one could ask for, reminding us that there’s an alternative to the prison we’ve built ourselves. And that with every song I get one step closer to the magical world you’ve created, and that Arthur continues to create. I like to think that if I keep listening, maybe one day we will all unite in the Penguin Cafe, so I can tell you all about the wonderful son you and Emily have raised. And so I can thank you for all the love you’ve given this world.”– Robert Raths.

                                Hogni

                                Two Trains

                                  Introducing Icelandic composer and singer Högni, better known as the front man of indie rock band Hjaltalín and previous member of electronic group GusGus, as the newest addition to Erased Tapes with his solo debut album Two Trains – available worldwide on October 20th 2017. Amidst destruction on the mainland, the two locomotives Minør and Pionér transported wagons full of rock and gravel to the Icelandic seaside during the construction of the Reykjavík harbour in 1913-1917.

                                  The two metallic giants ushered in a new age in Iceland. However, soon after construction ceased the two trains were parked and have never driven since. Now they only serve to remind us of the grandeur of a bygone future. They are the only trains ever to have graced the Icelandic landscape. The music in Two Trains embraces the spirit of the original European avant-garde and invokes these concepts in its chugging rhythms, metallic clangs and brooding choral arrangements (men's choruses are a distinctly Icelandic phenomena related to the national/romantic politics of the 19th and 20th century) while the lyrics speak of ominous clouds on the war-ridden eastern horizon and freight cars filled with gravel and dreams.

                                  STAFF COMMENTS

                                  Barry says: Bleak, pulsing electronics, soaring string arrangements, glacial atmospherics and clattering futuristic noisy stuff. PLUS the added bonus of not understanding what they're saying. I like to imagine icelandic bands (Múm, Sigur, etc.) are singing songs about their pet fish, or painting their wagon good. They're probably not, but that's what I like to think.

                                  Various Artists

                                  Erased Tapes Collection VIII

                                    On February 5th 2017 Erased Tapes opened the doors to their new East London home, marking the 10th anniversary by introducing their fans and the public to the new Erased Tapes Sound Gallery. The label will be celebrating with many festival showcases including End Of The Road and Sea Change Festival in the UK, Germany’s Haldern Pop, as well as curating 10th anniversary takeovers of Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall, Colston Hall in Bristol, plus more to be announced.

                                    Commencing these celebrations with a new compilation entitled Erased Tapes Collection VIII, they also welcome the iconic Penguin Cafe to the roster amongst tracks from new signing Daniel Brandt (of Brandt Brauer Frick) and Peter Broderick’s duo project Allred & Broderick. It also includes recent compositions by Rival Consoles, A Winged Victory For The Sullen, Ben Lukas Boysen, Douglas Dare and Immix Ensemble & Vessel, as well as a previously unreleased Ryan Davis remix of Erased Tapes stalwarts Ólafur Arnalds & Nils Frahm which was recently favoured by Aphex Twin and an exclusive edit of Woodkid & Nils Frahm’s score for JR’s Ellis, with spoken words by Robert De Niro. “I simply want to tell a story, whether that’s by compiling this annual collection of songs that connects the dots between all these works of music we had the honour of releasing over the years, or curating a label in general. It helps me reminisce and revisit the moments that brought us all closer together, that make us human.

                                    With each year the picture becomes clearer and the message less reliant on words. I hope that this music helps the listener as much as it helps me to keep imagining, keep focusing, keep awake in a time when silence and peace is so hard to come by. May our new space provide a haven, reflecting these values we share and allowing people to find a moment to slow down in this fast-paced world we live in.” – Robert Raths As the first of many label-curated 10th anniversary celebrations, September sees a weekend takeover of Southbank’s Royal Festival Hall by artists including Kiasmos, Penguin Cafe, Lubomyr Melnyk, Dawn of Midi, Rival Consoles, Peter Broderick & friends. Raths continues, “I can’t think of a better place to stage our 10th anniversary celebrations than Southbank Centre’s Royal Festival Hall. It has unique acoustics and architecture and is one of London’s most prestigious live venues.

                                    We’re extremely excited that for the very first time we’re able to bring together almost every artist on the label to share this special experience with the people that have been a part of this 10-year journey.” Initially founded by German-born Robert Raths in 2007, the London-based label has grown and extended across the world with satellite offices in Los Angeles and Berlin. Spanning over ten years, Erased Tapes has nurtured avant-garde artists from all around the world whilst remaining genre-defying and truly independent.

                                    STAFF COMMENTS

                                    Barry says: Erased tapes have had a great year. Constantly pushing the boundaries of 'Modern Classical' or 'Ambient' music. What we have here is a wide-ranging and immersive look into their varied and fascinating output. Mounrful modern-classical, skittering electronica, jangly neo-folk, spoken word. A fascinating and varied overview of one of the greatest labels around today.

                                    FORMAT INFORMATION

                                    2xColoured LP Info: Ltd. Edition on Clear Double Vinyl.

                                    2xColoured LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                    Olafur Arnalds

                                    Eulogy For Evolution 2017

                                      Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds reissues and revives his debut album in form of a special remastered 10th Anniversary edition titled Eulogy For Evolution 2017 — available worldwide via Erased Tapes on August 25th. Following its initial release in 2007 and coinciding with Ólafur’s 30th birthday, label founder Robert Raths gifted the chance for this record to shine a second time. Eulogy For Evolution is a journey from birth to death, transporting the listener through life itself.

                                      Originally written as a teenager, the record has now been restored with the help of his friends, remixed by Ólafur himself and remastered by Nils Frahm. The cover art was redesigned and enhanced by Torsten Posselt at FELD using the original photographs taken by Stuart Bailes during a trip to Ólafur’s home in Iceland in 2007.

                                      To experience the record in the present day is not only to experience the past, but also the sheer timelessness and relevance of these compositions, and the ambition Ólafur has had from the very beginning. “Fast forward 10 years, our relationships and knowledge in sound have matured, but you can still hear this urgency in Óli’s songs that caught my ears to begin with”, states Robert Raths.

                                      Ben Lukas Boysen & Sebastian Plano

                                      Everything

                                      Enter the all-encompassing universe of Everything, a score by Ben Lukas Boysen and Sebastian Plano. Game creator David OReilly has built an interactive world for you to explore at your choosing. Whether you decide to take the role of a microbe inside a plant in the desert, or a star in the furthermost galaxy, each layer of the game is coated with ambience which takes the simulation even further into the limitless boundaries of each world. Composers Ben Lukas Boysen and Sebastian Plano have shaped this experience with their intricate 4-hour soundscape, alongside the continuous narration by philosopher Alan Watts. Words from Ben and Sebastian, April 2017:

                                      “Composing something quite modular yet coherent that connects with the idea and fabric of the game was quite a task. We discussed many approaches, from really mathematical and direct, to abstract and philosophical, and we ended up with a mixture of both. Every element depends and builds on another and connects to previous and following songs. May it be on a compositional or on an abstract and conceptual level, the game and the music follow the same path and shares almost the same inspirational DNA.“ — Ben Lukas Boysen "Working on the soundtrack has been a truly inspiring collaboration. What fascinates me about the game is the self-exploratory approach it allows the player to experience; there is no purpose other than just being. This concept gave us wonderful freedom in searching for sounds and ideas that would fit the game.

                                      Throughout the score there is a subtle level of drama which gives depth to the game, yet the music never becomes predominant taking the player away from the main experience of being anything. Honest, simple and beautiful, Everything has been a rewarding creative journey to contribute to." — Sebastian Plano Though the score has an important part to play in heightening the atmosphere of the game, it has the capability of being a standalone album – carefully sequenced down to a 10-track selection by label founder Robert Raths. There is a considerably therapeutic quality about it, allowing the audience to transcend into a meditative state, which is what makes it a perfect partner for Everything. The music is a whole world of its own, yet part of the game’s universe.

                                      The iconic Penguin Cafe join the Erased Tapes family and open a brand new chapter to their unique world with new album The Imperfect Sea.

                                      A penguin stands in the middle of a scorching desert, far away from its natural habitat. This mirrors composer Arthur Jeffes’ journey and exploration into a new musical territory. Penguin Cafe have evolved into something of their own at the hands of Arthur who started the band in 2009 with the continuation and homage to his father’s legacy, to the late Simon Jeffes’ Penguin Cafe Orchestra. Now, their upcoming album echoes reminiscent sounds that embrace the new.

                                      The album title refers to a saying by his father that “we wade in a sea of imperfections…”, reflecting upon the idea that beauty can be found amongst the chaos. “If there is a narrative to the album it’s coming to the acceptance of the imperfections in all aspects of life; moreover, the recognition that these imperfections and tiny randomnesses are in fact what make up the best parts”, Arthur explains. This has also been highlighted by the striking cover artwork designed by FELD under the art direction of label founder Robert Raths, resembling a lone figure adapting to and accepting its surrounding environment.

                                      Predominantly self-composed, the new album also features covers of electronic works by Simian Mobile Disco and Kraftwerk, along with a re-working of Simon's 'Now Nothing'. Arthur has developed from the traditional folk and jazz heritage Penguin Cafe Orchestra is known for into another realm of blissful ambience and dance music, recreated using strictly acoustic elements.

                                      “For this album I wanted to effect a departure from where we’d been up to now. The idea was to create a musical world that would feel familiar to an audience more used to dance records but stay true to our own values. So we replaced electronic layers with real instruments: pads with real string sections, synths with heavily-effected pianos, and atmospheric analogue drones with real feedback loops ringing through a stone and a piano soundboard.”


                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                      Barry says: Keeping the upbeat and intricate, but decidedly pastoral vibes of Penguin Cafe Orchestra (a different, but both figuratively and literally related band) intact whilst having a different focal point was never going to be an easy task for Arthur Jeffes, but on 'The Imperfect Sea' we get the perfect combination. Erased Tapes are, in the most part a modern-classical label (there are a good number of exceptions), and there are definitely nods to that in “Control 1” and “Rescue”, but with it come brilliant folky outings like opener “Ricercar” and the wildly dreamy staccato-string haze of “Franz Schubert”. With their name being as it is, Penguin Cafe are never going to escape the considerable shadow of PCO, but with a history as rich as theirs, and with Jeffes' ability to put his own twist on their already established sound, why would you? A stunningly rich, and hugely rewarding journey.

                                      Peter Broderick returns with Allred & Broderick – a duo project between him and his musical partner David Allred – and their debut album ‘Find The Ways’ out on April 7th 2017. Armed with nothing but their voices, a violin and an upright bass, Allred & Broderick began their journey to create an album as minimal as possible.

                                      Recorded in Peter’s studio The Sparkle on the Oregon coast, the pair used this solitude to focus on creating something as raw and honest as possible, particularly in what some might deem unattainable during a time where complexity is sought most. In a world full of noise and the anxieties of every day life, Find The Ways brings us together and reminds us to appreciate and confront the simple and fundamental facts of life, and that we as individuals will eventually find our way. Words from Peter and David, January 2017: “I sensed a truly unique character in David’s own music that is wonderfully heartfelt and sincere.

                                      With this recording David and I set out to make something raw which is an honest document of what we are capable of doing together at once, with just two acoustic instruments and our voices. The entire album was recorded live, with no overdubs and no edits. Just two guys playing together in a room. I have always dreamed of doing a project in which I only use my violin and my voice and David just plays upright bass and sings. It truly is a fifty-fifty collaboration.” – Peter Broderick “It is such a pleasure to work with Peter. I feel that we're on the same page in more ways than one, both musically and non-musically.

                                      The making of this album was an incredibly fun challenge; writing music to be performed and recorded live with only violin, upright bass, and voices. It still amazes me that we managed to make a whole record with only those three elements. Over the years, I have felt a very strong connection to Peter's music and friendship, and I feel that this collaboration comes from a really good place. I hope this music gives the listeners a feeling of comfort, confusion and understanding.” – David Allred

                                      A Winged Victory For The Sullen, the otherworldly collaboration between Adam Bryanbaum Wiltzie and Dustin O’Halloran, return with their third full-length titled Iris – available worldwide via Erased Tapes. Adam Bryanbaum Wiltzie and Dustin O'Halloran first met the director Jalil Lespert after he had discovered A Winged Victory For The Sullen on a music search online. After listening to their music, he immediately knew: "it was the sound of my new film". With an excellent cast of France’s finest actors Romain Duris, Charlotte Le Bon, and the director himself, plus a script filled with tension, sexuality and darkness, they knew there was a lot of musical territory to mine. It was agreed that they wanted to explore more analogue electronique experiments as well as working with a large string ensemble, to create something that felt very modern and still cinematic.

                                      “Despite A Winged Victory For The Sullen being associated with film score type music, trying to survive the process of creating the modern film score is not for people with fragile egos. It requires those who are the most responsive to change. The director and the film presented a new set of challenges, so we decided to stop thinking about cinema as an object, and moved closer to using the film’s images as triggers for experiences. The more we were able to let go, and see the music as something that happens, like a process – not a quality, the more we were able to reach a place that sounded like us. It was as if we were making our first record all over again, except being filtered through another language littered with dead metaphors”, the duo elaborate. The recording sessions began with their long time sound collaborator Francesco Donadello in the form of some modular synth sessions in Berlin. Dustin and Adam began working from the script in their own studios, and after filming commenced they continued to create music that could be used for first edits of the film – each day getting new scenes that triggered ideas that would become the base of the film score. Over the course of the next few months the two slowly crafted the music with weekly discussion from their studio to the editing room. The final sessions to what is now the score of Iris were recorded with a 40-piece string orchestra at Magyar Radio in Budapest.

                                      Upon label founder Robert Raths' request the over sixty minutes of material were then edited down to a concise album listen at forty-one minutes with a physical release set for January 13, 2017. The digital bonus track edition includes two solo pieces by Adam Bryanbaum Wiltzie entitled The Endless Battle Of The Maudlin Ballade Part 2 and The Endless Battle Of The Maudlin Ballade Part 3, as well as tracks by Petite Noir, dOP, DJ Pone and The Shoes which feature in the film. The artwork was created by Berlin based illustrator Stephanie F. Scholz who also created the iconic cover for Nils Frahm's Music for The Motion Picture Victoria.

                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                      Barry says: ‘Iris’ builds on their already stunning canon with a smattering of pulsing synthesis joining their trademark modern classical soundscapes.

                                      FORMAT INFORMATION

                                      Ltd LP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                      Not long after the release of Peter Broderick’s seventh solo album ‘Partners’, the composer closes 2016 with his equally exceptional ‘Grunewald’ recordings via Erased Tapes.

                                      Born in just one night inside the four walls of the discrete yet majestic Grunewald Church, situated on the outskirts of Berlin, this five-track EP is an exploration of the alluring partnership between the acoustic space and Broderick's solo performance on piano and violin. Reflecting the grandeur of the room and the natural interaction between the instruments and their surrounding environment, 'Grunewald' pays homage to a very unusual space that's become a haven for an entire generation of contemporary composers.

                                      Words from Peter, October 2016:
                                      “In the few years between 2008 and 2011 or so, the Grunewald Church in Berlin was something of a hotspot for a group of us musicians. It started when Nils scouted it as a location in which to record The Bells . . . and then it seemed like we were in there every month or two for a while, either for recordings or for concerts.

                                      There was a lady living just down the street from the church, and we’d just knock on her door, give her a couple hundred euros, and then she’d hand over the keys to the church! To be given unsupervised access in a space like that is really quite unheard of most of the time… For anyone who likes reverb, the Grunewald is a dream come true. That in combination with the beautiful old Bösendorfer piano made it the perfect place for both recording and performing.

                                      When mixing the recordings that comprise this EP, simply titled Grunewald in homage to that old haven of ours, there were no artificial reverbs or delays used . . . only the natural sound of that epic space. Originally these piano recordings were released as part of a split album on a small Japanese label, and the violin piece was included on a compilation, also Japanese . . . but all these pieces were recorded on the same night, in the same space, and it is with great pleasure that I see them reunited for this release.”

                                      Adam Bryanbaum Wiltzie

                                      Salero: Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

                                      Adam Bryanbaum Wiltzie, the creative force behind A Winged Victory For The Sullen and Stars Of The Lid, is to officially release his score for the non-fiction film ‘Salero’ on November 11th.

                                      Having channelled some of the most iconic drift music of our time through A Winged Victory For The Sullen and Stars of the Lid, 2016 has already seen Erased Tapes luminary Adam Bryanbaum Wiltzie provide original scores for a number of feature films including Jalil Lespert’s ‘Iris’ and ‘The Yellow Birds’ by Alexandre Moors.

                                      It’s on ‘Salero’ however, that we see Wiltzie weave some of his finest work and deliver an expertly distilled accompaniment to director Mike Plunkett’s sprawling, uncompromising visuals. Set in Bolivia’s Salar de Uyuni, the world’s largest salt flat, the narrative follows the region’s ‘Saleros’ – those who have for generations gathered salt and earned enough to somehow carve out an existence in such a barren landscape. It’s with the discovery of huge Lithium reserves – a mineral used frequently throughout the tech industry – under the scorched earth that acts as a catalyst for exploitation of the environment and its people; holding a microscope to the drastic effect industrialisation has on local culture and tradition.

                                      “I have always said that composing music is infinitely easier when you have beautiful images to be inspired by. It was a pleasure to write a score over this captivating place of endless, glimmering salt before its impending demise. I was fascinated by this mythical space and its ability to define the identities of the people who live in its vicinity, where this vast salt flat itself would be a central character” – Adam Bryanbaum Wiltzie

                                      Recording took place in Adam’s Belgium-based studio for the guitars, percussion and small string ensemble tracking. Hungary was chosen for the final large string orchestra recordings at Magyar Radio Studio #22 with the Budapest Art Orchestra.


                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                      Barry says: As expected, Stars Of The Lid and AWVFTS member Adam Bryanbaum Wiltzie comes out with a heartbreaking suite of modern-classical masterpieces resplendent with emotional heft and aching beauty. Slow string pulls and soaring crescendos, all delivered with impeccable grace and breathtaking precision. Beautiful.

                                      Following his acclaimed debut "Whelm", London-based singer-songwriter and pianist Douglas Dare returns to Erased Tapes with his sophomore album "Aforger". In a digital age where memories are mimicked by pixels and identity is as malleable as static, Douglas Dare’s new album "Aforger" questions the boundaries between reality and fiction. Inspired by recent events and revelations encountered in his life these songs depict Dare at his most vulnerable, whilst simultaneously reflecting our own obsession with reality and technology back at us. Aforger was produced by long-time collaborator Fabian Prynn, mixed by Paul Gregory of Lanterns On The Lake and mastered at the iconic Abbey Road Studios. In the following conversation Douglas strips back the personal journeys and realisations which preceded its recording.

                                      In a conversation with Douglas Dare on July 11th 2016:
                                      The album title plays with the idea of a forger – someone creating imitations or copies, and reimagines them as the creator of something that’s no longer real. Prior to writing the record, I came out to my father and came out of a long relationship, both were hugely challenging for me and questioned my idea of identity and reality. These thoughts leaked out into the record and formed the core of Aforger. I was determined not to write a break-up album or repeat what I’d done before..

                                      I grew up on quite an isolated farm in Dorset, surrounded by fields and not much besides. My mother taught piano from home and we didn’t have a computer, or the internet or mobile phones. In fact, my family still chooses not to use these things. It’s worlds apart from my life now in London where technology seems to dominate everything I do.

                                      After finding out my boyfriend had been leading this double-life, I became obsessed with the question of what is real and George Orwell’s 1984 felt appropriate for me to re-read. Orwell explains this idea of reality control and Doublethink, and it struck a chord with me. The idea that truth can be steered or changed, and we might be able to believe two contradictory things at once. In my case, ignorance was my protection from the truth and ignorance really is bliss, until you’re no longer ignorant.

                                      Binary talks about the idea that technology is allowing us to live on after we’re gone. A relative of mine whose parent passed away kept a picture of them on their phone as a background image. A friend saw this and asked ‘how can you have that there to constantly remind you of your loss?’ They replied, ‘no I have to, it shows me that they’re still here’. This resonated with me and I thought ‘okay, this is just an image to me but to them it’s more than a reminder or a reassurance, it’s a reality’. At the same time, I was finding myself haunted by the digital reminder of my ex-partner and wishing they would disappear. I had to realise that it’s all just pixels on a screen.

                                      I think New York can be thought of as this fabricated, magical place. I was there with my boyfriend after touring the U.S., but when I came back to London I discovered all these lies and began questioning everything. I even questioned whether New York actually happened or not. New York is a song that’s literally describing that very real feeling of not knowing who or what to believe any more – scary and magical at the same time.

                                      Lyrically I wanted to be as honest as possible. The album deals with so much dishonesty, so I felt the lyrics had to be the counterbalance. I was inspired by Björk’s album Vulnicura and how everything is almost awkward in its honesty. Like my first album, Aforger started as poetry, but I consciously tried to be less poetic. For instance, Oh Father is an example of complete unambiguity. It’s certainly the most personal song I’ve put out there, and the realisation that people may hear it makes me feel very vulnerable. That’s the most real feeling of all for me right now.

                                      Veteran Erased Tapes recording artist Peter Broderick set to release new studio album Partners on 19th August 2016.

                                      For close to a decade, Portland’s Peter Broderick has cut his own unpredictable path through the world of contemporary music. So far, his wanderings have led him from solo works into the realms of film, dance and documentary scores, as well as art installations.

                                      Now Peter takes that unpredictability one step further. For his latest album, a series of voice and piano recordings, he experiments with chance, surrendering an entire song’s composition to the roll of dice.

                                      As he explains below in an email to Erased Tapes founder Robert Raths, it was John Cage’s tendency to remove himself from his music, to somehow automate his own process, which inspired the strange mechanics with which this record was created.

                                      In the words of Cage himself, ‘the world is teeming; anything can happen.’

                                      STAFF COMMENTS

                                      Barry says: He went a bit off-piste there for a bit didn't he? Not to say that 'It Starts Hear' wasn't great (not heard quite so many references to the World Wide Web in pop media since Sandra Bullock's magnum opus 'The Net') It clearly had it's moments, as did the following albums. This is a different beast altogether however, much like Broderick's modern-classical masterpiece 'Float', this is elegant and beautiful piano music. Reverb drenched piano glides along, slowed-down arpeggios segue into hurried note clusters before washing away into a stream-of-consciousness ambient wash. This is as mellow as I've heard Broderick's work for some time, and it's as moving as it ever was.

                                      Peter Broderick

                                      Music For Falling From Trees

                                        Through relentless touring and multiple album recordings, Portlandbased Peter Broderick has established himself as a contemporary composer, known for his innate gift as a musical medium to picking up any instrument, turning his musings into poignant songs. The scope of Peter’s work is vast – his recordings and original score work currently feature in dance arrangements, art installations, films and documentaries. He collaborated with many like-minded contemporaries such as Nils Frahm and Greg Haines, and featured on Clint Mansell’s Last Night soundtrack. Peter’s signature emotional depth cuts through any instrument to create stirring, personal music that is full of artistic detail. Currently an artist in residence at Sirius Arts Centre in Cobh, Ireland, 2016 has much in store for Peter.

                                        2009’s Music for Falling From Trees, a 30-minute piece in seven sections, was created for a contemporary dance by London-based choreographer Adrienne Hart at Neon Dance. Adrienne was looking for a score of piano and strings, so Peter left the guitar and his voice aside and focused entirely on those two timbres. The dance tells the story of a man in a psychiatric hospital, and his struggle to maintain his identity. The music is sometimes melancholic, sometimes playful, sometimes chaotic, but with the combination of piano and strings, full of beauty, reverence and awe.

                                        IN HIS OWN WORDS: “In late 2008, Adrienne Hart contacted me about scoring her new work, Falling From Trees. In Adrienne's words, ‘the piece is set in a psychiatric hospital and centered around one man's struggle to retain his identity in the most extreme of circumstances.’ There are four dancers in the piece. One male playing the patient, and three female hospital workers. I had been making music for a variety of film projects, but the thought of scoring a dance was very exciting to me. I was on tour at the time, so I wasn't able to start writing the music until I had a break in early January. The dance premiered on January 21st, so I had about three weeks to create the score. I camped out up in the top of my father's barn with some minimal recording equipment, my violin and viola, and an old broken piano. Given the time constraints, I approached the music in a very open way. Rather than sit down and try to compose something, I just set up a microphone and started playing. After coming up with a couple of themes on the piano, I started recording, using those small themes and improvising around them. Most of the sections have a small core that is composed, and then the rest is improvised. Luckily for me this method seemed to work. I would work all day and then send a sketch over to Adrienne, and every time her response was positive. So in this way we worked very well together. I give my hugest thanks to Adrienne for trusting me to create the music for her wonderful work. Adrienne told me from the beginning she was looking for a score of piano and strings. So I decided to take this literally and make a rule not to use any other instruments. In the script it called for the sound of a ticking clock. I made this sound by tapping on the body of the violin with my fingernails. The sound of an electric shock given to the patient is depicted by a quick, distorted piano chord. And all other droning and bass tones were made by extending and processing violin and/or piano tones, etc. Thank you very much for listening.” – Peter Broderick, March 2009.

                                        A collection of nine reworks crafted by fans and selected by Nils himself form the ‘Screws Reworked’ re-issue, also featuring his original ‘Screws’

                                        The 2012 album 'Screws' by Nils Frahm, was the result of inspiration from his fans and friends while he recovered from an unfortunate accident, which saw him fall from his bunk bed located directly above his studio, which resulted in a broken thumb. These nine intimate recordings were offered to fans to download for free and in return fans thanked Nils by sending him their audio and visual reinterpretations.

                                        Fascinated by the results, Nils then publicly asked his fans to submit their reworks or any form of art that was inspired by the release and all these submissions have been collected since on a dedicated website: screws.nilsfrahm.com. It gave birth to the 'Screws Reworked' project from which Nils selected nine reworks to feature on a special edition re-issue which also includes his original ‘Screws’.

                                        Helios, Bug Lover and Plasma Rüby are amongst Nils’s final selection for ‘Screws Reworked’, housed in an inner sleeve a visual rework created by Adam Young aka Saturnine.

                                        “Whenever you have to decide between two things, you end up favouring one over the other. In the case of this record, I had to choose nine out of hundreds of songs – but I didn’t want to follow this logic, I didn’t want the songs to compete against each other. I never liked music competitions, neither when I was a kid playing classical music contests nor today when the best album of 2015 is awarded. Having been in the situation to pick my own tracks for my own records, I knew that the only way to manage this tough job is to concentrate on the cohesiveness of listening to the songs all together. Screws Reworked should sound like a record, not like a random collection of tracks.

                                        The motivation to make such a record came with the release of Screws in 2012 as a gift to my listeners. I thought about it as a starting point for people to make their own interpretations of the songs. The feedback was overwhelming. A couple of months later, we counted over 300 contributions. Without going through a selection process, they were all available only online until now. It seemed essential to make it a real record as I imagined how happy it must make those who would find their names – in most cases for the first time – on a real record.

                                        Now is the time to thank you all for your numerous and beautiful contributions. In case you don’t find your track here, please don’t think it stands behind the others. This record means, in fact, that some of the most beautiful songs couldn’t be included as they simply weren’t ‘good neighbours’ and because there is only one rework for each of my original compositions. However all of you opened your hearts and minds and shared your uniqueness with us and I feel incredibly blessed by each and every single rework of Screws. Thank you!” – Nils Frahm.

                                        Lubomyr Melnyk returns with his new album ‘Rivers and Streams’, the embodiment of his signature style.

                                        Ukrainian pianist Lubomyr Melnyk has often felt that his unique Continuous Music playing is akin to water – flowing and ever connected. As he further developed his technique, and the more the notes flowed, the closer to water he felt. “I found my hands and arms and everything inside them changing from normal muscle and flesh to well... water.”

                                        With his latest album, ‘Rivers and Streams’, Lubomyr focuses deeply on this connection to water, to the point where the music itself begins to embody its liquid form. Produced by Robert Raths and Jamie Perera, the album flows seamlessly from the live recordings of ‘The Pool of Memories’, captured in a church, to pieces entirely born in the studio, such as ‘Sunshimmers’ and ‘Ripples in a Water Scene’, which feature Perera on acoustic and electric guitar.

                                        Amorphous, ever-changing, Lubomyr as performer becomes subsumed into the natural ebb and flow of the keys as the album drifts between nascent upstream trickles and deeply reflective passages through winding river valleys. The album reaches its climax in ‘The Amazon’, a 20-minute piece dedicated to the world’s largest river. Raths invited Korean flautist Hyelim Kim to guest on the first part, before Lubomyr closes the album with cascades of arpeggio figures, stretching across the breadth of the keyboard with rapid virtuosity.

                                        Following on from 2013’s ‘Corollaries’ album and last year’s ‘Evertina’ EP, Lubomyr’s latest offering compounds upon his existing fluid signature style, and breathes an organic vitality, both nuanced and thoughtful.

                                        "In the body of the Continuous Piano Master, the fingers and the hands turn into Water, Air and Stone. These are the three manifestations of the Continuous Technique. And for the Continuous Pianist, the fingers physically transform the music into one of these three elements.

                                        The greatest of all miracles in the universe is Water. It is also, I believe, the rarest of all physical things in the universe. Water is the most magical and the most mysterious of all things we know! And so I dedicate this album to the Rivers and Streams of this world – in gratitude for their Beauty!“ – Lubomyr Melnyk.

                                        STAFF COMMENTS

                                        Barry says: Another beautiful release from Lubomyr Melnyk, creator and practician of what he calls 'Continuous Music'. A technique in which constant notes are played throughout the pieces, creating a driven and dynamic style. Despite being continously playing, Melnyk manages to imbue these pieces with a certain delicacy when needed, reminiscent of Labelmate Nils Frahm, these tracks are beautifully nuanced and outstandingly performed. Gorgeous meditative modern-classical.

                                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                                        LP Info: Black vinyl edition.

                                        Olafur Arnalds & Nils Frahm

                                        Loon

                                          Ólafur Arnalds and Nils Frahm reveal third collaborative EP titled ‘Loon’ via joint website – following on from their recent surprise 7” record store release ‘Life Story Love And Glory’ and 12” reissue of 2012’s ‘Stare’.

                                          Containing five synthesiser-led pieces, ‘Loon’ was recorded in autumn 2014 across five days at Nils’s Durton Studio in Berlin, and continues on from the ambient sounds of ‘Stare’ but with the addition of more percussive elements and dub influences. For this new EP the duo wired an Oberheim 4 Voice and a Korg PS3100 to the mixing desk and performed live takes on both instruments. With all four hands on its pots, all mixes were recorded straight onto 2-track ½-inch tape.

                                          Like on ‘Stare’, their first collaborative affair in 2012, they simply followed what was laying in front of them, and this time they were driven by some new synths, a kick drum and tape effects. Indulging in dub, the tracks where all performed rather than engineered, with Ólafur riding a few elements on faders and Nils bringing effects in and out. After running several mixes, they went for the five strongest moments from this session. The release was announced on a joint website www.arnaldsfrahm.com together with the launch of an intimate 45-minute studio film titled ‘Trance Frendz’, featuring another seven improvisations.

                                          “Nils got some new synths and we thought we’d try them out. We loved them so much that we didn’t actually end up using anything else to make these songs.” – Ólafur Arnalds

                                          “When I was young I was smuggled to Goa parties by my brother. The music played there in the late nineties had a somewhat deep effect on me. ‘Loon’ is almost a blurry memory of these times. In other words, it is what I’d like to remember that music sounded like back then. In fact it sounded probably really cheesy.” – Nils Frahm.

                                          FORMAT INFORMATION

                                          Ltd 12" includes MP3 Download Code.

                                          Olafur Arnalds & Nils Frahm

                                          Stare

                                            Originally released as a strictly limited 10-inch vinyl record exclusive on Record Store Day 2012, this long sold-out must-have for fans of these two artists will finally be re-issued – this time in 12-inch format!

                                            Erased Tapes label mates Ólafur Arnalds and Nils Frahm recorded and mixed their first collaborative record between Reyjkjavík and Berlin as a surprise release for label founder Robert Raths.

                                            The ambient/electronic work ‘Stare’ is a true family effort with long-time collaborator Anne Müller joining in on cello and all graphics created by close label-friend and designer Torsten Posselt of FELD Studios.

                                            Words by Nils Frahm:

                                            “I heard ‘Eulogy For Evolution’ for the first time six years ago and I was totally captivated. Impossible to know back then that I was supposed to meet Ólafur many years later as my label mate. Later when he took me along a tour of his we also noted that we kind of like hanging out together, doing important things like cover versions of long forgotten songs or eating veggie pizza. Also he would join my live set for a jam and I would return the favour by playing along with his set.

                                            All in all, I fell for Óli and after one memorable jam session we had in Berlin at Roter Salon in 2011, he finally proposed the idea to visit me in my studio in Berlin to work on 'some music'. I was happy and delighted about that idea, so we got together in April 2011 and after having a big pizza, I plugged in some old analogue synths and we played for four days until late in the night. Also queen Anne Müller stopped by after a show with Agnes Obel to record some cello at 5 am in the morning for ‘b1’. Making music together with people is lovely!

                                            The time I spent with Óli in Berlin made me very happy and the music wasn't like anything I have heard before. It was all very reduced and minimal and I felt like I couldn't have done this alone. So we decided to do another 4-day jam at Óli´s E7 studio in Reykjavik. So I flew there in the end of October 2011 to repeat the trick and record some out of this world ambient music. It didn't take us too long to write ‘a1’ and ‘a2’. I can’t wait for the follow up!”

                                            Nils Frahm has always said that he’s just waiting for something real special when being asked if he would ever score the music for a film. And that’s exactly what German director Sebastian Schipperpresented to him with his one-take feature ‘Victoria’. Filmed in Berlin, Victoria’s plot sees a runaway party girl, who's asked by three friendly men to join them as they hit the town, but their wild night of partying suddenly turns into a bank robbery as the music changes from techno to subdued piano sounds.

                                            For the recording session at Studio P4 in Berlin, Frahm enlisted the help of long-time collaborator and cellist Anne Müller, violist Viktor Orri Árnason and ambient artist Erik K. Skodvin of Deaf Center on guitar.

                                            The soundtrack opens with an edit of ‘Burn With Me’ by German producer DJ Koze.

                                            Dear viewer and listener,

                                            I’ve finally written music for a film. It took me some time to do so, as I was patiently waiting for a movie that would truly speak to me. When director Sebastian Schipper invited me to work on Victoria, I knew it was worth the long wait. Does such a strong film even need music? I realised it wouldn’t be easy to create a score that embraces these bold pictures.

                                            Luckily we were given unusual creative freedom by approaching the movie together with Sebastian Schipper, who was keeping the production and direction to one single team. The score was recorded in a special location, the former GDR broadcasting production facilities that today host Studio P4. We simply put a big screen in the middle of the room, filled it with microphones and instruments, set the movie on loop and kept improvising on top of it together – my good friends and I.

                                            The guest musicians started their recording session by playing a cohesive take over the course of the whole movie. This was the most interesting part of the day, since they hadn’t seen the film before. They became spectators and creators at once, intuitively recording hundreds of different cues that way. You are about to listen to some of its highlights. I hope they do Victoria and your ears justice.

                                            With love, Nils Frahm.


                                            Nils Frahm reveals new ‘Solo’ album and the ‘Klavins 450’ piano project on the world’s first Piano Day!

                                            Berlin-based composer Nils Frahm has fast become know as a prolific performer and recording artist with the piano at the core. Piano Day is an official body created by Nils and his closest friends, and will house various exciting, piano-related projects. The first project revealed by the Piano Day team is the building of what will be world’s tallest piano: the Klavins 450.

                                            As the life-long dream of David Klavins, it even exceeds the currently largest upright piano there is, the Klavins M370. Situated in Germany, Tübingen, 1.8 tons in weight, 3.7 meters high, its longest strings are about 10 feet in length. And it was on this piano that Nils recorded eight improvised piano motifs in one sitting, which form his new ‘Solo’ album – available for free download on the world’s first Piano Day on the 88th day (March 29, 2015) from www.pianoday.org. Once recorded, Nils began to think of ways to release the album as a gift to his fans, similarly to his 2012 release ‘Screws’, and that’s when Nils came up with the idea of Piano Day.

                                            With a target of 100.000 euros to reach, Nils eases his fans into sharing their money for the project with this free release. All direct donations and a portion from any record sales will go to the Klavins 450 project until the target has been hit.

                                            LINER NOTES:
                                            Situated in Germany, Tübingen, 1.8 tons in weight, 3.7 meters high: the Klavins M370 is probably the largest upright piano there is. Its longest strings are about 10 feet in length.
                                            This colossus was initially built to evaluate a useful maximum size of the piano. Driven by the assumption that pianos could sound better, David got to work in 1985 and finished his instrument 2 years later. Back then I was 5 years old, having no idea how much I would fall in love with it.
                                            When I finally met David Klavins and his enormous piano 27 years later, in the very beginning of 2014, I arrived with empty hands. I didn't know what music, what songs I was about to record in the next 3 days.
                                            Every piano has unique features and certain strengths. Some have more, some have less of them, but there is no bad piano out there, although I do moan about them almost all the time. Some simply hide their secrets better than others. These thoughts made me start to write music when I am with the particular instrument, the tape running.
                                            The 8 pieces featured on this album were selected out of hours of improvising, happy hours as I recollect. The joy of playing and listening to the sound of the instrument made me play slower and slower, softer and softer, as almost every new note was destroying the immense beauty and sustain of the previous note. I was preparing the instrument with parts of my felt collection, carefully tuning mic positions with the help of my dear friend and recording gear wizard Matthias Hahn and simply playing whatever came to my mind. In conversations about this I am still struggling for words in order to praise David’s instrument. Words simply don’t do it justice, so listen for yourself. With lots of love, Nils Frahm.

                                            A Winged Victory For The Sullen

                                            Atomos

                                            Adam Wiltzie and Dustin O’Halloran return with their second studio album inspired by contemporary dance and new instrumentation.

                                            After releasing a first glimpse in the form of the ‘Atomos VII’ EP earlier this year, A Winged Victory For The Sullen finally reveal their second full-length album entitled ‘Atomos’, which besides familiar piano, string and drone sounds also sees the duo introduce flurries of electronics, harp and modular synthesisers.

                                            In 2011 A Winged Victory For The Sullen introduced themselves to the world with a self-titled album, showcasing their unique collaboration of ambient guitar drone from Stars Of The Lid member Adam Bryanbaum Wiltzie and sparse piano tunes by contemporary classical composer Dustin O’Halloran, winning them fans around the world. "An immersive, and inevitably cinematic, ambient gem" ★★★★ – Mojo

                                            Wayne McGregor, founder of Random Dance Company and resident choreographer at the Royal Ballet, was one of these fans and chose to play the album repeatedly during practices with his core group of dancers. After noticing the group's reaction with the music, he contacted Adam and Dustin to see if they could write the score for his new oeuvre. The duo were given complete artistic freedom and they treated the score with the same care and attention as their debut album. They recorded more than sixty minutes of music over a four-month period during the summer of 2013 across studios in Brussels, Berlin and Reykjavik, with the help of their long time collaborative sound engineer Francesco Donadello. During the recording process they realised, that this would become their official second studio album. McGregor provided them with the inspiration to expand their sound palette into more electronic territory, whilst keeping their signature chamber sound, resulting in a very unique record.

                                            IN THEIR OWN WORDS:
                                            “As a wise man once said, one who procrastinates their own choosing will inevitably have their choice served to them by circumstance. We had virtually no time for second guessing ourselves. That being said, we tried to balance the discordance between being creative, and fulfilling our duties for a commissioned soundtrack with a very strict deadline, and all the while staying true to our collective melancholy.” – Adam Bryanbaum Wiltzie

                                            “We never imagined 2013 would be such an explosively creative year. The first record took us two years from start to finish, but in the micro span of time over last summer we were able to change the formula for the way we write, record, and let go. It was incredibly liberating.” – Dustin O'Halloran.

                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                            2xLP Info: Double LP in a gatefold sleeve.

                                            A Winged Victory For The Sullen

                                            Atomos VII

                                              Erased Tapes are pleased to announce the release of A Winged Victory for the Sullen's ‘ATOMOS VII’. The first installment leading up to the release of the second full length studio album 'ATOMOS', and score for choreographer Wayne McGregor's long form dance piece.

                                              McGregor was heavily influenced by the duo's 2011 self-titled debut, playing it repeatedly during practices with his core group of dancers. After noticing the group's reaction with the music, he contacted Adam and Dustin to see if they could write the score for his new oeuvre. The duo recorded more than sixty minutes of music over a four-month period during the summer of 2013 in Brussels, Berlin and Reykjavik with the help of their longtime collaborative sound engineer Francesco Donadello. This EP also sees the involvement of Ben Frost, who composed the music for McGregor’s previous work 'Far'.

                                              McGregor, mastermind behind the Random Dance Company and resident choreographer at the Royal Ballet since 2006, is known in popular culture circles for serving as movement director for the film 'Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire'. He has also choreographed the Radiohead video 'Lotus Flower' and 'Ingenue’ by Atoms for Peace.

                                              IN THEIR OWN WORDS:
                                              ‘While we were re-amping guitars at Greenhouse studios, Ben expressed interest and admiration in the sounds we had created. We were planning for the B-side to be a metamorphosis of part VII, and Ben seemed the obvious choice. With the multi-tracks transformed, it follows a trajectory that we had not felt comfortable with before. But with Ben's involvement and influence, it was a painless entrance to this crooked, distorted world.’
                                              – Adam Bryanbaum Wiltzie.

                                              ‘We never imagined 2013 would be such an explosively creative year. The first record took us two years from start to finish, but in the micro span of time over last summer we were able to change the formula for the way we write, record, and let go. It was incredibly liberating.’
                                              – Dustin O'Halloran.

                                              October 2013 will see the reissue of 26-year old American composer Peter Broderick's 2008 debut album Float. Returning to his home in Oregon, where his musical journey began, Peter completes the circle with the release of Float 2013. Remastered by the gifted hands of Nils Frahm, Float 2013 will also include two additional bonus tracks with each album download and will be reissued on CD and vinyl.

                                              Brought up in a musical household in Oregon, Peter quickly became a popular session musician for the likes of M. Ward in the Portland area. Later discovered by the Danish band Efterklang he joined their live band and spent the next six years based in Europe where he collaborated with many like-minded contemporaries. Through relentless touring, multiple album recordings and film scores Peter has established himself as a solo artist, known for his innate gift as a musical medium to picking up any instrument, turning his musings into poignant songs.

                                              IN HIS OWN WORDS:
                                              ’A dialogue was started with Robert, about the idea of one day giving Float a second chance. And a bit later I found myself in the studio of my dear friend Nils, remastering these songs which on one hand felt so far away, but on the other felt right at the core of my musical heart, the foundation of my aspirations as a musician. And what Nils did to the sound, how he worked his magic as he always does, filled me with the conviction that this project had not previously reached its potential. In so many ways I've found myself coming around the circle, back to the place I started, only perhaps the circle itself has moved. But the dream is the same. And my little baby has a new pair of shoes: Float 2013.’ – PETER BRODERICK.

                                              Berlin-based contemporary composer Nils Frahm has built a steady reputation for his intimate, poignant piano recordings, yet they so far only showed a fragment of what to expect from a Nils Frahm concert. Frahm’s heart lies in improvisation, in the magic of a moment where, inspired by the space and the audience, his fingers can create new compositions loosely based around his familiar melodies.

                                              Spaces is an ode to the joy of live performance. It expresses Frahm’s love for experimentation and answers the call from his fans for a record that truly reflects what they have witnessed during his concerts. Breaking the convention of a traditional live album, Spaces was recorded over the course of two years in different locations and on various mediums, including old portable reel-to-reel recorders and cassette tape decks. These moments were later pieced together in his Durton Studio and referred to by Frahm as a collage of field recordings rather than a live album. It Includes surprise moments such as the sound of him banging a toilet brush on the piano strings to create a dub-sounding track. The decision to select takes that have people coughing and cell phones ringing show that his audience is an integral part of every performance. In his own words:

                                              "What I love most about playing in front of people has something to do with a certain kind of energy exchange. The attention and appreciation of my audience feeds back into my playing. It really seems as if there is a true and equal give and take between performer and listener, making me aware of how much I depend on my audience. And since the audience is different every night, the music being played will differ too. Every space I performed in has its own magic and spirit." – Nils Frahm.

                                              Spaces was mastered by the gifted hands of Mandy Parnell.


                                              Having recorded his last album live in a large, reverberant church, Nils Frahm now invites you to put on your headphones and dive into a world of microscopic and delicate sounds - so intimate that you could be sitting beside him. Recorded late at night in the reflective solitude and silence of his studio in Berlin, Frahm uncovers a new sound and source of inspiration within these peaceful moments: 'Originally I wanted to do my neighbours a favour by damping the sound of my piano. If I want to play piano during the quiet of the night, the only respectful way is by layering thick felt in front of the strings and using very gentle fingers. It was then that I discovered that my piano sounds beautiful with the damper.' Captivated by this sonic exposition, he placed the microphones so deep inside the piano that they were almost touching the strings. This brought a host of external sounds to the recordings which most producers would try their hardest to hide: 'I hear myself breathing and panting, the scraping sound of the piano's action and the creaking of my wooden floorboards - all equally as loud as the music. The music becomes a contingency, a chance, an accident within all this rustling. My heart opens and I wonder what exactly it is that makes me feel so happy.'

                                              Berlin-based pianist Nils Frahm is already a firebrand in the modern classical world, collaborating with contemporaries such as Peter Broderick, Ólafur Arnalds and Anne Müller. His unconventional approach to an age-old instrument, played contemplatively and intimately, has won him many fans around the world. As announced by Drowned In Sound, he finally returns on October 10th 2011 with the successor to his highly acclaimed solo piano works Wintermusik and The Bells. Released on Erased Tapes Records and entitled 'Felt', the album will coincide with a European tour in November 2011 - a truly memorable and magical live experience.


                                              A Winged Victory For The Sullen

                                              A Winged Victory For The Sullen

                                              'A Winged Victory For The Sullen' is the first installment of the new collaboration between Stars Of The Lid member Adam Wiltzie and L.A. composer Dustin O'Halloran. The duo agreed to leave the comfort zone of their home studios and develop the recordings with the help of large acoustic spaces, hunting down a selection of 9ft grand pianos that had the ability to deliver extreme sonic low end. Other traditional instrumentation was used including string quartet, French horn, and bassoon, but always juxtaposed is the sound of drifting guitar washed melodies.

                                              The recordings began with one late night session in the famed Grunewald Church in Berlin on a 1950s imperial Bösendorfer piano and strings were added in the historic East Berlin DDR radio studios along the River Spree. One last session on a handmade Fazioli piano in a private studio on the Northern cusp of Italy, before the final mixes took place in a 17th century villa near Ferrara with the assistance of Francesco Donadello. All songs were then processed completely analogue straight to magnetic tape. Their secret to harvesting new melodic structures from the thin air of existence was for the duo to push themselves to dangerous territory, realising that clear thinking at the wrong moment could stifle the compositions.

                                              The final result is seven landscapes of harmonic ingemination. In 'Requiem For The Static King Part One' - created in memory of the untimely passing of Mark Linkous - they have taken the age-old idea of a string quartet and then shot it out of a cannon to reveal exquisite new levels of sonic bliss. Of the 13 minute track 'Symphony Pathétique', Wiltzie says 'after almost 20 years of struggling to create interesting ambient drone music, I feel like I have finally figured out what I am doing'. Notable guest musicians include Icelandic cellist Hildur Gudnadottir, as well as Erased Tapes label comrade Peter Broderick on violin. A Winged Victory For The Sullen is not a side project - it is the future of the late night record you have always dreamed of.


                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                              Martin says: The coming together of Stars Of the Lid and Dustin O'Hallaran is a happy marriage of the sweeping, contemplative drones of the former and the filigree piano led delicacy of the latter. An exquisite and meditative neoclassical wonder.

                                              Nils Frahm & Anne Muller

                                              7 Fingers

                                              Fans of the Berlin based Nils Frahm are by now familiar with his beguiling live shows where more often than not fellow touring artists are encouraged to join Frahm on stage – the likes of Rachel Grimes, Rob Lowe of Balmorhea as well as label colleagues Peter Broderick and Ólafur Arnalds have all obliged with fascinating results. It will come as no surprise then that Nils Frahm, an accomplished composer and producer who signed to Erased Tapes in 2009, has extended his collaborative live musings to encompass the recording studio, working for the first time with noted cellist and fellow Berliner Anne Müller to produce "7 Fingers".

                                              With their first collective release Frahm and Müller have built a world where modern classical and electronica collide creating an ‘intoxicating and delicious’ collection of songs. Primarily a pianist Nils Frahm provides evidence with "7 Fingers" that he can effortlessly turn electric throwing in loops, samples and glitches to accompany and showcase Müller on cello. Anne Müller, a renowned musician noted for her work with the Wolf-Ferrari-Ensemble, Phillip Boa and recent tours with Agnes Obel, proves an amp musical partner for Frahm. As the recognition continues to grow for Nils Frahm’s previous solo piano works Wintermusik and The Bells, 2011 sees a new side to this young talent as he embarks on a detour into strings, symphonies and glitch beats alongside the estimable Anne Müller.


                                              Ólafur Arnalds

                                              Dyad 1909

                                                A contemporary dance score for award winning British choreographer Wayne McGregor inspired by Sergei Pavlovich Diaghilev (1872-1929). 'My composer for Dyad, Icelandic musician Ólafur Arnalds, is coming in next week to finish work on the score. It’s an amazing piece of music – it's melancholic and spatial then cuts to extreme rhythmic violence - it's hauntingly inspiring' – Wayne McGregor (Random Dance).

                                                Born in 1987, Ólafur hails from the suburban Icelandic town, Mosfellsbær, just a few kilometres outside of Reykjavík. He has immersed himself completely in a world of delicate symphonic compositions generating near weightless orchestral pieces. Arnalds explores the crossover from classical to pop by mixing chamber strings and piano with discreet electronics which makes him a perfect fit for cinematic pop label Erased Tapes. His motivations are clear: 'The classical scene is kind of closed to people who haven't been studying music all their lives. I would like to bring my classical influence to the people who don't usually listen to this kind of music... open people's minds'.

                                                FORMAT INFORMATION

                                                10" LP Info: Clear vinyl repress.

                                                Nils Frahm

                                                Wintermusik

                                                Nils Frahm, born in 1982, had an early introduction to music. During his childhood he was taught to play piano by Nahum Brodski – a student of the last scholar of Tschaikowski. It was through this that Nils began to immerse himself in the styles of the classical pianists before him as well as contemporary composers. Today Nils Frahm works as an accomplished composer and producer in Berlin. In early 2008 he founded Durton Studio, where he has worked with Peter Broderick and Dustin O' Halloran amongst other fellow musicians. The three instrumentals, which make up his debut release "Wintermusik" are piano led pieces, coloured with occasional celeste and reed organ parts. The record’s equal measures of sorrowful refrains and uplifting passages, combined with a real intimacy that makes for an album you'll want to return to again and again. The songs were originally intended as a Christmas present for friends and family, hence its winter release via London-based cinematic music label Erased Tapes.


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