Whitelabrecs Best of 2020 List

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.

https://warp.net/releases/189049-bibio-sleep-on-the-wing


2nd:
Melody Gardot
Sunset In The Blue
Decca

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…

https://store.universalmusic.com/melodygardot/


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.”

https://laaps.bandcamp.com/album/we-were-the-hum-of-dreams


4th:
Loving
If I Am Only My Thoughts
Last Gang

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’.

https://loving.bandcamp.com/album/if-i-am-only-my-thoughts-2


5th:
Inventions
Continuous Portrait
Temporary Residence

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.

https://inventions.bandcamp.com/album/continuous-portrait


6th:
Mute Forest
Riderstorm
Lost Tribe Sound

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.

https://muteforest.bandcamp.com/album/riderstorm


7th:
Mathieu Karsenti
Bygones
Slowcraft

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!

https://slowcraft.bandcamp.com/album/bygones


8th:
Matthew Halsall
Salute To The Sun
Gondwana

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.

https://matthewhalsall.bandcamp.com/album/salute-to-the-sun


9th:
Less Bells
Mourning Jewelry
Kranky

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.

https://lessbells.bandcamp.com/album/mourning-jewelry


10th:
Roméo Poirier
Hotel Nota
Sferic

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.

https://sferic.bandcamp.com/album/hotel-nota


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.

https://intlanthem.bandcamp.com/album/to-cy-lee-instrumentals-vol-1


12th:
Soulstatejazz
Annwn
Banoffee Pies

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.

https://soulstatejazz.bandcamp.com/album/annwn


13th:
Tomotsugu Nakamura
Literature
Laaps

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.

https://tomotsugu.bandcamp.com/album/literature


14th:
Okkyung Lee
Yeo-Neun
Shelter Press

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.

https://shelterpress.bandcamp.com/album/yeo-neun


15th:
Sinerider
Moonflowers
Dronarivm

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.

https://dronarivm.bandcamp.com/album/moonflowers


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.

https://astrangelyisolatedplace.bandcamp.com/album/terrain


17th:
Morimoto Naoki
Dusk To Dawn
Lontano Series

“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.”

https://lontanoseries.bandcamp.com/album/dusk-to-dawn


18th:
Andrew Wasylyk
Fugitive Light and Themes of Consolation
Athens Of The North

.

https://andrewwasylyk.bandcamp.com/album/fugitive-light-and-themes-of-consolation


19th:
Mell-ø + Ambulo
Afloat Again
Chilled6Cow

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.

https://mellomusicnl.bandcamp.com/album/afloat-again-ep


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!”

https://footshooterbeats.bandcamp.com/album/libations-movement-dance-regular


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.

https://sessionvictim.bandcamp.com/album/needledrop


22nd:
Misha Panfilov Sound Combo
Days As Echoes
Funk Night Records

“.”

https://mpsc.bandcamp.com/album/days-as-echoes


23rd:
Leon Revol
Enter A Zircon
Church

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.

https://www.juno.co.uk/products/leon-revol-enter-a-zircon/773858-01/


24th:
Fabiano do Nascimento
Preludio
Now-Again

“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.”

https://fabianodonascimento.bandcamp.com/album/prel-dio-2


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?”

https://domeniquedumont.bandcamp.com/album/people-on-sunday

Home Diaries 001: Mi Cosa de Resistance

Two days after we released our most recent album ‘Disconnect‘ by S.hel, we were hit with the news from our local post office that they were closing until further notice due to the coronavirus outbreak with fears for staff and customer safety alike. We had already announced that we planned a short break from releasing CDs anyway, as we do not wish to make regular visits to the post office to put people at risks.

So now, we have to diversify a little in these times to help keep our bills paid until the point where we can hopefully release some of the wonderful albums we had lined up!

So we had the idea to launch ‘Home Diaries‘, an invitation to artists and musicians to create an album or EP to document their personal experience during the lockdown or social distancing conditions that are upon us, due to the outbreak of the virus. The series reflects a range of sounds, styles and ideas, as each artist portrays their own reflections uniquely. Each release is digital only for now, as we hope to raise what we can to help keep our label ticking over at this time. The releases feature a recurring polaroid image of a small lonely house, with a coloured filter chosen by the artist for each respective release.

Our first album is from Buenos Aires, Argentina based artist Fernando Perales, under his Mi Cosa de Resistance alias. His record is a fuzzy haze of melancholic drones, carved out on the morning of Sunday 29th of March from 8am. All of the pieces were created on that day, 12 days into the lockdown conditions imposed by the Argentinian government. Usually recording multiple tracks in a day can feel like a pressure to achieve something, with distractions often preventing success. But currently, time stands on end and this transcendence finds its way into these restful, labyrinthine recordings.

We have an exciting line-up to follow and each release will include bonus PDF liner notes, which has an interview with the artist on how they made the album, what their situation is like, what they have planned, their influences and what equipment/techniques they used.  There are also studio and artist profile images as part of the PDF too. Click on the link below to check it out:

https://whitelabrecs.bandcamp.com/album/home-diaries-001

press release
“Home Diaries is an invitation to artists and musicians to create an album or EP to document their personal experience during the lockdown or social distancing conditions that are upon us, due to the coronavirus outbreak. The series reflects a range of sounds, styles and ideas, as each artist portrays their own reflections uniquely. Each release is digital only for now, as we hope to raise what we can to help keep our label ticking over at this time. The releases feature a recurring polaroid image of a small lonely house, with a coloured filter chosen by the artist for each respective release. We also interview each artist and this is included as a bonus PDF with the download. You can also check out the Home Diaries series direct from the artist themselves or on Spotify if you prefer.

For our inaugural album in this collection, we begin in Buenos Aires, Argentina as we welcome Fernando Perales who records as Mi Cosa de Resistance. Fernando was a member of Argentinian experimental band Reynols during the 1990s but in recent years, he has released with labels such as Aural Tethers, Elm Records and Left Tapes.
His sound is achieved through sampling, reel to reel recording and other experimental techniques.

The Mi Cosa de Resistance Home Diary is a fuzzy haze of melancholic drones, carved out on the morning of Sunday 29th of March from 8am. All of the pieces were created on that day, 12 days into the lockdown conditions imposed by the Argentinian government. Usually recording multiple tracks in a day can feel like a pressure to achieve something, with distractions often preventing success. But currently, time stands on end and this transcendence finds its way into these restful, labyrinthine recordings.”

credits
Recorded in Le Silence Studios, Buenos Aires
Written and produced by Fernando Perales
Mastered by James Edward Armstrong
Artwork by Harry Towell

Out Now! James A. McDermid – Kern-Host

For the final release of 2018, James A. McDermid joins our catalog with the final album to a triptych which has seen records released on Polar Seas Recordings, KrysaliSound and now Whitelabrecs. Kern-Host is an album which represents closure, as James has spent the duration of production struggling to come to terms with his sister’s terminal illness and death. This album was created in Paris, as James spent days wandering the city alone and nights working on sound experiments in the evening. This album should appeal to fans of  Sea Trials, Janek Schaefer or Dino Spiluttini might enjoy.

This album was announced to our mailing list last weekend and there are but a few copies left at the time of writing. You can listen to the album in full by hitting play above or clicking the link below, where you can purchase a physical or digital version. To avoid missing out on our future releases, you can join our mailing list HERE

press release
James A. McDermid is a Bristol, UK based artist who has also spent some time in Portugal. He became inspired to write music under the name Like Kisses of Thread after discovering artists such as Philip Jeck, Janek Schaefer, Christian Marclay and Kaffe Matthews; a project which ran alongside the curation of his label Nastycandy, which even piqued the interest of a certain John Peel, who played a piece on his Radio 1 show. The label ceased operation in 2005 due to work commitments and the rigours of running the demands of a job and a label simultaneously.

James stopped writing and recording music in 2010; this was until the sudden tragedy of his sister Harriet being diagnosed as terminally ill threw his world upside down. Struggling to understand the gravity of it all – or know what to do to help – he turned to music once more. In fact, the music poured out of him to the extent that he decided to create a trilogy of albums all dedicated to the memory of Harriet. The initial record ‘Ghost Folk’, made up of 25 tracks, was released on Polar Seas in 2017 and earlier this year KrysaliSound released the follow-up, ‘Tonal Glints’. The triptych is now complete with the final piece which is ‘Kern-Host’. ‘Ghost Folk’ represents his sister’s diagnosis and worsening condition, ‘Tonal Glints’ represents her death and the immediate aftermath, while ‘Kern-Host’ embodies closure. In the three albums, James tried to focus on melody and structured each track around it. Not all of the tracks worked out this way but working through his grief seemed to lend itself to finding melodies.

‘Kern-Host’ began as James spent some time alone in Paris. He’d walk around the city during the day and then work on music at night in his hotel room. He’d sift and rework sounds he had captured at home; he has a piano, a couple of accordions, a violin, guitar and ukulele. Using his laptop, headphones and a tiny keyboard controller he is able to work in a location away from the environment that his sample library had been created and Paris became the backdrop to this project. The ten recordings, aptly titled in French, feel as if James has recorded a sonic diary of his time spent alone in Paris and the beautiful texture to these drones will help you feel a part of his solitary visit. The accompanying cover artwork is of arranged, dried flowers against a plain background. Of the trilogy, this is the first cover that is in colour to represent the themes of closure that are present in Kern-Host.

credits
“For my sister, Harriet (1975-2016)”
Written and produced by James A. McDermid
Written in Paris, Bristol and the Algarve
Mastered by Tim Diagram
Artwork by James A. McDermid
Thanks to: Inês; Harry; Brad; Francis; Paul; Tom; Susie; Al.

Coming soon…James A. McDermid – Kern-Host

For the final release of 2018, James A. McDermid joins our catalog with the final album to a triptych which has seen records released on Polar Seas Recordings, KrysaliSound and now Whitelabrecs. Kern-Host is an album which represents closure, as James has spent the duration of production struggling to come to terms with his sister’s terminal illness and death. This album was created in Paris, as James spent days wandering the city alone and nights working on sound experiments in the evening. This album should appeal to fans of  Sea Trials, Janek Schaefer or Dino Spiluttini might enjoy.

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
James A. McDermid is a Bristol, UK based artist who has also spent some time in Portugal. He became inspired to write music under the name Like Kisses of Thread after discovering artists such as Philip Jeck, Janek Schaefer, Christian Marclay and Kaffe Matthews; a project which ran alongside the curation of his label Nastycandy, which even piqued the interest of a certain John Peel, who played a piece on his Radio 1 show. The label ceased operation in 2005 due to work commitments and the rigours of running the demands of a job and a label simultaneously.

James stopped writing and recording music in 2010; this was until the sudden tragedy of his sister Harriet being diagnosed as terminally ill threw his world upside down. Struggling to understand the gravity of it all – or know what to do to help – he turned to music once more. In fact, the music poured out of him to the extent that he decided to create a trilogy of albums all dedicated to the memory of Harriet. The initial record ‘Ghost Folk’, made up of 25 tracks, was released on Polar Seas in 2017 and earlier this year KrysaliSound released the follow-up, ‘Tonal Glints’. The triptych is now complete with the final piece which is ‘Kern-Host’. ‘Ghost Folk’ represents his sister’s diagnosis and worsening condition, ‘Tonal Glints’ represents her death and the immediate aftermath, while ‘Kern-Host’ embodies closure. In the three albums, James tried to focus on melody and structured each track around it. Not all of the tracks worked out this way but working through his grief seemed to lend itself to finding melodies.

‘Kern-Host’ began as James spent some time alone in Paris. He’d walk around the city during the day and then work on music at night in his hotel room. He’d sift and rework sounds he had captured at home; he has a piano, a couple of accordions, a violin, guitar and ukulele. Using his laptop, headphones and a tiny keyboard controller he is able to work in a location away from the environment that his sample library had been created and Paris became the backdrop to this project. The ten recordings, aptly titled in French, feel as if James has recorded a sonic diary of his time spent alone in Paris and the beautiful texture to these drones will help you feel a part of his solitary visit. The accompanying cover artwork is of arranged, dried flowers against a plain background. Of the trilogy, this is the first cover that is in colour to represent the themes of closure that are present in Kern-Host.

credits
“For my sister, Harriet (1975-2016)”
Written and produced by James A. McDermid
Written in Paris, Bristol and the Algarve
Mastered by Tim Diagram
Artwork by James A. McDermid
Thanks to: Inês; Harry; Brad; Francis; Paul; Tom; Susie; Al.

Out Now! Masaya Kato – Contact

Next up, we’re pleased to welcome Yokohama, Japan based artist Masaya Kato who has previously released with Time Released Sound and Somehow RecordingsContact is an album which focuses on just two elements: subtle drones using Rhodes keys and magnetic noise using tape reel noise, 8mm film, vinyl and VHS noise. The album unfolds subconsciously over 8 movements, with a minimalist approach to production serving as a sleepy listen from start to finish. This might be one for those who enjoy work by Jan Jelinek, Sustainer’s ‘Taps’ or Masayoshi Fujita.

This album was announced to our mailing list last weekend and there are a few copies left at the time of writing. You can listen to the album in full by hitting play above or clicking the link below, where you can purchase a physical or digital version. To avoid missing out on our future releases, you can join our mailing list HERE

https://whitelabrecs.bandcamp.com/album/contact

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
Masaya Kato is an artist from Japan who has been active since 2011, with previous releases on Time Released Sound and Somehow Recordings. Masaya’s influences tend to be from poetry as well as video and performing arts.

Typically, his compositions will are born out of Fender Rhodes or Piano sketches along with additional sounds of magnetic noises. ‘Contact’ is an album which focuses on two elements: Fender Rhodes keys and layers of magnetic noise derived from tape reels, vinyl, 8mm film and VHS. Masaya has created a body of work that serves to relax, unrest and restore through passages of crackling, unassuming Rhodes drones.

The tone of Rhodes keys is typically an immediate rush of melody, instantly recognisable and usually used in soul, house and jazz genres for its deep tones. When used to create Ambient drones, the feint swells of decaying chords serve as the subtlest blend. Against the hiss, crackle and pop of the magnetic noise sounds, the minimalist melodic textures were created as Masaya has strived to extinguish his body into the empty air around him.
Contact is something that simply exists and seems to transcend time as if dozens of blank audio/visual recording mediums are combined, to reveal lulling caverns of light. If you’ve ever seen dust rise into a room when sunlight appears through partially open curtains, or puddles of water rippling in the rain, you’ll already know how this feels.

credits
Written, produced and mastered by Masaya Kato
Artwork by Peter Nejedly

Coming soon…Masaya Kato – Contact

Next up, we’re pleased to welcome Yokohama, Japan based artist Masaya Kato who has previously released with Time Released Sound and Somehow RecordingsContact is an album which focuses on just two elements: subtle drones using Rhodes keys and magnetic noise using tape reel noise, 8mm film, vinyl and VHS noise. The album unfolds subconsciously over 8 movements, with a minimalist approach to production serving as a sleepy listen from start to finish. This might be one for those who enjoy work by Jan Jelinek, Sustainer’s ‘Taps’ or Masayoshi Fujita.

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
Masaya Kato is an artist from Japan who has been active since 2011, with previous releases on Time Released Sound and Somehow Recordings. Masaya’s influences tend to be from poetry as well as video and performing arts.

Typically, his compositions will are born out of Fender Rhodes or Piano sketches along with additional sounds of magnetic noises. ‘Contact’ is an album which focuses on two elements: Fender Rhodes keys and layers of magnetic noise derived from tape reels, vinyl, 8mm film and VHS. Masaya has created a body of work that serves to relax, unrest and restore through passages of crackling, unassuming Rhodes drones.

The tone of Rhodes keys is typically an immediate rush of melody, instantly recognisable and usually used in soul, house and jazz genres for its deep tones. When used to create Ambient drones, the feint swells of decaying chords serve as the subtlest blend. Against the hiss, crackle and pop of the magnetic noise sounds, the minimalist melodic textures were created as Masaya has strived to extinguish his body into the empty air around him.
Contact is something that simply exists and seems to transcend time as if dozens of blank audio/visual recording mediums are combined, to reveal lulling caverns of light. If you’ve ever seen dust rise into a room when sunlight appears through partially open curtains, or puddles of water rippling in the rain, you’ll already know how this feels.

credits
Written, produced and mastered by Masaya Kato
Artwork by Peter Nejedly