Author: subcastco

AFRODUBISM!!

The Glove of Bones explains all you need to know about Afrodubism…

Glove Of Bones

Spirits of Afrodubism

Today sees the release of the third (well fourth, but that’s a minor detail) GoB collaboration with ambient musician and guitar addict Cousin Silas.

This is the latest in an accidentally thematic series of ‘dub’ albums. Whether they are strictly speaking dub is up for debate, but there’s an underlying sonic connection to the form in there.
Now, whilst I’m broadly against ‘artists statements’ or digging through sources, connections, thought maps and project Gant planners and firmly believe Manifestos only count as useful when they mystify and confound their cause; I do think that this needs a little fleshing out. But I’ll be brief.

This song set features a number of speakers who have at various points given me contemplative food for thought. In the wider world, in these strange and faintly worrying times, there seems to be various National inclinations to look backward, not inward in…

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Review of Cousin Silas and Pendro ‘The Audio Scullery’

Submariner-in-Chief Rob reviews the recent work from Cousin Silas and Pendro:

The Audio Scullery is the latest collaboration between Cousin Silas and Pendro – an interesting joint venture on several fronts, not least perhaps the perceived difference in styles: Cousin Silas, a musician I tend to think of as melodic and accessible, and Pendro, who I generally consider to be a more dark and experimental sound designer. I am famously poor at identifying genres (not ideal when you run a netlabel, but hey-ho) but I would say this joint album could legitimately be described as dark ambient. It’s definitely dark, maybe not as full-on scary as Pendro’s previous album Figmentland, but certainly ominous and unsettling in places.

The album opens with the fabulously inventive Silence of Rooks. Full of foreboding, with strange bird calls, and an insistent booming drum that propels it along, not unlike the orc drums in the mines of Moria.

Altogether lighter, my favourite track is The Tempered Isle. A floating synth pad provides a bed for free jazzy piano chords followed by sublime fluid jazzy bass figures, with incidental sounds and noises laced through. It genuinely wouldn’t sound out of place on Miles Davis’ In a Silent Way (except I suspect Miles would have wanted to add at least some trumpet.)

New Aurora that follows is a shifting soundscape of electronic bleeps and glitches, reeling and reiterating, drifting in and out of focus. Part of the beauty of this track is that it’s particularly nicely judged; the noises never overwhelm the track as a whole and don’t overstay their welcome.

Incubators is dark. Properly dark. Washes of noise, unidentified animal sounds. Even the addition of analogue synths halfway through doesn’t lessen the nightmarish qualities. It’s not clear what the titular incubators are for, but whatever it is that’s being incubated, it isn’t human.

A slight reprieve from the darkness, Mandrake Drift is a meditative, floating ambient piece, full of reflection. A Glacial Swell that follows starts in a similarly ambient fashion, all resonance, almost redolent of Buddhist singing bowls, across which Silas’ haunting eBow guitar cuts through, rather like a solitary uilleann pipe.

Morphology is a soundscape, mournful and glacial. Here the sounds are slow and stretched, and dotted with radio interference, and the album closes with the fittingly entitled The Exit Road, but it’s far from a happy ending. It’s a discomfiting drone, with ghostly, disembodied voices bathed in echo. Maybe the exit being referred to here is an exit from this mortal coil?

So, feel-good background ambient music for yoga and Pilates this is not. It’s a brave and sobering listen, with Pendro’s trademark attention to textures and sound-staging. It’s thought-provoking, occasionally startling and if you enjoy your ambient dark and unsettling, you’ll find this entirely rewarding.

You can hear and download The Audio Scullery from Pendro’s Bandcamp page here.

News from the Conning Tower: Whettman Chelmets single out today

As previously advertised on this very blog, Whettman Chelmets’ glorious new single is released today. It’s a lovely slab of retro shoegaze goodness. Here’s the story:

“Alas… The Sun is Shining and You are Still Alive” finds Whettman Chelmets exploring more of the guitar sounds and textures that defined his teenage life, and that sound lends a nostalgic longing to each these three tracks. The first track hits right of the bat with the artist plunging into shoegaze, fuzz-echo noise pop structures reminiscent of the Jesus and Mary Chain, The Cure, and Phil Spector. Track two takes on acoustic treatments and blends them with 4/4 kick drums, reverberated guitars and chimes that weave to a grandiose apex with nods to the The Tornados’ “Telstar” and other larger-than-life sounds. Track three slows it all down to a glacial pace and unfolds guitar textures over the course of nine minutes, moving from a dreamy yearning to crushing waves of feedback and noise. At 18 minutes, Whettman Chelmets takes us on a journey through fuzz-tinted memories.

You can purchase the single on our Bandcamp store or iTunes, and listen on Spotify or Deezer.

Forthcoming Attractions: Hans Castrup

Here in the Conning Tower we’re entering another one of our fabled busy periods; this Friday sees the release of Whettman Chelmets fuzz-drenched shoegaze maxi-single Alas… the Sun is Shining and You are Still Alive (see previous blog post), followed on Monday by a new album by multi-media artist Hans Castrup.

Das 7. Siegel (The Seventh Seal) is a recreation of the soundscape from Hans Castrup’s audio-visual installation, exhibited at Museumsquartier Osnabrück in 2017 as part of its exhibition “Dürer und Ich – ein Künstlertreffen“.

The original work comprised a triptych of paintings, with audio exciters attached to the canvasses, transforming the paintings into giant loudspeakers. These speakers were then fed with two overlapping instrumental loops of different lengths from two CD players. Each day the CDs would be paused and restarted the following day so that each day’s performance would be unique.

While we’re not able to provide the triptych of paintings to act as loudspeakers, Hans has recreated a mix of the two audio loops interplaying against each other and captured this on CD. We are presenting the CD in a deluxe metal box, with one of Hans’ paintings on the front cover, and two further paintings on an accompanying leaflet, which supplies more details about the exhibition and Hans’ installation.

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Das 7. Siegel CD and presentation metal box.

But that’s not all…

Hans has made six original new pieces of art to celebrate the album’s launch. These pieces are designs painted in acrylic on CD bases. You can buy one of these stunning works exclusively from the SubCastCo merch store. They’re incredibly beautiful and absolutely unique. Four of the six designs are illustrated below:

 

Forthcoming Attractions: Cousin Silas and the Glove of Bones; Whettman Chelmets

Aloha. A brief update about two releases we’ve just made available for pre-order. As ever, we’re fashionably late to the party, announcing our first two cassette releases.

First up, we’re delighted to welcome Cousin Silas back to the Submarine Broadcasting Company imprint, on this occasion in tandem with our resident multimedia artist The Glove of Bones. The album is Spirits of Afrodubism, and it’s a glorious combination of Silas’ melodic and lyrical guitars, ambient synth pads, cut-ups and aural collages, found sounds and African iconography, all fused with a dub treatment that fans of King Tubby or Bill Laswell will love.

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Artist’s impression of a cassette.

We’re positioning this primarily as a cassette release, but it will also be available as a digital download from our Bandcamp store.

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Yes, yes, we know. You wait thirty years for a cassette release and then two come along together. Tres amusant. Our other forthcoming attraction is the new single/EP/maxi-single (that’s still a thing, right?) from Whettman Chelmets.

Alas… The Sun is Shining and You are Still Alive is a tryptych of nostalgia and reinvention. The lead track, The Sun is Shining is gorgeous slice of fuzz-drenched shoegazery that invokes the memory of the Jesus and Mary Chain, My Bloody Valentine et al, with nods to the big production techniques of yesteryear.

Whettman says:

Track two takes on acoustic treatments and blends them with 4/4 kick drums, reverberated guitars and chimes that weave to a grandiose apex with nods to the The Tornados’s “Telstar” and other larger-than-life sounds. Track three slows it all down to a glacial pace and unfolds guitar textures over the course of nine minutes, moving from a dreamy yearning to crushing waves of feedback and noise.

Alas… The Sun is Shining and You are Still Alive is available on CD, rubine red cassette (!) and digital download.

We are offering the digital download at the laughably paltry price of £1 (one pound) for a limited period only, so come get some.

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News from the Conning Tower: t.r. hand and Glauber K. de Souza

Ah, autumn, season of mists and mellow fruitlessness. Our release for the tail end of September is ‘Suburban Solitude’ from our resident mystic t.r. hand in collaboration with Glauber K. de Souza of the Amao Quartet.

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The album contains the field recordings and sound collages you’ve come to expect from t.r hand, but taken in new directions with electro-acoustic instrumentation from Glauber K.S.

It’s a meditative and subtle work, one that demands to be listened to at length; a soundscape that needs to envelop you and move you.

We’re delighted that this work has already picked up a positive reception; most of the tracks are too long to be radio-friendly but this album will reward the listener that seeks it out.

As with the previous t.r. hand album, we’re delighted to offer this album in both digital and physical editions. Suburban Solitude is available from our merch store as a deluxe book/CD package, designed by the radical design collective Glove of Bones. As you can see, it’s a beautiful thing.

 


In other news, we have some groovy stuff still to come this year. A very special album by Hans Castrup, new work from Leaving Richmond and Whettman Chelmets and the sophomore album from GOATS. Come get some!

News from the Conning Tower: Awkward Geisha, t.r. hand & Glauber K.S.

One of the features of the Submarine Broadcasting Company is that in addition to our roster of lovely musicians we also have guest artists from time-to-time who will release work through us rather than their home label… Cousin Silas earlier this year, and just recently Ippu Mitsui graced us with a release or two. The latest act to stay in our musical guest room is the mighty Awkward Geisha. From their own Bandcamp page:

Awkward Geisha is a free improvisation ensemble with legs firmly lodged in the avant garde and dada movements. Members of the ensemble vary from song to song. The ensemble was put together by Ade Rowe in 2016 as a reaction to the mundane and tedious sounds that insult the eardrums on a daily basis.

We’re delighted to be offering this deluxe book/CD package ‘Snapshots’, which comprises a compilation of Awkward Geisha tracks on CD, mounted in a hand-finished hardback book designed by the Glove of Bones, featuring 20 pages of vintage geisha photographs.

This is a strictly limited run which will not be repeated. Books are made to order and all orders must be placed by 12th November 2018, when manufacturing will begin. We intend to ship these items before December, if you’re seeking Christmas gifts for that special free improvisation ensemble-loving someone in your life.

The package is only available from our merch page.


Coming soon, we hope to offer new work from the enigmatic t.r. hand, this time in league with Brazilian musician Glauber K. de Souza. This promises to be an intriguing and beautiful recording, building on t.r. hand’s trademark field recordings and sound collages and marking new territory for the wayward guru.

While you are waiting for the new t.r. offering, recap on the remarkable ‘The Checking’ EP with this:

Review of Stringmodulator’s ‘Manifesto’ from Monolith Cocktail Blog

Dominic Valvona’s New Music Reviews Roundup A bumper roundup this month from me of eclectic tastes from across the sphere, including albums, singles, cassettes and EPs from Kammerflimmer Kollektief, Andrew Heath, Picturebox, Bokanté And Metropole Orkest, Acid Mothers Temple & The Melting Paraiso U.F.O., Perhaps and Stringmodulator. In brief, ‘lower-case’ minimalist composer Andrew Heath delivers […]

via Tickling Our Fancy 068: Kammerflimmer Kollektief, Picturebox, Bokanté And Metropole Orkest, Perhaps… — Monolith Cocktail Blog

News from the Conning Tower: Radio Radio

A quick round up on some of the radio appearances happening soon:

Stringmodulator on Grand Music for Tiny Souls (plus our Bearsuit friends Bunny & The Invalid Singers)

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Stringmodulator on the Comfy Show (plus our good friend Jaime Munarriz):

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t.r. hand on The Recognition Test (along with our friends Alwin van der Linde + {AN} EeL, Hans Castrup and Jaime Munarriz):

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And finally… Stringmodulator were on the mighty BCfm again today. Listen again here:

http://bcfmradio.com/intune

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News from the Conning Tower: forthcoming attractions

September 10th sees the release of three special albums, all quite different but with a common theme running through them. We have…

  • From Germany, Stringmodulator with their debut album ‘Manifesto’.
  • Reclusive krautrockers K-Elektronischer Automatisten’s new album ‘Verlorene Tonbänder Maschinengefühle’
  • English krautrock from Dynamo Snackbar with ‘A Myriad of Catalysts’

Three melodic instrumental albums that nod towards krautrock and prog, with a raft of other influences. We’ll go into detail on these albums over the next couple of weeks, but first up a quick round up of some of the coverage of Stringmodulator.

banner3_0We were delighted to get some pre-release airplay from the lovely Phil Vickery on his weekly In-Tune show on BCfm. Phil’s show is always essential listening and this was no exception. Listen again here:
https://bcfmradio.com/intune

The album also scored a fantastic review from the charming Michael Housel at his Bizarre Chats blog. Read it here:
https://bizarrechats.blogspot.com/2018/08/stringmodulators-manifesto-strikes.html

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