Home Diaries 029: Darkroom

We’ve taken a pause from our schedule of CD albums due to our local post office closing, following the outbreak of Covid19. We launched a digital series called Home Diaries, in which we’ll release EPs and albums by an international line-up of artists, with the music created during lockdown and social distancing conditions.

The series reflects a range of sounds, styles and ideas, as each artist portrays their own reflections uniquely. Each release is digital only for now, as we hope to raise what we can to help keep our label ticking over at this time. The releases feature a recurring polaroid image of a small lonely house, with a coloured filter chosen by the artist for each respective release.

In this next Home Diaries release, we welcome UK artists Darkroom, who have been active since the 1990s. Darkroom consists of Andrew Ostler and Michael Bearpark and we have an album due on CD later this year. This Home Diaries was originally two live performances by Andrew, in which Michael was unable to join physically. So he used a cassette with Mike’s previously recorded guitar composition as part of the sessions, so that Mike could still have a presence as a key part of the performance. The resulting two tracks ebb and flow with detail, retaining a live feel yet adopting the quality of presentation you’d expect to come from a studio.

Each Home Diaries release will include bonus PDF liner notes, which has an interview with the artist on how they made the album, what their situation is like, what they have planned, their influences and what equipment/techniques they used.  There are also additional photos provided by the artist as part of the PDF too. Click on the link below to check it out:

-LABEL LINK-
https://whitelabrecs.bandcamp.com/album/home-diaries-029

-ARTIST LINK-
https://darkroomtheband.bandcamp.com/album/home-diaries-029

press release
“Home Diaries is an invitation to artists and musicians to create an album or EP to document their personal experience during the lockdown or social distancing conditions that are upon us, due to the coronavirus outbreak. The series reflects a range of sounds, styles and ideas, as each artist portrays their own reflections uniquely. Each release is digital only for now, as we hope to raise what we can to help keep our label ticking over at this time. The releases feature a recurring polaroid image of a small lonely house, with a coloured filter chosen by the artist for each respective release. We interview each artist and this is included as a bonus PDF with the download. You can also check out the Home Diaries series on Spotify if you prefer, which will be available to stream in due course.

Our penultimate Home Diaries edition is the first and only collaboration as part of the series. UK duo Darkroom – Andrew Ostler and Michael Bearpark – have been active since the late 1990s with releases on Burning Shed and more recently via their Bandcamp site. They are renowned for their extended live performances: rarer following Andrew’s move to Scotland; now even more challenging with the pandemic and resulting lockdown.

Seeking and finding positives through the ‘new normal’, Andrew has been performing as part of streaming event series. Mike was present on these occasions from a distance via guitar recordings transferred to cassette: one from their Edinburgh performance towards the end of 2019, and another, inspired by Scotland, that seeded the recording of their full Whitelabrecs album planned for November 2020. The pieces evolve through multiple shades of colour and dynamics, retaining an open live feel; ‘Arrokoth’ and ‘The Uncut Stones of Night’ are very much of their time, yet combine to make a timeless album experience, with a total running time of 40 minutes.”

credits
Arrokoth

Original recording for Fuzz Bat Live Stream – 31st March 2020
Guitar: recorded at The Darkroom, 2nd February 2019

The Uncut Stones Of Night

Original recording for More Kicks Than Friends – 29th April 2020
Guitar: recorded at Henry’s Cellar Bar, Edinburgh, 13th November 2019

Recorded by Andrew Ostler
Edited, mixed, and produced by Darkroom
Mastered by James Edward Armstrong

Andrew Ostler – bass clarinet, modular synth, laptop
Michael Bearpark – guitar, field recordings

Special thanks: Stuart Fraser (Fuzz Bat), Ned Rush (More Kicks), Elif Yalvaç, New Horizons, Roy Fuller. Go well, LB

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