The clocks moved back, temperatures doubled here in the UK for a mini heatwave this week, and lockdown is slowly but surely relaxing here it seems. I had my vaccine and y m5G reception has been vastly improved, but find that TV and radio reception is immediately bad when I’m close-by. Side effects? What side effects?
My new album, Staging Silence, was just released on Sub Rosa. The double LP and digital release collects together the complete soundtracks for two of the films of Belgian artist Hans Op de Beeck in his Staging Silence trilogy. These very lyrical and moving soundtracks accompany the most magical of films which I very much encourage you to view. If you only watch two minutes I guarantee you will be hypnotised! I wrote a feature about the making of the soundtracks, which you can read here. Buy the album on limited vinyl here, with an extra track unavailable anywhere else.
I also released a special free compilation, The Magician’s Hat: Volume 1 Ambient, a 70+ minute mix of ambient works from my back catalogue. It features music to relax, inspire and slow you down, and hopefully to encourage you to explore some of my vast back catalogue in a fresh way. Download it at no cost here.
Available for the first time since 2005, The Radiance of a Thousand Suns Burst Forth at Once, is available in full quality digital version, remastered and with 20+ minutes of unreleased mixes. This album was commissioned to celebrate the union of Roel & Ellis in marriage in De Rijp, The Netherlands in 2004. It was an extraordinary invitation and came with a heavy responsibility! I performed the soundtrack live at the wedding itself in front of their family and friends. Pick up this music here. It’s a very personal and moving work indeed.
Thanks to everyone who tuned in last month to my debut Bandcamp Live show. It was more successful than I ever could have anticipated and now intend to make these happen quarterly. Each time will feature entirely new music and equipment, and be performed live. The broadcast remains online for 24 hours afterwards so you can watch it back again, or else catch up with it if you missed it because of the different time zone or circumstances. Here’s an excerpt from the show.
I invested in new cameras and lights for a more professional set up too, and wanted to share all the knowledge and experience I picked up in preparing for the show, so I wrote an expansive introduction for anyone who wants to stream an online gig. Read this in full here.
Another month and another mixtape. I was invited to make a mix for Soundwave but I always find it challenging to know how to begin to choose music from literally hundreds of thousands of pieces of music that I own. Music lives with me from the moment I wake up early in the morning until I go to bed at night (at a very reasonable time, don’t worry). So, I thought it might be of interest to simply make a collage of a few of the many pieces of music that have accompanied me in the last seven days. These are playing as I work on emails, administration, accounts, and so on through my day. So, in a way, it offers up a brief picture of a small moment in a day for my ears. It features music from Brian Eno, John Cage, Nurse with Wound, Mark Pritchard, Bersarin Quartett, Disjecta, Stephen Vitiello and many more! Tune in here.
A piece of music I frequently return to is Brian Eno’s Ambient 4: On Land (1982). There have been countless appraisals of this seminal album over the years, but I wanted to offer my personal response to it, and especially how it lead me to where I am today, in a most surprising way. Indeed, a way which Eno himself could never even have imagined. In many ways, this album really did change my world, which you can read all about here in this feature. Interestingly, I sent it over to Brian himself, who wrote back enthusiastically about the origins of my listening adventure.
I just made a very in-depth interview about the re-issue of my Trawl (1996) album release over at Chaos Control recently. We recorded it over Skype so it very much captures the essence of our conversation in real time. I spoke about my archive of recordings, the technology of the 1990s, exchanging faxes with Richard D James / Aphex Twin, David Lynch and Bill Laswell, Ableton software, Lucy Guerin Inc, friends, creativity and remaining positive through the pandemic. Read it in full here.
I was thrilled to recently collaborate with French street artist Zevs, who is best known for his trademark “liquidation” technique. His work has a political agenda and he often visually ‘kidnaps’ logos of other brands in his artwork, attacking commercialism. Our new collaboration, The Last Cowboy, at the New Galerie in Paris, explores the assassination of the famous Marlboro cowboy, for which I have created a hypnotic new soundtrack, where the word Marl-Bo-Ro dissolves into a repetitive mantra, whilst recordings of local street sellers promoting their illegal sales accompanies it. I hope that some of you can get to see the show soon! It runs from 3 April – 1 May
Bandcamp Friday returns on 2 April and I’ll be offering up some special releases again, including a remaster of the rare 20>2000 Raster Noton Cystic release, as well as my recent album with legendary French act GN (Geins’t Naït). This latter album has been receiving the greatest comments, especially one that describes it as featuring music that follows a ‘heavily depressed pulse for truly stygian trip wrapped in lemniscate ambient envelope folds and strewn with eerie voices from the ether. For fans of Coil or Rainforest Spiritual Enslavement.’
As always now, supporting Fans continue to get everything included as part of their subscription as well as a discount on everything else. And it’s never too late to sign up to get a huge amount of music for less than the price of two fancy coffees a month.
::: listen :::
Ryoji Ikeda: Ryoji Ikeda EP (Sähkö)
Clark: Playground in a Lake (Deutsche Grammophon)
Pierre Henry: Galaxie (Decca)
Gang of Four: 77-81 (Matador)
::: read :::
Christopher Knowles: In a Word (Gregory Miller & Co)
Genesis P-Orridge: Temporarily Eternal: Photographs 1986-2018 (Trapart)
Harry Sword: Monolithic Undertow (White Rabbit)
Martin Dust: Brutal Sheffield
::: watch :::
Under the Silver Lake: David Robert Mitchell
Meanwhile on Earth: Carl Olsson
Chinese Puzzle: Cédric Klapisch
Stump the Guesser: Guy Maddin