Best of 2017: Covarino

Our ‘best of 2017’ feature continues as we chat to Francesco Covarino, one half of Covarino/Incorvaia who released ‘Granada’ with us in the summer. There are still a few copies of this album so scroll to the bottom to find a link. Before you do, take a look over his favourite records from 2017 – there are some belters!


naps
bask
[Lily Tapes and Discs]

“My favourite album of the year, it is soothing, warm and very delicate. Listening to it makes me feel like I’m floating on the sea, being lulled by the waves with the sun on my face.”



ot to, not to
These Movements I & II
[ACR]

“This album was a big surprise, I listened to it the first time without too many expectations (I had read there was a guy singing and this somehow put me off), and then I just couldn’t stop listening to it again and again. “



M. Sage

Jupiter Primative (Fragments from 2016)
[Self Released]

Every album of M. Sage is unpredictable, you press play and don’t know what’s coming: an album of acoustic guitars? Field recordings? Electronica? I like the feeling of everything this guy makes, especially his electronica albums. I am not a fan of electronic music at all, but M. Sage plays a different kind of electronic music. When I listen to his music I don’t picture a guy in front of a computer, instead I perceive a lot of physicality, a sort of handmade, physical touch and then I love his weird, unpredictable touch. This album is a recollection of various tracks recorded throughout 2016 and it features all the sounds of M. Sage’s palette.


Dane Rousay
blip
[Rat Tail Tapes]

“A guy alone with his drumkit, no electronic devices, no overdubs, just his hands, his sticks and his drumkit. What you see if what you get, no tricks. He is very creative and colourful in his playing and playful and melodic, too. I found out about this album after I recorded my own solo drums album, and listening to it made me feel less lonely: somewhere in the world there was another guy recording weird drums-solo improvisations, someone else going alone with his drumkit against the world.”


Josh Mason
Barque Of Phosphor
[Self Released]

“I like everything Josh Mason releases, the reel to reel feeling of his music. This is a short album, a 4-track summer tour tape, with modular synth, guitar, tape. It is Josh Mason, so it goes on my list. Also, by following Josh on bandcamp I found out about Naps for the first time, so I’m grateful to him twice.”


What have you been up to Francesco?
“A few weeks ago Thirsty Leaves Music released my first solo album, “Olive”. It contains short improvisations on drums and percussion, and it was released on CD with beautiful packaging. I recorded those improvs on a single day when my wife was pregnant with our first daughter, so it is a very special album to me and I’m very proud of how it came out. In January, we’re recording some new music with my duo Covarino/Incorvaia, we will record some drums/guitar improvs for a couple of days here in Granada. I would also like to do some sort of long-distance collaboration with musicians I admire and with whom I’ve been in contact in the last few months, we’ll see how all that works out”


You can find out more/buy Francesco’s music here:
covarino.bandcamp.com
covarinoincorvaia.wordpress.com
https://thirstyleavesmusic.bandcamp.com/album/olive


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Best of 2017: Andrew Lang

The next artist to contribute to our ‘best of 2017’ rundown is Andrew Lang who debuted with us with his piano compositions entitled ‘Burnt Shades’. We had a catch up with Andrew who also chose his five favourite records from this year, covering Ambient and Indie territory.


Gang Of Youths
Go Farther In Lightness
[Mosy Recordings]

“Sophomore record from an Australian indie rock band. I genuinely believe this is one of the best Australian albums ever released (easily the best in the last few years) – it’s a celebration of life and the darkness within it; in being hurt and becoming stronger from the experience. This one’s been on pretty much constant rotation since I discovered them a few months back.”


Phoebe Bridgers
Stranger In The Alps
[Shhpuma]

“Dark and melancholy indie folk in the vein of Carissa’s Wierd, amid moments of Twin Peaks-y ambience, Totally haunting stuff – strongly recommend listening to this one on a solitary late night walk.”



Slowdive

Slowdive
[Dead Oceans]

“None of Slowdive’s previous releases have ever grabbed me particularly, but this one is truly stunning. I don’t really know how to describe this record beyond just telling everyone to go listen to it – from the opening seconds of the opening track, you’ll understand.”


How To Disappear Completely
Mer de Revs I + II
[Self Released]

“(Technically two albums but…) Several hours of blissful ambient music that feels like entering a second womb. It’s music intended for sleep but I can’t bear to do it that injustice – I can only listen to this with my full attention, which in itself is pretty rare for ambient music. These records have genuinely been a huge inspiration on my own creative approach in recent months.”


The World Is A Beautiful Place and I Am No Longer Afraid To Die
Always Foreign
[Epitaph Records]

“I didn’t love this album at first compared to this band’s previous releases, but repeated listens uncover a really beautiful record documenting the band’s history over the past couple of years, cast against the US election and its effect on the members’ personal lives. It’s a bold new direction for the band, both stylistically and thematically, but one that’s worth many spins.”


What have you been up to Andrew?
“It’s been an eventful year personally so I haven’t released a huge amount, but things are settling down and slowly beginning to take shape. I’m starting to explore more in the way of effects processing and ambient experimentation, which has really shaken up my own process and the way that I’m approaching things. Something releasable is starting to form…


You can find out more/buy Andrew Lang’s music here:
http://music.andrewlang.net/
http://facebook.com/andrewlangmusician


Best of 2017: Ondrej Zajac

Our next ‘best of 2017’ feature sees us welcome back Ondrej Zajac who has been pretty busy since his debut ‘Monolith’ on Whitelabrecs. We caught up with Ondrej who put together a beautiful best of list as well as providing insight into his selections and spending some time updating us on his recent activity and plans.


Andrea Belfi
Alveare
[IIKKI]

“I consider this Italian wonder to be one of the most important musicians active today. He has released two albums this year and it seems to me that in the delirium caused by his latest record Ore, everyone tends to forget his earlier record Alveare, which comes with a book as part of IIKKI project. It much more resembles his 2014 record Natura Morta, since it was recorded during the period of 9 years. I like to think of it as a kind of “best of” compilation. You can see so much of his musical development in this lovely piece of work…”


Raphael Vanoli
Bibrax
[Shhpuma]

“I noticed Raphael thanks to the Knalpot band and in his solo work, I found something I haven’t heard anywhere else. I followed him for few years now and in Bibrax, you can hear an album full of unusual beauty. Nothing sounds like guitar on this guitar album. His playing technique is unheard of and there is probably not a single other guitarist today who is willing to be so different in pursuit of his beliefs.”



Diatribes

Sistere
[Mappa]

“Diatribes are Cyril Bondi and d’incise. This record was released by an amazing label from my country: mappa. It requires patience but it can pull you into the ocean of rhythms, repetition, dissonance and silence, where you will definitely lose sense of time. They just played in Prague and I was unable to attend the gig, so I am constantly crying since then!”


Tante Elze
Hmota
[slnko records]

“This duo from Slovakia came under my radar while it was still just a one person project. You may consider them to be too mainstream but the truth is that they are successfully doing everything they can to be as honest as possible, which is something I admire above all. Hmota means matter. And this album is some serious objectification of pure and innocent ideas.”


The Necks
Unfold
[Ideologic Organ]

“David Kollar, Mt Accord, Theydon Boys, Gosheven, Julian Sartorius, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Knivtid, José Soberanes, Jenny Berger Myhre, Tittingur… so many records I would like to place here. But this spot goes to The Necks, since Unfold is proof that you can always explore something new and still sound fantastic. I also went to their gig this year and it was a transcendental experience.”


What have you been up to Ondrej?
“After being yes man for two years and after a second year of compilations, solo releases, curation of my micro-label métóre, compositions for gallery exhibition, collaboration with filmmakers and constant gigging, I’ve been learning to actually say “no” lately. While it is true that I am currently booking gigs for 2018, I would like to hide in some deep cave and get some rest. That being said, I am working with Nicola Fornasari on some new music and I don’t plan to work on anything else before this is finished. I am extremely grateful for this because I kind of adore Nicola and his Whitelabrec’s album with Diego Balconi blew my mind. I also have some other future collaborations planned so I will just work in my new slower pace and do my best to deliver some honest music.


You can find out more/buy Ondrej Zajac’s music here:
https://www.facebook.com/thisisondrej
https://ondrejzajac.bandcamp.com


Best of 2017: Teamforest

We’ve a special new feature to close the year out: we decided to ask some of our artists for their 5 favourite records of 2017 as well as have a general catch up.

First up, we caught up with Philipp Buckle, one half of The Restless Fields who kicked everything off on the label in our inaugural release. Philipp records as Teamforest and provides a selection of lo-fi electronica, drone and African music:


Amadou Binta Konté & Tidiane Thiam
Waande Kadde
[Sahel Sounds]

“Is this African blues? Whatever it is, it’s highly addictive and didn’t leave my record player for quite some time.”

 

 


The Remote Viewer
Us. In Happier Times
[Other Ideas]

“This isn’t exactly new but released now for the first time which is good enough for me. The liner notes say it’s a “musical panic room” and this is true. Known sounds but very consoling in cold times.”

 



Brannten Schnüre

Muschelsammlung
[Vrystaete]

“Christian Schoppik never lets you down. Weird German music.”

 

 

 


BJ Nilsen
Massif Trophies
[Editions Mego]

“Atmospheres and stuff. I really like it because it somehow bends reality.”

 

 

 


Jaap Vink
Jaap Vink
[Recollection GRM]

“Also released on Archival Recordings but so stunning that it could have very well been brand new.”

 

 

 


What have you been up to Philipp?
“Last year I have released two cassette albums “Abendlieder” on Awkward Formats, which are evening drones coming in a nice wooden box. Then there is “They Never Got The Message”, a split tape with Michael Potter on Null/Zone. John Kiran Fernandes from Olivia Tremor Control played clarinet and Antony Ryan from ISAN mastered my side. Caro Mikalef provided us with a one of a kind riso printed cover. This is probably one of my favourite releases ever so I constantly rant and brag.
The new year will bring us a new CD album on a Swedish label and finally the release of my “Paintings” album as a vinyl LP in March. I’ll make updates of more details when they are available. Also my short film “The Craftsman” seems to draw some festival attention. This is something I am especially excited about.”


You can find out more/buy Teamforest music here:
www.facebook.com/teamforest
www.teamforest.bandcamp.com


The Prairie Lines on Irregular Crates


Bill of The Prairie Lines spent some time putting together a mix of his favourite ever tracks for Irregular Crates‘ ‘Grounding Sounds‘ series to coincide with his Whitelabrecs release ‘Eyes Down Slowdown‘.

Bill’s show includes selections from the likes of Grouper, Nils Frahm, Tim Hecker, Labradford and William Basinski to name but a few. You can check out the mix by hitting play above, or you can click HERE to visit the dedicated page on Irregular Crates.

TRACKLISTING:

William Basinski – Disintegration Loops 3 (Excerpt) [2003]
Grouper – Dragging The Streets [2011]
Delia Derbyshire & Barry Bermange – Invention for Radio No.1: The Dreams (Exerpt) [2014]
Perfume Genius – Floating Spit [2012]
Nils Frahm – Them [2015]
Beat Happening – Run Down the Stairs [1985]
The Microphones – Tonight There’ll be Clouds [1999]
Julianna Barwick – Keep up the Good Work [2011]
Tim Hecker – Black Refraction [2013]
Colleen – The Happy Sea [2005]
Baths – Rain Smell [2010]
Labradford – Streamlining [1995]
Rachel’s – Water From the Same Source [2003]
How To Dress Well – Suicide Dream [2010]
Low – Breaker [2007]

Out Now! The Prairie Lines – Eyes Down Slowdown

Out now on Whitelabrecs, we’re pleased to announce the debut release by The Prairie Lines which is the new outlet for Bill Bawden, formerly known as Herzog. We’ve long been a follower of Bill’s work through his self-released/netlabel work as Herzog so we’re pleased to present this beautiful set of wintry Ambient/piano pieces. Eyes Down Slowdown features the familiarly beautiful artwork of Slovakian photographer Peter Nejedly and might be a record for those who enjoy work by Scissors and SellotapeHerzog (of course!) or Andrew Hargreaves.You can stream or purchase the album by clicking the player above.

This went to out to our mailing list last weekend and at time of writing, we’ve just got one copy left! To find out, you can click the link below or on the image above to listen. To avoid missing out on future releases, you can join our mailing list HERE

https://whitelabrecs.bandcamp.com/album/eyes-down-slowdown

press release
“South Londoner Bill Bawden has been releasing delicate ambient music since 2005 under various guises, most notably albums and EPs on Serein, 12Rec, Resting Bell, Audio Gourmet and Rural Colours under the name Herzog. On his first full-length release under his Prairie Lines moniker, Bill has continued to refine his sound, processing piano samples to bring out warm lo-fi textures and layers of static.
The prairie lines are wide open spaces and homely values. Pylons and cables stretching for miles. Lines of migration. Interrupted communications.

eyes down slowdown is a call to become more introspective, to temporarily reject the speed of life around you.
An invitation to a place of worship, stepping into a resonant holy chamber.. this is where we kneel. A secret home away from the buzzing city streets, but also a secret home inside yourself. The performance of a repetitive ritual in order to achieve some result. A bright melodic loop which gradually corrodes. A familiar sequence that gradually falls apart, an examination of what is necessary. A repetition to bring about
a trance-like state.. to see without seeing and hear without hearing. To touch hands from the sky.
A calm landing.., to descend to somewhere new… an open field and a gentle breeze.
To accept the familiar and unfamiliar as one, to be comfortable with life whatever it holds.
Stop haunting my door.. not a physical door but a way in. The ghost is not trying to gain access but preventing you or anyone close to you from gaining access. Smile but prepare. When you look inside yourself, what if you don’t like what you see, or it scares you?

credits
Catalog number WLR031
Written and produced by Bill Bawden
Mastered by Tim Diagram
Photography by Peter Nejedly