Out Now! Paper Relics – Emersion

We’re pleased to reveal that just over 3 years since ‘The Road Home’, the Paper Relics are back with a new EP named ‘Emersion‘. This project is a collaboration between our label owner Harry Towell and his brother Stuart. Their sound sits somewhere between post rock and ambient, with hints of folk.

Emersion‘ is out now in a run of 50 cassette tapes along with the usual digital formats if you prefer. The tape features cover photography captured by Stuart in a recent trip to the Scottish Highlands and right at the end of each side of the tape is a short bonus ‘loop’. You can also see additional photography captured by Stuart in the gallery below.

Whitelabrecs low-run releases are likely to sell out fast. 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
“Paper Relics is a collaboration between Whitelabrecs owner Harry Towell and his brother Stuart. They began recording together back in 2010 at their family home, with an EP on the Audio Gourmet netlabel which was followed by debut album ‘Over Exposure’ on Time Released Sound. I’m 2018 they created ‘The Road Home’ for Whitelabrecs, a record in which Sven Laux also had a hand.

The Paper Relics sound takes Stuart’s guitar and bass performances as the focal point of the compositions, with Harry’s background in creating Ambient and electro acoustic music adding further detail and texture. Each of their infrequent records has an evolving character, as equipment and techniques get updated and their lives change. Over Exposure was a record about photography, reflecting upon faded old family polaroids of life on the farm that their father grew up on. The Road Home moved into a richer more detailed sound palette, themed around the brothers’ new homes.

‘Emersion’ is a four track EP which is the first item in their discography, in which they did not physically sit down to record together. It was created through file-exchanges during lockdown, as glimpses of a life beyond the grip of the pandemic became in sight. As cautious plans were being made and a strange sense of freedom emerging, they reflected on the time-warping effects of their endless days spent indoors throughout the pandemic. They opted for a lo-fi retro sound, which sets out a dusty, degraded aesthetic across the recordings. Reel-to-feel tape decay, radio distortion, vinyl crackle and VHS hiss give a vintage charm to these reflective songs. There is a palpable melancholy which disguises the key message of optimism, with this EP being released on the 19th of July, a day being dubbed ‘freedom day’ in the UK. ‘Emersion’ is a brief space for reflection, in which the dust can settle.

After the album had been finalised, Stuart took a short break in the Scottish Highlands and he captured a series of photographs whilst hiking in the landscape. The EP cover artwork is one of these images, overlooking Loch Ness from a misty vantage point. We’ve created a short run of cassette tapes to tie in with the retro, lo-fi theme and the tape itself is neon yellow; a flash of colour as a stamp optimism.

credits
Written and produced by Harry & Stuart Towell
Mastered by James Edward Armstrong
Photography by Stuart Towell

Stuart Towell: Guitar, Bass
Harry Towell: Baritone Ukulele, Harmonica, Violin, Mandola, Voice, field recordings, electronics, MIDI keyboard and programming

Coming soon… Paper Relics – Emersion

 

We’re pleased to reveal that just over 3 years since ‘The Road Home’, the Paper Relics are back with a new EP named ‘Emersion‘. This project is a collaboration between our label owner Harry Towell and his brother Stuart. Their sound sits somewhere between post rock and ambient, with hints of folk.

Emersion‘ will be released in a run of 50 cassette tapes along with the usual digital formats if you prefer. The tape features cover photography captured by Stuart in a recent trip to the Scottish Highlands and right at the end of each side of the tape is a short bonus ‘loop’.

Emersion will be released on Monday the 19th of July with no pre-order. If you join our mailing list using the link below, we’ll make sure you’re the first to hear.

press release
“Paper Relics is a collaboration between Whitelabrecs owner Harry Towell and his brother Stuart. They began recording together back in 2010 at their family home, with an EP on the Audio Gourmet netlabel which was followed by debut album ‘Over Exposure’ on Time Released Sound. I’m 2018 they created ‘The Road Home’ for Whitelabrecs, a record in which Sven Laux also had a hand.

The Paper Relics sound takes Stuart’s guitar and bass performances as the focal point of the compositions, with Harry’s background in creating Ambient and electro acoustic music adding further detail and texture. Each of their infrequent records has an evolving character, as equipment and techniques get updated and their lives change. Over Exposure was a record about photography, reflecting upon faded old family polaroids of life on the farm that their father grew up on. The Road Home moved into a richer more detailed sound palette, themed around the brothers’ new homes.

‘Emersion’ is a four track EP which is the first item in their discography, in which they did not physically sit down to record together. It was created through file-exchanges during lockdown, as glimpses of a life beyond the grip of the pandemic became in sight. As cautious plans were being made and a strange sense of freedom emerging, they reflected on the time-warping effects of their endless days spent indoors throughout the pandemic. They opted for a lo-fi retro sound, which sets out a dusty, degraded aesthetic across the recordings. Reel-to-feel tape decay, radio distortion, vinyl crackle and VHS hiss give a vintage charm to these reflective songs. There is a palpable melancholy which disguises the key message of optimism, with this EP being released on the 19th of July, a day being dubbed ‘freedom day’ in the UK. ‘Emersion’ is a brief space for reflection, in which the dust can settle.

After the album had been finalised, Stuart took a short break in the Scottish Highlands and he captured a series of photographs whilst hiking in the landscape. The EP cover artwork is one of these images, overlooking Loch Ness from a misty vantage point. We’ve created a short run of cassette tapes to tie in with the retro, lo-fi theme and the tape itself is neon yellow; a flash of colour as a stamp optimism.

credits
Written and produced by Harry & Stuart Towell
Mastered by James Edward Armstrong
Photography by Stuart Towell

Stuart Towell: Guitar, Bass
Harry Towell: Baritone Ukulele, Harmonica, Violin, Mandola, Voice, field recordings, electronics, MIDI keyboard and programming

[whitelabtapes] – wlr-t02 – [mixed by Andrew Sherwell]

Last year we made a small batch of 20 mixtapes available after a disagreement between my wife and I, as she didn’t think people still had tape players. I decided to prove her wrong and put together a special anonymous mix solely using Whitelabrecs material and the tapes sold out in hours.

I’m not sure why, but we haven’t made any more and I’d love this to become a series that anyone can get involved in – over the last few weeks I’ve been in touch with Andrew Sherwell who released ‘Orthodox Tales’ with us earlier this year and he’s kindly assembled the wlt-02!
Many record labels create compilation samplers of material but for our version of this, we decided that mixtapes would be a fun format to introduce people to the label, similar to how vinyl DJ mixes might have been home-taped back in the 1990s.

Andrew’s mix traverses two different paths over sides A and B,
with a dark opening to A unfolding to lighter, dreamy moments with the accompanying micro sounds of overlapping field recordings. Side B is more of the same, yet with added warmth. As always, the tracklist is anonymous as these tapes are intended to be works of art in their own right, rather than a compilation tape.

There are so many amazing releases on Whitelabrecs. 
I should imagine that it would be quite a daunting exercise, a label specific mix. Where to start? What tracks to choose? Or harder still, what tracks to leave out? Impossible.
Luckily for me, when Harry suggested the idea, I already had a head start. I was already working on a mix which contained quite a few Whitelabrecs tracks. It was a mix to accompany my habitual dusk-time walk along a wild and deserted estuary foreshore, next to which my elderly parents live. A few blustery moments in which to forget the pressing effects of the passing of time, to stop worrying about what is surely hurrying towards us, and to just be……present.
With quite a tricky limit of just under 23 minutes a side, I edited the mix down, keeping the Whitelabrecs tracks already there in place, adding others that suited the mood. Soon the two sides developed their own personalities. Side One: the walk from the house to the rock from which to watch the sun sink slowly into the mouth of the estuary. Side Two: the walk back to the house in the gathering gloom.
Recorded digitally within Ableton (my laptop is all I had with me.) Some tracks are edited, some have additional processing, some suffered both. Thanks to Harry for the invite and to all Whitelabrecs’ amazing artists. Apologies to those artists whose work I have mangled.
For my parents.-ANDREW SHERWELL

The cover artwork printed on the packaging was taken during a huge thunderstorm at the end of an extended period without rain.

Released August 17, 2018
Mixed by Andrew Sherwell
Artwork by Harry Towell

You can visit the dedicated page on the Whitelabrecs Bandcamp site where an order can be placed by clicking below or HERE

[whitelabtapes] – wlr-t01

For a good while, we’ve been meaning to put together a sampler mix to showcase some work from select releases in our catalog. Ever since recent studio experiments with tapeloops, we’ve taken an interest in the cassette format again and decided that our sampler would literally take the format of a mixtape, similar to how bootleg vinyl mixes might have been home-taped back in the 1990s.

The mix is a ‘guess-who’ of material from our discography, blending tracks harmonically into 22 minutes and 50 seconds each side of the tape. The mix is available digitally if you’ve sold your cassette player on a car boot sale but for anyone who still have a machine, the added hiss will surely add to your listening experience.

The cover artwork printed on the packaging was taken in a field a couple of hundred yards away from our home, on a warm summers day.
Our tape supplier has many colour options so these will change as this infrequent sub-series continues but naturally, we plumped for white in this inaugural edition.

released August 29, 2017
Mixed by Harry Towell
Artwork by Harry Towell

You can visit the dedicated page on the Whitelabrecs Bandcamp site where an order can be placed by clicking below or HERE


https://whitelabrecs.bandcamp.com/album/wlr-t01

Coming soon…Sea Trials – Sea Trials

We’re back from a holiday by the sea and raring to go with more limited edition releases. So fittingly, we welcome Sea Trials, an artist from Hungary (originally Cork, Ireland) called Ian W. McCarthy. This one’s a fascinating record using the decaying, dilapidated sounds of dying loops from cassette tapes that had been left out in the rain, submerged in salt-water and even burnt. This record certainly has its refreshing Ambient moments as old fragments of music float to the surface but this is experimental in nature as the synths and instrument sounds glean occasionally on a bed of noise and murk. This should appeal to those who enjoy sounds by Maps and Diagrams (or his work as Atlantis), Billy Gomberg or Skjølbrot. You can listen to a preview of the album by using the Soundcloud player below or keep a check on our Facebook page to preview the packaging when we share it.

Whitelabrecs low-run releases will be made available suddenly without official release dates, meaning they’re likely to sell out fast. The best way to keep informed is to join our mailing list which can be located through our website menu.

press release
“The self-titled Sea Trials album is the debut from Irish born, Hungary based artist Ian McCarthy who has previously released in the Techno field under monikers Romart and Wilhelm on labels such as Flux Recordings, Nice Try Records and I Had An Accident Records. Sea Trials was spawned in 2015 as the foundations for Ian’s idea began with him creating a pool of material to draw from as he planned a number of recordings and we’re pleased to present his eponymous debut album to serve as the perfect introduction to this sound.

The 9 tracks were created from source material recorded to old or damaged cassette tapes which were treated by either being left outside exposed to the elements, by being burnt or submerged in salt-water for long periods. Inevitably, the deterioration of sound and medium became a crucial part of the process and became the concept: decay and rebirth.
Ian found himself unexpectedly longing for the sea as he was land-locked in North Eastern Hungary and so maritime references are aplenty along with a sweeping nostalgia that creates feelings of loss and longing.

Originally, Ian had set out to create almost orchestral styled pieces by using various instruments and synthesisers as his starting point for loops however, the methods of tape erosion played a part in warping this sound into dilapidated memories of the original works which occasionally resurface and reimagine as sections are spared the decay of the sea bed. Other sections of the source material did not survive the process so well and somewhere on this record, you will hear a tape machine dying an uncomfortable death.”

Catalog number WLR024
Written, produced and mastered by Ian W. McCarthy
Photo by Ian W. McCarthy
Artwork by Harry Towell