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

Out Now! Sven Laux – What Remains


Here’s the first of two new releases out today on Whitelabrecs. This one’s a cinematic modern classical album called ‘What Remains‘ by Sven Laux, combining piano and strings arrangements with sensitively placed electronics. It’s out now in a run of 100 gatefold vinyl-effect CDrs after a short pre-order last week. If you click here: mailing list, we’ll make sure you’re the first to hear.

press release
“Since 2018 we’ve released five albums from Berlin, Germany based composer Sven Laux, including his most recent collaboration with Fione and solo albums ‘Schachmatt’, ‘ODD’, his Home Diaries edition and 2020 and the extended version, Scattered Fragments of Separation (The Complete Story). Sven’s sound design has found its home in short films, advertisement and in audio branding but he also maintains his discography as an artist, focusing on deeply stirring cinematic themes.

A well-balanced contemporary sound awaits you in this latest edition ‘What Remains’ and you are urged by the title to consider what you think about when something is left over? The record uses a depth of sprawling orchestral timbres, across its at-first cryptically titled tracks, to set out the phases of processing an event. At first there is ‘patience’ and ‘hope’, then there is the passing of the event (‘the goodbye’) followed by ‘what remains’; the now. Memory may serve ‘the return’ and perhaps ‘the cohesion’ and for some, there may be ‘the ending’.

You may choose a past experience to relate with these titles or, you might choose to allow it to relate to the present day. It does not matter whether you think positively about something from the past, or whether you mourn something afterwards in a sad or melancholy way. Whether negative, positive or even indifferent, it is the contemplative environment that each track brings which will allow this record to become a thinking space; a ceremonial framework to process events.

credits
Written and Produced by Sven Laux
Mastered by James Edward Armstrong
Artwork by Zoë Heath
Art and Design by Andrew Heath

Coming soon… Sven Laux – What Remains

Our new release ‘What Remains‘ by Sven Laux will be available officially in one of our typically low runs of 100 gatefold vinyl-effect CDrs on Saturday the 15th of October after a pre-order for Bandcamp Friday on the 7th of October. If you click here: mailing list, we’ll make sure you’re the first to hear.

press release
“Since 2018 we’ve released five albums from Berlin, Germany based composer Sven Laux, including his most recent collaboration with Fione and solo albums ‘Schachmatt’, ‘ODD’, his Home Diaries edition and 2020 and the extended version, Scattered Fragments of Separation (The Complete Story). Sven’s sound design has found its home in short films, advertisement and in audio branding but he also maintains his discography as an artist, focusing on deeply stirring cinematic themes.

A well-balanced contemporary sound awaits you in this latest edition ‘What Remains’ and you are urged by the title to consider what you think about when something is left over? The record uses a depth of sprawling orchestral timbres, across its at-first cryptically titled tracks, to set out the phases of processing an event. At first there is ‘patience’ and ‘hope’, then there is the passing of the event (‘the goodbye’) followed by ‘what remains’; the now. Memory may serve ‘the return’ and perhaps ‘the cohesion’ and for some, there may be ‘the ending’.

You may choose a past experience to relate with these titles or, you might choose to allow it to relate to the present day. It does not matter whether you think positively about something from the past, or whether you mourn something afterwards in a sad or melancholy way. Whether negative, positive or even indifferent, it is the contemplative environment that each track brings which will allow this record to become a thinking space; a ceremonial framework to process events.

credits
Written and Produced by Sven Laux
Mastered by James Edward Armstrong
Artwork by Zoë Heath
Art and Design by Andrew Heath

Out Now! Sven Laux & Fione – Tomorrow Everything Could Be Different

Our June releases are out today and in this edition we have a collaboration between our regular artist Sven Laux, and his fellow Berliner Fione, a pianist and musician. ‘Tomorrow Everything Could Be Different’ is a collection of solo piano compositions that have been adapted into a magical soundtrack of strings, synths and electronics.

Tomorrow Everything Could Be Different 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
“With this latest edition to the Whitelabrecs discography, we welcome back composer Sven Laux with a collaboration with fellow Berliner and musician Fione. This record began from a chance meeting at a party after Fione had discussed her improvisational piano performances and how it might lend itself to Sven’s orchestral Ambient music. After over a year, Fione recorded a track and sent it to Sven, who added layers of additional texture and detail; enough to be a catalyst from which they produced an album.

Each original piano composition was adapted one by one, piece by piece, into its magical whole. Fione tells us that for her, the music was always about what could have been, a sort of pain that we feel inside of us that we know we can’t change, because it is impossible to turn back time. Instead, we live with what we know we have to deal with, facing every day with the uncertainty that something might change in a minute, an hour or, tomorrow. From here, Tomorrow Everything Could Be Different’s concept can be gleaned as we contemplate the past, present and future and it can be interpreted differently by the listener.

Quiet moments of reflection weave a pensive environment in which you can either concentrate your thoughts, or allow them to evaporate. The music feels at times as if it is containing and conserving its energy, only for swells of strings and fleeting crescendos to release the tension. It’s a release which reveals either negative, or positive energy, depending on its listener. The artwork from painter Maliana Wang reflects the album’s themes by offering what appears to be storm clouds or crashing waves.

We all see the future in different ways. Tomorrow Everything Could Be Different doesn’t tell you what will change, that things will get better, or worse. The clouds may thicken, or they may disappear.

credits
Written and Produced by Sven Laux and Fione
Mastered by James Edward Armstrong
Painting by Maliana Wang
Art and design by Andrew Heath

Coming soon… Sven Laux & Fione – Tomorrow Could Be Different

Here’s the second of two new releases lined-up for the 17th of June and in this one, we welcome back Sven Laux who has collaborated with a fellow Berlin-based artist Fione, who is a musician and pianist. Tomorrow Everything Could Be Different is an album inspired by time and place, with Sven taking Fione’s piano compositions into lush, orchestrated Ambient territory. The release is complete, with an original painting as the cover artwork, by Maliana Wang. Tomorrow Everything Could Be Different‘ will be up for pre-order this coming Bandcamp Friday, the 3rd of June.

Then ‘Tomorrow Everything Could Be Different‘ will be available officially in one of our typically low runs of 100 gatefold vinyl-effect CDrs, complete with art and design by Andrew Heath.

It will be released officially on Saturday the 17th of June. If you join our mailing list using the link below, we’ll make sure you’re the first to hear.

press release
“With this latest edition to the Whitelabrecs discography, we welcome back composer Sven Laux with a collaboration with fellow Berliner and musician Fione. This record began from a chance meeting at a party after Fione had discussed her improvisational piano performances and how it might lend itself to Sven’s orchestral Ambient music. After over a year, Fione recorded a track and sent it to Sven, who added layers of additional texture and detail; enough to be a catalyst from which they produced an album.

Each original piano composition was adapted one by one, piece by piece, into its magical whole. Fione tells us that for her, the music was always about what could have been, a sort of pain that we feel inside of us that we know we can’t change, because it is impossible to turn back time. Instead, we live with what we know we have to deal with, facing every day with the uncertainty that something might change in a minute, an hour or, tomorrow. From here, Tomorrow Everything Could Be Different’s concept can be gleaned as we contemplate the past, present and future and it can be interpreted differently by the listener.

Quiet moments of reflection weave a pensive environment in which you can either concentrate your thoughts, or allow them to evaporate. The music feels at times as if it is containing and conserving its energy, only for swells of strings and fleeting crescendos to release the tension. It’s a release which reveals either negative, or positive energy, depending on its listener. The artwork from painter Maliana Wang reflects the album’s themes by offering what appears to be storm clouds or crashing waves.

We all see the future in different ways. Tomorrow Everything Could Be Different doesn’t tell you what will change, that things will get better, or worse. The clouds may thicken, or they may disappear.

credits
Written and Produced by Sven Laux and Fione
Mastered by James Edward Armstrong
Painting by Maliana Wang
Art and design by Andrew Heath

Out Now! Sven Laux – Scattered Fragments of Separation (The Complete Story)

We’re to announce today this new double album by Sven Laux, who has adapted last year’s Home Diaries album ‘Scattered Fragments of Separation‘ with a new album of material. This is available now in a special double gatefold CD edition, with the 2 discs containing a total of 17 tracks.

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
“In 2020’s mammoth Home Diaries series, Berlin composer Sven Laux contributed the 25th edition in this collection, which focused on the lives of sonic artists from across the globe and their own unique experiences during the pandemic.

Sven was handed an unplanned hiatus from creating music, due to staying some 100 kilometres away from his studio. He was based with relatives for childcare purposes and the weeks away from his art led to him returning home alone. He knew that whichever path he took, a compromise was required as he had to either be away from his family or separated from the creativity that so defines him. Separation became the theme to an immersive collection of ‘fragments’, which was created almost instinctively over a short period of time following his return.

Later in 2020, sunken and heartbroken, Sven set about exploring these themes once again. The result is an expansive double album, containing both the original 9 pieces that were released as the Home Diaries edition and 8 new pieces. This is a record that is unapologetically cinematic, presented by an artist who is adept in sound design and writing music for film. The honest and reflective portrait photography by Polina Georgescu cements this as an auto-biopic experience, Laux’s most personal album to date. Scattered Fragments of Separation (The Complete Story) follows the ‘Schachmatt’ and ‘ODD’ albums released in 2018 and 2019 respectively and marks four successive years of releasing music with us. Sven has also released with labels including Archives, Dronarivm and Fluid Audio.

In the liner notes on the CD, it is stated that this is ‘music for the brokenhearted, written by a broken heart’ and in just under 2 hours of sound texture, the music will both break and restore you, as melancholy moods are interspersed with moments of drama, peace and acceptance.

credits
Written and produced by Sven Laux
Mastered by James Edward Armstrong
Photography by Polina Georgescu
Art and design by Andrew Heath

Out Now! Various Artists – The Home Diaries

We’re delighted to get back to making CDs again after our break over December. It was good to have some down time and to do some planning too but it’s wonderful to be back, with our exciting schedule for 2021.
We’d like to thank all of those who supported us over this period, getting involved with our winter sale. Our stock cupboard is looking lighter and at last there is some space in the drawer for this year’s release schedule!

First up is the double-album Home Diaries compilation, which includes a track from each of the 30 Home Diaries releases from last year. For those unfamiliar, Home Diaries was an invitation to artists to write a record about their situation in lockdown. It was a digital only series, put together to keep our label going after we had to stop releasing CDs.

We know that many prefer a physical edition and so we wanted to create something so that those who do are able to experience this series in some way. So we decided to go all out on the packaging for this one. There is a standard double gatefold edition as well as an ultra deluxe edition, in which the double gatefold CD is contained within a gold foil-printed matchbox, which also includes a booklet which contains a photo of each artist’s home.

There were only around 65 copies of the ultra deluxe to sell after artist allocations, and these have sold out already having been snapped up quickly by our subscribers. However, at the time of writing we have around 50 copies of the standard double album edition, which we feel is still quite a spectacle in itself. It’s complete with the cover artwork, which is an oil painting by Adrian Lane who re-imagined the original series cover.

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

press release
“It’s fair to say that the events of the year 2020 will go down as quite a year and may form a large part of the history curriculum for the children of tomorrow. The pandemic is of course just part of the story, against a backdrop of political unrest, climate change and injustice too.

Whitelabrecs was affected with the closure of our local post office, meaning we were unable to ship our CDs. We also felt we had a duty not to hold up a queue of people and decided to stop production of our catalog. During that time, to make sure we still had a label left to return to, we launched the ambitious Home Diaries series. It ran for 3 months and in that relatively short space of time, the series reached 30 releases!

Home Diaries was an invitation to artists and musicians to create an album or EP to document their personal experience during the lockdown or social distancing conditions caused by the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. The series reflects a range of sounds, styles and ideas, as each artist portrayed their own reflections uniquely, available as a digital only edition including a bonus interview and photos.
Each of the 30 digital editions in the Home Diaries series is an individual work of art, created to share the varying experiences felt by each artist.

This compilation album pulls together a track from each record, sequenced in a way that flows as a specially curated environment, over the course of two CDs. We have two versions available as follows:

A standard edition, which is a double-disc gatefold vinyl-effect CDr album, featuring a re-interpretation of the original cover artwork, painted by Adrian Lane.

A deluxe matchbox edition, in which the double-disc gatefold vinyl-effect CDr is housed inside a gold foil-etched box, which also contains a booklet which includes a photo from each artist’s home during lockdown. This version serves as a time capsule into the original series; a keepsake which is limited to just 70 copies.

If you opt for the digital version, this also includes the photo booklet as a bonus PDF item.

credits
Released January 23, 2021

Painting and artwork by Adrian Lane
Booklet images provided by each respective artist
Packaging layout by Harry Towell
Compilation curated by Harry Towell

All tracks mastered by James Edward Armstrong, except:
12 ‘Out In The Open’ Mastered by John Hannon
17 ‘Distance Learning’ Mastered by Michael Southard
29 -‘Stanze e Distanze (part 2)’ Mastered by Francis M. Gri

Home Diaries 025: Sven Laux

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 our next edition, we welcome back Berlin, Germany’s Sven Laux, who has regularly collaborated with us over the years, including albums ‘Schachmatt‘ and ‘ODD‘. Sven’s Home Diaries entry is themed around separation and is a full album of fine cinematic modern classical music, clocking in at almost an hour.

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-024

-ARTIST LINK-
https://svenlaux.bandcamp.com/album/scattered-fragments-of-separation

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.

Next we welcome back a regular contributor to our catalog, Berlin’s Sven Laux. Sven has released albums ‘Schachmatt’ and ‘ODD’ with us as well as contribute remixes and compilation pieces. Aside from working with us, Sven has also released with labels such as Archives, Dronarivm and more recently Fluid Audio, in a collaborative release with our label owner Harry Towell. He also runs the Seasides On Postcards label.

Sven’s Home Diaries came about suddenly, after his experience of the pandemic saw him living away from home, some 100km from Berlin. He was staying with family for childcare purposes but the weeks away from his art drove him to head back home alone. Over some intense days in his studio, Sven had created ‘Scattered Fragments of Separation‘, a full and immersive album of modern classical compositions. The dreamy but emotive sound of the piano became the focus of his sound, as he wanted to both lose himself whilst also, channel his experiences into a documentary record which preserve this strange time.”

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

Favourite Records of 2019

Our label owner Harry Towell has put together a post for the Irregular Crates blog of his favourite albums of the year, complete with a mix. Read below for Harry’s summary of the year followed by the top 20, with links and a brief commentary for each record. Click the image above to listen to the mix Harry has created, 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…


“2019 has been very much the year of Ambient and Modern Classical for me in terms of my listening habits. I didn’t have as much time to devote to scouring weird and wonderful music across all genres as I usually do and tended to stick to ‘my scene’. I’ve been very busy running Whitelabrecs and so much of my spare time from work and family life has been set aside for working on the 18 album releases we managed this year and I tended to listen to upcoming label releases over and over as I prepared to release them. So my year has very much been soundtracked by my own label but I can hardly announce a best of list of work I’ve been directly involved with!

That’s not to say however, that I didn’t discover some truly breathtaking works from other labels and artists that I admire. I was sent quite a lot of the albums I have charted for a potential review on Irregular Crates and I regret not having the time to put pen to paper and support these albums. I always knew that whatever time constraints I was under, I wanted to give something back and keep these end of lists going, as a recommendation to others to hopefully introduce some wonderful music. I’ve always done it expressly to support labels and artists at the end of the year and I know how special it makes an artist feel, when a music-loving person enjoys their work enough to listen over and over again to the point of labelling it their favourite.

It’s now been 10 years since I got into the modern ambient/home listening scene and throughout the years on my old Audio Gourmet blog and Irregular Crates, I’ve done a ‘Best of’ list every time. After I wrote this article and before I made this year’s mix, I decided to glance back at these lists and skim through some mixes… The nostalgia it brought me is indescribable to the point where I realised that as well as giving something back to music by sharing my thoughts with friends and potential listeners, I am also documenting my life in music. The thought struck me to create a best of decade post or mix, but then I wondered if that might just be too big a task! Perhaps I’ll write a post and link to each of the charts and mixes, where applicable sometime before the year’s out?

Aside from my work on the label and my own production work, I’ve of course got a daughter who is almost 15 months old but also, I started a new job recently and gave up my other two. This has given a work/life balance that I can scarcely remember ever having and it’s given more time and space for music, where I’m now feeling less pressed for time. My work is an hour long commute each way, so five days a week, two hours a day I have a chance to listen to music and I’ve found that Spotify has become a more common platform for me since and I’ve created a few playlists across various genres which I’ve been adding to. I like many musicians never planned to use the service but it struck me that I actually own nearly all of what I listen to physically or at the very least as an mp3. The way I see it, there is actually a place for streaming as a tool of convenience when on the move and it gives artists and labels a chance to effectively keep on earning for every play even after a listener has purchased something. I know not everyone listens in this way, but it’s certainly the case for me. I did a survey of Ambient music listeners earlier this year and now have over 1000 people fill it in, so I look forward to sharing the results early next year!

This year I’ve followed a very similar format to last year’s post – my top 20 albums of the year are listed below along with a few words and the relevant links to check the album out for yourself. Then there”s a one and a half hour mix show too in which I’ve used some countdown vox pops that my wife Beth recorded for me a few years back. The cover artwork this year was taken on our first family holiday in Tenby, Wales as we looked out to St. Catherine’s Island one chilly September evening with the moon sat in the distance just above the sea. The holiday also formed a relaxing bridge between two jobs as I left my previous role of five years for pastures new. A wonderful week of reflection, looking forward to the future and making family memories.


1st:
A Winged Victory For The Sullen
The Undivided Five
Ninja Tunes

This album took me by surprise a little, not that it emerged suddenly as I’d been following the social media developments of the production for this record. But instead, it was the label which surprised me – it’s fascinating to see how Ninja Tunes has evolved; a label I’d explored in my teens for Trip Hop music is still around and still relevant, now working with powerhouses of Modern Classical music. It received considerable hype and I have to say deservedly so. I’ve known people who tend to swerve hyped records doubt it…and then listen and immediately get drawn in. It’s interesting for the Spotify or digital age, who build playlists – tell me how you can listen to a single track on this album? For me, it plays as a whole unit and I’ve simply not been able to put it down once a few notes from ‘Our Lord Debussy’ start. It commands a full listen, to be heard in all its glory. I loved O’Halloran and Wiltzie’s debut but this is their masterpiece and something that’s up there with some of the best music I’ve ever heard.

https://awvfts.bandcamp.com/album/the-undivided-five


2nd:
M. Grig
Mount Carmel
12k

I’ve been in touch with Mike (M. Grig) for a while after he’d contributed a track to the sleeplaboratory1.0 compilation on my label, Whitelabrecs. He announced that he’d be releasing an album with 12k, one of my favourite labels. I was so excited to hear it and when the album came out in May, it truly set me up for the summer. The warm guitars shine in the sun on an album steeped in nostalgia. The liner notes on the release page give further insight into the childhood memories which are woven into this beautiful record which is rounded off perfectly with the evocative painted cover art.

https://12kmusic.bandcamp.com/album/mount-carmel


3rd:
Mikael Lind
Contingencies
Archives

Archives, as they do so regularly, were responsible this year for introducing me to another artist. This time, enter Mikael Lind, whose album is set to a backdrop of the deepest, darkest forest. The artwork grabbed me first and I ordered the CD which has become the most played album in my car this year. There isn’t much written in regards to a concept but the artwork and sound are striking enough for this to still feel complete. Different pianos are played, with careful detail and minutiae embedded into the composition. Every track is a winner but Ideas Fade Away blows my mind.

https://archivesdubmusic.bandcamp.com/album/contingencies


4th:
Hoshiko Yamane and Mikael Lind
Spaces In Between
Time Released Sound

This one’s only recently dropped so I’ve not had long to listen to it. But then, I didn’t need long. It’s not difficult to be bowled over by an album when it’s of this quality. This album navigates the distance between Berlin and Reykjavik, the places in which these two respective artists live. Yamane was a violinist as part of Tangerine Dream and Mikael Lind has been forging his career as a modern composer to great effect. This record is utterly incredible and I wonder whether with a bit of time and space, it might have given A Winged Victory For The Sullen’s record a run for its money in first place….

https://timereleasedsound.bandcamp.com/album/spaces-in-between


5th:
Penguin Cafe
Handfuls of Night
Erased Tapes

Quality output on Erased Tapes is expected and there was no disappointment in their release of the Penguin Cafe’s ‘Handfuls of Night’. It’s a record in which Arthur Jeffes attempted translate his experiences travelling to Antarctica, a land which of course is inhabited by the penguin, and not much else! The album uses modern classical composition inclusive of piano, viola, double bass, violin, cello and percussion to name but a few ingredients, to tell the story of endless space. There is not just the vast open white blank canvas that one might imagine, cold and stark nothingness. Instead, this record is brimming with life and wonderment somehow and, it sounds particularly magnificent on vinyl, through a decent sound system and a bit of volume!

https://penguincafe.bandcamp.com/album/handfuls-of-night


6th:
The Humble Bee and Offthesky
All Other Voices Gone, Only Yours Remains
IIKKI

How do two such revered artists from the same scene combine? Craig Tattersall’s defined a generation through his work as The Boats, his label Moteer and of course, The Humble Bee whilst Jason Corder has been refining his work as Offthesky for the same duration. In a word, the combination blends together effortlessly. Whether that was the case in the studio/in production we may never know but this album is a work of art in every sense of the word. You’re left with half a photograph, evocative track titles and a careful unfurling of fuzzy, warm ambience and electro acoustics. Not to mention, a truly special physical edition by the fine art label IIKKI.

https://iikki.bandcamp.com/album/all-other-voices-gone-only-yours-remains


7th:
Justin Wright
Music For Staying Warm
First Terrace

This record was clearly instantly impressive but I found it move further and further up my ‘chart’ as the year went on. I wonder if it could be the weather? We’ve had quite a bit of wind and rain here in the UK so the title of this one helps it feel like a comfort blanket. Justin Wright has composed a suite of modern classical music, with cello at the centre of the production given that this is his chosen instrument. It is not deep, dark cello – rather, it is warm and uplifting in a strange, melancholy way.

https://firstterracerecords.bandcamp.com/album/music-for-staying-warm


8th:
Vieo Abiungo
The Dregs
Lost Tribe Sound

William Ryan Fritch has very much become the signature artist for Lost Tribe Sound but his other moniker Vieo Abiungo deserves every attention too. This year LTS put out an album with a title which doesn’t exactly have positive connotations. However, this record is everything but – there’s far too much detail and careful attention paid to the production of this percussion and instrument laden album. Across 14 short tracks, Fritch builds an exotic tale of a far away land, perhaps one that doesn’t even exist. It will literally suck you in with tribal tunes and its subtle moments of suspense. I’ve had this one playing in my headphones everywhere from the car to the supermarket. A must listen.

https://williamryanfritch.bandcamp.com/album/the-dregs


9th:
Offthesky
Illuminate
Eilean

With Eilean Recs set to bow out this year, it was exciting to see what records they’d put out to conclude this wonderful series. I was delighted to see the return of Offthesky! Anyone who has read pretty much any of my end of year lists, will have seen this artist’s name crop up time and time again. Indeed, Jason Corder’s work is something I’ve tracked ever since I got into the Ambient side of my musical taste a decade ago. This one’s a beautiful electro-acoustic album, which leans more on the Ambient side, also featuring guest vocals, viola, violin, cello, oboe and sax. Corder manages to concoct this into a liquid mix which flows effortlessly.

https://eileanrec.bandcamp.com/album/illuminate


10th:
Skyphone
Marsh Drones
Lost Tribe Sound

Lost Tribe Sound have had a phenomenal year and an artist they provided two superb vinyl editions for was Danish duo Skyphone. I must admit, I hadn’t heard of them but as soon as I caught a glimpse of the artwork, which for me would have to be the cover artwork of the year, I was always going to listen. Then the press videos of a room full of instruments was enough to get me excited enough to want to like their work… then the vinyl arrived! A superb selection of tracks, which traverse synth, guitar, vocal lines in a post rock meets ambient style. This one isn’t bogged down dreary drone, maudlin classical or grizzly grunge – it’s actually really uplifting and one I reach for time and time again.

https://skyphone.bandcamp.com/album/marsh-drones


11th:
Marek Kamiński
Not Here
Self Released

“Marek Kamiński sent me his self-released album early on in 2019 and I subsequently ordered it on vinyl. I was drawn to the cover artwork to begin with in that it is a good reference point to consider when listening: the tree is clearly no longer there, but there is plenty of evidence that it existed and something so colossal has left its mark. The music in Not Here is a selection of modern classical piano-led melodies, riddled in static and field recordings, reminiscent perhaps of Library Tapes which is no bad thing!

https://marekkaminski.bandcamp.com/album/not-here


12th:
Silmus
Laaksum
Volkoren

I reviewed Silmus’ ‘Shelter’ back in 2014 and it was to become one of my favourite albums for that year and beyond. So I was thrilled when Gert sent me ‘Laaksum’ at the beginning of the year. I regret not being able to review this one, especially given how impressive this album is, which features the cello talent of Guy Gelem. However, it’s a record that again features in my ‘best of’ list and something I’ve listened to over and over this year. If Shelter was one for indoors, Laaksum is an album for cold, wide-open spaces. The title ‘Dancing on the Pier, Discovering the Sea’ is a wonderfully evocative title for a track which fittingly, begins from hushed, slow tones before evolving into something more alive and vibrant against the backdrop of a darkened sky.

https://silmus.bandcamp.com/album/laaksum


13th:
Kira Kira and Hermigervill
Sumarbörn
Time Released Sound

Fine art imprint Time Released Sound continues to share superb material with the world, combining lavish packaging ideas with high quality modern composition, ambient and electronic music. I was taken aback by Sumarbörn by Kira Kira and Hermigervill, which combines glacial ambient and classical music with choral vocals. Doesn’t sound much on paper but it’s difficult to describe, so I strongly recommend you click on the link and sink into this one:

https://timereleasedsound.bandcamp.com/album/sumarb-rn


14th:
anthéne
Lost Channel
Archives

I was lucky this year to work with Brad Deschamps who records as anthéne, as part of a pretty special year for him: three album releases! My pick of the bunch would be ‘Lost Channel’ on Archives, with its warm drones which swell and soar, with the saturated sounds of tired tapes. The whole thing feels like a time lapse low drone-helicopter flight across the globe, with stormy choppy shores giving way to the gaping wide ocean.

https://anthene.bandcamp.com/album/lost-channel


15th:
Sven Laux and Daniela Orvin
The Writings
Dronarivm

Another entry for Dronarivm and a record collaboration between my good friend and collaborator Sven Laux alongside Daniela Orvin. The duo met over several studio sessions and this is their output, a cinematic epic that includes icy cold dramatics, slow and brooding soundscapes, warm and charming ambience and fuzzy orchestration. Check out ‘A Moment Of Silence’ in particular and be prepared to be amazed. What’s particularly impressive here, is just how effortlessly the two styles of these artists combine.

https://dronarivm.bandcamp.com/album/the-writings


16th:
Santilli
Surface
Into The Light

I discovered this one when prowling the feed of new releases on Boomkat and was drawn to the immediacy of this melancholy sound. It was hard to believe that this one’s a debut as it feels like years of honing a craft although, perhaps it is of sorts, since multi-instrumentalist Max Santilli has worked with many acts and artists over the years. I ordered this one on vinyl and have enjoyed the spacey chords, guitar and exotic percussive sounds ever since.

https://into-the-light.bandcamp.com/album/surface


17th:
Aries Mond
Cut Off
IIKKI

“I get sent most IIKKI albums for Irregular Crates and it pains me that I can’t find the time to write more about these works on the blog, as absolutely everything is pristine quality in terms of artwork and curation. This one by Aries Mond floored me the first time I heard it and has the same effect every time – it begins with rustling, prepared-piano style sounds – gentle and unfolding. The live sounding notes blur through reversing and subtle electronic looping and sampling, a truly clever record that never fails to immerse and pull you in, so long as you give it your time.”

https://iikki.bandcamp.com/album/cut-off


18th:
Halftribe
Backwater Revisited
Dronarivm

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://halftribe.bandcamp.com/album/backwater-revisited


19th:
Hampshire and Foat
Saint Lawrence
Athens of the North

I discovered Hampshire and Foat for the first time when I stumbled across their album ‘Saint Lawrence’ which came out on Edinburgh’s Athens of the North label. It was released in March and I grabbed it in the summer, in time to enjoy it in the sun which feels the best setting, particularly whilst driving or walking through the British countryside. The album itself was recorded live during a couple of sunny afternoons spent in churches on the Isle of Wight and whilst this album is truly masterful in its presentation, its recurring themes and acoustic presentation give it a beautifully intimate feel.

https://aotns.bandcamp.com/album/saint-lawrence


20th:
Leo Svirsky
River Without Banks
Unseen Worlds

“US based Russian pianist and composer Leo Svirsky first grabbed my attention via the cover artwork to his album ‘River Without Banks’ which appeared on the Unseen World label. It retains an organic feel to it despite the fact that it’ll probably be filed under Modern Classical; yes the piano pans across the stereo field from time to time, accent notes feel extended into drones and crystalline piano notes hover over one another. But, the piano is undoubtedly the focus throughout, making this one have that live feel. The sound is just magical and I recall many mornings sipping espresso in a coffee shop before work.”

https://unseenworlds.bandcamp.com/album/river-without-banks

End of 2019 Winter Sale – 15% Off

2019 is just about finished, with just a few weeks left to run. We have decided not to run any releases in December and draw a bit of breath ahead of what will surely be another exciting year in 2020.

We decided that a good way to close out this landmark year for us, in which we increased our run count of 100 copies of every release, each in a premium gatefold-LP style vinyl-effect CDr packaging, was to run a winter sale!
So until midnight on the 31st of December 2019, you can enjoy an extra 15% off all of our catalog, both physical and digital.

Simply enter the following code into the discount box provided when you check out to enjoy a 15% reduction on all items:

CODE: anextra15
LINK: https://whitelabrecs.bandcamp.com/merch

If you’re in a rush or new to the label and not sure where to start, please see below for a run down of all our releases!


Various Artists “Sleeplaboratory1.0”
January | Sold Out

We kicked off both 2019 and our new Sleeplaboratory compilation series. The album is themed around sleep as we strive to make this series a snoozy, lulling listen. It begins with a piece from Janek Schaefer and includes work by other renowned artists such as Darkroom, Maps and Diagrams, M. Grig and Tropic of Coldness as well as Whitelabrecs favourites such as Sven Laux, Valotihkuu, Anthéne and Ben Rath. It sold out in no time so there are no CDrs left however, you can check it out digitally here:



Glåsbird “Grønland”
February | Sold Out

Our new-look gatefold LP style packaging did so well for our compilation release, that we decided that all of our albums would run in this way for 2019. The first artist in this year’s discography was a debut for Glåsbird and things went a bit nuts! All CDrs were gobbled up in no time and you can’t even locate these on Discogs; you can check it out a digital copy here:


Jens Pauly “Vihne”
March | Sold Out

In March we welcomed aboard Cologne, Germany based artist Jens Pauly with Vihne. The packaging was designed entirely by the artist and the music is a tapestry of electro-acoustics. When we first heard Jens’ sound we knew it was going to be something special and sure enough, it’s sold out at source now. You can listen or purchase a digital copy here:


anthéne “asymmetry”
April | Sold Out

In April Canadian artist Brad Deschamps as anthéne joined aboard with asymmetry, an album which features the photography of Peter Nejedly. The record is a collection of beautiful drones, from an industrious artist who has worked on other labels such as Archives and Home Normal this year. With so much great output this year, it’s easy to see why this one’s sold out. You can stream or purchase a digital copy here:


Ben Rath “Any Given Moment”
April | Available

For the first time in April we decided to run with two albums in a calendar month. We welcomed back British artist Ben Rath who had previously released with us as Slow Heart Music. ‘Any Given Moment’ covers warm, acoustic ground via the use of a guitar and drones. A few copies are still available as well as a digital copy which you can check out here:


Hipnotic Earth “Suspended In Silence”
May | 12 Copies Remaining

In May we moved towards the warmer months with a delicate and beautiful album by Hipnotic Earth, a project by Cosmos Rennert. Suspended In Silence is presented as an electro-acoustic record centred around what appears to be prepared piano sounds, bird song and light synth decorations. The last few copies are available at the time of writing and a digital version too, which you can check out here:


Samsuo “The Other Gold Side”
May | Available

Towards the end of May we released the debut album by Cambridge artist Samsuo. Entitled ‘The Other Gold Side’, this Ambient/Drone record saw us welcome back Peter Nejedly on photography duty and the rotating ceramic dish which features across the four panels suitably reflects the looping, spherical drones created by this artist. There are some copies left at the time of writing as well as a digital version too, which you can check out here:


Sven Laux “ODD”
June | 16 Copies Remaining

After the success of Sven Laux’s ‘Schachmatt’ which we released in 2018, we were delighted to welcome Sven back with his follow-up album, ‘ODD’. Whilst Schachmatt was an album steeped in modern composition, ODD adapted this with a slightly more contemporary electronic feel in places. We’re down to the last 16 copies at the time of writing and you can also stream or download a digital version, which you can check out here:


Old Amica “Taiga”
June | Available

We were excited to welcome aboard Swedish duo Old Amica, who split their discography between folk-tinged post rock and cinematic Ambient. For us, they turned in a beautiful instrumental album featuring piano, guitar and synth and stunning artwork, arranged by the artists’ friend J. M Almqvist. We’ve still got some copies left as it stands and you can also check out their video and a digital version here:


Logic Moon “I See Planets”
July | 12 Copies Remaining

We returned to deep drone with this one by Logic Moon in some of the sleepiest music we’ve released to date. Tobias Lorsbach, the man behind the project created an album with a retro-futuristic theme and we decided to splash out on talented collage artist Thom Easton to provide the artwork. Just a few copies remind and you can check them out, as well as the usual stream/digital versions here:


Spring Quintet “Raven, Raven, Raven”
July | Available

We chopped back to modern classical with this one, with a live performance by Montreal’s Stefan Christoff and several other musicians being handed to Italian sound artist Matteo Uggeri to assist with post production. The result is a playful electro-acoustic piece with several movements across half an hour, complete with artwork by painter Chris Day. Some copies are still around in our shop, which you can buy or stream a digital version here:


Glåsbird “Svalbarð”
August | Sold Out

Somehow after a debut album, Glåsbird manages to follow it up with a second album in a year. The first album was a sonic expedition to Greenland and in August, the trip continued to the Arctic isles of Svalbard. Just like the last one, this album was gobbled up quickly by our listeners and is unavailable physically. You can stream or buy a digital version here, however:


Emanuele Errante “This World”
August | Available

We were really excited to release ‘This World’ by Naples, Italy based artist Emanuele Errante, whose work we’d admired for years. Emanuele teamed up with Peppe Trotta of So What magazine for the cover artwork and also invited guest musicians Bruno Sanfilippo and Max Fuschetto to feature in this magical electro-acoustic recording. Copies are available still at the time of writing or you can stream/buy a digital version here:


xu “embodying formlessness”
September | Available

In a hat-trick of releases by Italian artists for 2019, we welcomed back Nicola Fornasari who had collaborated for the La Petite Vague release which we put out in 2016. This one’s a lovely minimal album of toy ukulele and careful sound design that rewards repeated listening. You can still grab a copy at the moment or stream/buy a digital version here:


Gray Acres “Material Forces”
October | Sold Out

Not due to the talent of the Tasselmyer brothers and a helping hand from Bandcamp’s ‘Best of Ambient’ feature, this album by Gray Acres sold out in a flash. It’s a wonderful collection of tactile drones with far-flung field recordings, mastered by Ian Hawgood. There are no physical versions left but you can stream it or own a digital version here:


Jazzdefector and Slow Clinic “Green Echo”
October | Available

We’re always really pleased to see our artists return with another demo but when two came along at once and as a collaboration, we were particularly excited! ‘Green Echo’ combines moody guitar Ambience by Jazzdefector with the sound design expertise of Slow Clinic across 6 tracks. There are some CDrs left or you may prefer to stream or own a digital version:


Luis Miehlich “Timecuts”
November | Available

Silences by Luis Miehlich was simply one of our favourite records from 2018. So we were delighted when his demo ‘Timecuts’ came in and over time, Luis arranged remixes by the likes of Gallery Six, Erder, SineRider and our very own Glåsbird to complete the package. The album flits between Ambient/Drone, Electro Acoustic and Modern Classical and the remixes carefully compliment the originals as every bit a part of the album experience. Some physical copies are available or if you prefer, you can stream or own a digital version by clicking here:


Jack Hyde “Lowlands”
November | Available

Last but not least, we closed out this busy year with our 18th release, courtesy of Jack Hyde. Lowlands is a debut album from this Edinburgh, UK based artist and it covers Ambient, Dub and Field Recording territory in a careful, fascinating record. We have physical copies available as well as the option to stream or download here: