Whitelabrecs Best of 2020 List

It’s been a strange old year, as pretty much anyone reflecting on 2020 is likely to conclude. I’ll see if I can write this without mentioning Covid-19. Failed already.

As many of our followers will know, our schedule of physical releases hit an unplanned break in April, due to the closure of our local post office. We also felt that even if it were to be open, it wouldn’t be right to stand in a queue of people to ship packages a few times a week. So we decided to stop all of our plans completely. Before long, we launched into another project: Home Diaries. 30 albums from 30 artists later, we were into the warmth of July and were delighted to release our CDs again! We summarised Whitelabrecs related things in our last post, so I think the Whitelabrecs story ends here for now as far as this post is concerned.

Aside from a seriously busy year of running Whitelabrecs and even making some of my own music, I also feel that in 2020 I was able to listen to more music than I ever manage in an average year. I’ve been working from home as well as having time away from work altogether, which resulted in lots of DIY. Any household chore or job for me will always involve music. The washing needs to go on the line – it takes 5 minutes – that’s a track that can be played. Glossing every radiator in the house for example, gives time to take in a few albums! The shortlist really swelled this year and as always, my list is not about the best executed record or the perfect sound. It’s about the feeling it created for me, and how well I connected with it. I want to listen back to the records in this list in a decade or so and be taken back to this year, as strange as it was.

I stopped writing on the Irregular Crates blog a while back and this is where I’d normally announce a ‘best of’ list. But we set up Wallofambient this year alongside some other ambient labels and it’s been a bit of a consideration on whether I would post my list there. As I finalised it though, I realised several albums I’ve chosen are not ambient… so I didn’t want to annoy the ambient purists too much.

So I’ve decided to share it on the Whitelabrecs page this year and I’m sure there will be a few Ambient purists that are disappointed in my selections! Hopefully you’ll find some gems here though still. I’ve made no secret of my wide open taste in music, probably influenced by my microscopically successful DJ career, which I still look back on nostalgically. This influences my curation of Whitelabrecs and the sound we put out. Sure, the label sound is ambient overall, but you’ll see that generally I favour a melodic, melancholic or textured sound. I’m sure this is linked to a taste that dabbles in Dub Techno, Drone, Jazz, Liquid Funk, African Music, Chillhop, Deep House, Modern Classical, Funk, Folk, Field Recordings, Bossa Nova and many other styles.

So if you click the big yellow image of Port Isaac in Cornwall (from our holiday in September), you’ll be able to listen to a mix which is a countdown show of a track from each album in my top 25. My wife Beth has kindly leant her voice to provide the countdown and I added some delay and reverb effects just for fun. Below you can see a gallery of the cover art for the list of 25, as well as my thoughts on each album:


1st:
Bibio
Sleep On The Wing
Warp

At the top of my list ever since the night I noticed this new Bibio record emerged on Warp. Definitely the soundtrack to late summer for me, and I played it in the car on our family holiday to Cornwall a lot this year. So this will be a very nostalgic record for me in years to come. The use of instrument, particularly strings is a perfect blend and it’s one of those albums you can easily listen through in full. It retains your interest too with its variety of moods.

https://warp.net/releases/189049-bibio-sleep-on-the-wing


2nd:
Melody Gardot
Sunset In The Blue
Decca

I was sat listening to jazz fm in the car when an advert for Melody Gardot’s album came on. It was starting to get pretty wintry and thoughts turned to Christmas – the lush string arrangements in the snippet of audio I heard urged me to listen to the album on Spotify. I literally listened to the album over and over that whole weekend; I decided I couldn’t live without the double LP too. This isn’t necessarily my usual taste as it’s singer-songwriter stuff. But it really is just so so good all the way through. The Philharmonic orchestra certainly help, as the whole arrangement in every single track is perfect. Nearly my album of the year, this…

https://store.universalmusic.com/melodygardot/


3rd:
Offthesky & The Humble Bee
We Were The Hum Of Dreams
Laaps

This record for me was the clear winner for 2020 right up until I discovered the top two in my list. It came out at around the time the lockdown kicked in here in the UK. I was doing lots of DIY jobs around the house and the expert sound design from these two masters was just the perfect tonic to long, slightly strange days stuck indoors. There’s so much detail to get lost in, yet it still sits in the ambient genre which allows you to drift as you listen.”

https://laaps.bandcamp.com/album/we-were-the-hum-of-dreams


4th:
Loving
If I Am Only My Thoughts
Last Gang

Out in January, this one escaped me to the point when the vinyl versions had long since gone. This is a small band creating hushed ‘indie’ music, dare I say. The tones of the guitar, keys and vocals are warm and enveloping. Every single track in the album is excellent and again, the sign of a top album is one you can listen to in one sitting, without feeling the need to hit ‘skip’.

https://loving.bandcamp.com/album/if-i-am-only-my-thoughts-2


5th:
Inventions
Continuous Portrait
Temporary Residence

This album was always set to be good with the combination of talented artists Eluvium and Explosions In The Sky. It wasn’t quite what I was expecting however, as this set of fun folk ambient tracks are full of twists and turns. It doesn’t take itself too seriously and some of the samples or recordings will make you smile, whereas there are also plenty of moments that are truly beautiful.

https://inventions.bandcamp.com/album/continuous-portrait


6th:
Mute Forest
Riderstorm
Lost Tribe Sound

It was another solid year for Lost Tribe Sound with another excellent series of releases. My favourite was Mute Forest’s Riderstorm, a blend of soft rock, folk, Americana and the lightest touches of electronica. Some of the pieces are instrumental whereas others make use of Kael Smith’s song-writing and vocals. There is a generous palette of instruments used throughout but a sparse, intimate feel to it too.

https://muteforest.bandcamp.com/album/riderstorm


7th:
Mathieu Karsenti
Bygones
Slowcraft

Over the years, Modern Classical ambient music has featured heavily in my favourite records of the year. Generally, I’ve relied on household names such as Arnalds, Frahm or Jóhannsson but this year, I discovered Bygones by Mathieu Karsenti as my favourite classically influenced record. The strings and arrangement of the instrument tones are as rich and lavish as you’d find in music by these household names and that’s likely due to the fact that Karsenti is a film score composer. Only gripe is that this one’s digital only… would love to own it on vinyl!

https://slowcraft.bandcamp.com/album/bygones


8th:
Matthew Halsall
Salute To The Sun
Gondwana

I’ve been following the work of trumpeter, jazz artist and Gondwana label owner Matthew Halsall since his album Colour Yes and pretty much own all of his albums. There’s a rich and vibrant feel to all of his work but this latest album, ‘Salute To The Sun’ there’s a slightly more exotic, ‘world’ feel to it in places with more than a nod to Pharoah Sanders and Alice Coltrane. I’ve listened to this a lot since the beautifully designed CD arrived and wonder whether this might be higher up the list if I’d have been listening back in the summer.

https://matthewhalsall.bandcamp.com/album/salute-to-the-sun


9th:
Less Bells
Mourning Jewelry
Kranky

Kranky have a knack for releasing some real acoustic ambient classics and some of the finest albums blending acoustic instruments into melancholy drones. Stars of the Lid are the obvious stand out. This one by Less Bells was subject to a lengthy pre-order with a sample track available to whet my appetite. I knew this would be right up there from that very first listen and this one’s been a regular in my playlist this year. It has everything – variety, strings, texture, tasteful choral vocals, echoes of other stringed instruments and swells of cathedral drone.

https://lessbells.bandcamp.com/album/mourning-jewelry


10th:
Roméo Poirier
Hotel Nota
Sferic

There was a repress this year of Romeo Poirier’s excellent Plage Arriere but before this, the jazz flecked electronic sound art of Hotel Nota really impressed. An inevitable comparison to Jan Jelinek or Jon Hassell can be drawn but you’ll get past that to enjoy Poirier’s approach to composition and enjoy the enveloping detail of these works. I own it on vinyl and that really adds an extra layer of dust that gives another dimension.

https://sferic.bandcamp.com/album/hotel-nota


11th:
Alabaster DePlume
To Cy & Lee: Instrumentals Vol. 1
International Anthem

“I listened to a fair bit of jazz this summer, particularly the more experimental or hushed works or slower, spiritual jazz. Discovering this album by Alabaster DePlume was quite something and from the opening moments of Visit Croatia, these restful woodwind, strings and guitar compositions were a welcome sonic backdrop for warm summer days indoors.

https://intlanthem.bandcamp.com/album/to-cy-lee-instrumentals-vol-1


12th:
Soulstatejazz
Annwn
Banoffee Pies

I’ve followed the work of Tom Ellis for years, since my DJing days. He originally produced a deep, minimal micro House style and it was interesting to see him branch into a live approach, focusing on jazz and soul. This year I’ve spent a lot of time listening (and mixing) house music and it’s disappointing to me that I don’t represent this in my end of year list. However, this record bridged my attempts to make DJ mixes again with my taste for jazz music too. It starts with a beautifully deep sax and Rhodes reprise and there are some slow, leisurely House jams intersecting this beautifully deep record.

https://soulstatejazz.bandcamp.com/album/annwn


13th:
Tomotsugu Nakamura
Literature
Laaps

Laaps has quickly established itself as one of the finest ‘ambient’ labels around, following on from the success of the Eilean imprint. This one from Japanese artist Tomotsugu Nakamura has been in my car CD player for most of the year and has been a calming ‘return to the office’ record, sounding particularly nice in the sun. Acoustic sound sources, reversed notes and clicks and cuts nod nostalgically back to the mid-2000s.

https://tomotsugu.bandcamp.com/album/literature


14th:
Okkyung Lee
Yeo-Neun
Shelter Press

This record by Okkyung Lee has caused quite a stir this year and I’ve seen plenty of positive reviews and comments in the press. Lee is a South Korean cellist and her album goes far beyond the cello, as piano, low slung bass and harp amongst other creaks and clangs which makes for a playful but at times, spooky record.

https://shelterpress.bandcamp.com/album/yeo-neun


15th:
Sinerider
Moonflowers
Dronarivm

Dronarivm is a label that you tend to expect to provide high quality year-end list esque material every year. In 2020, pick of the bunch for me is this beautiful ambient album by Sinerider, a range of woozy, hazy sun-speckled guitar drones. Some of the tracks are blurry, some are more open loops but this for me has to be one of the finest ambient-leaning albums of the year, something you can easily sink into at any time, and drift away.

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


16th:
Gastón Arévalo
Terrain
A Strangely Isolated Place

When I first discovered ambient music, through netlabels, I also fell across the work of Gaston Arevalo whose sound was often a mixture of field recordings and experimental, electronica influenced ambient. I must admin, I have not followed his discography for a good number of years but this mammoth collection of deep listening-drones on A Strangely Isolated Space was a big hit for me this year, particularly late at night. At an hour long, it needs plenty of time to give it your attention and is best enjoyed as a whole.

https://astrangelyisolatedplace.bandcamp.com/album/terrain


17th:
Morimoto Naoki
Dusk To Dawn
Lontano Series

“Lontano Series have emerged as a strong label in the ambient scene and this album by Morimoto Naoki is really quite something. It’s a collection of static-riddled electro-acoustic moods, full of warmth and light melancholy. It’s difficult not to think of the 12k label when listening to this and for me, it’s easily one of the finest ambient records of the year.”

https://lontanoseries.bandcamp.com/album/dusk-to-dawn


18th:
Andrew Wasylyk
Fugitive Light and Themes of Consolation
Athens Of The North

.

https://andrewwasylyk.bandcamp.com/album/fugitive-light-and-themes-of-consolation


19th:
Mell-ø + Ambulo
Afloat Again
Chilled6Cow

I’ve been a fan of chillhop for a few years now and several of these short, chilled instrumental hip-hop eps and mini albums are in my headphones over the course of any given year. I was really impressed with this one by Mell-ø & Ambulo, with beautiful licks of smooth guitar taking centre stage.

https://mellomusicnl.bandcamp.com/album/afloat-again-ep


20th:
Footshooter
Libations & Movement
Dance Regular

“I discovered this one early this year and it sort of started my interest in beat driven music as I looked for some styles to help keep a level of positivity throughout the pandemic and its lockdowns. This one’s billed as an EP but the length is more like an album. The tracks use a street-wise London approach in the beats and vocals, but there’s a nu-jazz, broken beat and house influence running through too with some really clever production. There’s even a short ambient piece in amongst these tracks!”

https://footshooterbeats.bandcamp.com/album/libations-movement-dance-regular


21st:
Session Victim
Needledrop
Night Time Stories

I’ve got all of the Session Victim albums and have long since been a fan but Needledrop is easily a favourite, and an early contender for album of the year. This artist is often filed under house but in this record, there’s a beautifully adept ability to create downtempo, soulful tracks too. Waller and Pierce for me is the stand-out track with smooth and deep soulful vocals.

https://sessionvictim.bandcamp.com/album/needledrop


22nd:
Misha Panfilov Sound Combo
Days As Echoes
Funk Night Records

“.”

https://mpsc.bandcamp.com/album/days-as-echoes


23rd:
Leon Revol
Enter A Zircon
Church

I’ve been enjoying Ryan Bissett’s work as Halftribe for quite some time now and a jaw dropping moment occurred not long after I hit play on ‘Backwater Revisited’ from the trusty Dronarivm label. The record features synth and electro acoustic tones, drenched in reverb and a tasteful hint of chorus. Plenty of crackle and space between the lines to allow for a glistening, wintry backdrop. The artwork features an adaptation of open source imagery by Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis from back in 1908 and this rustic, vintage cover fits in perfectly with the blanket-like folds of Ambience Ryan created here.

https://www.juno.co.uk/products/leon-revol-enter-a-zircon/773858-01/


24th:
Fabiano do Nascimento
Preludio
Now-Again

“I’ve always been into bossa and Latin music since my late teens, so occasionally I’ll discover something within these categories that I end up playing a lot, particularly in the summer. This one by guitarist Fabiano do Nascimento got some serious hammer and I found I played it a lot at around breakfast time. It’s got great variety and depth and has been pretty uplifting for a heavy old year.”

https://fabianodonascimento.bandcamp.com/album/prel-dio-2


25th:
Domenique Dumont
People On Sunday
The Leaf Label

“It happens every year; I finish agonising over my end of year list after months of shuffling my ‘chart’, casting an eye over everything I left out… then I happen to discover something wonderful in December. I’d already made my end of year mix and just had to swap in this album by Latvian artist Domenique Dumont, which had been on repeat all day. There’s a child like sense of wonder about all of these playful synth melodies and rhythms that I just can’t escape. I’ll state the obvious: a few more weeks of owning this, how high up this list might it have been?”

https://domeniquedumont.bandcamp.com/album/people-on-sunday

Out Now! Glacis & Gavin Miller – Nothing Hurts Forever

We’re just about to head into the penultimate month of a crazy 2020 and we will do so, with our penultimate batch of two releases. First up, due out this Saturday the 31st of October is a collaboration between British artists Glacis and Gavin Miller. ‘Nothing Hurts Forever‘ was originally planned for the early part of this year before we halted our catalog and somehow, summer didn’t feel the right time to release this. The tail-end of October on the other hand is perfect… expect raw and honest piano accounts from a family home, joined by textured strings, licks of guitar and the occasional drone.

This limited edition CDr edition makes use of photography by Ali Safavi against a minimal white border, with dark green inner panels with contrasting text and a beautiful gold vinyl-effect disc.

Our 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 or you can join our mailing list by clicking HERE.

 

press release
“Glacis is Euan Millar-McMeeken, originally from Dundee but currently residing in London after a recent move South. Gavin Miller is an artist from Bradford, a city tucked away in the shadow of Leeds and he also records as Worriedaboutsatan. This British duo have released solo records through labels such as Lost Tribe Sound, Sound In Silence, Fluid Audio, Facture and Shimmering Moods to name but a few and in ‘Nothing Hurts Forever’ they have undertaken an exercise of collaboration, to sensitively compliment one another’s sound.

The result is a raw and intimate set of ten pieces for piano, strings, guitar and drone, which stop just short of what you might call modern classical music. Euan’s piano compositions retain an authentic character which deliberately documents the original recording environment, as marks are left on this album by creaking chairs, scraping floors and a family environment. Gavin’s strings and guitar adornments add a richness to these, emphasising texture and heightening a melancholic mood.

‘Nothing Hurts Forever’ is free from a clear concept, as Euan wrestled with homesickness having moved to England and was looking for a creative outlet in which to channel his feelings, or perhaps escape them. He was struck one day whilst listening to Frightened Rabbit, whose lead singer Scott Hutchinson had passed away in 2018. He recalled words that were said back then: ‘nothing hurts forever’. He remembered thinking at the time of Scott’s death that this wasn’t always true, as some things do in fact hurt forever. Perhaps this statement is more useful, to provide reassurance during a period of discomfort or unease. Adapting to changes, such as moving home or changing jobs for example. For bigger things, perhaps the hurt can lessen or fade over time or perhaps it never truly goes. From this point, the record felt like a follow-on to the previous Glacis album ‘The World Is A Little Lonelier Without You’, a tribute to his father.

With the adaptation and sensitive expansion of Euan’s piano environments, Gavin has retained all of the personal character which is so important to his peer. Yet the stories are given an extra dimension and something so personal becoming a collaboration opens this out to be a space for our own interpretation as the moods and track titles provide food for thought.

credits
Written and produced by Euan Millar-McMeeken
Mastered by Gavin Miller
Photography by Ali Safavi
Packaging Design by Harry Towell

Coming soon…Glacis & Gavin Miller – Nothing Hurts Forever

We’re just about to head into the penultimate month of a crazy 2020 and we will do so, with our penultimate batch of two releases. First up, due out this Saturday the 31st of October is a collaboration between British artists Glacis and Gavin Miller. ‘Nothing Hurts Forever‘ was originally planned for the early part of this year before we halted our catalog and somehow, summer didn’t feel the right time to release this. The tail-end of October on the other hand is perfect… expect raw and honest piano accounts from a family home, joined by textured strings, licks of guitar and the occasional drone.

This limited edition CDr edition makes use of photography by Ali Safavi against a minimal white border, with dark green inner panels with contrasting text and a beautiful gold vinyl-effect disc.

The album will be released on Saturday the 31st of October with no pre-order. If you join our mailing list using the link below, we’ll make sure you’re the first to hear.

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
“Glacis is Euan Millar-McMeeken, originally from Dundee but currently residing in London after a recent move South. Gavin Miller is an artist from Bradford, a city tucked away in the shadow of Leeds and he also records as Worriedaboutsatan. This British duo have released solo records through labels such as Lost Tribe Sound, Sound In Silence, Fluid Audio, Facture and Shimmering Moods to name but a few and in ‘Nothing Hurts Forever’ they have undertaken an exercise of collaboration, to sensitively compliment one another’s sound.

The result is a raw and intimate set of ten pieces for piano, strings, guitar and drone, which stop just short of what you might call modern classical music. Euan’s piano compositions retain an authentic character which deliberately documents the original recording environment, as marks are left on this album by creaking chairs, scraping floors and a family environment. Gavin’s strings and guitar adornments add a richness to these, emphasising texture and heightening a melancholic mood.

‘Nothing Hurts Forever’ is free from a clear concept, as Euan wrestled with homesickness having moved to England and was looking for a creative outlet in which to channel his feelings, or perhaps escape them. He was struck one day whilst listening to Frightened Rabbit, whose lead singer Scott Hutchinson had passed away in 2018. He recalled words that were said back then: ‘nothing hurts forever’. He remembered thinking at the time of Scott’s death that this wasn’t always true, as some things do in fact hurt forever. Perhaps this statement is more useful, to provide reassurance during a period of discomfort or unease. Adapting to changes, such as moving home or changing jobs for example. For bigger things, perhaps the hurt can lessen or fade over time or perhaps it never truly goes. From this point, the record felt like a follow-on to the previous Glacis album ‘The World Is A Little Lonelier Without You’, a tribute to his father.

With the adaptation and sensitive expansion of Euan’s piano environments, Gavin has retained all of the personal character which is so important to his peer. Yet the stories are given an extra dimension and something so personal becoming a collaboration opens this out to be a space for our own interpretation as the moods and track titles provide food for thought.

credits
Written and produced by Euan Millar-McMeeken
Mastered by Gavin Miller
Photography by Ali Safavi
Packaging Design by Harry Towell

Out Now! Max Ananyev – Midday

We’re pleased to announce the second album out now! This one is by Saint-Petersburg, Russia based artist Max Ananyev, an accomplished  guitarist and composer who has released with fellow British labels Serein and Preserved Sound. Electric guitar appears in the subtlest of ways as it is surrounded by warm drones, restful bells and hints of piano notes.

Our 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 or you can click HERE

https://whitelabrecs.bandcamp.com/album/midday

press release
“Max Ananyev is a composer and classical guitarist originally from Far Eastern-Russia, who currently resides in Saint-Petersburg. Max began studying and playing classical guitar in music school as a child, composing his own pieces from this early age. In the last 10 years, he has become increasingly focused in his work as a composer, with numerous albums and EPs, released on British labels Serein and Preserved Sound as well as Moscow’s Fancymusic.

His process for creating music is to schedule some time specifically to compose. He does not wait for inspiration to strike, instead allowing this to take place once his studio sessions begin. Time is all that is needed for the work to develop and it is timbre which is the target, so that specific sounds can be achieved. He prefers his recordings to flow into an album or record, rather than selecting the best sounds from a large pool of material.

Thematically, anything from the sunlight beaming onto the wall in a room, chance communications with people and traveling can influence Max as an artist. His unrelated studies at the time of recording subconsciously feel linked to this body of work somehow, with lectures on Renaissance alchemists, mythology, death and human evolution having been an area of research during this album’s production period. Nietzsche’s tightrope walker was also a poignant read at the time and purely by coincidence, the person in the cover image appears to be walking a tightrope.

However, conceptually there is not a neatly mapped-out journey for the listener. Instead the asymmetric shapes of atmospheric sound and the names they have inherited, along with the cover artwork tell different stories as each track passes. Introductions, codes, different parts and moods unfurl carefully in the lightest breeze, like classical music. Midday creates a warm and restful environment for the listener to make sense of this collection of moods; a task made all too easy thanks to its shimmeringly adherent gathering of light sounds.”

credits
Written, Produced and Mastered by Max Ananyev
Photography by Natalia Poluyanova and Dmitriy Ratushniy
Packaging design by Harry Towell

Coming soon…Max Ananyev – Midday

We’re pleased to announce the second album set for release on Saturday the 29th of August. This is by Saint-Petersburg, Russia based artist Max Ananyev, an accomplished  guitarist and composer who has released with fellow British labels Serein and Preserved Sound. Electric guitar appears in the subtlest of ways as it is surrounded by warm drones, restful bells and hints of piano notes.

The album will be released on Saturday the 29th of August with no pre-order. If you join our mailing list using the link below, we’ll make sure you’re the first to hear.

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
“Max Ananyev is a composer and classical guitarist originally from Far Eastern-Russia, who currently resides in Saint-Petersburg. Max began studying and playing classical guitar in music school as a child, composing his own pieces from this early age. In the last 10 years, he has become increasingly focused in his work as a composer, with numerous albums and EPs, released on British labels Serein and Preserved Sound as well as Moscow’s Fancymusic.

His process for creating music is to schedule some time specifically to compose. He does not wait for inspiration to strike, instead allowing this to take place once his studio sessions begin. Time is all that is needed for the work to develop and it is timbre which is the target, so that specific sounds can be achieved. He prefers his recordings to flow into an album or record, rather than selecting the best sounds from a large pool of material.

Thematically, anything from the sunlight beaming onto the wall in a room, chance communications with people and traveling can influence Max as an artist. His unrelated studies at the time of recording subconsciously feel linked to this body of work somehow, with lectures on Renaissance alchemists, mythology, death and human evolution having been an area of research during this album’s production period. Nietzsche’s tightrope walker was also a poignant read at the time and purely by coincidence, the person in the cover image appears to be walking a tightrope.

However, conceptually there is not a neatly mapped-out journey for the listener. Instead the asymmetric shapes of atmospheric sound and the names they have inherited, along with the cover artwork tell different stories as each track passes. Introductions, codes, different parts and moods unfurl carefully in the lightest breeze, like classical music. Midday creates a warm and restful environment for the listener to make sense of this collection of moods; a task made all too easy thanks to its shimmeringly adherent gathering of light sounds.”

credits
Written, Produced and Mastered by Max Ananyev
Photography by Natalia Poluyanova and Dmitriy Ratushniy
Packaging design by Harry Towell

Out Now! Mikael Lind – Give Shape To Space

In the first of two new physical editions on Whitelabrecs, we welcome Iceland’s Mikael Lind, who many may recognise from his sublime album ‘Contingencies‘ on Archives, his collaboration with Hoshiko Yamane for Time Released Sound or perhaps keen readers of our liner notes, as he helped mix S.hel’s Disconnect which we released in March.
His new album ‘Give Shape To Space‘ straddles the line of friction between his two production styles as modern classical minimalism is interwoven with modular synths.

The album will be released on Saturday the 25th 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.

Our 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 or you can click HERE

https://whitelabrecs.bandcamp.com/album/give-shape-to-space

press release
“Mikael Lind is a composer and musician originally from Sweden, currently based in Reykjavik, Iceland. He has released music through labels such as Morr Music, Archives and Polar Seas Recordings and has also collaborated with Tangerine Dream’s Hoshiko Yamane in an album for Time Released Sound. Mikael had played a concert with Hoshiko late last year and had planned a European tour for 2020 which has been cancelled due to the covid-19 pandemic. He also contributed some of the groundwork and mixing expertise in S.hel’s ‘Disconnect’ which we released back in March this year.

Growing up, Mikael was influenced by Aphex Twin and much of the Warp catalog as well as showing a keen interest in classical music, with Arvo Pärt a particular inspiration. Piano and synthesisers form the forefront of his sound as he combines orchestral timbres with subtle electronics. Recently he has been moving increasingly away from the typical Ambient sound in two directions; one is towards more classical music, and the other towards more electronic, modular music. ‘Give Shape to Space’ is somehow representative of this friction, without taking sides; modern classical minimalism with strings and pianos share the field with evolving modular synths, both contributing to ripping apart the comfortable ambient soundscapes and making them more expressive.

Mikael had various shapes in his mind as he developed the structure and detail that this record has become. He was reading about physics and in particular, quantum leaps. Beyond this, Mikael doesn’t want to dissect his album too much, in the hope that you, the listener will bring your own shapes and imagination to this sound space.”

credits
Written and produced by Mikael Lind
Mastered by James Edward Armstrong
Artwork by Sigga Björg
Design by Harry Towell

Coming soon…Mikael Lind – Give Shape To Space

In the first of two new physical editions on Whitelabrecs, we welcome Iceland’s Mikael Lind, who many may recognise from his sublime album ‘Contingencies‘ on Archives, his collaboration with Hoshiko Yamane for Time Released Sound or perhaps keen readers of our liner notes, as he helped mix S.hel’s Disconnect which we released in March.
His new album ‘Give Shape To Space‘ straddles the line of friction between his two production styles as modern classical minimalism is interwoven with modular synths.

The album will be released on Saturday the 25th 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.

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
“Mikael Lind is a composer and musician originally from Sweden, currently based in Reykjavik, Iceland. He has released music through labels such as Morr Music, Archives and Polar Seas Recordings and has also collaborated with Tangerine Dream’s Hoshiko Yamane in an album for Time Released Sound. Mikael had played a concert with Hoshiko late last year and had planned a European tour for 2020 which has been cancelled due to the covid-19 pandemic. He also contributed some of the groundwork and mixing expertise in S.hel’s ‘Disconnect’ which we released back in March this year.

Growing up, Mikael was influenced by Aphex Twin and much of the Warp catalog as well as showing a keen interest in classical music, with Arvo Pärt a particular inspiration. Piano and synthesisers form the forefront of his sound as he combines orchestral timbres with subtle electronics. Recently he has been moving increasingly away from the typical Ambient sound in two directions; one is towards more classical music, and the other towards more electronic, modular music. ‘Give Shape to Space’ is somehow representative of this friction, without taking sides; modern classical minimalism with strings and pianos share the field with evolving modular synths, both contributing to ripping apart the comfortable ambient soundscapes and making them more expressive.

Mikael had various shapes in his mind as he developed the structure and detail that this record has become. He was reading about physics and in particular, quantum leaps. Beyond this, Mikael doesn’t want to dissect his album too much, in the hope that you, the listener will bring your own shapes and imagination to this sound space.”

credits
Written and produced by Mikael Lind
Mastered by James Edward Armstrong
Artwork by Sigga Björg
Design by Harry Towell

Home Diaries 030: Luis Miehlich

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.

In final Home Diaries release, we welcome back Luis Miehlich, who provided last year’s ‘Timecuts‘. Heidelberg, Germany based Luis has also had a release back in 2018 with Archives and we’re excited to present this almost hour-long suite of piano improvisations. Luis found that the repetition of days indoors made time go quickly in lockdown, so he used this as inspiration to try to revers this, by making an album centralised on his piano, with only the slightest of subtle electronic techniques

Each Home Diaries 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-030

-ARTIST LINK-
https://woolookologie.bandcamp.com/album/home-diaries-030

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.

Our final Home Diaries sees the return of Luis Miehlich whose album Timecuts was released by us last year. Luis has also been active with self-released works as well as the beautiful ‘Silences’ on Archives in 2018. He is a music student and pianist and the pandemic resulted in the cancellation of a performance he’d written music for. Whilst the lockdown in Heidelberg, Germany was less stringent than many other countries, Luis spent his time at home and the endless repetition of days gave him a sense of time running away at pace.

Luis’ Home Diaries is an expansive, almost hour-long collection of piano improvisations, which he created to counter his perception of time, to slow the world down. He used subtle delay effects to force him to have an awareness of the past and future as he played. The gentlest of electronics and guitar is used to accompany the piano at times and the result is something we feel is the perfect way to end the journey that has been this Home Diaries series.”

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