We’re delighted to announce a collaboration between Whitelabrecs and Art North Magazine and part of our work together will bring about a digital series called <facets>
This will combine our curated taste of ambient, drone, modern classical, folk and everything in between, with collaborating visual artists, selected by Art North Magazine. Each month, these collaborations will be released digitally via our Bandcamp page, with support by Art North’s editor Ian McKay and this will involve features in the magazine, interviews and more!
Our first edition is currently being prepared and this is a joined effort from two artists who have previously released CDs with us.
Our collective aim is to create a coherent work of multi-media art where the creative outputs of a musician/sonic artist and a visual artist complement each other as a singular creative ‘output’.
The idea emerged from our desire to release shorter editions that embrace the EP format. We often get excellent short demos that we are unable to accommodate and we also felt that we could do more to work with artists on a digital basis, after the success of last year’s Home Diaries series. At the same time, Art North magazine seeks to foster new opportunities for visual artists to explore innovative ways of working in a cross-disciplinary context.
We want our digital-only releases to carry a strong visual aesthetic and engage both the ears and eyes of their listeners. Art North magazine is meanwhile known for fostering new opportunities for visual artists to work in innovative and often unexpected ways.
<HOW IT WORKS>
The project works as a set of simple, loose rules that are aimed to inspire a musician/sonic artist and a visual artist to create a striking piece of work by way of collaboration. The collaborative focus for each edition may take one of the three following approaches:
1. A demo by a musician/sonic artist is approved and then paired with a visual artist, who will then create artwork based on their interpretation of the music, the track titles, or both.
2. Artwork by a visual artist is selected. It is then paired with a musician who creates a musical/sonic work as a direct response to the visual artist’s imagery/artwork provided.
3. A musician and visual artist agree to work together. After an initial discussion, they do so ‘blindly’ until each has completed their contribution to the collaboration. Both see the results at the end of their creative process.
If you are interested in taking part, musicians/sonic artists please get in touch via out contact page to discuss the submission of recordings or demos. If you are a visual artist, you can submit a maximum of three sample images of your artwork to Art North’s Editor via their file transfer page. To receive our Project Outline with Further Information and Guidance Notes, please contact us here.
Art North have set out more details on their website and we recommend you have a read and take a look around:
Ennio’s muse: Cinematic Sounds of Sea and Sardinia
Today, the 4th of January 2021 marks exactly 100 years since D.H Lawrence set out with his wife Freida to travel through Sardinia. He captured the thoughts, sights and events of his journey in the book Sea and Sardinia and now, a century later, a return exploration of the locations in the book is planned.
Daniele Marzeddu and his team plan to retrace Lawrence’s steps this year and will capture their experiences through photography and a documentary film. The music to accompany the film will be composed by Whitelabrecs’ very own Glåsbird and so we’re keen to help with the fund raising efforts required realise this exciting project. Click the button below to find out more:
We are pleased to announce that as a precursor to the film and Glåsbird soundtrack, we are curating a compilation album called Ennio’s Muse. The album will feature artists from our roster, some we plan to work with later this year and friends of the label. It will be digital only and all money raised will be donated to the Return to Sea and Sardinia team for a period of 12 months. We’ll announce more news soon, including a preview of some of the tracks and confirmation of the release date.
The compilation draws influence from film scores and modern composition, inspired by the late Maestro, Ennio Morricone as well as glistening or atmospheric Ambient sounds. The cover artwork was taken by Daniele Marzeddu; a pedalo just out to shore under the starry Mediterranean sky. Early contributions to the compilation include work by artists such as Logic Moon, Autistici, Lauge, Glåsbird and Adrian Lane. More names will join soon and we’re actively looking for submissions; if artists wish to get in touch, please visit our contact page.
In the meantime, there is a Go Fund Me page if you wish to support the project directly and there are some extra opportunities listed below, depending on the amount you choose. You can click on the link button below to find out more and any support you can give is greatly appreciated:
£20.00/ €25 gives you a funders credit on the travel guide/photo book. (includes a copy or the limited edition of the book)
£50.00 / €60 gives you a funders credit on the Return to Sea and Sardinia. (includes a limited edition of the film
£125.00/ €140 gives you a funders credit on both the Return to Sea and Sardinia film and photo book. (includes both a limited edition of the film and copy of the book)
£400.00/ €430 gives you a 4-day photography tuition class aboard the train routes Lawrence used while travelling in Sardinia (the Trenino Verde).
Supporters of the project will be given an opportunity to have themselves credited on the book and/or film produced as record.
Compilation albumPress Release
Ennio’s Muse is a digital compilation album, released by British record label Whitelabrecs, as a means to generate funds and interest into an ambitious project called Return to Sea and Sardinia. 2021 marks 100 years since D.H Lawrence’s travel book Sea and Sardinia, in which he documents his travels from Sicily, through the Mediterranean Sea and up through Sardinia, before returning to his Sicilian home.
In Return to Sea and Sardinia, photographer and film maker Daniele Marzeddu plans to retrace Lawrence’s steps, a full century on since the original voyage. The journey will be captured through photography and a documentary film, which will be scored by Glåsbird. This ambitious plan is currently underway as we work together to hopefully obtain the funding needed to realise it.
Whitelabrecs have decided to curate a digital compilation, in which all proceeds will be donated to Return to Sea and Sardinia for a period of 12 months. The album is themed on cinematic scoring, inspired by the late great Ennio Morricone and throwing forward the themes of Mediterranean travel that lie ahead. The artists invited have been asked to produce a piece of music, as if they are scoring for an imaginary film. The result is a series of dream-infused pieces, in which you can expect modern classical composition and ambient moods, all draped under a clear-night-sky canopy of stars. The artists each pull in their own direction but collectively, Ennio’s Muse is bound as a cohesive whole.
It’s been a strange old year, as pretty much anyone reflecting on 2020 is likely to conclude. I’ll see if I can write this without mentioning Covid-19. Failed already.
As many of our followers will know, our schedule of physical releases hit an unplanned break in April, due to the closure of our local post office. We also felt that even if it were to be open, it wouldn’t be right to stand in a queue of people to ship packages a few times a week. So we decided to stop all of our plans completely. Before long, we launched into another project: Home Diaries. 30 albums from 30 artists later, we were into the warmth of July and were delighted to release our CDs again! We summarised Whitelabrecs related things in our last post, so I think the Whitelabrecs story ends here for now as far as this post is concerned.
Aside from a seriously busy year of running Whitelabrecs and even making some of my own music, I also feel that in 2020 I was able to listen to more music than I ever manage in an average year. I’ve been working from home as well as having time away from work altogether, which resulted in lots of DIY. Any household chore or job for me will always involve music. The washing needs to go on the line – it takes 5 minutes – that’s a track that can be played. Glossing every radiator in the house for example, gives time to take in a few albums! The shortlist really swelled this year and as always, my list is not about the best executed record or the perfect sound. It’s about the feeling it created for me, and how well I connected with it. I want to listen back to the records in this list in a decade or so and be taken back to this year, as strange as it was.
I stopped writing on the Irregular Crates blog a while back and this is where I’d normally announce a ‘best of’ list. But we set up Wallofambient this year alongside some other ambient labels and it’s been a bit of a consideration on whether I would post my list there. As I finalised it though, I realised several albums I’ve chosen are not ambient… so I didn’t want to annoy the ambient purists too much.
So I’ve decided to share it on the Whitelabrecs page this year and I’m sure there will be a few Ambient purists that are disappointed in my selections! Hopefully you’ll find some gems here though still. I’ve made no secret of my wide open taste in music, probably influenced by my microscopically successful DJ career, which I still look back on nostalgically. This influences my curation of Whitelabrecs and the sound we put out. Sure, the label sound is ambient overall, but you’ll see that generally I favour a melodic, melancholic or textured sound. I’m sure this is linked to a taste that dabbles in Dub Techno, Drone, Jazz, Liquid Funk, African Music, Chillhop, Deep House, Modern Classical, Funk, Folk, Field Recordings, Bossa Nova and many other styles.
So if you click the big yellow image of Port Isaac in Cornwall (from our holiday in September), you’ll be able to listen to a mix which is a countdown show of a track from each album in my top 25. My wife Beth has kindly leant her voice to provide the countdown and I added some delay and reverb effects just for fun. Below you can see a gallery of the cover art for the list of 25, as well as my thoughts on each album:
1st: Bibio Sleep On The Wing Warp
“At the top of my list ever since the night I noticed this new Bibio record emerged on Warp. Definitely the soundtrack to late summer for me, and I played it in the car on our family holiday to Cornwall a lot this year. So this will be a very nostalgic record for me in years to come. The use of instrument, particularly strings is a perfect blend and it’s one of those albums you can easily listen through in full. It retains your interest too with its variety of moods.“
“I was sat listening to jazz fm in the car when an advert for Melody Gardot’s album came on. It was starting to get pretty wintry and thoughts turned to Christmas – the lush string arrangements in the snippet of audio I heard urged me to listen to the album on Spotify. I literally listened to the album over and over that whole weekend; I decided I couldn’t live without the double LP too. This isn’t necessarily my usual taste as it’s singer-songwriter stuff. But it really is just so so good all the way through. The Philharmonic orchestra certainly help, as the whole arrangement in every single track is perfect. Nearly my album of the year, this…“
3rd: Offthesky & The Humble Bee We Were The Hum Of Dreams Laaps
“This record for me was the clear winner for 2020 right up until I discovered the top two in my list. It came out at around the time the lockdown kicked in here in the UK. I was doing lots of DIY jobs around the house and the expert sound design from these two masters was just the perfect tonic to long, slightly strange days stuck indoors. There’s so much detail to get lost in, yet it still sits in the ambient genre which allows you to drift as you listen.”
“Out in January, this one escaped me to the point when the vinyl versions had long since gone. This is a small band creating hushed ‘indie’ music, dare I say. The tones of the guitar, keys and vocals are warm and enveloping. Every single track in the album is excellent and again, the sign of a top album is one you can listen to in one sitting, without feeling the need to hit ‘skip’.“
“This album was always set to be good with the combination of talented artists Eluvium and Explosions In The Sky. It wasn’t quite what I was expecting however, as this set of fun folk ambient tracks are full of twists and turns. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and some of the samples or recordings will make you smile, whereas there are also plenty of moments that are truly beautiful.“
“It was another solid year for Lost Tribe Sound with another excellent series of releases. My favourite was Mute Forest’s Riderstorm, a blend of soft rock, folk, Americana and the lightest touches of electronica. Some of the pieces are instrumental whereas others make use of Kael Smith’s song-writing and vocals. There is a generous palette of instruments used throughout but a sparse, intimate feel to it too.“
“Over the years, Modern Classical ambient music has featured heavily in my favourite records of the year. Generally, I’ve relied on household names such as Arnalds, Frahm or Jóhannsson but this year, I discovered Bygones by Mathieu Karsenti as my favourite classically influenced record. The strings and arrangement of the instrument tones are as rich and lavish as you’d find in music by these household names and that’s likely due to the fact that Karsenti is a film score composer. Only gripe is that this one’s digital only… would love to own it on vinyl!“
“I’ve been following the work of trumpeter, jazz artist and Gondwana label owner Matthew Halsall since his album Colour Yes and pretty much own all of his albums. There’s a rich and vibrant feel to all of his work but this latest album, ‘Salute To The Sun’ there’s a slightly more exotic, ‘world’ feel to it in places with more than a nod to Pharoah Sanders and Alice Coltrane. I’ve listened to this a lot since the beautifully designed CD arrived and wonder whether this might be higher up the list if I’d have been listening back in the summer.“
“Kranky have a knack for releasing some real acoustic ambient classics and some of the finest albums blending acoustic instruments into melancholy drones. Stars of the Lid are the obvious stand out. This one by Less Bells was subject to a lengthy pre-order with a sample track available to whet my appetite. I knew this would be right up there from that very first listen and this one’s been a regular in my playlist this year. It has everything – variety, strings, texture, tasteful choral vocals, echoes of other stringed instruments and swells of cathedral drone.“
“There was a repress this year of Romeo Poirier’s excellent Plage Arriere but before this, the jazz flecked electronic sound art of Hotel Nota really impressed. An inevitable comparison to Jan Jelinek or Jon Hassell can be drawn but you’ll get past that to enjoy Poirier’s approach to composition and enjoy the enveloping detail of these works. I own it on vinyl and that really adds an extra layer of dust that gives another dimension.“
11th: Alabaster DePlume To Cy & Lee: Instrumentals Vol. 1 International Anthem
“I listened to a fair bit of jazz this summer, particularly the more experimental or hushed works or slower, spiritual jazz. Discovering this album by Alabaster DePlume was quite something and from the opening moments of Visit Croatia, these restful woodwind, strings and guitar compositions were a welcome sonic backdrop for warm summer days indoors.“
“I’ve followed the work of Tom Ellis for years, since my DJing days. He originally produced a deep, minimal micro House style and it was interesting to see him branch into a live approach, focusing on jazz and soul. This year I’ve spent a lot of time listening (and mixing) house music and it’s disappointing to me that I don’t represent this in my end of year list. However, this record bridged my attempts to make DJ mixes again with my taste for jazz music too. It starts with a beautifully deep sax and Rhodes reprise and there are some slow, leisurely House jams intersecting this beautifully deep record.“
“Laaps has quickly established itself as one of the finest ‘ambient’ labels around, following on from the success of the Eilean imprint. This one from Japanese artist Tomotsugu Nakamura has been in my car CD player for most of the year and has been a calming ‘return to the office’ record, sounding particularly nice in the sun. Acoustic sound sources, reversed notes and clicks and cuts nod nostalgically back to the mid-2000s.“
“This record by Okkyung Lee has caused quite a stir this year and I’ve seen plenty of positive reviews and comments in the press. Lee is a South Korean cellist and her album goes far beyond the cello, as piano, low slung bass and harp amongst other creaks and clangs which makes for a playful but at times, spooky record.“
“Dronarivm is a label that you tend to expect to provide high quality year-end list esque material every year. In 2020, pick of the bunch for me is this beautiful ambient album by Sinerider, a range of woozy, hazy sun-speckled guitar drones. Some of the tracks are blurry, some are more open loops but this for me has to be one of the finest ambient-leaning albums of the year, something you can easily sink into at any time, and drift away.“
16th: Gastón Arévalo Terrain A Strangely Isolated Place
“When I first discovered ambient music, through netlabels, I also fell across the work of Gaston Arevalo whose sound was often a mixture of field recordings and experimental, electronica influenced ambient. I must admin, I have not followed his discography for a good number of years but this mammoth collection of deep listening-drones on A Strangely Isolated Space was a big hit for me this year, particularly late at night. At an hour long, it needs plenty of time to give it your attention and is best enjoyed as a whole.“
“Lontano Series have emerged as a strong label in the ambient scene and this album by Morimoto Naoki is really quite something. It’s a collection of static-riddled electro-acoustic moods, full of warmth and light melancholy. It’s difficult not to think of the 12k label when listening to this and for me, it’s easily one of the finest ambient records of the year.”
“I’ve been a fan of chillhop for a few years now and several of these short, chilled instrumental hip-hop eps and mini albums are in my headphones over the course of any given year. I was really impressed with this one by Mell-ø & Ambulo, with beautiful licks of smooth guitar taking centre stage.“
20th: Footshooter Libations & Movement Dance Regular
“I discovered this one early this year and it sort of started my interest in beat driven music as I looked for some styles to help keep a level of positivity throughout the pandemic and its lockdowns. This one’s billed as an EP but the length is more like an album. The tracks use a street-wise London approach in the beats and vocals, but there’s a nu-jazz, broken beat and house influence running through too with some really clever production. There’s even a short ambient piece in amongst these tracks!”
21st: Session Victim Needledrop Night Time Stories
“I’ve got all of the Session Victim albums and have long since been a fan but Needledrop is easily a favourite, and an early contender for album of the year. This artist is often filed under house but in this record, there’s a beautifully adept ability to create downtempo, soulful tracks too. Waller and Pierce for me is the stand-out track with smooth and deep soulful vocals.“
“I’ve been enjoying Ryan Bissett’s work as Halftribe for quite some time now and a jaw dropping moment occurred not long after I hit play on ‘Backwater Revisited’ from the trusty Dronarivm label. The record features synth and electro acoustic tones, drenched in reverb and a tasteful hint of chorus. Plenty of crackle and space between the lines to allow for a glistening, wintry backdrop. The artwork features an adaptation of open source imagery by Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis from back in 1908 and this rustic, vintage cover fits in perfectly with the blanket-like folds of Ambience Ryan created here.“
“I’ve always been into bossa and Latin music since my late teens, so occasionally I’ll discover something within these categories that I end up playing a lot, particularly in the summer. This one by guitarist Fabiano do Nascimento got some serious hammer and I found I played it a lot at around breakfast time. It’s got great variety and depth and has been pretty uplifting for a heavy old year.”
25th: Domenique Dumont People On Sunday The Leaf Label
“It happens every year; I finish agonising over my end of year list after months of shuffling my ‘chart’, casting an eye over everything I left out… then I happen to discover something wonderful in December. I’d already made my end of year mix and just had to swap in this album by Latvian artist Domenique Dumont, which had been on repeat all day. There’s a child like sense of wonder about all of these playful synth melodies and rhythms that I just can’t escape. I’ll state the obvious: a few more weeks of owning this, how high up this list might it have been?”
On Friday for Bandcamp day, we announced our winter sale for the month of December and into January before we begin our schedule for 2021. This year’s sale double’s the amount off from last year; a massive 30%!
The reason we’ve gone over the top this year is by way of thanks for all the support we received to keep us going in a tough year, but also, because our storage cupboard is overflowing with unloved CDs!
So until midnight on the 14th of January 2021, you can enjoy an extra 30% off all of our catalog, both physical and digital.
Simply enter the following code into the discount box provided when you check out to access the 30% reduction on all items:
If you’re new to the label and not sure where to begin, please see a few select items from our 2020 catalog that are low on stock. These might be a good place to start if you want to check out our catalog – simply take a look below and hit ‘play’ on the embedded mini players. You can then click the player or image to be transported to the release page.
Various Artists “Home Diaries” April-June| Digital Only
A feature to pretty much everyone’s 2020 has been the outbreak of Covid-19, it goes without saying. In March we had to stop all of our planned CDr releases, due to the closure of our local post-office. With nothing to release and bills to pay, we launched the Home Diaries series, in which 30 artists contributed an EP or album which we sold digitally. Each record in the series featured a recurring image of a lonely house in a field, with varying colour filters and there’s a bonus PDF interview with the artist included with each one.
This details what the artist’s situation was during lockdown or social distancing conditions, as well as their plans and what equipment they used to create their work.
You can check out a landing page below, which summarises each release in this series. We’ll be releasing a double compilation album in January next year, featuring a track from each album, so watch this space!
Glåsbird “Novaya Zemlya” September | 15 copies left
Now having landed at 4 different geographical locations, Glåsbird’s most recent edition to this series is a trip to the isolated and sparsely populated island Novaya Zemlya. This destination is two islands split in two by the Matochkin Strait. The northern island is pretty much all glacier whereas the southern island is currently inhabited by just over 2000 people and was also the site of the largest ever nuclear bomb test, the Tsar Bomba. Glåsbird uses icy static, strings and hints of brass to weave some of their most dramatic compositions yet.
thme “that’s what it will be like” September |30 copies left
Something which may have escaped the radar, this tonal, textured Ambient record by Parisian artist thme has been enjoyed by those who have checked it out with some nice feedback being received. Field recordings, samples and damaged piano keys drape over this idyllic but surreal soundtrack, with collage artwork provided by artist Arctic Sun.
Polaroid Notes “Ghost Sounds” November |10 copies left
These have literally been flying out the door since we released this latest album by Polaroid Notes last month. Although not intended to necessarily be festive, this record feels apt for this kind of year as we’re in winter holiday season, or at least over here in Europe anyway. Polaroid Notes used piano and synth to create deep and cinematic soundscapes, with some spooky undertones. The cover artwork is particularly striking we think, with the artist providing photography from the Black Mountain region of Southern Germany across the four panels of this package.
Mikael Lind “Give Shape To Space” July |10 copies left
We were thrilled to be working on the release of this album by Iceland’s Mikael Lind, an artist whose work featured right at the top of our favourite albums of 2019. Unfortunately we had to delay the release of ‘Give Shape To Space’ and we’re thankful Mikael stayed patient with us. This record features a generous selection of strings, synth and textural sounds along with artwork by his partner, Sigga Björg
Jens Pauly “Below” June|21 Copies Remaining
In June, we were delighted to get going again with our CDr releases. First on the list was the return of Jens Pauly, who had contributed ‘Vihne’ to our catalog last year. As with his last release, Jens completed the full packaging creation himself and put together a combination of black and white photography with sleek, minimal design. The music is a further selection of electro-acoustic manipulations, carefully blended with filigree detail.
2019 is just about finished, with just a few weeks left to run. We have decided not to run any releases in December and draw a bit of breath ahead of what will surely be another exciting year in 2020.
We decided that a good way to close out this landmark year for us, in which we increased our run count of 100 copies of every release, each in a premium gatefold-LP style vinyl-effect CDr packaging, was to run a winter sale!
So until midnight on the 31st of December 2019, you can enjoy an extra 15% off all of our catalog, both physical and digital.
Simply enter the following code into the discount box provided when you check out to enjoy a 15% reduction on all items:
If you’re in a rush or new to the label and not sure where to start, please see below for a run down of all our releases!
Various Artists “Sleeplaboratory1.0” January | Sold Out
We kicked off both 2019 and our new Sleeplaboratory compilation series. The album is themed around sleep as we strive to make this series a snoozy, lulling listen. It begins with a piece from Janek Schaefer and includes work by other renowned artists such as Darkroom, Maps and Diagrams, M. Grig and Tropic of Coldness as well as Whitelabrecs favourites such as Sven Laux, Valotihkuu, Anthéne and Ben Rath. It sold out in no time so there are no CDrs left however, you can check it out digitally here:
Glåsbird “Grønland” February | Sold Out
Our new-look gatefold LP style packaging did so well for our compilation release, that we decided that all of our albums would run in this way for 2019. The first artist in this year’s discography was a debut for Glåsbird and things went a bit nuts! All CDrs were gobbled up in no time and you can’t even locate these on Discogs; you can check it out a digital copy here:
Jens Pauly “Vihne” March |Sold Out
In March we welcomed aboard Cologne, Germany based artist Jens Pauly with Vihne. The packaging was designed entirely by the artist and the music is a tapestry of electro-acoustics. When we first heard Jens’ sound we knew it was going to be something special and sure enough, it’s sold out at source now. You can listen or purchase a digital copy here:
anthéne “asymmetry” April |Sold Out
In April Canadian artist Brad Deschamps as anthéne joined aboard with asymmetry, an album which features the photography of Peter Nejedly. The record is a collection of beautiful drones, from an industrious artist who has worked on other labels such as Archives and Home Normal this year. With so much great output this year, it’s easy to see why this one’s sold out. You can stream or purchase a digital copy here:
Ben Rath “Any Given Moment” April |Available
For the first time in April we decided to run with two albums in a calendar month. We welcomed back British artist Ben Rath who had previously released with us as Slow Heart Music. ‘Any Given Moment’ covers warm, acoustic ground via the use of a guitar and drones. A few copies are still available as well as a digital copy which you can check out here:
Hipnotic Earth “Suspended In Silence” May |12 Copies Remaining
In May we moved towards the warmer months with a delicate and beautiful album by Hipnotic Earth, a project by Cosmos Rennert. Suspended In Silence is presented as an electro-acoustic record centred around what appears to be prepared piano sounds, bird song and light synth decorations. The last few copies are available at the time of writing and a digital version too, which you can check out here:
Samsuo “The Other Gold Side” May |Available
Towards the end of May we released the debut album by Cambridge artist Samsuo. Entitled ‘The Other Gold Side’, this Ambient/Drone record saw us welcome back Peter Nejedly on photography duty and the rotating ceramic dish which features across the four panels suitably reflects the looping, spherical drones created by this artist. There are some copies left at the time of writing as well as a digital version too, which you can check out here:
Sven Laux “ODD” June |16 Copies Remaining
After the success of Sven Laux’s ‘Schachmatt’ which we released in 2018, we were delighted to welcome Sven back with his follow-up album, ‘ODD’. Whilst Schachmatt was an album steeped in modern composition, ODD adapted this with a slightly more contemporary electronic feel in places. We’re down to the last 16 copies at the time of writing and you can also stream or download a digital version, which you can check out here:
Old Amica “Taiga” June |Available
We were excited to welcome aboard Swedish duo Old Amica, who split their discography between folk-tinged post rock and cinematic Ambient. For us, they turned in a beautiful instrumental album featuring piano, guitar and synth and stunning artwork, arranged by the artists’ friend J. M Almqvist. We’ve still got some copies left as it stands and you can also check out their video and a digital version here:
Logic Moon “I See Planets” July |12 Copies Remaining
We returned to deep drone with this one by Logic Moon in some of the sleepiest music we’ve released to date. Tobias Lorsbach, the man behind the project created an album with a retro-futuristic theme and we decided to splash out on talented collage artist Thom Easton to provide the artwork. Just a few copies remind and you can check them out, as well as the usual stream/digital versions here:
Spring Quintet “Raven, Raven, Raven” July |Available
We chopped back to modern classical with this one, with a live performance by Montreal’s Stefan Christoff and several other musicians being handed to Italian sound artist Matteo Uggeri to assist with post production. The result is a playful electro-acoustic piece with several movements across half an hour, complete with artwork by painter Chris Day. Some copies are still around in our shop, which you can buy or stream a digital version here:
Glåsbird “Svalbarð” August | Sold Out
Somehow after a debut album, Glåsbird manages to follow it up with a second album in a year. The first album was a sonic expedition to Greenland and in August, the trip continued to the Arctic isles of Svalbard. Just like the last one, this album was gobbled up quickly by our listeners and is unavailable physically. You can stream or buy a digital version here, however:
Emanuele Errante “This World” August | Available
We were really excited to release ‘This World’ by Naples, Italy based artist Emanuele Errante, whose work we’d admired for years. Emanuele teamed up with Peppe Trotta of So What magazine for the cover artwork and also invited guest musicians Bruno Sanfilippo and Max Fuschetto to feature in this magical electro-acoustic recording. Copies are available still at the time of writing or you can stream/buy a digital version here:
xu “embodying formlessness” September | Available
In a hat-trick of releases by Italian artists for 2019, we welcomed back Nicola Fornasari who had collaborated for the La Petite Vague release which we put out in 2016. This one’s a lovely minimal album of toy ukulele and careful sound design that rewards repeated listening. You can still grab a copy at the moment or stream/buy a digital version here:
Gray Acres “Material Forces” October | Sold Out
Not due to the talent of the Tasselmyer brothers and a helping hand from Bandcamp’s ‘Best of Ambient’ feature, this album by Gray Acres sold out in a flash. It’s a wonderful collection of tactile drones with far-flung field recordings, mastered by Ian Hawgood. There are no physical versions left but you can stream it or own a digital version here:
Jazzdefector and Slow Clinic “Green Echo” October | Available
We’re always really pleased to see our artists return with another demo but when two came along at once and as a collaboration, we were particularly excited! ‘Green Echo’ combines moody guitar Ambience by Jazzdefector with the sound design expertise of Slow Clinic across 6 tracks. There are some CDrs left or you may prefer to stream or own a digital version:
Luis Miehlich “Timecuts” November | Available
Silences by Luis Miehlich was simply one of our favourite records from 2018. So we were delighted when his demo ‘Timecuts’ came in and over time, Luis arranged remixes by the likes of Gallery Six, Erder, SineRider and our very own Glåsbird to complete the package. The album flits between Ambient/Drone, Electro Acoustic and Modern Classical and the remixes carefully compliment the originals as every bit a part of the album experience. Some physical copies are available or if you prefer, you can stream or own a digital version by clicking here:
Jack Hyde “Lowlands” November | Available
Last but not least, we closed out this busy year with our 18th release, courtesy of Jack Hyde. Lowlands is a debut album from this Edinburgh, UK based artist and it covers Ambient, Dub and Field Recording territory in a careful, fascinating record. We have physical copies available as well as the option to stream or download here:
Welcome to the first instalment of ‘The Maker’; a regular interview feature with artists who have released works on RTR. There will also be a regular accompanying feature, ‘The Listener’, which engages with the label’s listeners.
To kickstart the series and celebrate the launch of the new RTR website, The Maker #1 features Spheruleus, who released the first tape on RTR back in February 2018 with the album ‘Glimmers’ (RTR001). Spheruleus is the solo music project of Lincolnshire-based Harry Towell, who is well-established within the contemporary ambient scene having released on labels Time Released Sound, Hibernate Recordings, and Home Normal. When he’s not making music, Harry runs the labels Whitelabrecs and Audio Gourmet, as well as the reviewing site Irregular Crates.
How did you first get introduced to ambient/drone/experimental music?
I suppose the short answer would be getting a laptop during…
We’re keeping further details fairly close to our chest, but we wanted to share a project that will be ready to drop very soon: our very first compilation album!
This will be released in a bigger run than our usual fifty copies and will include work from Whitelabrecs’ contributors such as Spheruleus, David Kolhne, Ondrej Zajac and La Petite Vague as well as a few friends we’ve drafted in such as The Green Kingdom, Offthesky, Maps and Diagrams and Darkroom.