“On the 4th volume of Learning by Listening, Köln-based bleed Air guides us on a strange, sinister survey of primary source audio documents detailing abstruse scientific postulations emerging from contemporary occult branches of Christianity. Suitable for everyone from seminary students to secular amateur scientists, this cassette sees the unorthodox theories set against rich, eerie tape loop drones, sly, laconic guitars and proggy Giallo jaunts conjuring hazy, unsettling surroundings beyond the fuzzy fringes of reality. Topics range from vertebrate anatomy to phonemical history and, while factually inaccurate and indeed frightening, this impressionistic overview provides a mesmerizing and informative introduction to an inscrutable world of anti-information.
bleed Air holds a senior leadership position at the Köln tape label superpolar Taïps and is accompanied on drums by Rose T.”
Learning by Listening is an educational, instructive cassette series designed to bring the information of the world into your home, and your brain. Read more and & listen
30 Artists. 30 cassette singles. Exclusive B-sides. Individual artworks. 10 hand-dubbed copies per tape and artist go on sale. Eventually, all tracks will be released on a compilation (digital/cassette), planned for late 2021 spring 2022. That’s the SPT Cassingle series in a nutshell.
Contributing artists: Elizabeth Joan Kelly & David Rodriguez, Seffi Starshine, Fae Moonbeam, Cruel Diagonals, moduS ponY, Nicholas Langley, Emerging Industries of Wuppertal, Phirnis, Whettman Chelmets, Aros E-V, Carlos Perea Milla/Melquiades, qualchan., German Army, Stichflamme Dormagen, bleed Air, Ball Geographie, Leaaves, Francesco Ameglio/I Was Listening To Tapes In Tokyo), Tiger Village, The Master Musicians of Dyffryn Moor, Harald Sack Ziegler, Daniel Saylor, Adderall Canyonly, Jamie Orlando/Zigra, The Tuesday Night Machines, Robin Barnick, Therapeutische Hoergruppe Koeln , QST, Von Heuser, Chorchill, Cinchel, Hualun, Ffion, Petridisch … and more.
Stay tuned for more details on the individual releases and artists mentioned over at Bandcamp or here.
“Two pieces of music inspired by the many cloud formations and skylines I’ve seen from my home in West Yorkshire. Everything I see here is almost in slow motion and the birds seem to be carrying a great weight as they fly.”
Yorkshire, UK based composer Thomas Ragsdale produces under his own name, but also as Ffion and Sulk Rooms.
His music is formed by extensive experience as a music producer for TV, advertising and film – including groundbreaking BBC documentaries such as Adam Curtis’ acclaimed ‘HyperNormalisation’, where his track ‘Warning Mass’ was featured extensively alongside the likes of Brian Eno, Burial and Aphex Twin.
Not to forget: Thomas also runs the tape label Soundtracking The Void together with Ashleigh Ragsdale, releasing such fine acts as The Incidental Crack, Pola, Andy Fosberry and many more.
With ‘Lights …’ and the (cassingle and download exclusive) B side ‘Flightless’ he treats the SPT community with two timeless, cinematic instrumental pieces.
Time as physical quantity, the nature of time as defined by general relativity, the resulting model of spacetime (German: Raumzeit) and ripples therein caused by gravitational waves. Time dilation, time offset, time measurement. Present, future, past.
An attempt to approach the complex subject of time and spacetime sonically, using devices that allow time manipulation (somewhat): Analogue tape recorders, effect pedals with ‘time’ knobs.
All instruments were recorded to and with (mostly half broken) tape machines on looped reel to reel or endless cassette tapes. On some tracks, these machines were also used as tape echos, mostly by exploiting their saturation, warm overdrive and noise capabilities.
Instruments and sound sources and tools used: Field recordings (Star City Tserkov’ Spasa Preobrazheniya church bells; Mbira, Kalimba, Acoustic Guitar, electric bass guitar, cello bows, human voice, found reel to reel audio that came with used tape recorders I bought), synthesizers.
In a way, this album concludes, albeit in a somewhat noisier, abstract and sometimes deafening way, what I started with the ‘Ogehiko/Yahiko’ cassingle.
Friday 1 October sees the release of a new Cassette Single by QST, Frans de Waard’s – as he says – ‘failed attempt’ on producing ambient house music. I must say I’m glad he failed since what he produces as QST (with beats) and Quest (w/o beats) is way better than what the genre name suggests. In simple terms it’s pretty captivating minimal synth stuff.
The QST cassingle will be accompanied by a new bleed Air album, titled ‘time, ferocious’ – the first following the eponymous 2020 debut album. It is an attempt at sonic exploration of concepts of time.
bleed Air concludes the work started with Cassingle ‘Ogehiko/Yahiko’, albeit in a somewhat noisier and more abstract way. Again, all instruments and other (found) sounds were recorded to and with mostly half broken reel to reel and cassette tape machines, fully exploiting their fantastic manipulation capabilities.
Both cassettes will be available from Friday, 09:00 CEST and also offered as a bundle, so that you can save on postage.
P.S.: The ‘time, ferocious’ digital download will be ‘name your price’ for the first couple of weeks.
CARLOS PEREA MILLA has been creating improvised ambient experiments under the moniker MELQUÍADES since 2016, using tapes, electronics, guitars, harps, field recordings and other sounds. His first two solo albums, ‘Keep A Seed’ and ‘Imaginary Soundscapes / A Map’ were released on CANIGOU RECORDS, the cassette label he has been running from London, Buenos Aires and Málaga. He also co-runs the concert series Bedroom Gigs with Catrin Vincent.
tactile / distante’ was recorded in October and November 2020 in Málaga, right after the change of seasons and right at the start of a new life chapter. This new work is heavily inspired by instrumental and folk music, and artists like Lake Mary, Karen Dalton, John Fahey, Nathan Salsburg, Wall Matthews and Mat Eric Hart.
It’s less abstract and more tangible, but it stays experimental: each part was recorded separately into a tape recorder whilst listening to a metronome, then sent to another tape machine, then into Ableton where the two songs were pieced together, editing the speed and pitch variations caused by the tape. And it has drums for the first time – a lot of drums. ‘tactile /’ features a recording from a conversation I had with Calum Perrin about modes of listening.
Chorchill revisits his 2020 album Nachtfisch (for Cologne fellow label Strategic Tape Reserve) and gives two tracks the post-minimalism treatment.
RUHRPOTT DIVER is a remix and sequel of and to FLOODED RUHRPOTT, while MODERN TAVLA (remix of BLEEDING INTO FALL) sheds some light on the backgammon playing habits of mythical Ruhrpott figure Apel Okuyan on who the NACHTFISCH album is centered around.
Chorchill is an electronic music project by Matthias Cingoez on MIDI, synthesizer, sounds, acoustic bass and aerophone. Minimalistic and melodic pieces influenced by the softer side of Krautrock and film music.
‘Ihre Meinung ist uns wichtig‘ is the artist’s debut under his Stichflamme Dormagen moniker and, in Vital Weekly’s words, “a most curious piece of voices, chanting exotically, along with wooden drum percussion and line hum for electronic component (…)” as well as “urgency and weirdness at work.” (www.vitalweekly.net/1294.html)
Stichflamme Dormagen is the mischievous incarnation of Rudi Baumgärtner, a music producer born and raised in the city of Remagen, in western Germany.
Not much is known about Baumgärtner except his attempts to self-publish criminal stories under the moniker Sulke Diebler and his deep mistrust of public transport.
In 2006 he took part in a macramé class. Baumgärtner makes his living from soundtracks for local adult film productions. He spends his free time in his little garden in the Remagen suburbs, where he breeds rare slug species.
— THE CASSINGLE SERIES —
30+ Artists. 30+ cassette singles with an intentional, conceptual limitation of under 3 mins per track, exclusive B-sides. Individual artworks. Merely 10 hand-dubbed copies per tape will go on sale. Eventually, all tracks will be released on a compilation, planned for late 2021. That’s the SPT Cassingle series in a nutshell
Following the long sold-out ‘Blessing of the Hand-Sanitizer’ cassingle, superpolar Taïps is very happy to present the first full-length release by prolific and versatile artist Simon Proffitt, here under his Carnedd Aur moniker.
Here’s Simon’s take on ‘Beetles’:
“After a few years of exploring drones / tones / field recordings (as Cahn Ingold Prelog), fictional ritual trance (as The Master Musicians of Dyffryn Moor) and the outer limits of acoustic instrumentation (as Simon Proffitt), the Carnedd Aur project came about as an answer to the question of whether I was capable of writing electronic pop music.
It turns out that I am not – at least, not yet – but what arose instead was actually far more satisfying. Armed with just a MicroKORG, bought years earlier for a one-off gig in a swimming pool and then not used since, I set about trying to make shorter pieces with a focus on rhythm and melody of the kind that my parents (harsh critics of my other work) might not actually like, but might at least understand as music.
Carnedd Aur translates into English as Gold Cairn, a sort of Welsh-language take on Cahn Ingold Prelog.
I’ve long been fascinated by evocative common names for species (mushrooms, moths etc), and especially so in the case of beetles – these names add a layer of mystery and magic to creatures that are well known from a distance but fascinating and alien when viewed close up. It seems to me that there’s a definite link between shuffling drum machine rhythms and busily meandering insects, between shimmering synth pads and shiny, multi-coloured wing-cases.”
Emerging Industries Of Wuppertal’s Cassingle debut. Recorded by a sales intern of fellow Cologne Strategic Tape Reserve, who occasionally produces music for a nearby industrial association to use during meetings and celebrations.
To quote the artist “Dip your toes into the sparkling pixel pond and listen to more synthetic octopus noise …” and add, from my side, “by the visiting the release page embedded below or TTNM’s lovely Youtube channel.”
Oops. A maxi cassingle. Phirnis aka Kai Ginkel’s super dark, noisy and haunty tracks are awesome, but impossible to squeeze into two minutes and thirty seconds. So for once I break the otherwise strict rule. Further info on the BC release page …
“‘Carapace’ and ‘Oneiric Amplitude’ (Side B, bonus track) are tracks composed entirely from my voice. Here, I’m exploring themes of the subconscious, namely the dream state and its ability to communicate vital shifts within our healing before our conscious mind becomes aware of them”, says Megan Mitchell.
She composes unsettling, ethereal music under the alias Cruel Diagonals. A jazz and classically trained vocalist, Mitchell performs and creates in numerous capacities.
Cruel Diagonals is an outlet for destructive sample processing, vocal exploration, and a palette for inter-media contemplations and applications. Influenced by early experimental filmmakers such as Maya Deren and Kenneth Anger, Cruel Diagonals has been described in cinematic terms, evoking moods and montages of an eerie, surrealist timbre. Warped field recordings and layered vocals incite a beckoning to a phantasmagorical, metallic-tinged state of existence.
A minimal synth EP, garnished with harsh noise, composed entirely on a Yamaha DX7. Despite the minimal setup, it creates an intense, sometimes uplifting, sometimes eerie atmosphere.. We believe that you’ve rarely heard the DX7 like that before.
Artist Robin Barnick sold his DX7 a long time ago – it was a rocking DX7IIFD in excellent shape… and yes, he regrets it, a lot. There was just too little space in his apartment and he thought the NI FM7 would do too. Far from it. Here’s what he has to say about the album:
“At the time, I guess it was around 2001, I was trying to program the DX7 and accidentally deleted all of the presets when I started to experiment with emagic’s SoundDiver. Every single patch was reset to the “Init” sound, a simple sine wave.
OK, never mind, I thought, and then got hooked when I started manipulating this ultra simple patch live, with the help of Sounddiver’s quite impressive capabilities.
I was fascinated by how easy it now was to elicit experimental sounds from this otherwise difficult-to-operate machine. I didn’t care about sequencing, so this is just me, playing simple chord progressions and notes with the left hand and manipulating them with my right hand on the mouse, twiddling SoundDiver’s faders. All was recorded live on Minidisc (in mono).
At the time I really wasn’t sure whether the music was good at all, so I put the MD aside … and forgot it. When I remembered it again some time ago, I spent endless hours searching – all my MDs were there, just not this one. When I was about to give up, I rediscovered it, edited the material and subsequently processed the tracks with some few effects.”
Robin Barnick resides in Niederkassel-Lülsdorf-Ranzel, in the lovely rural-industrial no one’s land between Cologne and Bonn, in the wild, wild western part of Germany and at the heart of Europe.