new mix show! vervine002

We were very encouraged to see the number of people tuning into the first Vervine show, which we launched last month as an occasional radio show series, presented by our label owner Harry Towell. These shows will cover the full extent of his wide reaching musical taste. Harry’s been spurred on by the positive feedback and has recorded another show, complete with voiceovers between each selection.

This second show picks up where the first left off, with styles covered including Ambient, Electro Acoustic, Jazz, Modern Classical, World and Downtempo electronica. Again, the styles switch about in no clear order, but hopefully the flow nicely together as a show for you to sink into. Harry’s included some Whitelabrecs releases in the tracklist, with premieres of music from Darkroom, Hoshiko Yamane, a wave, a mouth as well as something new from Towell himself, alongside Pruski. The latter is a 12 track collaborative album we have lined up for a January release. Elsewhere, recent discoveries are placed alongside older pieces and classics, and we hope you’ll discover something new. Click the picture above or the player below:



Tracklist:
01 Tapes and TopographiesPenn Tir
02 Darkroom – Water like mbira
03 Andy Aquarius Chapel
04 Sofie Birch & Antonina Nowacka Sudany
05 Anna Butterss Blevins
06 Kokoroko We Give Thanks
07 Carlos Niño & Friends Actually (feat Deantoni Parks/Jamael Dean/Nate Mercereau)
08 Bosq Paciencia De Jo (feat Tita Lima)
09 OHMA A Portal To All That Is
10 Snowflake Memory – Railroad Dreamer
11 Noori & His Dorpa Band Jabana
12 Harry Towell & Pruski – Lacustyna
13 George Riley Cleanse Me
14 Hoshiko Yamane – Prayer
15 Chip Wickham Winter
16 Daniel Villarreal Cali Colours
17 Mejiwahn Spring (feat. Juuwah & Daniel Bitrán)
18 Pharoah Sanders & Boozoo Bajou – Astral Traveling (Boozoo Bajou Remix)
19 Free the Robots Far Away (feat. Chhom Nimol)
20 The Cinematic Orchestra In To You
21 Bentley & Horatio Luna Bingo Bongo
22 Gianni Brezzo Rising Of My Mind
23 Elaine Howley To The Test
24 Clear Path Ensemble Interlock
25 The Theory Behind – Source
26 Yarni Trinacria
27 a wave, a mouth – Shake Me Gently Call Me Names
28 Part Timer Freeway
29 Matthew Halsall Mindfulness Meditations

new mix series! vervine001

Today we’ve launched a new mix series called ‘Vervine’. This will be presented by our label owner Harry Towell, and will cover the full extent of his wide ranging music taste. We can’t say how frequently we’ll make these shows but we’re hoping they’ll appear regularly enough and include one or two interesting features such as themes, vinyl-only shows and guest mixes. Hopefully, the voice-overs should hopefully grow in confidence the more of these we do!

This first show features a range of musical styles including Ambient, Electro Acoustic, Funk, Jazz, Modern Classical, World. The tracks are not arranged in a particular order, so it should feel pretty varied throughout and within the tracklist there are a few recent Whitelabrecs releases from the likes of Sven Laux, Adrian Lane, Fred Baty and John Reidar Holmes. Not to mention the opening track which is a premiere of our next release on the 19th of November, which is by Tapes and Topographies! Click the picture above or the player below:



Tracklist:
01 Tapes and Topographies – Diffraction
02 Kiyoshi Yamaya/Toshiko Yonekawa/Kifu MitsuhashiNanbu Ushioi-Uta
03 Lucien JohnsonMagnificent Moon
04 Vega Trails Love Your Grace
05 Feras Charestan Zekrayat
06 Adrian Lane White Winter Cloudy
07 Fred Baty To Feel at a Distance
08 Dandelion All You Know
09 Wax Machine Gaian Dream
10 Jaubi Straight Path
11 Black Flower Morning In The Jungle (ft. Meskerem Mees)
12 KolumboEvening Time
13 Jonny Nash & Teguh PermanaAir
14 John Reidar HolmesGoodbye To Cape Farewell
15 Ralph Heidel Wenn Ich Wach Werde (ft. Hannah Weiss)
16 Sven LauxThe Hope
17 Duelling AntsReise
18 Hiroshi EbinaIt 2
19 Julien DyneBeecon
20 Surprise Chef Goldie’s Lullaby
21 Malcolm PearsonFleeting Thoughts
22 Lissom Big Sleep
23 Naima Bock Enter The House
24 Channelers Diguised As Another
25 Misha PanfilovAmphibian Girl
26 Liquid Saloon Shaiza (ft. Elyasaf Bashari)
27 Djavan Nereci (Case’s Edit)
28 Jef Gilson & MalagasyValiha Ny Dada
29 Philou LouzoloQueens Of Zomba

Coming soon… Grotta Veterano & Francis Gri – Soolo

 

Our artist albums for 2022 are underway as of the 12th of February, with two new editions. But first, they’ll both be up for pre-order this coming Bandcamp Friday, the 4th of February. The first of these two new albums is a collaboration between two north-Italians, Grotta Veterano and Francis Gri. It’s free from a clear concept and instead concentrates on the minimal, sensitively electro-acoustic developed sounds that the pair arrived at.

Soolo‘ will be available in one of our typically low runs of 100 gatefold vinyl-effect CDrs, complete with photography by Harry Towell.

It will be released officially on Saturday the 12th of February. If you join our mailing list using the link below, we’ll make sure you’re the first to hear.

press release
“Soolo is a collaboration between Grotta Veterano and Francis Gri, who are both artists residing in Northern Italy. Between these artists, their solo work has appeared on the likes of Slowcraft, Fluid Audio, Shimmering Moods, Time Released Sound, Fluid Audio, Elm and Dewtone. Not to mention appearances on Francis’ own Krysalisound label, and some of our early followers may recall Francis’ album ‘Apart’ which we released back in 2018.

The Grotta Veterano project has been active for just a couple of years, working creatively within a limited space, to apply recorded instruments, effects and field recordings through digital processing. Francis Gri has been active under his own name since 2011, exploring his improvised style, typically using guitar or piano as the focal point. This collaboration began as a collection of small sketches by Grotta Veterano, built around substantially long and controlled improvisations, using a piano. The same first melodic and rhythmic line of the piano was twisted out of phase and subsequently superimposed onto the original one, allowing chords, melodies and timbres to be created. Sensing that the work was not yet complete, he invited Francis to develop the work, knowing that he would add just the right amount of magic, to develop the work into soundscapes. Francis added guitar and electric piano as his chosen instruments to embellish these sounds but he allowed the sparse, cascading minimalism between the notes to breathe. You can hear all kinds of details in between the keys, as field recordings, fading notes, light noise and blurred electronics interact with the compositions.

The final collection, Soolo is free from a clear concept as the artists decided to focus less on themes to work to, for fear of falling into a cliché all too common within the ambient genre. Instead, the collaboration and sounds itself becomes its own path, as the artists worked remotely, with little communication. The music became a form of communication in its own right, as each artist reacted to what they heard as sonic interpretations developed. The cover photography provides a feint visual backdrop to accompany the music, with the misty landscape giving an ambiguous stimuli for the listener, as they decode this body of spacious sound.

credits
Written and produced by Grotta Veterano and Francis Gri
Mastered by James Edward Armstrong
Photography by Harry Towell
Art and design by Andrew Heath

out now! various artists – sleeplaboratory3.0

Released today is a various artists compilation album called sleeplaboratory3.0. This is the third in the series, after a two year break and the concept for these albums is for the curated artists to produce their interpretation of sleep music. The result is CDr packed full of tracks designed to help induce the listener to sleep and this edition features work by the likes of Federico Mosconi, The Lifted Index, Stijn Hüwels, Tapes and Topographies, Andrew Heath and Ian Hawgood, who also mastered the album.

sleeplaboratory3.0 is out now in a run of 100 copies! The best way to keep informed about our low-run releases, is to join our mailing list, and we’ll make sure you’re the first to hear!

press release
“Sleeplaboratory3.0 is the third edition of Whitelabrecs’ long-standing concept compilation, a series that aims to induce the listener into a peaceful sleep. The series began in 2019 to mark the 50th release in the label’s catalog and was followed up with a second edition in 2020. It has seen contributions from the likes of Offthesky, Janek Schaefer, M.grig, The Green Kingdom, Warmth and Halftribe as well as artists from the label, including Mikael Lind, Gray Acres, Sven Laux, Glåsbird and Valotihkuu.

Sleeplaboratory compilations are typically released in January and after a two year break, 3.0 continues the themes established in the previous two records. Each artist in the line-up takes the brief of creating ‘sleep music’ and paints the sonic field with their own ideas. Some artists develop restful electro-acoustic compositions, whilst others sketch out soothing drones or vacant ambient textures. With a varied spectrum of warmth and cold, light and floaty, weighted and deep, this new collection features label-regulars such as Andrew Heath, blochemy and Pruski alongside the likes of Ian Hawgood, The Lifted Index, Federico Mosconi and Stijn Huwels. The track titles tend to tie back to the central album theme with words synonymous with rest, phases of sleep or calm places. This album can be experienced in many ways, such as at low volume with headphones, or streamed through hi-fi in a dimly lit room, consciously, or subconsciously.

credits
All rights reserved with the artists
Mastered by Ian Hawgood
Curated by Harry Towell
Art and design by Tom Tebby

Coming soon… various artists – sleeplaboratory3.0

 

We kick off what is sure to be another exciting year of releases, with the long-awaited return of our Sleeplaboratory compilation series. We’ve had a two year break since the last edition, and we welcome 3.0 to the series, and a line-up including label artists such as Andrew Heath, Tapes and Topographies, Lauge and Simon McCorry as well as artists that are new to the label, such as Ian Hawgood, The Lifted Index, Federico Mosconi and Stijn Hüwels. This compilation album will be available for pre-order on Friday the 7th of January and if the previous two releases are anything to go by, this will be quick to sell-out.

sleeplaboratory3.0‘ will be available in one of our typically low runs of 100 gatefold vinyl-effect CDrs, complete with art and design by Tom Tebby.

It will be released officially on Saturday the 15th of January. If you join our mailing list using the link below, we’ll make sure you’re the first to hear.

press release
“Sleeplaboratory3.0 is the third edition of Whitelabrecs’ long-standing concept compilation, a series that aims to induce the listener into a peaceful sleep. The series began in 2019 to mark the 50th release in the label’s catalog and was followed up with a second edition in 2020. It has seen contributions from the likes of Offthesky, Janek Schaefer, M.grig, The Green Kingdom, Warmth and Halftribe as well as artists from the label, including Mikael Lind, Gray Acres, Sven Laux, Glåsbird and Valotihkuu.

Sleeplaboratory compilations are typically released in January and after a two year break, 3.0 continues the themes established in the previous two records. Each artist in the line-up takes the brief of creating ‘sleep music’ and paints the sonic field with their own ideas. Some artists develop restful electro-acoustic compositions, whilst others sketch out soothing drones or vacant ambient textures. With a varied spectrum of warmth and cold, light and floaty, weighted and deep, this new collection features label-regulars such as Andrew Heath, blochemy and Pruski alongside the likes of Ian Hawgood, The Lifted Index, Federico Mosconi and Stijn Huwels. The track titles tend to tie back to the central album theme with words synonymous with rest, phases of sleep or calm places. This album can be experienced in many ways, such as at low volume with headphones, or streamed through hi-fi in a dimly lit room, consciously, or subconsciously.

credits
All rights reserved with the artists
Mastered by Ian Hawgood
Curated by Harry Towell
Art and design by Tom Tebby

Favourite Records of 2021

Our label owner Harry Towell has finalised his top 20 list of favourite albums of 2021, complete with a mix. See below a few words from Harry on his year in music, followed by the top 20, each with a link, a brief commentary and artwork. You can check out the mix Harry created by clicking the picture above, which counts down with a track from each of his favourite albums. Alternatively, there’s a player below and you can click play whilst you read on…


“2021 has been a year of forging onwards, back ‘to normal’ after the pandemic, returns to work, business as usual etc. However, it doesn’t feel completely the same, with climate change, destruction, scandal, social and political unrest all around us and the constant shadow of a pandemic that’s still very much here to stay. That’s before we even talk about Brexit, in particular the challenges it has brought to running the label. All that sounds pretty negative, but the year for me has been positive on so many fronts and all the while, the year has been soundtracked by some fantastic music the whole year through.

I think this year, I may well have explored more music than ever before, with a mixture of homeworking, commuting and leisure-time listening which covered a wide range of genres. I focused on a few scenes in particular; in the summer I went mad on Deep House music again, as I launched my Wallofhouse blog. Then I’ve been fascinated by Modern Classical music and the volume of sheer quality that is emerging from this scene. And Ambient, drone, electro acoustic styles, being the focus of Whitelabrecs, also dominated my listening.

This year my wife and I welcomed our second daughter Emily, into the family and so we’ve turned the music studio into a little bedroom for her. My physical music collection is in storage for now and so my listening has been much more digital than ever before. I know there’s a lack of a fair deal for musicians with Spotify in particular, but it has enabled me to cast the net much wider as I search for albums to indulge in. I still can’t help but feel that ‘liking’ an album on Spotify so I can scroll through some menus and stream it again on demand, is more than a little soul-less. But for the time being, it has suited our circumstances and I have committed to buying physical versions of the music I feel will stay with me forever. I.e, albums that make my best of list!

Onto my best of lists, and Bandcamp followers or my Spheruleus Mixcloud followers will have seen my historic best-of list mix shows being uploaded. This summer I added an iPod playlist of all the mixes I’ve made each year and I was bowled over by the nostalgia each one brought to me. Listening to the music literally transported me back in time, so I decided to get them all uploaded to Mixcloud, add them to a playlist and I’ll maintain this going forward. As of today, we have 12 years of listening to tons of records, whittling them down to a list, and recording a show to listen back to.


Below is my final list then – my favourite 20 albums of the year each with a few thoughts and a link where you can find out more about an album for yourself. Then there’s mix show featuring a track from each album, which I’ve made as a countdown with the help of my wife Beth who recorded the numbers a few years back. The cover artwork this year was taken on our holiday in Tenby, Wales, our first as a family of four.  We love Tenby, a family-favourite holiday destination and it was particularly beautiful on the morning I took the photo. I woke up to the sound of the sea, which was less than 100 meters away from our apartment. I looked out of the window and saw the sun rising impressively over the sea and had to take a walk along the promenade to take photos. Of course, with the sepia polaroid effect I’ve added, you can’t see the sun…


1st:
Origamibiro
Miscellany
Denovali

Towards the second half of a year it’s not unusual for me to put out a social media message, asking people to recommend albums for me to check out, as I begin to refine my end of year list. I did so this year and Brian from Stationary Travels recommended Miscellany, by Origamibiro. I’m familiar with the artist’s work from several years ago and within very little time, this moved its way to the very top of my list. And stayed there. It’s experimental, playful, good fun and full of ideas, moments of satisfying calm, moments of decaying, clanking rhythms.

https://origamibiro.bandcamp.com/album/miscellany


2nd:
Eydís Evensen
Bylur
XXIM Records

Over the last ten years, there’s been a real wealth of quality modern classical music and talented composers are springing up each year. Some countries have a knack for producing a greater percentage of these and Iceland is at the top of the list. The latest name to appear is Eydís Evensen and it’s been on heavy rotation this year, and a record that I can easily listen through from start to finish. The thing I’m finding with modern classical these days, is that there’s so much of it, that the works managing to really stand out need that added magic. Bylur is one such example; there are rich strings against which the piano is more sparse, and then more piano-led pieces. Overall, the mood really is magical and this is at its peak in the vocal track ‘Midnight Moon’.

https://eydisevensen.lnk.to/bylur


3rd:
Sebastian Plano
Save Me Not
Mercury KX

Argentinian cellist Sebastian Plano is an artist I’ve been following since enjoying his album Impetus as well as his collaboration with Ben Lukas Boysen, both of which I own on vinyl. I jumped on this record as soon as I became aware that it was out and it’s right up there with the best, this year. I can’t really call it between the top three of this chart, and this could/should be higher given that it soundtracked some dramatic walks along the high promenade of the Tenby cost, as I walked to fetch breakfast on our holiday in September. Plano may be a cellist, but I have always seen him as an all-round composer; this one’s beautiful, rich, melancholy and imaginative.


4th:
Addex
Eko
Limitation Music

In the warm summer of 2020 I made a dub techno mix and discovered how beautiful this genre of music sounded in the sun. This year I set up a blog called Wallofhouse and spent a few months scouring for House music in all its guises. Yet my best (very loosely linked) ‘House’ discovery of the year is this dub techno/ambient record by Addex. ‘Eko’ is a spacious hour and a half of blissed-out, poolside chill and I found myself reaching for this record over and over this summer. The album also sounds great when the sun is well and truly down, late at night, with its minimal techno micro beats and lush, infinitely cascading pads.

https://www.beatport.com/release/eko/3314244


5th:
Mikael Lind
Geographies
Dronarivm

In 2019 i became aware of Mikael Lind’s work through his album for Archives and I’ve since been lucky to welcome him to Whitelabrecs with his album Give Shape To Space, followed by an EP with S.hel. His album this year for Dronarivm hasn’t left my car CD player and the packaging from this top label makes Geographies an all round spectacle I’m only to glad to appreciate time and time again, on my long commutes.

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


6th:
Andrew Tuttle and Padang Food Tigers
A Cassowary Apart
Bedroom Suck

I’ve followed Padang Food Tigers for many years now, since their EP ‘Born Music’ on Under The Spire. I am less familiar of Andrew Tuttle’s work, although I was aware of him as an artist – I’d just not explored his work before now. In this record, Padang Food Tigers’ signature folk sound combines into beautifully warm electro-acoustic drones; a record that I’ve had towards the top of my list all year.

https://andrewtuttle.bandcamp.com/album/a-cassowary-apart


7th:
Gaspar Claus
Tancade
InFine

A record I returned to throughout autumn this year is Parisian cellist Gaspar Claus’ debut album Tancade. When you think of grand, stirring modern classical music, you think of the cello. Its deep, rich texture and bass tones are so satisfying and powerful. But it can also sound excellent when the limits of conventional playing are stretched. Here, Claus uses bowed strings alongside plucked and rhythmic patterns and I’m led to believe the entire compositions are made purely from the cello. This is quite incredible given the detail and fully orchestrated pieces of music on offer.

https://gasparclaus.bandcamp.com/album/tancade


8th:
Fabiano do Nascimento
Ykytu
Now-Again

LA based Brazilian Fabiano do Nascimento was a discovery I made last year and his last album Preludio made my chart, after sound-tracking walks in a sunny pandemic-stricken UK. I was eager to check out his new album ‘Ykytu’ and this one is somehow even better than last year.

https://fabianodonascimento.bandcamp.com/album/ykytu-2


9th:
Valgeir Sigurðsson
Kvika
Bedroom Community

I’ve been following Valgeir Sigurðsson’s music and Bedroom Community label for many years now and was excited to learn of his film score release KVIKA, used in the film MALÁ RÍŠA which features various musicians including violinist Daniel Pioro. The album’s title is the Icelandic word for magma, which is fitting given the eruption at Fagradalsfjall which began in March, when this record was released. This record is sprawling with a wealth of orchestral timbres, through the multiple musicians that performed in the score but there are also plenty of electronics and effects that underly the mix, which help make this a fascinating listen all the way through its 21 tracks.

https://valgeir.bandcamp.com/album/kvika


10th:
The Lifted Index
Sanctuary
Seil

Seil Records have been storming it this year and I could have had a few inclusions from their catalog this year, that didn’t quite make the list in the end, notably albums by Jogging House and Thme. But the stand-out for me and my favourite electronic ambient album is Sanctuary by The Lifted Index. I’ve been working with artist Tom Tebby this year and he recommend I check out The Lifted Index, and this one really stood out. There’s no clear concept, it’s just seriously good ambient/post rock, created with synths, guitars and pedals.

https://theliftedindex.bandcamp.com/album/sanctuary


11th:
Balmorhea
The Wind
Deutsche Grammophon

“I’ve enjoyed Balmorhea’s work for many years and ‘The Wind’ was eagerly anticipated, and did not disappoint. Contemporary classical music befitting of Deutsche Grammophon but some folk moments and guest musicians, including Clarice Jensen, give this record a variation that makes it easy for me to enjoy in one sitting. The artwork is minimal, classic and striking and a loose theme around the natural world provides food for thought as you listen.

https://www.deutschegrammophon.com/en/catalogue/products/the-wind-balmorhea-12219


12th:
Olivia Belli
Sol Novo
XXIM

The high bar that is classical music is something I’ve already touched on and this is another example, of yet another talented composer, Mantova, Italy’s Olivia Belli. She says that dawn is her favourite time to compose and intended for this album ‘Sol Novo’ meaning new sun, to be filled with light. A further example of an artist inspired by the world around them and the result, is some exquisite modern classical music, centered around the piano, joined with gently stirring strings.

https://oliviabelli.com/sol-novohttps://silmus.bandcamp.com/album/laaksum


13th:
Schreel Van De Velde
Balts
Blickwinkel

There were some excellent guitar-driven records this year, that nodded back to post-rock from the early to mid 2000s in particular. I discovered this one by Schreel Van De Velde in the summer and whilst in reminded me of Tape with its use of guitar instrumentals, it has a sound of its own. Schreel Van De Velde is a Belgian duo combining the surnames of Lucas Schreel, who creates the melody in this project and Casper Van De Velde, who provides percussion.

https://blickwinkel.bandcamp.com/album/balts


14th:
Andrew Heath
New Eden
Disco Gecko

I’ve been in touch with Andrew now for over a year, working with him for his release for Whitelabrecs, a collaboration with Anne Chris Bakker as well as having him help with our label’s design work. We have more planned from Andrew in 2022 but also this year, he had been sending me his other releases. All are unmistakably excellent but New Eden stands out as the big one for me. I’ve listened to this over and over towards the end of 2021, a truly complete listen, urging the listener to search for a purer, more natural world; a better place. It works well as a sleep album but also, there is so much detail in the drones, electric piano and superb field recordings, that you can turn this up to a reasonable volume and allow your ears to explore.

https://andrewheath.bandcamp.com/album/new-eden


15th:
Teis Ortved
Parks At Night
Bathurst

Last year I listened to a lot of Jazz music and this year, less so. I think it may be due to listening to Jazz FM less and also, I didn’t go out searching for as much in the genre. However, I did stumble across this debut album by 17 year old Danish musician and composer, Teis Ortved. He comes from a musical family so you can expect a degree of competency in his approach to his first album. But listening to this album, I have been repeatedly bowled over at the talent oozing from the production of every beat, every synth and every sound. It’s such an accomplished first step into releasing an album that I’m excited to track Teis’ future career.

https://teisortved.bandcamp.com/album/parks-at-night


16th:
Philip G Anderson
Figment
Self Released

I have been following American composer Philip G Anderson’s career for a couple of years now and instantly jumped on his self-released album Figment, when it came out in June. His album ‘Wilderness’ was a firm favourite Modern Classical discovery last year and I’m sure it would have made my 2019 chart had I discovered it at the time. Figment does not have a clearly stated concept other than a single line talking about it being a personal reflection of struggle, growth and evolution. The album artwork shows the composer casting a downward glance, but these grand, technically brilliant, sonically fascinating compositions show that any struggle is paying off, if it relates to his musical career. His work is exceptional and I’m sure he’ll go far.

https://philipganderson.bandcamp.com/album/figment


17th:
Seaworthy and Matt Rösner
Snowmelt
12k

“Many years back during my early ‘ambient years’, when I’d first got into 12k, Seaworthy was one artist in particular that really got into a more acoustic version of ambient music. 1897 was out of this world for me back then and shortly after, Cameron Webb did a collab with Matt Rösner called ‘Two Lakes’, another exceptional piece of music on 12k. Several years on, the duo made a follow-up which I instantly took to exploring. Exotic field recordings, plaintive guitar and acoustic drones make for a truly compelling listen. And as always, beautiful artwork too from 12k.”

https://12kmusic.bandcamp.com/album/snowmelt


18th:
Oliver Patrice Weder
The Pool Project
SA Recordings

I’m a follower of Spitfire Audio, a quality company offering sample libraries for musicians and composers. I watch a lot of their videos and one of the video presenters is Oliver Patrice Weder, who unveiled the immersive Pool Project, in which an album was recorded inside an indoor swimming pool, at a beautiful location. Guests were involved in the process and Weder pulled everything together into this fantastic ambient/cinematic album, full of warmth and an airiness. Not to mention an accompanying and affordable sample pack available through Spitfire.

https://oliverpatriceweder.bandcamp.com/album/the-pool-project


19th:
Miguel Angel Tolosa
Nostalgia (Circa 1987)
LINE

Another discovery on the advice of a friend; James Armstrong dropped me a note to let me know I might want to check out this record. He knows I’m a fan of vinyl-crackle and ‘vintaged’ sound aesthetics and he was right on the money. I’ve had these snoozy, antiquated piano and orchestral loops on a lot this year – an exquisite record on Richard Chartier’s LINE imprint.

https://lineimprint.bandcamp.com/album/nostalgia-circa-1987


20th:
Prequel
Love Or (I Heard You Like Heartbreak)
Rhythm Section

“I went mad on House music again this year after setting up a new blog, Wallofhouse. Posts have been sparse in the last 6 months but during the summer, I was scouring new releases daily. What I’ve found over the years is that in the House music genre, albums are often geared towards retrospectives, or a collection of dancefloor tracks. The best albums contain a concept and here with this one by Prequel, it joins an impressive Rhythm Section catalog and already stands out. It’s a record I can listen to from start to finish; lots of deep loops, dusty samples and percussive breaks.”

https://prequel.bandcamp.com/album/love-or-i-heard-you-like-heartbreak

Out Now! Spheruleus – Absent Frames

Absent Frames by Spheruleus is released today for Bandcamp Friday in digital only formats. The best way to keep informed about our releases is to join our mailing list which can be located through our website menu or you can click HERE

press release
“Spheruleus is the long-standing artist name of Whitelabrecs owner Harry Towell, with releases outside of his own label appearing on the likes of Fluid Audio, Home Normal, Hibernate and Lost Tribe Sound. The project has been active since the netlabel days of 2009 and he has also collaborated with artists such as Sven Laux, Pleq and Ekca Liena. This new EP called Absent Frames is a short, conceptual work that delves back to his early work as a sound artist.

Harry had discovered some old field recordings he captured onto an Olympus digital recorder between 2007 and 2009. On listening to the collection, there were very few sounds that he could relate to; most were rain, birdsong or poorly recorded out-takes. In some cases, forgotten memories were recalled and overlapping events became a little clearer. But a clear and complete picture could not be recalled, due to the time that had elapsed and the lack of information to jog his memory.

The medium used to capture a moment in time does not record every tiny detail. A field recording doesn’t capture the visual experiences or tell you the location. For example, the rain droplets you hear could be from anywhere on the planet. A photograph does not always tell the story, the scent, the mood, the location. We use memory to recall the detail if we were present, but some of the detail may be stored in our subconscious or perhaps lost completely. We may easily recall some or most of the experience, but parts may be missing from even the most vivid of memories.

Recently, Harry took a photo of a swan swimming one evening in a local lake called Rutland Water. He can still recall the events earlier that day, the time of night, the section of the lake that his family were stood by, the time that they left the car park. The original photograph gave plenty of detail that would help him recall the memories from when it was taken. To match the theme of Absent Frames, Harry edited the image by replacing the horizon along the water surface, with the cloudy sky of a completely different image, from which memories will be much harder to recall.

Absent Frames is an EP consisting of two mid-length drone pieces, placing multiple field recordings at different volumes, along with drones to which he added multiple effects chains. The intent was to further blur the recordings, to make the content even harder to distinguish. So that in years to become, this theme becomes even more poignant.”

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

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

Out Now! Spheruleus – Canvas Homes + Supplémentaires

The second of our new releases for March out today, sees the return of our label owner Harry Towell as Spheruleus. Harry has not released a CD on his label since 2016’s Obsolarium and with Canvas Homes + Supplémentaires he presents a double album of lockdown sound diaries. Some may recall Canvas Homes from Harry’s Home Diaries edition but 2nd Disc Supplémentaires is a new album, created during November’s lockdown mark II.

This limited edition double CDr edition uses photographs Harry captured during family walks as cover artwork and the sounds within these records cover field recordings, acoustic instrument sketches, household sounds and orchestral tones.

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
“Spheruleus is Lincolnshire, UK based artist Harry Towell, who also runs Whitelabrecs and records alongside his brother Stuart as Paper Relics. Harry has been active in the modern Ambient music scene for over a decade and has released works with labels such as Eilean, Hibernate, Home Normal and Time Released Sound. His output on his own imprint has been scarce however, limited to one CD edition ‘Obsolarium’, released back in 2016.

We launched last year’s digital Home Diaries series off the back of ‘Canvas Homes’ which was a sonic diary of life at home during lockdown. The recording for this album began around 1 year ago with three key sound elements: field recordings, sketches made using acoustic instruments and MIDI keyboard arrangements. The sketches were all captured during brief 1-2 minute recordings to an iPhone whilst in his daughter Isla’s playroom. She unwittingly became part of the album and a positive constant during the strange events that were unfolding across the spring and summer. Walks out into local parks and woodlands became a source of field recordings and a connection to the natural world. Then evenings were a time of reflection and processing, as the sounds captured were orchestrated into tracks.

In November another lockdown was announced and Harry decided to repeat the process as a compare and contrast from his original process. The idea to create a second album began with the assembly of a new item of furniture for Isla’s room which arrived from France. A bag of spare fixings was labelled ‘Supplémentaires’ and Harry decided to set about a series of additional recordings with a view to release it as part of a double album. This time, the weather had turned cold resulting in a different lockdown altogether, with more time spent indoors. Isla had grown considerably in the space of just 6 months and her speech was much clearer. A familiarity with the ‘new normal’ also seems to have translated into the music, with longer, cosier tracks drawing out the winter months. There are more moments of calm and warmth; ‘les dormeurs’ was created at low volume one afternoon, as the household napped. ‘notre cocon’ establishes a sleepy comfort in the descent towards the festive period before ‘le résumé’ plays out a recollection of the year 2020, with Harry using every field recording he’d captured during this most eventful of years. The cover photograph was captured during a family walk in the summer; a reflective gaze into the local ‘Bourne Eau’.

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