Touch Newsletter #109


Welcome to the 109th Touch Newsletter. Thomas Ankersmit’s debut for Touch is titled “Figueroa Terrace”. Available now from the TouchShop - details below. Tokafi has celebrated the album’s launch with a substantial interview with Thomas.

Four new Tapeworm tapes, each limited to 150 copies only, are now available to pre-order. Further details on these latest four – by Osman Arabi, Sharon Gal, Graham Dowdall and Michael Muennich – below…




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TO:93 | Thomas Ankersmit "Figueroa Terrace"

Digipak CD - 1 track - 36:49

When you buy this album in the TouchShop, you will receive two exclusive tracks by Thomas Ankersmit which will not appear on the album…

Tracklisting:

1. Figueroa Terrace [listen to an excerpt]

Thomas Ankersmit is a musician and installation artist based in Berlin. Since 2006 his main instrument, both live and in the studio, has been the Serge analogue modular synthesizer.

Acoustic phenomena such as sound reflections, infrasonic vibration, otoacoustic emissions, and highly directional projections of sound have been an important part of his work since the early 2000s.

In the winter of 2011-2012 Ankersmit was invited by the CalArts electronic music studios, Los Angeles, where the Serge was originally developed in the early 1970s, to record new music with their heavily customized and recently restored "Black Serge" system.

In addition to conventional analog synthesis techniques (FM, AM, ring modulation, filtering, enveloping and panning under voltage control), Ankersmit used various kinds of waveshaping, distortion and feedback (both internally as well as via a microphone and speaker setup in the studio); oscillator-generated frequencies at the upper and lower limits of auditory perception; a patch matrix to control quick transitions; a homemade circuit-bending type interface to create momentary interruptions to the signal flow, and the scraping of a contact microphone. Aside from recording, editing, and a few instances of reverb no digital technology was used.

The music is finely tuned and highly detailed, yet also visceral and raw. Marked by sharp perceptual contrasts, the piece shifts between dense formations of electric noise, to fields of micro-events moving with an intuitive logic, and feedback-drones of overwhelming intensity. The sounds have a real-world physicality, bringing to mind swarms of locusts, distant storms and creaking machinery rather than "synthesizer music".

The piece was premiered in North America at REDCAT in downtown Los Angeles and in Europe at Berghain, Berlin, for the MaerzMusik Festival.

The music is originally quadraphonic and mixed to stereo for this release. Figueroa Terrace is Ankersmit's first full-length solo studio release.

Thomas Ankersmit: Serge analogue modular synthesizers, contact mic. Recorded at CalArts, Valencia and in Los Angeles, December 2011-February 2012.  Thanks to Kye Potter, Kevin Drumm, Valerio Tricoli, Darrel Johansen, Kevin Fortune, and everyone at CalArts. 


Buy Thomas Ankersmit "Figueroa Terrace" [CD + download] in the TouchShop
Also available: Thomas Ankersmit "Live in Utrecht" [CD] on Ash International
www.thomasankersmit.com




TTW#66 | Osman Arabi "Destroying Symmetry"

Cassette only – edition of 150 copies
Illustration – SAVX

Track listing:
Nine untitled tracks
43min playing time





Improvised, channeled and recorded in one take at Tunefork Recording Studios on the 9th of August, 2013 - Beirut, Lebanon. Mixed and mastered by Fadi Tabbal on the 10th of October, 2013 - Beirut, Lebanon.

A unique figure in the international noise and industrial music scenes, Osman Arabi is a composer, producer and sound designer from Tripoli, Lebanon. His work elicits images of desolate industrial landscapes and shamanistic rites. From his beginnings in black metal, Arabi has progressed through such genres as dark ambient, industrial, tribal, psychedelic, electro-acoustic, power electronics and noise. His many projects have included Seeker, Kafan, Veinen, Shamanic Death Trance, The Ritual Inclusion of Code, harsh electronics outfit 20.SV, as well as nihilist Dutch collective Stalaggh. In 2000 Arabi stopped performing live - vanishing into the underground, not resurfacing until 2009…

For the past decade, Arabi has been developing – in complete secrecy – his ‘occult guitar’ playing, based on the sigil work of Austin Osman Spare. This new thread to his work was only recently unveiled, in late 2013, and is set to become the backbone of his live rituals hereon in.


Buy Osman Arabi "Destroying Symmetry" in the TouchShop
More information on www.tapeworm.org.uk
www.osmanarabi.com




TTW#67 | Sharon Gal "Birdsongs"

Cassette only – edition of 150 copies
Illustration – SAVX

Track listing:
A: Birdsongs
B1: Alarm Call
B2: Étude (1st)
B3: Trouble in Paradise (2010)





Sharon Gal is a vocalist, artist, performer and musician – voice / electronics / free improvisation / collaborative group compositions / field recordings / radio / mixed media. She performs solo, and in regular collaboration with Steve Beresford, Steve Noble, Alex Ward, John Edwards, Dylan Nyoukis, Phil Minton and Feral Singers. She also conductsand performs a series of experimental collaborative group compositions; L'esprit d'escalier – for voices in a staircase, Long Drone – for a large ensemble of various instruments, Toy Orchestra – for children and adults, and Gals with Guitars – for female guitar players.

Gal is a founder member of London’s arts radio, Resonance 104.4 FM and over the past 13 years has presented and produced various programmes, including; Diggers, with Edwin “Savage Pencil” Pouncey, Venus Rising, In Search of Inspiration, and a weekly sound-diary, Stereo Cilia.

Her music has been released by Ash International, Paradigm Records, Chocolate Monk, Emanem and Ecstatic Yod, with the most recent 7” release, Melancoholic, being on the American Tapes label.


Buy Sharon Gal "Birdsongs" in the TouchShop
More information on www.tapeworm.org.uk
www.sharon-gal.com




TTW#68 | Graham Dowdall "Outside Broadcast"

Cassette only – edition of 150 copies

Track listing:
A: Home Service
B: Light Programme





Graham “Dids” Dowdall has been active on the outer limits of music for several decades. Starting out as drummer in Manchester cult band Ludus he then worked with Eric Random & the Bedlamites and spent several years recording and touring with Nico. He’s collaborated live and on record with many others along the way including John Cale, Suns of Arqa, Band of Holy Joy. He is currently a member of avant rock legends Pere Ubu, has an acclaimed solo electronica project Gagarin and works with rising Welsh-Iranian singer-songwriter Roshi, in Roshi featuring Pars Radio. His last solo Gagarin album “Biophilia” (yes, Björk nicked the title) received great reviews being described in Musicweek as “stunning beautiful glitchy electronica” and in Mojo as “electronica in its rawest sense”. He has a wide-ranging portfolio career that also includes running music workshops with disabled children, training and teaching at Goldsmiths College. 

“Outside Broadcast” is a departure from the more beat-driven glitchy style of Gagarin and is an evocation of childhood evenings sitting at an old “Portable” radio, obsessively tuning bakelite dials across the airwaves – finding a weird sound to luxuriate in, then a bit of strange music, an exotically named station, a call sign or simply the sound of the dial, all masked in MW/SW/LW noise. It’s a distressed and lo-fi sound-world created with a cassette release in mind – no sharp beats or hi-fi… The main instrument was a 90s radio-cassette player alongside two iPad apps. It’s hoped that repeated play will enhance the sound as the tape deteriorates.


Buy Graham Dowdall "Outside Broadcast" in the TouchShop
More information on www.tapeworm.org.uk
www.gagarin.org.uk




TTW#69 | Michael Muennich "Schamprozessionen"

Cassette only – edition of 150 copies
Illustration – Mario Caroli

Track listing:
A: 14'29"
B: 14'45"





Recorded and assembled by Michael Muennich 2013/2014 at Fragment Factory, Hamburg. Mastered by Phil Julian.

Michael Muennich was born in 1980 in a South West German border town close to France. Relocated to Hamburg in 2004. Founded Fragment Factory in summer of 2009 as a platform to publish the own and friends' musical (or non musical) effusions. Recent and forthcoming releases on Fragment Factory, Banned Production, Firework Edition Records, Noise-Below and Geräuschmanufaktur. Primarily working on the basis of everyday surrounding sounds, focussing on all kinds of objects as tone generators.


Buy Michael Muennich "Schamprozessionen" in the TouchShop
More information on www.tapeworm.org.uk
www.fragmentfactory.com/muennich.html






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The previous Touch NewsLetter can be found here.