Home Diaries 013: Pie Are Squared

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.

Pie Are Squared is a project for Ravenna, Italy based Egyptian Mohammed Ashraf, who has released with labels such as Handstitched and Lost Children, as well as an album on Eilean Recs as one half of Śruti, in which he collaborates with Omrr. At the beginning of the year and prior to the pandemic, we were chatting with Mo about a forthcoming album he is set to release with us and unfortunately, our catalog was paused and we’ve had to shelve it for the time being. So wasting no time, he joined us on our Home Diaries series with ‘muri‘.

We have an exciting line-up to follow and each release will include bonus PDF liner notes, which has an interview with the artist on how they made the album, what their situation is like, what they have planned, their influences and what equipment/techniques they used.  There are also 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-013

-ARTIST LINK-
https://piearesquared.bandcamp.com/album/muri-home-diaries-013

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.

Pie Are Squared is a project for Ravenna, Italy based Egyptian Mohammed Ashraf, who has released with labels such as Handstitched and Lost Children, as well as an album on Eilean Recs as one half of Śruti, in which he collaborates with Omrr. At the beginning of the year and prior to the pandemic, we were chatting with Mo about a forthcoming album he is set to release with us and unfortunately, our catalog was paused and we’ve had to shelve it for the time being. So wasting no time, he joined us on our Home Diaries series with ‘muri’.

He set himself the objective of placing the listener in his studio, situated in central Ravenna. Field recordings captured the daily routine from indoors as well as those caught from just beneath the windows, on the outside. These run all the way through the album, which has been adorned with dense soundscapes created from pretty much all of the equipment he owns. Disappointment has been a thread after gigs for his bands Void of Sleep and Postvorta were cancelled, we postponed the release of the forthcoming album and also, a trip back to Cairo was cancelled. However, there is a positive approach to this artist’s situation which results in a grounded, well-balanced set of six tracks, placing all the noise and chaos right alongside a sheer and enveloping calm.”

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

Coming soon…Tsone – Purification Verses

We’re pleased to welcome back Tsone to Whitelabrecs, who released WLR number seven last year, a beautiful record long since sold-out. His new album is a set of five-minute-exact drones that will lull the mind with its delicate looping texture. For those unfamiliar, Tsone is Arizona, US based artist Tony Obr who’s released with labels such as Audiotalaia and Home Normal, with Ian Hawgood from the latter being responsible for mastering this one. Purification Verses should appeal to those who enjoy work by Marcus FischerRichard Ginns or Federico Durand – you can listen to a preview of the album by using the Soundcloud player below or keep a check on our Facebook or Instagram pages to preview the packaging when we share it.

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

press release
“Tsone is Phoenix, Arizona artist Tony Obr, who returns to Whitelabrecs having released ‘Dovetail’ with us back in May 2016. Over the last ten years he’s also released work with the likes of Home Normal, txt Recordings and Audiotalaia. Tony’s background includes playing woodwind in school bands as well as Jazz ensembles but particularly over the last decade his focus has been in making electronic music. He teaches electronic music and regularly puts into practice his visual arts background too and this all adds to his creative focus.

Purification Verses is a record that has been complete for quite some time and has been mastered by Home Normal label owner Ian Hawgood. It’s a record where Tony set himself the rule of using only two production tools: A cheap children’s keyboard synthesizer and a looping patch constructed with Max/MSP. He also limited post-processing on the sound to keep a consistency throughout. Tony would usually use a large pool of tools including hardware synthesizers, samplers, effects pedals and custom built software instruments. However, for Purification Verses, he focuses on a more singular approach by limiting the tools at his disposal. He wanted to investigate all of the possibilities available to him through this stripped-down and limited choice of tools.

The result of the investigation yielded a series of songs with an inherent unity and cohesion that runs between them. This unity is most apparent in the formal organisation of each song, namely, two looping patterns played against each other for exactly 5 minutes.
Tony drew upon his visual arts background for influence as the methods used to compose these pieces are similar to how one might construct a series of paintings of formally similar variations on a theme.”

credits
Catalog number WLR032
Written and produced by Tony Obr
Mastered by Ian Hawgood
Artwork by Harry Towell