FEATURED ALBUM

Daily, playing at 5pm UK time

FEATURED ALBUM:

vergissmeinnicht

by

digitalsakura


Released 3rd June 2024 on Adventurous Music


You might not immediately think the album you just put on could be classed as experimental in a very ‘grey clay radio kind of way’ but it doesn’t take digitalsakura’s vergissmeinnicht long to disabuse you of any idea that you’re in for that predictable a ride.

The album was originally self-released in 2019 and sits among the huge body of work digitalsakura have released since their formation that year. Re-released on Leipzig’s Adventurous Music label this summer in 3 different flavours, vergissmeinnicht will be getting more of the attention it deserves, standing out as a remarkably unusual creature.

The reason that first impressions can so often be wrong is down to, among other things, the boxes we immediately try to put things in mentally. This of course is a perfectly normal coping mechanism for dealing with the continual stream relevant and irrelevant things that present. But as artists we are not, and should not be, tied to this behaviour. So for the moment, forget genres and ask not, ‘What kind of thing is this?’ But instead simply ask, ‘What is this?’

Dark doesn’t mean experimental and experimental doesn’t mean dark: digitalsakura, with an impressively free hand, draw on any and every musicality and sound source, from club dance floor grooves to field recordings and many hypnotic and beautiful stations in between and so it may be the sheer granularity of forms that makes this so deeply experimental a work. Both within and between tracks you are taken left and right, forwards and backwards until you just have to let go of the hand rail and ride with how it makes you feel. 

The first (and title) track vergissmeinnicht is a gentle opener and is typical in being unlike any other part of the album. It quickly starts to disintegrate and reintegrate like a distant faded memory and suddenly crystallises into the next track which itself jumps you to some rocky shoreline ambience. Like a succession of reminiscences, each seemingly interrupted by the next, the album proceeds from image to image with an intoxicating range and delicacy. Track 7, straßenendlos, the longest and apparently most congruent episode, itself taking a turn two thirds of the way through into the most glorious mesmeric reverie, before this too gives way to the altogether more urban sounding reportage.

At 1 hour, 20 minutes, across 11 tracks, it is indeed a substantial listen and all the better for it as it commands the attention supremely, taking you from pastoral to park bench to chapel to beach party to sticky car journey. Almost like the ghost of summers past, present and future is showing you excerpts from your life. There are definitely moments when you’re not sure what decade you are in! 

I couldn’t get why this glitchy daydream of an album was haunting me after I first heard it, possibly because I couldn’t get my head around it for quite a while, but something kept me coming back to its train of dislocated, joyful scenes until finally I gave up trying to assimilate it and just let it guide my own stream of pictures.


Perhaps the clue is in the name.


digitalsakura is an anonymous experimental, interdisciplinary artist collective based in Hamburg, Germany.


https://digitalsakura.bandcamp.com


T.Čelet (July 24)



FEATURED ALBUM:

Cut UP. Deconstructing W. S. Burroughs

by

Various Artists


Released by The Unexplained Sounds Group. June 2024


1hr 4mins, 13 tracks


This is the first actual compilation album to be a feature on grey clay, and like all the themed compilations by the USG network of labels, it is a supremely excellent offering.

There is perhaps no point trying to say anything new about the venerable American writer that hasn’t been said before, in words. However, this homage to him and the cut-up technique that he made famous is certainly saying something through music and sound. A whole constellation of artists focused on this one theme pays tribute by the ever magickal act of creativity.

Through and across each of the diverse styles and interpretations can be triangulated a feeling of true respect and affection for Burroughs. As an album it is hugely beautiful and affecting, (Dead Voices on Air’s I Wonder Whatever Happened To Otto’s Boy Who Played The Violin; 400 Lonely Things’ The Stale Ania (Thief of Dreams); P.U.M.A’s Rain).

It is also quite suspenseful and brooding in places, (Sigillum S’ Radioactive Cockroaches In Tangiers; Adi Newton’s The Chance Of A Ghost; Rapoon’s Out; PBK’s The Dreaming; phoanøgramma + The Washing Planck’s your consciousness is being cut by random factors).

Some tracks really do portray the cut-up in sound, both verbally and musically, (Paolo Bandera’s Linguistica Virale Multipla - Ruptured Words Version; Allan Segall’s The Cities Of The Red Night; David Lee Myers’ Riding The Rails).

Whereas in other places there is just bleak darkness and otherworldliness, (Mario Lino Stancati’s Chaos Magic; Nihil Impvlse’s Mythologies For The Age Of Control).

If these descriptions comprise sub-themes within the whole then they really do reflect recognisable facets of the man’s work, which in turn makes this compilation well more than a sum of its deconstructed parts.



T. Čelet (June 24)



https://unexplainedsoundsgroup.bandcamp.com/album/cut-up-deconstructing-w-s-burroughs



FEATURED ALBUM:


Qurv Trysr

by 

MTCH

Released 07.06.2024 

on Point Source Electronic Arts


Qurv Trysr by MTCH is a 9 track, 49 minute album of experimental electronic music. It is like watching gently falling snow at night in torch light - occasional flurries; seeming lulls and persistent, steady accumulation. 

Each fascinating track is intricately constructed from small fragments of synthesised sound which, due to their largely staccato nature, initially, give the impression of random flakes scattered in time, but this would be to miss something important about it, and about snow. 

In fact, the unaccustomed listener could be distracted by the stylistic nature of the composition. However, they will gradually become more aware of the sustained drones and tones underlying the apparent snowstorm. Gently a sense emerges, a language, over the progress of tracks, as everything starts to work together in all its abstract beauty.

Accompanying the album were some notes that stated, ‘It is the sound of crackling electrons burning winding pathways through broken logic circuits, the dry sizzle of overclocked and overheated chips streaming torrents of corrupted data, fragmented and nearly incomprehensible.‘  But there is no final explosion. In fact as you reach the middle of the album, things have slowed and thinned out considerably. The sound palette is continuous but the pace has dropped, creating just enough space for the listener to feel more how the rhythmic elements in music like this work.

Some of the later tracks take the intensity down another notch or two and the drones up somewhat so that the subtleties that emerge reveal a whole other emotionally detailed level to the work that you realise was there all along.

Despite being a very even-tempered album in some ways, each track is very different. The language is quite consistently enunciated but the point changes. Time invested in getting this is well rewarded. 

Qurv Trysr may not give up its nectar to everyone immediately, but if you dwell in it for a while you might just catch a snowflake on your tongue.


MTCH is the project of Mitch Cramer who is based in the US.


https://mtch.bandcamp.com/music



T.Čelet (June 24)


FEATURED ALBUM:

All Stem and No Stalk

By

Dogs versus Shadows


Released January 2024

https://dogsversusshadows.bandcamp.com/album/all-stem-and-no-stalk


Dogs versus Shadows is a very familiar name on grey clay radio, being the DJ producer behind the hugely popular motif show. But he is also a very prolific and driven artist making dark experimental electronic music which is always original, fresh and unpredictable. One glance at the Bandcamp page shows an impressive body of work, not least 10 releases since January this year.

All Stem and No Stalk is an intriguing work that immediately stopped me in my tracks as it feels just so rounded and calm, almost muted, as if the whole album has been given a kind of 1930s autumnal glow film grading. The overall effect is fabulous and draws you in to its details and moods, of which there are many. The skill it takes to do something like this is undeniable and I can only compare DvS to that chef who takes just 2 or 3 familiar ingredients and produces a stunningly different flavour.

It is also a very short album (EP) at 20 minutes, that progresses through 8 tracks which ebb and flow like gently lapping waves on a shore and when played on repeat just seems to inhabit a warm, beautiful space between conscious and unconscious awareness. It also works extremely well on random play as each track is so sonically and thematically balanced.

In the album notes, All Stem and No Stalk is described as exploring some destroyed habitat that is now being used for ’sinister governmental purposes’. What these could be is left to the imagination and is as deliberately oblique an image as the title its self. Anyone who has read my featured album writings will know I always listen first and read afterwards. I had no problem assimilating my impressions with the given imagery, but it never actually demands this.

Like so much work by DvS, this is an incredibly ripe sound journey with a real joy of synthesis and sculpted tones for the senses to savour. Patches of structured rhythm and sprinklings of disembodied voice here and there work with looped, slightly more industrial vibes, to ensure that at any one moment there is some sense of foreground. It is somewhere in this, I suspect, that the elusive charm of the work sits.


Live with this album for a while.


Dogs versus Shadows was described by Electronic Sound Magazine as ‘a rare example of gamekeeper turned poacher’. He is based in Nottingham, UK.



T. Čelet [May 24]



FEATURED ALBUM:

Still Moving

By

Roslyn Steer


Released on KantCope, 2015

https://kantcope.bandcamp.com/album/still-moving


When I was at school, I found almost everything interesting, but the only subject that had anything really for me was art. A teacher looked at me drawing one day and said, ‘you’re taking that line for a walk.’ I knew how to like that then, and now it is a whole appreciation of things, I think. So it is with Roslyn Steer’s  Still Moving.

The first (and title) track is just shy of a 30 minute walk. In it, almost a declaration of intent for the whole album, reciting, chanting, humming and lamenting voice; sardonic humour, distorted noise and subtly used field recording atmospherics walk a line that is both familiar in the experimental universe of sound and also very emotionally driving. This is an immense track that so naturally flows from one scene to the next, the line becomes, if not story, then certainly poetry.

There is speech - treated, distorted, glitched, collaged; and singing - but it never becomes ‘song’ recognisably. And there is guitar. Lots of it, and in many guises, again so treated it is often only just guitar, and frankly who cares? It sounds beautiful (when is a guitar not a guitar...). I’m rarely that interested in how music is actually made if I’m honest. Not when the mystique is as powerful as this.

And so onto Thus Spake. Relentless time, kept by the stamping, pleading pulse pushes into the heartbreakingly fabulous tones and chords. Again voice, like an instrument, rises and falls in refrains and undercurrents.

And on. There is no whiff of novelty here. Steer has the line fully in control and by now you are quite happy to be led. There is a joy too in the simple quality of sound, that is left to do the talking in many places, and leaving your senses feeling fully exercised.

Beautiful? Track 5, Hey Sunshine, marries such a romantic refrain with the boxy, super-treated rhythm and aching background sweeps, you forget you are listening to an extremely experimental album.

Gently is one of those surreal interludes that seems to have absolutely nothing to do with the album and yet is so perfectly placed in it, like a belly button. Charming, oddly nostalgic, vaguely unhinged and ...gorgeous.

The album concludes with a super-strange voice salad that intimately poses the existential question, Do you ever get sick? (of the sound of your own voice) and is punctuated with coughs which give the piece a kind of natural feel, almost commenting on the whole poetry of the album. It is cut off by a squirming, scraping drone that eventually has the last word. 


Still? Moving?


Moving. Definitely.


Roslyn Steer is a musician based in Coolyduff, Co. Cork.



T.Čelet (May 24)



FEATURED ALBUM:

En Sten For Solen

By 

øjeRum


Released on quiet details, 08.05.2024



There have been numerous beautiful releases on the ever-fascinating quiet details label, but perhaps none that have stopped me in my tracks like En Sten For Solen by øjeRum. I will admit I hadn’t heard of this Danish artist before, but a quick delve into the internet yields an impressive history of albums, going back to at least 2015, all of which being well worth exploring, along with his art.

This 6 track, 40 minute album whose title translates to English as ‘A Stone For The Sun’, starts with the most dynamically insistent, Solens Lys Bag Mine Øjenlåg, where you process into some brightly lit tunnel, and thereafter enters a cool melancholic space where tonal phrases rotate against a constant backdrop of gentle noise, evoking some nearby waterfall in my imagination, or possibly the distant rushing of air. The most sparse, subtle sub parts work their way into your consciousness as the tones develop and shift, gradually articulating their unworded message. 

Four of the tracks are relatively short studies, while the other two are 10 minutes or more. Each seems to place you in a particular scene and hold you there. Some are sunnier places than others but they all talk to you quietly with inflection and hue.

The album closes with the title track, also the longest, and for a while exchanges the whirring tones for reverberating drips and drops, seemingly inside some cavernous interior you are slowly passing in and out of, before exhaling you softly into the day. As with all the other scenes, it feels as if you are with a completely benign force that wants you to be there, and listen.


So listen.


øjeRum is the alias of Copenhagen-based collage artist and musician, Paw Grabowski. 


https://oejerum.bandcamp.com



T.Čelet May24



FEATURED ALBUM: 

Can we meet in San Diego?

By

Katy Coxwell


Released on Adventurous Music 08.04.2024


The debut album, Can we meet in San Diego? by Katy Coxwell is an exceptional, beautiful, winding and consistently intriguing work. Over 10 tracks, the listener is treated to a journey through myriad moods and delicate atmospheres picked out in gentle melodic phrases, artful modular synth patterns, strings and haunting soundfields. 

Coxwell marries a rarified, electronic machine tone appreciation of synthesised sound with an often classical chord structure and as a composer seems as at home on a grand piano as behind a bleeping, pulsing box of wires and knobs. The result is an album of immense depths that defies genre and is both unpredictable and uncannily moving.

Can we meet in San Diego?, listened to as a whole album undoubtedly creates a distinct mood, but certain of the tracks will stand out to many, such as The Great Washed, so it is not surprising it attracted the attention of the Adventurous Music label almost as soon as it entered the grey clay mix.

The album also does something very strange to time! Each track seems to command time and pace in an unhurried yet purposeful way which gives an impression of a much longer journey than the 33 minutes it plays for. Quite how that is achieved I don’t know but I love that it does this.


Katy Coxwell is a composer, artist and musician living near Toronto, Canada with a lifetime of making unusual acoustic and electronic music, both solo and in numerous collaborations. 


T.Čelet Apr24


FEATURED ALBUM: 

Calma para Nós

by 

Luiz Ser Eu


Released 29.03.2024


https://luizsereu.bandcamp.com/album/calma-para-n-s

Calma para Nós is a 28-track album playing 2 hours 50 minutes of diverse, jazz infused, experimental electronic/ electroacoustic composition by Luiz Ser Eu. The fact that this feature slot maxes out at 2 hours means, agonisingly, I am unable to play the entire album but 2 hours should certainly whet the appetite!

Where to start? Pulso - the opening track, introduces the lightness of touch, melodic atonality (through piano, guitar and woodwind) and the rhythmic assuredness that feature across the entire album in different ways, but interestingly also has voice.

Typically, the following track, cheiro de chuva, cheiro de vida takes you somewhere completely different in its gorgeously intoxicating looped electronic dreamy way; somewhere I have wanted to go back to time after time. Then comes one of the most haunting tracks, bonnatriz, which creates a totally unexpected state of relaxed uncertainty - like, if this was a film soundtrack, you would be exploring the glistening crystal interior of some creature’s mountain cave laboratory. For sure.

The album proceeds through a rainbow of moods like this, with a wild unpredictability, freshness but also warmth. The drunkenness of random discord married to a melodic and rhythmic order that never quite falls over, never quite becomes fixed. Whilst there are several tracks that jump with the full instrumental palette, there are also many many in which the artist demonstrates the masterful command of simplicity, where a single sound can carry the moment and take you right into it. 

One moment you are being affectionately tickled by impish synth burbles laid over jazz double bass and drums, the next you are thrust into a storm of detuned piano notes that gradually lean towards some order before disintegrating like a dying musical box in pizzicato slow-mo.

The track, rainy day stands out for me as well for its rising, swelling, plunging tonality, minimal palette and the fact he keeps it going for 15 wonderful drifting minutes, without breaking the spell or feeling the need to take it anywhere else, before snapping it off at the end.

This is a huge album, and I’m not talking about the length of it. The sheer vastness of moods and spaces it takes you to; the variety of constructions; musicianship; use and abuse of theory. It will challenge you in places, delight and enchant in others, but never falls into self-indulgence or lazy formula. So much has gone into it, it is almost impossible to do justice to it here. For most artists this would have been 3 or 4 albums but the fact that this artist gives it to you whole like this is as bold and generous as the music.


Multi-instrumentalist, multi-disciplinary artist Luiz Ser Eu is currently based in Brazil and has been making music ‘non-stop for 8 years’. 

In his bio on this website he writes, ‘A big part of being alive for me is discovering and seeing the unheard sounds. Finding and hearing the emotions that still have no name.’ 




(T.Čelet Apr24)


FEATURE: Inner Demons Records - 20 years!


Celebrating the legend that is… 

INNER DEMONS RECORDS


This week on grey clay we are celebrating 20 years of Inner Demons Records. It was 2004 when Dan Fox Jr  first started the Florida based label, famous for its noise, industrial, drone, ambient, and other experimental/extreme audio material releases, including Dan’s own work (as Fail, Loss, TIWIHWYT, to name but 3).

Each day this week (Mon-Fri) listen to a different mix of work released on IDR by DJ Signalstoerung - playing at 5pm UK time (+1hr CEST, -5hr EST, -8hr PDT).  

What Dan has achieved is impressive to say the least. IDR is a socially responsible, transparent label that provides ‘a safe place to release and interact. Whether you are poor, mentally ill, gay, trans, Black, Asian, female, male, non-binary, or anything else, you are welcome here. Assuming you’re a good person, of course.’

In Dan’s own words…

I originally started the label to release my own material, but by the third release I was putting out the music of others. Back then (the early '00s) I was loving all these small little CDr labels that were everywhere, like Troniks, Fusion Audio, Crunch Pod, Zaftig Research, and others. I wanted to continue releasing work by other artists, but then life became extra chaotic and soul-sucking for a while and the label went dormant for nearly a decade.

What I can say about doing this label for 20 years is that I'm glad I've done it. It's a lot of work for someone who struggles as much as I do, but I've met some amazing people through IDR, including some that have remained close friends. Meeting and working with good people from all over the world has been a privilege, and I'm grateful for it. I have some artists that have released numerous albums on IDR, and there are even a couple that want to release only with IDR. That's an exceptional compliment in my eyes. And most of the people I've encountered are really cool. I have of course run into a few dirtbags, like right with extremists and qanon idiots. Those people are quickly bypassed as I move onto others more worthy of my time.

I'm not sure there was a single standout moment for me doing IDR. It all felt like a big single experience for me. Maybe just the friends I've made along the way?"


Inner Demons Records remains one of the coolest labels out there and so many people have so much to thank it for.


Here’s to the next 20. 

Cheers Dan! 🍻


[see schedule page for today’s mix track list]


https://www.innerdemonsrecords.com

https://innerdemonsrecords.bandcamp.com


(Signalstoerung https://adventurousmusic.bandcamp.com)



(T.Čelet Apr24)


FEATURED ALBUM:

 

!Habesi - Instrumental 


by 


Mntana Wexhwele


Released 08.03.2024


https://mntanawexhwele.bandcamp.com/album/habesi-instrumental


As with the other work by Mntana Wexhwele playing on grey clay, this is a beautiful, beguiling and subtly experimental album of vast profundity. Described as ‘a sound journey’, !Habesi - Instrumental explores the medium of archiving ancient consciousness. Specifically the narratives and stories of Queen Dr. Ouma Katrina Essau: ‘venerating a living archive and consciousness of the Ncuu cosmology.’

What results are 8 distinct tracks composed of mixed traditional and electronic/manipulated instrumentation in which the magical, intimate and utterly intoxicating voice and expression of this great lady are honoured.

For many, like me, the meaning of her words will not be accessible but the life in them, the sincerity and emotion is captivating and universal. The body of work ‘gives life to the multiple genocides, epistimicides and violences inflicted on indigenous communities everywhere.’

Wexhwele has worked a particular magic with the atmospheres surrounding and underlying her words, with a lightness of touch and mesmerising pulse; never overtaking the voice interludes, and yet tonally interacting with them. It took, apparently, a week of communion by a group under the guidance of |Kx’am and thus a series of sounds was produced through the sitting with the vibrations of her story. 


Each word, song and sigh ‘held a universe of linguistic beauty…’


I cannot help but agree.


Mntana Wexhwele is a multi-instrumentalist musician, instrument maker, teacher, therapist, sound healer and cultural custodian of African indigenous knowledge systems and sound technology.


https://www.umnombo-institute.com


(Archive voice by Queen Ouma Katrina, Instrumentation, vocals and electronic production Mntana Wexhwele, Other voices Xola Hammid.)


(T.Čelet Mar24)


FEATURED ALBUM:

 

Hypnotic 

by 

Alinovsky and Tetsuroh Konishi


Released 08.03.2024

on Off Records


The album Hypnotic must be considered alongside the preceding EP, Tantric, by Alinovsky and Tetsuroh Konishi, because together they comprise a continuous body of work so exceptional that I again have to subvert my own ‘featured album’ concept (a bit) to do justice. You’ll find them both on grey clay radio now and it really is my privilege to be playing them.

Hypnotic, an album of 10 tracks, whose titles all end in ‘ic’, will really look after you on the journey, so don’t be afraid. They take you through a whole range of moods but somehow manage to keep up a pace and insistence that just won’t resign its self to the back ground because there’s always something so damn interesting happening.

Konishi’s fluid trumpet playing, processed through an infinity of divine circuits, seems to dance, glide, skitter and plunge across Aninovsky’s throbbingly rhythmic, jazzy spaces. This is a perfect meeting of styles and attitudes - you will not be disappointed.

Tantric, the EP, came out a month before Hypnotic (the album) but from the very first breathy, swirling, sexy exhalation of Konishi’s horn, as it rides through Alinovsky’s addictive electronic massage of textures, you just feel luxurious.

This is experimental, deeply expressive and


… lush.


Alinovsky is a musician from Brussel, Belgium, who also runs the Off Record label. Tetsuroh Konishi is a leading Japanese trumpet player, composer and improviser from Tokyo.


https://stilll-off.bandcamp.com/album/hypnotic


https://stilll-off.bandcamp.com/album/tantric


 


 (T. Čelet Mar24)



FEATURED ALBUM:

 

Panopticon 

by 

Grey Frequency


Released 01.03.2024

on Human Geography Recordings 


Panopticon by Grey Frequency is just the most elegant, compelling and hypnotic thing. 

I have listened to it for hours. Comprising two tracks, each of 7 minutes 15 seconds, is it constructed out of sounds recorded at the Panopticon Sound Sculpture (by architects Mike Tonkin and Anna Liu) in the Pennine Hills overlooking Burnley, Lancashire UK.  

Also known as the Singing Ringing Tree, in reference to the 1950s East German children’s magical adventure film, the sculpture, a towering tree-like form, made of metal tubes, resonates in the wind producing the tones utilised in the field recordings that are the basis of this release. The giant tubes ‘looking out’ in all directions giving the piece it’s more Bentham-related moniker.

Grey Frequency’s Panopticon captures the ringing metallic qualities as well as the wind blown drones and even some voices of other international visitors to the site which seem to accentuate the scale and distance that both the sculpture and this piece of music command.

This is a uniquely rich and beautiful release, masterfully recorded and constructed with a huge reverence of place, material and the elements.

Transporting.


Grey Frequency is the music project of UK artist Gavin Morrow.

http://www.greyfrequency.co.uk

 


 (T. Čelet Mar24)



FEATURED ALBUM: 

A Voicenote to the Hierophant

by

Jettenbach


Released 29.02.2024 

on Ryu Recordings


A Voicenote to the Hierophant is a love letter to someone who doesn't exist, a fever dream that was over before it started.

A fool, inexperienced in the ways of the universe, manifests their ideal soulmate and stumbles across them but the stars are not in alignment, the trauma of the past is all too figural and their lessons are only half learned. 

The Hierophant, themselves an enigma, initially intrigued by the almost adolescent charm of the fool slowly recognises their distance left to travel.  The Hierophant, in this case an earth sign, fixed as they are, self aware and yet still compassionate to the needs of the fool, withdraws.  

The fool, lost yet wanting to learn, knowing both the destination and the road yet untravelled in order to reach it, seeking to be better than they are yet still craving connection in the hopes of achieving it, wrestling with what they know must be.  

And so the dream ends.  The fool, mutable as always, withdraws back into their solitude.  Further lessons to learn, but to learn alone.  Overcoming the trauma of the past, reconciling who they wish to be with who they are.   As for the Hierophant… who knows.. Another soul on their own journey, maybe further along the road and unlikely to be looking back.


Jettenbach resides in North Devon working in Child & Adolescent Mental Health by day and making weird noises when time allows.  


 (Jettenbach Feb24)


FEATURED ALBUM: 

GAS ORGAN 

by 

Lou Smith



This, again, is not technically an album.


It is a 56 minute recording of Gas Organ - a pyrophone (from the Greek pyro-fire, phone-sound) installation that took place in London in 1999 and has just become available to grey clay for its 25th anniversary this year.

I have often been heard to say, “…it’s what comes out of the speakers that matters”, when discussing equipment, but in this case it really is what is making the sound that singles this out as a unique and intriguing thing - both in terms of the elegance of the idea, and what comes ‘out of the speakers’.  

The project of Lou Smith, Gas Organ was a set of church organ sized glass tubes, into which servo-controlled propane gas torches blew their flames, causing the air to heat up and vibrate in each differently lengthed tube. Pressure waves and air turbulence adding vibrato and ‘beats’ to the mix. Each tube also appeared to have its own character, bringing quite different dynamics to the sounds produced. 

The controller for this recording was an analogue random device designed by Dr Alison Payne of Imperial College. Later installations used a Wii remote or radio-controlled model aircraft transmitter. Visitors, using the remote control, could adjust the air/propane mix and gas volume to literally ‘play’ the tubes. 


Video still exists online of this strange and beautiful creature [link below] but now you are invited to spend an hour in its company on grey clay radio, courtesy of the artist.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mh8048G2AUk



Lou Smith is an artist, photographer, videographer and pondwatcher from South East London.



(T.Čelet, Feb24)

FEATURED ALBUM: 

Ghost Circuits Menlo 

by 

The Cube of Unknowing


Released on FORT EVIL FRUIT 01.09.2023

I am one of those people who have to form their own impression of music (or art) before reading up on it. I’m very aware that many people prefer to go about things the other way, and I guess both ways are valid. 

When I first listened to Ghost Circuits Menlo, I was captivated by the vast and varied sounds throughout the 54 minute, 16 track album. Captivated because it really felt like gazing into a huge tropical fish tank. Each of the myriad sounds seem to behave as if they are alive, like some creature or articulated character, flitting, oozing or scuttling through the scene, occasionally engaging in little dramas or mood swings before moving on. I’m sure I was unconsciously cued into this image by the regular watery trickling sounds that anyone who has lived with a big tank in their living room will know well.

So when I did read the information that goes with the album and learned that it is an exploration of the streets of suburban Galway, inspired by the photographs of Maeve O’Neill, I had to laugh at my unknowing self. 

But then reading the info again, I couldn’t help noticing certain words: wriggles… neon…gloam...drifting…labyrinth, and wondered if perhaps I’d picked up on the environment idea, and the characters I perceived were the ‘sonic sigils’.

I’ve never been to Galway but I do know that a truly deep and enduring work of art is successful because people can imbue it with their own meanings and interpretations as well as appreciating the artist’s original intent, which in this case is well worth pursuing.

Ghost Circuits Menlo is a majestic album. It launches into your space and fills it with a richness and detail that continually intrigues and delights the senses. 


Dive in.


The Cube of Unknowing is the project of Francis Heery, a composer and sound artist from Galway, Ireland. [see artist profiles for more]



(T.Čelet, Feb24)

FEATURED 'ALBUM': 

A grey clay selection of work 

by 

William Henry Meung


OK, it’s a lie. 

Already! 

This isn’t ‘an album’. It’s grey clay’s selection of work by artist William Henry Meung (et al - as several tracks include other musicians/band names) but I’m just so damned into this music I’m compelled to use this feature as a vehicle for giving it the attention it deserves.

I will also admit I went looking for a grey clay vibe in Aotearoa as the land is close to my heart and famous for its dangerously independent minds. What I eventually found was someone who describes themselves as an experimental outsider, in Dunedin. I actually did the gold dance.

Where to begin? This is passionate experimental music. You could fall in love with it, as I have done, but I think it is music to fall in love to

There is a definite low tech, live feel to all the recordings which is an absolute joy and makes all the tracks so much more intimate. Distant distorted keyboards and shuffly drum boxes collapse unexpectedly into the sweetest moments of harmony with janky piano or guitar and long white clouds of white noise and subtle voices that half the time I’m thinking I have imagined. 

Some tracks seem to contain just one complex, straining sound that etches out its melodics on your heart. Others are sketchy guitar phrases that reset you before the next achingly beautiful piece. But don’t get me wrong - there is fierce attitude in this and the sweetness is painted in some pretty gnarly colours. 

I knew I left part of my heart in Aotearoa all those years ago. Hearing this I think it’s been quite happy there.

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Enjoy this grey clay selection for the duration of the feature (around a week) or you can request tracks thereafter when ever you like, or better still, head over to https://williamhenrymeung2.bandcamp.com/music and fill your boots!


(T.Čelet, Jan24)

Gloucester 

by 

Nicolas Tourney

(Released on Eg0cide Productions 18.10.20)

Gloucester is a jewel of 23 tracks, each around  1, 2 or 3 minutes in length, amounting to 51 minutes 8 seconds in total, but don't let the brevity fool you - this is a work of immense profundity. 

The whole album was made using a 1/8 violin, a viola, a pure data processor and a ring modulator, with which Tourney demonstrates spectacularly the vitality and depth of emotion that can be summoned from such a specific palette.

Despite the diverse and wryly poetic track titles (such as: You sing, you who also wants; You will know no law; The Earth with a city in her hair), this is a beautiful, single, rotating 23-sided prism that I have had playing on rotation for hours without finding a beginning or an end, or wanting to. 

An absolutely masterful work of poise, courage and sweetness where the performance, the source sound and the processing have become one lithe and shimmering voice. Be not afraid.

Nicolas Tourney is a French experimental musician, multimedia artist and is manager of the label Snow in Water Records


(T.Čelet, Jan24)

Ushi no koku mairi 

by 

Fabio Keiner & Ryo Utasato

(Released on Eg0cide Productions 27.06.23)

This is an exquisite album. Haunting, strident and strangely surprising, despite what could be regarded as a moderately restricted sound palette. All the stronger for it, as any cook knows, when you start with the highest quality ingredients. 

Comprising seven tracks, or days, that grow in duration up to Day Four and then shorten again to the end, it impressively takes control of time. Quite uncompromisingly so. Ritualistically, this breathes you in and then purges.

Ryo's voice appears from nowhere; finding accord with the classical instrumentation. Intimate and subtle against the electronic/processed sound elements so masterfully painted in. She chants so musically - notes suddenly rising behind her words to create these utterly beautiful accents and nuances. Even instrumental passages feel like they are talking.

And the album is a ritual. It is an interpretation of ancient Japanese spell binding chants, the title translating as 'late night ritual'. The accompanying booklet poetically portrays the protagonist's own journey with their pain and gives another edge to the whole experience .

This is not an album to dip into or scan through. If you do, you will miss it. It requires of you your attention but will reward you handsomely. You may even find you have had your own ritual while doing so. I know I did.

Fabio Keiner is a sound artist from Wien, Austria. You can find more of his work at  fabiokeiner.bandcamp.com/music

Ryo Utasato is a Japanese singer/composer /musician. You can find more of her work at Ryo Utasato.


(T.Čelet, Jan24)

Impulses 

by 

Hypnotic Transmissions

(Released 31.10.23) https://hypnotictransmissions.bandcamp.com/music

Impulses is one of a clutch of releases from late 2023 by the hugely talented and prolific artist, Hypnotic Transmissions. Like all HT releases, a story builds as you listen and they feel like they have been getting a lot darker this year. 

This particular one is about someone who is taken by a dark spirit and succumbs to its whispers. The opening track, Its Out There sets up an uneasy tension right from the start, and then the whispers begin!

From here on a dangerous chaotic energy lets loose; jagging in the foreground and thundering aggressively in the distance. This is one of HT's most expansive, industrial-sounding albums.

Suddenly with Transfixed the mood snaps into full focus foreground, the pace rising and dropping before the unnerving lull at the start of the aptly named Primal Instincts, perhaps the real stand out track on the album for its masterful control of the tense, hammering yet eerily suspended feeling.

The narrative closes with The Shape as the subject 'turns into the monster they are capable of being'. It feels like the story has moved to another place now; a new normal. The subject has transformed and emerges in its new twisted, grotesque form.


Hypnotic Transmissions is an electronic music artist from Centereach, New York, USA.


(T.Čelet, Dec23)

Blanket Topography 

by Sunken Lanes

(Released on Aural Films 16.12.23)


'sunken lanes... have been here a long, long time.'


Blanket Topography is an immaculate album. One of those gems you can put on and leave on all day. Comprising 8 tracks of mostly around 10 minutes or more, it gently reveals its geological heart. Bookended with slightly shorter tracks, from the beautiful opener, thalweg, to the shifting reflections of vrtače III, it oozes class, masterly restraint and warmth. 

Ever-evolving, quietly glitchy beats guide you through a crackling landscape of tones, distant hums and growls that never seem to cast you into any dark place, but rather reassuringly hold your hand as you traverse the slopes and shadows. One moment pulling you close and the next stepping back to let your mind wander away into the distance, this album can be your soundtrack to one long lovely escape, telling you, '...it's alright, all life support functions are operative. You may proceed.'


Sunken Lanes is a new project from the mind behind Fencepost and <1, released on the Aural Films label.


(T.Čelet, Dec23)

Le Valseur de Bois 

by Lauré Lussier

(Released by Adventurous Music 11.12.23)

This is one of those rare albums that surprises and delights in the most unexpected ways and seems to totally defy categorisation. 

It comprises two tracks of about 26 minutes each, depicting characters and parts inspired by Lussier's dark murder mystery novel of the same name.

With beautifully detailed production, the album (whose name translates to English as The Wooden Waltz) opens out from claustrophobic modular electronic soundscapes into vast dark orchestral expanses complete with rumbling timpani and industrial mechanics.  And then suddenly we are plunged into a classic fertive, 'flute and pizzicato' murder mystery drama melody before returning to the disturbing, skittering electronic spaces haunted with disembodied voices. Then out of nowhere comes a frenetic Dance Macabre-style xylophone sequence that made me literally grin with delight!

Incredibly rich, with an abundance of moods and inventive twists, the inescapably narrative feel of the whole album makes for a deeply rewarding hour's listening. 

Masterful electronics, classical scoring and a mischievous wit: you are in safe hands here. Sit back and enjoy the film!


Lauré Lussier is an author and composer from Quebec. 


(T.Čelet, 14th Dec 2023)

FRACTI 

by wilt

(Released by Broken Bottle Productions 30.11.23)


From the fabulous Californian label, Broken Bottle Productions, FRACTI is 18 tracks of darkly melodic, rhythmic and foreboding atmospheres that take the wilt sound to an occasionally sweeter, but typically intense place. 

Electronics and processed guitars melt, pulse  and swirl together - there is definitely romance here and something gorgeously old school that makes for extremely seductive listening.


wilt is a rotating cast of anonymous musicians with one common member. 


(T.Čelet, 7th December 2023)