Touch, December 2008

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Fennesz performing at Big Ears 09

Christian Fennesz will be performing live, alongside the likes of Philip Glass, Matmos and Michael Gira, at Big Ears 09. The festival, based in Knoxville, Tennessee, runs from February 6–8, 2009. Fennesz will be performing both solo and as part of a trio, Fennesz/Linkous/Minor.

Big Ears say: "For the first time, this collaboration between Christian Fennesz, Mark Linkous (Sparklehorse) and Scott Minor (Sparklehorse) will occur on US soil. Originally sprouted from mutual admiration, the three began collaborating in the early 2000’s while Sparklehorse was touring in Europe. Sparklehorse’s damaged pop songs and Fennesz’s guitar and laptop explorations might at first seem strange bedfellows, though upon further listen each artists interest in melody and aesthetic starts to seem much less distant. Lying dormant for years - this not to be missed live event will occur only at Big Ears 09."

Touch Radio 37 | Pascal Wyse

09.12.08 - Barbialla – 12:50 - 192 kpbs

How to catch a truffle

Ancient Greeks, as much in the dark as anyone else when it came to where the white truffle is to be found, shrugged and announced that the tuber magnatum occurred wherever lightning struck the ground. Cobblers, of course, but that’s the excuse for beginning this piece with a burgeoning thunder storm — in September 2008, on the Barbialla Nuova estate near San Miniato, Tuscany. This is an area famed for its white truffles.

Then a truffle hunt, with Imperio, Bobbi and Sabali. Bobbi is a dog, a breed called Lagotto. Imperio is the hunter. Sabali translates Imperio now and again, but most of the time he is chatting to the dog, saying “Find!”, “Is it or isn’t it?” He gets very angry with the cat (“Go home!”) who, feeling sociable, joined us on this three-hour walk.

A truffle is found and Bobbi, having pulled up a 12-inches of earth, doesn't want to surrender it. At least with a dog you can yank him away by the scruff of the neck, and Bobbi was occasionally seen flying over Imperio’s shoulder. Not so easy with pigs, who used to be employed as truffle hunters — but enough of an excuse to include the sounds of Silvio here, the biggest of the farm's Cinta Senese breed.

There the tenuous links end, unless anyone knows of a connection between truffles and the crickets, tawny owls and mystery birds that chattered deep in to the night.

[Recorded on DPA miniature omni microphones and Sound Devices 702 recorder]

Pascal has also contributed a truffle recipe to Touch's online Recipe Book.

Touch editions featured in The Wire's Records of the Year 2008

Touch have three editions, Philip Jeck, Jacob Kirkegaard and Lawrence English, featured in The Wire's 2008 Records of the Year lists.

Number 2 overall in the Top 50 was Philip Jeck's Sand.

The Wire say: "The Liverpool based soundscaper has honed his turntablist montages to a consistently fine art. His eighth solo album may have contained few surprises, but Sand displayed Jeck on peak form, mysteriously allusive and gorgeously melancholic."

Also in the top 10 Outer Limits Albums of the Year was Jacob Kirkegaard's Labyrinthitis and, in the top ten Electronica albums of the Year, Lawrence English's Kiri No Oto.

More about Philip Jeck's Sand.
More about Jacob Kirkegaard's Labyrinthitis.
More about Lawrence English's Kiri No Oto.

"Sand" in Dusted Magazine's best of 2008

Dusted managing editor Otis Hart has included Philip Jeck's Sand among his 25 favourite albums of 2008.

Otis writes: "Mr. Jeck takes home the Robert Wyatt prize for oldest musician on a year-end list. The 56-year-old turntableplayer (emphasis mine) weaves a dense fog of samples and loops on his 10th album. No surprise there. But for one reason or another, Sand tugs at the heartstrings a little more than past excursions. It could just be the Emily Dickinson poem quoted in the liner notes. That’s the thing about Jeck’s nebulous compositions – they mold to our imagination."

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