News

News from the Conning Tower: June releases

After the madness that was May, it has been a blessed relief to release a mere two albums in June, but blimey Charlie, what a pair of albums they are!

First out of the traps was the second installment of Martin Neuhold & Friends ‘Dialogue’ series, cunningly entitled ‘Dialogue 2’. Like the first Dialogue album, these pieces were initially solo improvisations recorded by Martin as part of February Album Writing Month (FAWM); these were then added to, remixed and repurposed by a veritable phalanx of leading ambient and experimental musicians. Artists on this album include Cousin Silas, Jaime Munarriz, Wilfried Hanrath, Volker Lankow and many more.

As with the first volume, Dialogue 2 is available as download or CD and all proceeds go to Médecins Sans Frontières.

 


Our other new release in June was ‘Irresistible Forces’, our debut release for the renowned sound designer and electronic musician, Andrulian. As with several of our roster, Andrulian’s music has a healthy disrespect for genres, but if we had to call it we’d say ‘Irresistible Forces’ straddles the ambient/dark ambient/experimental categories.

Andrulian’s work is big on atmospheres, textures and details, and this album uses these to great effect on a collection of pieces, some of which are unsettling to the point of scariness. Perhaps listen with an adult initially.

The album has been picking up great reviews and some significant plays on influential web radio shows, so do lend it your ears.

‘Irresistible Forces’ is available to purchase from Bandcamp, iTunes, Amazon and Google Play.

News from the Conning Tower: New Release Round-Up

It’s been super busy here at SBC for the past month or so, and we have snuck out a few releases with relatively little fanfare nor ballyhoo. So, let’s rectify that straight away.

Back at the beginning of May, we released the debut EP from the immensely talented singer/songwriter Sil Fiore, who performs under the name Sibilla. Here at SBC we pride ourselves on the variety on offer on our smorgasbord of delights, and Sibilla’s debut EP serves up some first-class songwriting, powerful blues-tinged emotive vocals and top musicianship, all with a slight lo-fi alt-pop sensibility. There’s also a blistering, ground-up reworking of the Bessie Smith classic ‘Long Old Road’.

 


At the opposite end of the conventional music spectrum is the new EP from We Do Not Exist. We Do Not Exist comprise Alan Morse Davies, of Truck Stop Rent Boy and GOATS fame, and Petridisch (also a one time TSRB collaborator, Bearsuit Records alumni and Vocaloid practitioner). Alan describes the EP as “a journey through challenges”. It’s experimental (as you might expect), but also accessible; it’s meditative, but also unsettling. All proceeds from sales go to Médecins Sans Frontières, so if you don’t buy it you are A Bad Person.

 


Mid-May saw the release of the first of Martin Neuhold & Friends’ Dialogue series. The origin of these pieces were solo improvisations recorded by Martin as part of February Album Writing Month (FAWM) that were then collaborated on by an army of like-minded ambient and experimental musicians.

Martin is the loveliest of people and an incredibly talented multi-instrumentalist and we’re so delighted that he’s chosen SBC as the netlabel for this work. There will be another two Dialogue albums released over the next couple of months.

Dialogue 1 is available as download or CD; again, all proceeds go to Médecins Sans Frontières.

 


The last releases in May were two space-themed albums.

The first of these was  ‘Citadels in Space’ by Dynamo Snackbar.

One of the pleasures of the Klang release was the number of positive comments about the two Dynamo Snackbar tracks (and yes, there are still a few Klang CDs left, but don’t hang around) and this new album is equally brilliant.

Dynamo Snackbar’s music is generally somewhat genre-defying. Comprising two long-form tracks, this album is part krautrock, part space-rock, part prog… if you like Ozric Tentacles, Quark/Levitation-era Hawkwind, Tangerine Dream,  Berlin school synths or Bill Nelson this is going to resonate with you. 


The second of the space-themed releases was ‘Distress Call from Life Raft 13’ by Tim Kays.

This unique album is part ambient meditation and part historical document. Everyone has heard the famous line ‘Houston, we have a problem’; Tim’s album traces the events of the hours that followed Jack Swigert’s fateful words.

Using genuine NASA recordings, juxtaposed against a hypnotic ambient soundscape, Tim’s album works for both active or background listening. Tim’s album is available as a free download.

News from the Conning Tower: Radio Transmissions

Blimey, do we have some exciting stuff for you this May! Yes, yes we do. It was rhetorical, hence no question mark.  But before we can tell you about that, here is some news that JUST CAN’T WAIT!

Firstly, our very own Manipulant will be featured on The Comfy Show, on Radio Woking, tomorrow between 20:00 – 22:00 BST. The Comfy Show is always chock full of new and brilliant music and this month looks like it will be a doozy. Listen along here: radiowoking.co.uk/listen and get the full details and commentary here.

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Then on Sunday, we’re delighted that Bunny & The Invalid Singers from our benefit album One String Inspiration will be featured on BBC 6Music on Stuart Maconie’s Freakzone, 20:00 – 22:00 BST. You can, as ever, listen live here:  https://www.bbc.co.uk/6music

 


And if that wasn’t enough, Sunday is also the day for the Unexplained Sounds show, The Recognition Test, which this week features Hans Castrup, who you will recall from the Exhibition:Red compilation.

You can listen to The Recognition Test here: http://mixlr.com/unexplained-sounds/ – if you want to play along at home, listen live 21:0022:00 UTC+02. Full details here.

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New Releases: Manipulant, Cousin Silas and GOATS

It’s starting to get busy here at the Conning Tower, what with Exhibition and possibly Klang coming up, plus one secret project and two confirmed new artists. So, in our wisdom we decided to release three new works on the same day. You can thank us later. Anyway, we have pretty much something for everyone. Starting with…

We’ve been trailing the Manipulant EP for a while, but now it’s finally released. Manipulant is musician and singer David from Lancaster, Pennsylvania and had a lot of radio airplay with his previous Eclectro album. The new EP ‘perspective’ is a melodic slice of electro that ranges from funky to seductive to jazzy to dramatic. We’re pushing tracks like SandS and Shiveresque to the US university radio stations as we think they really stand up to mainstream radio exposure. You can buy ‘perspective’ from iTunes, Amazon and our Bandcamp store here:

Cousin Silas needs no introduction for fans of ambient music, and that makes it all the more pleasing that he has chosen to place another release with us. ‘Radio Galaxies’, as its name suggests is a collection of cosmologically-themed pieces. Long-form, and deliberately slow-paced and evolving, this is an album that needs to be wallowed in. ‘Radio Galaxies’ is available from our Bandcamp store:

GOATS is a brand new experimental project, comprising Alan Morse Davies (The Clock House, At Sea Records, Truck Stop Rent Boy), Ade Hodges and Declan Owen. The album, made up of five goat-themed titles, also features Neil Campbell of Vibracathedral Orchestra fame and Rene Kita. The music is experimental and ever-changing, challenging in places and accessible in others. The album is ‘name your price’ on Bandcamp but any money raised will go to Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) so we hope you’ll give generously.

New Release: Somacopia DeFacto

Friday 16th March saw the publication of our latest release, ‘Somacopia DeFacto’ by experimental artists Anthony Donovan and {AN} EeL (Neale D. Retke).

By turns playful and brutal, Somacopia DeFacto is an uncompromising journey into the psyche and is strictly for the adventurous. Fiercely experimental, the album comprises three parts, each made up of multiple sequences. If you are comfortable with the later works of Scott Walker or some of the Beefheart albums, give this a try.

News from the Conning Tower: Exhibition

So much news, so few typing fingers! OK, Exhibition. Exhibition is the name of our 2018 ‘open’ compilation. There are three strands to the compilation, Red, Green and Blue: Red is the most experimental and challenging, Green is predominantly instrumental or ambient, and Blue is rock, post-rock, pop, electronica and so on.

We’re accepting entries until the end of March, but at the time of writing we’ve had submissions from:

Manga Brothers
Cousin Silas
Merge
Alan Morse Davis
CJA Band
Spartan Jet-Plex
Carbonates on Mars
Autonomaton
precocious mouse
Zumaia
Ruido
Nurse Predator
Ian Haygreen
Rauppwar
Lucidbeaming
Earthborn Visions
Pisse Larve
Peri Esvultras
Noise Cluster
God Cancer
James Hoehl
Raas
3SBAT
Feasibility Study
Cosmic Colonel
Manipulant
Crayon Angels
ikjoyce
Almark
Lezet
Intersonic Subformation
Ryliss
Icy Rainbows
{AN} EeL/Christopher Petkus/Lorne Shapiro
t.r. hand
Hans Castrup
Mean Flow
Against Nature
The Moth Poets
The Blank Holidays
Shice Squad
Tim Kays
Somta
Bridget Wishart & The Band of Doctors
Arka Sengupta
BlindººCoyote
Hypercube & Mario Lino Stancati
Janusz Brudniewicz

It’s going to be huge! You can read the original blurb about Exhibition here.

New release from Cousin Silas

We are delighted to announce that we have today released our first album from Cousin Silas. ‘Sketches, Rough Drafts and Early Ideas’ is a collection of previously unreleased material, curated by the man himself, dating back to David’s first adoption of the Cousin Silas name.

Despite being early material, the pieces are remarkably mature and accomplished. Fans of Cousin Silas will find plenty to enjoy here, with many of the Silas trademarks already showing through. Several of the pieces are quite sombre and err towards the dark ambient genre, while others feature the use of sequencers, reminiscent of Berlin school elektronische musik.

It’s a fascinating journey, and it’s completely free from our Bandcamp page.

And would you look at that, we didn’t even mention the Kickstarter.

News from the Conning Tower: “No Port Of Call: Songs From The Flying Dutchman”

This promises to be a great compilation from my friends at Argali Records…

Argali Records

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[TEMPORARY ARTWORK, FINAL ARTWORK SUBJECT TO CHANGE]

Experimental music/noise compilation, focusing on the themes of ghost ships, including The Flying Dutchman, and others, including more contemporary examples, such as the dimension-shifting USS Eldridge. Current submission window is from now until the end of March, with a tentative release in mid April.
Thanks again! 🙂

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES;

I. Tracks submitted need to be exclusive to this compilation.
NO remixes or tracks released previously on other compilations.
II. Audio files need to conform to Bandcamp uploading standards. WAV/FLAC only.
III. ONE submission per band/musician please.
IV. Tracks should ideally be between one to ten minutes in length (if it’s a little bit longer than that, that should be OK too).
V. Please include your project name and website/Bandcamp with your submission email.
VI. Be sure music file is titled in “Band name – track name” format.
VII. Please use WeTransfer or similar…

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Out Today: t.r. hand ‘Folke Meditation’

We are really excited to present the debut album from t.r. hand, ‘Folke Meditation’.

Relatively little is known about t.r. hand; we received a somewhat cryptic press release from his (?) intermediaries at Glove of Bones, which had the (presumably intentional) effect of leaving us knowing less about t.r. than before we’d read it. Frowning emoji.

However, the album is a cracker, even if we do say so ourselves. Elsewhere we described it as a melange of of cut-ups and ambient and experimental beats and sound collages. It’s pretty much the kind of music that resists any sensible attempt at categorisation and has to be heard to be understood. It is also entirely possible that the ‘Folke Meditation’ title is a little misleading.

We’re making it available on Bandcamp and the other major digital platforms. Also, the tame art elves at Glove of Bones have made a strictly limited set of deluxe hardback CD packs, with a full colour booklet. These are beautiful tactile items and the photo doesn’t do it justice:

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Hear ‘Folke Meditation’ here:

Of krautrock and Klang

So, krautrock.

I suspect most of us have a mental image of what krautrock should sound like, but it’s odd because as Stuart Maconie succinctly pointed out “in truth, no two Krautrock acts sound remotely alike“. The very term krautrock itself sticks in my craw, but for whatever reason, the alternative – less offensive – names like kosmische musik just haven’t really gained the same widespread acceptance. Some people argue that the term has transcended its racist origins; I’m not convinced, but for the sake of ease of common understanding, we’ll stick with ‘krautrock’ for now.

I expect my journey into krautrock was not unusual; I listened to Kraftwerk as a young teen, graduating to Faust and Tangerine Dream when I should have just been graduating. Then as an adult with an ever-expanding musical taste, an inquisitive disposition and a little more disposable income I found bands like Neu! and Can, and started to understand how significant they have been in the development of rock music. Then you get into the hard stuff – Amon Düül II, Cluster, Popol Vuh, Harmonia and so on. Before long you start meeting people in car parks who might be able to source a rare La Düsseldorf demo.

The Submarine Broadcasting Company is just over a year old now, and we’re immensely proud of the releases we’ve achieved in our first year. But now we want to broaden our horizons and turn our attention to the krautrock that we’re so passionate about. So with that in mind we set out to find today’s krautrock-influenced bands and present a showcase of their music. This is our new project. This is Klang.

We’ve got eight great bands and the tracks demonstrate a heady mix of motorik, kosmische and elektronische influences, along with a healthy dose of psych and garage rock. Our line-up includes the legendary Six By Seven, from Italy we have Unimother 27, from Finland the Oulu Space Jam Collective, Peri Esvultras from Belgium, Shice Squad from Germany, from the UK we have Dynamo Snackbar and Beltism, and from no fixed address we have t.r. hand. We have some rare tracks, some exclusive mixes and some  tracks exclusive to Klang.

So far, so good. But if you are going to make a krautrock compilation, we felt it really needs to be on vinyl. We all know nothing compares with the look, the feel – even the smell – of a great vinyl LP. And we want to do it properly – heavyweight vinyl, gatefold sleeve, optimum length for best sound quality, the whole nine yards.

The initial costs for a vinyl project are huge compared to our previous CD projects, so we’re going to be asking for your help to raise the money to press what is going to be a very special album. Towards the end of February, maybe start of March, we’ll be running a Kickstarter campaign to help us meet the manufacturing costs.

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Artist’s impression. Not to scale. Contents may vary from packaging. Serving suggestion only.

I really hope you’ll support us in this venture. It’s a big deal for us, in every respect. So even if krautrock isn’t your first choice of listening pleasure, or vinyl isn’t your prefered medium, I hope you’ll think about putting a couple of quid in to get us across the line. Keep an eye open for the Kickstarter, although I expect we might just mention it again.

Rob x