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Codes In The Clouds

As The Spirit Wanes

Codes In The Clouds, the quintet of Ciaran Morahan, Stephen Peeling, Rob Smith, Jack Major and Joe Power hail from Dartford, England – a town not known for much besides giving birth to The Rolling Stones. Since 2007 they have dedicated themselves to producing heartfelt music to rival their peers and firmly place CITC as ‘Ones To Watch’ in a vastly growing instrumental rock scene. A perfect fit then for cinematic music label Erased Tapes, with writers such as Wyndham Wallace musing that the likes of Icelandic composer Ólafur Arnalds and Berlin pianist Nils Frahm ‘sit comfortably alongside the rowdy post-rock of Codes In The Clouds’.

Their much anticipated second studio album "As The Spirit Wanes" sees the light of day in January 2011. Codes In The Clouds weave guitar melodies that have an alluring and versatile combination of qualities: melancholic yet uplifting, polished yet unhinged, delicate yet powerful. Through relentless touring and determination this young band have steadily gained recognition since signing to Erased Tapes in 2007. CITC’s first single "Distant Street Lights"/"Fractures" received instant critical acclaim from radio presenters such as BBC Radio 1 DJ Huw Stephens and became Single of the Week on Drowned In Sound: ‘Possibly the most gripping piece of music you'll hear this year' (8/10). The release of their debut album Paper Canyon in 2009 secured the band fans from all around the world. 'A perfectly presented first statement of their intentions...sending jolts from shoulders to fingertips' (8/10) – Clash One year later, October 2010 saw the band compile a remix album entitled Paper Canyon Recycled. Featuring the likes of Paul Mullen (The Automatic), Maybeshewill, Worriedaboutsatan, Machinefabriek and Library Tapes – not to mention label mates Rival Consoles and Nils Frahm – the project stemmed from an open call, giving fans and fellow artists the opportunity to craft remixes of songs from their debut LP. The band received over 100 track submissions in total and every remix album sold continues to help Friends of the Earth. The skills of one particular entrant, Brighton-based producer and musician Guy Andrews (iambic), impressed the band so much that they invited him to work on their much-anticipated 2nd studio album and follow-up to Paper Canyon. Recorded in just six days at Brighton Electric in September 2010, As The Spirit Wanes will be released in Europe on January 14th and in the UK on January 31st, 2011. Whilst from the outside last year has looked rosy for Codes In The Clouds with a remix album release, successful tours and festival slots, it’s also been a difficult year behind the scenes. Yet personal loss has proven a collective driving force, bringing the band closer as a group and shaping their surprisingly optimistic second offering: “It’s not that the album has a set concept or theme, it’s just that each member of the band went through similar experiences around the same sort of time. So naturally, this is reflected in the album. We all feel really close to it, and it’s definitely the music we want to make. It’s a very personal record to us and we feel it’s a big step forward from the first release. The songs are definitely a better reflection of us as a collective of people. Hopefully others will identify with the ideas within the record and can relate it to their own experiences.” Co-produced by Erased Tapes initiator Robert Raths and label mate Ryan West, then mastered by Nils Frahm at his studio in Berlin, As The Spirit Wanes could almost be described as a family affair. Even the artwork has been inspired by the band’s time in Iceland, performing as part of the Erased Tapes label night at Iceland Airwaves 2010.

Most importantly, it’s all about songs with "As The Spirit Wanes" offering its listener stunning melodies and razor-sharp hooks. From the Beach Boys pop appeal of "Look Back, Look Up" to the euphoric "Washington", down to the emotionally charged two-minute hymn "If I’d Have Known This Was The Last", Codes In The Clouds embody their genre in its most rewarding form.


STAFF COMMENTS

Andy says: Gorgeous, chiming, sometimes meandering, sometimes rocking, moody guitar rock. Cool.

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.

    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”

      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.

        Peter Broderick

        Two Balloons

          American-born multi-instrumentalist, singer and composer Peter Broderick will releases 'Two Balloons' via Erased Tapes. Available as a limited edition 10” vinyl and digital download, it features the score for the award-winning animation of the same name, inspired by an early recording of his, plus a 9-minute electronic rework on the B-side titled Techno For Lemurs.

          Fairly often we see albums of “Music inspired by the film __”, but less common is a film inspired by music. Such is the case with Two Balloons. Director Mark C. Smith got the idea for his nine-minute stop frame animation film while out at sea, looking at a majestic funnel cloud in the distance. Shortly after he heard a song by Peter Broderick from one of his earliest recordings — 4 Track Songs — and the music struck a chord so strongly, he knew he wanted to make a film to fit the melody. And so began the five-year labour of love that would eventually produce this enchanting little film, currently circulating film festivals around the world and racking up countless awards and accolades including ‘Best Original Music Score’ at the New Renaissance Film Festival in Amsterdam.

          Even though the film was inspired by an older Broderick composition, the score for Two Balloons was recorded from scratch, revised and expanded to fit each frame. The process of stop frame animation is a labour intensive and painstaking one, but the attention to detail didn’t stop at the picture for this film. The score was an integral part of the film from the very beginning, with both the director and composer going to great lengths to experiment not only with the composition itself, but also the fidelity. The first sound heard on the score is a piano playing a waltz figure, and the sound is noticeably lo-fi, but this isn’t just some modern digital trickery. This piano was recorded on a wire recorder, a recording technology that predates magnetic tape and has been virtually forgotten about.

          In the process of recording the score, many different technologies were experimented with. In addition to purchasing and refurbishing several wire recorders, the director at one stage acquired several massive AM radio consoles as well as an AM radio transmitter, so that a digital recording from the computer could be broadcast through the AM radio waves and then captured through one of these nostalgic sounding old radios. A variety of these technologies from different eras were used to create a score that both sounds like it’s from several different time periods and from no specific time at all.

          The B-side, if you will, is more than just a remix that recycles the original recordings. In fact none of the original parts have been re-used. ‘Techno For Lemurs’ is a homage to the two main characters in the story, the ring-tailed lemurs Bernard and Elba. Serving as Broderick’s first foray into the world of techno, this playful piece reinterprets the melodic themes from the original score by adapting them with electronic instrumentation. In Peter’s own words: “Let’s pretend for nine minutes that we’re ring-tailed lemurs and get this party started!” 

          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.

          Erased Tapes

          Solo Piano - Sheet Music Book

            A collection of twenty newly-arranged scores published for the first time and presented alongside bespoke programme notes from Erased Tapes founder Robert Raths.

            From Ólafur Arnalds’ 0040 through to recent songs from ambient music duo A Winged Victory for the Sullen, Solo Piano offers an engaging chronological survey of the label’s first ten years.

            Michael Price

            Tender Symmetry

              Emmy award-winning composer Michael Price releases Tender Symmetry, his second album with Erased Tapes. The ambitious musical project takes in a series of iconic National Trust locations across England as its inspiration, turning them into unlikely recording spaces. Michael and a host of musicians and collaborators — including soprano Grace Davidson (featured on Max Richter’s Sleep) and Shards (the choir on Nils Frahm’s All Melody) — travelled across the country in pursuit of places far removed from the traditional recording studio to create seven unique and moving pieces, straddling the past and the future.

              The diversity of Michael Price’s choices ranges from the ruins of Fountains Abbey in Yorkshire to the Fan Bay WWII shelter, cut deep into the chalk cliffs of Dover. All owned by the National Trust save one, each venue became both the inspiration and the recording studio for Michael Price and his accompaniment of renowned musical ensembles, choirs and soloists.

              "For Tender Symmetry, I stopped admiring and started participating in these buildings. This began as an exploration of writing and recording out in the world beyond the studio. I am interested in where we build our homes in an increasingly virtual world and the spirit of place we feel as we walk our local streets, our schools, temples and public spaces. Taking inspiration from a place, and the stories it told, then going back to that place to record, sometimes in less than ideal conditions, made the two-year adventure much more like shooting a film than making a record.” — Michael Price

              Acoustics varied wildly as the artists moved from places designed with sound in mind to locations which demanded the use of miners’ helmets for light and battery-powered sound gear. The final recordings carry the genuinely unique sonic blueprints and spirit of each place – from the birdsong in the courtyard at Speke Hall to the steam-driven cotton mill accompaniment at Quarry Bank. “When we recorded the piece at Fan Bay in the World War II shelter deep inside the chalk cliffs of Dover, Peter Gregson’s cello wasn’t at all happy with the clammy, dank conditions; but to be in the tunnels where young soldiers spent months on end, constantly on alert for incoming bombers, gave the recording an extraordinarily intimate, moving quality. At each site, the human mixed with the historical, and the natural environment of each space comes through with each piece. I tried to leave an imprint of each location on the record.”

              While each piece of music is named after the location in which it was created, William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience courses through them as well. Soprano Grace Davidson sings Blake’s poignant words about nature, religion and the industrial revolution on several of the pieces including the astoundingly beautiful album closer Shade Of Dreams, written after the birth of Michael’s daughter. “The final piece, Shade of Dreams, is part of a group of pieces I wrote for the birth of our daughter, Emilie. It, like all the works on the album, takes its text from William Blake’s Songs of Innocence and Experience, in this case, A Cradle Song. As much as Tender Symmetry is about the past, it is firmly about the future, and all our of shared futures.”

              Grace Davies, National Trust contemporary arts programme manager said:
              “We were delighted when Michael approached us with this project as it directly draws on the extraordinary stories and history of these special places. The sheer variety of sites that Michael has chosen has resulted in a collection of new music that is sometimes surprising, sometimes poignant, and – above all – inspirational. I am sure that audiences will be enchanted both by Michael’s music and our places that have inspired him.”


              STAFF COMMENTS

              Barry says: Holding all the beauty of his inspirations' natural environments and brittle balance of ecological equilibrium within his pieces, Price fills the sonic room with delicate but grand strings, crystalline vocals and a breathtaking sense of organic space. Majestic and breathtaking, but imbued with a nerve-racking transience and innate delicacy.

              FORMAT INFORMATION

              Coloured LP Info: Limited to 500 copies on clear vinyl.

              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!” 

                Masayoshi Fujita

                Book Of Life

                  Following on from his acclaimed works Stories and Apologues, Berlin-based composer and vibraphonist Masayoshi Fujita will release his new album Book of Life, the third instalment in a trilogy of solo vibraphone recordings, on July 27th via Erased Tapes. Stories, the first in the series and Masayoshi’s debut under his own name, will be re-issued by Erased Tapes at the same time.

                  With Book of Life Masayoshi continues his mission in bringing the vibraphone — a relatively new invention in the history of instruments often kept in the background in orchestras and jazz outfits — into the spotlight. Having trained as a drummer, Masayoshi began experimenting with the vibraphone, preparing its bars with kitchen foil or beads, playing it with the cello bow such as in Fog or using the other end of the mallets to create a more ambient texture of sound, as with the title track. Focussing on the vibraphone in this way sets Masayoshi apart, dedicating his artistic life to celebrating this fascinating and often underappreciated instrument and making his take on ambient and modern compositional styles a unique one.

                  “I think the vibraphone is capable of more interesting and beautiful sounds that haven’t been heard before. It’s quite a new instrument but it’s often played in a similar way. I feel that there is a lot more to explore with this exciting instrument.”

                  Book of Life sees Masayoshi expand on his compositional skills, bringing in more orchestral elements such as strings, brass and even a choir to interact with the vibraphone. And not just any choir — members of this chorus include musical friends Peter Broderick, Hatis Noit, David Allred and Shards who featured on Nils Frahm’s latest album All Melody. The instruments come to represent characters in Masayoshi’s stories, hinted at in each accompanying text contained in the album booklet, which Masayoshi recites at his live performances. They set the scene for each piece, for example “the choir in Misty Avalanche is meant to resemble the blizzard, while the vibraphone is the bird hovering above,” he explains.

                  The title track however, was unusual from the start; “Book Of Life is very different to my other songs. It was about humans, whereas the other songs are all about animals and nature. And it was improvised initially, whereas normally my songs are composed and planned. This one was free. I scratched the vibraphone bar as if I was writing something. An image connected in my mind: these two people meeting and sharing their lives. This image was the book of life.”

                  The upbeat lead single It’s Magical features two cellos and a flute as extensions of the vibraphone; “like a man who’s put artificial wings on his arms to attempt to fly like a bird, before an airplane was invented,” says Masayoshi. A different version of the song, called Spaceship Magical, also appears on the Erased Tapes 10th anniversary box set 1+1=X. “Like most of my songs, It’s Magical started from one simple phrase that I’d played again and again. But at one point I had two very different versions; one acoustic with orchestral arrangement, whilst the other had distorted guitars with electronic bass that perfectly suited the collaborative nature of the label residency when Robert invited me to participate.”

                  His new album arrives at a time of renewed interest for percussive, ambient music following the reissue of minimalist composer Midori Takada’s seminal album Through The Looking Glass last year and compounded by the comeback of Ryuichi Sakamoto, whose cinematic compositions parallel Masayoshi’s storytelling soundscapes. BBC Radio 3 confirmed this renaissance of Japanese music and culture, dedicating their recent Night Blossoms season to new experimental artists, including fellow Erased Tapes vocal performer Hatis Noit. Masayoshi previously released two albums under his alias El Fog that touched on the vibraphone but appeared mostly in a supporting role, accompanying his intricate electronic production. Much like his instrument, he has often been a collaborator as opposed to a front man — his sympathetic musicianship complimenting a variety of creative outputs. Most frequently with the adventurous German producer Jan Jelinek. Their most recent offering Schaum displays a dialogue between the two that makes it hard to tell just where Fujita’s vibraphone ends and Jelinek’s whirring loops begin. Another fruitful partnership was the
                  experimental Needle Six piece, a BBC Radio 3 recording of an improvised session with UK electronic artist Guy Andrews for Late Junction. The mesmeric and compelling 30-minute piece was released for Record Store Day in 2016. In addition his label peer and fellow Berlin resident Nils Frahm mastered Stories, providing a fitting symmetry to its re-issue on Erased Tapes now.

                  Masayoshi Fujita

                  Stories (Reissue)

                    Ahead of the release of his new album Book Of Life, Erased Tapes will re-issue Stories, the first in a trilogy of vibraphone solo albums by Berlin-based composer Masayoshi Fujita. This quietly exquisite album is like a book of illustrations, evoking scenes of natural beauty and poetic poignancy that combines climactic crescendos laced with electronic detail and luxurious melody. Stories is the beginning of Masayoshi’s mission in bringing the vibraphone — a relatively new invention in the history of instruments often kept in the background in orchestras and jazz outfits — into the spotlight. Having trained as a drummer, Masayoshi began experimenting with the vibraphone, preparing its bars with kitchen foil or beads, playing it with the cello bow or using the other end of the mallets to create a more ambient texture of sound. Focussing on the vibraphone in this way sets Masayoshi apart, dedicating his artistic life to celebrating this fascinating and often under appreciated instrument and making his take on ambient and modern compositional styles a unique one.

                    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!!

                      Various Artists

                      Erased Tapes: 1+1=X

                        THIS IS A RECORD STORE DAY 2018 EXCLUSIVE, LIMITED TO ONE PER PERSON.

                        Produced by label curator Robert Raths, 1+1=X sees all Erased Tapes artists come together and make an album as a collective — sharing the same space, instruments and musicianship in a residency at Vox-ton in Berlin to record 20 exclusive songs in celebration of the label's 10-year history. The 3-LP set, accompanied by a book of photographs documenting the recording process, is housed in a bespoke, hand-assembled white box with a recessed X that slides open on one side.

                        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.

                        STAFF COMMENTS

                        Barry says: Like his 2015 opus 'Howl, 'Persona' treads the line between ambience and leftfield techno whilst staying resolutely listenable and thoroughly jaw-dropping. Less influenced by the interim EP's, and seemingly more focused on the spine-tingling crescentic electronica that West does SO well. Highly recommended.

                        FORMAT INFORMATION

                        2xColoured LP Info: Limited indies only clear vinyl.

                        Hatis Noit

                        Illogical Dance

                          Japanese vocal performer Hatis Noit releases her enigmatic EP Illogical Dance via Erased Tapes. The arresting 4-track record creates unique song-worlds with transcendent vocal interpretations that at once deconstruct and recombine Western Classical, Japanese folk and nature’s own ambience atmosphere. Illogical Dance also features Björk-collaborators Matmos, who were so impressed with Hatis Noit’s recordings, they volunteered to edit the lead track Illogical Lullaby.
                          Hailing from the distant Shiretoko, a small town in Hokkaido, which is the largest island in north Japan, Hatis Noit’s accomplished range is astonishingly self-taught, inspired by everything she could find from Gagaku — Japanese classical music — and operatic styles, Bulgarian and Gregorian chanting, to avant-garde and pop vocalists. The sounds she created on Illogical Dance, co-produced by Haruhisa Tanaka and Matmos, bring to mind the experimental vocal patterns of Meredith Monk with the attentive production of Holly Herndon. It was at the age of 16, during a trek in Nepal to the Buddha’s birthplace, when she realised singing was her calling. While staying at a women’s temple in Lumbini, one morning on a walk Hatis Noit heard someone singing. On further investigation it was a female monk singing Buddhist chants, alone. The sound moved her so intensely she was instantly aware of the visceral power of the human voice; a primal and instinctive instrument that connects us to the very essence of humanity, nature and our universe.

                          The name Hatis Noit itself is taken from Japanese folklore, meaning the stem of the lotus flower. The lotus represents the living world, while its root the spirit world, therefore Hatis Noit is what connects the two. For Hatis Noit, music represents the same netherworld with its ability to move and transport us to the other side; the past, a memory, our subconscious. It is the same for Illogical Dance, a set of transformative songs that taps into our most primal instincts.

                          “The human voice is our oldest, most primal yet most powerful instrument. I use it to describe nature’s many sounds, a language that isn’t logical. Yet it forms a beautiful conversation that isn’t restricted to words like the human language is. I want my music to remind us of that.” — Hatis Noit
                          Wanting to interpret and mimic the sounds Hatis Noit hears in nature, Illogical Dance is as unpredictable, beautiful and mysterious as the world around us. Each track is made up from multi layers of vocals, all improvised and without words, before being carefully pieced together. Astonishingly no samples are used throughout, even the sound of crushing leaves came from Hatis Noit’s own vocal chords. The result is a stunning array of sound sculptures that see her switching between multiple styles with great ease. From the sweet operatics on Illogical Lullaby, the manipulated vocal loops duplicating electronic production on Anagram c.i.y. to the primordial chanting call to arms of Angelus Novus, a 10-minute odyssey that features whispering and leaves crunching, it showcases Hatis Noit’s full range and introduces a truly original artist. 

                          STAFF COMMENTS

                          Barry says: A stunning, complex mix of vocal layering, serene ambience and brittle, modern-classical compositions that could really be on no other label than the legendary Erased Tapes.

                          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. 


                          STAFF COMMENTS

                          Barry says: Brittle pieces, flecked with ambient interludes and soaring, spine-tingling euphoric electronic elements. This is by far the most diverse, but thematically impeccable Frahm outing yet.

                          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.

                          Peter Broderick

                          All Together Again

                            There is no end to composer Peter Broderick’s creative output, and so we present to you his new album titled All Together Again - available worldwide on November 17th 2017 via Erased Tapes.

                            They say music takes you on a journey, and this collection of commissioned work by Peter quite literally does that. From a ferry boat ride in Istanbul, to walking down the aisle at a wedding, these songs were created for particular situations, yet Peter found a way to work without any sort of limitations and on his own terms. The result is an assortment of works from the past ten years, coming together as one: Peter’s new album.

                            Words from Peter, October 2017:

                            Ever since I started releasing records in 2007 (10 years ago now!), people have contacted me periodically to ask if I’d be interested in making music to accompany their projects. Most of these projects have been things like films, dance pieces and theatre plays . . . but every so often I get the odd request for something a little different. Peter, would you write a song for my wedding? My one year anniversary? A ferry boat ride?

                            In early 2015 I was asked to perform 12 minutes of music during a runway show as part of New York Fashion Week. I agreed and began composing a 12-minute piece which I could perform on my own with a few different instruments and some looping pedals. I made a recording of the piece and sent it over to my contacts at the fashion show . . . but a few days before I was to fly out to New York, they wrote back and told me they actually just wanted me to play a few older songs that they were already familiar with. Feeling slightly disappointed, I shelved the other piece, giving it the title If I Were A Runway Model.

                            It is with great pleasure that I now present this piece in a collection of commissioned works spanning the last decade . . . it’s All Together Again. This group of oddball works does indeed include a couple pieces written for weddings (Our Future In Wedlock and The Walk), and a song someone asked me to write as a gift for his wife on their first year wedding anniversary (Emily). And indeed, there’s a 17-minute piece written to accompany a ferry boat ride in Istanbul (A Ride On The Bosphorus). A few of the pieces were written for films (Robbie’s Song, Atlantic and Seeing Things), and one for a kind of interactive installation (Unsung Heroes).

                            In my early days of recording, I took pride in playing all the different instruments myself and doing the recording myself as well. And then at some point I started branching out, working with other musicians and recording engineers. But this record is very dear to me in that it’s a return to that original approach . . . playing all the different instruments myself, working with my limits on each one, and my own limits in recording and mixing. I’ve always held a broad curiosity for all different instruments and all different styles of music, and if nothing else I hope this record will portray that curiosity, and my pure love for this thing we call music. Can you dig it?

                            The cover art was made by Peter himself in his hometown of Portland, Oregon, by cutting and sticking different coloured paper fragments to depict the individuality of each track. 

                            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.

                                  Worlds collide as Penguin Cafe and Japanese producer Cornelius' mutual admiration for one another led to them joining forces for this four-track 'Umbrella EP'. The pair reworked and reimagined existing tracks of their own, alongside two new Penguin Cafe songs.

                                  Penguin Cafe was founded by Arthur Jeffes in 2009, bringing together a diverse and disparate group of musicians from the likes of Suede, Gorillaz and Razorlight, initially to perform his father Simon Jeffes’ legacy of world renowned Penguin Cafe Orchestra music, ten years after his untimely death in 1997. Arthur, a composer in his own right, quickly began to create new and unique genre-defying music, with the spellbinding philosophy of the Penguin Cafe always in his mind.

                                  The project has evolved into something at the hands of Arthur who utilises many different instruments and influences including elements of African, Venezuelan, Brazilian, bluegrass, classical, avant-garde and minimalist music — using a variety of instruments from strings, pianos, harmoniums, slide guitars, cuatros, kalimbas, experimental sound loops, mathematical notations and more. To date, the new Penguin Cafe have released two albums of fresh, innovative and beautiful music, developing 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. 

                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                  Ltd 12" Info: REPRESS!!!!

                                  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.

                                  FORMAT INFORMATION

                                  Coloured LP Info: Indies only clear vinyl edition of 250 copies for the UK.

                                  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

                                  Daniel Brandt, co-founder of Germany’s electroacoustic ensemble Brandt Brauer Frick, joins the Erased Tapes family with his solo debut album Eternal Something.

                                  What started off as a more simplistic idea soon evolved into something a lot more complex as the London and Berlin based music producer travelled across the world, experimenting with various other artists and different instruments. From his father’s cabin based in the German countryside with access to nothing but cymbals, to being surrounded by guitars in Joshua Tree, his unexpected journey soon progressed into what became his first solo album.

                                  Daniel played nearly all instruments himself with the only exception being fellow musicians Florian Juncker on trombone, Manu Delago on hang drum and Andreas Voss on cello. Using his Berlin studio as his main base for recording, Brandt created an album that encapsulates the idea that despite setting out with a particular creative vision, external influences and environments will always shift the process, and create an Eternal Something.

                                  Words from Daniel, January 2017:
                                  “The initial idea was to make a cymbal album. I wanted to surround myself with all types of cymbals. I locked myself into my father’s cabin in the woods for three days. That was the moment I realised it was not possible for me to make an album just with cymbals because other ideas and instruments imposed themselves on me. I had a clear sense of what I wanted to do now. The intention was to let the songs evolve by themselves and not edit too much, keep it raw and have an explosion-like energy to them. I wanted to create a different sound, songs that build up like dance tunes but don't feel like club music at all. Travelling around in California for two months gave me the possibility to deeply get into this concept outside my normal environment. Robert Raths, who served as a great motivator throughout the whole process (I guess he had listened to the record more than I ever had) came up with the perfect order for the songs. This record is about failing to make the original plan happen, but then the discovery of something I couldn't even think of before.”

                                  Prior to being enlisted to create the album artwork, Iranian artist Shaz Madani coincidentally had also planned a trip to Joshua Tree where she documented her own experience of Eternal Something, forming the visual counterpart to the record.

                                  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

                                  Coloured LP Info: Limited edition of 1000 copies on clear vinyl.

                                  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.

                                    Peter Broderick

                                    Music For Confluence (Reissue)

                                      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.

                                      Created in 2011 for Jennifer Anderson and Vernon Lott’s spell binding documentary film on five unsolved murders in Idaho, the soundtrack takes the listener through waves of stark emotions.

                                      IN HIS OWN WORDS: “It was November 2010 when I started to seriously think about relocating to Berlin. I knew my Danish visa would run out sometime in 2011 and if I wanted to stay in Europe I'd need to either renew it or get another visa elsewhere.
                                      Berlin pulled me in like a magnet, with so many of my friends and inspirations living and working there, and also being so central for my frequent European travels. And just when I started to think about finding a place, I heard about a friend of a friend who was renting out a spacious two-floor apartment in the middle of town. I was told the building was owned by a man who only wanted musicians to live there, so I could make all the noise I wanted, and on top of that I was given a key to the piano store on the bottom floor so I could play anytime the store was closed… the place was made for me! All winter, when I wasn't traveling and playing concerts, I was locked away in this new space creating. I had been asked to make the score for a documentary film called Confluence. The film is based in the Lewiston, Idaho area, not too far from where I grew up in the USA, and it chronicles several mysterious cases of young girls found murdered or gone missing around 1980, all of which seem to lead back to one man who for a variety of reasons has not been able to be charged with these crimes.
                                      So with my minimal equipment and a key to Die Klavier Etage (the piano store), I set out to create some textural soundscapes which could compliment the building tension of the story without being too intrusive or suggestive. Days and nights, snowed in and experimenting with layers and layers of whichever instruments I had around, finding a murky atmosphere that fit with the uneasy feeling which the film gave to me. On New Year's Eve I was inside, recording the final notes for the score. I had finished everything except the piece for the credits. After speaking with one of the directors of the film, Vernon Lott, we decided the song for the credits should be different from the rest of the score. So while the fireworks were exploding outside my window, I was recording Old Time, a song which for me felt like a breath-of-fresh-air after story which can only leave you wondering…” – Peter Broderick.

                                      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.

                                          Lubomyr Melnyk

                                          Evertina

                                          Erased Tapes first introduced Lubomyr Melnyk and his unique continuous music technique to a wider audience with ‘Corollaries’, an album produced by Peter Broderick in 2013. Now he returns with a 24-minute mini album entitled 'Evertina'. Featuring three newly composed solo piano pieces, the long-form EP showcases another side to Lubomyr Melnyk – his more gentle and melodic work.

                                          In 2012 Lubomyr's ears began to notice the remarkable tonal depth of upright pianos. To Lubomyr the upright piano sound is like a natural forest of microcosmic colours. 'Evertina' and 'Awaiting' were created on a middle-aged upright piano at a friend's home in New York in October 2012 – just before Hurricane Sandy hit the city. Some children were listening to Lubomyr as he played in a hotel lobby in Cologne and 'Butterfly' is the piece that he made for them. It was recorded on a battered grand piano somewhere in Switzerland in late 2013, with the lid closed down to soften the effect.

                                          "The piano for me has so many different faces, so many personalities and wonders, it is like life itself, ever-changing yet always holding to a permanence of beauty. Like butterflies that never fly in a straight line but always carry their loveliness with them in their multi-angled paths. I want people to hear these pieces, that are always hidden from the world. I keep them locked away in a quiet place, far from the concert hall. Why do I do that? I guess it is because they are so easy to play, so effortless, I can do them while sleeping. Whereas my more demanding abilities on the piano come out in the forceful nature of continuous playing. There, the new ground is being broken and a new door is being opened for the world. But that does not mean that I am bound by nature or by god to do only continuous music. My heart moves into these pieces just as it moves into the continuous modalities. So here, for the very first time, I am bringing three of these little miniatures to the public view. May everyone enjoy them for their gentle simplicity and quietude.

                                          These three pieces fit so nicely together in spirit, they present a tableau, a tiny triptych that can reach the world without waiting for a major work, they stand beautifully on their own, and do not need an album to surround them with comfort and padding. No, they are what they are, and a short musical interlude as this record gives, is just perfect for their nature." – Lubomyr Melnyk

                                          Lubomyr Melnyk is a true innovator, exploring new directions for contemporary music. Classically trained and greatly affected by the minimalist movement in the early 1970s, the Ukrainian pianist developed his own unique language for the piano, named after the principle of maintaining a continuous, unbroken stream of sound. Melnyk has shown a remarkable devotion to the instrument, always striving to discover new ways of composing music in the continuous mode. His focus is on the actual sound of the piano as much as the harmonies and melodies of the music. Playing rapid and complex note patterns made Lubomyr one of the world’s fastest concert pianists. His virtuoso piano technique forms overtones that blend, collide or even create new melodies in rare moments, and thereby shape the composition beyond its original form. To accomplish this requires a special technique, one that has taken Melnyk many years to master. To witness one of his rare live performances is nothing short of a mind-opening experience.

                                          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.

                                          2xLP includes MP3 Download Code.

                                          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.


                                          Various - Erased Tapes Artists

                                          Erased Tapes Collection V - 5x7" Box Set

                                            Erased Tapes Collection V is a collection of five seven-inch records carrying ten exclusive songs recorded by the Erased Tapes artists in celebration of the label's fifth anniversary. Housed in a rigid box, manually produced and hand-assembled, it comes in a strictly limited edition of five hundred vinyl sets designed by Torsten Posselt at FELD Berlin.

                                            Emblazoned with a detailed debossing of the mountain-shaped logo, the black box opens at an angle and reveals five screen-printed inner sleeves carrying five dinged 7" records, plus a hand-numbered sixth inner. The additional sleeve contains a mountain-shaped record centrepiece, an anti-static cleaning cloth and has a unique code imprinted on the back. The code enables its rightful owner to download a digital edition of this release from the 24th of December 2013. Until then this exclusive collection shall be enjoyed on vinyl only.

                                            FORMAT INFORMATION

                                            7" Box Set Info: JUST FOUND TWO OF THESE RATHER LOVELY ERASED TAPES BOX SETS, FEAT. NILS fRAHM, OLAFUR ARNALDS, A WINGED VICTORY FOR THE SULLEN ETC. fIRST COME FIRST SERVED.

                                            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.

                                              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.


                                              STAFF COMMENTS

                                              Martin says: It might not be enough for you to say this is a thing of absolute beauty, that it is possibly the most gorgeous moment of this astonishingly prolific pianist's already wonderful career; or that it is one of the two best neo-classical releases I have ever heard. But it really ought to be. If that isn't enough, someone asks about it pretty much every time we play it, even if they are the only person in the shop. Please, do your heart a favour and buy this record. It will almost certainly soothe and improve your day.

                                              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.


                                              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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