gordon ashworth has crafted "misfortune" as the final album and conclusion under the concern project which was recorded throughout 2011 to early 2012 and is entirely based on the 15 string box-harp (an american folk instrument also known as the "lap harp"). every sound on the album was initially created by this box-harp and field recordings. The three compositions are ashworth's direct impressions of traditional melodies for the valiha marovany (a box-harp instrument from madagascar) and the kora (a west african gourd-harp instrument). the emotional essences of these melodic lines and tunings were severely abstracted and magnified into new realms of emotional and psychological reaction. these recordings of the box-harp were gradually combined with social field recordings and drastically manipulated by several methods of cassette-based looping & delay, speakers and microphones, and using massive underground hospital parking garages as crude, guerrilla echo chambers. the effect is intended to recreate the overwhelming emotional effects of the original melodies, as well as the feelings of anxiety attacks, atheism, agoraphobia, failing health, and observing misfortune in others. recorded by gordon ashworth, mastered by mark burden and gordon ashworth. art and design by brandon nickell. edition of 300 copies printed with teal-foil graph structure tessellations on black matte jackets.
"ascent" is the third full-length album by longtime californian experimental music stalwarts thomas dimuzio and joseph hammer. while their previous double lp focused on revisiting live recordings made throughout the west coast during the mid-to-late 2000's, "ascent" effectively serves as dimmer's first real studio effort in over five years since "the shining path" in 2007. in those five years, dimmer's sound has evolved to something transcendent and grand in scope in "ascent" as it was conceptualized to be restricted to vintage analogue synthesizers and tape loops applying modern methods and aesthetics of electronic music composition. thomas dimuzio: live sampling, processing, loops, and synthesizers; joseph hammer: tape loops, processing, and synthesizers. source sounds restricted to synthesizers by moog, marion systems, clavia/nord, and sequential circuits. composed, processed, and mixed by thomas dimuzio and joseph hammer at gench studios, san francisco, ca. mastered by thomas dimuzio. dedicated to warner jepson. artwork and design by brandon nickell. edition of 300 copies printed with gold-foil graph tessellations on white matte jackets.
after several years of releasing exquisitely crystalline drone as part of the forefront of the american electronic underground, "the truth of transience" amazingly marks the first official vinyl release of chicago's nicholas szczepanik. this album follows up from last year's "ante algo azul" subscription series and notably his widely celebrated album "please stop loving me" on christoph heeman's streamline label which continues to build on szczepanik's quickly accelerating output of complex and dynamic ambient electronic drone work. recorded a winter ago and then abandoned only to be resurrected and fully realized in the spring of 2011. mastered by william hutson in the summer of 2011. packaged in deluxe green foil-stamped neon yellow matte jackets with artwork and design by brandon nickell. limited edition of 300 copies.
originally from the bay area and currently residing in los angeles (the latter of where he's spent most of the past decade recording and performing along the west coast), william hutson has been a longtime stalwart of the american synth and experimental noise underground quietly releasing small-run works on respected labels such as monorail trespassing, ekhein, arbor, peasant magik, and jugular forest among others. "some kissed charms that would not protect them" over two side-long pieces effectively straddles between orchestral crumar analog synth string swells, noise, field recordings, and experimental modern day minimalism. the attention and monumental focus on composition and movements within each piece is extremely evident as well as hutson's knowledge and command of modular analog synthesis. housed in deluxe fluorescent blue jackets with silver foil-stamped artwork (clebsch graph) by brandon nickell. limited to 300 copies.
gordon ashworth began recording and performing as oscillating innards in 2001. he came to prominence in the west coast u.s. harsh noise scene, performing, collaborating and touring with like-minded artists such as men who can't love and pedestrian deposit. ashworth's style was an amalgam of varied tactics, all of which are addressed on this retrospective. the ferocity of his whip crack cut-ups was matched by that of his long-form wall noise pieces. his ambient, drone works, field recordings and tape collages all bristled with tension, as if each moment simultaneously held inside it the possibility of miraculous cohesion, or abject ruination. irretrievable: mmii - mmviii collects two and a half hours of material from ashworth's tenure as oscillating innards, much of it previously released, though long unavailable, by labels including callow god, troniks, dada drumming, and ashworth's own iatrogenesis. the release coincides with ashworth's final tour as oscillating innards, and represents a striking conclusion to an accomplished oeuvre.
exactly five years after the release of his debut album “the helical word” under the aemae project, brandon nickell has released his third album eponymously, “and if you set this mind of mine afire then on my bloodstream i yet will carry you” which was recorded, mixed and fully realized beteen winter 2007 and spring 2010. the album is inspired by personal experiences and extensive research with auditory hallucinations (particularly while living in east oakland in the early 2000’s) and the title is taken from the german poet rainer maria rilke’s (1875-1926) poem “put out my eyes” with minor revisions in the title. 2010 is an age of cassette revivalist culture, analog synthesizers and nostalgic aesthetics; however the album makes no apologies in not conforming with these trends and instead opts to use all tools at the creator’s disposal to achieve a unified vision that has been a painful three year undertaking in order to create a work that is unique in scope. the album was recorded with virtual analog synthesizers using computer based-sequencers, the sequential circuits pro one synthesizer, the human voice, and features further extensive use of analog and digital synthesis. the fifth track is the studio version of a live piece which was originally released on the black horizons tape in 2009. mastered by james plotkin in summer 2010; artwork by and design by brandon nickell using a two-dimensional tessellation of the tesseract pressed with gold foil on black matte cd jackets. never to be re-pressed in its original form.
after years of painfully limited cassette and cd-r releases, aaron davis has created his most definitive and ambitious work as acre to date. "isolationist" is the first official full-length from one of portland's most enigmatic and respected figures of the northwest's fervent experimental music underground. the album features a new track recorded during the summer of 2009, exhibiting the slow yet subtle and highly-detailed electronic undulations that has largely characterized davis' work as acre. alongside this new piece are two completely remastered tracks from the original "painless" cd-r released on the students of decay label in a criminally limited edition of 75 copies in 2008. a record which unequivocally celebrates davis' years of painstaking effort mastering the minimalism of room crushing frequencies, this album represents the most essential and first widely available acre release. recorded by aaron davis in portland, oregon, mastered by thomas dimuzio at gench studios in august 2009. graphic design and artwork by brandon nickell. printed on spot-varnish fluorescent orange matte jackets; limited edition of 500 copies on compact disc.
dimmer's "remissions" is the second full-length album from longtime sonic architects of interactive feedback circuits, thomas dimuzio and joseph hammer. this 2xlp effectively represents four side-long pieces from their live shows throughout california taken place between 2006 and 2007. essentially a follow-up to their 2007 album on los angeles' melon expander, "remissions" expands upon the immense recursive tape looping and resampling that is found inherent in their work but achieves a weight and time displacement that greatly overshadows their dark preceding full-lengh. all four pieces were recorded at: norcal noisefest in sacramento (2006, "sky wire"), the luggage store gallery in san francisco (2006, "sun dog"), the smell in los angeles (2006, "gases that emit light"), and artsf's noise pancakes series (2007, "giant eagle"). live sampling, processing, feedback, looping by thomas dimuzio. tape manipulation and processing by joseph hammer. design and layout by thomas dimuzio, joseph hammer and brandon nickell. limited to 500 copies on full-color sleeves with cover photography by john dalton.
ata ebtekar and the iranian orchestra for new music performing works of alireza mashayekhi. "an ambitious, extremely complex, and sonically rich project that gives us an immense pleasure to release. an incredible collaboration between ebtekar and alireza mashayekhi's iranian orchestra for new music in tehran, iran involving dozens of trained musicians. ebtekar has recently returned to the bay area from his three year stay in iran where he closely worked with legendary composer alireza mashayekhi. the album spans 50 minutes, crystallizing acoustic instruments and electronic music composition with ten tracks fully realized by ebtekar and mashayekhi's orchestra. ata ebtekar (b. 1972, hamburg germany) aka sote is an iranian-american electronic composer and sound artist. his compositions are sonic tales synchronously decoding and regenerating customary patterns of thought in nature; aural designs of crisis and harmony where contempo meets folklore, orchestrating an artificial saga with a variety of illuminations and analysis. presented here is a full-length album involving dozens of trained musicians performing works written by legendary Iranian classical and electronic music composer Alireza Mashayekhi in which Ebtekar was granted freedom by mashayekhi himself to arrange and transform these compositions into fully realized pieces using his techniques of synthesis and electronic manipulation. ornamental continues to explore even further than that which was presented in sub rosa's 2007 anthology, persian electronic music (yesterday and today 1966-2006). the album also continues the radical experimental departure from his early electronic music work as Sote in the 12"'s published by dielectric and warp records. ebtekar's work continues to be painfully singular and shines bright in its ability to eliminate barriers the world over between noise, silence and modern electronic music composition. all music recorded in tehran, iran. limited to 500 copies on black vinyl on full color spot-varnish matte jackets. mastered by thomas dimuzio at gench studios in san francisco, ca. artwork and design by brandon nickell."
well in the works since late 2007 is the long overdue debut lp of oakland experimental/noise duo maleficia which features ilysea viles sunderman on vocals/viola and andy way (also of french radio, nf orchest, carrion, riqis) on electronics. "making" and "remaking" were recorded at earhammer studios in fall 2007 by greg wilkinson (chronicles of lemur mutation, carrion, laudanum), and mastered in winter 2008 by thomas dimuzio at gench studios in san francisco. two side-long tracks, "making" and "remaking" produce an exquisite and carefully balanced binary system of torrential noise along with beautiful vocals/viola; ultimately the result is an impressive debut record from one of the most original and interesting noise groups to come out of oakland over the last couple of years. both ilysea viles sunderman and andy way have participated in live collaborations for groups such as inn.aff.(orchext.) -- centered around live improvisation involving members of irr. app. ext., maleficia and nf orchest. maleficia’s output until this point has consisted only of an extremely limited cd-r released in 2006, where its caustic and compositional qualities were compared to the likes of fe-mail and the vocal stylings of jarboe. cover photo by ilysea viles sunderman. limited to 400 copies.
ostrakon is the long in the works lp collaboration between aemae and arastoo darakhshan. this project is specifically centered and largely structured around darakhshan's live piano compositions. as such, the record marks a radical departure from brandon nickell’s brutal synthetic compositions and solo work as aemae, as well as in darakshan’s case a departure from his drone minimalist synth works. the record is rich and glowing in ghostly resonance, old forgotten places with side-long pieces for each side: "ostrakon" and "capo" ; black & white cover artwork by darakhshan. production, mixing and synthesis by brandon nickell (aemae) ; production, mixing, and piano by arastoo darakhshan. recorded and finalized between 2007 and winter 2008. limited to 320 copies.
maw is the full-length follow-up to aemae’s 2005 album the helical word. these five pieces were composed by 25 year-old brandon nickell between the period of summer of 2005 and fall of 2006. perhaps it can be suggested that maw expands upon the aurora borealis and detailed frequency patterns of the helical word however it sets itself apart from its predecessor with time-scales that breath and contract, intense dynamics whipping around the listener’s spatial perception, and compositions that layer themselves with contours shaped and crafted with unusual precision. maw easily documents and moves within intersections of modern electronic music composition, noise, and experimental music utilizing synthesis to construct new sounds.
"three" is the work of 25 year-old bay area resident arastoo darakhshan. ancient voices and drone work traverse paths of analogue synths, strings, and synthetic textures through three tracks on this full-length lp, ultimately creating three distinct spaces of sound. the "three" lp is the second full-length release for the isounderscore label in oakland, california and is the second release from arastoo himself.
the helical word was written by 23 year-old brandon nickell under the recording name aemae over a lengthy two-year period in oakland, california between 2003 and 2005. the record is an intensive experimentation with vocal resonance and digital formant manipulation, employing a wide array of synthesis techniques using self-written software. the helical word is undeniably a systematic and dark electronic exploration into the frequency domain. the record is constructed from the ground up as a pure exercise in synthesis without the use of field recordings, vocals, or samples.