May 2009 #2 Touch Newsletter

Welcome to the twenty-ninth Touch Newsletter. At the end of an incredibly productive Spring for Touch we take a look back at our 2009 editions, so far...

Robert Hampson's long-awaited new CD for Touch, Vectors, is now on sale in the TouchShop.

Also, a free MP3 download of the panel discussion and Q&A session featuring Christian Fennesz, Mike Harding, CM von Hausswolff, Rosy Parlane & Jon Wozencroft, which preceded the Touch event at Ether 09, has been added to our website's Archive section.

TO:71 - Robert Hampson "Vectors"

Touch # TO:71
CD in Digipak - 3 tracks

Artwork & design by Jon Wozencroft

Track Listing:
1. Umbra
2. Ahead - Only The Stars
3. Dans le Lointain

Umbra (2006) - is the second commission for GRM. This 16 channel piece had it's debut performance on the Acousmonium - GRM's speaker orchestra - at Salle Olivier Messiaen, Maison de Radio France, Paris "The umbra (Latin: shadow) is the darkest part of a shadow. From within the umbra, the source of light is completely concealed by the occulting body. In astronomy, an observer in the umbra is said to be in the shadows experiencing total eclipse." This phenomenon is a direct influence on the work in the sense of the way that sounds are cast in the shadow of others, slowly becoming more distinct and featured as the piece progresses, materialising and then casting a shadow of their own.

Ahead - Only The Stars (2007) - commissioned by Vibrö for a performance at the Planetarium de Poitiers in 7.1 Surround ratio. Inspired and dedicated to the Astronauts of the NASA Mercury Missions space program and possibly the greatest pilot ever, Chuck Yeager. After the introduction of jets blasting across the soundstage, the piece is then interspersed with radio transmissions (Com. bleeps and static, with dialogue removed) that form the framework.

Dans le Lointain (2008) - the third commission for GRM. A 2 channel Stereo piece, it's debut performance on the Acousmonium - GRM's speaker orchestra - at Salle Olivier Messiaen, Maison de Radio France, Paris. Sounds of Shortwave radios, recorded by Hampson in the very early 80's and recently rediscovered on a cassette, are manipulated through very traditional techniques utilised by early tape experimental works of the GRM and collected with more modern forms of digital manipulation. The title (In The Distance) refers to the distance radio signals can travel, but also the distance of time that elapsed since the shortwave recordings were made on a four track recorder and dubbed onto cassette by Hampson around 1981/82.

Buy Vectors in the TouchShop

"A State of Independence"

Many thanks to all who attended the events Touch Presents, live at the Queen Elizabeth Hall and the Roundhouse. Fine reviews of both evenings have been posted over at Mapsadasical [Queen Elizabeth Hall / Roundhouse]. Drowned in Sound, in a 9/10 review, acclaimed the Queen Elizabeth Hall show as a "triumphant performance".

Uploaded to the Archive section of a MP3 download of the panel discussion and Q&A session featuring Christian Fennesz, Mike Harding, CM von Hausswolff, Rosy Parlane & Jon Wozencroft, which preceded the Touch event at Ether 09.

"Since its first release in 1982, Touch has stood between the worlds of art and music, analogue and digital, the personal and the political. Touch is not a record label. Much is made of the distinction between 'commercial music' and so-called 'independence', but rarely is the perception of these terms called into question. Download Culture supposedly liberates artists and musicians from the shackles of music business (mis)management and comes with the clarion call that 'music wants to be free'. Free from what?

For nearly thirty years Touch has tried to provide a narrative and mode of resistance against the race-chase for audio/visual fast food. This evening's talk, and tomorrow's concert at the QEH, will explore some of the strategies involved in such an undertaking... What can be done, and what should never be attempted."

"A State of Independence" in the Touch Archive

TouchShop news

For all credit card, debit card and Paypal payments, the TouchShop now exclusively uses Paypal's online clearing system. Paypal are 100% secure and offer good protection to the customer, so you can be sure your financial details will be safe and sound.

Please note - you can use all major credit or debit cards as normal, without having to sign up for a Paypal account! Instructions are given on the checkout page.

If you wish to order by telephone, you may leave a message on the TouchShop hotline -
+44 208 3559672. Speak clearly, not forgetting to leave your full details!

And, back by popular demand, we are offering a Subscription Service, whereby a lump-sum payment guarantees you all Touch releases at a 10% discount [until the subscription needs renewing, then the process starts all over again], a special free download or streaming service only open to subscribers, first option on other exclusive releases, a dedicated monthly newsletter, discount on back catalogue items and more... You can top-up your account at any time; contact for details. Further details here.

Touch's 2009 editions, so far...

The first half of the year has seen Touch with a particually busy release schedule. Below, a round-up of 2009's new editions, so far, from Touch and Ash International.

Touch - Not A Record Label

Touch - Not A Record Label [T-Shirt]

The Uncertainty Principle

The Uncertainty Principle [T-Shirt]

Jana Winderen - Heated: Live in Japan

Jana Winderen - Heated: Live in Japan [CD]

Nana April Jun - The Ontology of Noise

Nana April Jun - The Ontology of Noise [CD]

Hildur Gudnadottir - Without Sinking

Hildur Gudnadottir - Without Sinking [CD]

Biosphere - Wireless - Live at The Arnolfini, Bristol

Biosphere - Wireless - Live at The Arnolfini, Bristol [CD]

Robert Hampson - Vectors

Robert Hampson - Vectors [CD]

freq_out - Dreamlands

freq_out - Dreamlands [A3 Print + digital download]

Rosy Parlane - Willow

Rosy Parlane - Willow [A3 Print + digital download]

Spire - Organology

Spire - Organology [A3 Print + digital download]

Hildur Gudnadottir - Iridescence [digital download]

Jana Winderen - Submerged [digital download]

Jana Winderen - The Noisiest Guys on the Planet

Jana Winderen - The Noisiest Guys on the Planet [Cassette]

Philip Marshall - Three Questions and an Answer

Philip Marshall - Three Questions and an Answer [Cassette]

Chris Watson - Stepping into the Dark [CD, 3rd Edition]

Phill Niblock - Touch Three [CD, 2nd Edition]

And finally...

...discovered in the dusty depths of Ash International's archives: two rare out-of-print vinyl editions from the 1990s. We have extremely limited stock of these items. Your last chance to purchase!


Mesmer [Vinyl LP]

UBSB - Traceroute

UBSB - Traceroute [Vinyl Mini LP]

The previous Touch NewsLetter can be found here.