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VILLAGE GREEN

Moon Gangs

Earth Loop

    ‘Earth Loop’, the debut album by BEAK> keyboardist William Young’s Moon Gangs project, is set for release via Village Green Recordings.

    A classically-trained pianist, Young composed ‘Earth Loop’ “half and half in a classical sense,” some played live on keyboards, with ideas notated traditionally, the other half created using analogue sequencers with random voltage sources.

    “Earth Loop mainly came out of jamming with synths. The mixer I use is an old Tascam 144 so if things are sounding good I just hit record and get it to tape. Everything started as big long rambles recorded live that are then trimmed down into something more concise. Inspiration-wise I’d been listening to more classical stuff, a lot of chamber music for strings, and I think that shows in the string section-y bits. Although they’re all synths, not actual strings. It was recorded all over the place over quite a long time which I guess is why there are a lot of different ‘moods’ on it, rather than it being a document of a specific period of time/place. I also started building a field recording library over the last couple of years so there’s quite a bit of that in there, but they’re generally processed and run through synths so they’re not too recognisable.” - William Young, Moon Gangs

    Young’s introduction to synth music came from listening to film scores when he was a teenager, such as ‘Terminator’, ‘Videodrome’, ‘Zombie Flesh Eaters’ and ‘Phantasm’. Scores from kosmische pioneers Tangerine Dream and Popol Vuh also played a large part in these formative musical years.

    Not going out much as a child, Young spent a lot of time indoors playing video games. Instead of a SNES, his mum bought him a Commodore 64 as she thought the keyboard made it seem more educational. Certain games and their soundtracks also struck a chord, such as ‘The Last Ninja’, ‘Dante’s Inferno’, ‘Stormlord’ and ‘Castle Master’.

    Moon Gangs officially began in 2011, with the release of ‘Sea/Sky’ on cassette tape via the incipient Where To Now label. Friends from his time spent in Brighton, it was both Young’s and the label’s first release and set the tone for his later output with ambient, analogue synth loops and foreboding, cinematic drones. Subsequent releases followed, such as 2014’s self-titled EP, mixed by Hookworms’ MJ, and an appearance on the Blanck Mass-curated film score ‘The Strange Colour Of Your Body's Tears’, released via Death Waltz.

    From the combined backgrounds of film score composition and field recordings comes ‘Asylum For Eve’, Thomas William Hill’s rich and expressive new album and the first written under his own name.

    While not a concept album in the strict sense of the term, the album’s title refers to a hypothetical imagining of ‘Mitochondrial Eve’, the theorised matrilineal ancestor of all living humans, reincarnated in today’s world of restricted movement. Threads inspired by this juxtaposition of division and connectedness run through the album, which drifts from plaintive piano-led passages to brisk chamber music and back again, tied together by the textured layering of found sounds and instruments that distinguishes Thomas’s music.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    LP includes MP3 Download Code.

    Electronic duo Soft Error release their debut album ‘Mechanism’ through Village Green, recorded at Valgeir Sigurðsson’s renowned Greenhouse Studio in Reykjavik, Iceland.

    A largely electronic pairing, Soft Error are otherwise known as Tim and Rupert, both of whom have musical backgrounds in dance music / DJ culture and composition for film, theatre and TV respectively. Soft Error, however, represents a thrilling new artistic beginning rather than being simply another musical project.

    The album offers a fresh and singular brand of musical intrigue by reaching back and forward simultaneously, drawing from the innovative, propulsive thrum of 1970s Krautrock and the grainy textures and tonalities of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop on one hand and the symphonic, futuristic soundscapes of composers like Cliff Martinez, John Carpenter and Jon Hopkins on the other.

    Dead Light was created after Anna Rose Carter and Ed Hamilton moved from London to a quiet, remote space in the countryside. The migration out of the sprawling metropolis to their new rural refuge was a transition that significantly impacted them both and one that continues to turn and shift under the ambivalence of change, loss and new beginnings.

    The reality of this new setting is an apposition between the quaint and serene nature of their new life and the dislocation from the lives, people, places and culture that they left behind; two conflicting sentiments that co-exist in a somehow beautiful, bitter-sweet relationship. Dead Light is the tension between these two states, a textured and imperfect dream world.

    Recorded at Pie Corner between September 2014 and May 2016, the eponymously titled debut album from Dead Light is a tender, ambient exploration of hope, escape, tension and isolation. Rooted in traditional instrumentation and a handmade approach to effects and synthesis, Dead Light’s music draws upon classical, ambient, pop and electro-acoustic influences. Waves of melancholy stretch through every track, with slow yet expressive melodies that sing from tape-looped cello motifs and an old close-mic’d piano that Anna’s grandfather gave her, yet the feeling of hope never seems to be far away.

    Distant and reflective yet intimate and emotive, Dead Light’s sound is characterised by a plethora of analogue artefacts ranging from tape delays (via daisy chained reel to reel machines), homemade synthesisers, old Russian microphones and 1950s tube pre-amps, as well as contact mics and hydrophones.

    Elements of their textured sound can be attributed to their experimentation with treated tape (warped in various ways via prolonged exposure to sunlight, vinegar solutions, microwaves and washing machines), hydrophones (placed in ice trays and allowed to freeze and thaw) and most noticeably, piano preparations (hand-muting strings, screwdrivers, coins, felt, using the soundboard as a plate reverb, etc). Other experimental techniques can be found in ‘Sleeper’, for example, which utilises the layering of looped and treated voice, or in ‘Broods And Waits’ which uses experimental timbres of stringed instruments and drone-like backdrops.

    ‘Falling In’, the first track they wrote after their escape from London, is a great example of their sound, involving the textural exploration of Anna’s old piano coupled with Ed’s emotive tape treatments and loops.

    11 tracks in total, the ‘Dead Light’ album is an exploration of ambivalence, a sonic ethnography that contemplates a personal narrative of transition and identity. Joining the likes of Matt Dunkley, Ben Chatwin and John Matthias, Dead Light’s first album is released on the London-based Village Green label.

    FORMAT INFORMATION

    CD Info: 4 panel shrinkwrapped digipack CD.

    Ellis Island Sound are Pete Astor (The Loft, Weather Prophets, Wisdom Of Harry) and David Sheppard (State River Widening, Snow Palms).

    ‘Regions’ is the duo’s third album since their inception and it has already been described as “Afro-Krautrock” and “Teutonic High Life”.

    It is possible to detect the influence of Jean Bosco Mwende or King Sunny Ade’s guitars, along with polyrhythmic ensemble force of Fela Kuti’s Africa 70 and T-Funk-period Talking Heads.

    Sometime Radiohead collaborator John Matthias adds vocals to five tracks, coming on like an opiated James Brown channelling Damo Suzuki.

    With a background in electronic music, experimenting with samplers and varied live instruments during the 90s, Corker also developed a parallel career developing film scores.

    Interested in the way changes in different spaces affected the recordings and performances, Corker chose to record in numerous locations, from his local pub to Valgeir Sigurðsson’s legendary Greenhouse Studios in Iceland. 

    ‘Raise’ combines tranquil moments of expansive beauty, gentle piano and subtle strings and synths with surges of ominous force, resulting in a work that is replete with emotion, curiosity, and humanity.

    Features performances from The Elysian Quartet, Lucy Railton and members of The Portico Quartet.

    For fans of Nico Muhly, Ben Frost, Stars Of The Lid, Winged Victory Of The Sullen and Fennesz.


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