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TOUCH SENSITIVE

Elaine Howley

The Distance Between Heart And Mouth

    Touch Sensitive Records proudly presents the Cork-based musician Elaine Howley’s debut solo album The Distance Between Heart and Mouth. The product of an audio diary kept on a 4 track cassette machine throughout 2019 and 2020, the album recreates the intimacy of a radio show filled with Howley’s favourite sounds, palettes, and textures; effortlessly joining the dots between pop and experimentation, summoning the kaleidoscopic world of Trish Keenan & Broadcast, the bruised lo-fi soul of Tirzah and the dubbed-out blues of Leslie Winer. Over nine patient, spontaneous self-recorded and produced tracks, Elaine Howley traces the outline of a small space that could be considered one of the longest journeys to be taken - The Distance Between Heart And Mouth.

    As a member of Crevice, Howlbux and, perhaps most notably, psychedelic rock group The Altered Hours, Elaine Howley is renowned as a singular voice in the Irish underground. The Distance Between Heart and Mouth is her most personal statement to date. “I was thinking a lot about the themes of silencing and communication,” she explains. “My voice and a lot of my feelings were buried and I wanted to push that out using music. That is the intention of this album - trying to be brave enough to share and to open up; along with the internal and external barriers that exist when it comes to doing that."

    The Distance Between Heart and Mouth is the product of an audio diary kept on a 4 track cassette machine throughout 2019 and 2020. Pulling on formative teenage musical influences alongside memories of a childhood spent home-recording Longwave 252 transmissions, Howley recreates the intimacy of a radio show filled with her favourite sounds, pallets, and textures; effortlessly joining the dots between pop and experimentation. "I brought all those early influences along with me. It was a private time to enjoy music - listening to my Walkman or making mixtapes. I hear the roots of the sounds I am drawn to beginning then. I found myself returning to, and recreating something of that time, for this record."

    The daily sit-down at her tape machine became an almost ritualistic experience over this period as Howley both experimented in sound and worked through her own vulnerabilities. “I wasn't burdening anyone or adding pressure to myself. I've always found music cathartic but this felt like a deeper level for me”. This release can be tangibly felt in lead single ‘Silent Talk’. “That track is about the urge to run and not share parts of myself but also about continuing to try to do that and about the patience people can show in waiting for me.” On second track ‘Autumn Speak’, we fully step into the album’s journey through the transition of Howley’s favourite season. “I was thinking about how resistance to decay through self preservation disrupts the process but cannot stop it and only serves to distort and delay. It’s a celebration of endings and allowing change to occur.” Such internal conflicts and strivings are captured sonically throughout the album as echoes and delays whirl into an endless expanse and samples run backwards and onwards.

    Themes regarding memory are also written throughout, particularly in ‘Song For Mary Black’, previously issued on Touch Sensitive’s ‘Wacker That’ compilation. “Mary Black was the first concert I saw and it had a huge impression on me. Growing up, I was a fan of the ‘A Woman’s Heart’ compilation of amazing Irish female voices. It made music feel closer to me than it had previously; it was local and it felt tangible. It reminded me of my Mam and Aunts.” Alongside those early inspiring voices and the defining sounds of her teenage years, we can hear the dubbed-out blues of Leslie Winer, the kaleidoscopic world of Trish Keenan & Broadcast, and the bruised lo-fi soul of Tirzah. Over nine tracks, Elaine Howley traces the outline of a small space that can be considered one of the longest journeys to be taken - The Distance Between Heart And Mouth

    TRACK LISTING

    Side A
    1. Silent Talk
    2. Autumn Speak
    3. Archeological Longing
    4. See Saw Seen
    5. To The Test

    Side B

    6. Buried Way Out
    7. Person Count
    8. Song For Mary Black
    9. SoSo

    Black Bones

    Night Drives

      The Black Bones story is born out of a shared obsession for crate digging, collecting, and the playing of weird and wonderful music. Their releases so far have manifested in a highly-sought series of seven psychedelic disco 12”s - picking up numerous Record of the Week plaudits on the way. This considered curation and skill for pulling together far-flung sounds fully informs their first original material. These four bold and adventurous club cuts are a thrilling mix of straight-up house sounds, new beat, industrial, dub, sleaze and all the other good shit that comes with low-lighting and a heavy sound system. Kicking off with the full throttle 120 bpm of ‘ABTS’ - the duo take you straight to the ‘floor with one of the wildest rides we’ve heard in some time. ‘Denied’ pulls us in to darker territory - chest pummelling bass, ominous high-pitched warnings and a chuggy acid throw-down finding us once again lost in that 5am dance floor fog. Over on the flip and ‘Punghi’ combines a hypnotic groove, dubbed out FX, percussion and a tripped-out Eastern breakdown. One for the more adventurous DJs and dance floor! The EP is closed by 'Gabi’ which sounds like minimal gone maximal with an insane industrial switch-up. Enough words! As always, Black Bones let the music do the talking and this ambitious debut can quickly find itself shelved alongside the records that have fuelled their lifelong obsession.

      TRACK LISTING

      1. ABTS
      2. Denied
      3. Punghi
      4. Gabi

      “I like the drive as much as the scenery”. Buckle up as producer, DJ, and archivist Cherrystones (Gareth Goddard) takes you on a return trip to Critical Mass! Those in the know speak of Cherrystones alongside the finest curators and compilers of our time. Preferring to move in the shadows, you won’t find Cherrystones on every identikit summer festival line-up or playing the big bucks Discogs tease on social media. However, it is why you will find him as one of the most long-standing members of the NTS family - “the greatest ever to do it”, according to founder Femi Adeyemi. And it’s why a host of underground artists make the call to check out his legendary record vault when passing through town. Or maybe you will have caught him at ease for hours behind the decks in the corner of an intimate, dimly lit joint pulling out killer jam after killer jam...

      Running parallel to his world renown for collecting, archiving and sharing the furthest-flung sounds, Goddard’s own productions and soundtracks have long been revered - recently scoring campaigns for Adidas, Stone Island and YMC. Self taught as a teenager on a range of instrumentation and DIY production/programming techniques, his work is driven by the original idea of punk as an aesthetic - a creative portal devoid of rules. He has a life-long obsession with the soundtrack and was also gripped early by a love of rap (a trusted MPC 2000 never far from his side). The channeling of context, underscore, timing and placement has always fuelled the distinctive flavour of Cherrystones’ output. This open-eared and open-armed approach is what makes ‘Critical Mass Vol.2’ another stunning compilation.

      As Goddard states: “this is not a rare-for-rare-sake appendix of bands designed to showcase exclusivity and superiority”. These are tracks that have lived with him, and he has lived within, gathered over travels throughout Europe - living, DJ-ing, and creating. Five years on from the first volume, this eighteen track compilation once again fully outlines the breadth and possibility of the post-punk and new wave era. “Many of these artists fell by the wayside as underdogs or were just too ahead of their time. These selections have strong rhythmic undertones - percussively and tonally - and you can hear the subtle influence of dance music and the dance floor as a reference point.”

      On our journey we hear hyped up punk-funk from the Netherlands in the form of Koneć, the cosmic synth-stomp of Daniele Baldelli approved Italians - Neon, the gonzo, outsider shrieks of England’s Loco Lotus, through to the dark, dance floor groove of Belgium’s Siglo XX and, of course, there’s a whole heap more outré excursions on the way.

      “From one of the last true originals - a personal, passionate draft of a "scene" that could have been. As far as possible from diggers' wet dreams - most of the music here is/was hidden in plain sight. So take one step back and figure out what might have gone wrong." Vladimir Ivkovic.

      TRACK LISTING

      1. The Danse Society - Dolphins
      2. A Primary Industry - Bled Dry
      3. Paul Lemos - Hog Rhythm
      4. Koneć - Hey
      5. Die Form - Slow Love
      6. Neon - My Blues Is You (Slow Dub)
      7. The Neon Judgement - Antoine
      8. Loco Lotus - Passage
      9. New Asia - Double Gates
      10. The Mud Hutters - Bowl Of Cherries
      11. Martin Rössel & The Dum Dum Boys - Pablo Picasso
      12. Flue - Some
      13. Unknown Gender - The Beast
      14. Vitor Hublot - Clip Eroclap
      15. Concise - Lady Run
      16. Siglo XX - Moving Creatures
      17. JP 118 - Le Vieux Satrape
      18. November Group - Night Architecture 

      David Holmes & Brian Irvine

      Ordinary Love

        Bafta Award-winning modern master of the soundtrack, David Holmes, working in collaboration with composer Brian Irvine. Set in Northern Ireland, directed by Holmes’ longtime friends Glenn Leyburn and Lisa Barros D’Sa (Good Vibrations, Cherrybomb), and written by legendary Irish playwright Owen McCafferty (whom Holmes has known for forty years), the film tells the extraordinary story of Tom (Liam Neeson) and Joan (Lesley Manville) - their life and love as they enter the uncertainty and upset of Joan’s cancer diagnosis. In a career rich in highly personal work, Ordinary Love is up there with the most affecting in Holmes’ canon. Recorded between Abbey Road and Holmes’ own Drama Studio, the soundtrack features input from some of his most trusted collaborators. Holmes states: “I worked on the score with Brian Irvine. He is a longtime friend and the first person I ever had studio experience with 27 years ago. It felt important to work with Brian on this as his father (Ronnie), Owen’s father (Gerry) and my father (Jackie) - all now deceased - were great friends through a shared love of Point-to-Point horse racing and their work as bookmakers. For the three of us to work together on this was an opportunity I couldn’t ignore.”

        There is also contributions from Holmes’ bandmates, Jade Vincent and Keefus Ciancia, who comprise the trio Unloved. The group’s sound has been central to the much lauded Killing Eve soundtracks, which saw Holmes and Ciancia pick up a Bafta in 2019. Vincent provides a stand-out performance - lending her haunting and smoky vocals to the albums centrepiece and final track - ‘Isn’t It So’. The score to Ordinary Love wasn’t inspired by any other soundtrack or even musical composition but by a mathematical theory called The Game of Life. Devised by mathematician John Conway in 1970, The Game of Life is not your typical computer game. It consists of a collection of cells which, based on a few mathematical rules, can live, die or multiply as the cells form various patterns throughout the course of the game. 


        TRACK LISTING

        1 . Ordinary Love
        2 . Mammogram
        3 . Good Man
        4 . Power Walking
        5 . Peter And Steve
        6 . To And Fro
        7 . It'll Be Over In No Time
        8 . Check Up 9 . Dreaming
        10 . Mammogram Erased
        11 . Chemotherapy
        12 . More Power Walking
        13 . Normal People
        14 . Love
        15 . Every Moment
        16 . The Haircut
        17 . Debbie
        18 . MRI Again
        19 . Isn't It So 

        50 minutes of new, original music from David Holmes soundtracking Steven Soderbergh’s six part tale of passion, intrigue and deception.

        Initially released as an interactive app in which the viewer directed the narrative - Mosaic is a six-part HBO series conceived and directed by Steven Soderbergh and starring Sharon Stone. Mosaic is a twisting tale of passion, intrigue and deception focusing on the disappearance of a high-profile resident of picturesque Summit, Utah and the four-year effort by law- enforcement and civilians to discover the truth behind the crime.

        With that in mind, Mosaic’s original soundtrack weaves as intriguing a tale. Recorded between Belfast and Los Angeles by Holmes, the album features a modern-day Wrecking Crew of musicians. Echoes of Maestro Morricone abound alongside the influence of avant-garde pioneers and Holmes' current soundtrack contemporaries in a selection of deep listening tracks.

        To quote Mark Kermode, 'Mosaic' outlines Holmes’ expertise at “ratcheting up the tension” with strings, horns and synthesizers swelling throughout. As this tension peaks there is inevitable release - in rhythmic and harmonic tracks such as ‘What I Want Is The Red Room’ and Badalamenti-esque lounge eeriness in the likes of ‘Four Years Later’ - guiding the 20 cues presented on this release into a cohesive, full and nuanced album that reveals subtle and rewarding intricacies on each repeated listen. ‘Mosaic’ once again outlines Holmes as a modern master of the original soundtrack.


        TRACK LISTING

        1. Theme From Mosaic
        2. Four Years Later
        3. That Is Most Definitely Him
        4. I've Instructed Them To Check The Dumpsters
        5. What I Want Is The Red Room
        6. Does It Matter Which Side Of Her Jaw Was Hit?
        7. I Don't Trust Her
        8. Olivia Lake
        9. Petra Enters The Red Room
        10. Body Removal
        11. Francis, I Need You To Focus
        12. Pull Over Joel, Just Pull Over!!
        13. Ask Clarence
        14. Deep Down You're Lonely
        15. Eric Neill Is Left Handed
        16. I Prefer Your Suspicion To Your Pity
        17. Sorry I Have No Comment
        18. Strange Shirt Found With Body
        19. I Know What I Have To Do
        20. Mosaic 

        Gross Net

        Quantiative Easing

          Initially a guitar/bass/drum-machine duo of Philip Quinn (Girls Names) and Christian Donaghey (Autumns), Gross Net was conceived as an output for ideas alternative to their other groups. After the release of their first cassette EP on Art For Blind Records (Perfect Pussy, The Altered Hours) and Donaghey's subsequent departure to concentrate fully on Autumns, Quinn took up the Gross Net mantle solo.

          The Host

          Esalen Lectures

            "Inspired by think tanks and floatation tanks, psychological research, 2012 mythology, 1960's social planning, stoned apes, elite transhumanism, and the counter-culture, the Esalen Lectures is an imaginary trip to a NorCal psychedelic retreat. Use the sounds to enter into a program of theory and practice, to accompany inward voyages, and for sunset induction rituals. And when the coloured dust settles, and the weird dreams have eased off, maybe your neural re- programming has just started? Drawing from a wide source of tranced-out musical legacies, the Esalen Lectures is pitched somewhere between Ash Ra Tempel and Steve Hillage at their most freeform, and more underground New Age artists like JD Emmanuel and Ariel Kalma. Using sweeping synthesizer patterns and subtle field recordings to create dramatic arcs across the record, spiralling guitar squalls meet blissed-out, motionless womb lullabies and digitally-enhanced nocturnes to tell a weird story of induction, hypnosis and psychic disturbance”

            TRACK LISTING

            A1. Begin
            A2. Praxis I
            A3. World Citizen
            A4. Submersion
            A5. Peri-Natal Imprinting
            A6. Praxis II
            A7. Primate Change
            A8. Suggestogen
            A9. Sunset Induction
            B1. Minerva Dreamstat
            B2. Subproject 58
            B3. Belief Formation
            B4. Neo-Primitive
            B5. DARPA Spectrum
            B6. Praxis III
            B7. See Sharp


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