Coming soon… Darkroom – The Last Sense To Fade

 

Our final release of a busy 2021 will be available for pre-order on Friday the 3rd of December, a special double album from UK artists Darkroom. We have been planning this one for quite a while now and during the height of the pandemic, Andrew Ostler and Michael Bearpark, the duo behind this project, created the 29th edition of our Home Diaries series.

The Last Sense To Fade‘ will be available in one of our typically low runs of 100 gatefold vinyl-effect CDrs, complete with art and design by Andrew Heath.

It will be released officially on Saturday the 11th of December. If you join our mailing list using the link below, we’ll make sure you’re the first to hear.

press release
“Darkroom is a duo, each hailing from a UK capital city, with Andrew Ostler based in Edinburgh and Michael Bearpark from London. They have been active since the late nineties with music released through labels such as 3rd Stone, Champion Version and Burning Shed as well as their own Bandcamp. Their evolving live performances have been a particular feature for Darkroom, and much of their studio work begins with live performances. Those live performances had to cease in 2020 as a result of the pandemic and this prompted them to join our Home Diaries, in which they provided the penultimate edition of the series.

We had been in discussion with Darkroom prior to this point for some time, with the intention to release an album of their work and this also had to be paused as a result of the pandemic. This period of time provided an opportunity for all of us to reflect and prepare for something special, against a backdrop of uncertainty and disappointment. It is therefore fitting that this double album includes guitar extracts from the last live Darkroom duo performance to date, re-set into a new context in which remote performance and distant communication became not just workarounds but offer new ways of working for the future. Further live takes have been repurposed or adapted, alongside guest musicians and new material. The old and the new burn together alongside one another, like memories.

The seed for this album was Billy Connolly’s ‘Made In Scotland’ documentary, and these are the thoughts he shared about his neurodegenerative illness:

My life is slipping away. But it doesn’t frighten me. It’s as if I’m being prepared for something, some other adventure, which is over the hill. I’ve got all this stuff to lose first, and then I’ll be at the shadowy side of the hill doing the next step or summat in the spirit world.

After watching this deeply affecting meditation, Mike created the extended guitar improvisation that initiated this album. As part of a performance by Andrew, this became ‘The Shadowy Side Of The Hill’ as the first album piece completed. Additional guitars were recorded by Jon Durant when he visited the UK and by Bill Walker remotely from Santa Cruz in California. By chance, the album’s title was identified; it’s left deliberately ambiguous as to whether ‘The Last Sense To Fade’ is about dying, or sleeping. By late 2019, the first of what became two discs had been completed and the mood felt dark, both in the recordings themselves and the world around.

A balancing light slowly emerged as Darkroom began to explore their ideas for the second disc. A key part of concluding this double album was coming to terms with the loss of deep connections, and of damage catching up after a long time – when, for a time, it became difficult to think at all, compounded by pandemic lockdown restrictions. The decisive creative moment came in realising that the album was somehow about all of this, such that completing it took on a new and urgent significance. The closing thoughts of Connolly’s documentary seemed an apt spearhead with which to move on:

You can volunteer to take life seriously, but it’s going to get you. You know they’re going to win over you. It’s harsh. You can either break down and complain about how miserable your life is, or have a go at it and survive. I think that’s the basis of it all.

‘The Last Sense To Fade’ in its completed form is more positive than almost anything Darkroom has ever recorded. It is very much of its time, and a reaction to it, while also managing to stand outside of being defined by any particular time. The cover photography was taken less than two years before the album’s release and the world looked so different. Now, in retrospect, this image captures something of that difference; of foundations about to give way. The warm and beautiful evening light anticipates the next day’s sunrise, but also suggests destruction, both personal and global; a familiar landscape being transformed before our eyes. This album came from a new determination that it’s nevertheless worth creating in response to this, that loss is an open door but also an invitation, and that there will be new ways of seeing the world even if they won’t last forever.”

credits
Recorded by Andrew Ostler
Additional guitars recorded by Michael Bearpark
and Bill Walker
Edited, mixed, and produced by Darkroom
Mastered by James Edward Armstrong

Music:
Andrew Ostler – bass clarinet, tenor saxophone,
modular synths, laptop
Michael Bearpark – guitar, field recordings
Jon Durant – fretless guitar
Bill Walker – slide guitar

Cover photograph – Michael Bearpark
51°36’56.8″N 0°17’11.7″E
Photo restoration – Arber
Darkroom portrait – Rob Blackham
Art and Design – Andrew Heath

Special thanks: Elif, Jon, Bill, Kamil Kowalczyk
(Soundscapism), Ian Faragher (Sonic Imperfections,
Telegraph Hill), Anil Prasad, Arber / Curated Doom, Rob,
Mike Whitfield, Billy Connolly, Neil the Professor, Looper’s Delight, H&K Red Box, SG8’s Jubilee
Wood and Long Barrow, EB / JB / ZB. And dearest LB:
after ten thousand days, we lost our way… this is dedicated
to what we could share, before our damage caught up.

Out Now! Tapes and Topographies – Amplitudes

Also out today is Amplitudes by US-based artist Tapes and Topographies, which follows releases on Dronarivm, Shimmering Moods and Past Inside The Present. This record is a sleepy cocktail of vacant and melancholy tones and features macro photography by our label owner, Harry Towell.

Amplitudes is out now in a run of 100 copies! The best way to keep informed about our low-run releases, is to join our mailing list, and we’ll make sure you’re the first to hear!

press release
“Tapes and Topographies is US based artist Todd Gautreau, who has had music releases on labels such as Past Inside the Present, Dronarivm, Shimmering Moods and his own imprint, Simulacra. His project has been active since 2014 following his previous alias Tear Ceremony and he also produces a downtempo as Sonogram.

With each new album, Todd follows a different workflow to achieve new details and results in his sound. Increasingly, his work has been aided by the use of hardware and outboard effects.
In his latest album Amplitudes, he has taken a set of sounds and fed these through a looper, experimenting with altered loop speeds. He used FM synthesis for the first time in this body of work, alongside some of his tried and tested methods, joined by field recordings.

These nine compositions clock in at almost 50 minutes; a compelling listen through dreamy, organic textures. Todd has created a lot of music in the last 18 months and Amplitudes is the latest in his continuous process of distilling his sounds and ideas down to their essence.
The album’s artwork is a macro-photograph of a stone, as the fine details are ‘amplified’ by the magnification effect of the camera’s lens. There is not a clear concept but inspiration is drawn from film and literature, as well as self-reflection, memory, loss and dreams. As these compositions play out, you’ll find yourself concentrating on fine details, whilst at other times, in a blissful state, zooming out to absorb the bigger picture.”

credits
Written and produced by Todd Gauthreau
Mastered by James Edward Armstrong
Macro photography by Harry Towell
Art and design Andrew Heath

Out Now! Simon McCorry – The Illusion of Endings & Beginnings

We have another two physical editions set to release on the 13th of November following a Bandcamp Friday pre-order on the 5th of November. The first of these is from Gloucestershire, UK based cellist and composer Simon McCorry, who had previously collaborated with anthene for Whitelabrecs in May’s The Equation of Time. Simon has released with labels such as Naviar, Polar Seas and most recently, Rusted Tones. In this new album, he has also enlisted the help of pianist Simeon Walker, to close out the album.

The Illusion of Beginnings and Endings is out now in a run of 100 copies! The best way to keep informed about our low-run releases, is to join our mailing list, and we’ll make sure you’re the first to hear!

press release
“Simon McCorry is a cellist and composer from Gloucestershire, UK who has released music through the likes of Polar Seas, Naviar and Rusted Tone. He has also been a regular collaborator, most recently with anthéne, with whom he created The Equation of Time, released here on Whitelabrecs in May 2021.
Simon has prepared a new solo album called The Illusion of Beginnings & Endings, which draws upon a body of work he composed for a contemporary dance film production.

For this release, Simon has worked once again with visual artist Tom Tebby, who has designed the packaging around imagery techniques using a camera and paper. The result provides a stark and obscure focal point, which projects itself into the cinematic textures of this album. The concepts and ideas behind The Illusion of Beginnings & Endings are based loosely around ambition. We all have different views on ambition and what this means for us, and the artist states that their preference is to live for the moment. This album reflects that this idealistic view on the world is at odds with a society that pushes us to constantly strive for a brighter future. To some, this is a grey cloak of fear; a fear of failure or underachievement. To others, taking stock might be hard.

The drama of this sound, its deep pensive cello, pulsing modular synth movements and transcendent piano, provides a space in which we can ponder upon our own ambitions. The lens through which we see ourselves may differ from one person to the next. Perhaps you will feel an urge to be present, or the opposite; an urge to feel vacant? Either way, the weight of our own ambition may feel that bit lighter as a result, as we decode the contents of this album.

-“You can never get outside it; you must always turn back. There is no outside; outside you cannot breathe. Where does this idea come from? It is like a pair of glasses on our nose through which we see whatever we look at. It never occurs to us to take them off”- (Ludwig Wittgenstein)

credits
Written and produced by Simon McCorry
Mastered by James Edward Armstrong
Piano on track 10 by Simeon Walker
Art and Design by Tom Tebby

Coming soon… Tapes and Topographies – Amplitudes

 

In one of two releases this coming Saturday the 13th of November, we welcome US based artist Tapes and Topographies, who has previously released on labels such as Past Inside The Present, Shimmering Moods and Dronarivm. In this latest album, we’re pleased to present a sleepy cocktail of subdued drones and blurry textures.

Amplitudes‘ will be available in one of our typically low runs of 100 gatefold vinyl-effect CDrs, complete with art and design by Andrew Heath.

It will be released officially on Saturday the 13th of November. If you join our mailing list using the link below, we’ll make sure you’re the first to hear.

press release
“Tapes and Topographies is US based artist Todd Gautreau, who has had music releases on labels such as Past Inside the Present, Dronarivm, Shimmering Moods and his own imprint, Simulacra. His project has been active since 2014 following his previous alias Tear Ceremony and he also produces a downtempo as Sonogram.

With each new album, Todd follows a different workflow to achieve new details and results in his sound. Increasingly, his work has been aided by the use of hardware and outboard effects.
In his latest album Amplitudes, he has taken a set of sounds and fed these through a looper, experimenting with altered loop speeds. He used FM synthesis for the first time in this body of work, alongside some of his tried and tested methods, joined by field recordings.

These nine compositions clock in at almost 50 minutes; a compelling listen through dreamy, organic textures. Todd has created a lot of music in the last 18 months and Amplitudes is the latest in his continuous process of distilling his sounds and ideas down to their essence.
The album’s artwork is a macro-photograph of a stone, as the fine details are ‘amplified’ by the magnification effect of the camera’s lens. There is not a clear concept but inspiration is drawn from film and literature, as well as self-reflection, memory, loss and dreams. As these compositions play out, you’ll find yourself concentrating on fine details, whilst at other times, in a blissful state, zooming out to absorb the bigger picture.”

credits
Written and produced by Todd Gautreau
Mastered by James Edward Armstrong
Macro photography by Harry Towell
Art and design Andrew Heath

Out Now! Benjamin Finger – Voice Frames

We have two new physical out and this one is by Oslo, Norway’s Benjamin Finger, who has released with labels such as Time Released Sound, Shimmering Moods and Flaming Pines, not to mention a recent collaboration with James Plotkin.

Voice Frames‘ is available in a low run of 100 gatefold vinyl-effect CDrs, complete with a series of analog photography by the artist. Themes of sentimentality, time and melancholia thread through this varied album of electro-acoustic tapestries

Voice Frames is out now! The best way to keep informed about our low-run releases, is to join our mailing list, and we’ll make sure you’re the first to hear!

press release
“Benjamin Finger is an artist from Oslo in Norway with releases on labels such as Time Released Sound, Eilean, Shimmering Moods and Flaming Pines. He has performed live both in Norway and abroad. UK performances have seen several appearances at Café Oto and Brighton’s Supernormal festival. He has also played with a trio at The Rewire festival in Hague and the Mekausma Festival in Belgium, not to mention a short US tour in 2014. Benjamin’s sound combines acoustic sources with electronics and his impressive collection of around 8000 records, provides a backdrop of wide musical influences.

He operates from a small studio on an island just outside of Oslo, taking acoustic instrument recordings and treating them with effects to create electronic soundscapes. In Voice Frames, hardware synths, guitars and pedals, voice, field records, piano and Inga-Lill Farstad’s vocals make up the spine of this album. Its central themes of loss, isolation and time unfold over a range of intriguing compositions which draw out the sentimental mindset of their author.

Traits from previous albums are present, with some techniques and ideas having been borrowed and reframed into a new context. The melancholy in passing time is further shared through Voice Frames’ cover artwork; a photo Benjamin tool of his partner in Salema, a small Portuguese fishing village. It was shot through a wine bottle using an analogue Kodak camera and the series features throughout the packaging design.

Different moods and tones permeate this wondrous record as a weight of reflection halts your mind’s ability to focus on one element for too long. At times the voices being framed are through the people in distant field recordings, other times they might be through Inga-Lill’s ethereal singing or Benjamin’s own voice. They could be the voices of those around you or the artist’s memories. Perhaps they could even be your own voice?

credits
Written and produced by Benjamin Finger
Mastered by James Edward Armstrong
Analog Photography by Benjamin Finger
Art and Design by Andrew Heath

Out Now! Glåsbird – Return to Sea and Sardinia (Original Soundtrack)

We’ve been regularly throwing forward Glåsbird’s involvement with film director Daniele Marzeddu, in creating the soundtrack to a film called Return to Sea and Sardinia, which has been made to mark the centenary of D.H.Lawrence’s visit to Sardinia and the surrounding area. Not least, Ennio’s Muse, a crowd-funding compilation album that we released in January. 

Return to Sea and Sardinia is out now in a run of 300 copies. The best way to keep informed about our low-run releases, is to join our mailing list , and we’ll make sure you’re the first to hear!

press release
“In January 1921, some 100 hundred years ago, the renowned writer D.H. Lawrence set sail for Sardinia, joined by his wife Frieda. He produced a critically acclaimed travel novel called Sea and Sardinia, reflecting his observations as he traveled. His creative use of language and expression adds colour to his reflections. To mark the centenary of the journey, film director Daniele Marzeddu and his crew returned, to retrace these steps.

After a year of working on this project, Return to Sea and Sardinia now sees the light of day and will be presented to the public in a series of screenings or digital viewings. The film has been produced and Organised by The Visual Guys, with the support of the D.H. Lawrence Society of Great Britain and features Daniele’s vivid imagery. The current state of modern Sardinia and its neighbouring island Sicily is laid out as a documentary film and our very own Glåsbird has produced an original soundtrack to accompany the visuals, and local accounts provided by the islands’ inhabitants.

Glåsbird has produced several geographic based sound interpretations since beginning their mysterious project in 2018. They describe this soundtrack as a ‘vacation’ from the on-going ‘A Sonic Expedition’ series, yet it has been approached in a similar way to this musician’s work: the cycle of inspiration, research and more inspiration. Daniele gave the artist free-reign to sketch out stories from afar, into these sound-postcards. We are delighted to be able to present the Original Soundtrack for Return To Sea and Sardinia, in an edition of 300 CDrs, featuring a 32 page book of photographic stills and captions, to give a flavour of the film.

credits
Composed by Glåsbird
Film and photography directed by Daniele Marzeddu
Audio mastering by James Edward Armstrong
Art and design by Andrew Heath
Booklet design by Harry Towell

https://seaandsardinia.org/

Coming soon… Simon McCorry – The Illusion of Endings & Beginnings

 

We have another two physical editions set to release on the 13th of November following a Bandcamp Friday pre-order on the 5th of November. The first of these is from Gloucestershire, UK based cellist and composer Simon McCorry, who had previously collaborated with anthene for Whitelabrecs in May’s The Equation of Time. Simon has released with labels such as Naviar, Polar Seas and most recently, Rusted Tones. In this new album, he has also enlisted the help of pianist Simeon Walker, to close out the album.

The Illusion of Endings & Beginnings‘ will be available in one of our typically low runs of 100 gatefold vinyl-effect CDrs, complete with art and design by Tom Tebby.

It will be released for pre-order on Friday the 5th of November and then released officially on Saturday the 13th of November.If you join our mailing list using the link below, we’ll make sure you’re the first to hear.

press release
“Simon McCorry is a cellist and composer from Gloucestershire, UK who has released music through the likes of Polar Seas, Naviar and Rusted Tone. He has also been a regular collaborator, most recently with anthéne, with whom he created The Equation of Time, released here on Whitelabrecs in May 2021.
Simon has prepared a new solo album called The Illusion of Beginnings & Endings, which draws upon a body of work he composed for a contemporary dance film production.

For this release, Simon has worked once again with visual artist Tom Tebby, who has designed the packaging around imagery techniques using a camera and paper. The result provides a stark and obscure focal point, which projects itself into the cinematic textures of this album. The concepts and ideas behind The Illusion of Beginnings & Endings are based loosely around ambition. We all have different views on ambition and what this means for us, and the artist states that their preference is to live for the moment. This album reflects that this idealistic view on the world is at odds with a society that pushes us to constantly strive for a brighter future. To some, this is a grey cloak of fear; a fear of failure or underachievement. To others, taking stock might be hard.

The drama of this sound, its deep pensive cello, pulsing modular synth movements and transcendent piano, provides a space in which we can ponder upon our own ambitions. The lens through which we see ourselves may differ from one person to the next. Perhaps you will feel an urge to be present, or the opposite; an urge to feel vacant? Either way, the weight of our own ambition may feel that bit lighter as a result, as we decode the contents of this album.

-“You can never get outside it; you must always turn back. There is no outside; outside you cannot breathe. Where does this idea come from? It is like a pair of glasses on our nose through which we see whatever we look at. It never occurs to us to take them off”- (Ludwig Wittgenstein)

credits
Written and produced by Simon McCorry
Mastered by James Edward Armstrong
Piano on track 10 by Simeon Walker
Art and Design by Tom Tebby

Coming soon… Benjamin Finger – Voice Frames

 

We have two new physical editions lined up for release on the 30th of October and this one is by Oslo, Norway’s Benjamin Finger, who has released with labels such as Time Released Sound, Shimmering Moods and Flaming Pines, not to mention a recent collaboration with James Plotkin.

Voice Frames‘ will be available in one of our typically low runs of 100 gatefold vinyl-effect CDrs, complete with a series of analog photography by the artist. Themes of sentimentality, time and melancholia thread through this varied album of electro-acoustic tapestries

Voice Frames will be released for pre-order on Saturday the 30th of October. If you join our mailing list using the link below, we’ll make sure you’re the first to hear.

press release
“Benjamin Finger is an artist from Oslo in Norway with releases on labels such as Time Released Sound, Eilean, Shimmering Moods and Flaming Pines. He has performed live both in Norway and abroad. UK performances have seen several appearances at Café Oto and Brighton’s Supernormal festival. He has also played with a trio at The Rewire festival in Hague and the Mekausma Festival in Belgium, not to mention a short US tour in 2014. Benjamin’s sound combines acoustic sources with electronics and his impressive collection of around 8000 records, provides a backdrop of wide musical influences.

He operates from a small studio on an island just outside of Oslo, taking acoustic instrument recordings and treating them with effects to create electronic soundscapes. In Voice Frames, hardware synths, guitars and pedals, voice, field records, piano and Inga-Lill Farstad’s vocals make up the spine of this album. Its central themes of loss, isolation and time unfold over a range of intriguing compositions which draw out the sentimental mindset of their author.

Traits from previous albums are present, with some techniques and ideas having been borrowed and reframed into a new context. The melancholy in passing time is further shared through Voice Frames’ cover artwork; a photo Benjamin tool of his partner in Salema, a small Portuguese fishing village. It was shot through a wine bottle using an analogue Kodak camera and the series features throughout the packaging design.

Different moods and tones permeate this wondrous record as a weight of reflection halts your mind’s ability to focus on one element for too long. At times the voices being framed are through the people in distant field recordings, other times they might be through Inga-Lill’s ethereal singing or Benjamin’s own voice. They could be the voices of those around you or the artist’s memories. Perhaps they could even be your own voice?

credits
Written and produced by Benjamin Finger
Mastered by James Edward Armstrong
Analog Photography by Benjamin Finger
Art and Design by Andrew Heath