t.r. hand

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:

News from the Conning Tower: t.r. hand

Everyone here at the Conning Tower was winding down, lowering the periscope, ready for the traditional English August of drizzle and traffic jams, when a most remarkable thing happened… a new EP from the reclusive guru of mind-training, self help/abuse and prison tattoos, t.r. hand, landed on the desk.

There’s a super-size serving of concept in the EP ‘The Checking’, and in addition to t.r’s trademark washes, sound collages, chops/screws and deep atmospherics, there are spoken vocal readings/recitals from Bonnie J. Currie which give the tracks a whole new focus and impetus. Once again t.r has coerced the Glove of Bones into producing the cover/track art and it is glorious.

05 Junk Devotion

After checking that the restraining order was still in place,  and that our A&R man’s tetanus jabs were up to date, we set out to get an interview with t.r. hand in a disused warehouse. This is what happened:

SBC: Can you give some explanation of the ideas behind this work and its points of reference?
TRH: Have you been watching One Punch Man on Netflix? It’s like that. If you get an idea, the last thing you should do is grab it and choke the air out of it. Tickle it, ask it questions. Listen, don’t talk.

SBC: There is a running theme in the work, a narrative. How did that come about?
TRH: From a broad suggestion. I didn’t choose it, other than signposting its huge source. I didn’t know the performer, nothing other than ‘some words’ was suggested.

SBC: Did the narrative alter the project?
TRH: Yes.

SBC: Can you explain?
TRH: No. Well, almost no. The grip on the idea wasn’t ever so tight that it couldn’t transform. Everything is transformation. A stick of charcoal in your fingers and a piece of paper. Both ask for transformation. When I received the narrative recordings they changed the project. Pretty much completely. The original project is probably flipping and flapping around somewhere waiting for an oxygen intake. Is that the natural selection of ideas? No idea. The critical thing though is I’d imagined some scattergun / sound bite content. That’s what I was geared up to work with. Bonnie’s work though was so full of understanding of the subject and passionate in it’s presentation, the original idea seemed trivial and it would have been wrong to strip it from it’s context and use little bits from here and there for effect or imposed meaning. I ‘get’ the source but of all the many words in books, this set are the most inviting for the imposition of personal meaning.

SBC: For any readers out there, what is the source?
TRH: They are from the Red Book by Carl Jung. Look it up, it’s not easily summarised. Go with the flow. Pretty sure civilization will come back to it after the apocalypse.

SBC: That isn’t very positive for a self proclaimed Guru?
TRH: Truth hurts, which probably explains the current global collision.

SBC: In your somewhat small public scope, you do use the hashtag #guru. Do you have any reason or explanation of this?
TRH: There’s an underlying, no, overriding sarcasm in that question isn’t there? The ‘Self Help’ industry is on the ascent, most of it is lunacy. It’s all very tribal. So, I’m happy to hit up on a level playing field. I’m pretty much in the peace and love wing, anarchic, left leaning libertarian sect. It’s niche but I’m sure there’s an audience. Albeit briefly.

SBC: Thank you.
TRH: Can I go now?

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We are presenting The Checking as a digital download, or as a super-deluxe hardback book/CD package, including 24 pages of Glove of Bones’ designs. Both formats are available from the Bandcamp page.

August Releases: Cottura 8 Minuti and Manipulant

Two releases this month, both somewhat unusual.

First up is the various artists compilation, Cottura 8 Minuti (or C8M). This is compilation of music made in, or at least centered around, the kitchen. We’d love to take credit for C8M, but the truth is the curation and heavy-lifting was done by Lezet and Razrook, both of whom appear on the compilation.

Lezet (Igor Jovanovic) says:

“Cottura 8 minuti – that’s a suggested time for preparing a meal (often printed on pasta package, spaghetti for instance).

Cottura 8 minuti (C8M) was also a suggestion for musicians and sound artists to contribute in gathering a collection of sound recordings that all originate from any sort of a kitchen (indoor, outdoor, home, restaurant etc.)

C8M – gave freedom to explore all kinds of kitchenish soundscapes. The performances (“cooking” the sounds, or other recording engagement in the kitchen, using kitchenware to produce sound, music, or even playing real instruments while cooking them in a stew…) don’t all last for 8 minutes, but we gave the artists strict instructions not to overcook it!”

As you might expect, C8M is predominantly experimental, containing generous servings of field recordings, noise, no-wave and treated sounds. Artists featured include Zumaia, Mean Flow, { AN } Eel , Gekkering, Awkward Geisha, Yann Pillas, David Nadeau, David Fenech and many more.

C8M is available as a digital download from Bandcamp, iTunes and Amazon, or on two CDs from Bandcamp.

All proceeds from C8M go to the Petar Radovanović Children’s Home, Užice, Serbia.

 


Our other release so far in August is a first for SBC, an album of remixes. We’ve taken Manipulant’s lovely single ‘What Good Are The Stars?’ and handed it out to a phalanx of musical luminaries and encouraged them to do unspeakable things with it.

Punningly entitled ‘The Stars Are Good… What?’, the album includes remixes from SBC ‘regulars’ Martin Neuhold, Alan Morse Davies, t.r. hand and Beltism, plus a plethora of guest artists new to the label:  A Multitude of ONE, Cheddr, Stoneygate, Alex Hilliard with IE Unnoticed, Incentive, and Once & Future NoOne. It’s a fantastically inventive collection of remixes, ranging from the sympathetic through to complete re-workings.

‘The Stars Are Good… What?’ is available as a digital download or CD from Bandcamp. All proceeds go to the Make The World Better (MTWB) Foundation (Philadelphia). www.mtwb.org

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

News from the Conning Tower: t.r. hand

More news than we can shake a stick at this week, and we’ve shaken sticks with the best of them.

Main news – as alluded to in previous posts – is the arrival of a new artist on our roster, t.r. hand, whose new album ‘Folke Meditation’ will be released in February.

Due to withdrawal of his right to see any visitors, we have been unable to speak directly to t.r. hand himself, but we have been handed a press release from his agent and some-time minder. The press release reads as follows:

Q: What is t. r. hand?
A: t. r. hand is:

An errant Spirit Animal

An ongoing distraction

A New Age Guru looking for a philosophy

A chattering noise just outside your peripheral vision

An absent friend and surprise guest

A savage heart & a spirit of vengeance

A slave of middle management aching for revolution

A recovering public menace

A brother and digital journeyman

So, there you go. More details about ‘Folke Meditation’ will emerge in February.

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In other news, Crayon Angels have some radio spots coming up to mark the launch of their new EP. Hear them on the radio with your ears like so:

  • Chris Arscott’s Folk & Acoustic Music Show, Triangle Radio: 30 Jan (8-10pm) (repeated 1 Feb 6-8pm)
  •  Eden Folk, Eden FM, Liz Franklin: 31 Jan (8-10pm)
  •  Alternative Roots, Brum Radio, Mike Davies:  4 Feb (from noon)

You can hear a track from the EP, again using your ears, right here:


Lastly, we have been contacted by a further three artists intending to release work on SBC. Lots of details to thrash out at this stage, but each of them is bringing something unique to the table so stay tuned for more details.