Favourite Records of 2022

 

Our label owner Harry Towell has finalised his top 20 list of favourite albums of 2022, complete with a mix. See below a few words from Harry on his year in music, followed by the top 20, each with a link, a brief commentary and the artwork. You can check out the mix Harry created by clicking the picture above, which counts down with a track from each of his favourite albums. Alternatively, there’s a player below and you can click play whilst you read on…


“I feel like I’ve spent most of 2022 getting ready to move house, with our family having moved into our new home at last on the 9th of December. All year I had in mind that I wanted the cover image for this year’s end of year show to be a photo of somewhere in the new house and it was starting to seem like it might not happen, as we moved into December. Thankfully, the weekend after we’d moved I managed to take a moment to shoot a bird sat on top of our garage, on an icy -4 degree morning.

I changed jobs earlier this year and have spent much more time working from home, and therefore my appetite for music and of varying genres, has been in overdrive. I’ve felt like I’ve really pushed the boat out in listening through lots of genres this year, but when I look at my top 20 records whittled down from a list of 80, it’s mostly ambient, electro acoustic and modern classical music – which will no doubt please Whitelabrecs fans! There has been some jazz and more adventurous styles that have made the list though…

In terms of formats, I’ve mostly been scouring music on Spotify and Bandcamp, streaming over and over in the days whilst making a running list of my favourites. I use an app called ‘Paperless lists’ which allows me to adjust the albums that make the list into a running chart, which I was adjusting constantly. With the move, I’ll be able to play vinyl again on my Technics 1210s, but I also bought a cheap ‘run around’ in the form of a Crosley Voyager. So I’ve made it my mission to own as many of my top 20 albums on vinyl as possible; to date, I’m pretty much there with just a couple left to track down.

For my best-of list for 2022 then, I’ve followed the exact same format as last year, with a mix show counting down my top 20, which you can check out on my Spheruleus Mixcloud page. Last year I took the time to upload end of year mixes since 2010 and so I’ve kept the cover image format so that it matches these. We now have 13 years of mixes to listen back through; something very personal for me whenever I want to jump down a rabbit hole of nostalgia. But hopefully people who tune in will enjoy!


Then with this post, you can see my final list below; again, for simplicity I’ve kept last year’s format the same. I hope you enjoy the selections and as always, the links will transport you to a release page where you can explore more. If this list connects one person with an album they didn’t know about, and they decide to support the respective artist and label by purchasing, then it’s all been worth it!


1st:
Michael Scott Dawson
Music For Listening
We Are Busy Bodies

This year there’s been a clear winner for my album of the year ‘award’. I feel like I’ve played this one by Michael Scott Dawson pretty much every week, whether it be to help me drift off to sleep, to help my daughter to drift off to sleep, or to work to during the day. Not to mention my listens to the 12″ vinyl version on the turntable in the office. ‘Music For Listening’ came out in March this year on We Are Busy Bodies and initially I was struck by the design, with a thought provoking angled view through the window of a boat, or train on a bridge. Then the vinyl and its white disc grabbed my attention further and whilst a subtle listen to begin with, this record is one I’ve soaked myself into time and time again in 2022. It’s definitely going to be a record that instantly, when I hear it or see the sleeve, I’ll think back to this year. There’s so much detail in the field recordings and arrangement but also, it’s so simple and minimal at the same time.

https://michaelscottdawson.bandcamp.com/album/music-for-listening


2nd:
Wax Machine
Hermit’s Grove
Batov Records

I love retro-inspired, dusty funk records and was drawn to this one by its cover image, and the Brazilian influences referenced in the release notes. Hitting the play button, I was instantly sucked into the melting pot of cultures and styles across this record. It’s filled with sun-bleached tropical sounds, hints of bossa rhythymns, hazy electro-acoustic atmospherics, licks of funk, moments of folk song and the slightest hint of post rock. In the summer, this was my go-to album in daylight and I’ve fond memories sat in 25+ degree heat, absorbing the sunshine vibes of Hermit’s Grove.

https://waxmachinebbib.bandcamp.com/album/hermits-grove


3rd:
Pan American
The Patience Fader
Kranky

Kranky output is always top quality and it’s a must-stop-by destination for any fan of ambient music. Certainly a regular haunt for me over the years and this year, I was really taken by ‘The Patience Fader’ by Pan American, which came out earlier in the year. I’ve had the vinyl copy on rotation in the office and these softly melancholy ambient guitar songs take me back to some of the early ambient guitar stuff I’d listen to when I first got into this scene.

https://panamerican.bandcamp.com/album/the-patience-fader


4th:
Channelers
Time, Space, and Thought
Inner Islands

Plenty of warmth in this one by Channelers and a generous body of work too, clocking in at around an hour. Sadly I’ve not got a cassette player that works properly, so I’ve had to settle for download / streaming this year but nevertheless, this record has lived up to its title, being played regularly throughout 2022. The album has a folk and americana feel but with some ambient and electro acoustic composition thrown in. It sounded particularly impressive in the warmer months and the record definitely soundtracked my summer.

https://channelers.bandcamp.com/album/time-space-and-thought


5th:
Kolumbo
Gung Ho
Calico Discos

I’ve always been into dusty lo-fi Hip-Hop and turntablism, and records with crafty sampling techniques. This one by Kolumbo was quite a discovery – initially I thought it would be a lo-fi or chillhop record, but I realise I was pretty wrong after a listen, as the madness unfolded. This one has strings, piano and beautiful arrangements, but also has a really imaginative aesthetic too, with dreamlike, retro-film composition. Very hard to explain, so instead, I recommend you take a listen for yourself!

https://kolumbo.bandcamp.com/album/gung-ho


6th:
Gianni Brezzo
Tutto Passa
Jakarta

I’ve been to Italy a few times and so the title and cover artwork drew me in to giving this one a spin. On inspection of the liner notes, I learned that Gianni Brezzo is in fact a Cologne, Germany based musician called Marvin Horsch. His work is inspired by 60s and 70s Italian composers, as well as annual visits to see his Grandmother in Sicily. The record is a low-slung form of Jazz, with swathes of strings, licks of sax and trumpet underpinned by double bass and slow grooves. The vinyl has an insert of images that really bring the concept to life.

https://giannibrezzo.bandcamp.com/album/tutto-passa


7th:
Jeremiah Chiu & Marta Sofia Honer
Recordings from the Åland Islands
International Anthem

I was really intrigued by this album, with its concept being a location-based visit to the Åland islands. When I read up on the islands, I was amazed that there are so many! Some 6500 in fact. Composers Jeremiah Chiu and Marta Sofia Honer visited the islands and captured field recordings and musical performances, in an aural study of the region and with the vinyl package, their booklet of liner notes really bring the trip to life. Musically, violin, piano and synth take center stage, alongside the field recordings and other incidental inclusions.”

https://intlanthem.bandcamp.com/album/recordings-from-the-land-islands


8th:
Gerald Clayton
Bells On Sand
Blue Note

Again, as a theme this year, I was drawn in by the album cover of this album from Gerald Clayton and immediately, on listening, I was met with a feeling that this album would find its way into my end of year list. It’s got variety first and foremost, which always seems to help elevate an album for me and this is in part down to the two vocal tracks, sung by MARO and also, tracks with sax from Charles Lloyd. I’ve been a fan of jazz from a young age and there are many albums from the jazz greats. For me, this record will sit right up there, among the best of them – quite a statement, but it really is that good. Fittingly, it’s out on legendary jazz label Blue Note.

https://store.bluenote.com/collections/cds/products/gerald-clayton-bells-on-sand


9th:
Misha Panfilov
Momentum
2 Headed Deer

I discovered the Misha Panfilov Sound Combo a couple of years back and loved his Days As Echoes album. I was intrigued by this new one on 2 Headed Deer and it didn’t disappoint. Instantly I ordered the vinyl – this one’s a jazzy number with percussive rhythms, brass, piano, organ, synth and mellotron. It has a retro feel to it, with what is presumed to be tape effects, not to mention some field recordings along the way to give some further texture.

https://mpsc.bandcamp.com/album/momentum


10th:
Malcolm Parson
Letters From Home
Moderna

I check out a lot of Moderna releases, with their output always being of a high quality. The label offers modern classical music and I’ve often discovered new artists in their catalog. One such is Malcolm Parson, whose short album ‘Letters From Home’ came out in April this year. Piano and strings take center stage, in these nostalgic and melancholy arrangements. There is no clear concept to it, but with the old family photo and through a bit of reading, it’s apparent that Malcolm was looking to reconnect with his childhood in making this record.

https://modernarecords.bandcamp.com/album/letters-from-home


11th:
Andrew Wasylyk
Hearing The Water Before Seeing The Falls
Clay Pipe

“In 2020 I loved Andrew Wasylyk’s ‘Fugitive Light and Themes of Consolation’ and have followed his work ever since. I was excited to see him dropping singles for his new album and instantly ordered the vinyl direct from Clay Pipe, as soon as it came out. It was only released in late November, so I’ve had very little time to listen to it – particularly the vinyl version. But by the time the record arrived, I’d already streamed the album over and over again several times, making my mind up that this one’s to be placed pretty high in my end of year list. Lots of deeply nostalgic, retro-infused instrumentals here – highly recommended.

https://andrewwasylyk.bandcamp.com/album/hearing-the-water-before-seeing-the-falls


12th:
Melchior Sultana
Self Reflections
Oath

This year I went mad again for House music, reigniting my dormant blog Wallofhouse, scouring the scene and making mixes and playlists. As the winter drew near, I soon began neglecting the blog again, focusing again on Ambient music. But throughout the year, whenever there is work to be done around the house, I’ll reach for – house. What I tend to find is that quality, conceptually-leaning albums in the house scene are lacking. So when a record like this one by Melchior Sultana arrives, lavishly packaged in a beautiful gatefold vinyl sleeve, I tend to get pretty excited. Due to vinyl pressing delays, I waited months for this to arrive but it was worth it. Lovely Deep House music here.

https://oathcreations.bandcamp.com/album/self-reflection


13th:
William Basinski & Janek Schaefer
…On Reflection
Temporary Residence

Ambient legend William Basinski’s releases always tend to get gobbled up by fans and pretty much everything he does is a must have. I’ve always enjoyed the work of another legend, Janek Schaefer too and to see that these two collaborated in an album raised the intrigue. Sleepy piano loops play through over these reflective movements, full of field recordings and everyday happenstance. You guessed it – sounds amazing on vinyl too!

https://williambasinski.bandcamp.com/album/on-reflection


14th:
Landtitles
As The Night Comes Softly Down
Polar Seas

I was fortunate this year to call Brad Deschamps’ Polar Seas label a home this year, for my deeply personal collaborative album with Guy Gelem. When I got my copies, Brad had included a copy of the other release which came out at the same time – a record by Landtitles. I don’t own a CD player in the house, so this kind gift hung around unplayed in the office for a while – until one day I took it into my car, and it’s not left the player since. Pretty much everywhere I drove, this was my soundtrack – a beautiful collection of warm, electro-acoustic pieces, with light and slightly glitchy electronics.

https://polarseasrecordings.bandcamp.com/album/as-the-night-comes-softly-down


15th:
Julia Gjertsen
Formations
Moderna

Here’s another fine example of Moderna quality, with ‘Formations’ by Julia Gjertsen coming out at the beginning of this year. Gjertsen is a pianist and composer, based in Oslo, Norway and this record is full to the brim of high fidelity modern classical orchestration, with piano and strings combining into a beautiful Ambient-leaning soundtrack. The record is a little light on a concept, at least based on what’s available to read on the Moderna release page. But the album name, artwork, track titles and compositions themselves do a good job of pulling you into an immersive world.

https://modernarecords.bandcamp.com/album/formations


16th:
Erland Cooper
Music For Growing Flowers
Mercury KX

I was getting regular notifications of new singles from Erland Cooper throughout the year, which culminated in this album, Music For Growing Flowers. This record compiles the tracks which soundtrack the Superbloom installation, in the moats of the Tower of London – where wild flowers were planted for a dramatic, and picturesque view, to celebrate the late Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. The quality of the music, the concept and as a tribute to the Queen, made this into a much-cherished album in my collection. Not to mention the packet of accompanying seeds which I had to buy, so that this story can live on in the garden at my new home.

https://www.erlandcooper.com/superbloom


17th:
Sweatson Klank
Postcards
Friends Of Friends

Through my relentless search for various styles of music, I’ve enjoyed a lot of Sweatson Klank’s stuff over the last couple of years. Typically his work tends to end up on my soul, jazz, funk, deep house or chill playlists and the odd DJ mix. But in this album, not only was I surprised to see a chicken on the front cover, I was surprised at how ‘ambient’ this one is, with exotic far-flung sounds serving as a travelogue from the artist, presented in a series of deep, droning moods. Unfortunately, this is one of the few albums from this year which I’ve been unable to hunt down on vinyl. Hopefully I can track down a copy sometime.

https://sweatsonklank.bandcamp.com/album/postcards


18th:
Flore Laurentienne
Volume II
Rvng Int’l

Sneaking into the list is this one by Flore Laurentienne, which came out in November on Rvng Int’l. Flore Laurentienne is a project helmed by Canadian composer Mathieu David Gagnon and this second volume follows the critically acclaimed first, which was released in 2019. I’m new to both, and the album artwork and white vinyl alone was enough to get pretty excited about. The retro approach to production, combining orchestral strings and synth textures cemented my need to own this one on vinyl and I’ve been enjoying this one on heavy rotation.

https://florelaurentienne.bandcamp.com/album/volume-ii


19th:
Snowdrops
Missing Islands
Injazero

Another late, last minute entry to this list is from Snowdrops, with their album ‘Missing Islands’ having only just dropped in November. It is a luxurious arrangement of modern compositions, combining the talents of Christine Ott with Mathieu Gabry. After hearing the singles prior to release, I’ve been eagerly awaiting the release of this album and currently, have had to settle for a digital version for the time being after being unsure of which address I’ll be at. But I’ll be sure to put the order in soon, as this is a must have for the collection.

https://snowdrops.bandcamp.com/album/missing-island-2


20th:
Andrew Tasselmyer
Limits
Laaps

“I’ve followed Andrew Tasselmyer’s music, ever since I discovered his work as Gray Acres, in which he records alongside his brother, in an album released here on Whitelabrecs a few years back. I also keep a close eye on the always-high-quality output on Laaps Recordings. Limits is a beautifully minimal album, both in artwork and sound, with the snowy cover matching well with the scratchy, blurred edges of ambient drones.”

https://laaps-records.com/album/limits

eRecord012 wodwo – veils

Today we have a new edition in our digital-only series, eRecords!
‘veils’ is an album from Derbyshire, UK based artist Wodwo with an EP of melodic ambient drones.

eRecords is a digital record series created by Whitelabrecs, to run alongside our physical releases. These editions aim to transform the digital format into something that can be experienced in a similar way to a listener’s interaction with a real, white label vinyl record. Each edition includes a special PDF scrapbook including polaroids and liner notes.

We do not publish details about the concepts or production methods of a release so that the liner notes and content in each scrapbook will reveal the background of each edition in the series.

catalog: eR012
artist: wodwo
release title: veils
release type: ep
location: derbyshire, uk

released december 16, 2022

Written and produced by Ray Robinson
Mastered by James Edward Armstrong
Cover artwork by Sydney Rae
Art and design by Harry Towell

You can find out more information about eRecords in our landing page link, below:

End of 2022 Sale – 20% Off

We’re pleased to announce a winter sale for the month of December, which will run for every second of the month. We’ve done these most years since we launched and it’s always a nice way to pause for the end of the year before we start the new year, and people can take advantage of some cheaper prices, which also apply to our brand new merchandise range!

So until midnight (UTC) on the 31st of December 2022, you can enjoy an extra 20% off all of our catalog, physical, digital and merchandise.

All you need to do to get the discount is enter the code below into the discount box provided when you checkout, to activate the 20% off all items:

CODE: take20
Link: https://whitelabrecs.bandcamp.com/

Below we’ve pulled together a few things you might want to check out as a starting point, with links directing you to the relevant pages. Or you may prefer just to head straight over to the Bandcamp link above to explore for yourself.


Whitelabrecs Clothing Range
November | Merchandise

Last month we launched our brand new merchandise on our Bandcamp page; a range of unisex clothing in various colours and sizes. We’ve teamed up with UK based supplier Fanbace which integrates into Bandcamp, meaning that our customers are able to choose colours and sizes that are made to order and shipped directly from the supplier. We have a standard and deluxe hoodie, as well as 2 label t-shirts and a Glåsbird t-shirt too.

You can see the range on our Bandcamp page by clicking the inset image. Alternatively, you may wish to take a look at our blog post, which introduces the range in a bit more detail, all in one space:

https://whitelabrecs.com/2022/11/11/new-whitelabrecs-clothing-range-out-now/


Here are the 2022 CDs we have in stock still at the time of writing.
The number of copies is indicated as a caption (correct as of 17th of November 2022), and you can click the image to visit the relevant release pages!


new mix show! vervine002

We were very encouraged to see the number of people tuning into the first Vervine show, which we launched last month as an occasional radio show series, presented by our label owner Harry Towell. These shows will cover the full extent of his wide reaching musical taste. Harry’s been spurred on by the positive feedback and has recorded another show, complete with voiceovers between each selection.

This second show picks up where the first left off, with styles covered including Ambient, Electro Acoustic, Jazz, Modern Classical, World and Downtempo electronica. Again, the styles switch about in no clear order, but hopefully the flow nicely together as a show for you to sink into. Harry’s included some Whitelabrecs releases in the tracklist, with premieres of music from Darkroom, Hoshiko Yamane, a wave, a mouth as well as something new from Towell himself, alongside Pruski. The latter is a 12 track collaborative album we have lined up for a January release. Elsewhere, recent discoveries are placed alongside older pieces and classics, and we hope you’ll discover something new. Click the picture above or the player below:



Tracklist:
01 Tapes and TopographiesPenn Tir
02 Darkroom – Water like mbira
03 Andy Aquarius Chapel
04 Sofie Birch & Antonina Nowacka Sudany
05 Anna Butterss Blevins
06 Kokoroko We Give Thanks
07 Carlos Niño & Friends Actually (feat Deantoni Parks/Jamael Dean/Nate Mercereau)
08 Bosq Paciencia De Jo (feat Tita Lima)
09 OHMA A Portal To All That Is
10 Snowflake Memory – Railroad Dreamer
11 Noori & His Dorpa Band Jabana
12 Harry Towell & Pruski – Lacustyna
13 George Riley Cleanse Me
14 Hoshiko Yamane – Prayer
15 Chip Wickham Winter
16 Daniel Villarreal Cali Colours
17 Mejiwahn Spring (feat. Juuwah & Daniel Bitrán)
18 Pharoah Sanders & Boozoo Bajou – Astral Traveling (Boozoo Bajou Remix)
19 Free the Robots Far Away (feat. Chhom Nimol)
20 The Cinematic Orchestra In To You
21 Bentley & Horatio Luna Bingo Bongo
22 Gianni Brezzo Rising Of My Mind
23 Elaine Howley To The Test
24 Clear Path Ensemble Interlock
25 The Theory Behind – Source
26 Yarni Trinacria
27 a wave, a mouth – Shake Me Gently Call Me Names
28 Part Timer Freeway
29 Matthew Halsall Mindfulness Meditations

New Whitelabrecs clothing range, out now!

Today we launched some new merchandise on our Bandcamp page, a range of unisex clothing in various colours and sizes. We’ve teamed up with UK based supplier Fanbace which integrates into Bandcamp. This means that instead of limited editions that sell out fast, our customers are able to choose colours and sizes that are made to order and shipped directly from the supplier.

We thought we’d share pictures and details on each of the ranges, as well as links where you can check them out for yourself.
Please note, we’ll be running a winter sale in December so there will be a discount code, which will make these items a bit cheaper. We’d rather point this out now just to save any disappointment.

Stanley/Stella Cruiser Unisex Deluxe Hoodie – Yellow Logo:

This pullover hoodie is made from 85% Organic Ring-Spun Combed Cotton, 15% Recycled Polyster, featuring our logo in ‘Whitelabrecs’ yellow. Of the two hoodies available, this one is the ‘deluxe’, due to its brushed fabric, double layered hood, metal eyelets and a single needle topstitch at the neckline and along the hood opening.

The fit for this one is ‘medium’, so if you prefer your hoodies to have a relaxed fit, go for the next size up.

Sizes available are small, medium, large, extra large, 2 x extra large and 3 x extra large and as you can see from the images above, the colour options are ‘British Khaki’, Navy or Black.

You can check it out by clicking HERE

Stanley/Stella Drummer Unisex Pullover Hoodie:

This iconic Stanley/Stella Drummer hoodie is made from 85% Organic Ring-Spun Combed Cotton, 15% Recycled Polyster and features our logo in yellow. This hoodies a fair bit cheaper than the deluxe one above, whilst still having plenty of quality features, including a lined hood in single jersey, stitched button-hole eyelets and this one’s a little bit lighter weight out of the two.

The fit for this one is also ‘medium’, so if you prefer a relaxed fit we recommend you go up a side.

Sizes available are small, medium, large, extra large, 2 x extra large and 3 x extra large and the colour options are Royal Blue, Bottle Green or Anthracite as above.

You can check it out by clicking HERE

Gildan Heavy Unisex T-Shirt – Yellow Logo:

This 100% ringspun cotton Gildan T-shirt features the full Whitelabrecs logo in yellow. The neck and shoulders have tape detail, it has a seamless 7/8″ collar and there’s a twin needle sleeve and bottom hems.

Sizes available are small, medium, large, extra large, 2 x extra large and 3 x extra large and the colour options are Navy, Charcoal or Black as you can see above.

You can check it out by clicking HERE

Gildan Heavy Unisex T-Shirt – Black Logo:

This 100% ringspun cotton Gildan T-shirt features the full Whitelabrecs logo in black. As with the other T-shirt above, the neck and shoulders have tape detail, it has a seamless 7/8″ collar and there’s a twin needle sleeve and bottom hems.

Sizes available are small, medium, large, extra large, 2 x extra large and 3 x extra large and the colour options are Heather Grey, Yellow or White as you can see above.

You can check it out by clicking HERE

Bella Canvas 3001 Unisex Glåsbird T-Shirt

Lastly, we decided to launch something that’s not strictly a Whitelabrecs garment, with this Glåsbird T-shirt.
It is 100% airlume ringspun cotton with the Glåsbird logo on the chest. It’s longer sleeved and longer in the body and overall, is a slightly more premium feel to our other two Whitelabrecs T’s.

Sizes available are extra small, small, medium, large, extra large and 2 x extra large and the colour options are Navy, Pink or White as you can see above.

You can check it out by clicking HERE

Coming soon… New Whitelabrecs Clothing!

Coming soon… we’ll be working with a merchandising company called Fanbace, who can print up some Whitelabrecs merch for us. These will integrate as items in our Bandcamp shop and Fanbace will fulfill the orders. This means that items will be made to order and ship straight out of Fanbace HQ in the UK, to our customers. This means we won’t need to keep stock or order minimum amounts in large quantities and therefore, there’s unlimited availability of sizes.

We’ve also been able to get creative and have some colour variations. So, we’ve designed this new range featuring the Whitelabrecs and Glåsbird logos, across T-shirts and Hoodies. We’ll be launching the range very soon and will announce the post in full, with a bit more information on these 5 products.

Coming soon… Tapes and Topographies -Floating World – Reflections on 36 Views of Newland

Our new release ‘Floating World – Reflections on 36 Views of Newland‘ by Tapes and Topographies in collaboration with artist Jonathan S Hooper will be available officially in one of our typically low runs of 100 gatefold vinyl-effect CDrs on Saturday the 19th of November after a pre-order for Bandcamp Friday on the 4th of November. If you click here: mailing list, we’ll make sure you’re the first to hear.

press release
“‘Floating World’ is an album by US based artist Todd Gautreau, who records as Tapes and Topographies. It was created in response to a collaboration project called Thirty-Six Views of Newland Island with British artist Jonathan S Hooper. The album follows last year’s ‘Amplitudes’ and is another entry to Todd’s discography, alongside music on labels such as Past Inside The Present, Dronarivm, Shimmering Moods and his own Simulacra Records.
Jonathan S Hooper is a mixed-media artist based in London, who works with paintings, photography, sculpture and film. Thirty-Six Views of Newland Island is an evolving multi-factorial project in which Hooper continues his exploration of ontological concepts of time and space through the landscapes of his native Cornwall. Specifically, the project focuses on a small uninhabited outcrop called Newland Island, which lies just off the Cornish coast in the Atlantic Ocean’s most westerly margins. The project’s title is inspired by Katushika Hokusai’s series of woodblock prints of Mount Fuji, drawing in Hooper’s broader interest in Japan’s artistic heritage. It also adds to the cultural connection between Cornwall and Japan first established in St Ives, in the 1920’s, through the collaboration of master potters Bernard Leach and Hamada Shoji. A collaboration that continued through much of the twentieth century.

A particularly fascinating consideration is that Mount Fuji is an instantly recognisable geographic icon, yet in contrast, Newland Island is unknown to most. This frees the project from the limits of preconception, opening up opportunities to explore further ideas of landscape, and our place within it. Through collaboration with Gautreau (who is based some 5000 miles away), Hooper sought to give creative licence to a composer, in order to encourage another viewpoint. He had first discovered Todd’s music through Elizabeth Alker’s BBC Radio 3 Unclassified programme, and subsequently reached out to invite him to work on a soundtrack, which has now become ‘Floating World’. He sent photographs of his paintings, scans of the polaroids and his studio notes; the work developed organically into a collection of nine soundscapes, in which Hooper sees as independent views of Newland Island in their own right.
Hooper will be working to share this project through galleries and installations and we felt it was apt to assign full creative control over the CD packaging design to these two artists. Todd, also a graphic designer, has pulled together some of the polaroids for the outer and inner sleeves. There is a 16 page booklet included, which contains paintings, further polaroids and text from both artists. This is also included with the digital version of this album.

credits
Written and Produced by Todd Gautreau
Mastered by James Edward Armstrong
Paintings and Polaroids by Jonathan S Hooper
Design by Todd Gautreau

https://www.jonathanshooper.com/

 

new mix series! vervine001

Today we’ve launched a new mix series called ‘Vervine’. This will be presented by our label owner Harry Towell, and will cover the full extent of his wide ranging music taste. We can’t say how frequently we’ll make these shows but we’re hoping they’ll appear regularly enough and include one or two interesting features such as themes, vinyl-only shows and guest mixes. Hopefully, the voice-overs should hopefully grow in confidence the more of these we do!

This first show features a range of musical styles including Ambient, Electro Acoustic, Funk, Jazz, Modern Classical, World. The tracks are not arranged in a particular order, so it should feel pretty varied throughout and within the tracklist there are a few recent Whitelabrecs releases from the likes of Sven Laux, Adrian Lane, Fred Baty and John Reidar Holmes. Not to mention the opening track which is a premiere of our next release on the 19th of November, which is by Tapes and Topographies! Click the picture above or the player below:



Tracklist:
01 Tapes and Topographies – Diffraction
02 Kiyoshi Yamaya/Toshiko Yonekawa/Kifu MitsuhashiNanbu Ushioi-Uta
03 Lucien JohnsonMagnificent Moon
04 Vega Trails Love Your Grace
05 Feras Charestan Zekrayat
06 Adrian Lane White Winter Cloudy
07 Fred Baty To Feel at a Distance
08 Dandelion All You Know
09 Wax Machine Gaian Dream
10 Jaubi Straight Path
11 Black Flower Morning In The Jungle (ft. Meskerem Mees)
12 KolumboEvening Time
13 Jonny Nash & Teguh PermanaAir
14 John Reidar HolmesGoodbye To Cape Farewell
15 Ralph Heidel Wenn Ich Wach Werde (ft. Hannah Weiss)
16 Sven LauxThe Hope
17 Duelling AntsReise
18 Hiroshi EbinaIt 2
19 Julien DyneBeecon
20 Surprise Chef Goldie’s Lullaby
21 Malcolm PearsonFleeting Thoughts
22 Lissom Big Sleep
23 Naima Bock Enter The House
24 Channelers Diguised As Another
25 Misha PanfilovAmphibian Girl
26 Liquid Saloon Shaiza (ft. Elyasaf Bashari)
27 Djavan Nereci (Case’s Edit)
28 Jef Gilson & MalagasyValiha Ny Dada
29 Philou LouzoloQueens Of Zomba

Out Now! Adrian Lane – Missing The Crows


Here’s the second of two new editions for October, with ‘Missing The Crows‘ by Adrian Lane being a fourteen track modern classical album which fuses orchestral strings and piano with a subtle use of electronics. It’s out now in a run of 100 gatefold vinyl-effect CDrs after a short pre-order last week. If you click here: mailing list, we’ll make sure you’re the first to hear.

press release
“Following last year’s release ‘The Fleet’, we welcome back UK based composer and visual artist with a new concept album. Alongside long-since sold-out The Fleet, Adrian also contributed to our Home Diaries series and has recent releases on other UK labels including Preserved Sound and Hibernate. Adrian’s sound is characterised by elegant modern classical arrangements, pairing acoustic instrument textures with a hint of electronics drawing inspiration from composers such as Jóhann Jóhannsson and Max Richter.

In ‘Missing The Crows’ we have what Adrian describes as a follow-up to The Fleet, in terms of the recording process and sound palette used, in that strings and piano dominate. Yet in this new collection of 14 pieces, there is a bit more of an emphasis on synths and light electronic effects. Neither the synthetic, nor the acoustic instrument sounds take centre stage at any given time, with the intention being to paint a coherent whole in which neither taking precedence.

The story behind the title of the album sprang up following regular walks to a local park, where there are always lots and lots of crows. This former Ministry Of Defence land by the sea wall is left to grow naturally and Adrian had decided to go there with his camera to photograph some of these crows, as source material for his visual artwork. On arrival, he realised that he should have taken his telephoto lens, as he kept missing the crows; they’d fly away before he got close enough. He returned on another occasion with the telephoto lens and managed to get some decent images and these appear in the mixed media painting in the album cover artwork.

There is a lot of negative symbolism associated with crows, but they are fascinating creatures; they are intelligent, can problem solve and warn each other of danger. The natural landscape has always been an influence on Adrian’s music and certain specific reference such as the crows appear in the tracks. In another reference, ‘Godeuleum’ (meaning ‘Icicle’ in Korean) was written when it was particularly cold, and his wife (who is Korean) used the word when pointing to them, hanging from the gutters of their home.

Whilst Adrian has never aspired to be a film composer, he does listen to a lot of film/drama soundtracks and he feels this cinematic quality comes across in the music. In film music, themes and phrases are often repeated, with melodies appearing in different forms across numerous tracks. This approach was embraced in sketching out the concept for ‘Missing The Crows’, in the hope that listeners may recognise sections of this album, building a sense of familiarity. The work is both charming and intelligent like the crow, with a character soaring high beyond the mere colour of black and its associated darkness.

credits
Written and Produced by Adrian Lane
Mastered by James Edward Armstrong
Painting by Adrian Lane
Art and Design by Andrew Heath