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

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 028: Ben McElroy

We’ve taken a pause from our schedule of CD albums due to our local post office closing, following the outbreak of Covid19. We launched a digital series called Home Diaries, in which we’ll release EPs and albums by an international line-up of artists, with the music created during lockdown and social distancing conditions.

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.

In this next Home Diaries release, we welcome back Ben McElroy, who provided 2016’s ‘Bird-stone‘. Nottingham, UK based Ben has gone on to have releases with Eilean RecUnknown Tone and our sister netlabel Audio Gourmet. His Home Diaries edition is a mini album of is signature Ambient Folk sound, woven together during the English lockdown, in which his girlfriend Lizzie and her pet dog moved in.

Each Home Diaries 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 additional photos provided by the artist as part of the PDF too. Click on the link below to check it out:

-LABEL LINK-
https://whitelabrecs.bandcamp.com/album/home-diaries-028

-ARTIST LINK-
https://benmcelroy.bandcamp.com/album/home-diaries-28-whitelabrecs

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 interview each artist and this is included as a bonus PDF with the download. You can also check out the Home Diaries series on Spotify if you prefer, which will be available to stream in due course.

We’re pleased to welcome back Ben McElroy, who contributed the album ‘Bird-stone’ to our catalog back in our inaugural year, 2016. Since then, Nottingham, UK’s Ben has gone onto have releases with Unknown Tone, Eilean Recs and our sister netlabel Audio Gourmet. Ben normally teaches and performs music as part of a theatre Ceilidh band and this has all been cancelled for the summer due to the pandemic.

Ben’s Home Diaries record is a mini-album of wistful pieces, in his typical hybrid Folk Ambient style. Warm traditional instrument performances are lightly affected with passages of Ambient drone, for this fleeting 20 minute session. It is a warm and hazy collection which reflects strongest in the bright sunshine, offering a truly idyllic listening environment for its listener.”

credits
Written and produced by Ben McElroy
Mastered by James Edward Armstrong
Artwork by Harry Towell

Out Now! Glåsbird – Norskfjǫrðr

For our next release we welcome back Glåsbird, an anonymous artist who debuted last year with two albums, both of which received plenty of critical acclaim. Both Grønland and Svalbarð sold out quickly, thanks in part to being picked up by Bandcamp’s ‘best Ambient’ feature and a few other trusty blogs, reviewers and radio shows. Norskfjǫrðr sees the sonic expedition continue, with the destination this time being the Norwegian fjords, again, accompanied by the landscape photography of Aldona Pivoriene. The album uses familiar hints of modern classical orchestration alongside creaks, clangs and acoustic instruments.

Norskfjǫrðr was released to subscribers of our mailing list last weekend, who had the first opportunity to grab one of these 200 CDs. They’ve been selling fast but we do still have copies available at the time of writing. You can also stream the album in full on Bandcamp as well as Spotify and of course, you can grab a digital version if you prefer, by clicking the player above or link below. To avoid missing out on future releases, you can join our mailing list HERE:

https://whitelabrecs.bandcamp.com/album/norskfj-r-r

press release
“Glåsbird’s anonymous and imaginary travels to far flung locations continues, with this next excursion landing at the Norwegian fjords. The first two releases dealt with the more treacherous locations of Greenland and Svalbard but in Norskfjǫrðr, the dramatic and breathtaking landscape is underpinned by a road network which connects islands, peninsulas and mountains. A human thread of highway runs through this wild and rugged setting, passing lonely wood cabins and flashes of green.

To reflect this landscape, Glåsbird imagined a journey north to the edge of the Arctic sea over several days, stopping to capture the intimate acoustics of painted wooden shacks and drawing in the landscape through tiny window panes. Whilst the previous releases use reverb-heavy strings or tape-decaying piano to reflect the cold, stark expanse of snow, Norskfjǫrðr makes use of more acoustic instruments with more emphasis on the raw sound. Various creaks and scrapes rustle underneath these melodies to reflect the sound from inside the cabin, micro-sound fragments being all the more audible due to the silent outdoors. A hint of folk is present at times in the form of bowed and plucked strings, to reflect the fauna and flora present across the West of Scandinavia. The familiar modern classical tones of piano and strings breathe a stark and chilling spine from time to time before the gently dramatic Endeligfjord marks the end of the journey, looking back out to the Barents sea.”

credits
Written and produced by Glåsbird
Mastered by James Edward Armstrong
Photography by Aldona Pivoriene
Packaging design by Harry Towell

Coming soon…Glåsbird – Norskfjǫrðr

For our next release we welcome back Glåsbird, an anonymous artist who debuted last year with two albums, both of which received plenty of critical acclaim. Both Grønland and Svalbarð sold out quickly, thanks in part to being picked up by Bandcamp’s ‘best Ambient’ feature and a few other trusty blogs, reviewers and radio shows. Norskfjǫrðr sees the sonic expedition continue, with the destination this time being the Norwegian fjords, again, accompanied by the landscape photography of Aldona Pivoriene. The album uses familiar hints of modern classical orchestration alongside creaks, clangs and acoustic instruments. The album will be released officially on Saturday the 14th of March but if you join our mailing list using the link below, we’ll make sure you’re the first to hear.

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 or you can click HERE

press release
“Glåsbird’s anonymous and imaginary travels to far flung locations continues, with this next excursion landing at the Norwegian fjords. The first two releases dealt with the more treacherous locations of Greenland and Svalbard but in Norskfjǫrðr, the dramatic and breathtaking landscape is underpinned by a road network which connects islands, peninsulas and mountains. A human thread of highway runs through this wild and rugged setting, passing lonely wood cabins and flashes of green.

To reflect this landscape, Glåsbird imagined a journey north to the edge of the Arctic sea over several days, stopping to capture the intimate acoustics of painted wooden shacks and drawing in the landscape through tiny window panes. Whilst the previous releases use reverb-heavy strings or tape-decaying piano to reflect the cold, stark expanse of snow, Norskfjǫrðr makes use of more acoustic instruments with more emphasis on the raw sound. Various creaks and scrapes rustle underneath these melodies to reflect the sound from inside the cabin, micro-sound fragments being all the more audible due to the silent outdoors. A hint of folk is present at times in the form of bowed and plucked strings, to reflect the fauna and flora present across the West of Scandinavia. The familiar modern classical tones of piano and strings breathe a stark and chilling spine from time to time before the gently dramatic Endeligfjord marks the end of the journey, looking back out to the Barents sea.”

credits
Written and produced by Glåsbird
Mastered by James Edward Armstrong
Photography by Aldona Pivoriene
Packaging design by Harry Towell

Out Now! Old Amica – Taiga

Our next highly limited edition gatefold vinyl-effect CD is by Stockholm/Umeå, Sweden artists Old Amica in what will be their 6th album and their 2nd instrumental. Taiga began as music to score a film but once that process had passed, this duo set about working their material along with new recordings into an album, centered around childhood memories. This one’s a thoroughly well detailed, well paced album which straddles Electro Acoustic, Post Rock, Ambient and Modern Classical. This will be available in 2019’s signature gatefold-LP style CD, in a run of 100 copies with packaging design arranged by the artists themselves. We’ll release this officially on or around the 29th of June 2019. Those who follow artists such as Helios, Library Tapes or Benoit Pioulard should enjoy this!

Taiga is available now after having been released to subscribers of our mailing list last weekend, who had the first opportunity to grab a copy. These have been going well but we still have a few left and you can buy one of these or grab a digital copy by clicking the link or image above. To avoid missing out on future releases, you can join our mailing list HERE

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

 

press release
“‘Taiga’ is the sixth release by Swedish duo Old Amica and their second wordless album. It began as music to accompany moving images in a short film they scored, but ended up as a collection of small fragments of childhood memories. The music for the short movie later got nominated as Best Music Score at The Annual Copenhagen Film Festival. Taiga is the endless highways, it’s the pulsating colours that blanket the starry sky, the disconnection, the icicle prisms, the midnight sun, the polar nights, and the background hiss. It was inspired by the words of Karin Boye, the voice of Carl Sagan, and the sounds of Popol Vuh.

The short film, which is called Place. Poetry. Periphery was the starting point with the first pieces of music having been written some 650km apart. Filmmaker Jonas Börjesson from Halmstad followed the process of six poets and their interpretations on the theme of place, poetry and periphery and he enlisted Old Amica’s Johan from Stockholm and Linus from Umeå to create the music. After having finished the score, these musicians continued recording and adding sounds together in a basement in Stockholm.

Taiga is now a work of art in its own right, whilst it still leans back towards its roots in the moving imagery which inspired it. This album ended up as a collection of small postcards of childhood memories, which is also depicted visually through the music video for Sävast and two teaser videos.”

credits
Written, recorded and mixed by Old Amica
Mastered by Gustaf Boström
Petter Lindhagen plays Harmonium on Till Juni
They borrowed Andrea Lundgren’s voice for Lagan
Artwork and design by J.M Almqvist

Out Now! Ben Rath – Any Given Moment

Something warmer just in time for Spring, we welcome back Ben Rath under his own name, after we released This Body Is Not Me under his Slow Heart Music alias. This will be available in a run of 100 copies as a gatefold LP style packaging design, featuring faded polaroid artwork by David Gonzalez Fuster. Any Given Moment is a warm and nostalgic blend of guitar performance and electro acoustic drones and like the artwork/physical packaging, this shades differently when played (held) against sunlight to when it is experienced on a dull or hazy day. We’ll release this on or around the 27th of April 2019. Those who follow artists such as Ben McElroy, Duane Pitre or Seaworthy might enjoy this one!

Any Given Moment is available now after having been released to subscribers of our mailing list last weekend, who had the first opportunity to grab a copy. These have been going well but we still have a few left and you can buy one of these or grab a digital copy by clicking the link or image above. To avoid missing out on future releases, you can join our mailing list HERE

https://whitelabrecs.bandcamp.com/album/any-given-moment

press release
“Our next release sees the return of Ben Rath, who released ‘This Body Is Not Me’ under his other alias Slow Heart Music back in 2017. The record was well received by many circles and featured in A Closer Listen’s top ten Ambient releases that year. Between this and a project under his own name, Manchester, UK based Rath has released on labels such as Eilean, Unknown Tone and Cathedral Transmissions.

Slow Heart Music focuses on Ben’s acoustic guitar playing whilst work under his own name is typically more Experimental and drone based. In ‘Any Given Moment’ we have an album that shows glimpses of plaintive guitar combined with Ambient drones to represent fleeting moments, memories and nostalgia. The combination is both restful and tinged with warmth, perfect for the Spring and the Summer months ahead.

The music on this album focuses on experimenting with the guitar as a sound source, both for processed and treated instrumental compositions and free improvisations. Ben wanted to take some of the more Folk inspired guitar instrumentals he has created as Slow Heart Music and incorporate them into more ambient soundscapes. He also had in mind a lighter, more uplifting sound after the darker, more meloncholy themes of Black Heart Music which was released on Eilean Recs. We’re informed that Ben is brining this phase of musical creation which began in 2014 to an end, so this record acts as his penultimate full album release, with the final part due to be released this year if all goes to plan.

Any Given Moment is presented in a limited edition run of 100 copies, including artwork provided by David Gonzalez Fuster, which is a set of vintage and Polaroid photos. The faded images that represent untold memories are placed against a bright orange credits panel, which brings a warmth and splash of colour as these stories are brought to life.”

credits
Written and produced by Ben Rath
Mastered by Tim Diagram
Artwork by David Gonzalez Fuster
Packaging design by Harry Towell

Coming soon…Ben Rath – Any Given Moment

Something warmer just in time for Spring, we welcome back Ben Rath under his own name, after we released This Body Is Not Me under his Slow Heart Music alias. This will be available in a run of 100 copies as a gatefold LP style packaging design, featuring faded polaroid artwork by David Gonzalez Fuster. Any Given Moment is a warm and nostalgic blend of guitar performance and electro acoustic drones and like the artwork/physical packaging, this shades differently when played (held) against sunlight to when it is experienced on a dull or hazy day. We’ll release this on or around the 27th of April 2019. Those who follow artists such as Ben McElroy, Duane Pitre or Seaworthy might enjoy this one!

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 or you can click HERE

press release
“Our next release sees the return of Ben Rath, who released ‘This Body Is Not Me’ under his other alias Slow Heart Music back in 2017. The record was well received by many circles and featured in A Closer Listen’s top ten Ambient releases that year. Between this and a project under his own name, Manchester, UK based Rath has released on labels such as Eilean, Unknown Tone and Cathedral Transmissions.

Slow Heart Music focuses on Ben’s acoustic guitar playing whilst work under his own name is typically more Experimental and drone based. In ‘Any Given Moment’ we have an album that shows glimpses of plaintive guitar combined with Ambient drones to represent fleeting moments, memories and nostalgia. The combination is both restful and tinged with warmth, perfect for the Spring and the Summer months ahead.

The music on this album focuses on experimenting with the guitar as a sound source, both for processed and treated instrumental compositions and free improvisations. Ben wanted to take some of the more Folk inspired guitar instrumentals he has created as Slow Heart Music and incorporate them into more ambient soundscapes. He also had in mind a lighter, more uplifting sound after the darker, more meloncholy themes of Black Heart Music which was released on Eilean Recs. We’re informed that Ben is brining this phase of musical creation which began in 2014 to an end, so this record acts as his penultimate full album release, with the final part due to be released this year if all goes to plan.

Any Given Moment is presented in a limited edition run of 100 copies, including artwork provided by David Gonzalez Fuster, which is a set of vintage and Polaroid photos. The faded images that represent untold memories are placed against a bright orange credits panel, which brings a warmth and splash of colour as these stories are brought to life.”

credits
Written and produced by Ben Rath
Mastered by Tim Diagram
Artwork by David Gonzalez Fuster
Packaging design by Harry Towell

Out Now! Ed Cooke – Little Fire

For our 45th limited edition release, which of course is a CDr presented to mimic a ’45’ vinyl record, we welcome aboard Ed Cooke. Ed has released previously with the likes of  Rural Colours, Audio Gourmet and Vent. ‘Little Fire‘ is a warm and exotic blend of guitar and percussion songs, a perfect reflection back over the summer months for those of us with seasons! For Ed, the record is a personal account of his family and work life between Thailand and Malaysia. For the rest of us, this not only serves as a window into this but also, as a sun-bleached transmission of far eastern climes. This one might appeal to those who enjoy Danny Paul Grody, Pullman or Padang Food Tigers.

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

https://whitelabrecs.bandcamp.com/album/little-fire

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
Ed Cooke is a Londoner currently living in Malaysia and Thailand, who has previous releases on Rural Colours, Vent Sounds and Audio Gourmet. Ed began home recording in the late 1990s, not long after days of performing in a few bands. Ed’s approach begins with experiments with different guitar tunings and a search for a hook or melody which usually contains more sonic elements in the mix. He doesn’t leave things there, once the backbone of a song is created as a lot happens in the production stage, with careful editing of fades and subtly woven Asian textures inspired by his current lifestyle.

We’re informed that Ed has a widespread selection of influences but he cites Bert Jansch, Scott Tuma, Padang Food Tigers and Six Organs of Admittance as primary drivers to his own experiments with guitar and electro acoustic music. ‘Little Fire’ was designed to be meditative and distant and the varying tunings and harmonics help the sound wash over you as you listen. The album is centered around melodic arpeggio hooks on both acoustic and electric guitar, alongside layers of slide guitar and feedback, not to mention Asian Folk rhythms and texture. Wind and percussion sounds were made using local bamboo instruments. The sound structures blend cultures, as the album draws from colourful Eastern and Western Folk sounds and places these against a warmth reminiscent of 70s Dub production.
Little Fire contains autobiographical moments recorded during the first 7 years of Ed’s eldest son’s life. These songs are Ed’s tribute to him and the inspiration he and the rest of the family give him. The track ‘Waiting For Water’ was named because it was recorded when his family’s home was nearly flooded during the Bangkok floods of 2011. His wife also sings vocals on the track ‘Worth’. Some pieces were recorded during a time when Ed had to live away from his family for career reasons. ‘Closer To The Equator’ was made in Southern Malaysia where he felt a long way from his home in Thailand. It is also a tribute to his much missed Thai father-in-law, who sadly passed away during post-production.

Whilst to us the listener the sounds could not possibly map out all of Ed’s journeys and experiences, the tone and presentation of the recordings give an exotic, well-travelled account, which is full of warmth to fuel our own imagination.

credits
Written and produced by Ed Cooke
Mastered by James Armstrong
Photography by Ed Cooke
Artwork by Harry Towell