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Keeps Me Alive – review of Manipulant ‘Sundries And Souvenir’

A lovely review from the lovely people at Keeps Me Alive of our lovely latest release. Lovely.

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Folks! Manipulant is back! Today, February 14, 2019, sees the release of a retrospective of the past couple of years of Manipulant’s work, along with one new song, too!

I’ve been privileged to have a copy of this release here in the KMA Eastern offices for a wee while in advance of the release, and I must say it is amazing to have so much great music in one place. I wondered how the tracks would sound, taken out of context of the original releases, but I needed haven’t worried as it all flows beautifully. Top to bottom this collection showcases the energy and strong, highly creative work of Manipulant in full stride. 

As an added bonus, there’s one new track here,  Melted Roses, Invisible, which happily pops along on a buzzy bassline over busy drums and occasional guitar stabs and a Tom Waits-ish vocal bit. When he says…

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News from the Conning Tower: Wilfried Hanrath and Manipulant releases

Two new releases to tell you about. First up and out now is the the beautiful new album from Wilfried Hanrath, Glow.

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Glow limited edition digipak. Rather lovely.

Available in a beautiful limited edition digipak, Glow is an album of captivating and mesmerising music. The music comprises improvisations based on, and re-workings of, the music of Matt Getchell (Matt and Wilfried release music collectively as The Hauchzart Ensemble). Alongside Wilfried, guest artists include Cousin Silas, Walloff Domberg, ./noise and Leonel Cardoso.

In places experimental, sometimes ambient, but always melodic and accessible, Wilfried’s music defies traditional genre classification. Listen to an excerpt here:

 


Fresh! New! Exciting! Available to pre-order now is the new album from Manipulant. Sundries & Souvenir is a retrospective of the last three years of Manipulant music, including some new mixes and brand new songs. We wanted to push the boat out for this release, so we’ve tried ensure a format for everyone. So that means:

  • Vinyl
  • Cassette
  • CD
  • Digital download

And… [drum roll]

  • 8-track cartridge

Yes, we went there. Yes, we are hipsterer than thou. Get over it.

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What’s the last 8-track you bought?

You can hear some tracks from the album or pre-order the format of your choice at the SBC Bandcamp store.

News from the Conning Tower: New year, new you

Hello you. Happy new year. Enjoy the break? Yeah, not bad. Quite quiet, actually. Mostly family, you know…

Right, so just a quickie to update you all before we go on our spring/summer hiatus/sabbatical/furlough. It looks like there will be three releases before we hibernate: a brilliant new album from Wilfried Hanrath, a career retrospective from Manipulant and first out the blocks will be the superb hard-electronic/acoustic collab from Hypercube and UNIC6, entitled Binary Planet:

We’re aiming for a 19th January release for Binary Planet, to be available on all major digital platforms, plus CD via Bandcamp.

More on this and the other new releases soon.

News from the Conning Tower: That was then, this is now.

Hi, Submariner-in-Chief Rob speaking. I just wanted to send a seasonal message and update you on news for next year.

So, what a year! It was, I suppose, SBC’s first full year as “a thing” (we first released stuff in 2017 but I think it was this year that earnt our spurs, carved our niche, twisted our sobriety…?)

We did a lot of stuff, we did a lot right; we did a few things wrong too, but I look on those as part of the learning process and we live to fight another day. Lots of achievements, both artistic and technical:

  • Our first cassette release
  • A release nominated for the Schallwelle Music Awards
  • Three releases available as hardback book/CD packages
  • Our first play on BBC 6 Music
  • Our first review in “proper” music magazines
  • True multimedia, with a series of original paintings in our merch shop
  • Launched a monthly playlist, Submerged.
  • A new drop-ship CD manufacturer, enabling release of CDs where it would have been cost-prohibitive previously
  • Experiments with new streaming services, Choon and MusiCoin

We’ve also raised a shedload of cash for charities (you may recall the initial reason for us existing at all was the One String Inspiration project, which raised money for Syria Relief). Since then we have raised many hundreds of pounds for:

A huge thank you to all the artists who donated their time and talents to the projects that made this possible.

So with the Christmas season approaching, I think we’ve deserved a rest, so you’ll see the activity and social media posts start dwindle now until the New Year. Regardless of your religious persuasion, I’d like to think we’d all want some peace, and maybe even muster up goodwill to all men. And if you are really stuck for Christmas gift ideas, who doesn’t love a Bandcamp download?


2019 on the Submarine

So… one of the big lessons that 2018 taught me was not to bite off more than I can chew. A number of artists have approached us regarding potential releases and we’ve had to turn them away, because next year is going to see a change to the rate of releases from the Submarine Broadcasting Company. The reasons are manifold, but the main two are that I’m just not getting time to work on any Beltism material and that Simply Will Not Do! Also, I’m finding it difficult to find time to properly promote a release before the next one is upon me, so something has got to give.

To give you an idea of when things might happen, we have four releases on the slate for January and February: these include a stunning new album from Wilfried Hanrath and a new retrospective from Manipulant, plus other stuff that’s still top secret. But after February, the intention is to slow it right down, with perhaps only another six releases until 2020. Who knows, maybe by April I will be bored out of my mind and be desperate to release more material? But that’s the current plan.

A note to our existing and prospective artists: don’t be afraid to get in touch about anything you would like to release through SBC, but note that we will be making some changes to the way we work. Probably the most material of these changes is that we will be imposing a lead time, so we will need lots of notice prior to release, but there will be some other changes which we’ll discuss at the time.

Toneshift Review of Das 7. Siegel by Hans Castrup

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Hans Castrup | Das 7. Siegel
Submarine Broadcast Company (CD/DL)

A document of a 3-channel electroacoustic sound installation at Museumsquartier Osnabrück by musician and visual artist Hans Castrup.Das 7. Siegel (aka The 7th Seal) is based on a print by Albrecht Dürer from 1498. The piece runs for over thirty-six minutes, opening with a soft smouldering drone. A dragging clang and whistling wind enter. The atmosphere just drifts, that is until a series of what sound similar to the magnitude of computer dial-up penetrates the peace. And suddenly its whispery winds once again.

This cyclical channeling of pitch is not lost on callous ears, instead it brings with it a auditory chasm, bridging the state of mind and body. While it would be easy to offer a cauldron of pure noise effects, or go the opposite way and wallow only in the murky sleep-inducing drone, Castrup has opted…

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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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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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New Release Round Up: Manipulant, Ippu Mitsui and Martin Neuhold

So that was July then. But here at Submarine Broadcasting Spires we’ve had no time for the World Cup, Love Island or lounging about in hammocks sipping banana daiquiris, no sirree Clive. No, we’re committed to the making of music, sweet music, and we have served up a summer smorgasbord of aural treats.

We’ve had a fantastic new single from Manipulant, ‘What Good Are The Stars?’. It’s a sweet, down-tempo, romantic number which was been picking up some airplay on the internet radio circuit. There’s also a version with an alternative vocal take by Jennifer Doll which takes the song in a different direction altogether. But if all this is too melodic and accessible for you, don’t worry; we have an album of remixes, re-purposings and re-imaginings coming out in August that will tread the path less travelled.

 


July also saw our first release from Ippu Mitsui who we have on loan until the end of the season from our friends at Bearsuit Records. Ippu’s delivered a brilliant four-song EP called ‘Shift Down’ and as the title suggests it contains some mellower numbers than on last year’s ‘L + R’. Ippu’s music doesn’t fit any genre easily – he describes himself simply as an electronic musician – and this EP encompasses a number of styles, but if you like your electronic music melodic, with elements of synthwave, synthpop, DnB and everything between, do check it out.

 


Our final release of July is the third and – as is the convention with trilogies – final part of Martin Neuhold & Friends’ Dialogue series. The music of Dialogue started life as solo improvisations recorded by Martin as part of February Album Writing Month (FAWM); these were then added to, remixed and generally re-jigged by a number of leading ambient and experimental musicians. Artists on this album include Cousin Silas, Volker Lankow, Randy Pytel, Norbert Kutz, Gareth Farmer, Guy Mauseth, Colin Powell, Wilfried Hanrath, Allen Pitts, Siegfried Grundmann amongst others.

All three volumes are available as download or CD, and all proceeds go to Médecins Sans Frontières.

 


We have lots of new releases slated for August and September, and in order to free up some space for new stock we are attempting to clear some of our existing inventory, so do check the Bandcamp store for reductions on CDs from Manipulant, Crayon Angels, the Klang and Post:Soc compilations and more. We’ve also reduced the price of some downloads – even though these don’t occupy any physical space – just because we’re nice.

Exhibition 2018

So as we announced on the 11th April, Exhibition 2018 is released, and now all tracks are available for download or on CD. To recap:

“The Exhibition compilation is in three overlapping flavours: Red, Green and Blue. Very roughly speaking Red is the most experimental, this is where you’ll find the noise, the field recordings, the zero bpm and so on; Green is mostly ambient, dark ambient, neoclassical and melodic instrumentals; Blue is pop, rock, post-rock, synthwave, electro and other radio-friendly music.”

The final line-up is:

Red Volume 1

1. God Cancer – Traffic
2. Noise Cluster – Poor Little Hag
3. James Hoehl – All the Unheard Voices
4. CjaBand-uk – Ghosts on the Cilcennin Hillfort, Samhain
5. Cousin Silas – And That Very Day All The Metal Turned To Powder
6. Feasibility Study – Incubus
7. Hans Castrup – Phantrolyse
8. Lucidbeaming – Grizzl
9. Rauppwar – Bizarre Birds in my Home
10. Mean Flow – Drosoulites (The Ghosts Of Frangokastello)
11. Pisse-Larve – The Ghost Nose
12. Zumaia – Champ de Bataille

Red Volume 2

1. Hypercube and Mario Lino Stancati – Spectral Anomaly
2. Almark – Eclipse
3. Alwin van der Linde – Sprinkle Twit Of Unknown Love
4. Glenn R Sogge – Catacombs of Green
5. T. R. Hand – Red Shift Dragon (Amongst The Stars)
6. Devotionalhallucinatic – Swallowed a bird
7. Dream Sequins/Christopher Petkus/{AN} EeL – The Forest’s Other Entrance
8. Humanfobia – Talking with a Ghost Girl in Rancagua Cemetery
9. Zumaia – Nevar
10. Janusz Brudniewicz – Design – MZSO5841
11. precocious mouse – funayurei
12. Rauppwar – Guitar Player Dogs

Red Volume 3

1. Myrh & DesuEx – The Ride of the Valkyrs
2. idle potentiate – xH[5128AA]
3. Feasibility Study – Angel
4. Valerio Orlandini – Flows of Uncertainty
5. Rauppwar – Dark Home Memories
6. Glenn Sogge – Slow Slush of Red-Shifted Frogs
7. Zumaia – Ritual
8. Schtummm – Feed III Alien Psycho Blues
9. Glauber K. de Souza – Robot Ranger vs The Chupacabras
10. BlindººCoyote – Second Sight: Ancestors in Pantomime

Green Volume 1

1. ikjoyce – Cantre’r Gwaelod
2. Earthborn Visions – The Ninth Wave
3. Icy Rainbows – Slippery Slope
4. Mean Flow – Gionis Lament
5. 3SBAT – Impromptu 11.11
6. Cousin Silas – Memories from May
7. Raas – Water
8. LEZET – January Sun
9. Peri Esvultras – Fakir
10. Ryliss – Shaman’s Dream
11. Tim Kays – Auroral Kilometric Radiation

Green Volume 2

1. Baci Grigore & DesuEx – neoTransylvanian postBallad
2. Carbonates On Mars – Will-O’-The Wisp
3. Intersonic Subformation – Failed Prophecy
4. Phono Input – Dreamtime (悲しいモール周囲の蒸気 – Kanashī mōru shūi no jōki)
5. Andrulian – Onryo
6. Derek Soto – Red Sky
7. Ian Haygreen – The Black Dog
8. Somta – Mother Shipton’s Apparition
9. idle Devotee – i An [å3]
10. Martin Neuhold – Untersberg
11. Jaime Munárriz – no Nemo Dream
12. Raas – Salt
13. Mixtaped Monk – The Mermaid’s Tears

Blue Volume 1

1. Manipulant – SandS
2. Alan Morse Davies – The Grey Lads
3. Cja Band – Summer’s End
4. Cosmic Colonel – Mechanized Destruction
5. Cousin Silas – The Return Of The Son Of The Kidney Thief
6. Crayon Angels – Headed This Way
7. Feasibility Study – Orange
8. Mixtaped Monk – Legend of Finn and the Fianna
9. Bridget Wishart and The Band Of Doctors – If You Call
10. The Moth Poets – Black Squirrel Pelt Collector
11. Ruido – Santa Ana Do Barroso
12. Shice Squad – National Supply
13. Spartan Jet-Plex – Alright
14. The Blank Holidays – I Always Knew

Blue Volume 2

1. Hyperbiped – Pezedemuth B
2. Bridget Wishart & Everling – Hope
3. Merge – Free All
4. The Mild East – The Widow Maker [Alt]
5. The Black Hundred – Thought and Memory
6. ÆVEM & Pampered Fists – Seer
7. Myrh & DesuEx – When The Stars Shift
8. Nurse Predator – Apple Eyed Owl
9. Mangabros. – Weissmuller’s Ghost
10. Autonomaton feat. Chudomir – It’s none of my business, personally I’m not like that
11. m.t. Scott – bloom.bruise.heaven.hearse
12. Mixtaped Monk – The Morrigan’s Fate
13. Pork Bolters – Midsummer Tree

So, this is my opportunity to say a massive and heart-felt thank you to all the above artists who have given their time and their art so generously. This compilation is way bigger than any of our previous releases, and I would be lying if I said it was without difficulties and compromises along the way, but you know what… it’s a great body of work. There are some stunning tracks on there and I’m immensely proud of what everyone has achieved. I’m also delighted that we’ve widened our net and snagged some new talent – I hope we can do it again some time.

We’ve had a very respectable volume of downloads, and a reasonable number of purchases. As you probably know, we don’t keep a penny, all the proceeds go to our chosen charity, The Shaw Mind Foundation, who not only do fantastic work, but are also top people too (they’ve invited me to tea!) so please get out there and push this compilation and let’s raise some cold hard cash.

Rob
Submariner-in-chief