Touch, April 2009

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New Release Series | Touch Download Single [DS]

On 1st April 2009 a new series of download singles is launched.

TO:70DS - Hildur Gudnadóttir “Iridescence” 11:20

Featuring Jóhann Jóhannsson & Skúli Sverrisson, this release follows on from her new solo album, Without Sinking [Touch # TO:70, 2009].

Mixed and mastered by BJNilsen, Berlin, February 2009. Image by Jon Wozencroft.

Tone 36DS - Jana Winderen “Submerged” 6:35

This release follows on from her new solo album, Heated: Live in Japan [Touch # Tone 36, 2009]. Submerged was made for an installation for Darkness Descends: Norwegian Art Now in New York City, 5-8 March 2009.

Mastered by Denis Blackham @ Skye, February 2009. Image by Jon Wozencroft.

Both these download-only releases should be available from all good online stores, and are available right now at

Touch Radio 40 | Edwin Pouncey

03.04.09 - R'Occult 'n' Roll – 23:52 - 192 kpbs VBR

Recorded 02.04.09, at:
“R'Occult 'n' Roll – Music and Magic on the Wild Side”
Readings by Sandy Robertson and Edwin Pouncey at Treadwell's Books, London.

“The connections between rock music and the occult range from the legends of bluesmen selling their souls to the Devil for success, through to the influence of Aleister Crowley on the Rolling Stones, The Beatles and Led Zeppelin in the 60s and 70s, and the Satanic music and imagery of today’s Black Metal underground. This talk will cover all these subjects, together with lesser-known examples of ‘rockultism’. You may even get to hear some mad, bad and occasionally dangerous musick too. Earplugs optional.

Sandy Robertson is the author of The Aleister Crowley Scrapbook (now in print for 20 years) and has written for Mojo, NME and other publications. As well as being a music writer and illustrator for The Wire magazine, Edwin Pouncey (aka Savage Pencil/Sav X) is an artist whose work has been shown in galleries in the UK, Europe and America. Sandy Robertson and Edwin Pouncey were colleagues at the legendary rock paper Sounds during the 80s.”

In this excerpt, Edwin Pouncey discusses the genealogy of Black Metal.

TO:68DS - Jon Wozencroft A3 print & exclusive Rosy Parlane download

A3 print + digital download – a TouchShop exclusive, unavailable elsewhere! This is the 2nd in the series, after Organology [Touch # Spire 1]

A3 print
Features an image (depicted above) by Jon Wozencroft, output onto high quality heavyweight matte paper. Free P&P - dispatched in robust poster tube.

Digital download
320 kpbs MP3, available only when purchasing the Willow print…

Rosy Parlane - "Willow" 4:29
Written and recorded in Auckland, NZ Jan-Mar 2008

Rosy Parlane is a musician from New Zealand who began playing music with the avant-garde rock trio Thela. Thela released two cds, 'Eponymous' and 'Argentina' on the label Ecstatic Peace! He subsequently began working with abstract electronic based music, both as a solo artist and as Parmentier with fellow Thela collaborator, Dion Workman. His full and intricate soundscapes are comprised of of sample-loops, pianos, guitars, and field recordings manipulated via digital means.

Parlane has released two solo albums on Sigma Editions and a further two on Touch: Iris [Touch # TO:58, 2003] and Jessamine [Touch # TO:68, 2006]. He has also collaborated with Christian Fennesz, most recently on Fennesz's Black Sea [Touch # TO:76, 2008].

He currently lives in Auckland with his family.

Buy the A3 print and digital download in the TouchShop

Fennesz at Ether Festival 2009 is The Guardian's "Pick of the Week"

The Guardian newspaper have made next Tuesday's performance by Fennesz at Ether 2009 one of their "Pick of the Week" recommendations.

They write: "…guitarist Christian Fennesz treats his instrument so it sounds like pretty much anything apart from a guitar. Fizzing, atmospheric stuff…"

Touch presents, live at the Queen Elizabeth Hall, featuring Fennesz, Rosy Parlane and CM von Hausswolff will take place on Tuesday 21st April, 7.30pm, as part of the Ether Festival 2009. Further information can be found by clicking here.

A day before, at 6.30pm on Monday 20th April in the Purcell Room at the QEH, Touch's Jon Wozencroft and Mike Harding will be hosting a Q&A session with the artists. Nb: the Monday event is FREE - so, if you are in London please do come!

"Touch - Not a Record Label" T-Shirt, designed by Jon Wozencroft

Now available in the TouchShop:

“Touch – Not A Record Label” T-Shirt, designed by Jon Wozencroft.
Printed on a white Fruit of the Loom Super Premium T-Shirt.
Position of logo and type: Center Chest, 14cm wide.
Sizes available: S / M / L / XL / XXL / XXXL

Buy the "Touch – Not a Record Label" T-Shirt in the TouchShop

Black Sea film notes

Film notes for “Black Sea” by Jon Wozencroft, premiered last night at Fennesz's Ether 09 performance in London. Click on the image to enlarge.

Ash 8.1 | Jana Winderen "The Noisiest Guys on the Planet"

Ash International # Ash 8.1

Cassette only
Limited edition of 250 copies

“The Noisiest Guys on the Planet” were recorded by Jana Winderen, who also provided the illustration. Thanks to: Institute of Marine Research and the crew on Johan Hjort.

The decapods or Decapoda (literally means “ten footed”) are an order of crustaceans within the class Malacostraca, including many familiar groups, such as crayfish, crabs, lobsters, prawns and shrimp. Most decapods are scavengers.

As their name implies, all decapods have ten legs; these are the last five of the eight pairs of thoracic appendages characteristic of crustaceans. The front three pairs function as mouthparts and are generally referred to as maxillipeds, the remainder being pereiopods. In many decapods, however, one pair of legs has enlarged pincers; the claws are called chelae, so those legs may be called chelipeds.

Jana Winderen writes:
“An ongoing investigation into the use and production of sound by decapods...

When a recording is made underwater, you will definitely hear the crackling noise of what might be a creature from the order of Decapods.

When recording on the coast of Norway, for example, this sound is what you are very likely to hear as soon as the ferries and motorboats have parked for the night. They seem to be everywhere, whoever it is making this sound. When you go for a swim and listen underwater you can even hear them. But who are they?

The pistol shrimp, or snapping shrimp, make this kind of sound, but they are not found in waters as far north as the Norwegian coast. In Thailand the same sounds can be heard in the freshwater River Ping.

To get more of an understanding of this phenomenon, I called various Professors of Marine Biology in Norway who specialise in shrimp. I asked whether they knew what kind of shrimp it could be making these sounds. One of them sent a question to his world-wide shrimp network because he did not know that shrimp made these sounds. The replies came that the sounds are probably produced when they are feeding. I know that pistol shrimp make sounds when they snap they claws to paralyse their prey, but do others in the same family do the same? No one seemes to know. Underwater there is very little known about the soundscapes created by living creatures, and few understand the details of variations between the various grunts, knocking sounds and rumbling sounds that cod, haddock, pollock, other fish and crustaceas produce, and how they experience and orientate themselves through the use of sound.”

Buy The Noisiest Guys on the Planet in the TouchShop

Phill Niblock's "Touch Three" reaches its second edition

Touch has reissued TO:69 – Phill Niblock's “Touch Three”. This second edition is presented in a reverse-board digipak. Track listing, an audio sample and further details may be found in the TouchShop.

Phill Niblock writes:
“These nine pieces were made from March 2003 to January 2005. They were all made (except Sax Mix) by recording a single instrument with a single microphone. The recordings were direct to the computer/hard disk, most of them using my Powerbook G4, Protools, an M-box and an external firewire drive. The resulting mono sound files were edited to remove breathing spaces, leaving the natural decay of the tone, and the attack of the subsequent iteration of the same tone. Each note was represented by several repetitions, perhaps ten for each tone, of about 15 seconds duration each. Each piece uses a few tones. A simple chord, perhaps. Additional microtonal intervals were produced in Protools using pitch shift. The pieces were assembled in multitracks, usually either 24 or 32 tracks. The recording environment varied from a simple apartment in Berlin (Ulrich Krieger's) to a very large hall used for symphony orchestra performances and recordings, with a sizable audience space (Deutschland Radio, Cologne). The recordings were generally done quite closely miked.

One hears only the sound of the instrument. There is no electronic manipulation in the recording, the editing of the tones, or in the mix. The only changes to the recorded tones are the pitch shifts to create microtones. The microtones are doing the work.”

Purchase Touch Three in the TouchShop

Friday 1st May - Jon Wozencroft's "Liquid Music" at Tate Britain

This Friday May 1st sees a rare screening of “Liquid Music” at Tate Britain's Late at the Tate event. Produced by Jon Wozencroft for Christian Fennesz's live performances during 2001-2004, the film has so far been impossible to master onto DVD. The soundtrack is from one of Fennesz's finest performances, in Brighton, from the Touch tour of 2001.

As part of the night's theme, “Polish Connections”, artist Janek Simon will perform an “optical intervention” in parallel to the original footage. There will be two screenings, at 7.30pm and 8.30pm, in the Duffield Room. Anybody interested in attending is advised to get there early, as space is limited and admission is free.

More details:

Chris Watson's "Stepping into the Dark" - 3rd edition now available

Chris Watson's long out-of-print CD, “Stepping into the Dark” [Touch # TO:27] is once again in stock at the TouchShop. Also available: a Chris Watson Bundle, offering “Stepping into the Dark”, “Outside the Circle of Fire” and “Weather Report” together at a discounted price.

Chris Watson in the TouchShop

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