New series: eRecords

Whitelabrecs was set-up in 2016, originally releasing hand made CDrs that looked just like mini white label vinyl, complete with accompanying Polaroid art and title stamped in coloured ink. In 2018 we switched to printed gatefold vinyl effect CDrs and since the beginning, we’ve occasionally released digital work too.

We’re aware that the listening habits of future generations will change, with their needs increasingly likely to search for something immediate, streamable to Bluetooth speakers, space saving, and not impacting the environment. We still love our CDs, we still love vinyl, but we do love digital too and this format will always have a place in our catalog. The problem however has been that we love designing concepts, coming up with creative packaging ideas and sourcing high quality artwork. We’ve felt that digital has its drawbacks in terms of design and conveying that special feeling you get when you hold a physical edition.

Slowly, we have been working on a new series of digital editions to supplement our CDs. This will be a new space for artists to experiment, collaborate, record anonymously, promote themselves, not to mention an increased chance of featuring in our catalog. We receive so many quality demos that would be a good fit for the label, but making CDs is expensive and we have to agonise over every penny spent on making them, such is the landscape of selling physical music nowadays. This is an opportunity for us to work with more talented people, share more music, and for us to experiment more too.

Our new series takes an image of a vinyl sleeve and blank labelled disc, with a rubber-stamped logo and frame, and typewritten artist and title. For each release, colours and artists will change, but the dusty old sleeve design ideas remain the same. You’ll only hear one track on the release’s Bandcamp page and the rest are hidden. Everything is contained within the download which includes a range of high quality audio file format options and a PDF scrapbook which features liner notes, a Polaroid image of the cover art (reminiscent of our early releases), tracklist, credits, additional images and links from the artist. The duration of the music will not exceed the maximum length of a normal vinyl album and we hope that our digital releases are the closest they can be to capturing that magical feeling of holding a physical album, in a digital form.

Our first edition of the new eRecords series is from Whitelabrecs’ very own Harry Towell, under his Spheruleus project which has been active since 2008. The EP will be out on the 26th of February and fittingly, is entitled ‘Inaugurate’ as the series commences.

For eRecords, we will not create the 5 minute Soundcloud previews of all the tracks. Instead, we will share one full track or an excerpt from the record to give you a hint of what the full release sounds like.
Click on the player above, where you can take a listen to ‘a blank horizon’ from the very first eRecord in this new series.

Coming soon… Various Artists – A Speechless Body

We have another compilation album of sorts lined-up to begin this new year. This one is a concept album called A Speechless Body an idea originally conceived by Argentinian artist Mi Cosa de Resistance who then invited Andrew Heath, Ciro Berenguer, Hymns57 and Pepo Galan to create 2 tracks each, relating back to the previous track. The idea is that the album plays as a series of ‘chapters’, as if it were a book and this compilation album will be available for pre-order on Friday the 7th of January.

A Speechless Body‘ 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 15th of January. If you join our mailing list using the link below, we’ll make sure you’re the first to hear.

press release
“Take five ambient composers from around the world. Ask them to create two pieces or chapters each which in turn relate, just as in a book, to the previous chapter but all constructed in two halves as a palindrome and you have an amazing and intriguing ambient work – A Speechless Body.

Originally conceived by the Argentinian experimental musician, Mi Cosa de Resistance, it quickly grew to include Ciro Berenguer, Pepo Galán, Hymns 57 and Andrew Heath and became an incredible journey from one place to another and then back again, taking in some beautiful ambient scenes along the way.

Diverse? Yes but delightfully so and it’s testament to these artist’s wonderful craft that everything works seamlessly. It guides you along this stunning ambient journey and is finally set into its own cohesive world by the mastering skills of James Edward Armstrong who frames the work perfectly. The stories and narrative within these ‘chapters’ is told through track titles, sound and the album artwork only. The rest, is to your own imagination.

credits
Written and produced by Mi Cosa de Resistance, Andrew Heath, Ciro Berenguer, Hymns 57, Pepo Galán
Mastered by James Edward Armstrong
Art and design by Andrew Heath

Coming soon… various artists – sleeplaboratory3.0

 

We kick off what is sure to be another exciting year of releases, with the long-awaited return of our Sleeplaboratory compilation series. We’ve had a two year break since the last edition, and we welcome 3.0 to the series, and a line-up including label artists such as Andrew Heath, Tapes and Topographies, Lauge and Simon McCorry as well as artists that are new to the label, such as Ian Hawgood, The Lifted Index, Federico Mosconi and Stijn Hüwels. This compilation album will be available for pre-order on Friday the 7th of January and if the previous two releases are anything to go by, this will be quick to sell-out.

sleeplaboratory3.0‘ 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 officially on Saturday the 15th of January. If you join our mailing list using the link below, we’ll make sure you’re the first to hear.

press release
“Sleeplaboratory3.0 is the third edition of Whitelabrecs’ long-standing concept compilation, a series that aims to induce the listener into a peaceful sleep. The series began in 2019 to mark the 50th release in the label’s catalog and was followed up with a second edition in 2020. It has seen contributions from the likes of Offthesky, Janek Schaefer, M.grig, The Green Kingdom, Warmth and Halftribe as well as artists from the label, including Mikael Lind, Gray Acres, Sven Laux, Glåsbird and Valotihkuu.

Sleeplaboratory compilations are typically released in January and after a two year break, 3.0 continues the themes established in the previous two records. Each artist in the line-up takes the brief of creating ‘sleep music’ and paints the sonic field with their own ideas. Some artists develop restful electro-acoustic compositions, whilst others sketch out soothing drones or vacant ambient textures. With a varied spectrum of warmth and cold, light and floaty, weighted and deep, this new collection features label-regulars such as Andrew Heath, blochemy and Pruski alongside the likes of Ian Hawgood, The Lifted Index, Federico Mosconi and Stijn Huwels. The track titles tend to tie back to the central album theme with words synonymous with rest, phases of sleep or calm places. This album can be experienced in many ways, such as at low volume with headphones, or streamed through hi-fi in a dimly lit room, consciously, or subconsciously.

credits
All rights reserved with the artists
Mastered by Ian Hawgood
Curated by Harry Towell
Art and design by Tom Tebby

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.

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

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

Coming soon… 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.

We’re excited to share the film’s trailer video (above), some snippets of tracks from the soundtrack (soundcloud), as well as announce the release date!

Return to Sea and Sardinia will be released on Saturday the 30th of October. If you join our mailing list , 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/

Out Now! Various Artists – Hundred

This month, we are pleased to meet the landmark of 100 album editions which we’ve released on Whitelabrecs, since out label began in January 2016. We’ve enjoyed the ups and downs of running a label and feel very lucky to have achieved 100 releases, not to mention our EPs, tapes and Home Diaries series too. To celebrate this occasion, we have a busy month of activity planned including new digital music which we announced at the beginning of September, limited edition baseball caps, free badges which will be included in random orders, a ‘mystery CD‘ option, a label history mix and also, a compilation album!

We had recently run a poll asking fans and listeners for their votes, so that we could arrive at the top 15 albums in our discography so far. We’ve created a compilation called ‘Hundred‘, selecting a track from each of these albums in a limited edition CDr, which includes a 16 page booklet featuring images and insight. 

Hundred is out today with some copies remaining, at the time of writing. Saturday the 25th of September. The best way to keep informed is to join our mailing list which can be located through our website menu or you can click HERE

press release
“On the 25th of September 2021, with this release, we will have achieved 100 items in our core catalog since we launched Whitelabrecs in 2016. The editions consist of 48 hand-burned white-label effect CDrs, 5 printed compilation CDrs, 1 digital compilation album and 45 gatefold LP style CDrs.

Hundred is a special compilation album which has been assembled mark the occasion, after we had asked our listeners and fans to vote for their favourite albums in a poll. Here we’re pleased to present the top 15, as per their votes, in this suite of Ambient, Drone, Modern Classical and Electro Acoustic pieces.

Our label owner Harry Towell has chosen his favourite tracks from each of these 15 records and the resulting compilation near enough fills the 80 minute duration of a CD. The tracks have been arranged in an order that hopefully flows as an album experience in its own right.

The physical edition is available in a limited edition of 100 copies, including the label’s logo and identity as part of the design, along with a 16 page booklet with commentary and cover imagery for each of the 100 albums. We hope you have enjoyed the first 100 works in our catalog and we are looking forward to sharing all of our plans and ideas with you in the future.

credits
Curated by our fans and listeners
Tracks selected by Harry Towell
Art and design by Andrew Heath
Booklet by Harry Towell
Tracks are as originally mastered. For mastering credits, refer to the CD sleeve or you can view this information by clicking the relevant track.

Coming soon… Various Artists – Hundred

This month, we are pleased to meet the landmark of 100 album editions which we’ve released on Whitelabrecs, since out label began in January 2016. We’ve enjoyed the ups and downs of running a label and feel very lucky to have achieved 100 releases, not to mention our EPs, tapes and Home Diaries series too. To celebrate this occasion, we have a busy month of activity planned including new digital music which we announced at the beginning of September, limited edition baseball caps, free badges which will be included in random orders, a ‘mystery CD‘ option, a label history mix and also, a compilation album!

We had recently run a poll asking fans and listeners for their votes, so that we could arrive at the top 15 albums in our discography so far. We’ve created a compilation called ‘Hundred‘, selecting a track from each of these albums in a limited edition CDr, which includes a 16 page booklet featuring images and insight. 

Hundred will be released on Saturday the 25th of September. We have not created a Soundcloud preview of tracks, to keep this a surprise. If you join our mailing list , we’ll make sure you’re the first to hear!

press release
“On the 25th of September 2021, with this release, we will have achieved 100 items in our core catalog since we launched Whitelabrecs in 2016. The editions consist of 48 hand-burned white-label effect CDrs, 5 printed compilation CDrs, 1 digital compilation album and 45 gatefold LP style CDrs.

Hundred is a special compilation album which has been assembled mark the occasion, after we had asked our listeners and fans to vote for their favourite albums in a poll. Here we’re pleased to present the top 15, as per their votes, in this suite of Ambient, Drone, Modern Classical and Electro Acoustic pieces.

Our label owner Harry Towell has chosen his favourite tracks from each of these 15 records and the resulting compilation near enough fills the 80 minute duration of a CD. The tracks have been arranged in an order that hopefully flows as an album experience in its own right.

The physical edition is available in a limited edition of 100 copies, including the label’s logo and identity as part of the design, along with a 16 page booklet with commentary and cover imagery for each of the 100 albums. We hope you have enjoyed the first 100 works in our catalog and we are looking forward to sharing all of our plans and ideas with you in the future.

credits
Curated by our fans and listeners
Tracks selected by Harry Towell
Art and design by Andrew Heath
Booklet by Harry Towell
Tracks are as originally mastered. For mastering credits, refer to the CD sleeve or you can view this information by clicking the relevant track.