November 2008 Touch NewsLetter


Welcome to the November 2008 Touch Newsletter. Below you will find information about new editions and more...

New Editions

Fennesz - Black Sea

[Touch # TO:76CD & TO:76LP]

Black Sea is the much-anticipated new album from Christian Fennesz, his first since "Venice" [Touch # TO:53, 2004], about which US magazine Stylus wrote:

"Fennesz does with sound what Stan Brakhage did with film, altering its very fabric and texture, employing disorder and error as forms of communication and expression. He forces you to learn a different method of perception and interpretation, to look beneath the chaos that seems to govern the movements of life and find the patterns beneath." [Nick Southall]

Fennesz's career has come a long way since "Instrument", his debut for Mego in 1995, and his first solo album "Hotel Paral.lel which followed in 1998. "Endless Summer" [Mego, 2001] brought him to a much wider audience and "Venice" underlined his mastery of melody and dissonance. His songs usually embody the skilful application and manipulation of dense sonic textures with a genuine feel for the live, and real-time.

Black Sea features guitars that rarely sound like guitars; the instrument is transformed into an orchestra. Fennesz lists the elements used to make the compositions: "Acoustic and electric guitars, synthesizers, electronics, computers and live-improvising software lloopp."

On 'Glide', Fennesz duets with Rosy Parlane (NZ), whose work is also released on Touch. Fennesz also teams up with eMego artist Anthony Pateras's (AUS), whose prepared piano features on "The Colour of Three". Fennesz pushes his work into a more classical domain, preferring the slow reveal to Venice's and Endless Summer's more song-based structures.

Jon Wozencroft's artwork makes visible this carefully hidden world resting beneath the surface of "the first impression". A series of shots, taken in quick succession as the tide recedes, reveals a world of specific activity only visible at a particular time and place, histories appearing and disappearing.

These items may be ordered from the TouchShop now.


People Like Us & Ergo Phizmiz - Withers in the Waking [7" vinyl only]

The 8th in the series of Touch Sevens, and the first to introduce melodic narrative. Both songs are results of the WFMU podcast series "Codpaste", in which Vicki & Ergo publicly composed a series of collage compositions, deconstructing their respective practices, and a live soundtrack to Christian Marclay's "ScreenPlay". The series and soundtrack resulted in the online only album "Rhapsody in Glue", from which these two songs are alternative versions.

"Withers in the Whist" takes one of Vicki & Ergo's current staple obsessions: the melody line of Prokofiev's 'Troika' from the Lieutenant Kije soundtrack (originally used in V & E's work during a particularly snowy sequence of the Marclay film). This treatment dispenses with sampling entirely, instead using instruments to create variations on Prokofiev's deceptively simple melody-line, tied together with impressionistic, stream-of-consciousness lyrics. It is playing with Prokofiev like a bad child who loves it's toys.

"In The Waking" began with Ergo replaying with multitracked guitars the main melodic motifs Vicki collaged in the composition "Carmic Waltz", with Vicki then ornamenting the guitars with splashes of colour like a real painter of sound, all blended into a pot of carnival steam with Ergo's wordplay. It is a fantasy for the dream the fairground has when the world is sleeping, but only takes place five minutes before the carousel wakes up.

This item may be ordered in the TouchShop.


Touch Recipe Book

We have added some new recipes to the Touch Recipe Book


Touch Archive

We have been posting mp3s of some of the tracks from the early Touch cassettes... You can browse and find links in the Touch Archive section of the Touch website here. In the section 'Early Cassette Culture', you will find that some of the titles listed for each edition will contain several audio links... more will be added in the coming months.

FACT Magazine's Kiran Sande conducted an extensive interview with Touch founder Jon Wozencroft for their August/September 2008 issue. The interview is now available to read online in the Touch Archive.



There has been a major upgrade to the TouchShop by Rebels in Control... The TouchShop now has a design harmonious with the Touch website, making it a richer experience with clearer navigation, tidier information display and larger packshots throughout.


The previous NewsLetter from October 2008 can be found here