Welcome to the 113rd Touch Newsletter. We are delighted to release the vinyl edition of Fennesz’s masterpiece, Venice. It was 10 years ago when the CD first came out and now a limited edition double gatefold vinyl with extra tracks, which complete the Venice sessions, will be released on October 20th worldwide. You can now order this edition in the TouchShop (you will also receive aiff audio files and a pdf booklet of Jon Wozencroft’s imagery with your order) – more details below.
We also have two TouchRadio editions which are now broadcasting; Rodolphe Alexis from a remote island in Japan, and Jiyeon Kim’s mix from an exhibition in Seoul, “Grandmothers' Lounge - From the Other Side of Voices”.
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TO:53V | Fennesz "Venice"
Double gatefold vinyl + audio download
Artwork and photography by Jon Wozencroft
Cut by Jason at Transition, mastered by Denis Blackham
Featuring David Sylvian and Burkhard Stangl
Special 10th anniversary limited edition
A1: The Future Will Be Different
A2: Rivers of Sand
A3: Chateau Rouge
B1: City of Light
B3: Circassian (guitar: Burkhard Stangl)
B5: The Other Face
C1: Transit (vocals: David Sylvian)
C2: The Point of It All
D3: The Stone of Impermanence
The Future Will Be Different and Tree complete the Venice sessions in one release… "Venice" was recorded on location in the summer of 2003 and subsequently assembled and mixed at Amann Studios, Vienna in January/February 2004.
"Venice", the fourth studio album by Christain Fennesz, finds electronic music at a crossroads between its early status as digital subculture, and the feeling that there has to be something more, an emotional quality that rises above noise and moves towards melody and rapture.
It was voted No. 3 in The Top 50, The Wire, December 2004, was album of the week at BBCi on its release and remains Christian Fennesz’s best-selling record to date. prefix (USA) noted: "Although Fennesz's breakout record Endless Summer was followed by a live release and a collaboration with Jim O'Rourke and Peter Rehberg as Fenn O'Berg, Venice is the true heir to that album's ascendant pop. Venice is not as unabashedly poppy as its predecessor (the lack of Beach Boys references can attest to that), but still mines much the same vein. It was marked by critics at the time as a move away from the relatively robotic music spawned by the IDM craze of the late nineties. Instead, its melodic, emotive tracks foresaw an electronic music that could be purely human.”
Pitchfork Media (USA), in a lengthy review, also noted: "Venice's quality extends beyond its sound. Touch proprietor Jon Wozencroft-- through his breathtaking design and photography - continues to fight the good fight against records-as-pure-data by making the CD a value-added prospect.” and The Declaration Online (Web): "Two blue empty row boats left listless on rippling water. Red orange green riverbed foliage reflected in the water's gauzy oil slick surface. An airport enveloped in dull gray stratus and snow. Upon seeing the photography and packaging accompanying Christian Fennesz's latest recording, Venice, it is clear that the record label Touch remains intent on not simply putting out records but creating audiovisual imprints dedicated to inextricably tying sound and vision."
Pre-order Fennesz "Venice" [DLP + aiff download] from the TouchShop
TouchRadio 104 | Rodolphe Alexis
1.09.14 - Rodolphe Alexis - Dusk, night, day, dawn - 28:03 - 320 kbps
In Spring 2009, I find myself by chance just a few hours by boat from Japan’s last frontier, the island of Iriomote, but I had no way to get there. Not enough time. Total frustration. The southern most island of Japan is 90% covered with rainforest and mangrove and home to many local species including not only insects, frogs and birds, but also Ryukyu flying foxes and the famous cat-leopard called Yamaneko, which was only discovered in 1965.
I make a promise to myself to return, even for short time, but with my recording equipment.
Finally this year it was possible. I went back this Summer with the help of the Tropical Biosphere Research Center University of the Ryukyus and the Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle de Paris, I spent a week on the island recording with a four channel microphone setup. Sadly I didn’t have the chance to see the neko this time…
Unmastered field recording featuring amongst others: Elegant scops owl, Ryukyu flying fox, Yaeyama harpist frog, Ryukyu ruddy kingfisher, cicadas, Ryukyu green pigeon, Ryukyu crow, white breasted waterhen…
Subscribe to the TouchPod podcast of TouchRadio via the iTunes Music Store
Play "Dusk, night, day, dawn"
TouchRadio 105 | Jiyeon Kim
1.10.14 - Jiyeon Kim - Grandmothers' Lounge - From the Other Side of Voices - Lounge Mix - 15:08 - 320 kbps
3 mixes, 3 directional speakers, sound installation 2014, Jiyeon Kim @ SeMa Biennale MediaCity Seoul.
'Grandmothers' Lounge - From the Other Side of Voices' is a joint work of radio producer Sang-il Choi (KR) and sound artist Jiyeon Kim (KR), commissioned by SeMa Biennale MediaCity Seoul 2014. Largely based on Sang-il Choi's anthropological audio recordings of folksongs and stories of grandmothers from South Korea, Jiyeon Kim made this sound installation adopting 3 directional speakers. This mix is especially prepared for TouchRadio.
birds without mouths 00:00~06:17
Grandmothers who had lived in mountain villages used to play with imitating bird's call. Songs about birds and imitative sounds of birds call were passed on orally. For the people who lived in mountainous areas, birds were believed to be the reincarnation of the dead, who had oppression and resentment during their lives. Most of the words and lyrics concern listening to one's sorrows and comforting one's soul. You can hear calls of the lark, owl, cuckoo, wood pigeon, pheasant, nightingale, etc mimicked by grandmothers from different mountain villages with rustling leaves and folksong on birds.
A mix of grandmothers' confessions during the act of praying with songs used in exorcism rituals. Sounds of metal resonance, water flow and feedback were added to accentuate an aspect of their lives - a shaman in their own families.
unfinished chorus 10:59~15:07
This mix starts with one of the old ladies saying, "…I can't even sing." As song is assumed as a centralised and capitalised epic, marginal unsong elements are often neglected and erased. With chopped sounds and refrains from mainly labour folksongs, I focused on 'unsung elements' (breaths, humming, laughter, shouts, etc.) to be extended into another kind of song. Grandmothers' chorus would not be finished until they stop breathing.
Sang-il Choi's online archive of Korean traditional folksongs and in English.
Subscribe to the TouchPod podcast of TouchRadio via the iTunes Music Store
Play "Grandmothers' Lounge"
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The previous Touch NewsLetter can be found here.