[whitelabtapes] – wlr-t02 – [mixed by Andrew Sherwell]

Last year we made a small batch of 20 mixtapes available after a disagreement between my wife and I, as she didn’t think people still had tape players. I decided to prove her wrong and put together a special anonymous mix solely using Whitelabrecs material and the tapes sold out in hours.

I’m not sure why, but we haven’t made any more and I’d love this to become a series that anyone can get involved in – over the last few weeks I’ve been in touch with Andrew Sherwell who released ‘Orthodox Tales’ with us earlier this year and he’s kindly assembled the wlt-02!
Many record labels create compilation samplers of material but for our version of this, we decided that mixtapes would be a fun format to introduce people to the label, similar to how vinyl DJ mixes might have been home-taped back in the 1990s.

Andrew’s mix traverses two different paths over sides A and B,
with a dark opening to A unfolding to lighter, dreamy moments with the accompanying micro sounds of overlapping field recordings. Side B is more of the same, yet with added warmth. As always, the tracklist is anonymous as these tapes are intended to be works of art in their own right, rather than a compilation tape.

There are so many amazing releases on Whitelabrecs. 
I should imagine that it would be quite a daunting exercise, a label specific mix. Where to start? What tracks to choose? Or harder still, what tracks to leave out? Impossible.
Luckily for me, when Harry suggested the idea, I already had a head start. I was already working on a mix which contained quite a few Whitelabrecs tracks. It was a mix to accompany my habitual dusk-time walk along a wild and deserted estuary foreshore, next to which my elderly parents live. A few blustery moments in which to forget the pressing effects of the passing of time, to stop worrying about what is surely hurrying towards us, and to just be……present.
With quite a tricky limit of just under 23 minutes a side, I edited the mix down, keeping the Whitelabrecs tracks already there in place, adding others that suited the mood. Soon the two sides developed their own personalities. Side One: the walk from the house to the rock from which to watch the sun sink slowly into the mouth of the estuary. Side Two: the walk back to the house in the gathering gloom.
Recorded digitally within Ableton (my laptop is all I had with me.) Some tracks are edited, some have additional processing, some suffered both. Thanks to Harry for the invite and to all Whitelabrecs’ amazing artists. Apologies to those artists whose work I have mangled.
For my parents.-ANDREW SHERWELL

The cover artwork printed on the packaging was taken during a huge thunderstorm at the end of an extended period without rain.

Released August 17, 2018
Mixed by Andrew Sherwell
Artwork by Harry Towell

You can visit the dedicated page on the Whitelabrecs Bandcamp site where an order can be placed by clicking below or HERE

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The Prairie Lines on Irregular Crates


Bill of The Prairie Lines spent some time putting together a mix of his favourite ever tracks for Irregular Crates‘ ‘Grounding Sounds‘ series to coincide with his Whitelabrecs release ‘Eyes Down Slowdown‘.

Bill’s show includes selections from the likes of Grouper, Nils Frahm, Tim Hecker, Labradford and William Basinski to name but a few. You can check out the mix by hitting play above, or you can click HERE to visit the dedicated page on Irregular Crates.

TRACKLISTING:

William Basinski – Disintegration Loops 3 (Excerpt) [2003]
Grouper – Dragging The Streets [2011]
Delia Derbyshire & Barry Bermange – Invention for Radio No.1: The Dreams (Exerpt) [2014]
Perfume Genius – Floating Spit [2012]
Nils Frahm – Them [2015]
Beat Happening – Run Down the Stairs [1985]
The Microphones – Tonight There’ll be Clouds [1999]
Julianna Barwick – Keep up the Good Work [2011]
Tim Hecker – Black Refraction [2013]
Colleen – The Happy Sea [2005]
Baths – Rain Smell [2010]
Labradford – Streamlining [1995]
Rachel’s – Water From the Same Source [2003]
How To Dress Well – Suicide Dream [2010]
Low – Breaker [2007]

[whitelabtapes] – wlr-t01

For a good while, we’ve been meaning to put together a sampler mix to showcase some work from select releases in our catalog. Ever since recent studio experiments with tapeloops, we’ve taken an interest in the cassette format again and decided that our sampler would literally take the format of a mixtape, similar to how bootleg vinyl mixes might have been home-taped back in the 1990s.

The mix is a ‘guess-who’ of material from our discography, blending tracks harmonically into 22 minutes and 50 seconds each side of the tape. The mix is available digitally if you’ve sold your cassette player on a car boot sale but for anyone who still have a machine, the added hiss will surely add to your listening experience.

The cover artwork printed on the packaging was taken in a field a couple of hundred yards away from our home, on a warm summers day.
Our tape supplier has many colour options so these will change as this infrequent sub-series continues but naturally, we plumped for white in this inaugural edition.

released August 29, 2017
Mixed by Harry Towell
Artwork by Harry Towell

You can visit the dedicated page on the Whitelabrecs Bandcamp site where an order can be placed by clicking below or HERE


https://whitelabrecs.bandcamp.com/album/wlr-t01

Sounds Of A Tired City interview

Sounds of a tired city profile image

Our label boss Harry was recently contacted by Swedish blog Sounds Of A Tired City to put together a mix under his artist name Spheruleus. Naturally he obliged and made a vinyl-only mix, blending Modern Classical and Ambient/Drone records using harmonic mixing techniques. Since Whitelabrecs is inspired by Harry’s love for vinyl, this was a fitting opportunity to chat to SOATC about Whitelabrecs, vinyl and Harry’s other commitments such as the Audio Gourmet netlabel.

You can listen to the mix by clicking HERE or the images above, which features tracks from artists such as Richard Skelton, Peter Broderick and Greg Haines.

SOATCmix

You can read the full interview that was featured below or visit Sounds Of A Tired City site by clicking HERE

SOATC: If we look at your music-related activities, we gotta say you must be a rather busy man! You’ve been prolific with Spheruleus and you’ve been running the Audio Gourmet netlabel for six years now. What can you tell us about these projects?

HT: Indeed, I have no idea how I manage sometimes as I have two jobs too! What I’ve done more recently is slow down a little, take my time with work as Spheruleus and the labels too. Followers of Audio Gourmet will notice that releases are very much few and far between these days, but we’re still going – slowly! I think a lot of artists, labels etc. get to a stage when everyday life ‘gets in the way’ or becomes more important and then they decide the logical thing to do is to just stop. I’ve just made a decision not to be rushed, pushed to deadlines or stress about any of it – as this whole thing is supposed to be enjoyable at the end of the day. So I tend to self-release a lot of my own work these days, or with labels I know well so that I can go at my own pace.

I also suffer from a condition that many artists have – I’m not sure of its name, but it’s basically when you are working on a project and decide to start a new project… so I have 4 labels and a few recording aliases as well as a blog.

I think the main thing that motivates me is making music available to the world, without worrying about what will ‘sell’. This gives me a chance to work with new or unknown artists and if I can move them one step further forward, then the labels are a success.

SOATC: You have the soul of a curator. What are you looking for when you release or write about other people’s music? There is so much to discover constantly, what is that makes something for you more special, different? How can something stand out these days?

HT: For me, when curating it’s best to keep an open mind and listen to lots of different styles of music. Whenever I receive a demo I’ll listen to it with positive thoughts – I tell myself, I want to like this record. If I just can’t, then I have to leave it there. I also try to listen to a record in different contexts: I’ll listen in the morning on the way to work in the car or I’ll listen last thing at night – it’s amazing how much the listening environment can influence on how music is received. For Whitelabrecs, we’ll specialise mainly in ‘Ambient music’ I guess, but I’m more interested in ‘sound art’ – how people express themselves with sound.

The great thing with that, is that this allows for artists who want to do something different – maybe experiment with beats, something dark, a little noise or minimalism. So it’s all about giving new ideas a chance and then packaging them into something that listeners will enjoy or ‘get’. I believe that the sound is only really 80% of the story – good mastering, track titles, artwork and a write up helps bring everything together and can enhance a listener’s experience overall. When I write a press release, I’ll ask the artist a load of questions to get them thinking about their work, their ideas and how they approached the work. Then I’ll put together all the most relevant points. I hate this part of releasing a record but it’s so important

SOATC: You’ve recently launched your new label called whitelabrecs. What do we have to know about it and what are your plans with it?

HT: Yes, yet another project! I guess Whitelabrecs is the label I’ve always wanted to run – it is influenced by my love for vinyl, there are no set rules although the packaging takes a steady format: vinyl effect CDrs inside a vinyl style sleeve, rubber-stamped text and cover artwork as a polaroid photographic print. Everything is hand-stamped, burnt by hand so again, it takes a bit of time but to keep it all manageable I’ve capped the editions at 50 copies for each release. That way, there’s a bit of a collectible impulse from our listeners which means that each release should sell out quickly, meaning I can keep on going! I’ve got loads of demos confirmed and ready to go – I think we’re up to the 15th release behind the scenes, which is fantastic. Genre-wise, I’ve not settled on any particular style and plan to just keep evolving it – who knows what sounds we’ll put out. At the moment everything is pretty much within the Ambient scene with modern classical, drone, field recordings, glitch, folk and electroacoustic music being represented. I’d love to put out some jazz, post-rock, dub techno or trip hop someday! Who knows where we’ll go.

 

SOATC: Could you tell us a bit about the selection of tracks in your mix?

HT: I have quite a large vinyl collection covering all different styles of experimental music and I basically just pulled out my ‘Ambient’ section and selected records that were based around modern classical, drone or electroacoustic elements. I mixed the records using my Technics 1210 turntables through 10 year old styli that are as good as useless – they are worn and tired, so there’s lots of extra crackle and lo-fi texture in the mix that wouldn’t be on there otherwise. I’ve recently purchased some new needles and this mix is the last thing I’ve recorded with the old needles.

When buying vinyl, I only really buy albums that I feel are going to stand the test of time – records I’ll still want to hear time and time again. This is simply down to the sheer price of vinyl these days so I have to choose wisely when buying!

For me, Peter Broderick’s ‘Float’, Richard Skelton’s ‘Marking Time’ and Christoph Berg’s ‘Paraphrases’ are absolutely phenomenal records and these are perfect examples of the ‘quality control’ methods I go through when buying vinyl.

TRACKLIST

01 Taylor Deupree and Marcus Fischer – Cloudline
02 Willamette – At Length And Dead Horse
03 Field Rotation – Swayed By The Wind (Awakening)
04 Goldmund – Getting Lighter
05 Wil Bolton – Blackpoint
06 Scissors and Sellotape – It’s A Long Slog
07 Jared Smyth – Burnout
08 Simon Bainton – Porlock
09 Willamette – Images D’une Longueur de Cheveux
10 Peter Broderick – Another Glacier
11 Greg Haines & Wouter Van Veldhoven – On Waiting
12 Lowered – Lattitude 33 Degrees North, Longitude 40 Degrees West
13 Richard Skelton – Heys
14 Olan Mill – Amber Balanced
15 From The Mouth Of The Sun – Color Loss
16 Christoph Berg – Quiet Times At The Library