Welcome to Touch Newsletter #166. “Sublunar” is Robert Crouch’s debut for Touch. The four tracks which comprise this limited CD and download edition were composed using field recordings from and audio files originally created for mas gestos y mas caras, a collaborative performance with artists Rafa Esparza and Yann Novak. Further details below.
New on Ash International is “Removed” by Richard Chartier. Inspired in part by the rigorous line drawings of American visual artist Linn Meyers, whose 2011 untitled drawing graces the limited edition CD’s spot-varnished artwork, “Removed” draws the listener in to follow patterns.
There are very few copies remaining of the new drøne album “A Perfect Blind” – released in an edition of 500 copies for RSD 2017 – so don’t forget to order your copy of this vinyl-only (with full digital download) release in the Touch Shop.
…and drøne are appearing live (followed by an interview) on “Speak My Language”, hosted by Jasmin Blasco. To be broadcast today, 1 May 2017 at 2pm PCT – www.dublab.com
Tone 56 | Robert Crouch “Sublunar”
Limited edition CD and download – 4 tracks
Written, recorded and performed by Robert Crouch
Mastered by Lawrence English @ 158
Artwork and photography: Jon Wozencroft
2. Brick by Brick
3. Listen to the sound of the earth turning
4. Coda (Sailing Stones)
Presented live in Los Angeles. Source material originally developed as part of mas gestos y mas caras, a collaborative performance with Rafa Esparza and Yann Novak, presented at the Hammer Museum on July 8, 2016.
Robert Crouch is an artist and curator whose work encompasses sound, performance, and technology. As an artist, he locates his work with the intersection of post-phenomenological listening practices, conceptual sound art, and contemporary electronic music. At its core, his work can be understood as a conversation between tonality, context, history and subjectivities. Similarly, Crouch’s curatorial work focuses on the overlapping disciplines of sound, technology, movement, and performance.
“Sublunar” continues Crouch’s inquiry into the complex relationships between sound, context, and meaning, first proposed in his 2016 release, “A Gradual Accumulation of Ideas Becomes Truth” (Line). The four tracks which comprise “Sublunar” were composed using field recordings from and audio files originally created for mas gestos y mas caras, a collaborative performance with artists Rafa Esparza and Yann Novak. mas gestos y mas caras was a durational performance incorporating sound, breathing, and a series of repetitive actions and gestures, choreographed within an architectural installation of adobe bricks fabricated and designed by Esparza.
Sonically, “Sublunar” is a radical departure from the originating performance, yet these tracks remain tethered, literally and aesthetically, to the processes and context of their construction: Esparza’s labored breathing, cautious footsteps, a soft cascade of water, dust, soil. The title itself, “Sublunar”, reinforces an attachment to the Earth and the physical world, and intentionally resists metaphysical interpretation or decontextualization.
It is precisely through this tethering that Crouch seeks to open up a diversity of possible approaches to the work, rather than confine our reading to a primarily or exclusively musical text. The first track, Descension, opens with sounds of breathing, muted movements, and environmental noises, and serves as an acknowledgement of our collective understanding of sound, of these specific sounds, as physical phenomenon. By extension we are allowed to consider this particular organization of sound itself as a kind of sculpture, architecture, and choreography. The body becomes the primary oscillator and architect, delineating boundaries and defining the work as a space within which we might inhabit.
Buy Robert Crouch “Sublunar” in the TouchShop
Ash 12.3 | Richard Chartier “Removed”
Limited edition CD in spot varnished ekopak, and download – 2 tracks
Artwork: Linn Meyers, Untitled, 2011, ink on mylar, 42” x 78.25”
Design: Philip Marshall
1. Removed 1
2. Removed 2
In 2000, The Wire wrote of Chartier’s work: “it’s worth stretching the ears in search of Chartier’s sequences of exquisitely sculpted sonic events, as gorgeous detail bodies forth out of the shadows”… the same holds true today.
Formed over the course of 5 years, “Removed” was a process of removal/erasure. Only trace elements appear from what was. Their interactions merely a ghost of a composition — subtle echoes across the sound spectrum. A glacially paced progression of discreet relational sonic events and flows.
Inspired in part by the rigorous line drawings of American visual artist Linn Meyers, whose 2011 untitled drawing graces the cover, “Removed” draws the listener in to follow patterns. Meyers often creates large scale on-site works that transform a space into durational installations of seemingly endless lines. Seen from a distance these lines appear as almost natural ripples in a wall surface, but deeper, upon closer inspection, the delicate echoes and fluctuations of the artist’s hand arise from the density of details.
Chartier’s precise sound compositions work in a similar manner. Austere and shimmering, the two compositions of Removed beg for careful listening on headphones. Or let these 2 compositions play quietly amplified across your space. Either way, a physically captivating dimensional experience.
Removed is a continuing reflection on major aesthetic elements of Chartier’s artistic language as it has evolved through the years. This is Chartier’s first new solo studio album since 2013’s field recording exploration “Interior Field” and 2012’s purely digital “Recurrence”, both released on LINE, US.
Buy Richard Chartier “Removed” in the TouchShop
PRLP3 | drøne “A Perfect Blind”
Vinyl LP in an edition of 500, and download.
Cover image by Maria von Hausswolff
Cut by Jason @ Transition
Font by Nico
A: Back to the Station
B: Cutting the Screen
“I love everything about this release. Such a great presentation and exciting project! And most important: the music is sublime.” (Label boss Anna von Hausswolff)
Oleg Belyaev – baroque ‘cello
Charlie Campagna – ‘cello
Paul Haslinger – piano
Philip Jeck – pulse
Bethan Kellough – violin, viola
Marie Takahashi – baroque viola
Anna von Hausswolff – voices
Disruption between then and now/memory and presence, dulcimer, psaltery, ‘cellos, violas and violin embroider radio, static, stray voices and electronics… “A Perfect Blind” is the second album by drøne (Mark Van Hoen and Mike Harding) with an array of guest artists, including label supremo Anna von Hausswolff, dreamer and composer Paul Haslinger, field recordist and sound designer Charlie Campagna and Touch artists Bethan Kellough & Philip Jeck. Strings by Seattle-based Marie Takahashi and Oleg Belyaev are also layered into this complex and perhaps more musical offering. Moving in all directions, “A Perfect Blind” continues where “Reversing Into the Future” (Pomperipossa Records, 2016) left off.
“A Perfect Blind” was conceived and designed in Los Angeles with organ recordings from London (at Union Chapel), short wave radio, treated voices and other archaic sound sources.
A stunning front cover image by Maria von Hausswolff and miss-taken typography by Nico embrace this sense of dislocation; as the mediaeval language which enfolds our collapsing 19th Century institutions fails to find relevance, our sense of entrapment in the old is accompanied by an assault on the senses. The destabilising effect of “post-truth” adds to our sense of unbelonging, of being elsewhere, observers not participants.
“A Perfect Blind” is the term used for the best possible observation point where the viewer is unseen by the object of interest. Is this the best place to be? Memories which slowly fade away, also reverse back from the past shoving us into the future…
Buy drøne “A Perfect Blind” in the TouchShop
Ash International on Bandcamp
We are pleased to announce that Ash International is now on Bandcamp.
New items will be added in due course, but for now we have ready a number of archive releases including Daren Seymour and Mark Van Hoen’s “aurobindo: involution” from 1995 (including two bonus tracks), Simon Scott’s “Insomni”, the long deleted compilation “Chiky(u)u”, rogue aircraft intercepts (Blind c/w Fragment) and Ánde Somby and Chris Watson’s “Yoiking with the Winged Ones”.>
Guerrilla Audio is a new series of audio raids by Simon Fisher Turner.
a member of a small independent group taking part in irregular fighting, typically against larger regular forces.
Each audio edit will be posted for 14 days and then removed from the site, although the information about each guerrilla activity will be archived, but without the audio. There will be two postings per month with the first (also featuring Klara Lewis & Rainier Lericolais) on 1st August 2015, so please check in regularly to listen to the latest offering.
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The previous Touch NewsLetter can be found here.