September 2011 Touch Newsletter #2

Welcome to the 64th Touch Newsletter. The third installment in Touch's White Label vinyl series is now avaiable, Oren Ambarchi & Joe Talia performing "Hit & Run" live at Café Oto. 300 copies only.

Fennesz's "Seven Stars" EP is now available on CD. The 10" vinyl is also still available.

Touch Radio 69 is Philip Jeck in performance, recorded on 6th September 2011 at The Brücknerhaus, Linz, Austria for Prix Ars Electronica.

A glut of information on upcoming live events from Touch, Spire and The Tapeworm over the next month is detailed below.

Finally, advance warning on two releases to feature on our next newsletter: Chris Watson's "El Tren Fantasma" [CD + vinyl] and a new project by Leslie Winer with Christophe Van Huffel - Purity Supreme's "Always Already" [12" EP + digital download]. Full details on both these releases in October's newsletter...

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Tone 45.3 | Oren Ambarchi & Joe Talia "Hit & Run"

12" White Label vinyl + 320 kbps MP3 download of the tracks
Cut by Jason @ Transition

The third in the series of limited edition vinyl in the Tone 45 series. 100 copies only are available in the TouchShop...

Track listing:

Side One 33rpm
1. Live at Café Oto 14:29

Side Two 33rpm
1. Live at Café Oto 14:39

The third in the Touch white label series after BJNilsen - Vinyl [Tone 45.1] and The Sight Below - N-Plants_Remixes [Tone 45.2]. This was recorded live at Café Oto, London, on April 14, 2011.

Oren Ambarchi is a composer and multi-instrumentalist with longstanding interests in transcending conventional instrumental approaches. His work focuses mainly on the exploration of the guitar, "re-routing the instrument into a zone of alien abstraction where it's no longer easily identifiable as itself. Instead, it's a laboratory for extended sonic investigation". (The Wire, UK). Oren Ambarchi's works are hesitant and tense extended songforms located in the cracks between several schools: modern electronics and processing; laminal improvisation and minimalism; hushed, pensive songwriting; the deceptive simplicity and temporal suspensions of composers such as Morton Feldman and Alvin Lucier; and the physicality of rock music, slowed down and stripped back to its bare bones, abstracted and replaced with pure signal.

From the late 90's his experiments in guitar abstraction and extended technique have led to a more personal and unique sound-world incorporating a broader palette of instruments and sensibilities. On recent releases such as Grapes From The Estate and In The Pendulum's Embrace Ambarchi has employed glass harmonica, strings, bells, piano, drums and percussion, creating fragile textures as light as air which tenuously coexist with the deep, wall-shaking bass tones derived from his guitar. Ambarchi works with simple constructs and parameters; exploring one idea over an extended duration and patiently teasing every nuance and implication from each texture; the phenomena of sum and difference tones; carefully tended arrangements that unravel gently; unprepossessing melodies that slowly work their way through various permutations; resulting in an otherworldly, cumulative impact of patiently unfolding compositions.

Ambarchi has performed and recorded with a diverse array of artists such as Fennesz, Otomo Yoshihide, Pimmon, Keiji Haino, John Zorn, Rizili, Voice Crack, Jim O'Rourke, Keith Rowe, Phill Niblock, Dave Grohl, Gunter Muller, Evan Parker, z'ev, Toshimaru Nakamura, Peter Rehberg, Merzbow and many more. Since 2004 Ambarchi has worked with American avant metal outfit Sunn 0))) contributing to many of their releases and side-projects including their Black One album from 2005 and the recent Monoliths & Dimensions release. For 10 years together with Robbie Avenaim, Ambarchi was the co-organiser of the What Is Music? festival, Australia's premier annual showcase of local and international experimental music. The festival hosted over 200 local and international performers. Ambarchi now curates the Maximum Arousal series at The Toff In Town in Melbourne and has recently co-produced an Australian television series on experimental music called Subsonics. Ambarchi recently co-curated the sound program for the 2008 Yokohama Triennale.

Ambarchi has released numerous recordings for international labels such as Touch, Southern Lord, Table Of The Elements and Tzadik. In 2003 his live release Triste received an 'honourary mention' in the Prix Ars Electronica digital music category.

Joe Talia is a drummer, percussionist and electro-acoustic performer based in Melbourne, Australia.

Never satisfied with containment to any one style or discipline, He plays drums, percussion, amplified objects electronics and tape machines. After studying improvisation at the Victorian College of the Arts, Talia went on to become involved in the Australian jazz and improv scene. As well as being a respected drummer, Talia also works in the realm of electro-acoustic music, both live and studio based. His debut solo work, in/exterior, a four part suite of musique concrète compositions, was released in 2006 and since then he has formed an electro-acoustic duo with composer James Rushford, together they have completed two albums, Palisades (sabbatical records 2009) and the upcoming paper fault line, a through-composed tour-de-force of instrumental concrète, blistering noise and contemporary classical virtuosity. He also has a long standing musical partnership with singer-songwriter Ned Collette, working as both a drummer and producer/engineer on Collette's album Future Suture (Dot Dash 2007) and with Wirewalker, on Over the Stones, Under the Stars (Dot Dash 2009) and performing on several European tours. Talia is also member of the ARIA award winning Andrea Keller Quartet.

Talia has performed, recording and toured with diverse range of musicians and ensembles, including Oren Ambarchi, Robbie Avenaim, Anthony Pateras, Francis Plagne, Thembi Soddell, Sean Baxter, David Shea, Marco Fusinato, The Bartok Project, Rand and Holland, Erik Griswold, Adam Simmons, and countless others.

Buy Oren Ambarchi & Joe Talia "Hit & Run" in the TouchShop

Tone 44 | Fennesz "Seven Stars"

CD EP + 320kpbs mp3
Design & photography by Jon Wozencroft

When you buy this CD in the TouchShop, you also get a free download of a remix of "Shift", "Reshift".

Track listing:
1. Liminal 3:07
2. July 5:06
3. Shift 6:47
4. Seven Stars* 3:01

Recorded in Studio B, Amannstudios, Vienna.
Acoustic and electric guitars, bass, synths, computers

*Seven Stars features Steven Hess on drums, recorded at Amannstudios by Christoph Amann

Fennesz's first solo release since Black Sea [Touch # TO:76, 2008]. Using acoustic and electric guitars, bass, synths, computers, Fennesz continues to engage and entrance us in equal measure.

Fennesz writes: "Seven Stars was recorded in Vienna in January 2011. I recorded and mixed the album within 3 weeks. Liminal and July were existing pieces which i have reworked. (I wrote an early version of Liminal in a hotel room in Bali in 2010). There is also a version of Liminal that I have been playing live for some time. My friend Steven Hess, with whom I have worked before, happened to be in Vienna at the time of the sessions, so I invited him to join me in the studio. Christoph Amann recorded the drums using a selection of his great microphones including his amazing new Josephson.

I wanted to make a record that has a certain lightness about it and at the same time explore new territory using drums on one track. This might be something I will continue with in the future."

Fennesz's third collaboration with Ryuichi Sakamoto, "Flumina", is due out in November on Touch.

Buy Fennesz "Seven Stars" [CD] in the TouchShop
Also available on 10" Vinyl

Touch Radio 69 | Philip Jeck

24.09.11 - Live at The Brücknerhaus - 32:58 - 192 kbps

Pic: "The Ghost of Philip Jeck" by Mike Harding

Philip Jeck in performance was recorded on 6th September 2011 at The Brücknerhaus, Linz, Austria for Prix Ars Electronica, at which Philip Jeck was awarded a Distinction for his LP 'Suite: Live in Liverpool' [Touch # Tone 29, 2009]. The multi-channel recording (2 channels off the desk, two in the room) was mixed for TouchRadio by BJNilsen.

Subscribe to the TouchPod podcast of TouchRadio via the iTunes Music Store
Play "Live at The Brücknerhaus"

24.9.11 | Philip Jeck and Never Records, London

This September, Never Records will open at 11 Southwark St. near London Bridge tube station, as part of Illuminate Production's Merge Festival, sponsored by the Tate Modern, and Better Bankside. Philip Jeck will be performing from 8pm The Bear Pit at on 24th September.

In the daytime, Touch, with BJNilsen, Jon Wozencroft & Mike Harding, will be recording and cutting at Never Records at 2pm for two hours. Two vinyl cuts will be made of the recording, one for display and listening in the shop and one, the other copy goes to the archives...

Never Records is a multi-media multi-artist project by New York artist/musician Ted Riederer. Exploring the potential of a record store and record label to unite, educate, and uplift a community through recorded sound, Riederer's project began in an abandoned Tower Records near Union Square in New York City. In January 2010, Riederer, in collaboration with curators No Longer Empty, created what the Wall Street Journal described as a "mock shop" that served as a "love letter to the dying concept of the record store."

In September 2010, Riederer brought Never Records to the Liverpool Biennial, and expanded upon his original idea by purchasing a vinyl record lathe. He then cut recordings of live performances, including Philip Jeck & Hildur Gudnadottir, inside of record store/performance space, and filled his record store with this library of on site performances.

20.10.11 | Worm Eats Bear - a free evening from The Tapeworm

Date: 20.10.11. Time: 7pm - 10.30pm.
Free entry. The Bear Pit, Bear Gardens, London SE1 9EB.

Announcing a special evening of Bankside performances curated by The Tapeworm, as part of the Merge Festival.

London's finest cassette-only label, The Tapeworm, presents its third annual event in the Capital. Exemplary music and much excitement is to be expected from a line-up of the label's mates.

Mr Ken Hollings, a writer of note, shall be reading his text from the first Bookworm publication, to be launched on this very same night. Sweden's BJNilsen will be flying in and making a splendid noise for you all. A second Swede, CM von Hausswolff (...he's a king, dontchaknow!) will share a stage with Touch's Mike Harding, in a reading of Edgar Allen Poe like none before. Cult vs. occult - former Medicine Head man Peter Hope-Evans and illustrator Savage Pencil will whip up a dark blue storm. Mr Pencil's fine drawings will also be on display - exhibition continues 21st to 23rd October, 12 to 6pm. Hopping on the bus from Elephant & Castle is Zerocrop and his band; pop perfection from a local lad. And finally, a London eye - video installation by Vicki Bennett, aka People Like Us.
Download flyer [.pdf]

21.10.11 | Spire Live at Lincoln Cathedral

We are pleased to announce the next Spire event will take place at

Frequency Festival 2011
21st-29th October

Philip Jeck
Charles Matthews
Charles Matthews & Mike Harding - The Eternal Chord
The Spire Ensemble - Organogram

with John Beaumont (Tenor)

"It's nice. It's nice to see you."

Christophe Van Huffel & Leslie Winer are Purity Supreme.
"Always Already" - vinyl EP & digital download - 24.10.11

The previous Touch NewsLetter can be found here.