You Are Under Our Space Control
‘You Are Under Our Space Control’ is firebrand US group Object Collection’s inimitable Slip return: a utopian space-opera, a homing signal cast into an empty universe, a beacon for an aesthetically radical future.
Drawing on space travel, transhumanism, astronautics and the resurrection of the dead, Kara Feely’s texts rehearse a progressive politics through a total re-envisioning of everyday life. Travis Just’s limber speech-song vocal parts are eerily and spasmodically FX’d, and navigate surprisingly glistening instrumentals – a headlong tangle and squelch of flexing 808s and metal objects, roboticised guitar, and unreal synthesis.
YAUOSC’s bubbling force belies its diverse, unruly underpinnings. The opera’s musical backbone is a drum-machine transcription of John Cage’s 1951 piano solo ‘Music Of Changes’, a landmark of indeterminacy; its title grabbed from Cy Roth’s sci-fi romp ‘Fire Maidens From Outer Space’ (1951); its texts inspired by Sun Ra and the Russian Cosmists’ poetics and philosophies, and interviews from real (and imagined) space travellers and astronomers.
Object Collection charge these impulses with a burning, engrossing physicality. This is, above all, an LP of heaving, life-giving music, deep in the mess of futuristic fervour.
‘You Are Under Our Space Control’ [SLP054] is available from June 2019 on LP and download. Mastered by Giuseppe Ielasi. Artwork by Frank Eickhoff. Distributed by Boomkat.
‘Pleasure Island’ is British composer Tim Parkinson’s disquieting and joyous Slip debut: play time in end times.
Titled after the Disney adaptation of ‘Paese dei balocchi’ (or the Land of Toys) in Carlo Collodi’s ‘The Adventures of Pinocchio’ (1883), ‘Pleasure Island’ is a metaphysical playground of organic and digital cohabitation, its inhabitants pacified by toys and comforts.
Alongside Dawn Bothwell, Suze Whaites, Laurie Tompkins, and Francesca Fargion, Parkinson exerts an uncannily emotional pull from an unlikely but potent alliance of ultra-minimal aesthetics, dead-beat drums, junk electronics, and mechanised mantras.
Voices are hemmed in by electronic sound. People buffeted around by machines. Words surrounded by garlands of digital interference. Time repackaged as countdown.
Tim’s trash-opera ‘Time With People’ continues to be performed around the world, past champions of which include Object Collection, a.pe.ri.od.ic, Edges, and NEC, and he is a co-curator of London’s longstanding ‘Music We’d Like To Hear’ series. Despite decades of fiercely independent production, this is his only piece conceived of first and foremost as an album.
‘Pleasure Island’ [SLP053] is available from May 2019 on LP and download. Mastered by Giuseppe Ielasi. Artwork by Rick Pushinsky. Distributed by Boomkat.
‘Joyrobix’ is Brummy-abroad Joe Snape’s flooring return to Slip: a songbook of nimble, aching pop that wrings raggedy solace from dejection and displacement.
Begun as a danceable refix of pieces for chamber ensemble toured the last three years, production on ‘Joyrobix’ stalled sharply in 2016. Instead of a self-confident exercise in documentation, the record twisted into a darker, more lyrical original: a period portrait of dislocation and burnout following Snape’s move to the US in 2015.
There’s still plenty of fun to be had. Between the adult contemporary guitars, gospel grooves, and Broadway melisma, the tropes of a musical America are present, correct, and indefatigably uptempo.
But even at his most playful, Snape sounds like a musical mind running on fumes, the optimistic experimentalism of 2015’s ‘Brittle Love’ audible only through a weary cloud, and the black dog never altogether quieted. Nor could it be: ‘Joyrobix’ sounds like a working-out – here manic, there taciturn – of a New World dream gone sideways.
‘Joyrobix’ [SLP047] is available on vinyl LP and download from April 2019. Mastered by Giuseppe Ielasi. Cover artwork by Suze Whaites and double-sided A1 fold-out poster of 9 video stills by L Brandner. Distributed by Boomkat.
‘brace, brace’ is Julia Reidy’s soaring Slip return: a dread-tinged incantation unfurling from breath-down-the-neck field recordings, auto-murmured voice, synthetic hum, and irrepressible guitar kinetics.
Reidy’s signature 12-string playing – precise, burrowing, rhapsodic – dominates the LP’s outer cuts, framing a plaintive electric centre. Blooms of arpeggiations and desolate strums re-inflect slow-moving pitch sequences; the music feels at once on fire and graceful, inevitable.
Perhaps most surprising is how organic ‘brace, brace’’s expanded palette feels. Reidy’s electronics are subtly eerie extensions, alien resonances of her playing, both embedding her instrument and making it somehow unreal. This strange smear of body and apparition is neatly nailed in Reidy’s sung-to-herself vocals, coaxed out and encroached upon by autotune.
Succeeding issues of her work by Feeding Tube and Room 40’s A Guide To Saints, ‘brace, brace’ is a definitive statement from a blazing, restless talent.
‘brace, brace’ [SLP046] is available on vinyl LP and download from February 2019. Mixed and recorded by Sam Slater. Mastered by Joe Talia. Artwork by Suze Whaites. Distributed by Boomkat.
111 angelic MIDI cascade
‘111 angelic MIDI cascade’ is Ralph Cumbers’ exquisite Slip debut: a finely forged collection of joyous electronic music built to surge and heal.
This is Cumbers’ first deliberate Bass Clef album since 2012’s ‘Reeling Skullways’ on Bristol institution Punch Drunk, and a forceful departure from the bubbling, rogue club 12″s since issued on The Trilogy Tapes, PAN, and Idle Hands.
Drums are almost entirely absent, making way for a braiding of soaring machine melodies, and taut harmonic threads. To be clear: this is no ambient record. No drifty clouds, no cocoons, no sonic platitudes.
Recorded in Rotterdam in August 2018, amidst an immersion in the history of clairaudience, scrying, and natural philosophy, ‘111’ is a leap into pinpoint mysticism, with Bass Clef as happy alchemist.
‘111 angelic MIDI cascade’ [SLP052] is available from 31st January 2019 on cassette and download. Mastered by Stephen Bishop. Distributed by Boomkat.
‘PROSEGUR’ is the obliterating Slip debut of North-Eastern security force Bad@Maths: pulped voices scrawled on wasted digital clatter.
The voices of Elvin Brandhi and Odie Ji Ghast have stamped themselves inexorably on the Slip catalogue – Ghast’s swoops and blabbers and Brandhi’s doosmday swaggers all over pairings with bassist Otto Willberg and pop-garbler Mykl Jaxn (as Yeah You) respectively.
As Bad@Maths, the duo’s inimitable speaking-in-tongues practice lurches through electronic daggers and gunge. Elvin and Odie’s roaming productions are a smash-and-grab on the furthest reaches of contemporary trap and grime, their voices re-animating ‘net-culled spirits amongst whipslap beats. Modern mores, nasty drift.
‘PROSEGUR’ [SLP048] is available from November 2018 on cassette and download. Artwork by Elvin Brandhi. Mastered by Stephen Bishop. Distributed by Boomkat.
"You turned into a painting"
‘You turned into a painting’ is Competitions’s Slip debut: laser-etched micro-songs of bruised vocals, sample grabs, and tenderised chamber MIDI.
Competition is Newcastle-based Craig Pollard, whose confessional productions also spill into curation and a wider visual art practice (much of it, recently, as one third of the ‘Wild Pop’ crew).
This mini-album sees Craig atomise songcraft, probing its remnants for signs of soul. Like the post-mushroom recall from which it takes its title, ‘You turned into a painting’ is a queasy scavenging of the mundane. Pollard’s voice achingly wears as he circles through lilting observations; his arrangements squeeze something unctuous from innocuous browser snatches and lowly sample packs, eschewing tricksiness in favour of low-key, loving twists.
‘You turned into a painting’ [SLP049] is available from November 2018 on cassette and download. Artwork by Grace Whitfield. Mastered by Stephen Bishop. Distributed by Boomkat.
Slow Dark Green Murky Waterfall
Mica Levi & Eliza McCarthy
Eliza McCarthy plays 6 piano pieces by Mica Levi on ‘Slow Dark Green Murky Waterfall’.
The pair’s collaboration has patiently cemented in the past three years, with McCarthy (winner of the 2013 British Contemporary Piano Competition) featuring on Levi’s Oscar-nominated score for Pablo Larrain’s ‘Jackie’. Eliza has performed Mica’s work at the Barbican, St John’s Smith Square, and on a 7” both shared with cellist Oliver Coates on Foom in 2017. ‘Remain Calm’, Levi’s 2016 collaboration with Coates, is the composer’s previous outing on Slip.
The EP is bound by a sense of unreal poise: the elegant, blunt, low-lit, and gloopy seep into one another. The titles describe what the music is trying to emulate. Levi’s idiosyncratic mix, and the care in McCarthy’s playing, give ‘Slow Dark Green Murky Waterfall’ a sense of lived-in warmth.
‘Slow Dark Green Murky Waterfall’ [SLP036] is available on 12” vinyl plus download (only with vinyl), from October 2018. Music by Mica Levi / Performed by Eliza McCarthy. Additional Mixing by Sam Slater. Mastered by Giuseppe Ielasi. Artwork by Mica Levi and Eliza McCarthy. Distributed by Boomkat.
Laurie & Olly
WATCH: “Sniffin’ Samgh”
‘Ample Profanity’ is composer Laurie Tompkins and cellist Oliver Coates’ collaborative debut: coagulated gristle surfacing from a Beal, Brooklyn-brown, Ray V, Bangs, GAN, Rugs and Works acid bath.
The EP collects 5 pieces composed by Laurie and then co-edited and performed with Olly. The former plays keys, tape player, and samples, the latter cello with effects. Both sing.
Here is grazed, contorted classicism, here post-binge hallucinations, here gunky funk.
‘Ample Profanity’ [SLP038] is available from 21st June 2018 on 12″ Vinyl, with download. Artwork by Laurie Tompkins and Suze Whaites. Mastered by Giuseppe Ielasi. Distributed by Boomkat.
The Godfather of Wild Pop.
Trouble Number is a major retrospective of four decades of peerless, visionary, and feral production from Gwilly Edmondez – the dad from Yeah You.
This 90 minute double-cassette package cherry picks from hundreds upon hundreds of hours of psychoanalysis through pop waste, performed by Gwilly upon himself since the founding of his ’80s outfit Radioactive Sparrow.
Bewildering and basically incomparable in its entirety, Trouble Number mongrelises strains of hip-hop, black metal, folk, power balladry, more more more, with a properly prophetic, popwise soul.
Pay your respects.
Gwilly Edmondez just grew as a character project in the mid-1980s, offshoot from the to’l-spon/non-com/pop-kak invention-pool that was/is Radioactive Sparrow, itself founded by a group of Bridgend (13-year-old/non-voter) elements in 1980. Gwilly is a solo/collaborative improvisation that started out making fake, unwritten rock, then progressed in the 1990s to real unaccompanied rock, before settling into a mode of practice defined by sampling, tapes and vocals.
Over many years, Gwilly has struck up many material partnerships and misadventurist associations of, with the likes of James Joys, Val Persona, Faye MacCalman, Karl D’Silva, Tobias Illingworth, Laura Late-Girl, b-cátt, Odie Ji Ghast, THF Drenching, Tony Gage, Richard Bowers, People Like Us… But in the end none more so than Elvin Brandhi.
Gnarlage of Self, the C30 album, was made on Newcastle’s hottest day in 2017, in an upstairs room in Heaton, recorded by Dario Lozano Thornton with Schoeps MK2/MK8 pair to Sonodore preamps in one take subsequently edited and disorganized by Dario.
Gwilly Edmondez: A Retrospective Mixtape Made Questionably & Unquestioningly by Himself started out as a kind of slapstick/slapdash best of… but quickly became its own entanglement of old stuff, new-but-unused stuff made for the C30, and bits of recent live sets. The first half, side one, tries to bungle blindly into the nature of supplication, confession and self-condemning introspection – find the self then kill it; side two starts on the other side of death inhaling wafts of cheap air freshener as a means to hallucinate a personal history that never could’ve happened anyway, before scrambling back through the rear end of personality only to be consigned to liturgical palliatives in a manner carried out by his countless forebears of the cloth. It could only end with “Walken’s Kiss”, a sardonically pronounced cliffhanger.
Trouble Number [SLP045] is available from May 2018 in a double cassette package – Gnarlage Of Self (C30) + Gwilly Edmondez: A Retrospective Mixtape Made Questionably & Unquestioningly by Himself (C60) – with download. Artwork by Gwilly Edmondez. Mix and Edits by Dario Lozano Thornton and Gwilly Edmondez. Distributed by Boomkat.
Watch: “REAP YOUR DEFECTS”
Yeah You – KHOT< [SLP042] is available from May 2018 on cassette, no download. Artwork by Elvin Brandhi & Mykl Jaxn. Mastered by Bishop. Co-released with Opal Tapes (OPAL121). Distributed by Boomkat.
KHOT < KRUTCH
DEMOTION TEXT – my father and her only son
Yeah You are not a band but a living surrealist art project. After releasing a serious of recordings that seemed to display natural progression in their provocatively de-ventilated style, the degenerate truth is back and writhing.
This non-album is not a statement it is a question. How to produce something without it becoming a commodity as soon as it hits the ground? Keeping the message porous by biting the tongue of the messenger and relegating all possible selling points.
‘This will not be consumed, you will not sell what I presume, this will not be consumed, this will be outdated, this will be trampled away’
In the most base insipid fashion we have tried to embody the writhing invalid smiling within it’s infrastructure of self-polishing crutches, a pushchair of networks that enables it to fane a solipsistic optimum. It is only when the macbook is fucked and the social life is stripped, that two generations of the same confused organism turn to the dregs of existential autonomy. Revert to the material we are left with when all advisable being-regimes have been plucked, which here happens to be a Casio keyboard, a dictaphone and a microphone.
Throning regression, the first wretch is unearthed: The palimpsestic undercarriage of KRUTCH: emblems of an uncouth praxis. This is the worst album Yeah You has ever made and captures most indiscreetly the rotting essence of the duo’s proliferation.
Lost In Shadows
Lost In Shadows is American composer/performer Ashley Paul’s bewitching Slip debut: a expansive, deeply personal excavation of recent motherhood, told through songs dissolving and re-crystallising at the threshold of free improvisation.
At the LP’s heart is Paul’s mercurial multi-instrumental style, which renders the primal wails, clunks, and twangs of clarinet, saxophone, percussion, and guitar uncannily melodic, alchemised by frank, vulnerable vocals. The deft negotiation of the fragile and the coruscating evidenced on Paul’s Line The Clouds (2013) and Heat Source (2014) has now reached a kind of hesitant sublime.
Recorded over 3 weeks at a FUGA residency in Zaragoza, Spain in December 2016, Lost In Shadows documents a cathartic outpouring; the first time Paul had been able to write since the birth of her daughter 11 months earlier.
The record is influenced by “many hours spent awake at night in a dream like state of half consciousness, darkness and solitude; an overwhelming feeling of loneliness and exhaustion made light by a profound new love”, with Paul’s solo playing bolstered by additional baritone saxophone, cello, tuba, and percussion. This ensemble set-up, which premiered much of this work at 2017’s Counterflows festival, gives the album a fresh sense of luxuriousness, bounce, and rich possibility.
Lost In Shadows [SLP044] is available on gold or black LP with download from April 5th 2018. Artwork by Gayle Paul. Mastered by Giuseppe Ielasi. Distributed by Boomkat.
The King is Chaines’ commanding return to Slip: a claustrophobic, dank book of abstracted torch songs, festering in an uneasy grandeur.
The LP collects work diligently amassed in the 3 years since the British composer/producer’s Slip debut ‘OST’, which housed contributions from ‘cellist Oliver Coates and artist Mary Stark within melancholic, uncannily tactile productions. The intervening period has seen Chaines collaborate extensively with the London Contemporary Orchestra, with commissions performed at The Roundhouse, Union Chapel, Printworks, and Tate Modern.
The King sees Chaines’ eccentric, singular language grasp a fresh immediacy and emotive potency. Chaines’ voice is more present than ever – creepy, seductive and pained on the Scott-Walker-does-ASMR of “Eraserhead”, and diva-ghost of “Population 5120” – and their arrangements dissolve the symphonic into freakish forms – “Carpathia” and “Knockturning” spike pastoral organs and flutes with industrial menace and convulsing beatwork.
The King [SLP037] is available on LP and download from March 15th 2018. Artwork by Chaines. Mastered by Giuseppe Ielasi. Distributed by Boomkat.
“…in an age of exhausted ideas and recycled nostalgia, how good it is to hear something so strikingly original, provocative, and bold.” – Nathan Thomas, Fluid Radio
It's All True
It’s All True is an opera-in-suspension from New York ensemble Object Collection based on the complete live archives of iconic underground band Fugazi.
Grounded upon the DC post-hardcore outfit’s 1987-2002 Live Archive series, composer Travis Just and writer/director Kara Feely’s work uses only the incidental music, text and sounds, none of Fugazi’s actual songs. An obsessive leap into 1500 hours of gig detritus – random feedback, aimless drum noodling, pre-show activist speeches, audience hecklers, police breaking up gigs – is the foundation of an ear-body-and-mind-flossing 100 minutes for 4 voices/performers, 4 electric guitars/basses and 2 drummers. It’s All True is overloaded, maddening, mundane, properly funny, and a radical incitement to action.
Half of this delectably bruising megalith is collected on 12″ vinyl and CD It’s All True – Object Collection’s debut outings on Slip – available October 2017.
Voice/Performers: Catrin Lloyd-Bollard, Avi Glickstein, Daniel Allen Nelson, Deborah Wallace
Electric Guitars/Basses: (Dither Guitar Quartet) Taylor Levine, Josh Lopes, James Moore, Brendon Randall-Myers
Drums: Shayna Dunkelman, Owen Weaver
Mixed by Travis Just and Philip White. Mastered and cut by Josh Bonati.
Object Collection was founded in 2004 by writer/director Kara Feely and composer/musician Travis Just. Based in Brooklyn, the group operates within the intersecting practices of performance, experimental music and theater. They are concerned with simultaneity, complexity, and radicality, combining dense layers of text, notation, objects and processes. They work to give audiences unconventional viewing experiences through our merging of theatricality and pedestrian activity. Their works upset habitual notions of time, pace, progression and virtuosity. They value accumulation above cohesion.
Prisons For Profit
Prisons For Profit is the neighbour release of It’s All True [SLP040], New York ensemble Object Collection’s opera-in-suspension based on the live archives of iconic underground band Fugazi.
Collected here are two more tracks – ‘Prisons For Profit’, and ‘Male Lame-Asses’ – alongside the LP cut ‘What’s The Problem’.
Prisons For Profit [SLP041] is available on 7” red vinyl from September 2017. Artwork features photography from Henrik Beck, plus a fold-out double-sided A4 print featuring both performance text and liner notes. Mixed by Travis Just and Philip White. Mastered and cut by Josh Bonati.
KRUTCH is Newcastle duo Yeah You’s black-hearted return to Slip: poisonous, weaponised pop, spat out on the roam.
Father-daughter Mykl Jaxn-Elvin Brandhi’s defiantly other improvisations tangle up defouling sermons with ragged beats, gnashing bass, and ear-worm synths.
Recorded in a black Renault Clio in Holland and Germany, and at Aurora, Budapest throughout early 2017, KRUTCH is the ‘You at a freshly terrifying apex, filtering the desperation of black metal through an unerring pop nous.
KRUTCH [SLP043] is available on 12” vinyl from September 2017. Artwork by Elvin Brandhi. Mastered by Stephen Bishop.
Cows In Large Pastures
Cows In Large Pastures is British, Berlin-based saxophonist and composer Sam Andreae’s Slip debut: a hoard of absurdist community music delivered by a swivel-eyed squad of co-conspirators.
Andreae’s pieces employ puckish graphic and text notation, each a collection of single pages which should be reordered and fucked with during performance. They juxtapose and coalesce sour, pinched vocal tableaux with fidgety, gestural music for ephemera and sometimes instruments.
Crucially, the pieces collected here – ‘v3K(araoke)’, ‘Curiously Tea She Said’, ‘Everyone, Always, Honestly’ – are propulsive and primal; feverish in their repetition and weirdly melodic. Think Wolff’s Burdocks running downhill, the quicksilver logic of The Goon Show, the Spontaneous Music Ensemble with nothing but junk.
Cows In Large Pastures [SLP034] is available on blue C55 tape or CD, with download, from February 13th 2017. It comes packaged with a double-sided fold-out A3 poster with artwork by Mio Ebisu. Purchases from Slip include a digital download of the scores in full.
“…like an imaginary session for Smile for which Brian Wilson just told the performers to “let it all out”” – Daryl Worthington, Decoder magazine
“I’ve been trying to get into the game room at any and all cost to my health and sanity “ – Tiny Mix Tapes
“A spat raspberry at “art”” – This Is Not A Drill
Played on Towards The Margins
Dawning On is Australian, Berlin-based guitarist Julia Reidy’s Slip debut: a razor-sharp précis of pent-up, blazing melancholy on a lone 12-string guitar.
Reidy’s playing is lucid and poised, teasing out elegant inflections from half-melodies, rugged strums, and curious tunings. Her compositions are lingering streams: barely-shackled attacks give way to introspective arpeggiations before resurging again, all spurred on by a yearning, nervous energy.
With the album’s single-track A-side clocking in at just under half-an-hour, this is by some measure Julia’s most comprehensive solo statement to date, and a luxurious listen which revels in the 12-string’s generous resonance. For our money, it’s up there with the finest work of her fellow Aussies The Necks, Anthony Pateras, and Jon Rose.
Dawning On [SLP033] is available on jelly red C65 tape or CD, with download, from February 13th 2017. It comes packaged with a double-sided fold-out A3 poster with artwork by Suze Whaites. Recorded by Owen Roberts and Giulherme Fill. Mastered by Joe Talia.
“…my mind switches between focusing on Reidy herself and marvelling at the twangs and resonances that emanate from her guitar.” – Jack Chuter’s in-depth interview with Julia, ATTN:magazine
“Utterly devoid of the Americana or Indian classical trappings that befall so many solo acoustic guitarists” – Tristan Bath, The Wire
“The sheer intensity with which each note is plucked and chord strummed carries an unrelenting fire.” – Daryl Worthington, Decoder Magazine
Mica Levi & Oliver Coates
Remain Calm, Mica Levi and Oliver Coates’ debut collaborative album, showcases both musicians’ restless impulse to blur the boundaries between contemporary genres, from grime to techno to drone. Borne out of an impromptu jam on Mica Levi’s regular NTS radio show, the pair subsequently retreated to a flat in South London to improvise further. The resulting sounds have been chopped and screwed to produce a series of 13 beguiling miniatures.
Remain Calm [SLP035] is available on Clear or Black Vinyl, or CD, with download. Also available is a limited-edition tape featuring ‘Remain Calm’ and bonus tracks by Mica Levi & Oliver Coates independently. All artwork by Leah Walker.
Slip & Bleep Remain Calm Special on NTS
“This remains throughout one of the more enjoyable experimental releases this year.” – Thea Ballard, Pitchfork
“Experimentalism as invitation rather than rebuke” – Lisa Blanning, Resident Adviser
“Borrowing clubland’s sonic architecture yet happily veering away from expectations of regularity or development” – Abi Bliss, The Wire
“A sketchbook in which every figure gestures toward newer, more exciting ideas” – Ryan Bradley, New York Times Magazine
Kit Downes & Tom Challenger
Black Shuck is a dusty, claustrophobic extension of the extraordinary organ and saxophone improvisations Kit Downes and Tom Challenger last collected on Vyamanikal [SLP024].
Dubbed in a limited cassette run, ‘Black Shuck’’s two expansive cuts span the full range of Downes and Challenger’s language – the tape’s A-side embedding piano and sax. within a tangled, volatile septet, its B-side a stark, pared-down duo.
‘Black Shuck’ – recorded respectively in Snape Maltings and Huddersfield – is testament to the pair’s restless reinvention of Vyamanikal’s Suffolk-centric material. Recent and forthcoming performances include Aldeburgh Festival, Manchester Jazz Festival, Cologne Philharmonie, and Kings Place.
A-side septet: Tom Challenger (saxophone), Kit Downes (piano), Alex Bonney (electronics), Lucy Railton (cello), Liam Byrne (viol), Emma Smith (violin), Daniel Bradley (percussion).
‘Black Shuck’ [SLP032] is available on C25 tape, with download, from 15th November. It comes packaged with a fold-out double-sided A3 poster with artwork by Alex Bonney. Mixed and mastered by Alex Bonney and Tom Challenger.
“A strong and constantly fascinating body of work” – Bruce Lindsey, All About Jazz
“Utterly distinctive and often strangely beautiful” – Ian Mann, The Jazz Man
Odie Ji Ghast & Otto Willberg
WHATSAPPITE is the batty collaborative debut from Mancunian long-time sparring partners Otto Willberg and Odie Ji Ghast: a bewildering assemblage of feral double bass and vocal vignettes spliced with rabid interjections from a handpicked cast of eccentrics.
Willberg and Ghast’s cuts ditch polish, finesse and good taste in a favour of animal propulsion, taking base, off-the-cuff melodies and rhythms on a skew-wiff joy ride.
Bolstered by brain farts from Gwilly Edmondez, Elvin Brandhi, THF Drenching, Rachel Margetts, Sam Andreae, Arshon, and Biz, WHATSAPPITE marries proper abandon with unabashed ears for a hook.
Id Vendor is Newcastle outfit Yeah You’s Slip debut: a stack of crackpot situationist pop forged in the fire of free improvisation.
Mykl Jaxn and Elvin Brandhi are relentlessly producing instinctive, chewed-up tunes on the fly. Culled from sessions crammed into weekly drives to yoga, idle moments in the trolley park of Bridgend Tesco, and a late-night wander in Brussels, ‘Id Vendor’ captures the father/daughter duo in superlative form off the back of knockout 2016 shows at Kraak, Borealis, and Counterflows.
A wicked onslaught of blunted beats, rudimentary synth contortions, and haphazard vocals as relentless as it is unpredictable as it is bloody wild.
Id Vendor [SLP026] is available on clear C50 tape or CD, with download, from June 27th 2016. It comes packaged with a fold-out A3 poster with artwork by Elvin Brandhi. Tapes dubbed by Otto Willberg.
“The music and letting-go part of it is already sort of social suicide – and then on top of that I’m doing it with my dad.” – In-depth Elvin Brandhi interview with Tristan Bath for the Quietus
“…snotty punk holler, n0!se and hot-stepping electronics by the best father/daughter duo since Serge and Charlotte…” – Boomkat
Yeah You + Julia Reidy + Matt Rogers & Chris Vatalaro
Wild Pop, 12-string Australiana, and Casio apocalypse as we take the reigns once more at Oto.
Thurs 14th July, 8pm
£6 adv / £8 otd
Cafe Oto, 18-22 Ashwin Street, London, E8 3DL
Sog is the magisterial Slip debut of Klaas Hübner, the Berlin-based sound sculptor, improviser, and instrument-builder whose installations coax out uncanny chants from whirly tubes, ceiling fans, styrofoam, and cassette tapes.
Recorded live in Germany and New Orleans from 2013 to 2016, Sog’s six works mold elemental acoustic forces through elegant constructions ranging from the domestic to the gargantuan. On ‘single tube’, a lone Hübner swings a whirly tube above his head; on ‘château poulet’ – a collaborative work with Andrew Schrock – the artist’s body becomes a 10 metre tower, whose belt and clutch system whirls jumbo tubes attached to the blades of multiple ceiling fans.
Sog’s works play out time and time again in the interstitial zone between automation and spontaneity, machine and body. ‘schwarzwald’ submits ten tape loops of the artist’s voice to a mechanised dance which visually and sonically echoes an eerie forest; in ‘music for ceiling fan and tubes’, Hübner and regular collaborator Lysandre Coutu-Sauvé sing seductively through whirlies as a ceiling fan chops above their heads.
Perhaps most astonishing is the psychedelic, otherworldly pleasures Sog’s cyclic architectures illicit. An instinct for hypnotic, primal rhythm powers Hübner’s work as much as lyricism. ‘sswsw’ and ‘extended pickup #1’ – a pair of poignant motorised elegies for metronomes and a funnelled airstream – recall melancholic cuts from Actress or De Leon as much as canonic works from Ligeti, Cage, or Chris Watson.
Sog [SLP025] is available on C50 tape or CD, with download from 23rd May 2016. It comes packaged with a fold-out A3 poster containing artwork, documentation, and accompanying notes by Klaas Hübner. Mastered by Owen Roberts.
Videos of “Château Poulet”, “extended pickup #1”, “schwarzwald”, “SSWSW”, and “music for ceiling fan & tubes” in action
Plays on Crow Versus Crow, Frission Radio, Towards The Margins, Skyapnea‘s NTS show and BBC R3’s Late Junction
“…tape manipulation reminiscent of an unhinged Kid Koala, complete with whistles and warbles, scratches and screams…” – a closer listen
“…an ear-opening perspective on the art of a very intriguing and imaginative artist…” – Nathan Thomas, Fluid Radio
“…The crisscrossing ticking of metronomes, industrial hiss and crackle of tape loops, and gong like tones of springs attached to styrofoam all make an appearance, but the drone of the whirly tubes is Hübner’s most compelling tool…” – Tristan Bath, The Quietus
“..This is great listening, Hübner’s compositions having an almost sensuous physicality even as they seem to float in space like clouds of hyper-intelligent candy floss. Aeolian harps for the modern office…” – Paul Margree, We Need No Swords
Kit Downes & Tom Challenger
Recorded at 5 Suffolk churches during a 2015 Aldeburgh Music residency, Vyamanikal deftly explores the native nuances and acoustics of 6 organs and their surrounding environment. Downes’ organ playing is alternately delicate and thunderous, teasing out unearthly vibrations from converted harmoniums and mighty, century-old 3 manual organs like Framingham’s ‘Thamar Organ’. Challenger’s sax lines act as a conduit between the instrument and their locale, probing errant pipe tones for interferences, and embellishing distant birdsong.
Named after the ancient Sanskrit term for flying machines – ‘Vaimānika Shāstra’ – the pair’s second release since 2012’s Wedding Music celebrates music-making at its most meditative and transient.
Kit and Tom have performed together at the Royal Festival Hall, Cafe Oto, The London Contemporary Music Festival, Cologne Philharmonie, Swaledale Music Festival, and been broadcasted live on the BBC. Vyamanikal’s forthcoming dates include Aldeburgh Festival, Manchester Jazz Festival, and Norway’s Stavanger Organ Day.
Vyamanikal [SLP024] is available on CD and download from 23rd May 2016. It comes packaged with a fold-out A3 poster with photography by Alex Bonney, who also recorded, mixed and mastered the album.
“…wondrous…” – Boomkat
“…The saxophone of Tom Challenger almost caresses these rich organ sounds in a way that feels like he is coaxing a mythical beast (of some sort) out into the open!…” – Joe Higham, Free Jazz
“…Listening to the Downes’ understated organ figures is like being borne aloft on clouds, as breathy sax hoots play across them in a hazy, solar beams and subtle touches of electronics ruffle up the smooth surfaces…” – Paul Margree, We Need No Swords
“…switching from delicate and ethereal to driving and bold and back again…” – Nathan Thomas, Fluid Radio
Heat, War, Sweat, Law
Heat, War, Sweat, Law is British composer Laurie Tompkins’ debut solo recording: a desperate stomp on the bones of Heaven 17’s ‘The Height Of The Fighting’, replete with rabid voices, cracked pots, faltering pipes, spent IKEA bags and egg shakers, and spasmodic ghosts of Martyn Ware synths.
Part foaming rant, part exercise routine, HWSL’s incessant shaking, hammering and yelling wear down soloist, tools, and the tolerance of an audience put upon by a dispersed mob seeking to recruit them in their inane howls and claps.
Laurie has been commissioned by Aldeburgh Music, the LSO Soundhub Scheme, and the ddmmyy series; performed HWSL in London, Aarhus, and Berlin; made radio programs for Resonance and NTS; and collaborated with Oliver Coates, Otto Willberg, Suze Whaites, and Dori Deng. He co-directs Slip with Tom Rose and Suze Whaites.
Heat, War, Sweat, Law [SLP029] is available on metallic gold C25 tape or CD, with download, from 9th May 2016. It comes packaged with a fold-out A3 poster with ‘business wanker’ artwork by Joel Wycherley. Tapes dubbed by Callum Higgins. Mixed and mastered by Owen Roberts.
“…Glenn Gregory’s suave croons are a world away from these giddy bagatelles, evoking as they do a hurricane in a Sheffield charity shop…” – Paul Margree, We Need No Swords
“…he cries meaningless bloody murder in nine tracks that resemble surreal playground games as much as they do compositions…” – Tristan Bath, The Quietus
“…the receding hairline of an overwhelmed sound guy paying off the interest on his mic set case while pulling out hair…” – Tiny Mix Tapes
SK√-1 is the debut Slip missive from British composer Matt Rogers: a suite of solo scorchers belched straight out of the jack of a GravesEnd Casio SK1. Veering between fissured arabesques and apocalyptic anthems, SK√-1 is pumped with a singularly psychotic optimism. Keener ears might detect a manic relation of Oneohtrix Point Never or Heatsick; an eccentric prophet à la Nancarrow or Robert Ashley; a Gameshow Outpatient.
Matt has won the Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award for Composers; held residencies at London’s Southbank Centre and at Tokyo’s Wonder Site; and produced large scale works for the Royal Opera House, Aldeburgh Music, and the New York Metropolitan Museum Of Art.
SK√-1 [SLP028] is available on Flo-Green C30 tape or CD, with download from 9th May 2016. It comes packaged with a recycled card artwork insert by Matt Rogers. Tapes dubbed by Callum Higgins. Mastered by Owen Roberts.
“…Sour, uncompromisingly obtuse ear-bender…” – Boomkat
“…honestly this is pretty damn great…” – Bleep
“…saturated aural spurts vying with spliced blobs of squelch in cycles that push repetition to its most idiotic – and fantastic – extreme…” – Paul Margree, We Need No Swords
“… Matt Rogers goes places that we didn’t even knew existed on his debut, SK√-1. And it only took a Casio SK1 to get there…” – Electronic Beats
Ashley Paul + Andreas Dzialocha + Marta Forsberg + Tim Parkinson
Slip are back at Oto with an evening of expanded song. German and Swedish musicians Andreas Dzialocha and Marta Forsberg bring drones both nocturnal and ecstatic to the UK for the first time; Laurie Tompkins and Susie Whaites perform Tim Parkinson’s gloriously monotonous Songs; and masterful American performer/composer Ashley Paul makes a special guest appearance.
Thurs 31st March, 8pm
£6 adv / £8 otd
Tickets + info: https://cafeoto.co.uk/events/slip-presents-slp022-ashley-paul-andreas-dzialocha/
Cafe Oto, 18-22 Ashwin Street, London, E8 3DL
NTS Mix for Beatrice Dillon
1 hour mix for Beatrice Dillon’s monthly show on NTS Radio.
Aired on March 28th 2016.
Listen (with tracklisting).
Klaas Hübner + Lysandre Coutu-Sauvé + Susie Whaites + Aaron Parker + Kaj Duncan David + Laurie Tompkins + Tom Rose + Sam Wilson
“chunks of matter in uncertain space” – Mark Leckey, Cinema In The Round Slip return to Café Oto for an evening of UK premieres and venue debuts which play with objects and environments. Both the main venue and its neighbouring Project Space will host performances and installations where fans, arduinos, bricks, and footballs merge with distorted visions of landscape. Thurs 28th Jan, 3pm / 8pm
Tickets + info: https://www.cafeoto.co.
Cafe Oto, 18-22 Ashwin Street, London, E8 3DL
“chunks of matter in uncertain space” – Mark Leckey, Cinema In The Round
Slip return to Café Oto for an evening of UK premieres and venue debuts which play with objects and environments. Both the main venue and its neighbouring Project Space will host performances and installations where fans, arduinos, bricks, and footballs merge with distorted visions of landscape.
Thurs 28th Jan, 3pm / 8pm
Klaas Hübner – Schwarzwald
Susie Whaites & Aaron Parker - Storage
Klaas Hübner & Lysandre Coutu-Sauvé – Music For Ceiling Fan & Tubes
Kaj Duncan David – 4c0st1ctr1g3r * & Relay
Laurie Tompkins – Heat, War, Sweat, Law
Tom Rose - Dry saying *
* performed by Sam Wilson
Unreal Estate OST
Lawrence Lek & Oliver Coates
Lawrence Lek’s Unreal Estate is a speculative simulation in which London’s Royal Academy of Arts has been sold off as a luxury playboy mansion to an anonymous Chinese billionaire. First shown at the RA itself in 2015, and available to play online as part of Lek’s ‘Bonus Levels’ series, this dystopian and poignantly funny piece was the winner of the ICA Tenderflix award and the Dazed x Converse Emerging Artist Award. Unreal Estate’s eerie landscape is underpinned by a soundtrack from cellist and composer Oliver Coates. Coates’ cello chorales are both tender and stark; glossy Reichian quavers, elephantine bass lines and cultivated waltzes reverberate within the gallery’s imaginary walls. Interspersed amongst Coates’ themes are selections from Unreal Estate’s narrator, whose advice to potential investors comes from a found text from Russian Tatler, translated into Mandarin by Joni Zhu.
Lawrence Lek’s Unreal Estate is a speculative simulation in which London’s Royal Academy of Arts has been sold off as a luxury playboy mansion to an anonymous Chinese billionaire. First shown at the RA itself in 2015, and available to play online as part of Lek’s ‘Bonus Levels’ series, this dystopian and poignantly funny piece was the winner of the ICA Tenderflix award and the Dazed x Converse Emerging Artist Award.
Unreal Estate’s eerie landscape is underpinned by a soundtrack from cellist and composer Oliver Coates. Coates’ cello chorales are both tender and stark; glossy Reichian quavers, elephantine bass lines and cultivated waltzes reverberate within the gallery’s imaginary walls. Interspersed amongst Coates’ themes are selections from Unreal Estate’s narrator, whose advice to potential investors comes from a found text from Russian Tatler, translated into Mandarin by Joni Zhu.
Lek and Coates are both highly respected in their own fields. In the last two months, Lek has exhibited alongside Holly Herndon and Benedict Drew at Wysing Arts Centre’s The Uncanny Valley, and been announced as the visual collaborator for Kode9’s 2016 Nøthing tour. Coates’ lauded solo album Towards the Blessed Islands, released on PRAH in 2013, showcased the virtuosity and flexibility the cellist has brought to collaborations with Mica Levi, Jonny Greenwood and many many more. This release captures both artists at the top of their game.
Unreal Estate OST [SLP019] is available digitally from November 2015, mastered by Rupert Clervaux, alongside a limited-edition A1 poster designed by Lawrence Lek and Tom Rose.
FACT feature & full stream
Lawrence Lek feature by Emily Bick in the Wire Issue 383
Rhizome, Frieze and Avant features
TANK Magazine interview w. Oliver & Lawrence
Berlin Community Radio feaure on Malte Kobel’s Vibration Totale
Plays on the Wire and Kammer Klang‘s Resonance FM shows, and on BBC R3’s Late Junction.
“…one of the most immersive ambient albums you are likely to hear this year…” – Bleep
“…the music is as grand and boldly delineated as any computer game soundtrack, making it a perfect fit for Lek’s virtual world…” – Nathan Thomas, Fluid Radio
Storage [SLP018], the ravishing debut release from British composer Aaron Parker, collects five works attentively compiled over a period of almost three years. Parker’s pieces are as much ‘environments’ as ‘compositions’: rich ecosystems where strata of fibrous acoustic and electronic sound are overlaid in undulating cycles at once mechanical and utterly natural.
Lead cut ‘Warehouse’ is a substantial ensemble piece dating from 2012, where lurching winds, balletic metal percussion, and chiming harps curiously assemble around a supple violin line and a dripping metronomic glitch. Though it owes a debt to the mammoth, chugging minimalism of ‘70s Glass and Reich, ‘Warehouse’ is far from brutal, and exudes a lushness more akin to the environmental works of Zimoun and Chris Watson.
Storage‘s accompanying works – which take their titles simply from the GPS location and date on which they were completed – foreground electronic over acoustic processes. Parker’s looped scrapes, sighing machines, and snatches of field recording reverberate in strange, artificial acoustics. These uncannily melodic pieces distort both temporal and spatial perception, and the influence of Cage, Eno, and Giuseppe Ielasi loom large.
Parker is as indebted to visual ruminations upon landscape – Larry Gottheim, Norman Ackroyd, Gerhard Richter, Julian Opie – as sonic ones. Fittingly, ‘Storage’’s completion owes much to an intense period of collaboration with visual artist Susie Whaites. One of a limited series of 60 photographs by Whaites is contained within each copy of this limited release, which comes paired with a cassette, the full digital audio files, and a bonus talk tape with early pressings. Mastered by Rupert Clervaux.
“…“Warehouse” feels like being inside a giant hanging mobile, with each dangling object spinning on its own axis and the whole thing spiralling round like a galaxy of sound points. The aim is to fit all these parts together, allowing some to lead, some to whir away in the background, and others to crash and collide at just the right moment, and it’s something that Parker pulls off very well. The mixing of electronic and acoustic sound sources feels completely natural and unforced…” – Nathan Thomas, Fluid Radio
“…the sonics remain so spiritually linked to the land that even the eruptions of bass which threaten to dismantle the final piece diminish the srenity of wet woodland the release transports you to…” – Tristan Bath, The Wire
“…an æther-dream cycle of music box melody, rustling bleeps, and swelling, underlying concrète mechanics…” Boomkat
OST [SLP017], the staggering solo debut from British musician Caroline Haines, AKA Chaines, gathers studio realisations of three commissions completed since 2013’s SPLIT, with Tom Rose. Though written for specific occasions, the pieces are united by a sense of uneasy melodrama, and hallucinogenic flow.
Lead cut ‘OST’ is a 20-minute epic written in collaboration with visual artist Mary Stark where cartoonish, Rammstein-style aggression, plaintive guitar lines, and clunking glitch form an impish portrait of the UK’s north-eastern industry. But ‘OST’ is also a sincere love-letter to analogue film, with plush orchestral samples, and Stark’s disembodied voice tenderly blooming from the rubble.
OST’s remaining works frame its centrepiece. ‘Here’ – written for Laurie Tompkins’ 2013 Handy tour – is a whistled ode to twilight inebriation, accompanied by faint keys, revving cars, and Badalamenti synths. On ‘I Found This’, Chaines’ warbled melodies merge with Oliver Coates’ muted cello, offset by tickling percussion and recorder chorales. Though OST operates in a place entirely its own, it is perhaps best compared with the work of similarly iconoclastic contemporaries such as Elysia Crampton, Mica Levi, and Dean Blunt.
OST is presented as a bumper package including the full digital audio files, mastered by Rupert Clervaux, an A3 recycled poster featuring selected 16mm film stills from Mary Stark, designed by Tom Rose, and a foam-encased talk tape designed by Susie Whaites.
Chaines video for ‘Here’.
“…parts of “OST” may not be for wusses … but those of stronger constitution will find much to enjoy here…” – Nathan Thomas, Fluid Radio
Oliver Coates performances of ‘I Found This’ at LCO events at the Roundhouse (BBC R3 broadcast) and the Barbican, London.
Solo [SLP016] is the Slip debut of Berlin-based composer Andreas Dzialocha: a collection of lilting electric bass melodies refracted through a tangled network of live computer processing. Solo‘s ruptured nocturnes are intimate duets between instrument and machine, with Dzialocha eloquently responding to randomised pulsing reverbs, filters, and compressors, which snatch his delicate motifs into virtual space in real time.
Andreas studied art history, musicology, and computer science, and is founder and director of Berlin-based Serenus Zeitblom Oktett, and upstart publishing platform BLATT 3000.
Solo is available in a limited tape run, mastered by Hannes Fritsch, housed in a filter-foam case designed by Susie Whaites, and accompanied by insert artwork by Rian Treanor.
“The scope of both high and low end noises on display is dizzying, and Dzialocha’s musical themes seem seethe with compelling menace, and the occasional flash of blissful splendour (the reverb soaked chiming on ‘6’). Far from a Solo, the tape’s in fact a duet between man and machine, covering swathes of sonic ground neither could cover alone. Frankly both Solo and Got Gills? deserve to sit alongside the likes of Okkyung Lee’s Ghil and Fred Frith’s Guitar Solos as vital stepping stones in tapping untapped sonic potential from long-serving instruments.” – Tristan Bath, The Quietus
Featured in the Quietus’ Top 20 tapes of 2015
Solo: interactive website by the artist.
Got Gills? [SLP015] is the exigent Slip debut of Manchester-based Otto Willberg, and a commanding introduction to the double bassist’s assertive, heady style. This unhinged collection of live acoustic takes (no amps, no overdubs) marries rasping grit and mesmeric repetition, and announces the arrival of a precocious instrumental talent.
Otto is a double bass player living in Manchester, interested in improvisation, experimental and contemporary music. He is a core component of caustic psych outfit Desmadrados Soldados De Ventura, and of Manchester’s ever-blooming underground.
Got Gills? is available in a limited tape run, mastered by Hannes Fritsch, housed in a filter-foam case designed by Susie Whaites, and accompanied by insert artwork by Rian Treanor.
“Willberg attacks the his instrument with earsplitting bow scrapes right from the start of Got Gills?, going on to run through a stunning array of techniques and themes over nine tracks of ‘no amps, no overdubs’ improvisation. The manic strums and plucks on ‘1.10’ and ‘4.4’ seem to almost mutate the bass strings right out of shape, melting them into a stretchy spaghettified mess, while the droning arco tones of ‘3.2’ come across as practically gorgeous in comparison. ‘4.4’ gets so manic in its final moments that Willberg even starts groaning and moaning like something unholy. The tape closes with ‘2.1’ – five minutes of shuddering repetitions on a mere handful of notes – and it’s a startling pretty moment of minimal beauty at the tail end of such free form chaos.” – Tristan Bath, The Quietus
Featured in the Quietus’ Top 20 tapes of 2015
March Of The Whales
Sean C. Stevens
San Franciscan producer Sean C. Stevens’ debut album March Of The Whales is a synthetic spectacle rebuilt, pixel by pixel, from the rubble of an operatic arc. Stevens renders an erratic electronic landscape in scrupulous detail, one populated by stuttering rhythms, phantasmal machine song, and purring drones. The three-dimensional, non-linear, and distinctly visual quality with which Stevens conceives of the LP betrays his background in both design, physics, and as a graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute.
But for all its conceptual motivation, March Of The Whales is elegant, even sensuous. On ‘Magis Minus’, Stevens strums brittle snaps and android bleeps like a lyre, and ‘Candesco Somnium [I & II]’ is as close to blissed-out Tangerine Dream as Autechrian neurosis. As such, the album injects obsession with a vital levity and joy, much in the vein of electronic pioneers like Morton Subotnick.
March Of The Whales is available in a limited 100 CD run, with artwork by Sean C. Stevens & Dori Deng.
Sleep Spindles [SLP013] is the debut full-length of Dublin-born, London-based composer Paul McGuire. McGuire’s fastidious pieces wrench the fizzes, crackles, and hums of acoustic instruments into towering swarms of sound. Sleep Spindles collects three of his most focussed, guttural works to date. On ‘Tampered’, the minute squeaks of Céline Papion’s cello are gathered in solid hunks; the microtonal guitar drones of ‘Marshes’ are part seduction, part dread; and ‘Sleep Spindles’ gleans an earthy poise from the skins of a simple percussion set-up. ‘Sleep Spindles’ [SLP013] makes the nanoscopic speak with exquisite force, and carves out a defiant zone between the luxurious washes of ambient maestros like Tim Hecker, and the more rarified noise compositions of Helmut Lachenmann.
Aside from numerous individual shows, McGuire’s work has been performed by the London Sinfonietta, Loré Lixenberg and Sarah Nicolls, and at festivals internationally including Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, SPOR in Aarhus, and at Bang On A Can in Massachussets. He is nearing the completion of his doctorate studies with Christopher Fox and Jennifer Walshe at Brunel University.
‘…churning and grinding, changing subtly but never really losing that sharp, heaving quality. The piece doesn’t so much develop (in the clunky composition class sense) as seethe…’ – Fluid Radio
‘…we’re witness to potential genius here, sounding something like a swarm of bees or drones conducted inside Reinhold Friedl’s piano, and also scarily reminiscent of Harley Gaber’s ‘The Winds Rise In The North’. Finally, the titular ‘Sleep Spindles’, written and performed by McGuire, presents perhaps the purest portrait of the artist with nearly 15 minutes of metallic haptics executed with preternatural attention to micro and macro tone, rhythm and texture alchemising the the most elusive magick: a special something from next to nothing. You may be able to tell that we’re a little excited by this release, and you’d be right.’ – Boomkat
Reasons To Be Cheerful, Morsel 1
Reasons To Be Cheerful, Morsel 1 [SLP012] is a limited edition text piece by Joe Snape, printed on plush recycled card with artwork by Tom Rose. Originally written for an April 2015 Slip showcase at Echo Bücher, Berlin, and comes with an accompanying Joe Snape audio piece.
WUB [SLP011] is a limited edition text piece by Chaines, printed on plush recycled card with artwork by Tom Rose. Originally written for an April 2015 Slip showcase at Echo Bücher, Berlin, and comes with an accompanying Chaines audio piece.
Brittle Love [SLP010] is a suite of songs scratched together from the teary depths of a computerised pop dream. From a few raggedy Technicolor melodies bloom luscious strings, xylophones, and drum machines. But something’s not quite right: you can almost hear the sticky-tape holding together the synthesisers, the vocals are forever slipping away from the beat. This is pin-point electronic music put together with Early Learning Centre scissors, a pot of PVA glue, and a page of Lonely Hearts classifieds ripped from a regional newspaper.
‘…racing from one gleaming fragment to another as if trying to take in the whole world in one breath’ – Fluid Radio
‘…Brittle Love’s ‘almost’ songs are wholly enchanting and deeply thoughtful’ – Sinifni Music
‘…fun, organised disorder’ – Nico Muhly recommendation for the Guardian
.’..sounding like a Rugrats b-side (whatever that is), naively delighting in it’s pitch-shifted and polyrhythmic arrangement’ – Nothing But Hope And Passion
‘…Music-box twangs sit alongside soft woodwind before being embellished with sequenced trance-beats, phased bass rolls and quacking keyboard toplines.’ – Trebuchet
Extended interview with ATTN Magazine
Video by Paul Daly
Joe Snape makes precise music in bright colours with the help of electricity. He grew up in England’s Birmingham with a glockenspiel mallet for a dummy, and wants very much to make strange songs that delight. He is particularly committed to the kind of sounds that, if they were people, would be the last picked for sides in a game of schoolyard football. He lives in Berlin, and is happily myopic. His work, solo and together with others, has been presented at festivals and venues including Melkweg (Amsterdam), ACUD Theatre (Berlin), Supersonic (Birmingham), Café Oto (London), Wonder Site (Tokyo), and The Kitchen (New York City). He studied for old-school music degrees at Cambridge, Oxford, and at the Institute of Sonology.
Study 1: SNAZ
Study 1: SNAZ [SLP009] is the first in a series of deranged dancefloor studies by Tom Rose, for which he is adopting his TCR moniker.
Bookended by two remixes of cuts from Micachu’s Meat Batch Mix with Kwake Bass and I’m Not Dancing EP with Tirzah are three TCR originals borne out of an admiration for the producer’s bludgeoning and eccentric dance music. On Leaves, Vixen and Peach, TCR contorts blunted beats into glitched, fuzzy complexity whilst remaining true to the music’s dancefloor function. Just. In his remixes of Go and I’m Not Dancing, the artist remains recklessly playful, with the originals occasionally rearing their heads through the gloop.
Musikaliszer Pinkos [SLP008] is the Lithuanian composer Arturas Bumšteinas’ first recording issued through Slip , under his REFUSENIK alias.
Recorded on a Polyvox synthesiser salvaged from a local market in Vilnius, this substantial suit of analogue meditations sees the composer approach material sourced from a Hebrew music book of the same name, published by cantor Abraham Berenstein in Vilna (1927). Surpassing mere analogue fetishism, Bumšteinas’ album is grounded upon a delicate flow between performer, instrument and score, with the composers’ tactile approach daubing the original folk music tunes and qualities of his synthesiser with elegant fingerprints.
Virtual airport / SHUCK!
Larry Goves & Matthew Welton / Laurie Tompkins & Sam Quill
Composers Larry Goves and Laurie Tompkins last appeared together on Slip’ s third release, the latter remixing the former. Virtual Airport / SHUCK! sees the pair’s ongoing dialogue take a typically eccentric side-step, collecting two composer/poet collaborations with wildly contrasting results.
Goves’ Virtual airport is a song cycle on texts from long-time collaborator Matthew Welton, written for Sofia Jernberg and Seaming To (voices), Sarah Nicolls (piano), and Oliver Coates (‘cello), with the composer playing electronics. Recorded live by David Sheppard at the Howard Assembly Rooms, Leeds in 2009, this is the first time a performance of this RPS-nominated work has been released. The cycle’s nine songs describe liminal airport spaces with a succinct yet lyrical melancholy, creating some strange cousin of parlour music or lieder.
Laurie Tompkins’ contributions focus upon texts from Sam Quill, principally the radio play SHUCK!, concerning three lads’ encounter with sinister native folklore on a night drive through Essex. SHUCK!, which features performances from Paapa Essiedu, Tim Bowie, and Hugo Nicholson, is framed by the diptych Black Valley, where more formal musical and textual preoccupations take precedent, with Quill himself reading his stylised poetry. Though chiefly synthetic in character, Tompkins’ electronic score retains a sense of the tactile landscape that concerns the text; its distant distorted harmonicas and degraded loops obliquely reminiscent of Goves’ primarily acoustic work.
‘It’s difficult to determine how Virtual Airport was put together. About 3:50 into the sixth movement, there’s an understated moment of union; a seemingly calculated moment of parallel thought, as though the spiralling trajectories of each individual instrument – voices, cello, piano, electronics – have miraculously encountered a mutual point of intersection.’
‘Laurie Tompkins’ electronics paint shadows rolling down from the surrounding hillsides…scratching at the dialogue through jarred beeps and headlight glare – siren-esque pulses, a lone walkie-talkie leaking dead air into an empty cave’ – ATTN Magazine
Laurie Tompkins & Sam Quill Resonance FM premiere and in-depth show:
EVERYTHING BETTER UNDER WHITE LIGHT
EVERYTHING BETTER UNDER WHITE LIGHT [SLP006] is the debut recording from 20-year-old Mancunian male MFAAH. In the space of six contained tracks, the EP presents a collaged succession of idiosyncratic moments which draw something uniquely delicate from the lineage of glitch music. The familiar armoury of mangled machine pops and tape belches are skilfully wrenched into a palette which sounds almost environmental, as if musique concrete’s working process had reversed: the computer’s natural noises take on the quality of field recording rather than dense tapestries being constructed from found sound.
‘EVERYTHING BETTER UNDER WHITE LIGHT sounds like the pops and fizzes of an aching florescent bulb. In these six tracks, it’s less about song than it is about texture: sound divested from structure, experiment from form. Hiss, static, bubble or drone, it doesn’t matter: the sounds are alluring enough to capture the attention.’ – A Closer Listen
TMK [SLP005] pairs guitarist Tom McKinney’s première recordings of new music by David Futers, Larry Goves and Tom Rose with electronic reimaginings from the composers of each other’s work. The disc’s six pieces occupy a space grounded on the intimacy of the solo instrument, but offer a more fluid perspective on the guitar, and the traditional notion of the composer. This is music defined not by dogged extremes but by a continuous sense of unfurling as the participants revel in the mediation between composer, performer and media. Ultimately, TMK presents a picture harder to pin down than its constituent parts.
Guitarist Tom McKinney was born in Stoke-on-Trent and studied at the Royal Northern College of Music with Gordon Crosskey and Craig Ogden. He now plays with many of the UK’s leading new music groups such as Psappha, Birmingham Contemporary Music Group and Ensemble 10:10. He has performed as a soloist and chamber musician at Aldeburgh Festival, Brighton Festival, Edinburgh Festival, Spitalfields Festival, Huddersfield Contemporary Music Festival, Buxton Festival, St.Magnus Festival, Warwick Festival and Lancaster International Concert Series. Working closely with composer Larry Goves, he is a founder member of the ensemble the house of bedlam.
‘subtly screwing with expectation, utilising the privilege of being physically distant from the instrument itself and thus immune to the shackles of habit’ – ATTN Magazine
‘One outstanding feature of Goves’ composition is its sheer physicality – the violent, Bartok-esque string snaps, audible fret noise, and overtly kinetic pitch bends make the listener aware of the guitar as a real object and not just an abstract melody-maker’ – Subverse Radio
Chaines / Tom Rose
SPLIT [SLP004] is the debut release of material from both Tom Rose and Caroline Haines (Chaines). Both composers working within electronic and contemporary composition, the pair’s music form a dialogue testament to sharing the same stage countless times over the past year.
‘unforgiving swathes of frost-hit, misty atmospherics’ – Dummy
‘both deal in fragmented structures of half-built rhythms and melodic material spilling freely out of the lines; not deconstructions exactly, but certainly only part-constructed’ – ATTN Magazine
Chaines’ two offerings are evidence of an idiosyncratic vision embracing dislocated drums, swathes of distortion, and freakish manipulations of her own voice. There is a nagging sense of some submerged narrative – inTransverberation, the “bells and smells” of religious ceremony are evoked, while Speak Gentle Words is something like catching glimpses
of distant shorelines.
Tom Rose navigates the alternating interzones with three cuts that dismantle the base of Chaines’ music, as dry synthetic drums coalesce into toppling patterns and waves of synthesiser become caked in debris. The final track includes contributions from ‘cellist Tom Bayman, whose string sounds become stretched in an extended rumination upon Chaines’ unexpected violin solo.
A Crèche for the Lonely and Peculiar
A Crèche for the Lonely and Peculiar [SLP003] is the debut release from GOVES, alter ego of composer Larry Goves. Derived from a set at a Slip showcase last summer in Manchester, the three tracks present a sound with all the physical quality of a live performance, and feature contributions from percussionist Harry Percy and cellist Oliver Coates. The release also includes a remix from composer and label co-founder Laurie Tompkins.
Simple sound sources are responded to or processed beyond recognition. These sounds start off as unpredictable and impersonal (radio static), become gradually more human and predictable (the sounds of a train journey) and end as something identifiable, completely controlled and personal (a simple precomposed melody for ‘cello). The result is a hazy sequence of elusive loops, ambient harmony and concrete noise.
‘sometimes it sounds like a techno record reduced to ambient rubble; at other points it feels like a physical landscape with Goves’ grubby synthesiser fingerprints all over it; at other points it’s a awkward love story between a mournful, plain-speaking cello and the soft pillows of electronic tone that brush alongside it’ – ATTN Magazine
‘it’s a subtle piece of work and worth turning up to hear all the elements’ – Trebuchet
‘operatic chaos in a teacup’ – Now Then
Crystals Are Always Forming
Leo Abrahams & Oliver Coates
Crystals are Always Forming [SLP002] is the debut recording project from Leo Abrahams & Oliver Coates, and the second release from Slip. A combination of ‘cello and electronics, the sound fluctuates between tactile, up-close detail and rawer sustained tones, resulting in an obsessive, consuming listening experience.
‘one of the best albums released this year’ – Dummy
‘fresh-thinking meld of organic and artificial sources’ – ATTN Magazine
‘offers something from the worlds of both Stockhausen and Aphex Twin’ – Oxford Student
‘Droplets of percussion emerge like from a leaking cistern in “IV” and impressively dramatic “VI” makes to think what is hidden behind the gates of an hill-top Scottish castle’ – Terminal 313
‘experiments in timbre grab the listener’s attention, suggesting the intervention of a somewhat-mad god’ – a closer listen
Points of Light
Points of Light
‘Whatever comes forth from the label next, fingers crossed it furthers the beautifully judged experimental ambitions established on this disc’ – ATTN Magazine