Best of 2017: Ondrej Zajac

Our next ‘best of 2017’ feature sees us welcome back Ondrej Zajac who has been pretty busy since his debut ‘Monolith’ on Whitelabrecs. We caught up with Ondrej who put together a beautiful best of list as well as providing insight into his selections and spending some time updating us on his recent activity and plans.


Andrea Belfi
Alveare
[IIKKI]

“I consider this Italian wonder to be one of the most important musicians active today. He has released two albums this year and it seems to me that in the delirium caused by his latest record Ore, everyone tends to forget his earlier record Alveare, which comes with a book as part of IIKKI project. It much more resembles his 2014 record Natura Morta, since it was recorded during the period of 9 years. I like to think of it as a kind of “best of” compilation. You can see so much of his musical development in this lovely piece of work…”


Raphael Vanoli
Bibrax
[Shhpuma]

“I noticed Raphael thanks to the Knalpot band and in his solo work, I found something I haven’t heard anywhere else. I followed him for few years now and in Bibrax, you can hear an album full of unusual beauty. Nothing sounds like guitar on this guitar album. His playing technique is unheard of and there is probably not a single other guitarist today who is willing to be so different in pursuit of his beliefs.”



Diatribes

Sistere
[Mappa]

“Diatribes are Cyril Bondi and d’incise. This record was released by an amazing label from my country: mappa. It requires patience but it can pull you into the ocean of rhythms, repetition, dissonance and silence, where you will definitely lose sense of time. They just played in Prague and I was unable to attend the gig, so I am constantly crying since then!”


Tante Elze
Hmota
[slnko records]

“This duo from Slovakia came under my radar while it was still just a one person project. You may consider them to be too mainstream but the truth is that they are successfully doing everything they can to be as honest as possible, which is something I admire above all. Hmota means matter. And this album is some serious objectification of pure and innocent ideas.”


The Necks
Unfold
[Ideologic Organ]

“David Kollar, Mt Accord, Theydon Boys, Gosheven, Julian Sartorius, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Knivtid, José Soberanes, Jenny Berger Myhre, Tittingur… so many records I would like to place here. But this spot goes to The Necks, since Unfold is proof that you can always explore something new and still sound fantastic. I also went to their gig this year and it was a transcendental experience.”


What have you been up to Ondrej?
“After being yes man for two years and after a second year of compilations, solo releases, curation of my micro-label métóre, compositions for gallery exhibition, collaboration with filmmakers and constant gigging, I’ve been learning to actually say “no” lately. While it is true that I am currently booking gigs for 2018, I would like to hide in some deep cave and get some rest. That being said, I am working with Nicola Fornasari on some new music and I don’t plan to work on anything else before this is finished. I am extremely grateful for this because I kind of adore Nicola and his Whitelabrec’s album with Diego Balconi blew my mind. I also have some other future collaborations planned so I will just work in my new slower pace and do my best to deliver some honest music.


You can find out more/buy Ondrej Zajac’s music here:
https://www.facebook.com/thisisondrej
https://ondrejzajac.bandcamp.com


Whitelabrecs Box Set

We’re busy working behind the scenes on our next release which is imminent, however we’ve had the idea for a long time of putting together a Box Set of our first 20 releases so that there is at least some way of people new to the label being able to get a copy of our many sold out/out of print items.

We’ve made it clear that we won’t re-press any albums as we want to keep things small and collectable but for those looking to either preserve the collection or play ‘catch-up’ if they’ve only recently discovered us we think it’d be cool to make things available as a box set.

The package itself is simple and ‘DIY‘, very much like each of the CDr releases we put out with a card board box being the perfect size to comfortably house the 20 discs. The box will be hand-stamped in an ink colour of your choosing and the vinyl-style CDrs will be contained with a polaroid of the cover artwork and inside card sleeves. Again, you can choose the colour of the sleeves.
You’ll be contacted following your purchase and we’ll consult on your options and then we’ll order the materials, burn the discs and deliver to you securely!

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

https://whitelabrecs.bandcamp.com/merch/whitelabrecs-cdr-box-set-1-20

Out now! WLR021 Various Artists – Whitelabsounds

This is a proud day for us at Whitelabrecs HQ – we’ve been working hard behind the scenes for a while on our very first compilation album and for this, our packaging/design takes a slight turn. This release continues along the lines of vinyl-effect CDrs of course but this time, we’ve splashed out on creating a small scale fine-art vinyl imitation CDr, which is presented exactly as a professional vinyl LP would, only smaller!

The album sees us make good use of the full space on the disc as we’ve approached our own artists, label friends and established artists alike. The final product sees well-known producers such as Offthesky, Darkroom and The Green Kingdom line up alongside our very own David Kolhne, Jose Soberanes and Ondrej Zajac. We couldn’t be happier with the packaging and the quality of the tones contained on the disc and we hope you will be too.

As you can imagine, most of the 100 copies have been gobbled up by our subscribers however, at the time of writing copies of this album are still available – to find out more or grab a copy, 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/whitelabsounds

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
“Since we began running Whitelabrecs in January 2016 we’ve managed to put out 20 albums covering the varied ground of the Ambient scene and featuring artists both new and established. Usually by the time that this many releases have amassed, most labels will have created at least one compilation or sampler but rest assured, we’ve been working behind the scenes for several months on our very own ‘Whitelabsounds’.

Our very first compilation album features a CDr full of top drawer Ambient and Experimental music featuring well known artists in the scene such as Offthesky, Maps and Diagrams, The Green Kingdom, Wil Bolton and Darkroom as well as contributors to our discography and other friends.
The album is presented as a small-scale fine-art vinyl LP imitation package, with a printed outer photographic/graphic sleeve, white card inner sleeve and a printed vinyl-effect CDr. There’s not a rubber stamp or white label in sight, as we wanted to present something truly special and hopefully, the start of a series.

The sounds contained within the disk are to be seen as a mood board of the various shades of modern Ambient music, with darker drones concocted from electronics and light noise sitting alongside beautiful electro-acoustic pieces, framed as a sort of mosaic. Every tile tells a story as each artist’s environment, experience and influence helps shape their sound. Somehow, the whole body of work becomes greater than the sum of its parts and that brings us to the artwork, a photograph of tessellating mosaic tiles taken in Pompeii, Italy.
Some tiles are worn and disintegrated whereas some are smooth and clear, perfectly reflecting the tones that can be heard on this inaugural Whitelabsounds compilation.”

Catalog number WLR021
Mastered by Tim Diagram
Photography by Bethany Towell
Artwork by Harry Towell

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Coming soon…Various Artists | Whitelabsounds

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This is a proud day for us at Whitelabrecs HQ – we’ve been working hard behind the scenes for a while on our very first compilation album and for this, our packaging/design takes a slight turn. This release continues along the lines of vinyl-effect CDrs of course but this time, we’ve splashed out on creating a small scale fine-art vinyl imitation CDr, which is presented exactly as a professional vinyl LP would, only smaller!

The album sees us make good use of the full space on the disc as we’ve approached our own artists, label friends and established artists alike. The final product sees well-known producers such as Offthesky, Darkroom and The Green Kingdom line up alongside our very own David Kolhne, Jose Soberanes and Ondrej Zajac. We couldn’t be happier with the packaging and the quality of the tones contained on the disc and we hope you will be too.

This will be released to our subscribers first, so to avoid missing out be sure to sign up to our mailing list so you hear about it first!

Please note, this is a CDr, not a vinyl record!

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
“Since we began running Whitelabrecs in January 2016 we’ve managed to put out 20 albums covering the varied ground of the Ambient scene and featuring artists both new and established. Usually by the time that this many releases have amassed, most labels will have created at least one compilation or sampler but rest assured, we’ve been working behind the scenes for several months on our very own ‘Whitelabsounds’.

Our very first compilation album features a CDr full of top drawer Ambient and Experimental music featuring well known artists in the scene such as Offthesky, Maps and Diagrams, The Green Kingdom, Wil Bolton and Darkroom as well as contributors to our discography and other friends.
The album is presented as a small-scale fine-art vinyl LP imitation package, with a printed outer photographic/graphic sleeve, white card inner sleeve and a printed vinyl-effect CDr. There’s not a rubber stamp or white label in sight, as we wanted to present something truly special and hopefully, the start of a series.

The sounds contained within the disk are to be seen as a mood board of the various shades of modern Ambient music, with darker drones concocted from electronics and light noise sitting alongside beautiful electro-acoustic pieces, framed as a sort of mosaic. Every tile tells a story as each artist’s environment, experience and influence helps shape their sound. Somehow, the whole body of work becomes greater than the sum of its parts and that brings us to the artwork, a photograph of tessellating mosaic tiles taken in Pompeii, Italy.
Some tiles are worn and disintegrated whereas some are smooth and clear, perfectly reflecting the tones that can be heard on this inaugural Whitelabsounds compilation.”

Catalog number WLR021
Mastered by Tim Diagram
Photography by Bethany Towell
Artwork by Harry Towell

Coming soon… Various Artists | Whitelabsounds

We’re keeping further details fairly close to our chest, but we wanted to share a project that will be ready to drop very soon: our very first compilation album!

This will be released in a bigger run than our usual fifty copies and will include work from Whitelabrecs’ contributors such as Spheruleus, David Kolhne, Ondrej Zajac and La Petite Vague as well as a few friends we’ve drafted in such as The Green Kingdom, Offthesky, Maps and Diagrams and Darkroom.

Out now! WLR005 Ondrej Zajac – Monolith

We’re now up to our fifth release with approved demos mounting. Whitelabrecs has already covered a lot of musical ground and we’re pleased to push this further with this excellent debut from Ondrej Zajac. ‘Monolith‘ is a record that is born out of several year’s worth of experimenting from this Slovakian artist and will appeal to fans of lulling post-rock guitar textures, with a little light noise and electronics.
The album went live to our mailing list last weekend and we’ve already shifted most of these copies. There are still a few available and you can grab one of these by clicking HERE or the player above. Once it’s all sold out, you’ll still be able to purchase a digital version – to avoid missing out in the future, why not join our mailing list?

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Press release
Ondrej has been writing guitar music for many years and feels there is a strong difference between someone who plays guitar and someone who makes music. He has discovered far more from striving to create a sound that is his own as opposed to playing other people’s music. This begins of course with the guitar as a starting point and the journey started when he began composing folk sketches during his teens. These were built upon, developed and twisted over the years and many of the sounds and ideas from these early sketches have found their way into his first album ‘Monolith’, in some form. In terms of influences, Ondrej is keen to stay free from defined genre-based music and prefers to allow a wide variety of sonic, literary and importantly, architectural influences shape his work.

The result of these influences and some patient 8 years spent refining the smallest of detail combine into ‘Monolith’, a record of faintness, emptiness and sadness. During this time, Ondrej poured himself into the creative process and immersed himself in the sum of his improvisations. For around three months, he practically lived and breathed his work and endured countless nights when the music got stuck into his head, filtering into his dreams. He’d wake up feeling completely exhausted, only to repeat the process over and over through the coming weeks. Something compelled him to push for the finish line and arrive upon his very first album, in which he has selected not necessarily the best, but the most honest moments of his hard work. It struck him one Saturday; his work was at last complete.

Time had helped him stray as far away from those early folk songs as possible, only to gradually return to them as he strived to identify his own sound, possibilities and his limits. The return journey is one that saw him embrace his older material in searching for the innocence of the early days when he was just a ‘student’. In a pursuit of his younger self, Ondrej has closed some parts of his musical life within this album, with the sounds and details combining as one consistent piece of music; a monolithic milestone. For this reason, his last 8 years of substance is entitled Monolith.

credits
Catalog number: WLR005
Written and produced by Ondrej Zajac
Mastered at Gargle & Expel by Tom Karasek
Artwork by Barbora Girmanová