Touch Newsletter #177

Welcome to the Touch Newsletter #177. Yann Novak’s second release for Touch, “The Future is a Forward Escape into the Past” is now available to pre-order in the TouchShop.

Its release, on 23 February 2018, will be celebrated with a launch party at Human Resources, Los Angeles. Yann will then embarks on a European tour during March, with many Touch favourites joining him. Further details below…

Charlie Campagna’s “Fog” is now broadcasting on TouchRadio.

Touch Radio 136 | Charlie Campagna

31.01.18 – Charlie Campagna – “Fog” – 6:29 – 320 kbps

“It was 1995; a cold fall day with heavy fog just north of the San Francisco Bay between the Bay Bridge and Jenner in Northern California. I had a spaced pair of B&K 4003 omni-directional microphones with me to capture bay backgrounds. Due to the fog I was able to capture a variety of horns throughout the day.

The piece is a collage of these horn backgrounds along with a freight container ship horn from the Port of Los Angeles. The discovery of hearing these together was a happenstance while previewing the files in unison and hearing a suspended chord automatically I perceived it as a composition.

I also added an underwater sound recorded with a B&K 8011 hydrophone of jet streams from a pool filter.”

Subscribe to the TouchPod podcast of TouchRadio via the iTunes Music Store
Play “Fog”
Charlie Campagna on IMBb

TO:105 | Yann Novak – “The Future is a Forward Escape into the Past”

CD – 4 tracks – 41:28
Gatefold ekopak + full album download

Photography & design by Jon Wozencroft
Mastered by Lawrence English at 158

Track listing:
1. Radical Transparency
2. The Inertia of Time
3. Casting Ourselves Back into the Past
4. Nothing Ever Transcends its Immediate Environment

All tracks composed and recorded by Yann Novak in Los Angeles 2017. Vocal sample on “Nothing Ever Transcends its Immediate Environment” by Geneva Skeen.

‘The Future is a Forward Escape Into the Past’ is the latest album by Los Angeles-based multidisciplinary artist and composer Yann Novak, and his second for Touch. It considers the relationships between memory, time, and context through four vibrantly constructed tracks that push Novak’s work in a new direction while simultaneously exploring his sonic past. ‘The Future is a Forward Escape Into the Past’ is composed as a quadriptych – a single gesture broken into four parts – that meditates on the inevitable progression of time, our relationship to the past, and our distortion of the past through the imperfections of memory. The album will be released February 23, 2018 on the London-based label Touch. Available digitally and on CD, the physical version will be packaged in a gatefold sleeve as a limited edition of 500.

The album’s conceptual roots stem from ‘The Archaic Revival’ by American ethnobotanist and psychonaut Terence McKenna. In it, McKenna theorizes that when a culture becomes dysfunctional it attempts to revert back to a saner moment in its own history. He suggested that abstract expressionism, body piercing and tattooing, psychedelic drug use, sexual permissiveness, and rave culture were proof of this default to a more primal time. The text’s idealism was influential to Novak in the ‘90s, but today the theory bears a darkly-veiled resemblance to the rise of nostalgia-driven nationalism. Regardless of whether one agrees or disagrees with the signifiers of a ‘better time’ – McKenna’s idea highlights our propensity for selective memory, seeing history through the lens of memory instead of fact. On ‘The Future is a Forward Escape Into the Past’ Novak looked back at his own older works through this lens as inspiration.

“For this album I was interested in expanding into a more emotive compositional style and palette. In doing so, I was reminded that this was territory I had covered early on in my career — the whole process became a way to reconnect with my own past and history.”

The Album’s four tracks dynamically shift and surge, where time is rendered as material and momentum compels it into movement. Subtle distortion throughout the album ties the tracks together and echoes techniques explored in Novak’s ‘Meadowsweet’ (Dragon’s Eye, 2006). Tension gives way to a halcyon vision of place in “Radical Transparency,” immediately followed by the austere swells of “The Inertia of Time,” a piece that captures the twin impulse of generating optimistic beauty in harshly muted tones. Both tracks introduce subtle bass swells and stabs reminiscent of ‘In Residence’ (Dragon’s Eye, 2008). From there, the album grows darker with “Casting Ourselves Back into the Past,” and “Nothing Ever Transcends its Immediate Environment,” two icier tracks that preserve the album’s core: a layer of something long since passed that locks us into the very moment we inhabit. The latter introduces a processed vocal sample of Geneva Skeen, similar to Novak’s collaborative work with Marc Manning on ‘Pairings’ (Dragon’s Eye, 2007). The album is a study in perception and alteration, manipulation and awareness, effectively capturing Novak’s command of emotional texturing.

Buy Yann Novak “The Future is a Forward Escape into the Past” in the TouchShop

23.2.2018 | Touch Presents… at Human Resources, LA

To celebrate the release of Yann Novak’s new album “The Future is a Forward Escape into the Past”, Touch presents an evening of performances curated by Mike Harding and Novak. The night will consist of short pieces by a wide range of artists with connections to either Touch or Novak.

Artists: Jasmin Blasco, Robert Crouch, Garek Druss, Jake Muir, Yann Novak, Zachary Paul, Geneva Skeen and Byron Westbrook.
Facebook Event page

March 2018 | Yann Novak European Tour

Yann Novak’s tour of Europe will visit Stockholm, Brussels, Amsterdam and London, with further dates to be announced soon…

9.3.18 – Fylkingen, Stockholm, SE
Carl Michael von Hausswolff, Leif Elggren and Yann Novak
Further info:

14.3.18 – AB Salon, Ancienne Belgique, Brussels, BE
Philip Jeck and Yann Novak
Further info:

15.3.18 – De Ruimte, Amsterdam, NL
Philip Jeck, Yann Novak and Orphax
Further info:

23.3.18 – Iklectik, London, UK
Philip Jeck, Yann Novak and Simon Scott
Further info:


76pp full colour book + CD
33 tracks - 78:59
Limited edition of 1000

The 76pp book is a parallel narrative to the new works featured on the CD, consisting of almost entirely newly commissioned recordings, alongside a contemporary and historical documentation of Jon Wozencroft's photography for the Touch project.

You can hear an audio-collage featuring Simon Scott, Mika Vainio & AER by clicking here

Music: Various artists, Touch
Art direction, photography, text: Jon Wozencroft
Printed by Optimal Media GmbH
ISBN 978-1-874104-02-5

David Sylvian writes: "‘Movements’ celebrates the continuity of a carefully nurtured and sustained audio/visual aesthetic which, via its publication, could be seen as affirmative action in uncertain times. Thank heavens the likes of Touch still have the gall to propel beautiful things out into the world.”

When buying in the TouchShop, price includes (ordinary) postage. If you wish your book to be sent by registered post, please email us to arrange cover for that service - North American customers should order direct from Forced Exposure

Buy “Touch MOVEMENTS” in the TouchShop

Guerrilla Audio

Guerrilla Audio is a new series of audio raids by Simon Fisher Turner.

noun: guerilla
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.

Guerrilla Audio

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The previous Touch NewsLetter can be found here.