Touch, December 2012

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Touch Radio 87 | Bruce Gilbert

2.12.12 - Live at KHM - 20:08 - 192 kbps

"The Only Known Photograph of Bruce Gilbert" (Anon.)

Recorded by Dirk Specht. With thanks to Anthony Moore. Touch.30 formed part of 'Nocturne' with Achim Mohné and Mike Harding.

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Play Bruce Gilbert "Live at KHM"

Atmospheres 4 | Touch.30 Live at Beaconsfield

***STARTS WEDNESDAY*** [Tomorrow]



A two-day festival celebrating 30 years of Touch, with performances, installations and displays, and a full programme of workshops and masterclasses in design and music, recording, mastering and the digital realm. The full programme is now available to read below.

Venue: Beaconsfield, 22 Newport St, Vauxhall, London, SE11 6AY
Dates: 5-6 December 2012

The Festival Pass entitles you to access all events at this festival and is now onsale here:
Buy the Festival Pass in the TouchShop
Buy your ticket for 5th December 2012 (programme below)
Buy your ticket for 6th December 2012 (programme below)

Atmospheres 4 - Touch.30 at Beaconsfield is the main UK event in a year-round programme of activities celebrating 30 years of existence.

Atmospheres 4 - Touch.30 at Beaconsfield is a two-day festival with performances, installations and displays, and a full programme of workshops and masterclasses. The Festival will explore all aspects of Touch: the music; the distinctive and influential design and photography; the process of recording and mastering; and the opportunities of the digital realm.

Participation in the event will extend well beyond Touch artists and creative team into the hinterland around the label: academics, industry professionals, other ground breaking music organisations etc.

Atmospheres will be curated by two of Touch's founders and the current creative team, Mike Harding and Jon Wozencroft, and produced by them with along with Touch's experienced digital and live production team already responsible this year for events in the UK, Germany, Belgium, USA and elsewhere detailed here.

Day One – Wednesday 5th December 2012

Afternoon events, 2pm-6pm:
• 2pm: Jon Wozencroft talks about the history of Touch, "Through the Digital Glass"
• 2:30pm: Denis Blackham (Skye Mastering) and Christian Fennesz on mastering for digital manufacture and the demands of the "Venice" project
• 3pm: "When did sound become music?" Sonic intervention from Panasonic.
Chaired by John Kieffer: Denis Blackham, Jason (Transition Mastering Studios) and Jon Wozencroft, a panel on digital and analogue sound, and how this determines listening outcomes
Sonic intervention from Ryoji Ikeda
4pm Break
• 4:15pm approx. Edwin Pouncey discusses his record collection...
• 4:30pm: Chaired by Tony Myatt (University of Surrey): Mike Harding, Seb Jouan (Aecom Acoustic Design & Arts & Culture) on multi-channel with Hildur Gudnadottir. This session reflects upon hi-audio formats, a specific example, and their future
(Followed by questions)

Screening Situations (upstairs), 6pm-7pm
• Coda-plus 47 (audio by Fennesz & Ryoji Ikeda)
• Liquid Music (audio by Fennesz)

Evening Performances, 8pm-11pm
Hildur Gudnadottir - Leyfɗu Ljósinu (Beaconsfield version)
• audio intervention by David Toop, a presentation of "Yanomamo Shamanism", released on 'Touch Travel' [T4] in 1984.
Philip Jeck
• People Like Us - 4' 33"
• audio intervention by BJNilsen, who plays a new piece recorded outside the School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, "The cackle of dogs and laughter of death".
• Playback of a surround-sound rendition of his Touch.30 piece "Brussels Nord" by Chris Watson (in absentia)

Day Two – Thursday 6th December 2012

Afternoon events, 2pm-6pm:
• 2pm: Mike Harding introduces Touch's digital presence on the web with Philip Marshall (websites) & Tim Medcalf (iOS devices) followed by at
• 2:45pm: Paul Wilson & Cheryl Tipp from The British Library on the TouchRadio archive
• 3pm: Jon Wozencroft & Garry Mouat - "Bromides and Spray Mount" - Touch design in the early years
• 3:45pm: Design Seminar by Jon Wozencroft - How Touch has responded to changing formats and download culture
•: 4:30pm Jon Wozencroft & Peter Saville discuss their parallel experience of visual culture, and the movement of graphic design to the art world (Followed by questions)

Screening Situations (upstairs), 6pm-7:15pm
• The Whitstable Symphony (audio by BJNilsen)
• The Suffolk Symphony (audio by Philip Jeck & BJNilsen)

Evening Performances, 8pm-11pm
Thomas Köner
• followed by an audio intervention by Bruce Gilbert - "Sliding off the World"
CM von Hausswolff
• Jon Wozencroft introduces Jon Savage's and his pirate broadcast for Network 21 in 1987
Biosphere - transfiguring Arnold Schoenberg's “Verklärte Nacht”

Bar area: audio interventions by Simon Fisher Turner and others…

In the Bar: Photography by Jon Wozencroft: The Listening Eye

Buy the Festival Pass in the TouchShop
Buy your ticket for 5th December 2012
Buy your ticket for 6th December 2012

autodigest Live at Touch.30 | Beaconsfield, 6th December 2012

30 releases in 30 years of Touch fitting into 30 seconds and 3 bonus seconds...

autodigest Live at Touch.30

Jon Savage/Network21 mix at Touch.30 | Beaconsfield 6th December 2012


In early 1987, when this mix was taped, House music was finally breaking through - Steve 'Silk' Hurley's "Jack Your Body" went to number one in January - and indie music, to me at least, was losing its fire. I'd been to New York the previous year and made a trip to Downstairs Records - which of course, was situated upstairs - and come back with some early DJ International 12's and some bootleg breakbeat 45's, so was beginning to add some of these into the mix into the usual white noise.

So you get some Punk and you get some Girl Group and some Sixties garage and some strange spoken word stuff and a few attempts at analogue breakbeats. It all sounds like the raw material for a killer mix but I like it in its raw and unadorned state. Thanks to the Tommy Boy 12" of the three Double Dee and Steinski Lessons, I was obsessed with mixology: hence the bootleg House mix and the first 12" by the JAMMS, which had just been released when this tape was made.

It's also a record of a moment. Jon and I lived in deep West London. It was relentless, even twenty five years or so ago. So, on a Friday night or a weekend, we'd get in the car, spark up, and head out on the M40. Drive past High Wycombe high up into the Chilterns, and take the Stokenchurch turn-off. Turn left, and drive along the Oxford Road through the village of Ibstone. Just before Ibstone House, there is a turn off to the right. Park there, and walk West.

This is a single-track road through trees down into an almost deserted valley: an oasis of quiet. Walk down in the near total darkness past Barbara Castle's old house - on a hill-top to the right - down to a T junction. Turn left along a road (Holloway Lane) shrouded in tall trees and after a few hundred yards you get to the tiny village of Turville. Depending on your taste, you can drink or eat in the village pub, the Bull and Butcher. (The place has changed, of course, it's not such an oasis of quiet since the pub got reviewed in US tour guides).

At 75 minutes, this is a pretty good soundtrack to such an expedition. It was fun to compile: I remember tuning in on my car radio and being very excited when I heard the MC5 blasting out over the airwaves. It originally comprised two full sides of a 90 minute cassette, so about 15 minutes have been cut out for reasons of space: tracks by Saqqara Dogs, the Neon Boys, the Middle Class, "Section 43" by Country Joe and the Fish.

I still like all the records that you hear on this mix.

Jon Savage

21 November 2012

Track list:

Jose Jimenez talks to Teenagers
MC5 Looking At You - single version
The Slits What A Boring Life
Middle Class Situations
Rock the House - 1986 white label
Spooky Tooth Waiting For The Wind - break
Sylvester Rock The Box - bonus beats
The Medallions The Letter
John Leyton Wild Wind
JS > I Like Synthetic/Kinks
Lee Dorsey Get Out My Life Woman break
Rosa Yemen Herpes Simplex
Jimmy "Bo" Horne Spank
Boy vs Girl w/ JS
Miss X Christine
The Urinals Sex
JAMMS All You Need Is Love original 12"
The Bostweeds Faster Pussycat Kill Kill
The Poets In Your Tower
The Jaynettes Sally Go Round The Roses
Buzzcocks Boredom backwards

John Lennon at Royal Command Performance 1963
The Residents Beyond The Valley of a Day in the Life
Twinkle Golden Lights
JS > Touch Ritual
The Spades We Sell Soul
Mars Helen Forsdale
The Electric Eels Agitated
Skip Spence Books of Moses
The Shangri-Las He Cried
The Chubukos Witchdoctor Bump
The It Donnie
Maurice Woodruff - My Predictions for 1963
Break of Love Ride by Vikki Love and Nuance
The Attack Colours of My Mind
Pop Up Advertising
Pere Ubu Heart of Darkness

Chris Watson/Wildeye

Touch moves on now to Norfolk for the Wildeye weekend with Chris Watson. More information can be found at

Reviews of Touch.30

You can read reviews of last week's Touch.30 event at Beaconsfield, London

The Liminal

Dalston Sound

Mich Leemans (Flemish)


and photos here:

Fabio Lugaro

Peter Knight

Touch Radio 88 | The Sea

11.12.12 - Sea Palling: Wet mics and grey seals - 11:53 - 320 kbps

Touch's 30th Anniversary Event: A Sound Recording Weekend with Chris Watson.
Recordings of the sea made at Sea Palling, Norfolk, 8th December 2012.

Subscribe to the TouchPod podcast of TouchRadio via the iTunes Music Store
Play "Sea Palling: Wet mics and grey seals"

The Quietus on "Fairy Tales"

The Quietus features the Touch/BFI collaborative DVD, Fairy Tales, on their site this week. Read the article on In addition, the BFI have a new article online, too.

Buy "Fairy Tales" [DVD] in the TouchShop


Following the Touch.30 events of early December, we received various reviews and Fabio Lugaro and Peter Knight kindly allowed us access to their photographs of the Beaconsfield events. A summary can be found here.

And UK's Norman Records wrote about the Touch. 30 years and counting release:

"There are virtually no labels on this planet that are in my thoughts as much as Touch these days, I have releases in my collection by almost the entire current roster, strange news for a lad brought up feasting on various strains of indie pop and muscular guitar heroics. Perhaps my mind illicitly craved exotic textures and unnerving sound vistas over catchy riffs or punchy anthems, I know not exactly when the shift occurred but I am sure glad it did.

That they're celebrating three decades operating from the fringes of the experimental music world, gradually positioning themselves closer and closer until they now effortlessly navigate the bleeding heart at the centre. Such is the strength and power of Touch music that all the artists concerned can contribute exclusive pieces to this anniversary celebration and despite their apparent diversity, create a seamless collage of profound moods and atmosphere-laden evocation.

As an entry point to this quiet behemoth of a label, '30 Years & Counting' works incredibly well, a very satisfying mix of tactile field recordings, heady twilight ambience, sparse modern classical, decaying post-rock fallout and granular tonal hypnosis. This enviable line-up of practitioners are kings or queens of their particular musical outposts to my ears - these four lengthy segments feature all the players at some juncture or other, fine innovators such as Oren Ambarchi, Chris Watson, Biosphere, Jana Winderen, Bruce Gilbert, ELEH, C. Hausswolff, BJ Nilsen, Fennesz, Philip Jeck, Mika Vainio and the beautiful work of my current squeeze, Hildur Gudnadottir. Look at that plethora of talent and weep with joy. Then buy what you can afford of their back catalogue, you'll never look back."

A free download of Network 21, prepared by Jon Savage, which was presented as a free CDR, can be found here; and a recording of Autodigest's live performance at Beaconsfield can be heard here.

A big thank you to all those of you who came and contributed so much goodwill to what was for us a memorable event. We are looking for a recording of Mike Harding's reading of Simon Fisher Turner's SMS - does anyone have one? unfortunately our digital recorder failed with just that one piece… The rest of the performances were all recorded.

Reviews of the Touch. 30 years and counting release, which is now available as a FLAC download - along with other essential items from the Touch back catalogue which are out of print - can be found here. We seem to have struck a chord with this one…

Buy "Touch. 30 Years and Counting" [CD] in the TouchShop
Buy "Touch. 30 Years and Counting" [DLP] in the TouchShop
Buy "Touch. 30 Years and Counting" [FLAC] in the TouchShop

2012 Roundup

A roundup of 2012's editions from Touch, Ash International, The Tapeworm and The Wormhole, available in the TouchShop, can be read by clicking here (if not available, they are not listed). You can subscribe to Touch in the TouchShop, and choose which releases you want in advance, along with a 10% discount…

Coming in early 2013: Touch Sevens from Sohrab and Rosy Parlane; Philip Jeck live video; Thomas Ankersmit on CD; Jacob Kirkegaard on vinyl; four new Tapeworms from Maranata, Dale Cornish, Pye Corner Audio and Phil Julian; The Art of Listening 3, Brussels; and much more…

Touch’s December 2012 year roundup newsletter

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