Out Now! Paper Relics – The Road Home

This morning we announce a release we’ve been working on for quite some time and we’re pleased to increase the run count to 100 copies rather than the usual 50. This is because we have two editions – our usual white label vinyl effect CDrs as well as a special printed gatefold LP effect CDr which we’ve pushed the boat out for.

The Road Home‘ is an album from Paper Relics (brothers Harry Towell (Spheruleus) and Stuart Towell). The record centres around Stuart’s electric guitar and is joined by Harry’s electronics, acoustic guitar, zither, violin, voice, tapeloops, samples and field recordings. It’s also had some additional strings and production from Berlin’s Sven Laux.

This one should appeal to fans of The Frozen Vaults, Gentleman Losers or Mute Forest

You can listen to a preview of the album by using the Soundcloud player below or grab one of the remaining copies or a digital version by clicking the bandcamp player or link below.

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

https://whitelabrecs.bandcamp.com/album/the-road-home


press release

“Paper Relics are brothers Harry and Stuart Towell who reside 16.1 miles apart. Their debut album was released back in the summer of 2011 on American imprint Time Released Sound, entitled ‘Over Exposure’. This was a record steeped in the past as they used lo-fi blues and folk guitar Ambience to reflect over childhood memories spent on a farm on which their grandparents live. The farm was set to become a housing development so the memories became all the more cherished through the recordings and accompanying artwork.

Now nearly 7 years on, the brothers’ follow-up record ‘The Road Home’ traces the journey from that very point of reflecting on childhood memories as young adults circa 2010/11, to now. The title might read to some as a return home, a struggle back to a family abode however, this record deals with the trials, triumphs and time in between, having both set out to forge their own paths to become homeowners with their respective wives. When they began recording, the brothers lived in the same home with their parents, each with a new relationship and a stuttering career. Yet whilst The Road Home tells the story of the last 7 years reflecting on what is now already history – it is an album firmly about the present as they enjoy the foundation for their futures, clinging onto what they’ve worked hard to achieve. The lyrics in ‘Timeframing’ are about freezing these moments and the dozens of clocks you can hear ticking at the beginning can also be heard in ‘Tinted by Time’ on Over Exposure. Harry revisited the same antique shop where these were originally captured to see if they were still there and was able to re-record them once more. This recording plays briefly as the track opens to focus your thoughts on time once more.

Opening track ‘Stoke’s Hall’ was something Stuart penned and recorded the night before Harry’s wedding and the title reflects the name of the venue. Likewise, Wyke’s Retreat harks back to Stuart’s wedding from the summer of 2017. Over Exposure was creaking with rustic charm, whereas The Road Home sees a more structured approach to production. There is more variety, as some pieces drone gloriously in an elegant daze, others are more alive as the subtle power of Stuart’s guitar takes centre stage. Then this time around Harry has provided vocals in ‘Timeframing’ and ‘Frost’ as well as building a couple of tracks that use drumloops and percussion, recalling some of his downtempo work as Spheruleus. To give one final twist to the presentation, Harry and Stuart enlisted the assistance of Berlin artist Sven Laux, who provided additional orchestration and sound mixing.

Paper Relics albums are never likely to be released on a regular basis due to the busy lifestyles the brothers lead, so we felt our usual run of 50 copies wouldn’t be enough to do this album justice. So The Road Home is available in two runs of 50 copies; our familiar ‘white label vinyl-effect CDr’ as well as a special printed CDr edition that looks just like a mini gatefold LP.”

credits
Catalog number WLR037

Paper Relics are Harry and Stuart Towell
Tracks were written, produced and recorded by Harry and Stuart Towell with additional sound mixing and orchestration by Sven Laux

Stuart Towell: Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, eBow, Bass
Harry Towell: Acoustic Guitar, Voice, Violin, Harmonica, Zither, Electronics, Sampling, Field Recordings, Tapeloop

Mastered by James Armstrong
Artwork by Harry Towell

Coming soon…Paper Relics – The Road Home

Next on Whitelabrecs, we’re set to increase the run count to 100 copies for the second time in our history, as we welcome brothers Harry and Stuart Towell to our catalog, as Paper Relics. Their last release emerged some 7 years ago on Time Released Sound, a set of lo-fi rustic folk/blues recordings. This time round, they’ve spent more time honing their craft, along with help from Sven Laux in a record that charts their personal progress since their debut album.

This one draws in many sub-genres from Post Rock, Shoegaze and Ambient to Neo Classical, Blues and some Folk and it may perhaps appeal to those who enjoy Mute Forest, Gentleman Losers or The Frozen Vaults. It will be made available in the Whitelabrecs store in two different versions – our classic white label vinyl-effect style CDrs as well as a deluxe printed version which imitates a gatefold vinyl LP.

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
“Paper Relics are brothers Harry and Stuart Towell who reside 16.1 miles apart. Their debut album was released back in the summer of 2011 on American imprint Time Released Sound, entitled ‘Over Exposure’. This was a record steeped in the past as they used lo-fi blues and folk guitar Ambience to reflect over childhood memories spent on a farm on which their grandparents live. The farm was set to become a housing development so the memories became all the more cherished through the recordings and accompanying artwork.

Now nearly 7 years on, the brothers’ follow-up record ‘The Road Home’ traces the journey from that very point of reflecting on childhood memories as young adults circa 2010/11, to now. The title might read to some as a return home, a struggle back to a family abode however, this record deals with the trials, triumphs and time in between, having both set out to forge their own paths to become homeowners with their respective wives. When they began recording, the brothers lived in the same home with their parents, each with a new relationship and a stuttering career. Yet whilst The Road Home tells the story of the last 7 years reflecting on what is now already history – it is an album firmly about the present as they enjoy the foundation for their futures, clinging onto what they’ve worked hard to achieve. The lyrics in ‘Timeframing’ are about freezing these moments and the dozens of clocks you can hear ticking at the beginning can also be heard in ‘Tinted by Time’ on Over Exposure. Harry revisited the same antique shop where these were originally captured to see if they were still there and was able to re-record them once more. This recording plays briefly as the track opens to focus your thoughts on time once more.

Opening track ‘Stoke’s Hall’ was something Stuart penned and recorded the night before Harry’s wedding and the title reflects the name of the venue. Likewise, Wyke’s Retreat harks back to Stuart’s wedding from the summer of 2017. Over Exposure was creaking with rustic charm, whereas The Road Home sees a more structured approach to production. There is more variety, as some pieces drone gloriously in an elegant daze, others are more alive as the subtle power of Stuart’s guitar takes centre stage. Then this time around Harry has provided vocals in ‘Timeframing’ and ‘Frost’ as well as building a couple of tracks that use drumloops and percussion, recalling some of his downtempo work as Spheruleus. To give one final twist to the presentation, Harry and Stuart enlisted the assistance of Berlin artist Sven Laux, who provided additional orchestration and sound mixing.

Paper Relics albums are never likely to be released on a regular basis due to the busy lifestyles the brothers lead, so we felt our usual run of 50 copies wouldn’t be enough to do this album justice. So The Road Home is available in two runs of 50 copies; our familiar ‘white label vinyl-effect CDr’ as well as a special printed CDr edition that looks just like a mini gatefold LP.”

credits
Paper Relics are Harry and Stuart Towell
Tracks were written, produced and recorded by Harry and Stuart Towell with additional sound mixing and orchestration by Sven Laux

Stuart Towell: Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, eBow, Bass
Harry Towell: Acoustic Guitar, Voice, Violin, Harmonica, Zither, Electronics, Sampling, Field Recordings, Tapeloop

Artwork by Harry Towell

Introducing: Paper Relics

We tend to keep news of emerging releases on Whitelabrecs a secret until 1-2 weeks before it goes live. However, we’ve got some news that’s burning a hole in our pocket… the return of Paper Relics, a project featuring brothers Harry and Stuart Towell. They released their debut album ‘Over Exposure‘ on American label Time Released Sound some 7 years ago and it’s apt that they return to their homeland in their follow-up, on Harry’s own Whitelabrecs.

If you’re unfamiliar with Paper Relics, then here’s a track from Over Exposure:

Although it must be said, their new work has evolved somewhat as their recording methods and techniques have developed over the years. There are many exciting details, including two versions, a special guest and an increased run of copies but for now, we just wanted to get the announcement out there! And what better time to do so than on Stuart’s birthday?

For now, if you’ve a spare moment you can check out Over Exposure at the following link which includes remixes from Pleq, Listening Mirror and Byron Felthttps://audiogourmet.bandcamp.com/album/over-exposure

Artist profile image by Ruth Towell: www.ruthtowell.co.uk

Drifting, Almost Falling Interview

Harry Towell our label curator was fired a few questions by the Drifting, Almost Falling blog this month, focusing on all things Whitelabrecs. It’s been a while since we’ve done an interview so it’s always nice to check in, talk about how things have been going lately and maybe hint at the odd plan for the future.

You can listen read the interview on the Drifting, Almost Falling site by clicking HERE and perhaps read some of the other articles and musical recommendations whilst you’re at it?

Alternatively, the full interview is included below…

DAF: You record under the Spheruleus name (as well as Magnofon) and run the Tesselate, Audio Gourmet and Warehouse Decay labels while also writing for the Irregular Crates Blog. What was the impetus in starting another label? Are you a workaholic? Are Tesselate and Warehouse Decay still active?

HTI am indeed a workaholic. I have no idea how I find the time. But then I don’t truly see music as work so it’s not hard. With all the labels and pseudonyms, I guess like many artists, I have a habit of starting something new! Some creators end things by closing doors neatly behind them when they intend to open a new one. Others, like me, tend to leave doors open and chop and change between projects. Audio Gourmet for instance could have stopped a couple of years back when I was working more on Tesselate and Warehouse Decay, but I am glad I left the door ajar , as this year I’ve been putting out free EP’s again and really enjoyed it, with some great support.

Currently Warehouse Decay is inactive and I’ve no immediate plans to get it going again. I’ve always loved House music and wanted to be a part of the scene and use my experience running Ambient labels to make a go of it. Unfortunately it proved a tough nut to crack and apart from a few friends who supported it loyally, I felt pretty alone. It’s interesting that Ambient music fans, artists, labels etc have all taken different paths to stumble on the genre, many from Post Rock, Metal or IDM, many from the New Age or ethnic Ambient genres too. It seems that Deep House is not such a conventional route and so I didn’t have as many interested contacts or a connected audience.

Tessellate is not fully closed, despite being inactive of late. I always feel it could be another window if I felt like splashing the cash on some more luxurious packaging but the trouble is the risk as to whether I’d make enough back to justify a bigger release.

I launched Whitelabrecs after an idea which was the blueprint for the packaging and I recalled how well Under The Spire did as a label when starting out, when they released things in simple rubber stamped cardboard packages. I had also recently been reunited with my record collection and was feeling very nostalgic about the days when I’d visit local record stores, purchasing white label vinyl as I got to grips with DJing. Often records would have nothing other than a sticker or rubber stamp, sometimes even just an etching on the black plastic space near the label. So I did the usual, set up a website, a Bandcamp page and started asking around to see if anyone would want to release on this new label of mine. Thankfully there was a lot of interest and here we are today!

DAF: How important is the visual identity to the label? Compared to the Tesselate releases, Whitelabrec’s releases have the hand-made aesthetic. Was it important for the label to have an aesthetic to encompass a concept?

HTFor Whitelabrecs this has become crucially important – it was the idea behind the label and I’ll keep it going for as long as I can. I think this is also why I slowed down with Tessellate, as the packaging is different for pretty much every release and the label never truly found an identity. When the idea struck for Whitelabrecs, I truly connected with it and wanted this to be the plan for all releases on the label. I knew there’d be the odd detour but for general releases, I decided that it was very important to follow the pattern this time so I could build an identity.

DAF: Is the label genre bound or do the releases float over various genres?

HT: The label isn’t genre-bound as it will be rooted in my own music taste which is incredibly varied. So far releases have been generally within the modern Ambient scene, perhaps encompassing most of the sub-genres from floatier drone stuff, to glitch electronics and onto Modern Classical, Folk and even Jazz. This has generally gone down well with listeners. I’m open to pushing the boundaries in the future and taking one or two detours so watch this space! But generally, I’m looking at releasing introspective, thought-provoking music and can’t see that changing. In other words, I’m not likely to rekindle my failed dreams from Warehouse Decay by releasing dancefloor-ready Tech House!

DAF: A glance at the catalog reveals a mixture of familiar names with those that are new (or side projects). How important is it to you to expose people to new artists? Does this become a factor when deciding what to release?

HTI have always worked with both newer names to the scene and more established artists and in the Whitelabrecs catalog there is a blend. I don’t dwell too much on whether an artist has released before, how successful their other work was or how many Instagram followers they have. We’ve only got 50 copies to make and sell, of which the artist gets 10. So I only have to worry about those 40 copies and they tend to shift regardless of how well established an artist is. Sure, it certainly helps to have some familiar names –releases by Tsone, Steve Pacheco and Guy Gelem took little in the way of a push! I’m also delighted to give some other artists their first taste of releasing a physical album however, such as Sea Trials, Ludmila and Ben McElroy. I remember how exciting this felt when I first held a copy of ‘Frozen Quarters’ which I released as Spheruleus on Under The Spire.

Looking at the future of the label there are no plans to just attract well-known artists now it’s a bit more established. We have demos queued up until WLR043 and in that queue we’ve got some well-known artists as well as new comers so the blend will continue.

DAF: You’ve recently done a cassette release and the 20 cdr box set. What other plans do you have for the future? Do you plan quite far in advance?

HTThere’ll likely be another box set for those that don’t mind waiting a year or two to play catch up. I did this so that there’s a way for people new to the label to not miss out completely and also, because I was getting asked about out of print releases. I’ve always said I wouldn’t reissue anything individually, but since box set orders are always likely to be low due to the price tag, I took the decision to do this just so there is a way for new collectors to join in the fun.
I enjoyed making the mix tape too and was surprised at the level of interest having never worked with this format before. I’ll certainly be doing more mix tape releases in the future and perhaps get into the local fields and continue the photography theme for the artwork.

There are no other clear ideas just yet as I’m currently just getting my head down and working my way through the discography queue. I think another compilation could be in order at some point but there’s no overall rush on that. There will be new ideas though – with both the box set and the tape, the ideas struck me suddenly and it doesn’t take me long to pull it all together once ideas such as these set in.

With schedule, I’ll take in demos and add them to the back of the queue once approved. I’ll leave them until I get nearer – perhaps drop in with the artist and have a chat now and again. Some artists are very keen and understandably so, so we organise things well in advance so everything’s ready. Other artists are happy to leave it until the few weeks in the run up to the release and wait for me to get back in touch.

There is a lot to do for each release but we’ve followed a similar formula since the beginning, so I’m quite used to it now, 28 releases in – so the work isn’t too daunting. I guess burning the CDs is the most time-consuming thing but that gives me a chance to work on other things, listen to music and relax bit too.