Release Date: 14.01.2023
Format: Gatefold Vinyl
Catalog: WLR127

Genre: Electro-Acoustic, Modern Classical


Whitelabrecs label owner Harry Towell is perhaps best renowned for his long-standing Spheruleus project, with a discography listing releases on Lost Tribe Sound, Home Normal, Time Released Sound, Hibernate and Eilean, as well as his collaborations alongside Sven Laux, Guy Gelem, Ekca Liena and more. Harry returns to his own label, following 2021’s ‘Canvas Homes + Supplémentaires’ and EPs ‘Absent Frames’ and ‘Inaugurate’, in this special collaborative album called ‘Petrologist’s Lens’.

January is a month we usually reserve for a compilation album, such as our Sleeplaboratory series. This year Harry decided to invite 12 artists who had contributed more than 2 releases on Whitelabrecs to submit a short sketch or sample, and then he developed these into the tracks that make up this album. As with some of his more recent work, this album is created under his own name, but with ‘& friends’ added to credit the label artists and good friends which he has worked alongside.

The title ‘Petrologist’s Lens’ nods to the concept of this body of work, which is rooted in the ancient geological history of the earth. Harry studied the land history of the areas where his collaborators reside, to help form a title for each piece. Tracks are named after particular fragments of rock or sediments, land regions or fossils for example, and the compositions were developed in a way which mimics the layering of these. The layers tell a story, giving clues of how they came to be. Sonically, filigree details and eroded tape textures ride waves of modern classical orchestration, ambient drones and electronics.

The packaging for this release features cover artwork by Soraya Kornblum, an art student in Adrian Lane’s class, submitted to Whitelabrecs as part of a school project. Each of the 200 editions include a 16 page booklet with words provided by Neil McRoberts, who transcribed his thoughts after listening to the music and reflecting on the concept. Physical copies are split into two runs; a standard gold disc version and a special marble print deluxe edition.


Written and produced by Harry Towell

Additional production and inspiration provided by Adrian Lane, Andrew Heath, Blochemy, Edu Comelles, Glåsbird, Guy Gelem, James Edward Armstrong, Paweł Pruski, Phil Tomsett, Polaroid Notes, Simon McCorry, Sven Laux

Mastered by James Edward Armstrong

Cover Art by Soraya Kornblum

Booklet Notes by Neil McRoberts

Art and Design by Andrew Heath


Stationary Travels: "As a musician himself, Harry Towell (aka Spheruleus) is more than just a curator of Whitelabrecs – he both charts its creative direction and participates in it. Continuing the trend of rolling out a compilation album at the start of each year, for 2023 he invited a dozen artists that have two or more releases on the label to co-develop a track with him for Petrologist’s Lens. Towell is the petrologist referred to in the title and it is through his musical ‘lens’ that we are offered a unique way to experience geology of the land areas native to each artist by blending and layering sonic elements based on their unique characteristic."

Ambient Blog: "Besides being the tireless force behind the Whitelabrecs label, Harry Towell is also a musician himself: he has released over 20 albums as Speruleus – on many different labels such as Lost Tribe Sound, Home Normal, Time Released Sound, Hibernate and Eilean.

The combination of running a label and being a musician opens up a great possibility using his network: a collection of works created with his friends. All of them have previously released at least 2 releases on Towell’s label."

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