Touch Newsletter #121

Welcome to the 121st Touch Newsletter. Last month, BJNilsen created a special sound installation for The Broad - a new contemporary art museum being built by philanthropists Eli and Edythe Broad on Grand Avenue in downtown Los Angeles, opening 20th September 2015. Images from the event can be found below. Mark Van Hoen, inspired by Nilsen’s work, created "Anthem for the Homeless", which is now broadcasting on Touch Radio

On 23rd March in Copenhagen, Mika Vainio, Hildur Guðnadóttir and Thomas Ankersmit will perform at a special Touch evening presented by Jazzhouse. Details below.

Touch’s Jon Wozencroft is one of the interviewees featured in Grant Gee’s 2007 Joy Division documentary. Recently broadcast on BBC4, it is now available to watch until month’s end on the BBC iPlayer (UK only).

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Touch and Ash International now have their own YouTube channels, where you can stream audio (and the occasional video) of many selections from the Touch catalogue, including some previously unavailable in any digital format. Please subscribe to Touch here and to Ash International here.

Touch Radio 111 | Mark Van Hoen

17.02.15 - Mark Van Hoen - Anthem for the Homeless - 21:40 - 320 kbps

“Inspired by BJ Nilsen's performance at LACE in Los Angeles last month, I decided to attempt my own composition using field recordings. The source recordings are quite crude in comparison to those made by the great Mr Nilsen; I even used only an iPhone to collect the recordings; but after a little judicious use of processing back at the studio, I am pleased with the results. On leaving LACE after the show, I noticed how many homeless were sleeping in the doorways at the back of the venue, where my car was parked. There were several droning air-conditioners, some emitting quite rhythmic sounds. It occurred to me that there are many that would hear this as music (myself included) but it's very doubtful that those sleeping in those doorways do… or perhaps some do find some comfort or music in such sounds. I assembled several of them to create this, an anthem for the homeless.”

Subscribe to the TouchPod podcast of TouchRadio via the iTunes Music Store
Play Mark Van Hoen “Anthem for the Homeless”

Touch in Jazzhouse, Copenhagen on 23rd March

As part of the guest booker program “The Lake in Jazzhouse”, curated by experimental radio station The Lake ( from 19th-30th March, Jazzhouse in Copenhagen will host a night dedicated to the music of Touch. The night will feature shows from Mika Vainio, Hildur Guðnadóttir and Thomas Ankersmit and is presented by Jazzhouse, The Lake and the Copenhagen film festival CPH PIX.

Where: Jazzhouse, Niels Hemmingsens Gade 10, Copenhagen
When: 23rd March 2015
Tickets: 120 dkk

Buy tickets at
More info:
Facebook event page

Images from BJNilsen @ The Broad | 15th February 2015

Click here for further images from BJNilsen at The Broad

Joy Division documentary on BBC iPlayer

Written by Jon Savage and directed by Grant Gee, the 2007 Joy Division documentary is now available to watch on the BBC iPlayer (UK only).

The 2007 documentary features commentary by Touch's Jon Wozencroft alongside band members Bernard Sumner, Peter Hook and Stephen Morris, Anthony H. Wilson, Paul Morley, Annik Honoré, Peter Saville, and more.

Watch “Joy Division” on the BBC iPlayer
Further reading…

TTW#86 | Nigel Wrench “ZA86”

Cassette only – limited edition of 150 copies.
Illustration – Martin Crawley

Track Listing
A: Part One [15m00s]
“Why do the white people just shoot us?”
B: Part Two [14m48s]
“We have crossed from death to life.”

ZA86 is a 25 year old radio reporter’s personal journey in the final, most repressive moments of a hated regime.

The last years of apartheid were the most brutal as a low-level civil war was battled out on the dusty streets of South Africa’s black townships.

Released on the 25th anniversary of the day Nelson Mandela walked to freedom, ZA86 is edited from 9 tapes in the unique cassette archive of Turnstyle News, unlocked for the first time from a Cape Town cellar. It takes the listener to a violent world with moments of great beauty. The reporter, far from being edited out, is very much present, as are the thumps and bumps he hears in his headphones.

From a May Day call to arms by Winnie Mandela to the extreme views of white right wingers; from 19 year old platoon leaders to the aftermath of an attack by police and soldiers in Soweto; from the words of envoy Terry Waite to the funeral of a television cameraman and the Band Aid-like pop song released by the apartheid regime, ZA86 unflinchingly documents the disturbing reality of 1986 in South Africa. A journey into the heart of apartheid.

Buy Nigel Wrench “ZA86” in the TouchShop
More information on

TTW#77 | Black Spirituals “High Vibration Resonance Vol.1”

Cassette only – limited edition of 200 copies, 150 copies of which were available during Black Spirituals’ 2015 tour with Earth
Illustration – SavX

Track Listing
A: Black Zenith I
B: Black Zenith II

Zachary James Watkins: electronics. Marshall Trammell: percussion. Recorded live at Disjecta Art Gallery on August 30th, 2014 by Daniel Menche. Mastered by Jacob Felix Huele. 1+1=3.

Black Spirituals’ performance involves the manipulation of temporal experience using a framework of dynamic relationships and a “Multi-Aesthetic Approach to Improvisation.” The title “Black Spirituals” is borrowed from a found cassette documenting a lecture given by Bernice Reagon on the roots music of American black slaves. These stories form a sonic resonance that speaks of rich relationships to ones surroundings, memories, profound feelings, dreams, and the experiences that inspire human expression. This duet features a new tradition in conversant, duo vernacular dynamics that sparked a revolution in our conceptions of space, stage, ritual, performance, geography, praxis, brotherhood, relationships, rockin’ out, and more.

Buy Black Spirituals “High Vibration Resonance Vol.1” in the TouchShop
More information on

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The previous Touch NewsLetter can be found here.