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Matthew Bourne

Isotach

    Following his celebrated 'Moogmemory' project, Matthew Bourne returns to the piano for Isotach. Once again, spontaneity is the keyword where Bourne is concerned, catching on tape that pregnant moment when a piece begins to form. Skeletal piano motifs, an aching use of space and sparin g cello arrangements are deployed to devastating effect.

    Recorded in his rural North Yorkshire home, Bourne’s piano placed to overlook the moors while he works, the album title is a nod to the weather, which played a part in its creation. The recordings took place during what Bourne describes as “extreme weather” . If you listen carefully you can hear the wind and rain picked up on the microphones, the sparse instrumentation providing the calm in the eye of the storm. Isotach is Bourne’ s first full length solo piano album since 2012’s Montauk Variations The audiophile vinyl edition is half-speed mastered and pressed at Optimal in Germany.

    Vinyl also includes a CD of the album. Both vinyl and CD editions feature a spot varnished sleeve, picking out the weather symbols that represent each track on the album. The title track was originally conceived for the first Piano Day in 2015. Nils Frahm had asked for a contribution, to which Bourne agreed and promptly forgot. 'Isotach ’ was written and recorded with a single microphone, the night before Piano Day. It has now been streamed over 275k times on SoundCloud . 'Candela (For Sascha Heeney)’ was released for Piano Day 2017 .

    The album follows the critical success of the synth-focused works 'moogmemory' and Radioland: Radio-Activity Revisited , a visceral live audio/visual experience created to mark the 40th anniversary of Kraftwerk's seminal album, with Franck Vigroux and video artist Antoine Schmitt. Bourne’s first solo studio album, Montauk Variations (The Sunday Times’ Leftfield Album of the Year in 2012), was celebrated for its sense of stillness and serenity, marking an important musical turning point.

    STAFF COMMENTS

    Barry says: Like the haunted prepared piano works of Hauschka or the paddling rolling beauty of Nils Frahm's more ambient works, Matthew Bourne takes the framework of modern classical and injects it with a spontaneity through rhythmic about-turns and fluid time-signature shifts, leading to a truly beguiling wonder. Top stuff.

    Jherek Bischoff

    Eyes / Young & Lovely

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

      The latest signing to The Leaf Label is multi-talented Seattle-based composer/arranger/producer Jherek Bischoff

      His first release for the label will be this strictly limited edition 7” single for RECORD STORE DAY

      ‘Eyes’ is a collaboration with ex-Talking Head and international treasure David Byrne

      There will be just 500 of these singles released in Europe by Leaf.

      The two songs are a taster for Jherek's forthcoming album Composed, out in late May

      ‘Young And Lovely’ features the talents of Parenthetical Girls’ Zac Pennington and acclaimed French vocalist Soko

      The individually hand-numbered 7” is packaged in a full-colour die-cut sleeve

      The songs will ONLY be available in this format until the release of the album

      Polar Bear

      Peepers

        The album was inspired by classic soul as much as the influences of jazz, rock, folk and electronica that permeated previous albums and brought Polar Bear to a young and diverse audience. Polar Bear’s second album, "Held On The Tips Of Fingers", was nominated for the 2005 Mercury Music prize nomination and was named as one of Jazzwise magazine’s 100 Jazz Albums That Shook The World, and one of The Guardian’s 1000 Albums To Before You Die.

        Bandleader Rochford is one of the most respected percussionists working in contemporary music, winning a BBC Jazz Awards Rising Star award in 2005. He plays with Acoustic Ladyland, Fulborn Teversham and Basquiat Strings, among others. He has worked with everyone from Joanna MacGregor and Andy Sheppard, Brian Eno and David Byrne, to Pete Doherty and Herbie Hancock.

        Nancy Elizabeth

        Wrought Iron

          "Wrought Iron" is the second album by Wigan's Nancy Elizabeth, following the success of 2007's "Battle And Victory". Largely focused on piano-led songs (Nancy's instrument of choice this time), the album is a more understated affair than the guitar and harp-centred debut. The quality of the songwriting is stronger than ever, with a more personal, emotional edge to this album. Recorded in a remote corner of North Wales following time spent in rural Spain and the Faroe Islands, the album's arrangements reflect a sense of space and solitude. The album is as much influenced by the minimalism of Arvo Pärt and Steve Reich as by the choral harmonies of Judee Sill and the bare expression of Leonard Cohen's early records. Nancy recorded with James Yorkston on his last album "When The Haar Rolls In", as well as a forthcoming album of traditional folk songs as part of The Big Eye Family Players. She also recently collaborated with Japanese artist Susumu Yokota on his album "Mother", and contributed to the Lal Waterson tribute album "Migrating Bird". "Wrought Iron" should appeal to fans of PJ Harvey's "White Chalk", Talk Talk, Beth Gibbons, Laura Marling, Blue Roses and Alela Diane.

          Icy Demons

          Miami Ice

            "Miami Ice" is the upbeat and wide-ranging third full-length album from Chicago/Philadelphia ensemble Icy Demons. As on previous releases, the band's altered pop music draws on a wide range of musical vocabulary—sometimes within a single song. Though recorded throughout a very busy year, the album has a very natural feel and excited energy, like the warming of the senses in spring after a long winter. Icy Demons co-founders Chris Powell (a.k.a. Pow Pow) and Griffin Rodriguez (a.k.a. Blue Hawaii) use an odd assortment of vintage keyboards and ethnic percussion, and evoke a past that actually might prove to be the future. Their live shows are energetic and fast-paced, with the multi-instrumentalist members dancing around the stage playing interlocking rhythms. Rodriguez sings of dreams and endurance, alien paranoia and fun food, time travel and the western frontier.

            Wildbirds & Peacedrums

            The Snake

              The liberated abandon of Wildbirds & Peacedrums' primitive soul music strikes an immediate and invigorating chord, as anyone who has seen them over the past year will attest. With "The Snake", they deliver an adrenalin shot of passion straight to the heart, with songs that draw on anger and frustration as well as the life-affirming ardour that propels their music. Improbable recipients of the prestigious Jazz In Sweden 2008 prize, Mariam and Andreas used their winnings to record at the Soundtrack Of Our Lives - owned Svenska Grammofonstudion in Gothenburg. Vocals and drums were brilliantly recorded live to tape, and the spontaneity of the resulting album captures the intense bond between the couple, while expanding their sonic palette to include steel drum, piano, xylophone, marimba, Rhodes and more. Mariam's uninhibited vocal expressions are matched by the kinetic sparks of Andreas' percussion. "Chain Of Steel" has a racing rhythm that flares into yelps of vocal anguish, while the album's first single "There Is No Light" channels the primeval spirit of rock'n'roll (and showcases Andreas' breathtaking drumming style). "The Snake" is balanced by slower, more resonant pieces such as the slowly unfurling opener "Island" and the eastern-tinged "So Soft So Pink". The album culminates in "My Heart", a wonderfully uplifting seven minutes that blossom into a full-blown gospel anthem, and feature Mariam's haunting, addictive refrain: 'I'm lost without your rhythm'.

              Volcano!

              Paperwork

                Paperwork is the second album by Chicago out-rock trio Volcano! Debut "Beautiful Seizure" was named as #2 Album of 2006 by Drowned in Sound readers, and attracted a 10/10 review on the DiS site. Fresh from a two year hiatus the band have a created a much more mature and direct record than their debut. The characteristically complex layering of sounds is still evident, but with greater focus and structure, and more danceable than ever before. "Paperwork" deals with workplace issues, loss of idealism and a coming of age story - frontman Aaron With is a man with something worth saying. The album will be packaged in a superbly designed digipak, up to the usual Leaf standards. Will appeal to fans of Dirty Projectors, Deerhoof, Why?, Liars, and Battles.

                Volcano!

                Africa Just Wants To Have Fun

                  "Africa Just Wants To Have Fun" announces the return of Chicago trio Volcano! following a two-year hiatus. The lead single is taken from the band's second album, "Paperwork", set for release on September 1st. Debut album "Beautiful Seizure" was an underground hit in 2006, with Drowned In Sound readers voting it #2 Album Of The Year. "Africa Just Wants To Have Fun", like much of the new material, demonstrates a more playful, immediate side to the band, while clinging to the unpredictability and originality that defines their sound. The song is a razor-sharp satire of certain rock stars who purport to save the world with dubious, self-serving rhetoric. On the flip is "Performance Evaluation Shuffle (Slow Version)", a re-recording of the opening track on "Paperwork". This downbeat quasi-croon reflects a theme of disillusionment in the workplace that runs throughout the album.


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