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Adam Bryanbaum Wiltzie, the creative force behind A Winged Victory For The Sullen and Stars Of The Lid, presents his score for the motion picture Salero on vinyl courtesy of Erased Tapes. With Salero Wiltzie weaves some of his finest work to date and delivers an expertly distilled accompaniment to director Mike Plunkett's sprawling, uncompromising visuals. Set in Bolivia's Salar de Uyuni, the world's largest salt flat, the narrative follows the region's Saleros – those who have for generations gathered salt and earned enough to somehow carve out an existence in such a barren landscape. It's with the discovery of huge Lithium reserves – a mineral used frequently throughout the tech industry – under the scorched earth that acts as a catalyst for exploitation of the environment and its people; holding a microscope to the drastic effect industrialization has on local culture and tradition. "I have always said that composing music is infinitely easier when you have beautiful images to be inspired by," Wiltzie explains. "It was a pleasure to write a score over this captivating place of endless, glimmering salt before its impending demise. I was fascinated by this mythical space and its ability to define the identities of the people who live in its vicinity, where this vast salt flat itself would be a central character."
Limited Edition, clear double LP version that includes download code. Channeled madness -- the sound Dawn of Midi spent years shaping culminates in their most mesmerizing work yet. With Dysnomia, the Brooklyn-based group abandons improvisation in favor of composition, utilizing sophisticated rhythmic structures from North- and West-African folk traditions to weave a sonic tapestry of trance-inducing grooves. "We didn't want to create anything cerebral," says pianist Amino Belyamani, "we wanted something visceral, something that would awaken our instinctive dance impulses." The manner by which a trio of solely acoustic instruments ends up sounding like electronic music has to do with the unconventional ways the group play their instruments on Dysnomia. The record comes to life in the trio's critically acclaimed live shows, a test of endurance and trust that involves performing their hand-looped acoustic minimalism note for note, just as the compositions were recorded. Dawn of Midi's sets are as energetic and rhythmic as a seamlessly mixed DJ set, mesmerizing fans in the same way the group's favorite experimental and electronic acts have for decades. The album was recorded to two-inch tape at Waterfront Studios in Hudson, New York, a former church that was purchased and transformed into an analog recording playground by the great engineer Henry Hirsch. Rusty Santos then mixed the album to make sure it would hit as hard as the group's favorite electronic albums do in spite of being entirely acoustic. "We wanted to make a record that sounded both musically futuristic and sonically vintage," explains bassist Aakaash Israni, "and since the album never saw a proper international release, it is very exciting to see what might happen when more people are exposed to it. And to be aligned with Erased Tapes, whose enthusiasm for the music they release has done a lot for exposing unique instrumental and electronic music, makes it that much more interesting." Swiss artist Fabian Oefner created the cover image by placing paint on a spinning drill bit and firing it at a canvas, then capturing it with high-speed photography. Formed in 2007, the band happened upon their name after drummer Qasim Naqvi casually uttered the phrase in reference to the improvised music the trio was making at the time; they had no idea that years later they would make an album like Dysnomia that would make their name appear fateful.
Minimal neo-classical pianist and composer Ólafur Arnalds joins Janus Rasmussen to release under the name Kiasmos, a Scandinavian project that investigates the intersection between Arnalds acoustic compositions and Rasmussen's drenched-in-synth pop music. Lots of wonderful should-be-contradictions arise, such as drum machines next to string swells and ambient textures next to dance music.
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Nils Frahm’s 2012 album ‘Screws’ gets reissued with bonus disc feat. 9 remixes entitled ‘Screws Reworked’. Berlin-based pianist Nils Frahm presents a 30 minute mini-album to his fans. Nils experienced an unfortunate accident, which saw him fall from his bunk bed located directly above his studio, which resulted in a broken thumb. But through inspiration from his fans and despite the four screws that had just been surgically placed inside his thumb, he started recording with nine fingers, which later resulted in nine intimate piano recordings. In his own words: "Even though my doctor told me not to touch a piano for a while, I just couldn't resist. I started playing a silent song with 5 fingers on my right and the remaining 4 on my left hand. I set up one microphone and recorded another tune every other night before falling asleep. The day I got rid of my cast I had recorded nine little songs. They have helped me feel less annoyed about my accident and reminded me that I can only achieve something good, when I make the most of what I've got." Nils Frahm has become known for his unconventional approach to an age-old instrument as well as his collaborations with contemporaries such as Ólafur Arnalds, Peter Broderick (as Oliveray) and Efterklang.
Directed by renowned artist JR, ELLIS is a lens through which the story of Ellis Island is captured and retold by the words of one immigrant. Starring Robert De Niro and featuring the visually arresting Unframed art installation, which inhabits the abandoned Ellis Island hospital complex, the short film takes you on a compelling journey through the crumbling hallways of what once stood as the gateway to America. Entwined with this unfolding narrative is a score composed by multi-talented Woodkid, performed and co-written by Nils Frahm. Whilst the delicate piano motifs of Winter Morning I culminate in a crescendo of strings, it's atop the harmonium swells on the B-side that De Niro's narration evokes the presence of those who shaped modern America so clearly. There's perhaps not been a more relevant time for this story and its themes to be brought to life in such a special way, with all proceeds from this release going towards the Sea Watch initiative (sea-watch.org), a non-profit charity dedicated to the protection and rescue of civilian refugees. Following a screening as part of Nils’s Barbican Weekender, the ELLIS score will be out July 8th and available in CD, LP and digital format.
Foremost a guitarist, growing up listening to rock rather than club music, West continues to strive towards finding a more personal balance between music for home listening and larger spaces. The title track was inspired by the howl-like tones he developed by running synths through guitar pedals. "By slowly drifting the pitch through distortion and delays, the result sounded like vocal cries – something which was perfect for the song and this inspired me to take on a darker set of tones across the whole album. It was made over the past few years, inspired by capturing small performances on synths, touring with some of my musical heroes, playing with feedback when I should have been catching a train, sampling my voice in unexpected conditions and recording textures in different countries.” The album explores a wide range of emotions; from the dissonance eruptions and primal rhythms in 'Howl', to the mournful improvisations of '3 Laments', which features a sample of his own voice. Alongside his performances on Moog, Prophet, tape delay and guitar, West enlisted the help of drummer Fabian Prynn for ‘Low’ and cellist Peter Gregson for ‘Walls’, both long-time collaborators of Erased Tapes peers Douglas Dare and Michael Price. "This album features a lot of my own recordings, rather than simply using samples that I have sitting on my computer. This gives the album a more personal feeling, which is very important to me because I think we live in a time where there is just so much recorded material out there, and accessible at a click of a button, that the joy of recording your own drum sounds, your own percussion, your own claps, seems redundant – but it’s not! That should be a priority because its often more interesting and makes you choose a different creative path." It’s rarely reported that Rival Consoles was Erased Tapes' very first signing, with a CDR of early demos under the name Aparatec that inspired founder Robert Raths to start the label. Indeed West has more in common with his contemporaries Nils Frahm and Peter Broderick than some might think. His consistent desire to create a more organic, humanised sound sees West often draft early ideas on traditional, acoustic instruments like the guitar or the piano; forming pieces that capture a sense of songwriting behind the electronics. "I try to create atmosphere and mood throughout with a less-is-more approach to composition. I'm always trying to find an exciting reaction from a few ingredients, because that is magic to me. To make something interesting with tons of layers of effects just doesn't excite me. But to make something interesting with just three layers requires a special alignment of sounds, ideas and timing. This is my most personal work to date, following on from 'Odyssey' and 'Sonne' which gave me the confidence to continue exploring my own ideas and approach to sound. The essence of this album was made with a few synths, some guitar pedals and lots of cups of tea. I hope you’ll enjoy it." Having repeatedly performed at such prestigious venues as the Tate, and having created a bespoke audio-visual performance for Boiler Room at the V&A Museum, the blueprint for West’s current live A/V show was formed. Featuring self-programmed visuals in Max/MSP has earned him appearances at music festivals around the world including Mutek, Decibel, Big Ears and Berghain’s Pop-Kultur Festival, as well as tours in support of Clark, Nosaj Thing, Luke Abbott and Kiasmos.
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Joseph Abajian (DJ Jab) founded Fat Beats in 1994 with nothing more than a shoestring budget and an earnest obsession with the music, the culture, and the brotherhood of New York’s burgeoning rap scene. What began as a simple vinyl shop in Manhattan’s Lower East Side quickly became an integral hub for artists, both aspiring and established, to convene and collaborate on new projects. Joseph’s timing couldn’t have been more impeccable. When the 90’s cultural zeitgeist – and, in turn, the music industry establishment – chose hip-hop as its new arbiter of cool.
International tourists and touring artists alike flocked to Fat Beats for rare vinyl, kindred spirits, and exclusive in-store performances from Jay Z, Eminem, Gang Starr, Outkast, Slum Village, Mos Def, and more. One thing was clear: the Fat Beats phenomenon could no longer be contained in a single basement shop.
In the late nineties, Abajian proceeded to open new stores in Amsterdam, Tokyo, Los Angeles, and Atlanta. He further expanded the company’s profile to include global distribution and record label branches. Distribution has since proven to be the company’s strongest and most enduring enterprise. Today Fat Beats Distribution stands poised as one of the country’s pre-eminent distributors of vinyl & specialty item records: a proud survivor in an industry now famous for its mortality rate. Despite market fluctuations, technology innovations, and stylistic revolutions, Fat Beats has remained steadfast in its commitment to the timeless vinyl format and to the loyal community who keeps it spinning.
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